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U.S. Reopens Emmett Till Investigation, Almost 63 Years After His Murder

NY Times - Thu, 2018-07-12 19:37
The 1955 murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy, remains among the starkest and most searing examples of racial violence in the American South.

Pence turns up the heat on Missouri’s Sen. McCaskill as Supreme Court battle kicks off

Washington Post - Thu, 2018-07-12 19:30
In a Kansas City speech, the vice president slammed the senator for joining other “obstructionist” Democrats in voting last year against Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Trump Got From NATO Everything Obama Ever Asked For

NY Times - Thu, 2018-07-12 19:17
But alliance members leave Brussels bruised and confused.

Big Protests Greet Trump’s Visit to Britain

NY Times - Thu, 2018-07-12 19:06
Demonstrations are planned for every stage of President Trump’s visit to Britain, despite an itinerary that seems designed to keep him out of sight.

Is Brett Kavanaugh the ‘Forrest Gump’ of Washington?

Washington Post - Thu, 2018-07-12 19:00
President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, seems to show up everywhere all the time in the nation’s capital.

Declaring War on Poverty ‘Largely Over,’ White House Urges Work Requirements for Aid

NY Times - Thu, 2018-07-12 18:51
A report from the Council of Economic Advisers makes the case for adding new work requirements to social programs such as Medicaid and food stamps.

Ocasio-Cortez Isn’t Spelled C-r-o-w-l-e-y

NY Times - Thu, 2018-07-12 18:51
New York’s arcane election laws keep a defeated incumbent on the ballot.

The Quiet Death of Racial Progress

NY Times - Thu, 2018-07-12 18:49
How can we stop backsliding toward inequality?

Live Briefing: Trump’s U.K. Visit: A Sedate Dinner, a Bombshell Interview

NY Times - Thu, 2018-07-12 18:44
President Trump left the NATO summit meeting in Brussels for a visit to Britain. He was greeted with pomp and protest.

Mystery solved: ‘Ghostly’ neutrinos come from a blazar

Futurity.org - Thu, 2018-07-12 18:40

Scientists have found the first evidence of a source of high-energy cosmic neutrinos, ghostly subatomic particles that can travel unhindered for billions of light years from the most extreme environments in the universe to Earth.

“For years, we’ve had a long list of potential sources for high-energy neutrinos. Now we have a specific source—blazars—that we can look at very carefully.”

The observations, from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station in coordination with telescopes around the globe and in Earth’s orbit, help resolve a more than a century-old riddle about what sends subatomic particles such as neutrinos and cosmic rays speeding through the universe.

Since their first detection over one hundred years ago, cosmic rays—highly energetic particles that continuously rain down on Earth from space—have posed an enduring mystery: What creates and launches these particles across such vast distances? Where do they come from?

Because cosmic rays are charged particles, their paths cannot be traced directly back to their sources due to the magnetic fields that fill space and warp their trajectories. But the powerful cosmic accelerators that produce them will also produce neutrinos. Neutrinos are uncharged particles, unaffected by even the most powerful magnetic field. Because they rarely interact with matter and have almost no mass—hence their nickname “ghost particle”—neutrinos travel nearly undisturbed from their accelerators, giving scientists an almost direct pointer to their source.

In this composite, based on a real image of the IceCube Lab at the South Pole, a distant source emits neutrinos that are detected below the ice by IceCube sensors, called DOMs. (Credit: IceCube/NSF)

Two new papers (first, second) in the journal Science for the first time provide evidence for a known blazar as a source of high-energy neutrinos detected by the IceCube observatory. This blazar, designated by astronomers as TXS 0506+056, was first singled out following a neutrino alert sent by IceCube on September 22, 2017.

“IceCube-170922A—a high-energy neutrino detected by IceCube on September 22, 2017—had an energy of 300 trillion electron volts and a trajectory pointing back to a small patch of sky in the constellation Orion,” says coauthor Azadeh Keivani, a postdoctoral scholar at Penn State.

“The era of multi-messenger astrophysics is here. Each messenger gives us a more complete understanding of the universe and important new insights into the most powerful objects and events in the sky,” says NSF director France Córdova. “Such breakthroughs are only possible through a long-term commitment to fundamental research and investment in superb research facilities.”

In this artistic rendering, a blazar is accelerating protons that produce pions, which produce neutrinos and gamma rays. Neutrinos are always the result of a hadronic reaction such as the one visible here. Gamma rays can be produced in both hadronic and electromagnetic interactions. (Credit: via Georgia Tech)

A blazar is a galaxy with a super-massive black hole at its core. A signature feature of blazars is twin jets of light and elementary particles emitted from the poles along the axis of the black hole’s rotation. In this blazar, one of the jets points toward Earth. This blazar is situated in the night sky just off the left shoulder of the constellation Orion and is about four billion light years from Earth.

“Scientifically, this is very good news,” says Ignacio Taboada, an associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of Physics and member of the Center for Relativistic Astrophysics also at Georgia Tech. As leader of the “Transients Science Working Group” within IceCube, he oversaw all the studies that inquired on the correlation TXS 0506+056’s gamma ray flare and the neutrino alert of September 22, 2017. “For years, we’ve had a long list of potential sources for high-energy neutrinos. Now we have a specific source—blazars—that we can look at very carefully.”

Georgia Tech PhD student Chun Fai (Chris) Tung contributed to the publications by reconstructing archival IceCube data searching for very-high energy neutrinos that might be correlated with blazars other than TXS 0506+056.

“At the highest energies, the universe is essentially opaque to very high energy gamma rays, and the farther away you are, the more opaque the universe is,” Taboada says. “If the blazar had been closer we likely would have seen it with HAWC,” the Higher Altitude Water Cherenkov gamma-ray observatory in central Mexico.

One in a million

Equipped with a nearly real-time alert system—triggered when a very high-energy neutrino collides with an atomic nucleus in the Antarctic ice in or near the IceCube detector—the observatory broadcast coordinates of the September 22 neutrino alert to telescopes worldwide for follow-up observations.

Two gamma-ray observatories, NASA’s orbiting Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov Telescope, or MAGIC, in the Canary Islands, detected a flare of high-energy gamma rays associated with TXS 0506+056, a convergence of observations that convincingly implicated the blazar as the most likely source.

Fermi was the first telescope to identify enhanced gamma-ray activity from TXS 0506+056 within 0.06 degrees of the IceCube neutrino direction. In a decade of Fermi observations of this source, this was the strongest flare in gamma rays. A later follow-up by MAGIC detected gamma rays of even higher energies.

This image shows signals produced by a high-energy neutrino detected by IceCube on September 22, 2017. With an estimated energy of 290 TeV, this was the tenth alert of this type sent by IceCube to the international astronomy community and launched a series of multi-messenger observations that allowed the identification of the first source of high-energy neutrinos and cosmic rays. (Credit: via Georgia Tech)

These observations prove that TXS 056+056 is one of the most luminous sources in the known universe and, thus, add support to a multimessenger observation of a cosmic engine powerful enough to accelerate high-energy cosmic rays and produce the associated neutrinos. Because neutrinos interact so weakly with matter, IceCube detected only one out of many millions that sailed through Antarctica’s ice on September 22.

Bolstering these observations are coincident measurements from other instruments, including optical, radio, and X-ray telescopes. “The ability to globally marshal telescopes to make a discovery using a variety of wavelengths in cooperation with a neutrino detector like IceCube marks a milestone in what scientists call multi-messenger astronomy,” says Halzen.

A mystery since 1912

Austrian physicist Victor Hess showed, in 1912, that ionizing particles detected in the atmosphere arrive from space. These cosmic rays are the highest energy particles ever observed, with energies up to a hundred million times the energies of particles in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland, the most powerful human-made particle accelerator.

These extremely high-energy cosmic rays can only be created outside our galaxy and their sources have remained a mystery until now. Scientists had speculated that the most violent objects in the cosmos, like the mysterious gamma ray bursts, colliding galaxies, and the energetic black hole cores of galaxies known as active galactic nuclei, such as blazars, could be the sources.

“Fermi has been monitoring some 2,000 blazars for a decade, which is how we were able to identify this blazar as the neutrino source,” says Regina Caputo, the analysis coordinator for the Fermi Large Area Telescope collaboration. “High-energy gamma rays can be produced either by accelerated electrons or protons. The observation of a neutrino, which is a hallmark of proton interactions, is the first definitive evidence of proton acceleration by black holes.”

“Now, we have identified at least one source of cosmic rays because it produces cosmic neutrinos. Neutrinos are the decay products of pions. In order to produce them, you need a proton accelerator,” says Halzen.

Neutrino experiments could rewrite Standard Model of Physics

Cosmic rays are mostly protons and are sent speeding across the universe because the places where they are created act in the same way as particle accelerators on Earth, only they are far more powerful. “Theories predict that the emission of neutrinos will be accompanied by the release of gamma rays,” explains Razmik Mirzoyan, the spokesperson of the MAGIC Collaboration. But there are still a lot of questions on how blazars could accelerate particles to the highest energies. “Gamma rays provide information on how the ‘power plants’ in supermassive black holes work,” adds Mirzoyan.

Neutrinos ‘hardly ever stop to interact’

As the latest astrophysical messenger to enter the game, neutrinos bring crucial new information to uncovering the inner workings of these cosmic ray accelerators. In particular, measurements of neutrinos can reveal the mechanisms for particle acceleration of the proton beam in the densest environments that even high-energy gamma rays may not escape.

“For the most part, neutrinos go through everything and hardly ever stop to interact.”

Following the September 22 detection, the IceCube team quickly scoured the detector’s archival data and discovered a flare of over a dozen astrophysical neutrinos detected in late 2014 and early 2015, coincident with the same blazar, TXS 0506+056. This independent observation greatly strengthens the initial detection of a single high-energy neutrino and adds to a growing body of data that indicates TXS 0506+056 is the first known accelerator of the highest energy neutrinos and cosmic rays.

Detecting high-entry astrophysical neutrinos—particles from outside our galaxy—is no easy task. These particles pass through the Earth as if it were glass and are only detectable when they interact with atomic protons and neutrons that are massive enough to stop them. “For the most part, neutrinos go through everything and hardly ever stop to interact,” says Taboada.

A team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison operates the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, which the National Science Foundation primarily funds.

About 20 observatories on Earth and in space have participated in the identification of what scientists deem to be a source of very high-energy neutrinos and, thus, of cosmic rays. Several follow-up observations are detailed in a few other papers that are also being published.

Source: Georgia Tech (adapted from the original release via IceCube)

The post Mystery solved: ‘Ghostly’ neutrinos come from a blazar appeared first on Futurity.

Old Recipes, New Format: Spain Puts Historic Dishes on Video

NY Times - Thu, 2018-07-12 18:34
The country’s National Library enlisted chefs to adapt traditional recipes for a series of videos that link its modern cuisine with the past.

Our TV Critics on the 2018 Emmy Nominations

NY Times - Thu, 2018-07-12 18:34
James Poniewozik, the chief TV critic for The New York Times, and Margaret Lyons, a critic for The Times’s Watching site, discussed their favorites and some surprises.

President Trump Says Europe Is 'Losing Its Culture'

NPR All Things Considered - Thu, 2018-07-12 18:34

The British tabloid The Sun published an explosive interview with President Trump that might make his talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May awkward.

In Troubled Cameroon, U.S. Envoy Is Accused of Election Meddling

NY Times - Thu, 2018-07-12 18:32
When the American ambassador encouraged Cameroon’s president, in office for 36 years, to think about his “legacy,” an uproar ensued over alleged interference from a foreign power.

Trade War With China in Aisle 12

NY Times - Thu, 2018-07-12 18:32
With its latest round of proposed tariffs, the Trump administration is pulling American consumers into its battle with China.

7 signs your child’s snoring warrants seeing the doctor

Futurity.org - Thu, 2018-07-12 18:30

Many children may snore at some point in their lives, especially during bouts of colds or when their allergies are acting up. It’s often a passing phase, but how do parents know if it’s an issue requiring treatment?

The answer often lies in what happens when a child isn’t sleeping, says pediatric sleep specialist Fauziya Hassan of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, part of the University of Michigan Health System.

“Problematic snoring can often cause poor quality of sleep that leads to daytime behavioral issues,” Hassan says. “Since it’s unlikely a parent is able to observe their child sleeping each night, these daytime symptoms may actually be the first noticeable signs. However, many parents don’t think to associate them with problematic sleep.”

Watch for these signs

Otherwise, it’s time to speak with a pediatrician if a child snores more than three nights a week and exhibits one of the following signs:

  • If they are “tired but wired,” Hassan says. “Children are busybodies even when overtired.”
  • If they are irritable, aggressive, or cranky.
  • If they “zone out” or daydream frequently throughout the day.
  • If they are excessively sleepy during the day.
  • If they are difficult to wake up in the morning, even when they had a significant amount of time to sleep.
  • If they frequently wet the bed past age nine, or if they have not been wetting the bed and the problem suddenly reappears.
  • If they are struggling in school or have a hard time paying attention. “It’s often that teachers are the first to raise red flags, as they notice a drop in grades or productivity,” Hassan says.

If you decide it’s time to see a pediatrician, be prepared to report what behaviors you’ve observed.

But it’s important to trust your judgment even if your child doesn’t fit these exact markers. “If you’re concerned with your child’s snoring or behavioral issues, don’t hesitate to speak with your child’s pediatrician,” says Hassan.

Obstructive sleep apnea

The most common cause of habitual, problematic snoring is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition in which airflow is obstructed, causing nighttime awakenings or drops in oxygen levels.

Roughly 1 to 4 percent of children have OSA, noted more so after age 3 and in most cases caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids. Typically, a physical exam identifies the condition and a sleep study confirms it. Even more children have habitual snoring or mild sleep-disordered breathing.

Enlarged tonsils and adenoids causing obstruction of the airway at night can adversely affect a child’s sleep and overall quality of life. Adenotonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils and adenoids) is a common treatment for both OSA and milder forms of sleep-disordered breathing.

Although adenotonsillectomy is common, more research is needed to determine the effect it has on a child’s sleep, behavior, and overall quality of life. Often, surgery happens without a sleep study having taken place.

It’s time to rethink kids getting their tonsils out

There also isn’t much data to show just how effective surgery is for snoring and milder forms of sleep-disordered breathing, and whether delaying surgery may allow for other nonsurgical treatments to help first.

Child snoring study

As part of a nationwide, NIH-funded study, Hassan and Michigan Medicine colleagues Ronald Chervin and David Zopf are tackling these questions. The study is currently recruiting children with snoring or mild breathing problems during sleep who are considered candidates for surgery.

“The goal is to determine the effects of tonsil and adenoid removal on children’s health and behavior,” says Hassan. “This will ultimately empower physicians and parents to make an informed decision about whether surgery is likely to improve a child’s sleep and behavior.”

The study will also assess whether there is improvement in other related health conditions such as asthma and allergies.

Kids don’t sleep as well when mom has insomnia

The researchers are seeking children between the ages of 3 and 12 who have a sleep disorder and are possible candidates for adenotonsillectomy. Learn more about it here.

Source: Lauren Marcy for University of Michigan

The post 7 signs your child’s snoring warrants seeing the doctor appeared first on Futurity.

‘Wrecking ball’: Kasich knocks Trump after his departure from a turbulent NATO summit

Washington Post - Thu, 2018-07-12 18:30
The Ohio governor, who’s weighing a GOP primary challenge in 2020, insisted that his appearance in Washington wasn’t political.
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