A young disabled woman has been unable to leave a

first_imgA young disabled woman has been unable to leave a residential home for nearly three weeks because its managers are trying to evict her for complaining about her care, and for her attempts to enjoy a proper social life.Lakhvinder Kaur (pictured), who has spinal muscular atrophy, says she has been “fighting non-stop” for seven years to secure a proper care package that will keep her safe, and allow her to live in her own home, manage her own support, and enjoy the typical social life of a young woman in her 20s.Instead, she has had to move from one inappropriate care home and supported living setting to another since she turned 21.  Her current care home has raised objections to her organising birthday parties, and occasionally inviting friends over for late-night drinks.It has also objected to the 28-year-old’s demands that she be supported by female staff who are properly trained to assist with her personal care needs.Because she has nowhere else to go, and fears moving to another care home that she believes is unsafe for her – which her council insists is suitable – Kaur is refusing to leave the building.Managers at the home say they will change the security code on the entrance if she leaves the building, and have already tried twice – unsuccessfully – to persuade the police to evict her.The care home’s threat – and her lack of a support package – means she is unable to attend the funeral of her cousin, who died last week in Wales.She has also now been told that staff will only provide her with reheated frozen food – which puts her health at risk – until she leaves.Kaur says the forced move to a second care home would put her social life, her job – and her life – at risk.She is being supported by the disabled women’s collective Sisters of Frida and two of its co-founders, Michelle Daley and Eleanor Lisney.They say her “shocking” story “raises serious questions about not just the quality and services of many care homes across the country – particularly for people who are scared to speak out about their conditions – but about how their customers are respected and valued”.All she wants, she says, is to live in her own home with her own tenancy, with a package of direct payments that reflects her significant support needs and allows her to employ and manage her own well-trained support staff.But she is now being forced to move to yet another care home, one she believes is so inaccessible that it puts her safety at risk, and even though its managers have said they do not believe they can meet her high support needs.In a complaint she has lodged with Newham council, she says: “As an Asian disabled woman, being forced to live in a care home or supported living dehumanises me and disconnects me from my community and the everyday life of society, and hinders any aspirations and life chance opportunities I may have.“This is my cry for help – I refuse to move from one care home to another care home.”She currently receives just three-and-a-half hours of support a day, and another one-and-a-half hours at night, which means she only has enough support while at work for care home staff to take her there, support her to use the toilet just once, and then bring her home again at the end of her shift.She was even told by her social worker that instead of receiving the support she needs to use the toilet, she should use incontinence pads or have a catheter fitted, even though she does not have a problem with incontinence.The care home where she currently lives wants to evict her because it cannot cope with her demand that the staff who provide her care must be appropriately trained, which involves learning the strict, step-by-step routines that are needed to keep her healthy and safe.Managers at the home have also said they cannot cope with her attempts at enjoying a social life.They complained that she organised a birthday barbecue last year, which took place in the building’s car park and was attended by friends and fellow residents.They also complained that she invited 20 friends to her flat for a late-night party, and that she has had friends visit her after her “curfew”.Kaur said: “They have given me a ‘curfew’ of midnight, but I work, my friends work and sometimes we finish at 11pm.“It has happened three times while I have been here that my visitors have left at 4am.“I am 28 years old, not 12. I feel like I have lost out on my 20s.”She fears the council’s failure to provide her with the support package she needs will make it impossible to continue with her customer service job in the hotel industry.Her boss – who she says has been very understanding – has placed her on annual leave while she tries to secure a reasonable support package and an accessible place to live.The care home that the council want her to move to is even further from her friends and family, and she says it is unsafe and inaccessible.The bathroom is too small for the equipment she uses, and has no step-free shower, and the system to call for assistance is inaccessible to her, so she will be unable to call to be turned in bed at night, which must be done to prevent fluid draining into her lungs and causing potentially fatal chest infections.There is also no specialist bed, which she needs to support herself, and she would be unable to operate the locking system on the door to her room.Even the main entrance to the home would be inaccessible to her without assistance.Daley and Lisney told DNS that, as a young disabled Asian woman, the discrimination she is facing “crosses many equality strands”, and violates both article six (on disabled women) and article 19 (on independent living) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.They said they believed that her experience was “not a one-off” and “reinforces what we already know, that when residents speak up about poor and unfair services they are highly likely to be evicted. “It’s easy to evict a care home resident because they have no tenancy agreement. They are basically living under a hotel service.“The reality is that a care home owner does not want complaining customers.”They questioned why she was not being offered the opportunity “to live in her own home and have her own care package, which she has control of”.They added: “The worrying thing here is the local authority appears to be not taking its responsibilities seriously.“Their recommendation is to refer Laki to another care home, which Laki believes will put her health and safety at risk.“Laki is a young disabled Asian woman who has particular concerns, based on her needs and identity, which must be taken seriously and should not be ignored.“One of the things which led to her eviction was that she requested female staff, and for them to be trained in assisting with her personal care needs.“By doing so she has been labelled as problematic – this is shocking!”They said they feared the situation she is facing increases the risk of harm to her health and well-being, and could lead to her losing her job.They said: “She is in fear that if she leaves the care home she will not be able to regain access because the key code will be changed.“She has been told to present herself as homeless, but how can she do this when her care package is locked into the care home and she fears that she will have no-one to assist with her personal care needs?“This is a horrible story which we would not be expecting to read about in the UK.“Newham is a flagship borough for its work on inclusion and in this case we are disappointed that it has seriously let down one of its residents.” A spokeswoman for the care home said in a statement: “Providing residents with the most appropriate package of care is core to the ethos of our business.“In this case the needs of one service user need to be balanced with the safe and efficient operation of the home for all other users.“We have been working closely with the local authority which has found alternative accommodation with the necessary support that better suit the service user’s needs.”A Newham council spokeswoman said: “We have been working closely with Ms Kaur to ensure the care and support she receives meets her needs.“She has an allocated social worker who has been supporting her to review all her options.“We know she wants to live independently and this is something we are actively exploring. “She has highly complex care needs and finding a solution to enable her to live independently in the community is not easy.“We are investigating whether direct payments could assist with this and will update Ms Kaur once we have completed all our assessments.“The current accommodation we have found for her is an interim measure until there is a long-term plan in place.“A full assessment has been completed on the interim accommodation sourced for her and was found by the provider to be suitable for her needs. We will carry out an additional review of this accommodation.”But Kaur said: “I am totally devastated by the way my case is being treated.“I am being placed out of borough and being forced to live in a care home with people three times my age, placing me at risk of losing my job and forcing me to compromise my health, safety and well-being.”last_img read more


ENGLAND Academy and England Youth coach Dave Ellio

first_imgENGLAND Academy and England Youth coach Dave Elliott has named his respective 39- and 42-strong squads for the 2012 season.The England Academy squad includes the 21 players currently preparing for Sunday’s match against the Australian Institute of Sport 4 at Leigh Sports Village (3pm) and Elliott is hoping that fixture will provide the squad with further momentum to take into 2012.Elliott guided both sides to victories over their French counterparts earlier this year and with the Youth team set to continue their traditional Easter rivalry against France and the Academy to embark upon a tour of Australia, 2012 promises to be a big year for English Rugby League.“The Academy selection for Sunday reflects what will come in 2012,” said Elliott. “But I could easily have picked 59 players for next year’s squad.“There are also a lot of players on a watch list who aren’t in the initial squad, but that doesn’t mean that anyone not included will be out of contention and it doesn’t guarantee anyone in the squad a place on the tour.“There are a lot of players who have played well in the academy competition this season and we now want to see how they cope in the England environment, but it’s not a closed shop.“Last year seven of the 17 players who took on the Australian Schoolboys weren’t in the original squad at the start of the year, but they earned their place on the back of their performances during the season, so no one can rest on their laurels.“The Youth side includes a lot of newcomers to the international environment and that helps keep us on our toes as staff because we have to make it fresh and interesting for the lads every time we come together.“It’s a real honour for me to work with all these young professionals and it makes me very proud to see how they progress and develop. There were 10 players from the 2012 Academy test group who have gone on to first team Super League level this season and that’s the sort of success we all want to see.“It’s great to be able to work with these players and they are all very keen to push themselves with an eye on Steve McNamara’s ETS squads so it keeps me working hard to try and give these players the tools to try and better themselves.”The 2012 squads in full:2012 England Academy Training Squad (professional and community clubs in brackets):Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves, Parkside Golborne)Casey Canterbury (Castleford Tigers, Hunslet Parkside)Connor Dwyer (St Helens, Portico Vine)Connor Farrell (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Pats)Connor Spencer (Bradford Bulls, Hunslet Warriors)Corey Lee (St Helens, Thatto Heath)Danny Yates (St Helens, Waterhead)Dom Speakman (St Helens, Halton Hornets)Elliot Gorman (Huddersfield Giantsm Dewsbury Moor)George Williams (Wigan Warriors, Ince Rose Bridge)Greg Richards (St Helens, Ulverston)Greg Wilde (St Helens, Parkside Golborne)Jack Cockerham (Bradford Bulls, Castleford Lock Lane)Jack Owens (Widnes Vikings, Halton Hornets)James Cunningham (Hull FC, East Hull)James Duckworth (Leeds Rhinos, Whinmoor Warriros)James Saltonstall (Warrington Wolves, Siddal)John Bateman (Bradford Bulls, Dudley Hill)Jonathan Ford (Salford City Reds, Blackbrook Royals)Jordan Baldwinson (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)Jordan Gill (Castleford Tigers, Castleford Lock Lane)Jordan Harper (Leeds Rhinos, Normanton Knights)Josh Johnson (Huddersfield Giants, Saddleworth)Lewis Tierney (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Pats)Liam McAvoy (Bradford Bulls, Broughton Red Rose)Liam Sutcliffe (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)Luke Briscoe (Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone Lions)Luke Thompson (St Helens, Pilkington Recs)Mark Percival (St Helens, Halton Hornets)Michael Learmonth (Warrington Wolves, Hunslet Warriors)Mike McMeeken (London Broncos, West London Sharks)Rob Mulhern (Leeds Rhinos, Normanton Knights)Ryan Hampshire (Wigan Warriors, Normanton Knights)Ryan Maneely (Warrington Wolves, Saddleworth Rangers)Ryan Sutton (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Pats)Sam Doherty (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Hunslet Warriors)Steve Ward (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)Tom Gilmore (Widnes Vikings, Halton Hornets)Zac Snelgrove (Castleford Tigers, Milford Marlins)2012 England Youth Training Squad:Aaron Manager (Leeds Rhinos)Ash Robson (Leeds Rhinos)Ashley Bastiman (Yorkshire RPDC)Ben Passmore (Leeds Rhinos)Bradley Lawerence (Wigan Warriors)Bradley Thompson (Cumbria RPDC)Cameron Pierce Paul (London RPDC)Connor Adams (Midlands RPDC)Cruise Leeming (Warrington Wolves)Dave Hewitt (St Helens)David Thompson (Wigan Warriors)Dominic Wear (Cumbria RPDC)Elliott Minchella (Leeds Rhinos)Elliott Morris (Huddersfield Giants)Frazer Moore (Yorkshire RPDC)Gabriel Fell (Wigan Warriors)George Milton (Leeds Rhinos)Harry Lightfoot Brown (London Broncos)Harry Tyson Wilson (Yorkshire RPDC)Jack Johnson (Warrington Wolves)Jack Logan (Hull FC)Jacob Ware (Yorkshire RPDC)Jake Shorrocks (Wigan Warriors)Jared Simpson (Bradford Bulls)Joe Keyes (London Broncos)Jordan Burns (Warrington Wolves)Jordan Hill (North West RPDC)Joseph Bretherton (Wigan Warriors)Josh Greenwood McDonald (Bradford Bulls)Kain Ditchfield (Warrington Wolves)Kane Young (North East RPDC)Kieron Holt (Yorkshire RPDC)Kyle Dempsey (Wigan Warriors)Lewis Lord (Leeds Rhinos)Louis Foster (North West RPDC)Luke Waterworth (Wigan Warriors)Nick Gregson (Wigan Warriors)Oliver Davies (St Helens)Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors)Ricky Bailey (Midlands RPDC)Ryan Langton (Hull FC)Will Carlos (Huddersfield Giants)last_img read more


ENGLAND will want to be a part of the The Big Hit

first_imgENGLAND will want to be a part of the ‘The Big Hit’ double header of Rugby League World Cup semi-finals on November 23.The Big Hit was launched by London Mayor Boris Johnson and Wembley legend Martin Offiah under the shadow of Tower Bridge last month, and he believes Steve McNamara’s men have the potential to make history this autumn.“Wembley is a fantastic stadium. The old one ground has left a huge legacy and the new ground is already building one of its own and honouring that history,” he said. “I played in a World Cup Final there in 1995. They’re all great memories.”England are hotly tipped to make the final four, and Offiah believes the team has the potential to go even further.“We saw what happened in 2012 with the Olympics, and the feel-good factor and publicity was driven by the success of Team GB,” he noted. “Now I don’t want to put too much pressure on Steve and the boys, as I know they will give it their all, but I’ll be backing them all the way, and I hope the rest of the country will be too.”Tickets for The Big Hit are on sale now, with adult admission starting from just £20 (£10 concessions).To make sure you will BE THERE buy now at www.rlwc2013.com or call our 24 Hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.last_img read more


BuzzFeed names Wake N Bake best donut shop in NC again

first_img Since opening in 2014, Wake N Bake Donuts has come to be known for their creative and innovative take on gourmet donuts.They were Champions of the Cooking Channel show Donut Showdown.They were nationally recognized for their donut shaped like a “blunt”, in honor of rapper Snoop Dogg headlining the Azalea Festival, and most recently went internationally viral when they created a donut that resembled a Tide Pod.Related Article: Mandatory evacuation issued for Carolina Beach residentsThere are two locations in the Cape Fear, one in Carolina Beach and another in Wilmington. Wake N Bake makes thousands of donuts each day during the summer for locals and visitors. (Photo: Helen Holt/WWAY) CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Wake N Bake Donuts has been named the best donut shop in North Carolina by BuzzFeed for the second year in a row.“We are extremely happy and proud to receive this acknowledgement” owner Danny Tangredi said. “It means so much being the only local, year round, donut only, shop in Carolina Beach and Wilmington, to be recognized at a state level.”- Advertisement – last_img read more


Nearby drainage issue has Ploof Road reopening on hold

first_imgLELAND, NC (WWAY) — A storm drainage problem on another piece of property is causing delays for the reopening of Ploof Road in Leland.Leland Planning Director Gary Vidmar says they are not sure when the road will be open.- Advertisement – The storm drainage issue is unrelated to the Ploof Road project, Vidmar said, but construction on Ploof is stalled until the problem at the adjacent property is fixed.Beat traffic with real-time updates from Operation GridlockVidmar says the NC Department of Environmental Quality is now involvedRelated Article: Four charged after investigators recover $600K in stolen itemsNo word yet on when Ploof Road could reopen. The project was supposed to be done earlier this year, but weather delays pushed the completion date back to Feb. 9, then March 9. Last week Vidmar said the road should be back open by the end of this week.Ploof has been closed just off US 17 past Aldi and Exxon for months.The work includes construction of a traffic circle to connect Ploof, Tradeway Drive and the new road that runs from the Walmart shopping center to Aldi.In an update back in January, Vidmar said once Ploof reopens, there is more work to be done at Ploof and US 17.last_img read more


Pender County commissioner candidate requests recount

first_img Since the totals were less than one percent apart, Fallon asked for a recount Friday afternoon.This means the Pender County Board of Elections will re-enter all the data back into the system to see if they get the same number.All votes should be in by Thursday and the final primary winner will be announced at that time. (Photo: MGN Online) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A candidate in the Pender County Board of Commissioners District 3 Republican Primary race has requested a recount of votes.George Brown is the incumbent and he received 1,971 votes. Fellow republican, David Fallon received 1,941.- Advertisement – last_img read more


Volunteers look for long lost artifacts at Battle at Forks Road grounds

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s no secret that Wilmington is a historic place, and there is still more to be discovered.An archaeology non profit organization is working hard to change that.- Advertisement – 154 years later, there are a few artifacts still scattered throughout the grounds of the Battle at Forks Road.Jon Schleier is the Public Archaeology Corps. executive director.He and a group of volunteers have been using metal detectors to see what they can uncover.Related Article: Minority troops of Civil War given the recognition they deserveEvery time they find something, they mark the area with a flag.They’ve come across artifacts from reenactments and the original battle, and there’s only one way to distinguish which is which.“If you pull something out of the ground that’s been there for 150 years it’s gonna have a good bit of corrosion on it,” Schleier explained. “Reenactors stuff sometimes will still be shiny.”John Connor is one of the volunteers, he has one mission in mind — “Saving the relics before any kind of industrialization happens.”Schleier said that this is only the first part of the project, and when he comes back in a month to excavate he is hoping to find even more.“This leg of the field work was kinda focusing on metal artifacts,” Schleier explained. “We’re hoping to catch some of the stuff that metal detectors won’t pick up on like ceramics, glass, those kind of artifacts.”Schleier hopes that Cameron Art Museum will take their findings and turn them into an exhibit.last_img read more


Navassa Parade battles heat and humidity Saturday morning

first_imgWWAY’s Monique Robinson was the 2019 Navassa Independence Day Parade Marshal. (Photo: Gloria Beatty) NAVASSA,NC (WWAY) — Jump roping is tiring enough in itself, but imagine jump roping over a mile stretching an entire Independence Day parade in high heat and humidity. The jump rope queen was just one of the many talents of the Navassa parade on Saturday.Warm weather did not stop the fun that started on Broadway Street and made its way down Main Street. Navassa Dancing Dolls, horse bake riders, bikers, town officials and others marched through the town.- Advertisement – Our very own Meteorologist Monique Robinson led the festivities as the parade marshal.last_img read more


Finalists for Women in IT Awards 2016 revealed

first_imgbusiness-technology magazine that organises the event, received more than 200 nominations for the Awards, which will take place at Grosvenor House Ballroom, Park Lane, on 28 January 2015. Image Credit: Advance IT Minnesota Advertisement The finalists for the 2016 edition of the Women in IT Awards, technology’s leading celebration of female leaders, have been revealed.Information Age, the business-technology magazine that organizes the event, received more than 200 nominations for the Awards, which will take place at Grosvenor House Ballroom, Park Lane, on 28 January 2015.Having gathered resounding support from trade associations, politicians and companies of all sizes and sectors, the event has emerged as the largest and most influential initiative tackling technology’s gender imbalance. – Advertisement – According to a study  from employer body  The Tech Partnership, which supports the event along with BCS and tech UK, just 16% of the IT industry is made up of women and the gap is worsening.Through a series of 13 awards, the Awards highlight the tremendous value that women can bring to IT roles and identify new role models for girls, who make up just 18% of students on UK computing degrees.The event is also supported by Salesforce, Atos, CWJobs, EMC, eSkills for Jobs 2015, Fujitsu, Informed Solutions, O2, SoftwareAG, Zayo, and Hot wire PR.The ceremony, which will again be attended by 500 of the UK’s most influential IT leaders, will be the culmination of an ongoing Information Age campaign to help rectify the lack of women in IT.Congratulations to all the women shortlisted for this year’s Women in IT Awards,” said Baroness Shields, Minister for Internet Safety and Security, who will provide a welcome address at the event. “This is a platform not only for celebrating the achievements of female IT leaders, but also for identifying new role models for young women.“It is vital that we expand the circle of women innovators, creators and drivers looking to join our industry. Simply being involved in this initiative contributes to tackling technology’s disheartening gender imbalance.”[related-posts]While today’s leaders prepare for the evening showcase of the Awards, the daytime will see hundreds of the UK’s brightest female students gather at technology’s largest careers fair for women, Tomorrow’s Tech Leaders Today, a sister event of the Women in IT Awards.Also organised by Information Age, in partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland, this is an unprecedented and exclusive opportunity for women to connect with the country’s top IT employers.“We continue to be extremely committed to helping tackle the shocking gender gap in technology,” said Ben Rossi, editorial director at Vitesse Media, publisher of Information Age. “Those of us who work in the industry know how vibrant and exciting it is, and we all have a responsibility to ensure it is a diverse environment for everyone.“We are delighted with how the Women in IT Awards has grown in its influence as a platform for identifying much-needed female role models, and are very excited by the pace at which Tomorrow’s Tech Leaders Today has become an important place for the UK’s top employers to meet with the country’s brightest female talent.”[Information  Age]last_img read more


Ingenico Group to Support GHIPSS to Deepen Financial Inclusion in Ghana

first_imgBank of Ghana. Advertisement The global leader in seamless payments, Ingenico Group has developed strong partnership with Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited (GhIPSS) to extend electronic transactions to unbanked and underbanked populations in Ghana thanks because of it’s biometric point of sale device.As part of its financial inclusion strategy, GhIPSS, a subsidiary of the Bank of Ghana, launched the biometric smart card banking and retail system to promote cashless financial services.“We were looking for a simple and secure solution to make electronic transactions an easy and uncomplicated experience for the un-banked and under-banked population who remain reluctant to use banking services”, explained Archie Hesse, CEO of GhIPSS. – Advertisement – “Ingenico Group designed a new bio-based POS to bring the bank to remote areas. People don’t have to travel a long distance to have access to their funds”.GhIPSS, jointly with Rural Financial Institutions and Agent Networks, deployed the Ingenico Group biometry smart terminal; one single device to provide banking, retail and value-added services based on a biometric card which requires the holder’s fingerprint for authentication.So far, about 6,000 smart terminals have been deployed in Ghana to enable payment, salary disbursement, cash out, bill payment as well as other financial services by simply using fingerprints for authentication.As a result, this quick and secure user experience helped build trust in the financial ecosystem and created long-lasting financial habits among the program beneficiaries.last_img read more


Windows 10 now running on 400 million devices – Microsoft

first_imgAdvertisement Microsoft today announced that Windows 10 is now installed on over 400 million devices. It took the latest and greatest operating system from the company about 14 months to hit the new milestone.According to a report by ZDNet, at Microsoft’s Ignite conference in Atlanta, company’s officials said that Windows 10 was running on 400 million active devices as on September 26.VentureBeat reports that Windows 10 was installed on over 75 million PCs in its first four weeks. It passed 110 million devices after 10 weeks, 200 million in under six months, 270 million after eight months, 300 million after nine months, and then 350 million after 11 months. Microsoft was aiming for 1 billion devices running Windows 10 “in two to three years,” but recently the company backpedaled on that goal. – Advertisement – The devices included in this figure are not just computers but also tablets, smartphones, Xbox One consoles, and Holo Lens headsets.[related-posts]Credit: VentureBeatlast_img read more


iOS 11 Public Beta Released – How to Download and Install

first_imgApple CEO; Tim Cook at the 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose. (Photo Credit: Ars Technica) Advertisement Cupertino-based tech firm, Apple Inc. made one the biggest announcements as they unveiled their successor of iOS 10; iOS 11 at WWDC 2017 early this year, and their developer previews were made available right after the announcement.According to online reports, the company has today released the public betas for both the new software versions, (iOS 11 public beta is live, macOS High Sierra is coming soon).Both iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra bring a lot of new features. iOS 11 gets an improved Siri, redesigned Control Center, and iMessage integration to Apple Pay, while macOS High Sierra gets the new APFS system, Safari improvements, and much more. – Advertisement – Here’s how you can install the public beta of iOS 11To get access to the public beta, you’re required to Sign in to the Apple Beta Software Program with your Apple ID, and follow the instructions to enroll your device.Answers to most questions regarding the Apple Beta Software Program can be found on the FAQ page.Most important advice is that you should not install beta software on your primary/ only iOS device, and be sure to backup your iPhone or iPad by following the first part of instructions here before you do.Despite being public betas, these early versions are quite buggy and could hinder your overall smartphone experience, and you can un-enroll from the iOS and macOS public beta program whenever you wish.[related-posts]Recap of iOS 11 Apple introduced improvements to Siri; the ability to translate speech, its voice is more neutral for both genders, its interface becomes more visual, a redesigned Control Cente. It also adds a Do Not Disturb While Driving feature, indoor mapping and other improvements to Apple Maps as well.Apple Pay also gets person to person payment and integration into iMessage. There is also a new Apple Pay Cash account, which is where users will receive money from other users.Apple Photos also gets some new tweaks, especially to Live Photos which gets a bunch of new looping modes. Lastly, the App Store also gets a major redesign, which actually looks a lot like Apple Music.source: Apple and Gadgets 360last_img read more


Tony Elumelu Foundation Selects 1000 Entrepreneurs for 2018 Programme Agriculture Entrepreneurs Take

first_img(Photo Courtesy) Advertisement With more than 150,000 Africans from 114 countries worldwide applying to join the 4th cycle of The Tony Elumelu Foundation’s 10-year, USD$100 million TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, the Foundation on Thursday announced 1,000 African entrepreneurs with the most innovative, high-potential business ideas.TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, in a press statement, said the number and quality of applicants, 151,000  in total, was outstanding.“This illustrates the strength and depth of entrepreneurial promise and commitment on our continent. Selection is never easy, and we profoundly regret that we cannot help all,” he said. – Advertisement – Furthermore, the 2018 cohort has added an additional 250 entrepreneurs to the standard selection of 1,000. This comes as a result of the USD$1 million partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross to support 200 entrepreneurs in conflict and fragile zones of Nigeria, a USD$200,000 agreement with the United Nations Development Programme to support 40 pan-African entrepreneurs, and a USD$50,000 partnership with Indorama to support 10 Nigerians. Summing it to a total of 250 additional entrepreneurs.“Our partnerships with the Red Cross, UNDP and Indorama, alongside ongoing discussions with other international organizations, reflect the growing global recognition of what we have known all along – that entrepreneurship is the most effective path to sustainable development on our continent and our Programme is the model to follow,” Tony said.According the TEF reports, agriculture was the leading sector among selected entrepreneurs at 30.5%, followed by technology at 10.5%, and education & training at 7%.source: The Tony Elumelu Foundationlast_img read more


Entrepreneurship Forum for Emerging Markets Closes the Year for Seedstars Africa

first_img18 regional winners of Seedstars World Africa tour pose for a group photos at the Seedstars Africa Summit 2018 conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Thursday 13th, December 2018. Advertisement On December 13th, Seedstars World, the biggest startup competition focused only in emerging markets, closed its annual tour in Africa with the Seedstars Africa Summit 2018 conference, for more than 300 participants, from more than 20 countries, among startups, different stakeholders, media and general public.After two days of intense training activities, including a growth bootcamp, private mentoring sessions, and an investor forum, all attendees participated in deep discussions and learned key insights from a star-filled speaker line up.The conference featured keynote speakers from regional and global companies who addressed a number of relevant topics in groundbreaking speeches full of valuable insights. Doreen Kessy, Chief Business Officer at Ubongo said “authenticity is a rare currency that should be the guiding star when making business and personal decisions”, and Eldrid Jordaan, Founder of Govchat, spoke about the importance of humbleness and determination when launching and scaling a startup. – Advertisement – The “technology, innovation and research to create sustainable jobs for the youth” workshop, led by Arthur Mattli, the Swiss Ambassador to Tanzania and the East African Community, along with Katarina Szulenyiova, Chief Operating Officer at Seedstars, had 4 groups of 10 people each discussing the “Born Before Computer” approach of school curriculum in many African countries, the lack of communication between corporates and academics to better identify the future job-creating industries, and the importance of the cultural mindset for young people when a career that actually fits their aspiration and skills, all of those having been identified by the groups as some of the root causes of the job gap problem in Africa.There was also time for the 17 finalist startups from Africa to pitch on stage and prepare themselves for the competition finals.In April 2019, all the finalists will travel to Switzerland to represent their countries at the Seedstars Summit, a week-long training program, conference and pitching competition. The trip is part of the prize for having won their Seedstars World local competitions and will have them competing with +65 finalists from all over the world for the title of Seedstars Global Winner and up to USD$1 million in equity investment and other prizes.Notably, the Seedstars Health Challenge—supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through which Seedstars is launched called to identify innovative solutions to Vaccine Delivery and Malaria supply chain challenges across Africa.This call aims all health tech startups working on vaccines delivery and malaria supply chain directly. Two winning startups will be awarded at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland, each of them walking away with USD$10,000 (roughly UGX37,161,000).[related-posts]last_img read more


PREVIEW Southampton v Chelsea

first_img[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hree Premier League matches on the TV today.The busy Festive programme continues….Spurs v Man U (BT) Southampton v Chelsea (SKY) Newcastle v Everton (SKY)The bet probably looks to be goals in the Southampton v Chelsea game. It’s certainly a match that usually generates plenty of goal action.Southampton v ChelseaPremier League2.05pm LIVE ON SKYHEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)Jan 2014 Premier Southampton 0-3 ChelseaDec 2013 Premier Chelsea 3-1 SouthamptonMar 2013 Premier Southampton 2-1 ChelseaJan 2013 Premier Chelsea 2-2 SouthamptonJan 2013 FA Cup Southampton 1-5 ChelseaApr 2005 Premiership Southampton 1-3 ChelseaAug 2004 Premiership Chelsea 2-1 SouthamptonMay 2004 Premiership Chelsea 4-0 SouthamptonNov 2003 Premiership Southampton 0-1 ChelseaDec 2003 Premiership Chelsea 0-0 SouthamptonSouthampton’s season is looking increasingly like a ‘season of two halves’.After a stunning start they are now looking vulnerable after four defeats in a row.However, the Christmas campaign is going well for them with six points from six against Everton and Crystal Palace and if the ship is steadied then a Champions League place is by no means a pipe dream.This is clearly going to be a tough test for Southampton against a Chelsea side who have bounced back well from a surprise defeat against Newcastle and have now won all five of their matches across all competitions since that setback.The home side will be boosted by the return of captain Jose Fonte after serving a one-game ban on Boxing Day.Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has no new injury concerns.Over 2.5 goals at 11/10 looks generous enough. I was firmly expecting the price to be odds-on. It must the sale season in reverse.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK OVER 2.5 GOALS for 10 points at around 11/10 with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 49.38 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more


Nanotubes pass acid test

first_imgShareCONTACT: Jade BoydPHONE: 713-348-6778E-MAIL: jadeboyd@rice.eduNanotubes pass acid testRice researchers’ method untangles long tubes, clears hurdle toward armchair quantum wireRice University scientists have found the “ultimate” solvent for all kinds of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), a breakthrough that brings the creation of a highly conductive quantum nanowire ever closer. Nanotubes have the frustrating habit of bundling, making them less useful than when they’re separated in a solution. Rice scientists led by Matteo Pasquali, a professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering and in chemistry, have been trying to untangle them for years as they look for scalable methods to make exceptionally strong, ultralight, highly conductive materials that could revolutionize power distribution, such as the armchair quantum wire. The armchair quantum wire — a macroscopic cable of well-aligned metallic nanotubes — was envisioned by the late Richard Smalley, a Rice chemist who shared the Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the the family of molecules that includes the carbon nanotube. Rice is celebrating the 25th anniversary of that discovery this year. Pasquali, primary author Nicholas Parra-Vasquez and their colleagues reported this month in the online journal ACS Nano that chlorosulfonic acid can dissolve half-millimeter-long nanotubes in solution, a critical step in spinning fibers from ultralong nanotubes.Current methods to dissolve carbon nanotubes, which include surrounding the tubes with soap-like surfactants, doping them with alkali metals or attaching small chemical groups to the sidewalls, disperse nanotubes at relatively low concentrations. These techniques are not ideal for fiber spinning because they damage the properties of the nanotubes, either by attaching small molecules to their surfaces or by shortening them.A few years ago, the Rice researchers discovered that chlorosulfonic acid, a “superacid,” adds positive charges to the surface of the nanotubes without damaging them. This causes the nanotubes to spontaneously separate from each other in their natural bundled form.This method is ideal for making nanotube solutions for fiber spinning because it produces fluid dopes that closely resemble those used in industrial spinning of high-performance fibers. Until recently, the researchers thought this dissolution method would be effective only for short single-walled nanotubes.In the new paper, the Rice team reported that the acid dissolution method also works with any type of carbon nanotube, irrespective of length and type, as long as the nanotubes are relatively free of defects. Parra-Vasquez described the process as “very easy.” “Just adding the nanotubes to chlorosulfonic acid results in dissolution, without even mixing,” he said. While earlier research had focused on single-walled carbon nanotubes, the team discovered chlorosulfonic acid is also adept at dissolving multiwalled nanotubes (MWNTs). “There are many processes that make multiwalled nanotubes at a cheaper cost, and there’s a lot of research with them,” said Parra-Vasquez, who earned his Rice doctorate last year. “We hope this will open up new areas of research.”They also observed for the first time that long SWNTs dispersed by superacid form liquid crystals. “We already knew that with shorter nanotubes, the liquid-crystalline phase is very different from traditional liquid crystals, so liquid crystals formed from ultralong nanotubes should be interesting to study,” he said.Parra-Vasquez, now a postdoctoral researcher at Centre de Physique Moleculaire Optique et Hertzienne, Universite’ de Bordeaux, Talence, France, came to Rice in 2002 for graduate studies with Pasquali and Smalley.Study co-author Micah Green, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Texas Tech and a former postdoctoral fellow in Pasquali’s research group, said working with long nanotubes is key to attaining exceptional properties in fibers because both the mechanical and electrical properties depend on the length of the constituent nanotubes. Pasquali said that using long nanotubes in the fibers should improve their properties on the order of one to two magnitudes, and that similar enhanced properties are also expected in thin films of carbon nanotubes being investigated for flexible electronics applications.An immediate goal for researchers, Parra-Vasquez said, will be to find “large quantities of ultralong single-walled nanotubes with low defects — and then making that fiber we have been dreaming of making since I arrived at Rice, a dream that Rick Smalley had and that we have all shared since.”Co-authors of the paper are graduate students Natnael Behabtu, Colin Young, Anubha Goyal and Cary Pint; Pulickel Ajayan, the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and of chemistry, and Robert Hauge, a distinguished faculty fellow in chemistry, all at Rice; and Judith Schmidt, Ellina Kesselman, Yachin Cohen and Yeshayahu Talmon of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.The Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the National Science Foundation Division of Materials Research, the Robert A. Welch Foundation, the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation and the Evans-Attwell Welch Postdoctoral Fellowship funded the research.Read the abstract at: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn100864vFor more about Rice’s 25th anniversary Year of Nano celebrations, visit: http://buckyball.smalley.rice.edu/year_of_nano/ AddThislast_img read more


Philosopher Martha Nussbaum to speak on Internet harassment April 27

first_imgAddThis ShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduHOUSTON – (April 23, 2012) – Philosopher and author Martha Nussbaum will visit Rice University and discuss “Internet Harassment and the Objectification of Women” at 4 p.m. April 27 in Fondren Library’s Kyle Morrow Room.Who: Philosopher and author Martha Nussbaum.What: Lecture on “Internet Harassment and the Objectification of Women.”When: 4 p.m. Friday, April 27.Where: Kyle Morrow Room, Fondren Library, Rice University.Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. The founder and coordinator of the Center for Comparative Constitutionalism, Nussbaum received her bachelor’s degree from New York University and her master’s and Ph.D. from Harvard. She has taught at Harvard, Brown and Oxford universities and has also served as a research adviser to the World Institute for Development Economics Research in Helsinki.Nussbaum has received honorary degrees from 40 colleges and universities and has writtenmore than 15 books, including the recently released “The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age.”The talk is sponsored by Rice’s Program in Poverty, Justice and Human Capabilities in the Center for the Study of Women Gender and Sexuality and the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.The event is free and open to the public.Media who want to attend the event should RSVP to David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at david@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.last_img read more


One step to solarcell efficiency

first_imgShare1Editor’s note: Links to images for download appear at the end of this release.David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduOne step to solar-cell efficiencyRice University researchers’ chemical process may improve manufacturing HOUSTON – (June 19, 2014) – Rice University scientists have created a one-step process for producing highly efficient materials that let the maximum amount of sunlight reach a solar cell.The Rice lab of chemist Andrew Barron found a simple way to etch nanoscale spikes into silicon that allows more than 99 percent of sunlight to reach the cells’ active elements, where it can be turned into electricity.The research by Barron and Rice graduate student and lead author Yen-Tien Lu appears in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Journal of Materials Chemistry A.The more light absorbed by a solar panel’s active elements, the more power it will produce. But the light has to get there. Coatings in current use that protect the active elements let most light pass but reflect some as well. Various strategies have cut reflectance down to about 6 percent, Barron said, but the anti-reflection is limited to a specific range of light, incident angle and wavelength.Enter black silicon, so named because it reflects almost no light. Black silicon is simply silicon with a highly textured surface of nanoscale spikes or pores that are smaller than the wavelength of light. The texture allows the efficient collection of light from any angle  — from sunrise to sunset.Barron and Lu have replaced a two-step process that involved metal deposition and electroless chemical etching with a single step that works at room temperature.The chemical stew that makes it possible is a mix of copper nitrate, phosphorous acid, hydrogen fluoride and water. When applied to a silicon wafer, the phosphorous acid reduces the copper ions to copper nanoparticles. The nanoparticles attract electrons from the silicon wafer’s surface, oxidizing it and allowing hydrogen fluoride to burn inverted pyramid-shaped nanopores into the silicon.Fine-tuning the process resulted in a black silicon layer with pores as small as 590 nanometers (billionths of a meter) that let through more than 99 percent of light. (By comparison, a clean, un-etched silicon wafer reflects nearly 100 percent of light.)Barron said the spikes would still require a coating to protect them from the elements, and his lab is working on ways to shorten the eight-hour process needed to perform the etching in the lab. But the ease of creating black silicon in one step makes it far more practical than previous methods, he said.Barron is Rice’s Charles W. Duncan Jr.–Welch Professor of Chemistry and a professor of materials science and nanoengineering.Natcore Technology Inc., the Robert A. Welch Foundation and the Welsh Government Sêr Cymru Program supported the research.-30-Read the abstract at http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2014/ta/c4ta02006e#!divAbstractFollow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated Materials:Barron Research Group: http://barron.rice.edu/Barron.htmlImages for download: FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis http://news.rice.edu/files/2014/06/0623_SOLAR-2-WEB.jpgRice University scientists have reduced to one step the process to turn silicon wafers into the black silicon used in solar cells. The advance could cut costs associated with the production of solar cells. Here, a top-down view shows pyramid-shaped pores etched into silicon over eight hours. (Credit: Barron Group/Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6.3-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here.center_img http://news.rice.edu/files/2014/06/0623_SOLAR-1-WEB.jpgRice University scientists have reduced to one step the process to turn silicon wafers into the black silicon used in solar cells. The advance could cut costs associated with the production of solar cells. Here, a cross section shows inverted pyramids etched into silicon by a chemical mixture over eight hours. (Credit: Barron Group/Rice University)last_img read more


Cancer uses abdominal stem cells to fuel growth and metastasis

first_imgShareMEDIA CONTACTS:David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJade Boyd713-348-6778jadeboyd@rice.eduCancer uses abdominal stem cells to fuel growth and metastasisRice-led study suggests new treatment methods for aggressive ovarian cancerHOUSTON — (Dec. 2, 2014) — New research from Rice University and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center shows how ovarian tumors co-opt a specific type of adult stem cell from abdominal tissues to fuel their growth. The research, published online last week in the journal Cancer Research, suggests a new way to target aggressive ovarian cancers by disrupting the metabolic processes that allow them to thrive.Rice University researchers (from left) Deepak Nagrath, Xinran Liu, Kevin Chen and Bahar Salimian co-authored a new study that shows how ovarian tumors fuel their growth by co-opting a specific type of adult stem cell from abdominal tissues.“The presence of a particular type of stem cell known as ‘omental adipose stromal cells,’ or O-ASCs, has been associated with ovarian tumor proliferation, migration and drug resistance, but the exact role of the stem cells was unknown,” said Rice’s Deepak Nagrath, lead researcher on the research paper. “We found that O-ASCs supply cancer cells with metabolites they need to produce nitric oxide, a key signaling molecule that is known to increase blood flow.”Nagrath is director of Rice’s Laboratory for Systems Biology of Human Diseases, which specializes in analyzing the unique metabolic profiles of various types of cancer. Cancer researchers first noticed metabolic differences between cancer cells and normal cells 80 years ago, when German chemist Otto Warburg made the Nobel Prize-winning discovery that cancer cells produced far more energy from glycolysis than did normal cells. For decades, scientists believed the “Warburg effect” applied to all cancers, but research in Nagrath’s lab and others have found that each type of cancer has its own metabolic signature.For example, in a study published in May, Nagrath and colleagues found that highly aggressive ovarian cancer cells were glutamine-dependent and that depriving the cells of external sources of glutamine — as some experimental drugs do — was an effective way to kill late-stage ovarian cancer cells in the lab.New research by Rice University scientists Deepak Nagrath (top), Bahar Salimian and colleagues suggests a new way to target aggressive ovarian cancers by disrupting the metabolic processes that allow them to thrive.In the new study, lead co-author Bahar Salimian, a graduate student in Nagrath’s lab, conducted a series of experiments to study the complex interplay between O-ASCs and ovarian cancer cells.O-ASCs are a type of adult stem cell found in the omentum, a sheet of tissue in the lower abdomen that is one of the most frequent sites of metastasis for ovarian cancer. Previous research had shown that ovarian cancer cells produce far more nitric oxide than healthy ovarian cells. The ovarian cancer cells both deplete their supplies of arginine, the raw material they convert to produce nitric oxide, and they excrete citrulline, a byproduct of the conversion of arginine-nitric oxide conversion.“When we co-cultured the two cell types in the lab, we found that cancer cells used arginine that was secreted by the stem cells, and that the cancer cells, in burning through that arginine, released citrulline, which in turn caused the stem cells to produce more arginine,” Salimian said.Nagrath said the mutually dependent relationship between the stem cells and cancer cells frees ovarian tumor cells from some of the normal metabolic stresses they would otherwise face in their race to grow and also allows them to resist attacks from some chemotherapeutic drugs.Deepak Nagrath“Our findings suggest that O-ASCs upregulate glycolysis and reduce oxidative stress in cancer cells by increasing nitric oxide levels,” Nagrath said. “Significantly, we also found that O-ASC-mediated chemoresistance in cancer cells can be deregulated by altering the balance of nitric oxide that the cancer relies upon.”Nagrath said a multidrug cocktail that disrupts the signals between the stem cells and the cancer cells could upset the metabolic balance that ovarian cancer relies upon to fuel its metastatic growth.“A combined approach of targeting secreted arginine with the enzyme L-arginase, along with targeting microenvironment-secreted factors with the nitric oxide synthesis inhibitor L-NAME may be a viable therapeutic approach for targeting ovarian and endometrial cancers,” Nagrath said.Study co-authors include Christine Caneba, a Rice graduate student; Xinran Liu and Kevin Chen, both Rice undergraduates; Aleksandra Nowicka, a postdoctoral researcher at MD Anderson; Ann Klopp, assistant professor of radiation oncology at MD Anderson; and Ahmad Nabiyar of General Electric Co.The research was supported by Rice’s Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology and by Rice’s John and Ann Doerr Fund for Computational Biomedicine.-30-High-resolution IMAGES are available for download at:http://news.rice.edu/files/2014/12/1208_OVARIAN-group2-lg.jpgCAPTION: Rice University researchers (from left) Deepak Nagrath, Xinran Liu, Kevin Chen and Bahar Salimian co-authored a new study that shows how ovarian tumors fuel their growth by co-opting a specific type of adult stem cell from abdominal tissues.CREDIT: Jeff Fitlow/Rice Universityhttp://news.rice.edu/files/2014/12/1208_OVARIAN-scope-lg.jpgCAPTION: New research by Rice University scientists Deepak Nagrath (top), Bahar Salimian and colleagues suggests a new way to target aggressive ovarian cancers by disrupting the metabolic processes that allow them to thrive.CREDIT: Jeff Fitlow/Rice Universityhttp://news.rice.edu/files/2014/04/0505_OVARIAN-Nagrath-lg.jpgCAPTION: Deepak NagrathCREDIT: Jeff Fitlow/Rice UniversityA copy of the Cancer Research paper is available at:http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2014/11/25/0008-5472.CAN-14-1337.abstractLocated on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just over 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is highly ranked for best quality of life by the Princeton Review and for best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here. AddThislast_img read more


Lush Venus Searing Earth It could have happened

first_imgShare5Editor’s note: A link to a high-resolution image for download appears at the end of this release. David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduLush Venus? Searing Earth? It could have happenedRice University scientists propose that life in the solar system could have been very different HOUSTON – (July 5, 2016) – If conditions had been just a little different an eon ago, there might be plentiful life on Venus and none on Earth.The idea isn’t so far-fetched, according to a hypothesis by Rice University scientists and their colleagues who published their thoughts on life-sustaining planets, the planets’ histories and the possibility of finding more in Astrobiology this month.The researchers maintain that minor evolutionary changes could have altered the fates of both Earth and Venus in ways that scientists may soon be able to model through observation of other solar systems, particularly ones in the process of forming, according to Rice Earth scientist Adrian Lenardic.The paper, he said, includes “a little bit about the philosophy of science as well as the science itself, and about how we might search in the future. It’s a bit of a different spin because we haven’t actually ­­­­done the work, in terms of searching for signs of life outside our solar system, yet. It’s about how we go about doing the work.”Lenardic and his colleagues suggested that habitable planets may lie outside the “Goldilocks zone” in extra-solar systems, and that planets farther from or closer to their suns than Earth may harbor the conditions necessary for life.The Goldilocks zone has long been defined as the band of space around a star that is not too warm, not too cold, rocky and with the right conditions for maintaining surface water and a breathable atmosphere. But that description, which to date scientists have only been able to calibrate using observations from our own solar system, may be too limiting, Lenardic said.“For a long time we’ve been living, effectively, in one experiment, our solar system,” he said, channeling his mentor, the late William Kaula. Kaula is considered the father of space geodetics, a system by which all the properties in a planetary system can be quantified. “Although the paper is about planets, in one way it’s about old issues that scientists have: the balance between chance and necessity, laws and contingencies, strict determinism and probability.“But in another way, it asks whether, if you could run the experiment again, would it turn out like this solar system or not? For a long time, it was a purely philosophical question. Now that we’re observing solar systems and other planets around other stars, we can ask that as a scientific question.“If we find a planet (in another solar system) sitting where Venus is that actually has signs of life, we’ll know that what we see in our solar system is not universal,” he said.In expanding the notion of habitable zones, the researchers determined that life on Earth itself isn’t necessarily a given based on the Goldilocks concept. A nudge this way or that in the conditions that existed early in the planet’s formation may have made it inhospitable.By extension, a similarly small variation could have changed the fortunes of Venus, Earth’s closest neighbor, preventing it from becoming a burning desert with an atmosphere poisonous to terrestrials.The paper also questions the idea that plate tectonics is a critical reason Earth harbors life. “There’s debate about this, but the Earth in its earliest lifetimes, let’s say 2-3 billion years ago, would have looked for all intents and purposes like an alien planet,” Lenardic said. “We know the atmosphere was completely different, with no oxygen. There’s a debate that plate tectonics might not have been operative.“Yet there’s no argument there was life then, even in this different a setting. The Earth itself could have transitioned between planetary states as it evolved. So we have to ask ourselves as we look at other planets, should we rule out an early Earth-like situation even if there’s no sign of oxygen and potentially a tectonic mode distinctly different from the one that operates on our planet at present?“Habitability is an evolutionary variable,” he said. “Understanding how life and a planet co-evolve is something we need to think about.”Lenardic is kicking his ideas into action, spending time this summer at conferences with the engineers designing future space telescopes. The right instruments will greatly enhance the ability to find, characterize and build a database of distant solar systems and their planets, and perhaps even find signs of life.“There are things that are on the horizon that, when I was a student, it was crazy to even think about,” he said. “Our paper is in many ways about imagining, within the laws of physics, chemistry and biology, how things could be over a range of planets, not just the ones we currently have access to. Given that we will have access to more observations, it seems to me we should not limit our imagination as it leads to alternate hypothesis.”Rice graduate student Matt Weller, now a postdoctoral fellow at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, is a co-author of the paper. Additional co-authors are John Crowley, a geodetic engineer at the Canadian Geodetic Survey of Natural Resources Canada and an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Ottawa, and Mark Jellinek, a professor of volcanology, geodynamics, planetary science and geological fluid mechanics at the University of British Columbia.The National Science Foundation (NSF) supported the research. The researchers used the NSF-supported DAVinCI supercomputer, the Shared Tightly-Integrated Cluster and the Night Owls Time-Sharing Service administered by Rice’s Center for Research Computing and procured in a partnership with the Ken Kennedy Institute.-30-Read the abstract at http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/ast.2015.1378This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu/2016/07/05/lush-venus-searing-earth-it-could-have-happened/Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Adrian Lenardic: http://earthscience.rice.edu/directory/user/18/Mark Jellinek: https://www.eoas.ubc.ca/about/faculty/M.Jellinek.htmlRice Department of Earth Science: http://earthscience.rice.eduImage for download: AddThis http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/07/0711_PLANET-2-web-ubsvic.jpgMatt Weller, left, and Adrian Lenardic. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for best quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.last_img read more