Appropriations Committee Asks for Detailed Analysis of Infrastructure Needs in BRAC Study

first_imgCiting its concern about the Pentagon’s repeated calls for a new BRAC round, the House Appropriations Committee directs DOD to provide a comprehensive assessment of its infrastructure needs.“Though the committee is not endorsing or precluding another BRAC round, it is interested in more detailed information that would help lead Congress to make an informed decision on that question,” states the committee report accompanying the fiscal 2016 military construction-veterans affairs spending measure that was released Tuesday.The committee requests DOD provide by Dec. 31, 2015, a comprehensive inventory of military installations as well as:a description of the infrastructure necessary to support ongoing defense activities;a discussion of categories of excess infrastructure and infrastructure capacity, and “the secretary’s  targets for the reduction of such excess capacity”;an assessment of the excess infrastructure and the value of retaining certain excess infrastructure to support surge or reversibility requirements; andan analysis of the economic impact of the closure or realignment of installations to reduce excess infrastructure.To determine the extent of excess capacity, the department should consider:the anticipated continuing need for and availability of installations outside the United States, along with the potential for future restrictions on their use; andany efficiencies that may be gained from joint tenancy by more than one branch at an installation or by reorganizing two or more installations into a single facility.The analysis would require a certification from the defense secretary regarding the need for the closure or realignment of installations. The committee also asks the secretary to certify that “every recommendation for closure or realignment of military installations in a round of closures and realignments will result in annual net savings for each of the military departments within six years” after a new round begins.The committee’s request mirrors very closely language in the House version of the FY 2015 defense authorization bill. That provision, which was viewed as a possible first step toward congressional approval of the department’s request for a new BRAC round, was struck from the compromise version of the policy bill, however.In this case, the request for an assessment of DOD’s infrastructure needs may not be as significant since the Appropriations Committee is not responsible for authorizing a BRAC round, but it seems to signal that the committee’s military construction-veterans affairs panel believes a strong case could be made for a future round.The committee report for the milcon spending bill can be found on its website. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Snowball the dancing cockatoo gets serious scrutiny from science

first_imgEnlarge ImageSnowball got down for a Taco Bell ad. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET Ha, ha! Check this out! It’s a dancing cockatoo! This is how Snowball, a bird with a passion for dance, made the rounds as a viral video sensation getting down to the Backstreet Boys back in 2007. But Snowball is more than an amusement, he’s also the star of a new scientific study.Researchers are studying Snowball to learn how dancing can transcend the human condition and extend to our avian friends. “Spontaneity and diversity of movement to music are not uniquely human” is the title of a paper published Monday in the journal Current Biology.A previous parrot study (and one with a sea lion) showed some animals can keep a musical beat, but this new Snowball research suggests the bird is inventing moves as he goes.  1 The science team, led by cognitive neuroscientist Aniruddh Patel of Tufts University and Harvard University, filmed Snowball dancing to Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust and Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want to Have Fun. They analyzed the bird’s movements.The researchers counted 14 distinct dance moves and two composite movements. Snowball’s skills included a body roll, head bobs, foot lifts, head banging and a move reminiscent of Madonna’s ’90s Vogue dance craze. Snowball’s dance snippets tended to be performed for several seconds each, and he changed up his routine each time he heard a song again. “What’s most interesting to us is the sheer diversity of his movements to music,” Patel said in a statement on Monday. The study suggests Snowball may be displaying creativity in his dancing. The research team is currently investigating if the cockatoo’s capers are a form of social interaction with his human caregivers. Sea lion may be first nonhuman mammal to keep a beat Cussing rescue parrot forges sweet Amazon Alexa friendship 11 Photos The researchers said a collection of shared traits between humans and parrots might be responsible for Snowball’s dancing prowess: “(1) complex vocal learning, (2) the capacity for nonverbal movement imitation, (3) a tendency to form long-term social bonds, (4) the ability to learn complex sequences of actions, and (5) attentiveness to communicative movements.”Snowball’s talent first came to light after he was taken in by the Bird Lovers Only rescue agency in South Carolina in 2007. Besides his viral fame, he also starred in a Taco Bell commercial.Snowball seems to be showing that cutting a rug and getting creative with it isn’t just for people. Perhaps he’ll earn himself an invite to Dancing with the Stars. Commentcenter_img 11 spectacular suits of animal battle armor (pictures) Curious critters Share your voice Tags Sci-Techlast_img read more

Dr Reddys leads Indian charge of 130 billion Chinese pharma market stocks

first_imgRaghavendra NDr Reddy’s Laboratories is leading an Indian charge of the $130 billion Chinese pharma market, which is the world’s second largest. The likely liberalisation of the market by the Chinese regulator CFDA will benefit Indian pharma companies that have a solid presence in China, which is the world’s second largest pharma market, a report by Edelweiss Group says.Dr Reddy’s, which maintains a robust presence in China through a joint venture, is evolving a strategic plan to increase its revenue from the current $100 million. The company plans to achieve this by introducing new products and including more segments.The market has responded positively to the report with pharma stocks continuing their strong rally in the National Stock Exchange (NSE). Nifty Pharma sectoral benchmark hit a high of 9,278.70 after opening at 9,193.30. The index that benefited from the strong showing of Glenmark, Lupin and Aurobindo Pharma closed at about 9,263, up about 83 points or 0.91 per cent. Dr Reddy’s surged to an intraday high of 2792.55 from the previous close of 2765.20 to close 4.80 or 0.17 per cent up at 2,770.The company will strengthen its presence by scaling up the joint venture business and increasing the number of “dossier submissions and entries into new therapeutic areas,” MV Ramana, CEO, branded markets (India and emerging markets) of Dr Reddy’s, told Financial Express. According to Edelweiss, Dr Reddy’s, the largest foreign player in China, is poised to benefit from regulatory changes in the country. Dr Reddy’s plans to launch about 60 products and improve revenue significantly over the next seven to eight years, according to the report. PixabayThe company’s strong local partnerships have helped it commercialise some of the imported brands, the report says. The company’s revenue in FY18 was $100 million, with the help of its Canada-based joint venture Kunshan Rotam Reddy.”The size and growth of the market, our long presence and also the recent changes in China’s regulatory framework make this an attractive space for Dr Reddy’s. In terms of market size and expanded generic opportunity, China is the second largest pharma market with $130 billion in size, and generics form 65 per cent of the hospital market. About 22 per cent of the market is with off-patent innovators. While shortening the market access and reimbursement timelines for innovative drugs, China intends to replace the off-patent innovators with high-quality generics that opens up this share of the market to generic firms,” Ramana said.Dr Reddy’s US/EU portfolio mostly comply with Chinese regulations, while additional China-specific studies might be required in the case of some. “While in the past five years, we have had some good pipeline of filings, the plan is to scale this up and file a good number of dossiers in next few years,” he said.The Edelweiss report states that a growing Chinese pharma market and a relaxed Chinese drug regulator, CFDA, are likely to attract many Indian generic players. The relaxed norms may allow Indian companies to file their USFDA-approved products in China and get CFDA approval within months in the normal course. Among the drugs in demand, the most prominent are those for obesity, diabetes, respiratory illness and cancer.”While the regulations have been aligned with International Council of Harmonisation (ICH), there are China-specific requirements, which could pose challenges. Dr Reddy’s will continue to work to build strong regulatory capability and build on our experience to increase the probability of success for any new filing,” the report quoted Ramana as saying.last_img read more

Observations unveil chemical structure of the protoplanetary disk OphIRS 67

first_img Journal information: Astronomy & Astrophysics © 2019 Science X Network Explore further Schematic representation of the environment towards IRS 67 where three main regions are distinguished. Cold regions traced by DCO+, the disc structure proven by CO isotopologues and S-bearing species, and a PDR associated with the surface layers of the disc, traced by CN, DCN, and carbon-chain molecules. The outflow direction is taken from Bontemps et al. (1996). Credit: Villarmois et al., 2019. Protoplanetary discs represent an important stage in the formation of planets. Astronomers believe that the final composition of planets depends on the chemical process taking place within the disc. Therefore, studies of the initial phase of disc formation could be crucial in improving knowledge of the formation and evolution of planetesimals, planets and other objects.However, such studies are very challenging due to fact that the innermost regions of protoplanetary discs are embedded within large amount of gas and dust. In order to shed more light on the physical structure of these regions, chemical surveys of deeply embedded sources are required.Oph-IRS 67 (IRS 67 for short) is a protobinary system located some 493 light years away in the Ophiuchus star-forming region and part of the L1689 cloud. The two sources in the system are separated by about 90 AU from each other. Previous observations of IRS 67 have shown that it contains a Class I circumbinary disc with an extent of approximately 620 AU. In general, Class I discs represent the bridge between deeply embedded Class 0 sources and the emergence of planet-forming discs, known as Class II sources.However, the researchers found that IRS 67 showcases a particular rich chemistry and bright emission of the c-C3H2 molecule, which is atypical for Class I sources. This unusual chemical composition motivated a trio of astronomers from University of Copenhagen, Denmark, led by Elizabeth Artur de la Villarmois, to investigate this disc in detail.”The purpose of this paper is to explore the structure of a line-rich Class I protobinary source, Oph-IRS 67, and analyze the differences and similarities with Class 0 and Class II sources,” the astronomers wrote.Observations conducted using the SMA instrument allowed the team to detect a range of molecular transitions that trace different physics, such as carbon monoxide (CO) isotopologues, sulphur-bearing species, deuterated species, and carbon-chain molecules.The researchers grouped the detected transitions into three main components: cold regions far from the system, the circumbinary disc, and a ultraviolet-irradiated region likely associated with the surface layers of the disc. “The detected molecular transitions are tracing three main regions: cold regions beyond the circumbinary disc extent, the circumbinary disc, and a PDR [photon-dominated region] likely related with the surface layers of the disc. DCO+ is tracing the cold regions, while the CO isotopologues and the sulphur-bearing species are probing the disc structure,” the paper reads.Moreover, the study found that the continuum emission in IRS 67 is consistent with previous studies, which suggests that dust grains in the disc have grown to larger sizes than the interstellar medium dust particles, or that the dust is optically thick. Summing up the results, the researchers concluded that IRS 67 exhibits chemical similarities with Class 0 sources, while photon-dominated region tracers, such as cyanide (CN), are associated with Class II discs. “IRS 67 is, therefore, a chemical link between these two stages,” the scientists wrote. Citation: Observations unveil chemical structure of the protoplanetary disk Oph-IRS 67 (2019, June 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-unveil-chemical-protoplanetary-disk-oph-irs.htmlcenter_img Double star system flips planet-forming disk into pole position Using the Submillimeter Array (SMA), astronomers have conducted a molecular line study of the protoplanetary disk Oph-IRS 67, uncovering essential information about its chemical structure. Results of this study were presented in a paper published June 3 on the arXiv pre-print server. More information: E. Artur de la Villarmois et al. Revealing the chemical structure of the Class I disc Oph-IRS 67, Astronomy & Astrophysics (2019). DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201935575 Revealing the chemical structure of the Class I disc Oph-IRS 67, arXiv:1906.00685v1 [astro-ph.SR]. arxiv.org/abs/1906.00685v1 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more