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Act Up et lAcadémie de médecine en guerre pour légaliser lusage thérapeutique

first_imgAct Up et l’Académie de médecine en guerre pour légaliser l’usage thérapeutique du cannabisFrance – Pour soulager leur souffrance, certains malades du sida souhaiteraient pouvoir consommer du cannabis légalement. Un traitement que l’Académie de médecine refuse de manière catégorique. L’association Act Up dénonce ses arguments, qu’elle juge “archaïques”. Selon l’Académie de médecine, le cannabis est “un faux médicament et une vraie drogue” avec des effets secondaires “nombreux”. La quantité du principe actif, le THC (tétrahydrocannabinol), peut considérablement varier d’un produit à l’autre selon l’Académie. Elle est en revanche connue de façon exacte pour les médicaments.Act Up dénonce ces arguments qu’elle qualifie de “préjugés”, ainsi qu’une “position moralisatrice”. De même, l’association s’élève contre la position de l’Académie qui pense que la consommation de cannabis peut mener à une escalade qui pousse les usagers à prendre des drogues de plus en plus puissantes une fois l’effet du cannabis diminué.L’association souhaite donner un accès encadré aux malades du sida afin de réduire leur souffrance et leur éviter de se soigner dans l’illégalité, soulignant que la capacité thérapeutique du cannabis a été “maintes fois prouvée par de nombreuses études et approuvée dans de nombreux pays”. Le 9 juin 2010 à 14:33 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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Le jeudi 14 octobre sacré Journée mondiale du souffle

first_imgLe jeudi 14 octobre sacré Journée mondiale du soufflePour la première fois au monde aura lieu jeudi 14 octobre la Journée mondiale du souffle. A cette occasion, les pneumologues proposent à tous ceux qui le veulent de tester leur souffle et ainsi, peut-être, de détecter une maladie respiratoire.Jeudi 14 octobre aura lieu la première Journée mondiale du souffle suivie par plus de 70 pays. Dans le cadre de cette journée, des opérations de sensibilisation sont organisées, notamment par l’European Respiratory. En France, c’est la Société de pneumologie de langue française ainsi que le Comité national de lutte contre les maladies respiratoires et la Fédération française de pneumologie qui se chargent de l’organisation de la manifestation.Ainsi, vous pourrez notamment mesurer votre souffle chez les pneumologues participants grâce à un spiromètre. Cet appareil permet immédiatement de voir si le patient souffre d’une maladie respiratoire, comme une bronchite chronique obstructive, une apnée du sommeil ou encore un cancer du poumon. Et l’AFP de préciser qu’en France, 6 millions de personnes souffrent d’asthme ou de BPCO.Le 13 octobre 2010 à 18:26 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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Des photos de lespace prises par un avion en carton

first_imgDes photos de l’espace prises par un avion en cartonTrois Britanniques, mordus de l’espace, ont attaché une caméra sur un avion en carton, lui même relié à un ballon gonflé à l’hélium. Ce matériel, qui peut paraître très simpliste, leur a permis de prendre des images fantastiques depuis le ciel. Après son envol grâce au ballon, l’avion s’est élevé à plus de 37 kilomètres du sol. L’un des trois Britanniques, Steve Davis, expert en technologie, raconte à Sky News : “Nous l’avons fait parce que nous voulions savoir si cela marcherait, et cela a marché !”.L’avion, dont les ailes font près d’un mètre, a été fait à l’aide de paille, puis recouvert de carton.Découvrez en images l’avion en carton et les clichés de la Terre prises par la caméra : https://www.maxisciences.com/avion/un-avion-en-carton-leur-permet-de-faire-des-photos-de-l-039-espace_art10362.htmlLe 12 novembre 2010 à 20:06 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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Les blouses des médecins également vectrices de bactéries résistantes

first_imgLes blouses des médecins également vectrices de bactéries résistantesLes uniformes du personnel hospitalier seraient porteurs d’agents pathogènes voire de bactéries résistantes, selon une étude publiée dans l’American Journal of Infection Control et rapportée par LePoint.fr.Les membres du personnel hospitalier tout de blanc vêtu, sont eux aussi, à leur insu, porteurs de germes hautement pathogènes, et parfois même mortels. C’est du moins la découverte préoccupante qu’une équipe de chercheurs israéliens du centre médical Shaare Zedek à Jérusalem suggère avoir faite.  Pour arriver à une telle conclusion, ils ont réalisé une étude sur les uniformes portés par le personnel au sein de leur hôpital universitaire de 550 lits. Au total, ils ont ainsi collecté 238 blouses ou tuniques appartenant à 75 infirmières et à 60 médecins et ont fait des prélèvements au niveau des manches, de la zone abdominale et des poches, explique LePoint.fr. Des échantillons qu’ils ont ensuite mis en culture. Les résultats ont alors montré que 65% des uniformes appartenant aux infirmières et 60% de ceux des médecins étaient porteurs d’agents pathogènes. Plus inquiétant encore, les chercheurs ont comptabilisé 21 tenues d’infirmières et 6 de médecins colonisées par des souches de bactéries multirésistantes aux antibiotiques, parmi lesquelles se trouvait le staphylocoque doré résistant à la méticilline (SARM) qui a été retrouvé 8 fois. Le SARM peut provoquer des infections sévères de la peau, du sang ou des poumons, qui dans certains cas sont suivies de graves complications pouvant entraîner la mort.  Des résultats inquiétants mais pas de risque direct  À lire aussiErysipèle : contagion, traitement, de quoi s’agit-il ?En dépit de tels résultats, l’étude informe que non seulement 58% des 135 médecins et infirmières participants confirment le fait de changer d’uniforme tous les jours, mais encore que 77% d’entre eux estiment même que le niveau d’hygiène de leur uniforme se situe entre passable et excellent.  Cependant, les auteurs de l’étude se veulent rassurants, en précisant que les blouses ne comportent pas de risque direct de transmission d’infection. Ainsi, l’étude rappelle le lien étroit qui existe entre la proportion de souches résistantes aux antibiotiques et les patients qui ont un système immunitaire affaibli : “Tous les vêtements portés par des humains sont contaminés par des micro-organismes. La pierre angulaire de la prévention des infections réside dans l’hygiène des mains pour empêcher la propagation des microbes des zones souillées aux patients”, souligne Russell Olmsted, président de l’Association américaine pour les professionnels du contrôle des infections et d’épidémiologie (APIC).En France, chaque année, 5% des personnes hospitalisées sont touchées par des infections nosocomiales et environ 4.000 en meurent. Une problématique qui a récemment refait surface avec l’apparition de la Klebsiella pneumoniae, une bactérie résistante, qui a infecté plusieurs patients, dans une clinique privée de l’Essonne.  Le 9 septembre 2011 à 15:15 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Des cartes micro SD plus rapides annoncées par Adata

first_imgDes cartes micro SD plus rapides annoncées par AdataLes cartes SD accueillent un nouveau petit : une micro SD UHS-1, ce qui signifie “Ultra High Speed-1”. Sa force réside donc dans un débit de lecture à 20 Mo/s, bien au-delà des autres microSD. Cela reste toutefois en deçà des cartes SD qui, bien plus grosses physiquement, permettent de monter jusqu’à 104 Mo/s.Les SD sont devenus le standard pour les mémoires portables grâce à leur résistance aux chocs et leur faible consommation électrique. Récemment, la norme SD 3.0 permet l’UHS-1 et ses vitesses plus élevées. Mais les fabricants ne l’avait jusque-là utilisée que pour des cartes SD normales (32*24mm). Pour des petits appareils comme des smartphones, des microSD (15*11mm) sont indispensables. À lire aussiFaceApp : l’application qui vous vieillit garde probablement vos données personnellesLa carte est promise par A-Data en 4, 8, 16, 32 et même 64 GB. La lecture et l’écriture aléatoires sont également mises en avant comme plus rapides, ce qui est important en situation réelle, lorsque les données sont sans cesse effacées et réécrites. Il faudra tout de même faire attention à ce que nos appareils soient compatibles avec cette nouvelle technologie, ce qui ne sera pas le cas des anciens ! Par ailleurs la norme UHS-1 permet en théorie jusqu’à 104 Mo/s, et certaines SD UHS-1 y arrivent presque. Il y aura donc une bonne marge de progression pour ces micro-SD. Avec à la clef, des applications comme de la vidéo HD dans les smartphones, sans délai de sauvegarde.Le 30 octobre 2011 à 19:03 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Google un énigmatique lancement après demain

first_imgGoogle : un énigmatique lancement après demainSous la forme d’une curieuse annonce, Google pourrait dévoiler un nouveau service le 16 novembre prochain. Mise à disposition d’Ice Cream Sandwich ? Google Music Store ? Le mystère plane sur la toile mais certains indices laisseraient supposer que la seconde option pourrait bien être la bonne…Google fera une annonce mercredi, mais se garde bien de révéler quel en sera le sujet. Mais alors que court la rumeur selon laquelle le géant de Redmond aurait l’intention de lancer une boutique de téléchargement de musique au sein de la plate-forme Google Music store, certains indices laissent deviner que cet événement spécial concernera le monde de la musique.L’invitation reçue par plusieurs médias américains a été envoyée par un certain Nigel Tufnel, avec le titre These go to eleven. Cet homme est le guitariste du groupe Spinal Tap, auquel le réalisateur Rob Reiner a consacré un documentaire parodique. Dans ce film, est prononcée la phrase The go to eleven, qui fait référenceà un ampli permettant au son de dépasser le niveau dix auquel sont limités les autres amplis. Il y a donc peu de doutes quant à la nature musicale de l’annonce prévue par Google. Un événement qui sera retransmis sur le compte Youtube du système d’exploitation mobile Android.Le 14 novembre 2011 à 18:20 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Android 50 débarqueratil cet automne

first_imgAndroid 5.0 débarquera-t-il cet automne ?Une déclaration du vice-président de l’ingénierie mobile de Google, Hiroshi Lockheimer, confirme un rythme de sortie annuel des nouvelles versions d’Android. Cela place la 5ème version du sysème d’exploitation à l’automne 2012.Alors qu’Android 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich commence à peine à se répandre dans nos smatphones, ses développeurs travaillent déjà à la prochaine version, qui n’a même pas encore de surnom. « Après Android 4 vient le 5 (lien non disponible), et nous n’avons pas encore annoncé de timing, car nous y réfléchissons encore. » raconte Hiroshi au Mobile Word Congress. « Il y a beaucoup de travail d’ingénierie, et la question de comment le planifier. En général, les releases d’Android se font à une cadence d’une release majeure par an, avec d’autres releases de maintenance qui sont tout de même importantes. » Ce rythme annuel pointe vers un Android 5.0 aux alentours de novembre 2012. À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Il rappelle toutefois que leur but n’est pas la vitesse, mais l’innovation et le confort de l’utilisateur. Par ailleurs, ils travaillent à rendre les mises à jour des téléphones vers les nouvelles versions d’Android plus communes et plus faciles, notamment avec la Android Upgrade Alliance, annoncée à la conférence Google I/O de l’année dernière. Le nom de cette version est encore inconnu. Après Cup Cake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb et Ice Cream Sandwich, à quel genre de sucrerie allons-nous gouter grâce à Google ? Des Jelly Beans ?Le 29 février 2012 à 09:06 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Seagate travaillerait sur des disques durs de 60 To

first_imgSeagate travaillerait sur des disques durs de 60 ToIl faudra peut-être attendre une dizaine d’années pour voir les recherches du fabricant s’accomplir, mais Seagate travaillerait actuellement pour étendre la capacité de ses disques durs. L’un des principaux constructeurs de disques durs l’affirme: les limites du stockage des disques peuvent être repoussées, mais pas à très court terme. Pour se faire, il faut en fait agrandir la densité de stockage, l’élargissant de 5 à 10 To par pouce carré (2,54 cm par pouce). Or, Seagate dévoile déjà avoir atteint une densité de 1 To par pouce. Ce travail repose sur la technologie HAMR (heat-assisted magnetic recording) qui se démarque du PMR, enregistrement perpendiculaire classique des données. Cette méthode permettrait donc à des disques durs 3.5 pouces d’atteindre théoriquement les 60 To, alors qu’aujourd’hui le maximum est de 3 To.Très bientôt, la firme américaine espère commercialiser des disques durs de 6To (3.5 pouces) et 2To (2.5 pouces). Un premier pas vers l’avancée technologique sur laquelle planche Seagate depuis déjà dix ans. Le 21 mars 2012 à 15:00 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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Pourquoi nos yeux sécarquillentils lorsquon a peur

first_imgPourquoi nos yeux s’écarquillent-ils lorsqu’on a peur ?Selon des chercheurs en psychologie de l’Université de Toronto, si nous ouvrons grand les yeux lorsque nous avons peur, c’est pour élargir notre champ de vision et avertir du regard nos interlocuteurs sur la provenance du danger. Pourquoi a-t-on les yeux qui s’écarquillent lorsque nous éprouvons de la peur ? Selon des chercheurs en psychologie de l’Université de Toronto, cette expression du visage ne permet pas seulement de communiquer aux autres notre ressentiment mais joue également un rôle bien stratégique face au danger. L’ouverture excessive des paupières permet en effet d’élargir le champ de vision et d’avertir d’éventuels interlocuteurs sur la localisation du danger.

Pour en arriver à une telle conclusion, les scientifiques ont mené une série d’expériences optiques sur des volontaires. Les résultats, publiés dans Psychological Science, indiquent que les candidats simulant l’expression de la peur sont capables de distinguer davantage de motifs visuels situés hors de leur champ de vision périphérique que les personnes ayant une expression neutre ou de dégout. Par ailleurs, les participants définissent plus précisément le motif fixé par leur interlocuteur lorsque ses yeux sont écarquillés.Autrement dit, ils sont capables de trouver avec davantage de précisions ce que leur interlocuteur regarde. D’après les chercheurs, c’est le contraste davantage prononcé entre l’iris et la sclérotique (blanc des yeux) qui permet de localiser plus facilement et rapidement le point fixé pour repérer l’éventuelle menace. Ainsi, en écarquillant les yeux le “peureux” envoie un signal parfaitement clair à ceux qui l’entoure en leur indiquant de regarder dans une direction bien définie. Une preuve de la nature sociale de l’homme ?À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?”Les expressions émotionnelles ressemblent à ce qu’elles ressemblent pour une raison précise. Elles sont socialement utiles pour communiquer les états émotionnels mais cette nouvelle recherche suggère qu’elles sont aussi utiles en tant que signal physique”, a expliqué le Dr Daniel Lee qui a participé à l’étude. D’après les chercheurs, cette tendance à écarquiller les yeux est bien présente chez tous les mammifères, notamment chez les vaches. Les auteurs suggèrent ainsi que le besoin d’élargir son champ et de prévenir autrui serait le résultat d’une adaptation due à l’évolution. Néanmoins, l’homme présente un contraste encore plus important que certaines espèces au niveau de l’oeil. Ceci prouverait à quel point il est une espèce sociale, relèvent les chercheurs. “Notre capacité à analyser le regard des autres personnes est déjà finement réglée; le fait que ce traitement est encore amélioré par l’élargissement expressif des yeux souligne l’importance de nos yeux en tant que signaux sociaux”, a conclu Daniel Lee cité dans un communiqué.    Le 6 mai 2013 à 13:33 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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Des minirequins préhistoriques auraient survécu à la grande extinction

first_imgDes mini-requins préhistoriques auraient survécu à la grande extinctionLes Cladodontomorphes, une lignée de requins qu’on croyait disparue lors du Permien, il y a 250 millions d’années, a en réalité vécu 120 millions d’années supplémentaires. C’est ce qu’ont révélé des dents fossilisées et retrouvées dans le sud de la France.Des paléontologues du Muséum de Genève et de l’Université de Montpellier ont découvert dans le Gard, dans un gisement fossilifère proche de Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort, des dents fossilisées de Cladodontomorphes. Il s’agit d’une lignée de petits requins ne dépassant pas 30 cm qu’on croyait disparue lors du Permien, il y a 250 millions d’années. Les six dents fossiles d’à peine 2 mm appartenaient à trois espèces différentes de Cladodontomorphes. Or, elles ont été découvertes dans des sédiments de roche datant du début du Crétacé (soit il y a environ 130 millions d’années), lorsque l’océan recouvrait l’actuelle région de Montpellier. Cette découverte, loin d’être anodine, montre ainsi que les requins de cette région ont survécu encore environ 120 millions d’années après la grande extinction du Permien. Survenue il y a 252 millions d’années, elle a décimé 95% des espèces marines et 70% des espèces vivants sur les continents.C’est pourquoi la découverte est aussi étonnante. Les fossiles ont été retrouvés dans des “sédiments qui se sont constitués dans une mer assez profonde”, explique Guillaume Guinot, un des paléontologues du Muséum de Genève cité par l’AFP. Ce spécialiste et ses collègues estiment donc que des espèces de Cladodontomorphes ont pu échapper à l’hécatombe en se réfugiant dans des eaux plus profondes. Des mini-requins à la morphologie extravaganteÀ lire aussiDengue : symptômes, traitement, prévention, où en est-on ?Cette découverte “change notre vision de ce qu’a été cette extinction”, a indiqué Guinot à NBC News. La trouvaille suggère qu’il pourrait y avoir dans les dépôts de sédiments, bien d’autres poissons vivant dans les profondeurs que nous n’avons pas encore trouvé. Cela suggère aussi que “l’extinction n’a peut-être pas été aussi dramatique pour les poissons cartilagineux”.  Les Cladodontomorphes “n’étaient pas de grands prédateurs”. Ils possédaient des “morphologies extravagantes”, comme “une sorte de peigne dorsal” ou un “crochet au-dessus de la tête”, à la place de la nageoire dorsale. Ainsi, la découverte montre “l’intérêt des milieux marins profonds dans la compréhension de la biodiversité”, conclut M. Guinot.(crédits photo : Alain Beneteau) Le 30 octobre 2013 à 18:49 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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East awkwardly meets West in Final Fantasy XV

first_imgAfter ten years in development, two console generations, and one name change, Final Fantasy XV is almost here. Well, it would’ve already been here if not for the last minute delay from September to November, but game development is hard.At a New York Comic Con event, Square Enix let us play the first few hours of a nearly finished version of the RPG blockbuster for PS4 and Xbox One. Could this be Final Fantasy’s last chance?I can’t talk about all the plot points and cutscenes I saw, and I haven’t seen Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV so I’m not caught up on all of my Lucis lore and the state of the armistice with Niflheim. However, at least in these first few hours, I was surprised how comprehensible FFXV’s premise was. Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum awkwardly says goodbye to his father and hits the road with his bodyguard friends to get married. Compare that to the dense, dumb jargon of the Final Fantasy XIII cycle (Fal’cie! I’cie! Cocoon! Pulse! Miitomo!) and FFXV feels as simple and universal as a fairy tale.The story FFXV seems like it really wants to tell is the bro-tastic bond between Noctis and his party, all with anime hair so detailed it looks almost grainy at this visual fidelity. Alongside Noctis are hunky strongman Gladiolus Amicitia, classy chef/chauffeur Ignis Scientia, and last, but certainly not least, plucky surrogate little brother Prompto Argentum. Oh Prompto. He may need constant babysitting, he may have the dumbest outfit, and he may look too much like Cloud Strife, but he’s the heart of the team. And he takes in-game photos of you like that dude in Earthbound. He even talks about RPGs he likes! How meta.The Final Fantasy XV PlayStation VR demo wasn’t at this event, so this is the closest I got to becoming Prompto.FFXV as anime road trip simulator is by far the most intriguing aspect of the game. After a fiery smear of an opening cutscene, the first time players interact with the game is when they help push their broken car forward down a dirt road. It’s crazy. You’re doing such an ordinary, tedious task right as “FINAL FANTASY XV” majestically appears on screen for the first time. But that whiplash defines so much of this experience, at least in these first few hours.Instead of riding a horse or a chocobo or an airship, you travel FFXV’s open world for quests in a fancy but otherwise normal car: the Regalia. At night you have to drive yourself to avoid danger, but during the day you can relax in the backseat while Ignis steers and you play dubstep on the radio. Prompto whines about food while Gladiolus sticks his arm out of the window. Noctis wonders about how to deal with the press. Stop to get gas. Feed a cat on a bridge. I love it. It really feels like four bougie best friends cruising their way to a bachelor party. It’s like a less obnoxious Hangover filtered through anime.And then you park on the side of the road so you can go slay a monster you just saw or charge into a goblin’s nest.The contrast between the mundane and the magical is FFXV’s entire aesthetic and when it works it’s truly compelling. There’s something magnificent about seeing a gigantic wyvern pass overhead as you drive down what might as well be Route 66, and there’s something extra unnerving about getting stopped on those same pastoral open roads by sci-fi/fantasy stormtroopers.The problem, however, is that between those neat moments you’re just looking at boring open roads. The magical realism devolves into just realism. One of the first locations you visit is a greasy spoon diner. Aside from Daisy Duke-esque Cindy, hick granddaughter of the new Cid, the “fantasy” diner has even less personality than some real diners I’ve visited here in New York.As far as wardrobes go Noctis and his crew look relatively restrained compared to the belt-and-zipper nightmares of past games Tetsuya Nomura got his precious hands on. However, the heroes still look absurd walking through crowds of NPCs in normal clothes eating normal food. Perhaps this is to visually show class difference in this world, but it looks like characters from Square Enix’s Japanese studios characters got transported into a Grand Theft Auto clone developed by Square Enix’s western Eidos branch.Along with not looking like a Final Fantasy game much of the time, Final Fantasy XV’s gameplay departs from past entries. FFXV opts for a real-time, action-RPG combat system in lieu of some variation on turn-based, active time battle systems. Noctis has four slots for weapons or spells he can equip as his primary attack at any given moment (the weapon summoning animation is also used for whipping out the pole in the fishing minigame which is hilarious). He can dodge and parry and use magic-draining Warp abilities. Warp Strikes teleport Noctis across the room to instantly attack enemies. He can also Warp to higher ground to get a strategic angle.Party members do what they can to help in battle, attacking foes and helping Noctis back up when he’s critically hurt. But fill up a meter and you can trigger specific team abilities like Prompto’s Piercer gun shot. With the right timing you can chain together team attacks.That’s a fair amount of options, and when you choose to engage them instead of just mashing they can click into place with stylish results. However, all of the options in the world can’t cover up how messy and sluggish actually playing FFXV can be. I played a demo at E3 and was astonished how unresponsive and slow and awkward the game felt, and that was after I got the terrible camera to focus on what I was looking it. Fortunately, this recent demo didn’t feel as bad, probably I was mostly fighting regular enemies instead of poorly designed bosses. But the game is still too slow to be satisfying. Not methodical, just slow.My issues with the Kingdom Hearts franchise are numerous, but the combat and platforming of the Kingdom Hearts II.8 HD Final Chapter Prologue (ugh) demo also at this event felt as snappy as Bayonetta in comparison to Final Fantasy XV. More than anything, FFXV’s lackluster character action reminded me of how Mass Effect, while a great RPG, is only an okay third-person shooter.Speaking of Mass Effect, that’s a series Final Fantasy XV borrows from as part of its naked attempt to be more palatable to western tastes. Even if it’s a shame how ludicrous worldwide sales expectations seem to be the reason for this mandate, but it’s not an inherently bad direction. It worked like gangbusters for Metal Gear Solid V.I don’t think FFXV has lost its Japanese soul, and while the focus on a realistic open world has its problems, the ersatz American bro road trip premise is perhaps the most pleasantly fascinating thing about these opening hours. But between turret sequences, hiding behind cover to regain health and magic, or branching morality dialogue options with NPCs, the western influences are obvious.If the franchise’s history is any indication, these first few hours of Final Fantasy XV only represent a fraction of the entire experience. The tension between eastern mysticism and western realism can still be harmoniously reconciled. Here’s hoping the final game gets its two great tastes to go great together by November 29.last_img read more

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Ecstasy Gets FDA Nod for LargeScale Clinical Trials

first_imgYou’ve probably heard of MDMA, the party drug that’s been a favorite of music festival goers and ravers for years. Better known by the names Molly, Ecstasy, or just simply “X,” MDMA causes mild hallucinations, feelings of euphoria, and a sense of inner peace. And it’s that last one that has the FDA interested.After a few small-scale trials, it seems that ecstasy’s ability to engender empathy and peace in its users could be a viable treatment for post-traumatic stress.C.J. Hardin was one of the trial’s first participants. A veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, Hardin served three tours, but his service nearly destroyed his life. He became an alcoholic and was sometimes suicidal. His marriage suffered and then dissolved.“Nothing worked for me, so I just put aside the idea that I could get better,” Hardin told the New York Times. “I just pretty much became a hermit in my cabin and never went out.” In 2013 he joined a trial to test whether Ecstasy could be used to treat PTSD.“It changed my life,” Hardin said. “It allowed me to see my trauma without fear or hesitation and finally process things and move forward.”After these initial results, the FDA has approved Ecstasy for large-scale trials — the last step before potential approval of a prescription drug.There are still a lot of hurdles, however. In a 2007 study in the English medical journal, the Lancet, MDMA was listed as one of the least dangerous regulated drugs — falling short of alcohol and even marijuana — but that was before some of the long-term damage had been studied.Ecstasy is regulated on a global scale thanks to UN treaties limited access to psychoactive drugs. And there are some real risks. Ecstasy, especially when mixed with other drugs, can cause death via dehydration and hyperthermia — literally overheating. It kicks many of the body’s normal systems into overdrive and, like cocaine, meth and other stimulants, can cause serious damage to the heart.Perhaps worse is the long-term effects of use. MDMA is neurotoxic, and the studies that have been conducted so far recommend that lifetime use be kept low — fewer than 50 doses. Overtime, the drug damages memory and can cause a lot of permanent cognitive problems.Despite the risks, the potential for treatment is real — especially given that rates of suicide among those with PTSD can often be astronomical. After three sessions of treatment over twelve weeks, patients saw a 56 percent decrease in symptoms with more than 60 percent of them not having PTSD by the end of the study. And these improvements lasted more than a year later.If these results continue, Ecstasy could be available as a prescription as soon as 2021. And for those suffering from severe post-traumatic stress, it could well be a matter of life and death.“I just felt hopeless and in the dark,” Hardin said. “But the MDMA sessions showed me a light I could move toward. Now I’m out of the darkness and the world is all around me.”last_img read more

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MovieBob Reviews THE VOID 2017

first_imgStay on target MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Few things are more likely to make me feel apprehensive as the combination of the words “indie retro horror.” There’s a lot of well-intentioned material with that self-applied categorical description floating around the fringes of the genre world these days, and almost without fail they wind up being movies that I want to like (and feel like they’re bending over backward to appeal to my sensibilities). But most wind up leaving me wishing they were more than the sum of their parts and that I came away having gained some insight into the filmmakers’ mindset other than what older movies from the same genre they also liked.Fortunately, despite the fact that it comes from the ASTRON-6 cats (the guys behind Manborg, which I did enjoy even as it’s pretty much the apotheosis of exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about), The Void turns out to actually be mostly interested in doing its own thing. It draws much more from broader cultural and thematic points of reference rather than just other, similar movies. That’s not to say it’s a great film, but it’s original and, well… pretty solid as what is essentially the filmmakers first real stab at a feature that’s meant to be taken seriously.The premise finds a motley crew of people trapped in a small dilapidated rural hospital in the middle of nowhere that’s become surrounded on the outside by a growing number of robed, knife-wielding cult members of indeterminate origin and purpose. The ostensible good guys inside include a pair of vigilantes fleeing a crime scene, a pregnant girl, an estranged couple, some medical staff and a spaced-out drug addict. Many of whom are immediately distrustful of the others and/or ill-equipped to be dealing with a situation that grows increasingly dire: it becomes clear that the attackers are being drawn to some other, a more sinister force that’s already inside the hospital, to begin with.To say more plotwise would be both unnecessarily spoiler-ish and oddly beside the point, since all of the atmospheric strainings for Lovecraftian cosmic dread is a pretty good clue that in terms of horror we’re pointed in a decidedly Beyond The Black/Rainbow/Prince of Darkness/Possession/Altered States kind of direction. A direction where abstractions between supernatural and sci-fi concepts are used to keep us off guard about what’s really going on to the point where “what’s going on” is kind of beside the point. Though, like I said, the best news is that The Void is very much reminiscent of such films without trying to simply go down a checklist of borrowed elements.Also, while “making a lot of sense” isn’t exactly on the film’s narrative agenda, the characters are all well drawn enough that we can empathize with their reactions to what’s going on even though what’s going on never becomes explicitly clear. And despite that kind of high-mindedness being at play the film doesn’t intend to skimp on the bloody kills, inventive gore, nasty surgeries and the eventual presence of big, lumbering, otherworldly monsters and goopy flailing tentacles.On the downside, even at 90 minutes it feels like the film runs a little on the long side to not arrive at much more of a point than “well, that was certainly a strange series of events, huh?,” even though we do get satisfying character-closure for the folks who become the emotional center of the story. That tends to happen with genuinely abstract narrative films no matter what, But The Void ultimately delivers where it counts, and I’m genuinely curious to see where the filmmakers go next.The Void is now available on home video.last_img read more

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New Superantibiotic is an Microbebusting Megaweapon

first_img We may soon have a soon last-line antibiotic — vancomycin 3.0. Earlier versions were developed as far back as the 50s and have helped lead the fight against bacteria. The microbes have been fighting back, though, and hard. There are now more than a dozen types of antibiotic-resistant diseases, and we need new weapons in this war, fast. And that’s just what vancomycin 3.0 is for.Researchers are calling this new drug a “superantibiotic,” and it may be one of our biggest breakthroughs in the field in some time.Antibiotics are among the most important healthcare discoveries ever. With them, we can cure thousands of diseases. You can ask anyone who’s ever had strep throat and been prescribed amoxicillin just how quickly you can feel better once you’ve taken the first dose. These really are miracle cures — wonder drugs that have saved and will continue to save millions of lives… unless bacteria evolve faster than we can make counters.Historically (by which I mean over the past few hundred million years), bacteria and fungi have been at war with one another. Mushrooms, just like you and I, can get bacterial infections and die. But the way fungi have developed along their evolutionary branch has given them a host of natural chemicals that are hyper-toxic to bacteria. For the past few decades, humans have been harvesting them for our own use. With them, we were able to all but eliminate deaths from major infections like staph.In our excitement, however, we’ve used far, far too many antibiotics and the microbes have developed near-immunity to even our most potent drugs. By synthesizing and mega-producing these chemicals, we’ve given the little fellas plenty of time to evolve counter-measures. It didn’t help that doctors, patients, and even ranchers have been extraordinarily cavalier with these substances, too. Doctors prescribe them too often, patients often don’t finish their scrip, and ranchers will give their livestock high-grade drugs that we’re supposed to hold back for critical, antibiotic-resistant infections in humans. The practice has created some terrifying new superbugs that we have little other defense against. That’s why vancomycin 3.0 is so important.But it goes a step further here. V3, as I’ve just decided to call it, isn’t just an upgraded antibiotic. That, as we’ve discussed, wouldn’t be that useful for long. In a few years’ time, we’d be giving it to cattle and swine and soon after start seeing the first resistant bugs. No, instead, V3 attacks bacteria in three different attack vectors at once, making it the antibacterial equivalent of a small nuke.The three-pronged attack is special because it means that even if a bacterium can handle one, it probably won’t survive all three. This dramatically cuts the odds that we’ll see future superbugs that can handle V3, which means we’ve bought other researchers more time to work on more permanent solutions to the bacteria problem with CRISPR or phages both of which, while powerful tools, will need a lot more research to bring to market.In the mean-time, scientists will be testing V3 to make sure it’s safe. First in animals, then humans — as always. But scientists are really confident they’ve leaped ahead of the microscopic competition.“Organisms just can’t simultaneously work to find a way around three independent mechanisms of action,” researcher Dale Boger told Science Magazine. “Even if they found a solution to one of those, the organisms would still be killed by the other two.”Boger worked directly on one piece of V3. His group worked out of the Scripps Research Institute in California. After that team discovered how they could, essentially, re-engineer vancomycin to be toxic to bacteria once again, other groups discovered that slight changes to the formula would still interfere with the basic functioning of bacterial cells. Then, all it took was to bring them all together into one chemical.Initial tests are stunning. Because bacteria reproduce so fast, they evolve very quickly. After just a few rounds of treatment, antibiotics generally won’t work. V3, however… oh V3… after 50 rounds, none of the bacteria had developed resistance.“What could possibly make this story better?,” I hear you asking. Well, we also largely produced this compound by working backward from what we already know works. Most antibiotics are discovered largely by trial and error. This represents a concerted effort to engineer a bacteria-killing mega-weapon from the ground up, and damn does it look promising. Microbiologist Makes Colorful ‘Game of Thrones’ Sigils Art With BacteriaOil-Eating Bacteria Found in World’s Deepest Ocean Trench Stay on targetlast_img read more

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A Pair of NASA Jets Will Chase the Eclipse With Telescopes on

first_img Photos: Solar Eclipse 2019 Stuns South American Viewers’The Gifted’ S2 Finale Recap: Death, Destruction & Hope for Season 3 Stay on target Later this month, North America will be graced by one of the rarest astronomical phenomena — a total solar eclipse. These are, in a sense, actually common, and they cross over the oceans relatively frequently, for example. But this will be the first time North America has had a total eclipse one that cuts near plenty of major population centers in years. The next one won’t be until April 8, 2024, and then after that? Decades. While most of us (myself included) are excited to see something so unusual, NASA is hoping that this will be a landmark for science. Because those folks never slow their roll when there’s learning to be done.A pair of specialized, high-speed jets have been equipped with specialized telescopes so that they’ll be able to keep up with and record the eclipse from far above the clouds. Usually, these jets monitor atmospheric conditions as part of NASA’s mission to survey and understand all things aeronautic and astronomical.“This is the first mission for airborne astronomy,” solar astrophysicist and lead on the project, Amir Caspi, tells Quartz. Flying at almost ten miles above Earth’s surface, the twin jets will be able to record up to seven minutes of eclipse footage. This might not sound like much, but their altitude and speed more than triples the eclipse time the rest of us will get. And it’s all to study solar flares and coronal mass ejections — two of nature’s most lethal and elusive disasters.Solar flares are massive radiation blasts from (what else?) the Sun. They can buffet the earth causing damage to electronics, weakening our protective electromagnetic shield, subject countless people to super-charged radiation, and severely damage global communications by interfering with satellites.“When the sun sends out solar flares it can knock out satellites, it’s a hazard for astronauts, and it can knock out energy systems here on the ground,” Caspi says. Coronal mass ejections, though, are even worse. “That’s when the sun throws off billions of tons of material, and the particles and radiation comes towards the Earth.”Each has similar effects in that they both vomit radiation at us, but the scale and type of damage they can cause are wildly different. While solar flares can wreck our things, CMEs have the potential to knock out power for months or years. In short, if a large enough CME hit our planet just right, modern life as we know it would all but stop.And that’s exactly why we need to study the sun and figure out what exactly causes them.The sun is a constantly churning ball of energy. It twists and contorts powerful magnetic fields over and over, and when they get too wound up, they will snap, releasing all that stored up energy at once — not unlike winding up a rubber band until it breaks. Y’know… just trillions and trillions of times more powerful.Because the sun is so bright, we rarely get close, detailed looks at its surface — even less so of its corona, an energized atmosphere of twisting plasma that’s millions of degrees hotter than the Sun’s own surface. When the moon slips in front of our parent star for just a bit in a couple of weeks, it will give scientists a rare opportunity to see all of that clearly. That data will get fed through computers and in a few months to a few years, we’ll have a better understanding of just what to expect from our, at times, uncomfortably violent star.This will also be one of the first times we have the chance to map the surface of Mercury. Despite it being one of the oldest known planets, we still don’t know much about it. It orbits too close to the sun to get a good luck much of the time, and we don’t tend to send missions towards the inner solar system because, as it turns out, going towards the Sun is often a bigger challenge than heading away.In any case, enjoy the eclipse if you’re in its path or expect to be. Just know that some don’t have time to marvel at the beauty of the natural world. They’ll be doing the hard science instead — protecting you and me from possible future apocalypse by way of radioactive star-puke.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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John Noble is John Noble As Denethor As Mallus in Legends of

first_img After last week’s reveal that Ava was secretly a clone, most of us thought there wasn’t anything Legends of Tomorrow could do to top that. We were wrong. With only two episodes left in the season, this show is leaving nothing on the table. This is an episode that includes Gorilla Grodd and Barack Obama, and neither of those characters are the most memorable part of the episode. But we’ll get to that. For now, this penultimate hour picks up right where we left off last week.Amaya hijacked a jump ship to save Zambesi from the warlords who destroyed it. After a whole season of fighting anachronisms, one of their own is about to cause a real bad one. Not only would that mean no Mari McCabe as Vixen, but that level of damage to the timeline would release Mallus. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Legends get a message from Rip Hunter about a second anachronism. Good news! Grodd’s back! Bad news! He’s out to kill former president Barack Obama. He goes back in time to Obama’s college days when he went by Barry. The show has some fun with the confusion between Barry Allen and Barry Obama, but they have a psychic ape to stop.Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/Atom, Nick Zano as Nate Heywood/Steel, Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West, and Tala Ashe as Zari (Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)Unfortunately, we don’t get all that much time with Gorilla Grodd. The Legends have defeated him once before, and they’re pretty efficient at it now. A quick blast of fire, a shrink ray, and he’s trapped in a jar. Barry Obama is saved, and Sara suggests he start going by Barack. (Which, come on. It’s cute, but we all know it was Michelle who made that happen. It’s a sweet story, don’t take that away from her, Legends of Tomorrow.) The guy they get to play young Obama is fine. He’s no Jay Pharoah, but he mimics Obama’s cadence pretty well.The story turns out to be much more about Damien Darhk. This late half of the season has done a really good job of building up the conflict in Damien Darhk. At first, he and his daughter were working together to unleash a demon. Then, slowly, he realized his daughter was becoming a person he didn’t recognize. Mallus would completely take over her body, and he’d lose his daughter right after getting her back. Neal McDonough plays this really well, slowly showing more emotion in each episode. His tearful goodbye to Nora might be some of his best Arrowverse work.Dominic Purcell as Mick Rory/Heat Wave (Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW)He tells her that he’s going off to make sure Grodd kills the future president, when he’s actually seeking out the Legends for help. He wants to defeat Mallus, and even brings them the water totem for help. As you might imagine, Sara isn’t too keen on this idea. Someone killing your sister isn’t something you just get over. It takes some convincing, and a chat with young Obama (Sara’s “I miss you” is the realest line of the episode), she agrees to work with him. If she can kill him again when this is all over.With Darhk on the team, Legends of Tomorrow does the best, funniest thing we’ve ever seen from this show. Ray floats the idea of shrinking down small, flying in Nora’s ear, and impersonating Mallus. His impression is bad, but Rory just happens to be watching The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. And he’s on a scene with Denethor. Who’s played by John Noble? Who voices Mallus this season? The show rarely gets this self-referential, but god I love it so much. It’s the hardest this show has ever made me laugh. It gets even better when they go back in time and have John Noble, playing himself, record some Mallus lines that Ray wrote. His Denethor wig is so bad too; it has to be on purpose. Legends of Tomorrow obviously has a lower budget than Lord of the Rings, but that’s a low-end Halloween store wig. It looks so little like Denethor’s hair, it has to be a joke. If it is, it’s hilarious.John Noble as himself and Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer/Atom (Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)The plan works though. Ray flies into Nora’s ear, and leads her back to the Waverider. Once there, Damien traps her in a pentagram, and the Legends try to figure out what to do. They have Nora contained, but still no way to defeat Mallus. We get some actually good heartfelt dialog scenes between Sara and Damien. Things aren’t all the way OK between them, but Sara does recognize some commonalities they share. And for better or for worse, they find themselves on the same side of this particular battle. Legends of Tomorrow even does the can-I-talk-to-you hallway better than The Flash.Though I’m sad about the lack of Grodd, this episode does a terrific job of setting up for next week’s season finale. (Nooo! This is the best Arrowverse show, I’m not ready to say goodbye!) While all this Darhk sentiment and John Noble hilarity is going on, Nate and Wally go to Zambesi to convince Amaya to let her village be destroyed. It doesn’t take long before Nate isn’t so on board with that plan, though. Amaya witnesses her future totem passing ceremony, and figures out why Zambesi was destroyed. Her daughter didn’t accept the totem. With no one to guard Zambesi, the warlords were able to destroy it. She and Nate team up to convince old Amaya and her daughter to understand each other. It works. The totem is passed on, and it looks like Zambesi will be saved.Maisie Richardson- Sellers as Amaya Jiwe/Vixe and Nick Zano as Nate Heywood/Steel (Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)That massive anachronism turns out to be the key to defeating Mallus. Now that the Legends have all six totems, they’re prepared to face the demon. Only they can’t fight it as long as it’s locked inside Nora. The Legends, along with a Death Totem-bearing Damien, team up to fight a free Mallus. The final scenes of this episode are some of the season’s most exciting. Darhks all ready to join the fight, until the death totem gives him a vision of a scared Nora. Suddenly, he’s not so on board with letting Mallus take his daughter’s body. As villain motivations go, it might be the most understandable one the Arrowverse has given us.The big battle that ends this episode is exciting. Darhk releases Grodd to make sure Zambesi is destroyed, and Mallus never takes over his daughter. So at least the episode gave us one decent Grodd fight. He uses his psychic powers to control Amaya’s daughter and everything. She gets a decent fight scene before Grodd knocks her out of the way. He almost kills old Amaya before Nate steps in with the Earth Totem to save the day. The fact that he still loves Amaya as an old woman is sweet. That he’s still physically attracted to her despite the age difference is maybe a little creepy. But hey, I guess there have been worse time travel almost-hookups. Plus, the way Nate uses the Earth to send Grodd flying into the distance is awesome. What makes this scene better is that at the same time, the rest of the Legends are all running at Damien Darhk and he’s swatting them away with scary ease. It takes Sara literally stabbing him in the back to defeat him and get the totem back.Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/White Canary (Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW)With that, the stage is set for what should be a fun, bonkers finale next week. Grodd is defeated (for now… he’d better come back next week, or I’m going to be so disappointed), the Legends have all the totems, and Mallus is free. Nora’s transformation into the demon was legitimately scary too. The way her body morphed into the winged creature was the kind of disturbing visual you normally expect from Constantine. Even with the underutilized Grodd, and the sadly brief Obama scenes, Legends of Tomorrow was in top form here. I can’t remember the last time a set-up episode of any show was this much fun. And I can’t stress enough how good that John Noble cameo was. I still can’t believe they pulled that off. It makes me sad there’s only one episode left, but if this one is any indication, we’re in for something real weird. DC TV Comes to NYCC, Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Grin & More DC NewsOur Favorite TV Superheroes Ranked Stay on targetcenter_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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