Posts for August 2019

Finding Memory in Nonlinear Ionization

first_img “When you put a laser shot into transparent material, it remembers that there was a laser shot, so when another comes along, the interaction is slightly different.” Rayner performed the experiment with a graduate student, Marina Gertsvolf, and a post-doc, Pattathil Rajeev, as well as colleagues from the University of Ottawa and NRC. The memory identified by the experiment is essential in building nanostructures within the solid. The results are detailed in a letter titled “Memory in Nonlinear Ionization of Transparent Solids” published in Physical Review Letters.Such nonlinear ionization memory is not limited to transparent solids. “It works with viscous transparent liquids as well,” Rayner tells “Even though we focus on glass in this letter, it can be applied to other transparent solids or viscous liquids. The key is to use materials in which the atoms can’t move between laser shots. That way local memory can build up.”The local memory that Rayner refers to is not what we normally think of for data storage. “It’s not like a usual computer memory,” he explains. “In our case the memory mainly affects the absorption of intense laser light.” Rayner speculates that a laser shot creates many pebble-like nanostructures in the material scattered across a focal region. “Then, when you ionize with the next light pulse memory comes into play. The pebble-like nanostructures ionize preferentially and grow.”Rayner says that their experiment provides insight into the self-ordered nanostructures that have been observed in the UK and Japan, as well as in Ottowa. “We wanted to look at the onset of ionization. We looked specifically for the memory that had been postulated to be behind the ordering.” Since the memory is only written with intense light, and mainly affects the adsorption of intense light, a very focused beam of light is needed in order to create the initial pebble-like structure. “The memory builds with time and exposure,” says Rayner. Understanding memory in nonlinear ionization has several applications. One of the main applications that Rayner and his co-authors address in the letter is related to understanding “multishot optical or electrical breakdown phenoma in dielectrics.” But there is more. Rayner points out that information written in glass has security-based applications, such as storing secure information efficiently and in a robust container. Additionally, the nanostructures that ultimately grow as a consequence of the memory can be used for creating templates for laying down metals into lines and wires.“We ended up with an interesting consequence as a result of this research,” explains Rayner. “We are learning to control the fabrication of these nanostructures, and this means that you can do a variety of things with them.” Another use includes using what is learned about nanostructures to create channels for microfluids. “Our work might even help advance microsurgery in transparent soft matter,” Rayner enthuses. “The interaction of intense light with transparent matter is quite topical and quite important.”By Miranda Marquit, Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Citation: Finding Memory in Nonlinear Ionization (2007, January 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from David Rayner and his colleagues at the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada in Ottawa have shown that when transparent solids, such as glass, are ionized with short intense laser pulses the material is subtly changed.center_img 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

Future of war demands futuristic flying machines

first_img 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. Different types of UAVs in development. The Raven and Silver Fox have recently been used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Credit: Tariq Samad, et al. (c) 2007 IEEE. Actually, as scientists Tariq Samad, John Bay and Datta Godbole write in Proceedings of the IEEE, UAVs are not all that new, although interest in these small fliers has spiked recently due to current world circumstances. The scientists’ invited paper analyzes current UAV technology and suggests untapped research areas. Also, the group presents a concept of operations for a coordinated fleet of different types of UAVs, which are defined as powered aerial vehicles that use aerodynamic forces for lift, and which can either fly autonomously or be piloted remotely.“A particularly exciting development in UAVs over the last few years has been the emergence of (by now several) small, often portable, relatively low-cost vehicles,” Samad told “These new UAVs, unlike their traditional counterparts, are especially well suited for urban operations and they promise to allow safer, easier, and more comprehensive surveillance and reconnaissance in urban areas.” Current UAVs are quite far from possessing full autonomy; however, a question that scientists debate on is the nature of the coordination system: centralized, decentralized, or a hybrid. Many experts, according to the researchers, believe that decentralized coordination could be more robust due to the lack of a single failure point. Others argue that ground control would be more realistic for military applications, which have a command-and-control basis.“One aspect of UAV technology of particular interest to us is autonomy: how can UAVs successfully operate with minimal human oversight,” Samad said. “Limitations include the fact that obstacle and collision avoidance require the human operator’s engagement. Advances in control algorithms, sensing, and communications are being pursued that should address these and other outstanding challenges. We should remember that our warfighters in the midst of urban operations cannot be expected to devote their attention to low-level aspects of controlling and managing UAVs. Minimizing the associated cognitive and physical workload of urban warfighters through increasingly autonomous UAVs and UAV-based systems is essential for the potential benefits of UAV technology to be realized.”The concept of operations introduced by Samad, Bay and Godbole of an integrated and diverse multi-UAV system uses local control stations that communicate with a single centralized station. While this centralized structure has advantages in coordination, it also faces increased complexity in assigning tasks. In this example, the scientists emphasize the need for a network service architecture that can accommodate both existing and future UAVs.“The current research in this area typically assumes individual UAV capabilities that are well beyond those of today’s craft—the implication is that useful multi-UAV missions are a future, often-distant prospect,” explained Samad. “We believe our concept of operations is unique in that it shows that the benefits of multi-UAV missions—such as coordinated, area-wide reconnaissance and surveillance—can be realized with today’s UAV systems with little or no modifications to the vehicles. (Of course, as UAV capabilities improve additional benefits will be possible.)”Recently, a few types of UAVs have proven effective in Iraq and Afghanistan, providing troops with timely surveillance and reconnaissance. Due to their relatively inexpensive fabrication and testing, along with a variety of applications, UAVs seem poised to play a significant role in the future of war.“Our conops illustrates that coordinated operation of multiple UAVs is feasible with current technology,” said Samad. “We hope that it provides an impetus to research in new multi-UAV system architectures and coordination schemes.”Citation: Samad, Tariq, Bay, John S., and Godbole, Datta. “Network-Centric Systems for Military Operations in Urban Terrain: The Role of UAVs.” Proceedings of the IEEE. Vol. 95, No. 1, January 2007.Copyright 2007 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of The major impetus for investing in UAV technology lies in the replacement of the traditional, open battleground with the urban theater of war. Urban environments—with their mazes of tall buildings, parked cars, residences, alleys and tunnels—create a three-dimensional challenge for invading troops unfamiliar with the city. UAVs, however, armed with imaging technology, signals and sensors, could provide surveillance and reconnaissance operations for soldiers. Live video coverage, close-up views, and tracking moving objects are well within the reach of UAVs, based on recent demonstrations.Another role that UAVs could serve might involve filling in the gaps in GPS or cellular infrastructure in the limited line-of-sight regions common in urban areas. A fleet of UAVs equipped with radio or cell technology could sense and follow a unit moving through a city, providing uninterrupted communication service.This intelligence aspect of the UAVs represents an area that the authors suggest has yet to be investigated, but has great potential for advanced applications. For example, truly autonomous UAVs would have to communicate with each other, and therefore possess a certain knowledge of their surroundings and reasoning to make decisions. Samad, Bay and Godbole describe the complexity of UAV intercommunication, and the complexities of mutual and reciprocal knowledge, beliefs and actions. Citation: Future of war demands futuristic flying machines (2007, April 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from While no one can predict where, when or why countries will fight future wars, experts are already creating war technology that may play a deciding factor in the outcome. Perhaps it’s a bit bold to say scientists can write history before it occurs, but only future historians can decide that. In any case, scientists, militarists, and governments are currently investing large amounts of resources in an intriguing, futuristic technology—fleets of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).last_img read more

Pair of seismologists publicly wonder if it might be possible to predict

first_imgAerial photo of the San Andreas Fault in the Carrizo Plain, northwest of Los Angeles. Credit: Wikipedia. © 2014 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. More information: Recognizing Foreshocks from the 1 April 2014 Chile Earthquake, Science 16 May 2014: Vol. 344 no. 6185 pp. 700-702. DOI: 10.1126/science.1255202AbstractAre there measurable, distinctive precursors that can warn us in advance of the planet’s largest earthquakes? Foreshocks have long been considered the most promising candidates for predicting earthquakes. At least half of large earthquakes have foreshocks, but these foreshocks are difficult or even impossible to distinguish from non-precursory seismic activity. The foreshocks for the 1 April 2014 Chile event and other recent large earthquakes suggest that observable precursors may exist before large earthquakes. Global map to predict giant earthquakes Explore furthercenter_img ( —Seismologists Emily Brodsky and Thorne Lay with the University of California have gone out on a limb of sorts by publicly wondering if it might be possible to predict the largest types of earthquakes by studying foreshock patterns and characteristics. Together they’ve published a Perspective piece in the journal Science, questioning the traditional belief in the earth sciences field that it’s impossible to predict earthquakes of any kind and likely will always be that way. Journal information: Science Citation: Pair of seismologists publicly wonder if it might be possible to predict largest earthquakes (2014, May 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Earthquakes are impossible to predict, at least for now, because they don’t behave the same way before they occur. Sometimes there are foreshocks, sometimes not, sometimes animals seem to sense something is up, other times they don’t. There are just no discernible patterns that could be used as a sign of an impending quake. But, the research duo suggest, that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be, especially for special types of quakes—those that lie along subduction zones.Brodksy and Lay point out that foreshocks occurred along just such a subduction zone prior to the earthquake that rocked Chile this past April. They note also that a very similar pattern occurred just prior to the massive 9.0 quake that shook Japan three years ago. They acknowledge that similar small quake clusters also occur along fault lines that never result in earthquakes, which of course, is why they haven’t been used to predict earthquakes. It’s for this reason that the two are calling for better monitoring systems. Currently there are few pressure sensors permanently installed along major subduction zones, due to the fact that most are along the ocean floor. They suggest that if pressure sensors were installed and data stored in a database, it might be that clues would reveal themselves. Perhaps, they propose, foreshocks behave in certain ways before a big quake that differ from small quake clusters not related to a bigger event. The only way to find out, they say, is to put in sensors.Governments big and small have been reluctant to install such sensors because of the huge cost involved—adding them along just one coast could cost billions of dollars—an investment that has no certainty of paying off. Thus, it’s doubtful that one paper by a pair of researchers is likely to cause any major changes to the status quo, though it might cause some in the scientific community to begin to question what is possible and what isn’t as it pertains to predicting earthquakes—and that might be all the two authors are really trying to achieve.last_img read more

Researchers find a way to integrate two twodimensional materials into a single

first_imgCredit: ACS © 2014 Citation: Researchers find a way to integrate two two-dimensional materials into a single electronic device (2014, May 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further ( —Researchers working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a way to integrate two different two-dimensional materials in one single electronic device. In their paper published in the journal Nano Letters, the team describes how they used both graphene and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) to create a single circuit. More information: Graphene/MoS2 Hybrid Technology for Large-Scale Two-Dimensional Electronics, Nano Lett., Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1021/nl404795zAbstractTwo-dimensional (2D) materials have generated great interest in the past few years as a new toolbox for electronics. This family of materials includes, among others, metallic graphene, semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (such as MoS2), and insulating boron nitride. These materials and their heterostructures offer excellent mechanical flexibility, optical transparency, and favorable transport properties for realizing electronic, sensing, and optical systems on arbitrary surfaces. In this paper, we demonstrate a novel technology for constructing large-scale electronic systems based on graphene/molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) heterostructures grown by chemical vapor deposition. We have fabricated high-performance devices and circuits based on this heterostructure, where MoS2 is used as the transistor channel and graphene as contact electrodes and circuit interconnects. We provide a systematic comparison of the graphene/MoS2 heterojunction contact to more traditional MoS2-metal junctions, as well as a theoretical investigation, using density functional theory, of the origin of the Schottky barrier height. The tunability of the graphene work function with electrostatic doping significantly improves the ohmic contact to MoS2. These high-performance large-scale devices and circuits based on this 2D heterostructure pave the way for practical flexible transparent electronics.center_img 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. Scientists probe the next generation of 2-D materials Two dimensional materials (so named because they are just one atom thick) have created a lot of buzz in the electronics community because of their unique electronic properties. Scientists hope to use them to create smaller, more efficient devices. The two main materials that have captured the attention of the research world are graphene (a sheet of carbon) and MoS2. Both have shown promise, but each has its limitations. To take advantage of what each does well, and to avoid the disadvantages, researchers have looked to joining the two on a single circuit. In this new effort the team at MIT is reporting that they’ve done just that, creating large-scale electronic circuits.Getting the two materials to cooperate was no easy feat. They started by growing samples of MoS2 and graphene using chemical vapor deposition. The MoS2 was then etched to fashion it into channels, followed by a process that caused aluminum oxide (Al2O3) to form on its surface. Graphene sheets were then applied to the channel, cut with oxygen plasma to form gate electrodes and source drains. In the final result, the Al2O3 serves to protect the MoS2 allowing the circuit to run as designed.The researchers believe their fabrication process could be used to allow for integrating many types of two-dimensional materials, allowing for the creation of whole new device types, e.g. lasers, tunneling microscopes and a variety of transistors. An additional plus, they note, is that because the finished products are exceptionally thin, they can be bent to allow for the creation of circuits of virtually any shape. The circuits are also transparent, which means they could likely be used for new types of personal technology devices (skin patches or those that can be sewn into clothes, for example) or as a part of hidden sensors. The team plans to next work on integrating insulating layers onto their tiny circuits, allowing for the creation of even more exotic circuitry. Journal information: Nano Letterslast_img read more

Colorchanging water reflects a rainbow of colors and beyond

first_img Citation: Color-changing water reflects a rainbow of colors and beyond (2016, September 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The uniqueness of the new colloid dispersion comes from its long periodic structure, as mentioned above, which in turn arises because the colloid is highly electrically charged. The titanate nanosheets have a very strong negative charge, so that the 0.75-nm-thick sheets strongly repel each other. Normally, this repulsion is greatly reduced by a cloud of positively charged Q+ ions in the quaternary ammonium that surround the titanate nanosheets. The Q+ ions effectively screen much of the negative electrostatic repulsion between the titanate nanosheets. However, the scientists found that, by removing some of the Q+ ions through centrifuging (the process by which they were originally trying to separate the colloids based on size), the colloidal dispersion turns purple. Without the Q+ ions to screen the repulsion, the titanate nanosheets spread themselves as far apart as possible. As a result, the entire fluid becomes highly structured, with long periodic distances that cause the fluid to reflect long wavelengths of light. In contrast, ordinary water lacks this highly ordered, long-period structure, and so it reflects light with wavelengths that are much shorter than those in the visible range, making it transparent.The researchers demonstrated that the color of the photonic water can be rapidly and reversibly changed by placing the colloidal dispersion in a strong magnetic field, which causes the titanate nanosheets to align perpendicularly to the field. Similarly, heating and cooling the photonic water changes the separation distance between nanosheets, and therefore the color. Even small changes in pH cause the color to change from red (7.9) to green (7.7) to blue (7.3), again due to changing the electrostatic repulsion and therefore the structure and color of the photonic water.In general, photonic materials that reflect light in the near-infrared range have important applications in telecommunications, although they are currently very difficult to fabricate. Photonic water may have potential uses in this area and others. 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. (—Scientists have created a water-based mixture that rapidly changes color when exposed to a variety of stimuli, such as a change in magnetic field, temperature, or pH. The scientists call the mixture “photonic water,” and it can reflect any color of the visible spectrum, as well as parts of the ultraviolet and infrared regions. This color-modulation range is the widest that has ever been reported for any material, either solid or liquid. The researchers, Koki Sano et al., from various institutions in Japan, have published a paper on the photonic water in a recent issue of Nature Communications.”Our photonic water realizes two seemingly contradictory features: fluidity and order,” coauthor Yasuhiro Ishida at the RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science in Saitama, Japan, told “This is quite different from the generally conceived notion that photonic materials should be composed of hard materials.”The researchers stumbled upon the unique mixture somewhat by accident when they were attempting to separate certain particles based on size. Although those experiments were unsuccessful, the scientists were surprised to find that, when placing one of the products in water, the water turned a vivid purple color.Investigating further, the scientists found that the colorful mixture displays both fluidity and order, which seems contradictory because fluids are typically very disordered. But the new mixture has the unusual property that it is highly ordered, like a crystal structure. Further, the periodic distance (the distance between repeating units) is extremely large, up to 675 nm. This separation corresponds to a reflection wavelength of 1750 nm (in the infrared region), and when tuned appropriately, the fluid can reflect light across the entire visible spectrum, which consists of wavelengths from approximately 400 to 700 nm. The reflection range also extends down to 370 nm, in the ultraviolet region. This range of 370 to 1750 nm is the widest color-modulation range that has ever been reported for any photonic, or “light-modulating,” material. How does the fluid reflect all of these colors? As its name suggests, photonic water is mostly ordinary water: it is more than 99.5% water by volume. The remaining 0.5% contains the “active ingredients,” which are titanate nanosheets and quaternary ammonium (Q+ ions). When added to water, these ingredients don’t dissolve like salt or sugar, but instead remain intact, like sand in water. The non-dissolving particles are called colloids, and when dispersed in water, they form what’s called a colloid dispersion—but one that is unlike any other colloid dispersion known so far. Play Drops of photonic water exhibit vivid colors that can be tuned across the full visible spectrum and beyond. Credit: K. Sano et al. ©2016 Nature Communications “Considering the stimuli responsiveness and the wide-range color modulability, our photonic water may find various applications as smart optical devices, including optical sensors and displays, near-infrared band filters for telecommunications, variable photonic lasers, etc.,” Ishida said.The researchers expect that the results will have applications beyond fluids, as well. For example, the method they established here for enhancing the electrostatic repulsive forces between titanate nanosheets can be applied to titante nanosheets that they recently developed into soft materials with unique functions due to their internal electrostatic repulsion. Extending even beyond titanate nanosheets, the researchers hope that the surprising discovery of photonic water will “breathe new life into the traditional field of colloidal sciences.” “Not only for titanite nanosheets, but also for other colloidal systems, the enhancement of electrostatic repulsive forces would have a large impact on the physical properties of these materials,” Ishida said. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen More information: Koki Sano et al. “Photonic water dynamically responsive to external stimuli.” Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms12559 (Left) Three optical images and (right) three polarized optical images of photonic water. Credit: K. Sano et al. ©2016 Nature Communications Journal information: Nature Communications Structurally reinforced hydrogel material developed using electrostatic repulsive force between nanosheets Explore further A drop of photonic water, taken from the video. Credit: K. Sano et al. ©2016 Nature Communications © 2016 Phys.orglast_img read more

Study of beetle flagellum offers possible way to improve medical devices

first_img SEM images of the flagellum of Cassida rubiginosa. (A) Map of the images below, the tip of the flagellum. (B to E) Enlarged images of the flagellum corresponding to the squares in (A). The pink-colored areas in (B) and (C) represent shrunk surfaces. The scale bar in (B) is applicable for (C) to (E). Credit: Matsumura, Kovalev, Gorb, Sci. Adv. 2017;3: eaao5469 Confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM) image of the Cassida rubiginosa flagellum tip (25 μm). Credit: Matsumura, Kovalev, Gorb, Sci. Adv. 2017;3: eaao5469 Explore further Mating of leaf beetles, its male and female reproductive organs, and new findings on stiffness gradient of the penis found based on a bending test done on a microscope. Credit: Yoko Matsumura, Alexander Kovalev, Stanislav N. Gorb / Matsumura, Kovalev, Gorb The researchers believe it is both the changing flexibility and rubbery tip that allows the flagellum to move inside the female organ without buckling—a characteristic that could prove useful in human products, such as catheters. Catheters, the team notes, are used in urological, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular medical procedures. Each requires a thin tube to be inserted into a small vessel and slide into it to some degree. Modifying the stiffness of the tubes, the team notes, might help prevent buckling. Citation: Study of beetle flagellum offers possible way to improve medical devices (2017, December 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The small green male thistle tortoise beetle has a flagellum (male sex organ) that is actually longer than its body—the organ is also very thin and curved at the end. The beetle needs such an organ because of the shape of the female reproductive organ, which includes a coiled duct that the male must penetrate. What is most impressive about the flagellum, the researchers note, is that its tip can make the journey from the outside to the inside without the shaft buckling. This suggested that there was more to the story than could be seen with the naked eye.To better understand how the beetle flagellum is able to prevent buckling, the researchers lopped off several of them from beetles they had killed and looked at them under a microscope. They noted first that the tip was curved like a fish hook, which is important when maneuvering through a coil, so long as the curve of the flagellum tip matches the curve of the coil. They also found by bending the flagellum at different points along its shaft that it varied in stiffness—the base was quite stiff, but the shaft grew less stiff toward its opposite end. And the tip, they found, was actually rubbery, allowing for flexibility inside the female organ. It depends on the level of stiffness: Researchers investigate beetle penises More information: Yoko Matsumura et al. Penetration mechanics of a beetle intromittent organ with bending stiffness gradient and a soft tip, Science Advances (2017). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao5469AbstractHyper-elongated structures and their penetration are widespread among insects, for example, intromittent organs, ovipositors, and piercing-sucking mouthparts. The penetration of thin structures with high aspect ratio without buckling and rupturing is mechanically very challenging. However, this problem is economically solved in nature, and the solutions might be helpful for, for example, in the development of harmless catheters. We focus on the penetration process of a hyper-elongated structure of a cassidine beetle intromittent organ, termed a flagellum. We applied a three-point bending test for the flagellum to measure its bending stiffness along the entire flagellum. We demonstrated the bending stiffness gradient, in which the basal half is relatively stiff and the apical half is softer, whose good performance during copulation had been previously numerically demonstrated. The stiffness gradient is the result of the flagellum shape, which is cylindrical and tapered toward the tip. Moreover, the curved tip comprises a harder outer curve and a softer inner curve. Considering the findings of preceding studies, the flagellum works in the following way: (i) the bending stiffness gradient supports the flagellum, easily fitting to a shape of a highly coiled spermathecal duct, (ii) the stiffness property of the very tip may make the tip tougher, and (iii) the curled tip and homogeneously cylindrical shape of the organ help the very tip to fit the shape of the spermathecal duct of the female. Our study shows that the apparently simple flagellum penetration is achieved with numerous elaborate mechanical adaptations. Journal information: Science Advances A trio of researchers at Kiel University in Germany has discovered how the male thistle tortoise beetle manages to penetrate the coiled duct inside the female reproductive organ without buckling his flagellum. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, Yoko Matsumura, Alexander Kovalev and Stanislav Gorb describe their study of the flagellum and what they found. © 2017 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

Tales Of Corporate Painkiller Pushing T

first_img… by NPR News Dave Davies 8.22.19 4:23pm Nearly 2,000 cities, towns and counties across America are currently participating in a massive multidistrict civil lawsuit against the opioid industry for damages related to the abuse of prescription pain medication. The defendants in the suit include drug manufacturers like Mallinckrodt, wholesale distributors McKesson and Cardinal Health, and pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens.Evidence related to the lawsuit was initially sealed, but The Washington Post and the Charleston Gazette-Mail successfully sued to have it made public. Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist Scott Higham says the evidence, which was released in July, includes sworn depositions and internal corporate emails that indicate the drug industry purposely shipped suspiciously large quantities of drugs without regard for how they were being used.Higham says one sales director at the pharmaceutical manufacturer Mallinckrodt was jokingly called “ship, ship, ship” by colleagues because of the amount of oxycodone and hydrocodone he sold: “His bonus structure was tied to the amount of sales that he made,” Higham notes. “And that was a time when there was no secret about how many people were dying in places across the country, and the opioid epidemic was raging.”Higham and his colleagues at the Post were also able to access data from the Drug Enforcement Agency that trace the path of some 76 billion opioid pain pills sold between 2006 and 2012. In analyzing the movement of those pills, they made a gruesome discovery.”When you line up the CDC death [by overdose] database with the DEA’s database on opioid distribution, you see a clear correlation between the saturation of towns and cities and counties and the numbers of deaths,” Higham says. “A lot of these towns and cities, small cities and counties in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania have just been devastated. … The death rates just soared in those places where the pills were being dumped.”Interview HighlightsOn the picture emerging from recently unsealed DEA databaseA lot of people thought they knew that their communities were being saturated by these opioids, but I don’t think they really knew the extent of the saturation, and who was responsible. So this database pulls the curtain back on that for the first time. We obtained data that goes from 2006 through 2012. So over that seven-year period … you can see exactly which manufacturers were responsible, which distributors were responsible, and which pharmacies were responsible. And we took that database and we turned it into a usable, public-facing database, so now anybody in the country can go onto our website and they can see exactly what happened in their communities. …Dozens and dozens of local news organizations have done stories about their own communities — which companies flooded their communities with pills, which pharmacies were responsible for dispensing the most tablets of oxycodone and hydrocodone. Those are the two drugs that we looked at, because they are the most widely abused drugs by addicts and by drug dealers.On the communities that were flooded with opioidsIt’s just heartbreaking to see these once thriving communities. They’re almost like zombielands, where people are just walking around in a daze and picking through garbage cans and falling down, and overdosing in public parks and inside of cars and inside of streets and on street corners. It’s a very upsetting scene that’s happening. …These communities need help — desperately need help. Their hospitals need help. Their foster care agencies need help — because so many parents have perished and their kids have no family or [are] being raised by grandparents. Police departments, paramedics, fire departments that used to fight fires all the time now are fighting against the opioid epidemic and carrying Narcan with them, which is an overdose reversal drug, and “Narcaning” people all day long.On how drug distributors generated billions in revenue from the opioid epidemicThey’re making massive amounts of money. Many of them are Fortune 500 companies. In fact, the No. 1 drug distributor in America, McKesson Corp., is the fifth-largest company in the United States — fifth-largest of all companies in the United States — and it’s a company that most people have never heard of. And they are a huge, huge player in this world, and of the distributors that sent these drugs downstream they were No. 1. And they were followed by two other companies that a lot of folks probably have not heard of. One is called AmerisourceBergen and another is called Cardinal Health. … Together those three companies are the three biggest drug distributors in the United States. And they were followed by Walgreens, CVS and Walmart as the top six drug distributors in the United States.On “pill mills” that popped up in Florida, where people could get opioids from corrupt doctors — and then resell them on the streetAll of a sudden, all these drug dealers realize that there was another way to peddle these pills, and they began to open up these so-called pain management clinics, and most of them were in South Florida, heavily concentrated in Broward County, which is where Fort Lauderdale is. … These things … were basically storefront operations in strip malls where you had corrupt doctors and rogue pharmacists working hand in hand inside of a store. So on one side of the store you’d come in, you’d get a cursory examination, the doctor would write you a script. And you literally go next door and get it filled. And these places just became huge open-air drug markets. The parking lots were filled with people who were driving down from Kentucky and West Virginia and Ohio to pick up their prescriptions. And along the highway that goes up through Florida, I-75 and then also I-95, a lot of these storefronts began putting up billboards along the highway at exit ramps saying, “Pain management clinic, next exit.”On the Justice Department’s history of fining drug companies instead of filing criminal charges[Investigators at the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control] started to see a pattern, and it’s a pattern that they see that continues to this day, that there are people within the Justice Department who are not very aggressive when it comes to these cases. They feel that some of them are a little too close to the industry; that maybe some of the people in the Justice Department want to work for the industry one day, so they don’t go as hard against these companies as perhaps they should. … If you take a look at the revolving door between the Justice Department, the DEA and the drug industry, it’s a very impressive revolving door. You have dozens and dozens of high-ranking officials from the DEA and from the Justice Department who have crossed over to the other side and they’re now working directly for the industry or for law firms representing the industry. So if you’re a DEA investigator or a DEA lawyer or a Justice Department lawyer making $150,000 a year, you cross over and you can triple, quadruple your salary overnight.Amy Salit and Seth Kelley produced and edited the audio of this interview. Bridget Bentz and Deborah Franklin adapted it for the Web.Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air. Tales Of Corporate Painkiller Pushing: ‘The Death… center_img John Moorelast_img read more

Vinod Mehta was an outstanding journalist Lord Swraj Paul

first_imgLeading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul on Sunday condoled the death of senior journalist and author Vinod Mehta, describing him as an outstanding journalist, a great friend and a very principled man.In a message to the family of Mehta,?founder Editor of ‘Outlook’ magazine, Paul, Chairman of the Caparo Group,?said, “Vinod Mehta was an outstanding Journalist, a great friend and very?principled man. I met him when he interviewed me for Observer in 1984.“He was with me in the Indo-British Round Table which I co-Chaired. He was a very respected person,” Paul said. Mehta, 73, died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi this morning after a prolonged illness.last_img read more

Working with Salman an amazing experience Sonam

first_imgBollywood actor Sonam Kapoor says re-teaming with superstar Salman Khan in upcoming film Prem Ratan Dhan Payo has been an amazing experience. Sonam, 30, made her debut in Bollywood with Salman in Saawariya in 2007.“Working with Salman again after a gap of six years after my debut film ‘Saawariya’ has been amazing and great,” she said.The Bollywood fashionista is in Melbourne to attend the fourth Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) that opened last week. Also Read – A fresh blend of fameAsked has her life changed after being in the showbiz for eight years, she said, “I think I am the same but obviously I have been working now for so many years and you get a hang of the job.” The Indian beauty was the show stopper for the leading designer Anamika Khanna on the second day of the IFFM which was packed by a fashion show and the awards ceremony.Sonam feels fashion is “to be yourself, be comfortable and not to think what other people think”.“We as Indian girls have a tendency to really dress for other people, it’s a common Indian thing. You make your mother, your mother-in-law, husband or boyfriend happy,” Kapoor said.last_img read more

Appreciating literature

first_imgSahitya Akademi is India’s National Academy of Letters and is dedicate to promoting literature in various Indian languages. Under the chairmanship of its President, Prof. Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, a selection of 24 books for the Yuva Puraskar and 21 writers for the Bal Sahitya Puraskar has been approved. All these selections were made by a jury comprising of three members in the concerned language, according to the rules and procedures. All the awardees will receive an award in the form of a casket with a cheque of Rs. 50,000 in an event to be held on November 14. The Yuva Puraskar relates to books published by authors aged 35 years or below on January 1 of the year.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Bal Sahitya Award, for the first ten years had been given to an authors who have contribution to children’s literature. Books which are either translated or compiled are not eligible for the award. ‘Aparanha Downtown’ by Raka Das Gupta (Bengali), ‘Dark Horse- Ek Ankahi Dasta’ by Nilotpal Mrinal (Hindi), ‘Sulus’ by Anwesha Arun Singbal (Konkani), ‘Farthest Field- An Indian story of the Second World War’ by Raghu Karnad (English) are a few of the Yuva award winners. The list of awardees of the Bal Sahitya Award includes ‘His Share of Sky’ by Rashmi Narzary (English), ‘Mataki Mataka Matkaina’ by Late Droan Vir Kohli.last_img read more