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Temperature signature of high latitude Atlantic boundary currents revealed by marine mammal-borne sensor and Argo data

first_imgResults from the development and analysis of a novel temperature dataset for the high latitude North-West Atlantic are presented. The new 1 degrees gridded dataset (“ATLAS”) has been produced from about 13,000 Argo and 48,000 marine mammal (hooded seal, harp seal, grey seal and beluga) profiles spanning 2004-8. These data sources are highly complementary as marine mammals greatly enhance shelf region coverage where Argo floats are absent. ATLAS reveals distinctive boundary current related temperature minima in the Labrador Sea (-1.1 degrees C) and at the east Greenland coast (1.8 degrees C), largely absent in the widely-used Levitus’09 and EN3v2a datasets. The ATLAS 0-500 m average temperature is lower than Levitus’09 and EN3v2a by up to 3 degrees C locally. Differences are strongest from 0-300 m and persist at reduced amplitude from 300-500 m. Our results clearly reveal the value of marine mammal-borne sensors for a reliable description of the North-West Atlantic at a time of rapid change.last_img read more

Coming up next week

first_imgl Insider columnist Tony Phillips takes issue with “unnecessary” qualificationsl We explore the facts behind sugar in wholemeal breadl British Baker staff attend Unifine’s Ingredients in Action day at its development kitchen suite in Milton Keynesl And watch out for the snacks column in our regular launch pad sectionlast_img

Cannabis abstinence for month aids memory, study says

first_img The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Participants completed regular assessments of their thinking and memory during the study period. They also provided frequent urine tests to verify cannabis abstinence in those randomized to stop cannabis use, and exposure in the continuing-use group. Members of both groups were paid for study visits, and members of the abstinence group were paid for adhering to cannabis abstinence.Throughout the study period, the levels of the urinary cannabis biomarker steadily decreased among the abstinence group, with almost 89 percent meeting criteria for 30 days of continuous abstinence. In the continuing-use group, biomarker levels remained unchanged. Cognitive testing found memory — specifically the ability to learn and recall new information — improved only among those who stopped using cannabis, and this improvement occurred largely during the first week of abstinence. A month of cannabis abstinence was not associated with improvements in attention, and no aspect of cognitive functioning improved among those who continued cannabis use. A Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) study finds that one month of abstaining from cannabis use results in measurable improvement in memory functions important for learning among regular cannabis users in adolescence and young adulthood.The study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry is one of the first to prospectively track over time changes in cognitive function associated with halting cannabis use.“Our findings provide two pieces of convincing evidence,” said Randi Schuster, director of neuropsychology at the Center for Addiction Medicine in the MGH Department of Psychiatry, lead author of the paper. “The first is that adolescents learn better when they are not using cannabis. The second — which is the good news part of the story — is that at least some of the deficits associated with cannabis use are not permanent and actually improve pretty quickly after cannabis use stops.”Schuster is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.The authors note that the use of cannabis among adolescents is common, with more than 13 percent of middle and high school students reporting cannabis use in a recent survey and rates of daily use increasing between grades eight and 12. But adolescence is a critical time for brain maturation, specifically for brain regions that are most susceptible to the effects of cannabis. A 2016 study from the same research team found that cannabis users aged 16 and younger had difficulty learning new information, a problem that was not observed in users age 17 and older.The current study is the first one able to determine not only whether cognitive improvement occurs but also when during abstinence this improvement is detectable. The study enrolled 88 participants ages 16 to 25 from the Boston area, all of whom acknowledged using cannabis at least once a week. Investigators compared weekly cognitive performance between a group of young cannabis users who agreed to stop for 30 days and a group that continued to use cannabis. To ensure that the two groups were as comparable as possible, they were randomized in a way that controlled for factors such as pre-existing differences in learning, mood, cognition, and motivation, and the frequency and intensity of cannabis use. The current study is the first one able to determine not only whether cognitive improvement occurs but also when during abstinence this improvement is detectable.center_img “The ability to learn or ‘map down’ new information, which is a critical facet of success in the classroom, improved with sustained nonuse of cannabis.” Schuster said. “Young cannabis users who stop regular — weekly or more — use may be better equipped to learn efficiently and therefore better positioned for academic success. We can confidently say that these findings strongly suggest that abstaining from cannabis helps young people learn, while continuing cannabis use may interfere with the learning process.“There are still a lot of open questions to be studied, including whether attention might improve and memory continues to improve with longer periods of cannabis abstinence,” she added.Those questions and others are being addressed in a larger follow-up trial that includes younger participants — ages 13 to 19 — and a group that never used cannabis to help determine whether the cognitive improvements produced by cannabis abstinence return participants to performance levels similar to those of nonusers. Another trial about to begin will follow young cannabis users who abstain for six months, investigating whether cognition continues to improve beyond 30 days and if those improvements can affect school performance.The study was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse grants 1K23 DA042946, 1K01 DA034093, 1R01 DA042043-01A1, and K24 DA030443; and the Norman E. Zinberg Fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry and the Livingston Fellowship from Harvard Medical School. Schuster is a recipient of the Louis V. Gerstner III MGH Research Scholar Award.last_img read more

Hazard strike sees Chelsea home

first_img After Jonjo Shelvey shot wide across goal for Swansea, the lively Hazard did similar after receiving a return pass from Eto’o and then Ramires fired at Tremmel from 25 yards. Chelsea continued to push forward. Oscar dived in to tackle Alejandro Pozuelo and crossed for John Terry, who volleyed into the floor, with Tremmel tipping over. It was one of a series of Blues set-pieces and when Swansea failed to adequately clear one Mata cross, Terry clipped the ball into the six-yard box and Williams cleared ahead of the lurking John Obi Mikel, whose goalscoring record is less than prolific. Hazard is Chelsea’s top-scorer in the Premier League this season and netted his seventh after being granted space to run. The Belgian cut in from the left and hit a swerving right-footed shot, which flew by Williams and Tremmel. The Swansea captain blocked the goalkeeper’s view, but Tremmel should have done better. The goalkeeper was fortunate not to concede another moments later after receiving a Williams back pass. Eto’o tackled him, before a relieved Tremmel retrieved the ball. Not for the first, or last, time in the game, Mourinho kicked out in frustration in his technical area. The gloss on Hazard’s performance almost washed off when he failed to adequately track back, allowing Alvaro Vazquez a shot at the back post. Petr Cech saved, but Hazard incurred the wrath of his manager before then almost redeeming himself by making space for another shot, this time straight at Tremmel, but saved. Eto’o should have doubled the lead when found by a lofted Mata pass, but shot too close to Tremmel and Ramires could not reach the rebound first. Chelsea launched an attack as soon as the match restarted and Eto’o, again, should have scored. Luiz’s long ball down the right found Mata, who crossed for Eto’o, but from six yards out the striker was denied when he shot straight at Tremmel. Hazard then found Eto’o on the edge of the area and he shot wide. Mourinho called on reinforcements as Frank Lampard replaced Oscar and Andre Schurrle came on for Mata. Tremmel turned the ball round the post from Lampard, who shot from his customary position on the edge of the area as again Chelsea were unable to double their lead. Mourinho continued pacing in his technical area and Swansea stretched their hosts on a couple of occasions, without causing Cech any alarm. Hazard made way for Willian for the closing stages but still Chelsea could not find a second. Eto’o felt he was pushed in the back by Jordi Almat as he tried to reach an aerial ball, going down more in hope than expectation. There was no late Swansea flurry, much to Eto’o and Mourinho’s relief, as Chelsea triumphed. The best saw Eto’o denied by goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel from point-blank range in the opening seconds of the second half as the Blues’ lack of potency was again illustrated. Mourinho has recently spoken of his unease every time his side miss a chance, knowing it could prove costly in defence. Swansea scarcely threatened, but as long as there was just one goal in it the Blues were vulnerable and Mourinho knew it. The visitors could not find an opening, though, leaving them with one win in six as Chelsea claimed en eighth win from nine home games this season to extend Mourinho’s unbeaten Premier League record at Stamford Bridge to 69 games. Chelsea will face a sterner test of their title credentials in Sunday’s home clash with in-form Liverpool, while Swansea face Aston Villa on Saturday. With Liverpool in mind, Mourinho made five changes from Monday’s goalless draw with Arsenal, with Ashley Cole, David Luiz, Juan Mata, Oscar and Eto’o in for Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, Frank Lampard, Willian and Fernando Torres, respectively. Swansea, who made six changes following the loss to Everton, were soon under pressure. Hazard played a through ball so delightful that even recipient Oscar was unable to control it and Branislav Ivanovic’s deflected shot went over off Ashley Williams soon afterwards. Eden Hazard was arguably the only one of Chelsea’s four starting attacking players to emerge with any credit in attack – Oscar’s defensive workrate earned him a pass mark – as Mourinho was again left to bemoan his side’s lack of cutting edge. The impressive Hazard gave Chelsea an interval lead, but Samuel Eto’o spurned chances to double the advantage either side of half-time. Press Association Chelsea stayed in contention at the top of the Barclays Premier League with a slender win over Swansea at Stamford Bridge which left Jose Mourinho frustrated by familiar failings in front of goal.last_img read more

Mourinho stands by campaign claim

first_img “I never regret when I speak from my feelings,” Mourinho said. “I don’t want to spend my energy thinking about the negative decisions and the points it cost us. I don’t speak about it. I can’t. I’m punished. “I just want to focus all my energy. Two months to go and in two months we can be champions.” Chelsea on Sunday play Hull, whose manager Steve Bruce criticised the Blues players following December’s meeting at Stamford Bridge, accusing Gary Cahill of a dive which was like “something out of Swan Lake”, while Willian and Costa were booked for diving. Mourinho refused to respond on Friday, but was asked about an article published on the club’s official website, headlined ‘Penalty puzzle’, which analysed the fact Chelsea have received two Premier League spot-kicks all season. The Blues boss does not believe it was a provocative piece and merely stated facts. He said: “Not for me. I don’t think the writer is going to win the Pulitzer with that article. It’s just the numbers. “It’s such a simple thing and for me there is no story. How many penalties has this team had? Five. How many penalties has that team have? Eight. How many penalties has this team had? One.” The Blues boss was fined £25,000 for the comment, which came after the December draw at Southampton when he felt his side were denied a clear penalty, with Cesc Fabregas instead booked for diving. Since weight has been added to Mourinho’s claim, with Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic handed disputed suspensions, while marginal decisions have gone against the Blues, including in last week’s draw with Southampton, when Costa was denied a penalty. Jose Mourinho has no regrets over denouncing the “clear campaign” against Chelsea and now wishes to focus only on wrapping up the Premier League title. Press Association Mourinho said Chelsea missed “confrontational leadership” last season in finishing third in the Premier League behind Manchester City. The Blues boss, six points clear of City with a game in hand, says it is a motivational technique that has not been required this term. Asked for an example, Mourinho said: “Criticise a player in the media. Try to provoke a reaction from him, of anger, of not being happy with his manager, of trying to show that I’m not right.” He did that with Eden Hazard last term, criticising the often mercurial playmaker for not tracking back in the Champions League semi-final loss to Atletico Madrid. Mourinho does not take full credit for Hazard’s consistently strong performances this term, though. Mourinho added: “I don’t think it was me with that particular episode. “I just think that was a natural evolution for him. He wants to win titles, he wants to be the best, to improve his game, to score more goals. “It was an accumulation of experience, an accumulation of feelings that made him go in a certain direction. “For example, when he was Young Player of the Year it was not a big thing for him. “He doesn’t want to be the best Young Player of the Year, he wants to be the best Player of the Year.” last_img read more

Picture this! Pensive Neymar stirs renewed PSG fever

first_imgParis, France | AFP |  Neymar’s decision to post a photo of himself in thoughtful contemplation sparked a fresh wave of speculation that he is on the verge of sealing a world record 222-million-euro ($256.8 million) move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.The Instagram picture, even accompanied by a matching emoji, shows the 25-year-old Brazilian superstar stretched out on the pitch with his chin resting on his left hand.It garnered more than 1.5 million ‘likes’ within 12 hours of it being posted in the United States where Barcelona are on a pre-season tour.Three of the ‘likes’ came from PSG players — winger Angel Di Maria, goalkeeper Kevin Trapp and midfielder Marco Verratti.French newspaper Le Parisien fuelled speculation Friday with an unsourced report that Neymar had told several Barcelona teammates of his intentions to join PSG, adding that the transfer is considered a done deal by some Barcelona players.That echoes media company Esporte Interativo’s insistence that an agreement has been reached for Neymar to move to the French capital from Barcelona, where he has played since 2013.On Tuesday, PSG skipper — and fellow Brazilian — Thiago Silva gave a digital thumbs up to a mocked-up photo montage published by Esporte Interativo showing Neymar in a PSG shirt along with compatriots and prospective teammates in France.Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde described the ongoing saga as a “time of rumours”.“We understand it’s how it is. He is with us right now, one of us,” said Valverde in East Rutherford where his team plays Juventus in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.That match will give Neymar a chance to display his coveted skills for the first time this summer.“He’s a player we love and we want,” Valverde said. “Not only football wise, but also for the things he brings to the locker room.“There’s no need to worry about something we don’t know if it’s going to happen or not. If it happens in the future, we’ll see.”PSG skipper Thiago Silva told Le Parisien he had no idea if the Brazilian star was about to switch to the French capital.“I don’t know. I hear a lot from journalists and a player like Neymar would be an interesting addition to the PSG project,” said Thiago, speaking in Florida — where the French club takes on Tottenham in a friendly on Saturday.“But, for the moment, it is especially important to prepare for the new season. After and if Neymar arrives it would be a good thing for the squad.”Is Neymar going to sign? “Not yet,” smiled the captain.– ‘The future of the club’ –In Spain, it was reported by Catalan media group RAC 1 that “certain players” at Barcelona have already tried to convince Neymar not to accept the PSG offer which would dwarf the 105 million euros Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba. Javier Mascherano said Neymar was “the future” of Barcelona as the Argentine pleaded with the striker to stay put.“In the case of Ney, obviously he is young, and I hope he’s here with Barcelona for many more years,” Mascherano told American sports network ESPN.“He is a really important player for the club. Because of his age, he’s the future of the club, and we hope we can keep on counting on him.”However, it’s believed the Brazilian is being seduced by the immense wealth on offer to him from the Qatari owners of PSG and by the opportunity to have a team built around him.The daily Sport newspaper also claimed that Luis Suarez has also attempted to persuade Neymar not to split up the MSN frontline at Barcelona made up of Lionel Messi, Suarez and the Brazilian star.Catalunya Radio said that the deal is “95 percent complete”.One of the keys would be the payment to Neymar’s father and agent of a “premium exceeding the 40 million” paid when the player controversially moved to Spain from Santos.Other reports have claimed that Neymar senior has recently met with, or is about to meet, PSG sporting director Antero Henrique.However, Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre insisted Tuesday that it is “200 percent” certain that Neymar will stay at the club.In a public game of tit-for-tat pronouncements, PSG coach Unai Emery hailed the Brazilian.“Neymar has advanced his game massively and today he is one of the five best in the world,” said Emery.“Our president is working hard to attract top players and our fans would be content to count on a new top player to go along with the talent we already have.” Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

The corruption of Uganda football

first_imgThe Uganda Cranes in Egypt recently. Their strike has got mixed reactions.How the Cranes blundered in Cairo when they went on strike over pay and refused to trainTHE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Last week, the Uganda Cranes players went on strike in Cairo Egypt, where they were competing in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). They accused officials of the Federation for Ugandan Football Association (FUFA) of plotting to cheat them of their bonuses for qualifying for the knockout stage of 16. Knowing the corruption that has eaten the entrails of our country’s moral fabric, I could not put FUFA above these accusations. I was therefore among those who tweeted highlighting the concerns of our players.I had sources connected to the players. The players had been paid all their other allowances. However, they were entitled to a bonus for qualifying for the knockout stage. They feared that if they were knocked out by Senegal, a very strong team, FUFA would not pay their bonuses for qualifying to the group of 16. It was therefore prudent to leak this concern to people on social media in order to raise the alarm, shame FUFA and force it to pay them.I felt both sympathy and solidarity with the Cranes players given my knowledge, not of FUFA specifically, but of Ugandan officials generally. However, I was later disappointed to learn that the players had gone on strike and refused to go for training unless and until their allowances are paid. I felt that the players had betrayed their professional aspirations, the team and the country. To appreciate my disappointment, and that of millions of Ugandan football fans, it is important to place this strike in its proper context. AFCON is the most prestigious football tournament on our continent.  For the last ten years, our country has been obsessed with qualifying, having last reached the competition in 1978. Indeed, it would be appropriate to say that it became the most important national goal that united our country. It was therefore gratifying when, in 2017, Uganda qualified for this tournament after 38 year of waiting.There was euphoria across the entire nation. Even the First Lady, who had also been appointed minister of Education and Sports, attended the games, cheered with other fans, tweeted the progress and was in the stadium when we qualified. However, the Cranes performed poorly and did not win a single game and were eliminated in the preliminaries. It was, therefore, even more gratifying when they qualified the second time in a row in 2018. All eyes of Uganda were thus on the team to make Uganda proud at the 2019 finals.And the Cranes did not disappoint. They played well and qualified for the knockouts. The whole country was behind them. They made our country proud. Yet it was at the height of their achievement and nationwide popularity that Cranes players foundered. They went on strike over pay. The fear that FUFA officials may not pay their bonus is legitimate. But to go on strike and refuse to play because of this was a blunder. It demonstrated the players’ loss of focus from the main issue to subsidiary ones.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2last_img read more