A climate summit that had been due to take place in Glasgow in November has been postponed to 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak, officials said on Wednesday, throwing new uncertainty into talks to tackle global warming.With the world currently on track for catastrophic temperature increases, the two-week summit had been meant to galvanize a renewed international commitment to an accord brokered in Paris in 2015 aimed at stabilizing the Earth’s climate.But with the British hosts and other countries struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought large sections of the global economy to a standstill, officials decided to push the summit back to give governments more time to prepare. With financial markets in turmoil, hopes that 2020 would prove a pivotal year for climate diplomacy and action to reverse accelerating extinctions of plant, animal and insect species have rapidly faded.Nevertheless, some investors, diplomats and campaigners welcomed the postponement, saying it could buy governments time to prepare a more successful outcome than might be possible in the face of a pandemic.”A delay gives the UK hosts and other governments the ability to ensure that sufficient diplomatic momentum is generated heading into COP26,” said Stephanie Pfeifer, chief executive of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, a European group of mainly pension funds and asset managers with more than £26 trillion of assets under management.Climate chessboard The chessboard of climate diplomacy could also shift significantly before a 2021 summit, depending on the outcome of talks this year between the European Union and China, and the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election.President Donald Trump, a Republican, began withdrawing the United States, the second biggest greenhouse gas emitter after China, from the Paris deal last year.If a Democratic presidential candidate wins the White House, then climate diplomats say many countries may be more likely to pursue bolder climate plans in anticipation of the United States rejoining.A postponement could also enable a potential shift in emphasis at the summit towards aligning economic stimulus packages launched to buffer the shock of the pandemic with wider climate goals, diplomats say.”COP26 next year should become a centerpiece of revitalized global cooperation,” said Laurence Tubiana, a former French diplomat who was instrumental in brokering the Paris accord.Climate campaign groups had raised concerns that even if Britain had managed to contain the coronavirus by November, many developing countries might still be struggling with outbreaks.The planned November summit was supposed to have been a deadline for countries to make more ambitious pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions under the terms of the Paris accord.Existing commitments are nowhere near enough to avoid accelerating impacts from droughts, sea-level rise, floods, wildfires and other disasters that could ultimately put the survival of industrial societies at risk, scientists say.So far, only a handful of countries have made new pledges. Japan, a major backer of coal-fired power, came under fire from campaigners this week when it submitted a pledge that stuck to a climate target from five years ago. “We will continue working tirelessly with our partners to deliver the ambition needed to tackle the climate crisis and I look forward to agreeing a new date for the conference,” said British Business Minister Alok Sharma, who is due to serve as president of the conference, known as COP26.A parallel summit on preserving threatened species, which had been due to take place in Kunming, China, in October, was also being pushed back to next year, a U.N. official said.The European Union’s climate chief, Frans Timmermans, said the bloc remained committed to the Paris process and a Green Deal to decarbonize its economy launched in December.”As for the European Commission, we will not slow down our work domestically or internationally to prepare for an ambitious COP26, when it takes place,” Timmermans said in a statement. Topics :
NZ Herald 23 Sep 2011The Broadcasting Standards Authority has declined to uphold a complaint by Family First against TVWorks that popular television show Californication breached the standards of good taste and decency. Family First’s complaint claimed “the quantity of offensive words in such a short period of programming plus the repetitive use of some of the most offensive words” in the episode – which screened on TV3 on April 18 – breached standards of good taste and decency…….But Family First argued in not upholding complaints against Californication, the BSA has “allowed a progressive lowering of standards to the point of hard pornography and extremely offensive language being common fare on our free-to-air channels”.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=10753681
Source:http://news.mst.edu/2018/07/missouri-st-biochemical-engineer-patents-low-cost-method-of-removing-bacterial-toxins-from-fluids/ Jul 13 2018By some estimates, 18 million people die each year from sepsis triggered by endotoxins – fragments of the outer membranes of bacteria. A biochemical engineer at Missouri University of Science and Technology has patented a method of removing these harmful elements from water and also from pharmaceutical formulations.Her goal: improve drug safety and increase access to clean drinking water in the developing world.”Initially, we were using these polymers to coat anti-cancer drugs,” says Dr. Sutapa Barua, assistant professor of chemical and biochemical engineering at Missouri S&T. “That was my focus. So I knew these polymers work, that they were bio-compatible.”The technique, as outlined in a July 2016 article in the journal Nanotechnology, involves a one-step phase separation method, using a syringe pump, to synthesize the nanoparticles.Those polymer nanoparticles have a high endotoxin removal efficiency of nearly 1 million endotoxin units per milliliter of water, using only a few micrograms of the material.After synthesis, the particles were characterized using a transmission electron microscope and dynamic light scattering. A custom-made fluorescence assay was used to determine the degree of binding between the endotoxins, which are also known lipopolysaccharides, and the nanoparticles. The fluorescent compound BODIPY was used to tag the endotoxin for identification purposes.The ramifications of this method -; referred to in the 2016 journal article as “endotoxin hitchhiking” -; could be substantial.As the journal noted in an online “Lab Talk” feature, more than 200,000 people die each year in the United States from sepsis, part of that estimated 18 million worldwide.Related StoriesNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellAn injection of nanoparticles for spinal cord injuriesCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedThe study “has large implications for the healthcare system, especially for those patients suffering from sepsis,” the journal editors wrote. “This novel removal technique has the potential to be explored for the removal of other deadly toxins that can be found in the bloodstream from a number of different diseases.”The study further results in an “efficacious system that is applicable to minimize the endotoxin level for a variety of applications, including drinking water purification, drug formulation or pharmaceutical preparation.”For Barua, there’s a more personal stake in the research.A native of Bangladesh who came to the U.S. for graduate school, she cites the 2012 death of Bangladeshi writer Humayun Ahmed-; reportedly from sepsis -; as a contributory factor in her efforts to focus on endotoxin removal. Barua says he knew several members of the writer’s family personally.Barua, who joined the university in 2014, also recently received a $25,000 start-up grant from the university’s office of technology transfer and economic development and $10,000 from Missouri S&T’s Innovation Fund.The Technology Acceleration Grant will be used to develop a low-cost, portable bio filtration kit to synthesize nanoparticles capable of adsorbing water-borne toxins; the other grant will be used to hire undergraduate and graduate student researchers.