You Can’t Hire Enough Stars (And What To Do About It)

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now You can’t hire enough star performers. What is required to succeed in sales has changed too much.Not only do salespeople need to the old sales acumen skills like prospecting, storytelling, closing, diagnosing, differentiating, and negotiation, they also require newer sales skills like business acumen, change management, and leadership skills. Your clients are going to hold you accountable for results, and these newer skill are necessary to producing them.There are enough salespeople who can create Level Four Value. So what to do?Build ThemIf you can’t hire enough star performers, then you have to build them yourself.You have to ensure that they have the old school skills; they’re still completely necessary. But you also need to give them training, coaching, and development necessary to give them the new skills they need. You also need to give salespeople a series of significant experiences that allow them to learn and develop these skills.You hire for attributes and train for these skills.Give Them TimeYou need to give new salespeople the time to develop those skills. You can’t expect them to have all of the skills they need. And you can’t expect them to develop quickly. The experiences that make salespeople valuable to their clients take time to acquire.You can’t expect too much from new salespeople too soon. You can only expect progress along that path.Just because someone isn’t a star performer when you hire them doesn’t mean that they won’t ever be. But not giving them the time and development opportunities does ensure that they won’t ever be star performers.QuestionsWhat skills are necessary to succeed in sales now?Why do so few salespeople have all of these skills?How much time does it take to really develop the skills necessary to really create value for your clients?What responsibility do you have for developing these skills in yourself?What responsibility do you have for developing these skills in your salesforce?last_img read more

Today I Stopped Selling

first_imgToday I decided to stop selling and start waiting. I was waiting for opportunities where I could connect and to be helpful. So many experts have recommended this approach, there has to be something to it. Why else would someone suggest “stop selling” if it wasn’t working?10:00 AM: How long exactly does it take for the “waiting” approach to start working? So far nothing is happening. I’m just sitting here. Waiting.10:45 AM: Okay. I’ve gone out to LinkedIn and accepted all my connection requests and said thank you. Nothing.11:00 AM: Maybe I need to connect with more people on Twitter. Now I’ve gone out and engaged with some people there. Very cool people! Super nice!1:15 PM: I’m waiting. I’m starting to worry. My phone isn’t ringing. And I’m getting a lot of emails, but none of them is anybody asking to buy from me.1:30 PM: Maybe I’m not doing this right. Maybe I need to wait harder. This whole “stop selling” is a lot harder than it looks. I can’t seem to make it work.2:45 PM: Alright, I have an idea. I’ll stare at the phone. If I stare long enough, it’s bound to ring.2:57 PM: Nothing. I’ll stare harder. I think there’s a vein bulging out of my forehead. Still nothing.3:20 PM: I give up. Not selling is a lot harder than selling. Waiting is the most difficult strategy ever. I can’t seem to find a way to turn hope into actual sales results.4:22 PM: I must be doing something wrong. I guess I’ll go back to selling.last_img read more

Restoring a Sense of Community

first_imgThis post is not going to be a traditional post. It was my Sunday newsletter, and I want to share it here. Earlier this week, two police officers were shot and killed when responding to a domestic violence call here in Westerville, Ohio, the place I call home. Within 24 hours, 17 people died in a school shooting in Florida, most of them children not too much younger than my own. One of my daughters called me to tell me she was afraid to go back to school the next day. What do you say to a kid that witnesses something so horrific to people who look just like her?Not to worry, this note is not going to be about gun violence and the surrounding politics. I don’t write about politics, and I am not political. This post is about you and me and how we respond to the world we live in now.Immediately after the horrific incident in Florida, I asked my wife to tell me the first names of the couple that lives across the street. She confessed that she did not know their names. I don’t know their names either, just that the husband is a grouchy, old former Marine who hates when my kid’s friends park in front of his house. To be fair, my wife worked as a school nurse and knows most of the parents and kids from the neighborhood schools. But we don’t know them. There is not the same sense of community. I know very few people in my neighborhood and spend almost no time with those I do.In the apartment complex where I lived from 7 years old to 17 years old, everyone knew everyone else. I know this because whenever I did anything sketchy, my Mom would know before I got home. Once a friend I was with busted open a video game at the pizza shop and stole all the quarters. The police were waiting at my apartment before I got there. I emptied my pockets for the police officer who I saw in the convenience store on my way to school every day. He left my apartment and headed straight to my friend’s house.The woman from Italy who lived behind us and hardly spoke English was struggling to take care of her three kids. My mom was raising four kids herself, and she was just making ends meet. I am not sure how she found a way to buy me and my sibling’s presents, let alone buy gifts for another family. Her mom, my grandmother, raised five kids by herself, and no one that showed up to her house ever left without dinner. I am not as good as they were, even though it would be easier for me.What’s missing is a sense of community, a sense of caring, a sense of obligation to one another. This past week I read two articles about Facebook and the damage it now realizes it is doing. The platform has turned into a place where divisiveness lives and thrives, with everything now being politicized. This dialogue is somehow not the same as the public square, where people who live next door to each other might argue their opinions and remain friends. The digital community does not produce the same result as a real one.All things being equal, relationships win. I am still long on human relationships. But some of us need to go first. Some of us must decide to rebuild a sense of real community. We must do our part. I have committed to starting, and I hope this note finds you in a place where you commit to doing the same.last_img read more

Why You Always Get What You Pay For

first_imgYou may not like what you get, and you may not like what you pay, but you will always get what you pay for.If you don’t like what you get, you still paid for it. If you didn’t like it because it was less than you feel you should have received, it was exactly what you paid for. You think you invested enough, and the seller does as little as possible, reducing what they do to be able to give you the price you want. When you underinvest, you rarely get what you really wanted. This is why buyer’s feel cheated when they get the bargain they insist upon.If you don’t like what you paid, you still got what you got. If you paid more than you wanted to and got less than expected, you got what you paid for. You again received what you paid for, even if you made a more substantial investment and expected much more. You invested enough, but the seller invested too little. This how sellers lose future sales, future clients, and receive poor word of mouth.If you like what you got and you liked what you paid, you invested the right amount in the outcome you wanted, and the party that sold it to you invested enough to deliver it.The idea that you get what you pay for is well recognized in some areas, but in other areas, it’s as if it’s a foreign concept.Taking Money Out of Your ProgramSome people are deeply committed to the belief that they can take money out of their solution and somehow make it better. Never in the history of all human history has taken money out of anything improved it. Yet, there are people, companies, and certain roles who operate from this belief. They get what they pay for, reducing their supplier’s prices, and much of the time, increasing their costs. This group insists on taking money out of their own program.Others deeply believe you get what you pay for, ensuring they make the necessary investment to deliver. People who buy this way think that paying more means that they should expect more, and the seller should—and will be—accountable for the outcome. They get what they pay for, paying a higher price, and experiencing lower costs and better results. This group insists on a fair deal and the outcome of their investment.The first category of buyers believes they can shrink themselves to greatness, removing more money from their programs, mistakenly believing they have taken the money from their supplier. Instead, they have reduced the investment in their own program, making it more difficult and less likely they get what they want and expecting it anyway.The second category of buyers is not buying price. Instead, they are buying an outcome. And while they are always going to ask you for your best price, they are not going to try to extract so much of a price concession that it would cause you to fail them. They want to invest what is necessary to produce the result they need, not more, and not less.As someone who sells, you want to acquire clients and customers in the second category, and as much as is possible, avoiding those who would expect more than they are willing to pay for. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Cong for pre-poll alliance with NC for LS by-polls

first_imgThe Congress on Friday hinted at jointly contesting the upcoming by-polls to the Srinagar and Anantnag Lok Sabha constituencies with the National Conference.J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president G. A. Mir, who held a meeting in Jammu on Friday, said: “The feeling on the ground, which was reflected during our feedback with the people, was that both the Congress and the NC should contest the polls together. This will encourage people to come out and vote as they are unhappy with the PDP-BJP alliance in the State for its failure to deliver on its promises.”However, Mr. Mir was quick to add: “Such a decision will be taken by the party high command (in New Delhi)”.Expressing concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in the Valley, Mr. Mir said: “It’s the prerogative of the State and the Centre to create a peaceful atmosphere.”Meanwhile, the Congress top leaders, including recently inducted Tariq Hameed Karra, former Member of Parliament from Srinagar, passed a resolution after the meeting.“The resolution authorises the party high command to decide about the seat adjustment for the upcoming Srinagar and Anantnag Lok Sabha elections,” said Mr. Mir.NC in no moodSenior NC leader Muhammad Akbar Lone, however, has given a cold shoulder to the Congress plan. “I do not think the NC is ready for any seat adjustment in the Valley. I would suggest to the Congress to back our candidates and don’t field anyone,” said Mr. Lone.By-polls to the two parliamentary seats of Anantnag, vacant since June 2016 when Mehbooba Mufti, then Member Parliament (MP) Anantnag, took over as J&K Chief Minister, and Srinagar, vacated by Mr. Karra after resigning the PDP as MP in September 2016, are scheduled for April 12 and 9 respectively.NC files complaintMeanwhile, the NC on Friday filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India over “official instructions issued by the Chief Minister’s Office for some high-profile appointments being made to various Public Sector Enterprises”.“This is brazen violation of the model code after the issuance of the electoral notification ,” said NC provincial chief Nasir Aslam Wani.last_img read more

Akhilesh seeks probe by SC judge, slams inaction

first_imgSamajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Friday alleged that “corruption” was the reason behind the shortage of oxygen supply in the BRD hospital and demanded a probe by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court.Mr. Yadav also suggested that along with the other probes, the CBI should also probe the matter. “This government has a lot of attachment with the CBI. The CBI is also under them. Along with other investigations, there should also be CBI probe into this matter,” the former chief minister told reporters here.Replying to questions, he said the cause of the deaths will be known after the completion of inquiries, but the matters that are coming to the fore now smack of corruption somewhere, causing a breakdown in the supply of oxygen in the ward.“Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth is not speaking on this issue… The government is not even providing help to the victims,” Mr. Yadav said.Describing Mr. Adityanath as “the digital Chief Minister of a New India”, the former chief minister said he (Adityanath) was unaware of the reality and was instead embroiled in issues like namaz on the roads and Janmashtami functions in police stations.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

BJP leader Gajendra Bhati shot dead in Ghaziabad

first_imgA local BJP leader was killed and his friend injured when unidentified assailants fired at them this afternoon in Ghaziabad’s Khora colony, police said. Gajendra Bhati and his friend Balbir Singh Chouhan were on a motorcycle in Khora colony when the two bike-borne attackers came near them and opened fire, City Superintendent of Police Arun Kumar Singh said. The two were rushed to a private hospital in neighbouring Noida where doctors pronounced Bhati dead on arrival, he said, adding Chouhan, who was critically injured, is undergoing treatment in the hospital.On receiving information about the incident, Bhati’s supporters reached the hospital in large number, Mr. Singh said. Heavy police force has been deployed outside the hospital to prevent any untoward incident, the City SP said. An investigation is underway in the matter, he added.last_img read more

Maoist killed in Gadchiroli

first_imgNAGPUR: The police gunned down a woman, who was a member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra on Friday.“A team of Gadchiroli police was attacked by the Maoists near Bhendikanhar forest in Pendhari sub-division of Gadchiroli around 6 a.m. today. The Maoists had taken a position in the forest and opened indiscriminate firing on the police team. The police team put up stiff resistance and retaliated the fire in self-defence. As the police team was getting dominant in the gun battle, the Maoists fled from the spot taking advantage of thick forest. After the encounter, the police team launched a search operation in the area and managed to recover the body of a woman Maoist,” the Gadchiroli district Superintendent of Police said in a statement.The police also recovered a weapon, ammunition and Maoist literature from the spot. The woman had not been identified at the time of writing this report.In Chhattisgarh, meanwhile, Maoists damaged an under-construction building of a primary school and hospital in Kohakameta village in Narayanpur district on Friday. “The Maoists once again proved that they are opposed to development … The building was being constructed painstakingly by the authorities to provide relief to local villagers,” said Narayanpur SP Santosh Singh.CRPF constable kills selfIn a separate incident, a Central Reserve Police Force constable killed himself with his own rifle at the Pranhita police headquarters in Aheri division of Gadchiroli on Friday morning. Amit Kumar, 29, hailed from Haryana and was part of the CRPF’s 37th battalion. “The reason behind his suicide is still to be ascertained,” the Gadchiroli police said in a statement.last_img read more

Congress begins rally against BJP govt.

first_imgThe Congress launched a State-wide Jan Akrosh Andolan against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led State government in Ahmednagar on Tuesday to coincide with its completion of three years in power. The party will observe November 8, marking one year of demonetisation, as a black day. Six such rallies will be held in different parts of the State.Gulam Nabi Azad, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said, “People’s anger will dislodge the BJP-led governments at both the State and the Centre. Farmers and citizens have vowed to end the misrule in the State.”Ashok Chavan, State Congress chief, said, “This is not the Fadnavis government but Fasavnis [cheater] government. It has done zero work in last three years but is spending crores of rupees on advertising.”last_img read more

Senior CPI-M leader Basudeb Acharya injured in alleged attack by TMC

first_imgSenior Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader and Central Committee member Basudeb Acharya was allegedly attacked by Trinamool Congress (TMC) cadres in Purulia district on Friday. The TMC leadership denied the allegation.Mr. Acharya, a former MP, has been admitted to a district hospital after the attack and is currently in a stable condition. The incident took place in the Kashipur area of the district when the local CPI-M candidates were on their way to file nominations for the upcoming Panchyat elections.The CPI-M State leadership further alleged that at the time of the attack they repeatedly informed the district police about the attack but police remained “mute spectators”. Apart from Mr. Acharya, several other CPI-M leaders were injured.last_img read more

Badal’s advice to Amarinder

first_imgFormer Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday said Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh should refrain from “doing or saying anything that might become a pretext for blocking the Kartarpur Sahib corridor”.“The initiative of the government of India and the response of the Pakistan government are a collective achievement of the entire Khalsa Panth, beyond individual or party lines. This must be welcomed as such and no one should do or say anything that may sabotage this achievement,” said Mr. Badal in a statement here.Mr. Badal said that Capt. Amarinder’s recent statements with regard to the Kartarpur corridor have been “extremely ill-advised and ill-timed”.“Capt. Amarinder needs to be reminded that opening of the corridor is not a political but a deeply religious aspiration of the Khalsa Panth for which every Sikh across the globe has been praying for over the past 70 years,” he said.Referring to the fears expressed by Capt. Amarinder about the possibility of the corridor being misused by the Pakistan army, Mr. Badal said the Chief Minister was forgetting that the Punjabis in general and the Sikhs in particular are a fiercely patriotic people and are fully capable of dealing with any challenge thrown at the security, unity and integrity of the country.‘Support the initiative’“The Chief Minister should leave the issue of assessing and dealing with security concerns to the government of India, and as the CM should limit himself to supporting the initiative taken by India,” said Mr. Badal.last_img read more

Manjhi rubbishes rumours of his return to NDA

first_imgHindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) president Jitan Ram Manjhi on Friday scotched rumours of his quitting the “mahagathbandhan” (Grand Alliance) and returning to the NDA, terming such unverified reports as a “conspiracy” to malign his and his party’s image.He made it clear that he is with Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and the Grand Alliance in Bihar, which comprises of the RJD, Congress and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party besides his party.Mr. Manjhi’s criticism of the recent sit-in by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in protest against CBI action against Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar early this week had triggered speculation about the HAM(S) severing ties with the Grand Alliance and returning to the NDA.“There is no truth in it (rumour about his joining NDA). Disinformation is being spread as part of a conspiracy to malign my image and my party’s image,” Mr. Manjhi said during a press meet in which he was accompanied by the party’s national vice-president Rameshwar Yadav, district president Tutu Khan and others. The erstwhile Janata Dal (United) leader, who was made Chief Minister by Nitish Kumar in 2014, later fell out with his mentor and formed the HAM(S). Mr. Manjhi’s party joined hands with the BJP in the 2015 Bihar Assembly polls but with the return of the JD(U) to the NDA camp, he left the alliance to join hands with the RJD last year.Seat-sharing talksThe 74-year-old leader said the seat-sharing issue in the Opposition coalition will be finalised in consultation with all the constituents of the Grand Alliance.In reply to a query, Mr. Manjhi reiterated that the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister of any State should not hold or participate in sit-ins and demonstrations. “Mamata Banerjee did wrong by holding a dharna. It can’t be justified in any manner,” he said.The HAM(S) chief played down any possibility of a split in his party, which was rocked by twin exits on Wednesday of its State unit chief Brishen Patel and spokesperson Danish Rizwan. Mr. Manjhi said that the new State unit chief and other prominent posts, which are currently lying vacant, will be filled within a week.last_img read more

Strike Paralyzes World’s Largest Radio Telescope

first_imgChilean mediators today launched a new effort to resolve a 12-day-old strike by workers at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the world’s largest radio telescope. The dispute has forced the facility to put most of its observations on hold as the management attempts to negotiate with ALMA’s 195-member union of administrative workers, technicians, and support staff members.Built at an altitude of 5200 meters above sea level, on the Chajnantor plateau in northern Chile, ALMA is a collaboration between the United States, Japan, Europe, and Chile. It is managed by Associated Universities Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based organization. The observatory, which operates an array of 66 antennas, was officially inaugurated in March, although it began producing science more than a year ago. Astronomers are using the facility to study a host of questions, including how the first stars and galaxies formed and the birth of planets.ALMA has an international staff of astronomers and a local staff of administrative employees, technicians, and other workers who support the observatory’s operations.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Last month, the union began negotiating a new 3-year contract with the management, but talks broke down when the union demanded a 15% salary raise and bonuses for children of the workers.  The union called a strike on 22 August. Two rounds of negotiations have failed to resolve the dispute. A fresh attempt began earlier today, mediated by an agency of the Chilean government, an ALMA source tells ScienceInsider.last_img read more

Not Everyone Needs Probiotics, Suggests Study of Hunter-Gatherer Guts

first_imgAfter taking an antibiotic or catching an intestinal bug, many of us belt down probiotic drinks to restore the “natural balance” of organisms in our intestines. Probiotics are one of the fastest growing products in the food industry, now added to yogurts, drinks, and baby food. Yet, not everyone needs them to stay healthy. A new study of the gut bacteria of hunter-gatherers in Africa has found that they completely lack a bacterium that is a key ingredient in most probiotic foods and considered healthy. What’s more, the Hadza don’t suffer from colon cancer, colitis, Crohn’s, or other diseases of the colon that are found in humans eating modern diets in Western nations.The new study is the first to report on the gut bacteria of hunter-gatherers, who hunt and forage for most of their foods, just as our ancestors did before the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago. Until now, studies of gut bacteria have focused on people who live in industrialized nations, many of whom eat diets high in sugar, salt, and fat. These diets have shifted the type of bacteria in our guts, known as the microbiome. Gut bacteria respond rapidly to changes in their host’s diet, and humans who live in rural areas and eat fewer processed foods have more diverse microbiomes. Conversely, researchers also have found an association between less diversity in the microbiome and diseases of the colon, such as Crohn’s disease and colon cancer.In the new study, an international team worked together to collect and analyze the bacteria in fecal samples from one of the last remaining hunting and gathering communities in the world, the Hadza people of Tanzania. As part of her thesis project, Stephanie Schnorr, a graduate student at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, had the unenviable task of asking the Hadza for fecal samples. But when her interpreter explained what she wanted, she lucked out when one elder, named Panda, said: “We normally give it to the ground. We’ll give it to her instead.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Once Schnorr had samples from 27 Hadza, aged 8 to 70 years, she sent them in frozen or dried form to the University of Bologna in Italy, where a team specializes in the extraction and sequencing of DNA from bacteria. The team identified the bacteria using the Hadza’s DNA and also analyzed the type of nutrients in the fecal matter, including microbial metabolites, which are fatty acids that microbes use in the gut to get their energy. When they compared this DNA from the Hadza with those of Italians, the team found that the Hadza have a more diverse gut microbe ecosystem. What’s more, when they also looked at those bacteria in two groups of farmers from Africa, they found that the Hadza were the only people who lacked a type of bacteria commonly added to probiotic drinks—known as Bifidobacterium—perhaps because it is associated with dairy products, which the Hadza do not consume. The Hadza also had high levels of bacteria like Treponema, which is considered a sign of disease in Western populations because different types are linked with systemic lupus and  periodontitis, as well as syphilis. Yet, the Hadza experience almost no autoimmune disorders, obesity, or diabetes, which are associated with imbalances of different types of gut bacteria.“We must redefine our notions of what is considered healthy and unhealthy, since these distinctions are clearly dependent on diet,” says Alyssa Crittenden, a nutritional anthropologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and lead author of the study, which appears online today in Nature Communications.The other big surprise was that the Hadza men and women had significant differences in the type and amount of gut bacteria—a sex difference never observed before. The disparity reflects sexual divisions of labor—the Hadza men hunt and eat meat and honey, whereas the women primarily dig up tuberous plants. Both sexes eat more of what they collect, and the women eat more fibrous tubers. “We think that the bacteria the women have are particularly good at digesting fiber,” says paleobiologist Amanda Henry of the Max Planck. The team is now testing the Hadza gut bacteria in lab studies to see if they are more efficient at breaking down fiber than gut bacteria from Westerners are.Other researchers also note that previous studies suggested that humans had less diversity in their gut microbiome on average than other primates. But that may be partly because researchers have not collected fecal samples from humans eating diverse diets and living in a wide range of habitats. “This is a really important study because it helps us find the range of variation in the microbiome in humans,” says biological anthropologist Steven Leigh of the University of Colorado, Boulder.Such information will help researchers understand how our ancestors adapted to new habitats and diets as they spread around the world, because their gut bacteria coevolved with them as their diets changed. And it may be critical to understand that spectrum of diversity and how different species of bacteria interact with each other (and, perhaps, resist antibiotics) before consuming probiotics produced on “an industrial scale,” as if one type fits all, Leigh says.last_img read more

ScienceShot: Saturn’s Auroras Decoded

first_imgThe processes driving Saturn’s auroras are the same ones that generate the flickering displays in Earth’s skies, new research suggests. Although that’s what scientists had long suspected, until recently no instruments had been pointed at the ringed planet at just the right time to observe the phenomena in the detail required. The new data were gathered by sensors on the Hubble Space Telescope in April (upper left image) and May (the other five images) of 2013. When solar flares or other particularly strong bursts of charged particles slam into Saturn, lines in the planet’s magnetic field collapse, sending a cascade of particles into the planet’s atmosphere in polar regions. (Because Saturn’s atmosphere is largely composed of hydrogen, aurora emissions are mainly in the ultraviolet band of wavelengths.) The far ultraviolet images revealed that the front edges of the shimmering auroral curtains, which can stretch 1000 kilometers tall on Saturn, raced across the planet’s surface at more than 4 kilometers per second—about three times faster than the planet rotates, the researchers report in a forthcoming issue of Geophysical Research Letters. Trying to observe the details of Saturn’s auroras has essentially been a hit-and-miss proposal, the researchers say: The times at which solar flares strike the planet aren’t readily predictable, and until now the Hubble telescope hasn’t been looking at Saturn at the proper wavelengths just when a solar flare arrived.last_img read more

DOE Launches New Study of National Labs

first_img LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY T.J. Glauthier Scientists at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) 17 national laboratories carry out cutting-edge research every day. But when it comes to setting policy for the labs, DOE officials and Congress come closer to meeting Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Numerous times over the past few decades, lawmakers or DOE leaders have ordered up major reviews of lab operations in hopes of ending complaints about the sprawling system’s bureaucracy and inefficiency—with little obvious effect. But that doesn’t stop them from trying.Yesterday, DOE announced the nine members of the latest outside commission to review the effectiveness of the national labs. The study will be led by Jared Cohon, a civil engineer and president emeritus of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and T.J. Glauthier, an energy consultant and former deputy DOE secretary during the Clinton administration.Reviewing the health and direction of the national labs is practically a cottage industry, and Glauthier admits that his panel’s challenge will be to “find something new to say.” The panelists will need no introduction to the ways of Washington, as the lineup includes such pillars of national science advising as former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology president emerita Susan Hockfield, and Carnegie Institution for Science President Richard Meserve.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The commission is actually a child of Congress, in particular, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D–CA), who mandated such a study in the 2014 spending bill approved in January. She’s certainly no foe of a system that began during World War II, grew like Topsy during the Cold War, and then settled into what some say is an unwieldy and expensive relic of that era. But the commission’s charge reflects the concerns of many in Congress, namely, whether the labs “are properly aligned with the Department’s strategic priorities; have clear … missions that are not unnecessarily redundant and duplicative; have unique capabilities … to meet current and future energy and national security challenges; [and] are appropriately sized.”The spending bill calls for a report to DOE by 1 February 2015. But Glauthier says the commission will actually deliver only a “phase 1” document by that time. He says DOE and Congress have agreed to allow the panel to continue into a second phase, which will tackle the more politically sensitive topic of possible consolidation and realignment of the current system. Those issues, as spelled out by Congress, include the possibility of using “other research, development, and technology centers and universities as an alternative to meeting DOE’s energy and national security goals.” The legislation also asks the panel to review the management of so-called laboratory-directed research and development, a pot of money with fewer strings attached that lab directors distribute for in-house projects.The new commission comes in the wake of moves by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to take a closer look at laboratory management. This past July, he announced plans to create two new internal panels to advise him on possible reforms. That announcement became public a day after the science committee of the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing on lab reform, featuring the authors of several reports critical of lab operations and management. The DOE’s inspector general has also suggested a radical remaking of the system. Glauthier says the commission has yet to agree on its first meeting, much less the format for its inquiry. “I’m sure we’ll be seeking input from the lab directors,” he says. “But exactly how we’ll proceed is something we still need to discuss.”last_img read more

‘Bearded’ female lizards turn off males, but have secret advantages

first_imgWEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA—A century ago, the cast of circus characters often included bearded ladies, women with decidedly manlike facial hair. Eastern fence lizards have their own bearded ladies. Males sport prominent blue patches on their undersides, and many females have smaller, lighter blue splotches on their chests and necks. Female lizards find the blue in potential mates quite sexy, so evolution has favored brighter patches. But male lizards are turned off by blue females, so it’s a mystery why females have any blue at all.Tracy Langkilde has some clues. A biologist at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, she and her colleagues have evaluated how blueness affects female lizards. Although there are some downsides to being blue, bearded females run faster and have young that survive better than do offspring of nonblue peers, Langkilde reported here this week at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.“It’s a very eloquent study, important to our understanding of why males and females [of all species] are different,” says Erica Westerman, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois who was not involved with the work.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In every species, males and females are built from the same set of genetic instructions and so, in theory, should look the same. But they don’t. To understand how this so-called sexual dimorphism arises, Langkilde turned to the eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus), a 15-centimeter-long reptile that lives on rocks and tree stumps in the eastern United States. “Our work suggests that traits can have different costs and benefits for the two sexes,” she explains.Langkilde’s earlier studies and other work showed that the blue patches on the undersides of males are badges of maleness that appeal to females. Then in 2013, she and her colleagues found that males prefer to mate with nonblue females. When blue females do mate, they are slower to lay their eggs by about 2 weeks, and their clutches of eggs weigh less than clutches from nonblue females. Langkilde wondered if males tended to shun these females as mates because of these deficiencies. “Not all traits are benign for the sex that doesn’t need them,” agrees Simon Lailvaux, an integrative evolutionary biologist at the University of New Orleans in Louisiana, who wasn’t involved in the study. “Studies like this tell us what those costs are specifically for females.”Now, Langkilde and her colleagues have taken a closer look at these females, not only in the lab but also in the field. They suspected that high testosterone levels cause the blue splotches and reproductive problems, so they gave pregnant nonblue females this hormone. And indeed, treated females laid their eggs later than untreated females, and the resulting young were smaller and didn’t survive as well as the young of untreated females, Langkilde’s team reports.But the researchers also found that blue females sprint faster, reaching speeds of 1.5 meters per second compared with the 1.2 meters per second achieved by nonblue females. And more of the field-caught young with blue moms survived after 2 months in the lab than did young of nonblue moms. “These results suggest previously unreported, possible fitness advantages for bearded ladies,” Langkilde says. In addition, males may mistake blue females for other males, and so those females are less harassed by overly eager suitors, who can court so much that they interfere with the female’s other activities. Given that 70% of the females in some lizard populations have blue on them, “there may be some unexplained trade-offs in the costs (delayed reproduction) and benefits (higher offspring survival) for females bearing male traits that may explain the existence of these traits,” writes Peter Zani, an integrative biologist at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, who was not involved with the research, in an e-mail.“Attempting to understand evolutionary trade-offs is of interest to a broad swath of biologists,” Zani adds. Indeed, such work can tell us about ourselves, Westerman says. “It’s difficult to study the costs and benefits of females having malelike traits in our own species, but there might be benefits that we don’t understand yet.”last_img read more

NSF’s new budget reflects White House priorities on climate and environment

first_imgThe National Science Foundation (NSF) would get a 5.2% increase, to $7.7 billion, in the 2016 budget that President Barack Obama sent to Congress this week. But it’s hard to find the fingerprints of NSF’s new director, France Córdova, on the document.Instead, NSF’s splashiest initiatives for 2016 reflect the priorities of the Obama administration, especially in the areas of climate and the environment. One new effort would spend $75 million to study the strains on the world’s food, energy, and water systems from a growing population and a changing climate. A second would nearly triple, to $58 million, the size of a program begun this year to make the nation’s infrastructure more resilient to outside threats.“This is something that the administration cares very deeply about,” Córdova said, referring to the two initiatives during a media briefing Monday at NSF headquarters after she unveiled the agency’s new budget. At the same time, those proposals could leave NSF open to attack from a Republican-led Congress that has been pushing it to focus on core, disciplinary activities and that dislikes most of what the administration wants to do on energy and environmental policy.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)NSF’s budget—$7.3 billion this year—is an intricate mosaic of programs within NSF’s seven directorates that serve its core audience of academic researchers across all nonmedical disciplines. A few, notably NSF’s graduate research fellowships, date from shortly after the agency was created in 1950. Others, like one aimed at making cyberspace more secure, reflect problems that have only recently come to the forefront.In trying to fund the best science, the agency seeks to strike the right balance between supporting individual investigators and large teams, as well as funding the facilities and infrastructure they require. Any director who wants the agency to grow—and all do—must also persuade both the White House and Capitol Hill that NSF is uniquely positioned to respond to new scientific opportunities. That requires hatching new programs—or at least putting old wine into new bottles.Córdova came on board last March as NSF’s 14th director, giving her plenty of time to insert her own ideas into NSF’s 2016 budget. She was mostly reluctant to do that, however, and her approach may reflect a deliberate style of leadership that seeks consensus before taking action. That’s a sharp departure from her predecessor, Subra Suresh, who rode NSF staffers hard to implement his ideas before departing less than halfway through his 6-year term.Suresh took the helm in late 2010 and in his first year rolled out half a dozen new initiatives. He branded them as OneNSF, a phrase meant to capture both the popularity of multidisciplinary research and the agency’s solid reputation among policymakers.Despite his advocacy and the backing of the Obama administration, they met a mixed fate in Congress. The biggest hit is Innovation Corps (I-Corps), a program that teaches academics how to commercialize the fruits of their research. It would get a 14% bump in 2016, to $30 million—a significant amount of money for a program whose core element is a 10-week training program for three-person teams.“This is something everybody wants to do,” Córdova said Monday in presenting NSF’s budget, noting that other federal agencies—and even Mexico—have crafted their own versions of I-Corps. “So I see it as a very positive program that has generated a lot of entrepreneurial energy.”But another Suresh initiative, one that funds unorthodox ways to tackle fundamental research challenges, would languish in the 2016 budget. Suresh billed the INSPIRE program, a clunky acronym for Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education, as a way to counter the perception that NSF was too conservative in its choice of research projects. It created a fast track for proposals that would be judged by program managers, not expert panels. Given the recent attacks by Republicans on NSF’s peer-review system, however, those factors are no longer a major concern for most policymakers. And Córdova is using that shift in the political landscape to rethink the issue.“Obviously, [INSPIRE] has a noble purpose—to do bold, high-risk things that couldn’t be done in another way,” she said. “But the question is, has it accomplished that goal? Or could those proposals been funded through collaborative efforts by all of the directorates?”Córdova said she is awaiting the results of two assessments, due at the end of the year. In the meantime, she explained, “we will keep funding it at the same level”—which, at $28 million, is a far cry from the $120 million figure that Suresh envisioned for the program by 2016.Córdova’s political skills will be put to the test this spring as she defends the two environmental initiatives. Both give NSF’s geosciences directorate a prominent role: A major component of the risk and resilience program, for example, would study what drives geohazards such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes, and why they vary. Social scientists are also expected to be major contributors.That could be a problem for some influential Republicans, however. In December, Congress gave NSF an extra $173 million as part of the government-wide 2015 spending bill passed in that month—and told NSF which directorates should receive the largess. The list pointedly snubbed the geoscience and social science directorates, which are both heavily involved in the proposed 2016 initiatives.Córdova said that NSF has followed that appropriations language to the letter in allocating its 2015 funds. But that restriction hasn’t stymied the agency’s plans for 2016, she noted. And her comments to reporters made it clear what she thought about the congressional attempt to single out certain disciplines.“All of our directorates are interdisciplinary and very diverse, and it’s complicated to not fund one discipline,” she said. “Let me give you a good example. In December, I took 10 members of Congress to Antarctica, and they were captivated by the science we were doing there. In fact, one of them said, ‘Why don’t you take the extra $173 million in 2015 and do more of this stuff?’ ”“And I said, without batting an eye, ‘This work was supported by geosciences, and that didn’t get plussed up.’ And they stopped and thought, ‘Oh my.’ ”NSF’s new budget contains one initiative that does bear Córdova’s imprint: A $15 million effort to attract more women and non-Asian minorities into the so-called STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines. Córdova, the first NSF director of Hispanic descent, says NSF has fallen so far short of the goal of full participation that a fundamental rethinking of existing efforts is needed.“We have a lot of work to do in this area,” she declared. “We already invest a lot. So, why do we still have this really big problem? Maybe there’s something in our approach that needs a complete overhaul.”The money will be used to hold workshops for science educators and do outreach to groups NSF is trying to reach. Córdova thinks that one promising approach would take what she calls “boutique” activities at individual campuses and communities and scale up those that are working well. “The problem now is that the next state over doesn’t know anything about them,” she said. “You may as well have built a wall around your university. There are no communications between the nodes.”Other highlightsAlthough these major initiatives dominate the 2016 budget, here are some additional nuggets that might interest researchers.Major new facilities: NSF has a separate account to finance new construction of large facilities, like ships and telescopes, and Congress has tacitly agreed to put roughly $200 million a year into the account. So once one project is completed, another one can begin. Next year, NSF projects it will have $113 million available for a new start as it completes construction of a national network of ecological stations, and the competition is expected to be fierce.Two marine projects are already well into the design stage. Ocean researchers have long pushed for a trio of new regional-class research vessels. But last month a National Academies report recommended that NSF build only two out of concern for the cost of operating them. There are also plans to extend the life of the polar research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer, commissioned in 1992, the icebreaking capacities of which allow it to operate in the Antarctic. A third proposal involves a range of upgrades to NSF’s Palmer and McMurdo Antarctic research stations. And astronomers would like NSF to invest in one of two 30-meter ground telescopes already under construction, one in Hawaii and one in Chile.Ongoing programs: NSF’s budget made sure that a handful of programs that are traditionally favorites of Congress were treated well in its 2016 request. The CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development) program for young scientists would grow by $9 million, to $232 million. It would support 400 5-year awards to advance the research and educational activities of promising scientists. The EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) program, for states that receive relatively few NSF awards, would grow by $10 million, to $169 million. The Noyce Teacher Scholarship program would remain level, at $62 million.Graduate fellowships and traineeships: NSF plans to award 2000 Graduate Research Fellowships in 2016, the same number as this year. The number of 5-year fellowships was doubled 5 years ago, meaning that the program is now at its new capacity. The National Research Traineeship (NRT) program, a successor to the IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) awards, would also remain at its 2015 level of $62 million. But Córdova hinted that changes are coming. “I think you’ll see more of an emphasis on NRTs because of the growing concern about graduate education and whether they are being trained for opportunities outside the professoriate,” she told reporters. “The NSB [National Science Board] is about to put out a white paper on this. So I think the NRT has come along at just the right time, to look at how to modernize graduate education.”Virtual reviews: NSF hopes that the percentage of panels that meet virtually rather than convening at its Arlington, Virginia, headquarters will rise from the current 31% to 40% by the end of fiscal year 2016. It will also reduce the amount of money it spends on reimbursing those virtual reviewers for their expenses, from $280 a day to $200 a day.“We want them to participate, so we didn’t want to drop the number to zero,” explained Michael Sieverts, NSF’s chief budget officer. Those who come to NSF will continue to receive $480 for each day they serve on a panel, plus $280 for each travel day.Staffing: NSF wants to add 15 people to its IT staff to handle the growing workload required to maintain websites that are publicly accessible. That would bring its regular workforce to 1325 full-time equivalent positions. It also hopes to increase the number of rotators—those who come from academia to work for a few years as scientific program officers and managers—from 191 to 196. Congress has pushed NSF to lower its costs by recouping more of the rotators’ salaries from their home institution and limiting their travel.Relocation: NSF is scheduled to move into a new headquarters building in Alexandria, Virginia, by the end of 2017. It has asked for $30 million in 2016—double what it received in 2015—to prepare for the move.Click here to see all of our Budget 2016 coverage.last_img read more

Rishikesh, India: The Yoga Capital of The World

first_imgFor better or worse, the holy city of Rishikesh, which rests on the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, will always be associated with the Beatles and their sojourn to study transcendental meditation in 1968. Related Itemslast_img

India Mulls Tariff Hike on 20 US Products, Moves WTO

first_imgIndia has told the WTO that it proposes to raise duties by up to 100 per cent on 20 products such as almonds, apple and specific motorcycles imported from the US from next month, if Washington does not roll back high tariffs on certain steel and aluminium items.Read it at Tribune Related Itemslast_img