Russia says Ukraine “hallucinating” in warning of nuclear risks

English: Nuclear power plant in Cattenom, Fran...

By Fredrik Dahl

VIENNA          Wed Mar 5, 2014 1:16pm EST

VIENNA (Reuters) – Russia accused Ukraine of “hallucinating” on Wednesday after Kiev warned a U.N. atomic agency meeting of risks to the safety of its nuclear power plants in case of a Russian invasion, diplomats said.

Envoys of the two neighbors engaged in a fiery verbal exchange during a session of the 35-nation governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a U.N. body, diplomats who attended the closed-door discussions said.

In the wider dispute, Russia rebuffed Western demands to withdraw forces in Ukraine’s Crimea region to their bases amid a day of high-stakes diplomacy in Paris aimed at easing tensions over Ukraine and averting any war. Continue reading “Russia says Ukraine “hallucinating” in warning of nuclear risks”

Austrian rape victim was arrested for having sex outside of marriage in UAE when she reported the crime… and told she had to MARRY her attacker

  • 29-year-old was arrested when she reported that her attacker had raped her
  • She faced a jail sentence for having ‘extra marital sex’ and drinking alcohol
  • Austrian Foreign Ministry put together a crisis team to free her
  • 260,000 people signed a petition supporting her attempts at freedom

By Luke Garratt

UPDATED:          14:18 EST, 31 January 2014

 

An Austrian woman who was raped in Dubai has been arrested for having extra martial sex and was told by police she could only avoid jail if she married her attacker.

The 29-year-old student from Vienna was facing a jail sentence having been accused of having sex outside of marriage and drinking alcohol, both of which are illegal in the United Arab Emirate capital.

It was only after the Austrian Foreign Ministry intervened, that she was able to leave the country and return home.

A view of Dubai skyscrapers. The woman claimed she was raped by a man in an underground car park in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates

A view of Dubai skyscrapers. The woman claimed she was raped by a man in an underground car park in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates Continue reading “Austrian rape victim was arrested for having sex outside of marriage in UAE when she reported the crime… and told she had to MARRY her attacker”

Truck carrying radioactive material stolen in Mexico

UN’s atomic watchdog says truck was taking cobalt-60 from a hospital to a radioactive waste storage centre when it was stolen

 

Reuters in Vienna

theguardian.com,              Wednesday 4 December 2013 09.11 EST

IAEA flag flatters in the wind in front

The IAEA has warned that the radioactive material in the truck could be extremely dangerous. Photograph: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Malware infected International Atomic Energy Agency Computers

 
Malware infected some UN Nuclear Agency computers
Hackers and malware are everywhere, waiting for you around every corner of the Internet. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which holds highly sensitive information and plays a key role in global efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, said on Tuesday that some of its computers were infected by malicious software, during the past several months.
Malware can typically be used by cyber-attackers to gain remote access to systems, or to steal data, however spokesman Serge Gas said. “No data from the IAEA network has been affected.”
The computers were located in common areas of the agency’s Vienna headquarters, known as the Vienna International Centre (VIC).
A third-party technician or visitor with the USB-drive infected with crimeware can be used to infect the system. “The (IAEA) secretariat does not believe that the USB devices themselves were infected or that they could spread the malware further” he said.
Last November, the IAEA revealed that Iranian hackers had accessed one of its former computer servers and posted the contact details of some of the watchdog’s experts online.
Protecting information is vital to the IAEA’s work. The agency continuously endeavours to achieve the highest possible level of protection of information,” Gas said.
The authority did not go into explicit details regarding the malware itself, but did stress that the use of removable media had to be reviewed and tightened.

Read more: http://thehackernews.com/2013/10/malware-infected-international-atomic.html#ixzz2iiH4NNRx
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Czech President: EU Can’t Regulate Everything

 

 

 

Monday, 29 April 2013

Czech President Miloš Zeman has criticized the EU for what he sees as the organization’s excessive desire “to regulate everything.”

“The dear EU does not decide what kind of light bulbs I use in my house,” Zeman told Vienna’s Profil weekly in reference to EU’s directive to phase out the use of incandescent light bulbs, and added:

“I put an energy saving light bulb and my house was like a morgue.”

According to the Czech leader, the EU should also refrain from regulating “smokers and alcohol.”

“Before, my favorite drink was Becherovka – until the EU increased the sugar content for liqueurs in its guidelines. Ever since I drink only Slivovitz,” Zeman explained.

He announced that his country would adopt the euro soon, and also veto financial assistance to Greece and Cyprus.

“I cannot imagine that the Czech minister of finance would accept the aid to Cyprus and Greece,” Zeman was quoted as saying.

Commenting on his position on the ethnic (Sudeten) Germans, first voiced in 2002, the Czech president said that their expulsion from his country after the Second World War was more lenient than the death penalty they would have faced for committing the crime of treason

‘Unusual seismic event’ in North Korea -atomic test monitoring body

Reuters

 

VIENNA, Feb 12 (Reuters) – An international nuclear test monitoring agency said on Tuesday that it had detected an “unusual seismic event” in North Korea, following weeks of speculation that a nuclear test was imminent in the country.

“We have detected an unusual seismic event in North Korea,” said Annika Thunborg, a spokeswoman for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization, an agency set up to monitor compliance with a ban on nuclear tests that has yet to come into effect.

The Vienna-based CTBTO said on Twitter that “our analysts are currently studying data.”

The CTBTO is the world’s independent body for monitoring possible breaches of the test ban, with more than 270 facilities established worldwide to pick up signs of any nuclear explosions.

Its stations use different kinds of technology to detect seismic indications as well as radioactive particles in the atmosphere.  (Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Eric Beech and Mohammad Zargham)

Study shows potential benefit of dark chocolate for liver disease patients

2010 study posted for filing

Contact: Isabelle Scali media.easl2010@cohnwolfe.com 44-771-743-5103 European Association for the Study of the Liver

Vienna, Austria, Thursday 15 April: Doctors could soon be prescribing a dose of dark chocolate to help patients suffering from liver cirrhosis and from dangerously high blood pressure in their abdomen, according to new research presented today at the International Liver CongressTM 2010, the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Liver in Vienna, Austria.

According to the Spanish research, eating dark chocolate reduces damage to the blood vessels of cirrhotic patients and also lowers blood pressure in the liver. Dark chocolate contains potent anti-oxidants which reduce the post-prandial (after-meal) blood pressure in the liver (or portal hypertension) associated with damaged liver blood vessels (endothelial dysfunction). The data also showed that eating dark chocolate may exert additional beneficial effects throughout the whole body. In comparison, white chocolate, which contains no beneficial ‘phytochemicals’, did not result in the same effects.

Professor Mark Thursz, MD FRCP, Vice Secretary of EASL and Professor of Hepatology, at Imperial College London said: “As well as advanced technologies and high science, it is important to explore the potential of alternative sources which can contribute to the overall wellbeing of a patient. This study shows a clear association between eating dark chocolate and portal hypertension and demonstrates the potential importance of improvements in the management of cirrhotic patients, to minimise the onset and impact of end stage liver disease and its associated mortality risks”.

Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver as a result of long-term, continuous damage to the liver . In cirrhosis, circulation in the liver is damaged by oxidative stress and reduced antioxidant systems. After eating, blood pressure in the abdominal veins usually increases due to increased blood flow to the liver.

This is particularly dangerous and damaging to cirrhotic patients as they already have increased blood pressure in the liver (portal hypertension) and elsewhere which, if severe, can cause blood vessel rupture. Thus, eating dark chocolate may ultimately prevent this potential threat to cirrhotic patients.

In this study 21 cirrhotic patients with end stage liver disease (child score 6.9±1.8;MELD 11±4; hepatic venous pressure gradient (HPVG*)16.6±3.8mmHg) were randomised to receive a standard liquid meal. Ten patients received the liquid meal containing dark chocolate (containing 85% cocoa, 0.55g of dark chocolate/Kg of body weight) while 11 patients received the liquid meal containing white chocolate which is devoid of cocoa flavonoids (anti-oxidant properties) according to body weight. HVPG, arterial pressure and portal blood flow (PBF)** were measured at baseline and 30 minutes after meal administration, using a US-Doppler.

Both meals caused a highly significant but similar increase in portal blood flow with a +24% increase in dark chocolate compared to +34% in those patients who received white chocolate. Interestingly, post-prandial hyperaemia*** was accompanied by an increase in HVPG resulting in a statistically significant increase (17.3±3.6mmHg to 19.1±2.6mmHg, p=0.07) for those patients eating dark chocolate and those receiving white chocolate (16.0±4.7mmHg to 19.7±4.1mmHg, p=0.003). Post-prandial increase in HVPG was markedly reduced in patients receiving dark chocolate (+10.3±16.3% Vs +26.3±12.7%, p=0.02).

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*HVPG is blood pressure in the liver

**PBF refers to blood flow in the liver

***Hyperaemia refers to increase blood flow to tissues

 

About EASL

 

EASL is the leading European scientific society involved in promoting research and education in hepatology. EASL attracts the foremost hepatology experts as members and has an impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education and promoting changes in European Liver policy.

EASL’s work continues throughout the year with numerous events and initiatives, including:

  • The International Liver CongressTM which lasts several days and attracts upwards of 7,500 participants
  • EASL meetings including Monothematic and Special conferences, Post Graduate courses and other EASL endorsed meetings that take place throughout the year
  • EASL Clinical and Basic Schools of Hepatology, a series of events covering different aspects in the field of hepatology
  • Journal of Hepatology published monthly with a readership of over 40,000
  • Presenting new initiatives for European liver policy change 

About The International Liver CongressTM 2010

 

The International Liver Congress™ 2010, the 45th annual meeting of the European Association for the study of the Liver, is being held at the Reed Messe Wien congress center, Vienna, Austria from April 14th-18th, 2010. The congress annually attracts over 7,500 clinicians and scientists from around the world and provides an opportunity to hear the latest research, perspectives and treatments of liver disease from principal experts in the field.

References:

 

1De Gottardi A. et al, Dark Chocolate attenuates the post –prandial increase in HVPG in patients with cirrhosis and portal hypertension. Abstract presented at The International Liver CongressTM 2010

2Cirrhosis Overview. NHS Choices. September 2009. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cirrhosis/Pages/Introduction.aspx accessed 19.03.10

Vitamin C boosts the reprogramming of adult cells into stem cells

2009 study posted for filing

Contact: Cathleen Genova cgenova@cell.com 617-397-2802 Cell Press

Famous for its antioxidant properties and role in tissue repair, vitamin C is touted as beneficial for illnesses ranging from the common cold to cancer and perhaps even for slowing the aging process. Now, a study published online on December 24th by Cell Press in the journal Cell Stem Cell uncovers an unexpected new role for this natural compound: facilitating the generation of embryonic-like stem cells from adult cells.

Over the past few years, we have learned that adult cells can be reprogrammed into cells with characteristics similar to embryonic stem cells by turning on a select set of genes. Although the reprogrammed cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), have tremendous potential for regenerative medicine, the conversion is extremely inefficient.

“The low efficiency of the reprogramming process has hampered progress with this technology and is indicative of how little we understand it. Further, this process is most challenging in human cells, raising a significant barrier for producing iPSCs and serious concerns about the quality of the cells that are generated,” explains senior study author Dr. Duanqing Pei from the South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Pei and colleagues measured the production of reactive oxygen species or ROS during reprogramming and discovered a potential link between high ROS and low reprogramming efficiency. They became particularly interested in antioxidants, hypothesizing that they might suppress ROS and cell senescence, which seems to be a major roadblock for the generation of iPSCs.

The researchers found that adding vitamin C, an essential nutrient that is abundant in citrus fruits, enhanced iPSC generation from both mouse and human cells. Vitamin C accelerated gene expression changes and promoted a more efficient transition to the fully reprogrammed state. Somewhat to their surprise, they found that other antioxidants do not have the same effect, but vitamin C does seem to act at least in part through slowing cell senescence.

“Our results highlight a simple way to improve iPSC generation and provide additional insight into the mechanistic basis of reprogramming,” concludes Dr. Pei. “It is also of interest that a vitamin with long-suspected anti-aging effects has such a potent influence on reprogramming, which can be considered a reversal of the aging process at the cellular level. It is likely that our work may stimulate further research in this area as well.”

###

The researchers include Miguel Angel Esteban, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Tao Wang, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Baoming Qin, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Jiayin Yang, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Dajiang Qin, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Jinglei Cai, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Wen Li1, Zhihui Weng, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Su Ni, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Keshi Chen, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Yuan Li, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Xiaopeng Liu, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Jianyong Xu, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Shiqiang Zhang, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Feng Li, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; Wenzhi He1, Krystyna Labuda, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Clinical and Experimental Traumatology, Vienna, Austria, Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration, Vienna, Austria, Yancheng Song, Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration, Vienna, Austria; Anja Peterbauer, Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration, Vienna, Austria, Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service of Upper Austria, Linz, Austria; Susanne Wolbank, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Clinical and Experimental Traumatology, Vienna, Austria, Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration, Vienna, Austria, Heinz Redl, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Clinical and Experimental Traumatology, Vienna, Austria, Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration, Vienna, Austria, Daozhang Cai, Austrian Cluster for Tissue Regeneration, Vienna, Austria; Lingwen Zeng, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China; and Duanqing Pei, South China Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China.

Smoking and natural disasters: Christchurch residents increase tobacco consumption post-earthquake

Contact: Lauren Anderson lauren.anderson@europeanlung.org European Lung Foundation

Vienna, Austria: The prevalence of smoking in Christchurch, New Zealand, increased following the 2010 earthquake, according to a new study.

The results of the study will be presented today (4 September 2012) at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual Congress in Vienna.

The 7.1-magnitude Christchurch earthquake, and subsequent aftershocks, have caused a huge amount of damage and dramatically changed the social, working and living conditions for residents in the city.

To investigate the effects of the disaster on smoking levels, researchers from the Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand, carried out interviews with 1,001 residents 15 months after the first earthquake. Participants were asked about their smoking habits before and after the earthquake.

The results showed that prior to the earthquake in August 2010, 319 people were not smoking at this time. Of this group, 76 people had smoked at least once after the earthquake, with 29 people from this group having more than 100 cigarettes since September 2010.

Of the 273 people who were smoking in August 2010, 93 had increased their consumption of tobacco. 53 people in this group attributed this increase to the earthquake and the subsequent changes in lifestyle.

Professor Lutz Beckert, from the Canterbury District Health Board, said: “Increased levels of smoking were found in Christchurch residents after the earthquake.  28% of people who were not smoking prior to the earthquake picked up the habit following the quakes. This suggests that exposure to trauma, such as a natural disaster, can prompt people to start smoking as they believe it is a valid way to deal with their anxiety over their experiences and coping for changes in lifestyle.

“It is important for healthcare professionals to be aware of this increased risk in the aftermath of a disaster, such as the Christchurch earthquake, so that they can be ready to provide the necessary support to residents before they turn to cigarettes.”

###

Notes to editors:

  • Abstract: Earthquake rattled Christchurch residents reach for cigarettes
  • Session: 470
  • Date and time: Wednesday 5 September, 08:30-10:30
  • Room: C1 

    Press Office at ERS Congress in Vienna (Saturday 1st September -Wednesday 5thSeptember 2012):

    Lauren Anderson: +43 6763315356 lauren.anderson@europeanlung.org

    David Sadler: +43 6767502294

Exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Could Increase Asthma Symptoms

Exposure to Common Toxic Substances Could Increase Asthma Symptoms

ScienceDaily (Aug. 31, 2012) — Children who are exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which were commonly used in a range of industrial products, could be at risk of an increase in asthma symptoms, according to new research.

The study will be presented in a poster discussion September 2, 2012 at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual Congress in Vienna.

PCBs were regularly used between 1930s and 1970s in a range of electrical equipment, lubricants and paint additives. They were eventually phased out due to the harm they were causing to the environment and animals.

Although they are not widely used now, the toxic substance does not break down easily. It can be transported in water and air and it can exist in the environment, particularly at waste sites, for a number of years.

Researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia examined 240 children to assess the impact PCBs are having on asthma symptoms. They measured the levels of PCBs found in their blood, along with three pesticides, and also assessed prevalence of wheeze, a common symptom of asthma.

The results found that overall, those with higher levels of PCBs were more likely to report wheeze (odds ratio 1.61). The findings also suggest that the link between PCBs and wheeze was stronger in non-atopic (non-allergic) asthma.

Lead author, Professor Sly, from the University of Queensland, said: “Despite PCBs being banned from use in many countries, people are still suffering from the effects of these toxic substances. Our findings suggest that people with high levels of the chemicals in their blood stream are suffering from higher levels of wheeze, a common asthma symptom.

“This could be due to high concentration levels being passed from a mother to a baby while in the womb, or PCBs may be ingested if a person consumes contaminated food. They could also be inhaled from contaminated hazardous waste sites.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120831203414.htm