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Día Internacional de la Mujer 2011.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \\\\\\\"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\\\\\\\" Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí. Más »

Entrega de Silla de Ruedas.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \\\\\\\"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\\\\\\\" Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí. Más »

Compartiendo con nuestras socias y socios de la tercera edad de Molino Abajo, Temoaya, Estado de México.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \\\\\\\"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\\\\\\\" Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí. Más »

Visita la página de “Código Ayuda A.C.” Aquí

Entrega de Reconocimiento por la AMS a la labor de Gabriela Goldsmith Presidenta de \\\\\\\"Código Ayuda A.C.” Más »

Día de la Niñez 2011 con nuestras socias y socios de San Lorenzo Tepaltitlán, Toluca, Estado de México.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \\\"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\\\\\\\" Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí. Más »

Entrega de Silla de Ruedas.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \\\"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\\\\\\\" Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí. Más »

“Yo Me Declaro Defensor” de los Defensores de Derechos Humanos

Participación en la campaña “Yo Me Declaro Defensor” de los Defensores de Derechos Humanos por la Alta Comisionada de los Derechos Humanos de la ONU Navy Pillay. Más »

Entrega de Reconocimiento al Lic. Enrique Peña Nieto por su apoyo como gobernador a los grupos vulnerables de nuestra Asociación.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \\\\\\\"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\\\\\\\" Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí. Más »

Compartiendo con nuestras socias y socios de la tercera edad en Molino Abajo, Temoaya, Estado de México.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \\\\\\\"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\\\\\\\" ¡Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí! Más »

Compartiendo con nuestras socias y socios de la tercera edad en Molino Abajo, Temoaya, Estado de México.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \\\\\\\"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\\\\\\\" ¡Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí! Más »

Compartiendo con nuestras socias y socios de la tercera edad en Molino Abajo, Temoaya, Estado de México.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \\\\\\\"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\\\\\\\" ¡Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí! Más »

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \\\\\\\"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\\\\\\\" ¡Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí! Más »

Thelma Dorantes Autora y Actriz principal de la obra de Teatro \\\\

Visita de Thelma Dorantes a las oficina de la Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \\\\\\\"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\\\\\\\" en Toluca, Estado de México. Más »

Thelma Dorantes Autora y Actriz principal de la obra de Teatro \\\\

Visita de Thelma Dorantes a las oficina de la Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \\\\\\\"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\\\\\\\" en Toluca, Estado de México. Más »

Thelma Dorantes Autora y Actriz principal de la obra de Teatro \\\\

Visita de Thelma Dorantes a las oficina de la Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \\\\\\\"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\\\\\\\" en Toluca, Estado de México. Más »

Premio Nacional del Trabajo 2012.

Entrega a los trabajadores de la Dirección de Organización y Desarrollo Administrativo de la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México del Premio Nacional del Trabajo 2012 por la Secretaría de Trabajo y Previsión Social del Gobierno de México. Más »

 

Category Archives: News

MyGoodness: Making charitable giving more effective

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News

Fuente: MIT News

It’s the holiday season, which to many people means a season of giving — to loved ones, colleagues, public radio and television, or to any number of the countless charities seeking support. Nearly a third of all annual charitable giving occurs in December, and many nonprofits raise as much as half of their annual funds from this year-end burst of giving.

With so many charities relying on these donations to achieve their goals, how do we choose between them? How do we know how much impact our dollars actually have?

Enter MyGoodness: an online game that aims to maximize the impact of charitable donations. Created by Iyad Rahwan and Edmond Awad of the MIT Media Lab’s Scalable Cooperation group, MyGoodness presents each player with a hypothetical $1,000 to spend on donations to various causes. Players are then faced with a series of 10 sets of choices between different charities, giving away $100 at each turn. By choosing between numbers and characteristics of people, geographic location, and types of aid, players are invited to better understand the effectiveness of their donation choices.

There are over 1 million registered charities in the United States alone, and many more worldwide. How do you choose among them?

Video: Scalable Cooperation group/MIT Media Lab

The MyGoodness team collaborated on the game with The Life You Can Save (TLYCS), a nonprofit organization founded by Peter Singer that identifies charities that deliver maximum impact. TLYCS helped with the design and advised the researchers on the magnitude of the different tradeoffs between charities. TLYCS is also helping MyGoodness back up its goals with real money: Two players will be randomly selected to receive $1,000 in real money to put toward their actual decisions in the game.

“We’re trying to promote a specific idea, which is that goodness is doing the best thing for the greatest number of people,” says Rawan, head of the Scalable Cooperation group. “This game is about life-saving charities, through different means: clean water, nutritious meals, medication, assault victim support. We take the position that saving the greatest number of lives is the right thing to do, regardless of where they are or how you’re saving them. Every life is the same and saving more lives is the ideal.”

MyGoodness takes players to some uncomfortable places, sharply underscoring certain biases and preferences. Like a charity-based trolley problem, the game asks us to choose, for example, between providing nutritious meals to 10 children in North America, or clean water to 25 people in northern Africa.

“Currently, only 6 percent of U.S. charitable donations go toward international causes, where you can get the most bang for your buck,” explains Charlie Besler, executive director of The Life You Can Save. “Meanwhile, every day, over 7,500 children die from preventable causes. We’re trying to get people to reconsider the notion that all donations should go to domestic causes, and to give in a thoughtful way.”

It’s easy to let our own experiences and biases dictate our decisions. It’s also easy to choose a charity that looks good, based on little or no information (only about 35 percent of people do any research before giving to a charity). MyGoodness seeks to promote a more objective, efficacy-based process, even if it means overcoming an impulse to favor one type of person over another.

“We want people to reflect on the values they use when they decide how to give to charity. The game presents different merits to them, they confront the discomfort that comes with choosing, and in the process learn something about themselves,” says Rahwan.  

By offering the real cash incentive in selecting two random players to receive $1,000 (one on Christmas, the other on New Year’s day), the team hopes MyGoodness will make people feel that they have a real stake in the game. This is doubly true since the game does offer the option to keep some money or give it to a relative, which means that if either of the two players who wins the real money has made those choices in the game, that’s what will happen.

But the MyGoodness team is confident that players will embrace the opportunity to reflect on effective giving, as well as choose more effectively.

 “We know that people are good. We want to help them be better,” Rahwan says.

MyGoodness can be played at mygoodness.mit.edu.


Romero, alumnus Fishman elected to American Law Institute

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News

Fuente: Princeton News

The American Law Institute (ALI) has elected 44 new members including Ramona Romero, general counsel of Princeton University, and Paul Fishman, Class of 1978, who is a distinguished visiting fellow at Seton Hall University School of Law.

Ramona Romero

The ALI, which is based in Philadelphia, was founded in 1923 and is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize and improve the law. The ALI drafts, discusses, revises and publishes Restatements of the Law, Model Codes, and Principles of Law that are enormously influential in the courts and legislatures, as well as in legal scholarship and education.

“I am deeply impressed by the variety and substance of the achievements of our new members,” said ALI President David Levi. “It is important that diversity of experience and perspective is reflected in the institute’s membership. We look forward to working with these wise and accomplished lawyers, judges and academics who are committed to the important work of the ALI.”

Romero joined Princeton in December 2014. A lawyer who has held senior positions in government and the private sector, she was general counsel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture before coming to Princeton.

Before joining the faculty of Seton Hall, Fishman served as the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey. 

Election of these new members brings ALI’s number of elected members to 2,919.

MIT conference seeks solutions for reconstruction in devastated Caribbean

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News

Fuente: MIT News

This fall’s record-breaking hurricanes Maria and Irma left a swath of devastation across the Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico, Granada, Dominica, and others. Photos of severely damaged or demolished houses, and statistics about the scale of the destruction and the slow pace of recovery efforts, reveal a tragic level of suffering in an already economically ravaged region.

In a two-day conference at MIT on Dec. 12-13, leaders from the region brainstormed with researchers from MIT and elsewhere to develop strategies for not just rebuilding the islands’ ruined infrastructure, but making it better and more resilient to the ever-growing threat of powerful hurricanes. The conference was co-hosted by the MIT Energy Initiative and Environmental Solutions Initiative.

Ricardo Rosselló ’01, the governor of Puerto Rico and an MIT alumnus with a degree in chemical engineering, cast the terrible damage suffered by his and neighboring islands as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to rebuild in a way that would be significantly more resilient in the face of future natural disasters. That could include, he suggested, creating a less-centralized electric grid and building housing according to stronger codes for withstanding high winds and flooding.

Already, before the hurricanes struck, his administration had proposed a 15-year vision for a new, more resilient electrical grid. “Now, we can think about rebuilding it in three years, in a much bolder and more modern way,” he said, “and make sure we use this crisis as an opportunity” to achieve lasting improvements. “We may use this to make Puerto Rico a model for the Caribbean.” Similarly, he said, instead of just rebuilding the 10 schools that were destroyed, given that the school population has declined by half, they may build “three that are new and modern and resilient,” making better use of limited resources.

As an example of the innovative possibilities, he cited an ongoing dialog he has been having with Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SolarCity, who has offered to create a model solar-based power system for Puerto Rico. Rosselló says he has been in communication with Musk and others at Tesla, including several representatives of the company who have come to the island to work on a detailed proposal for a grid largely based on solar panels and battery storage systems.

In an interview with MIT News, Rosselló described his response to a tweet from Musk: “I sent a tweet out challenging him, saying ‘you want to show your model is scalable, and Puerto Rico offers you a platform to do it.’ And then the conversation started. I spoke to him a few times, and yesterday [Dec. 11] we just announced a public-private partnership model. We received an unsolicited proposal from Tesla, which includes at least the first phase, of 600 megawatts of generation using solar and batteries.” If the proposal gets accepted, then it will be opened up as a formal request for proposals to see if anyone else could match the offer. “We’re very excited about Tesla’s involvement,” he said.

At this point, he said, about 63 percent of Puerto Rico’s power grid has been brought back online, and 95 percent of residents now have access to potable water. Still, about half a million homes were severely damaged or destroyed, he said, so the rebuilding effort will go on for a very long time. And all of this has happened on an island that was already battered by what Rosselló called a “hurricane of the manmade kind,” namely the territory’s $70-plus billion debt.

Potentially making things even worse, he said, would be passage of the tax bill now before Congress, which he said would unfairly punish Puerto Rico with the burden of extra tariffs, at the worst possible time. “It is weird that we have to go to Congress and ask them to treat us the same as everyone else,” he said. “The tax reform act levies a severe tax on Puerto Rico, by treating us as a foreign country.”

The two-day conference also featured Keith Mitchell, the prime minister of Grenada, which was also battered by the back-to-back hurricanes. Mitchell also emphasized the importance of not just restoring but revamping the electrical systems. “Electricity is such a critical factor in reconstruction,” he said. “Without it, it’s going to be impossible to recover.” On the nearby island nation of Dominica, which he toured recently, he said “every electric pole is on the ground. It was one of the most painful scenes I’ve ever had to witness.”

He said that during the recent international climate conference in Paris, he was able to secure commitments for $4 billion in reconstruction aid, and billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson has offered to help in mobilizing the private sector to provide more aid. But that is still far short of what the Caribbean region will need to rebuild, he said.

And, echoing Rosselló’s vision of the need for creating an improved electrical system, he said that “affordable clean energy provides the greatest potential for economic revitalization of the region.” It’s also vital, he said, because the global warming produced by greenhouse gas emissions poses “an existential threat for all Caribbean nations” due to the potential for extreme sea level rise and more powerful hurricanes.

In deciding on appropriate methods of reconstruction, “there is a tension, by default, in acting quickly while bearing in mind the long term,” said John Fernández, director of MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative. While there is great urgency in restoring the basic services of water, power, and roads that people depend on, he said, it’s also important at every step to ask: “How do you rebuild in a way such that what you end up with is better” than what was there before?

Overall, the conference was intended to be the first step in an ongoing process of involving MIT in the planning and execution of innovative reconstruction for the region, rather than simply aiming to rebuild things as they were, said Robert Stoner, director of MIT’s Tata Center for Technology and Design.

For example, it turns out that of the solar panels that did exist on the islands, home-based rooftop panels in general survived better than large solar installations. But even among the large arrays, some were completely destroyed, while others suffered relatively minor damage, so studying the details of what worked and what didn’t could provide important lessons for future construction. Similarly, studying which buildings stood up to the winds and which were flattened by them could lead to important changes in building codes to foster greater resilience.

The conference looked at three broad areas of reconstruction, and how to achieve improvements in each of them: the electrical system; settlements (not just individual buildings, but also the roads and delivery systems that make them function); and the water, sewage, and other key infrastructure systems needed for survival.

The next step of MIT’s participation in the rebuilding will include several teams of students who will be spending January’s Independent Activities Period in the region, assessing damage and working with local people to develop appropriate solutions. Then, through further meetings, the Institute will try to figure out how best to continue the efforts at working together to develop and implement innovative solutions, Stoner said. “We have an opportunity to use planning and computational tools that didn’t exist” when most of the region’s present structures were built, he said.

“I hope this can be the start of a great collaboration,” Rosselló said.


Multi-objective MILP model for distribution systems reliability optimization: A lightning protection system design approach

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News

Fuente: Science Direct

Highlights

Explicit model for EPDS reliability and lightning phenomenon interdependency.
Multi-objective reliability problem is formulated through a goal programing model.
SAIFI and MAIFIE reliability indexes and associated costs are modeled considering LPS.
LPS solutions, area characteristics and overcurrent based protection are considered.

Abstract

Lightning phenomenon is the main cause of power systems faults. These faults may cause momentary or permanent service interruptions, thus system reliability is inherently interdependent with lightning phenomenon. A literature review will show that state-of-the-art solutions have yet to present mathematical explicit models for the interdependency of such two phenomena. In this context, this paper presents a multi-objective mixed integer linear programing (MILP) model for distribution systems reliability optimization while considering lightning phenomenon interdependency. The presented multi-objective MILP model aims the simultaneous minimization of SAIFI and MAIFIE reliability indices and associated costs. These goals are achieved by optimizing the lightning protection system design, which includes selection and allocation of different types of grounding systems along distribution feeders, while considering simultaneously network characteristics. Validation is done using real-life 81 bus 23 kV distribution network data. Test results highlight the efficiency of the presented model in improving system reliability while reducing associated costs. The ease of implementation of design, formulation of parameters and encouraging test results indicate potential for real-life application. The multi-objective MILP model is currently used by a distribution utility as a reliability-oriented tool.

Keywords

  • Distribution systems reliability;
  • Lightning protection system design;
  • Explicit mathematical models;
  • Multi-objective optimization;
  • Power quality

Assessment of Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli O157:H7 growth on lettuce exposed to isothermal and non-isothermal conditions

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News

Fuente: Science Direct

Highlights

Salmonella grew on lettuce under isothermal and nonisothermal conditions (5-40 °C).
E. coli O157:H7 grew on lettuce under isothermal and nonisothermal storage (5-42 °C).
Negligible growth time parameter (ς) was proposed.
ς to keep lettuce without refrigeration is 1.3 h, considering these pathogens.
These pathogens do not grow expressively on lettuce for 80 h under refrigeration (5 °C).

Abstract

This study aimed to assess the growth of Salmonella and Escherichia coli O157:H7 on lettuce exposed to isothermal and non-isothermal conditions. Pathogens were inoculated on lettuce separately and stored under isothermal condition at 5 °C, 10 °C, 25 °C, 37 °C for both bacteria, at 40 °C for Salmonella and 42 °C for E. coli O157:H7. Growth curves were built by fitting the data to the Baranyi’s DMFit, generating R2 values greater than 0.92 for primary models. Secondary models were fitted with Ratkowsky equations, generating R2 values higher than 0.91 and RMSE lower than 0.1. Experimental data showed that both bacteria could grow at all temperatures. Also, the growth of both pathogens under non-isothermal conditions was studied simulating temperatures found from harvest to supermarkets in Brazil. Models were analysed by R2, RMSE, bias factor (Bf) and accuracy factor (Af). Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 were able to grow in this temperature profile and the models could predict the behavior of these microorganisms on lettuce under isothermal and non-isothermal conditions. Based on the results, a negligible growth time (ς) was proposed to provide the time which lettuce could be exposed to a specific temperature and do not present an expressive growth of bacteria. The ς was developed based on Baranyi’s primary model equation and on growth potential concept. ς is the value of lag phase added of the time necessary to population grow 0.5 log CFU/g. The ς of lettuce exposed to 37 °C was 1.3 h, while at 5 °C was 3.3 days.

Keywords

  • Leafy greens;
  • Predictive modeling;
  • Negligible growth time (ς);
  • Temperature;
  • Vegetable;
  • Microbial pathogen

Analytical expression for LVRT of BDFIG with enhanced current control to CW and reactive power support from GSC

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News

Fuente: Science Direct

Highlights

An enhanced CW current control is proposed to suppress current oscillation.
Analytical expressions of PW, CW, and rotor currents and CW voltage are proposed.
Improved LVRT effect and accuracy of the analytical expressions are validated.
Capacity of the GSC is utilized to improve the reactive power support capability.

Abstract

During the low-voltage ride-through (LVRT) of the brushless doubly-fed induction generator (BDFIG), the oscillation of the power winding (PW) flux will induce high current in the control winding (CW), causing possible violation to the current constraint and weakening the power support capability of the machine-side converter (MSC). The existing PI control is designed based on the steady-state operation thus sensitive to the intense oscillation of the PW flux. To isolate the CW current control from the disturbances of the oscillating PW flux, the enhanced CW current control is newly proposed by introducing the change rates of the PW flux and the rotor flux to the inner-loop current control of the MSC as the feed-forward compensation terms. The analytical expressions of the PW current, the CW current, the rotor current, and the CW voltage are newly derived to quantify the LVRT effect of the enhanced control. With the DC-voltage constraint considered, the capacity of the grid-side converter (GSC) is newly utilized to improve the reactive power support capability. Dynamic simulation results show that the enhanced control reduces the oscillation of the CW current, the PW current and the rotor current. The accuracy of the analytical expression is validated by comparing it with the step-by-step simulation results. The selected references of the GSC current provide the additional reactive power support without violation to the constraint of the DC-voltage.

Keywords

  • Brushless doubly-fed induction generator (BDFIG);
  • Enhanced CW current control;
  • Low-voltage ride-through (LVRT);
  • Analytical expression;
  • Reactive power support

Spanning Disciplines in the Search for Life Beyond Earth

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News

Fuente: Astrobiology Magazine: Latest News

An illustration of Kepler-186f, the first Earth-size planet discovered within a star’s habitable zone. Scientists now know of thousands of exoplanets, but our knowledge is limited because we can’t yet view them directly. Credit: NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

The search for life beyond Earth is riding a surge of creativity and innovation. Following a gold rush of exoplanet discovery over the past two decades, it is time to tackle the next step: determining which of the known exoplanets are proper candidates for life.

Scientists from NASA and two universities presented new results dedicated to this task in fields spanning astrophysics, Earth science, heliophysics and planetary science — demonstrating how a cross-disciplinary approach is essential to finding life on other worlds — at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union on Dec. 13, 2017, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“The potentially habitable real estate in the universe has greatly expanded,” said Giada Arney, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “We now know of thousands of exoplanets, but what we know about them is limited because we can’t yet see them directly.”

Currently, scientists mostly rely on indirect methods to identify and study exoplanets; such methods can tell them whether a planet is Earth-like or how close it is to its parent star. But this isn’t yet enough to say whether a planet is truly habitable, or suitable for life — for this, scientists must ultimately be able to observe exoplanets directly.

Direct-imaging instrument and mission designs are underway, but in the meantime, Arney explained, scientists are making progress with tools already at their disposal. They are building computational models to simulate what habitable planets might look like and how they would interact with their parent stars. To validate their models, they are looking to planets within our own solar system, as analogs for the exoplanets we may one day discover. This, of course, includes Earth itself — the planet we know best, and the only one we know of yet that is habitable.

“In our quest for life on other worlds, it is important for scientists to consider exoplanets from a holistic sense — that is, from the perspective of multiple disciplines,” Arney said. “We need these multi-disciplinary studies to examine exoplanets as the complex worlds shaped by multiple astrophysical, planetary and stellar processes, rather than just distant points in the sky.”

Studying Earth as an Exoplanet

When humans start collecting the first direct images of exoplanets, even the closest image will appear as a handful of pixels. What can we learn about planetary life from just a smattering of pixels?

Stephen Kane, an exoplanets expert at the University of California, Riverside, has come up with one way to answer that question using NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR. Kane explained that he and his colleagues take DSCOVR’s high-resolution images — typically used to document Earth’s global weather patterns and other climate-related events — and degrade them down to images just a few pixels in size. Kane runs the DSCOVR images through a noise filter that attempts to simulate the interference expected from an exoplanet mission.

“From just a handful of pixels, we try to extract as much information that we know about Earth as we can,” Kane said. “If we can do it accurately for Earth, we can do this for planets around other stars.”

Left, an image of Earth from the DSCOVR-EPIC camera. Right, the same image degraded to a resolution of 3-by-3 pixels, similar to what researchers will see in future exoplanet observations. Credits: NOAA/NASA/DSCOVR

DSCOVR takes a picture every half hour and it’s been in orbit for two years. Its more than 30,000 images are by far the longest continuous record of full-disk observations from space in existence. By observing how the brightness of Earth changes when mostly land is in view compared with mostly water, Kane has been able to reverse-engineer Earth’s albedo, obliquity, rotation rate and even seasonal variation — something that has yet to be measured directly for exoplanets — all of which could potentially influence a planet’s ability to support life.

Searching for Other Venuses

Much the way scientists use Earth as a case-study for habitable planets, they also use planets within the solar system — and therefore planets they are more familiar with — as studies for what makes planets uninhabitable.

Kane also studies Earth’s sister planet, Venus, where the surface is 850 degrees Fahrenheit and the atmosphere — filled with sulfuric acid — bogs down on the surface with 90 times the pressure of Earth’s. Since Earth and Venus are so close in size and yet so different in terms of their prospects for habitability, he is interested in developing methods for distinguishing Earth- and Venus-analogs in other planetary systems, as a way of identifying potentially habitable terrestrial planets.

Kane explained that he works to identify Venus analogs in data from NASA’s Kepler by defining the “Venus Zone,” where planetary insolation — how much light a given planet receives from its host star — plays a key role in atmospheric erosion and greenhouse gas cycles.

“The fate of Earth and Venus and their atmospheres are tied to each other,” Kane said. “By searching for similar planets, we are trying to understand their evolution, and ultimately how often developing planets end up a Venus-like hellscape.”

Since Earth, right, and Venus, left, are so close in size and yet so different in terms of their prospects for habitability, Stephen Kane, an exoplanets expert at the University of California, Riverside, is interested in developing methods for distinguishing Earth- and Venus-analogs in other planetary systems, as a way of identifying potentially habitable terrestrial planets. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ames

Modeling StarPlanet Interactions

While Kane talked about planets, Goddard space scientist Katherine Garcia-Sage focused on the way planets interact with their host star. Scientists must also consider how the qualities of a host star and a planet’s electromagnetic environment — which can shield it from harsh stellar radiation — either hinder or help habitability. Earth’s magnetic field, for example, protects the atmosphere from the harsh solar wind, the Sun’s constant outpouring of charged solar material, which can strip away atmospheric gases in a process called ionospheric escape.

Garcia-Sage described research on Proxima b, an exoplanet that is four light-years away and known to exist within the habitable zone of its red dwarf star, Proxima Centauri. But just because it’s in the habitable zone — the right distance from a star where water could pool on a planet’s surface — doesn’t necessarily mean it’s habitable.

While scientists can’t yet tell whether Proxima b is magnetized, they can use computational models to simulate how well an Earth-like magnetic field would protect its atmosphere at the exoplanet’s close orbit to Proxima Centauri, which frequently produces violent stellar storms. The effects of such storms on a given planet’s space environment are collectively known as space weather.

“We need to understand a planet’s space weather environment to understand whether a planet is habitable,” Garcia-Sage said. “If the star is too active, it can endanger an atmosphere, which is necessary for providing liquid water. But there’s a fine line: There is some indication that radiation from a star can produce building blocks for life.”

A red dwarf star — one of the most common types of stars in our galaxy — like Proxima Centauri strips away atmosphere when extreme ultraviolet radiation ionizes atmospheric gases, producing a swath of electrically charged particles that can stream out into space along magnetic field lines.

In this illustration, extreme ultraviolet light from an active red dwarf star cause ions to escape from an exoplanet’s atmosphere. Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

The scientists calculated how much radiation Proxima Centauri produces on average, based on observations from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. At Proxima b’s orbit, the scientists found their Earth-like planet encountered bouts of extreme ultraviolet radiation hundreds of times greater than Earth does from the Sun.

Garcia-Sage and her colleagues designed a computer model to study whether an Earth-like planet — with Earth’s atmosphere, magnetic field and gravity — in Proxima b’s orbit could hold on to its atmosphere. They examined three factors that drive ionospheric escape: stellar radiation, temperature of the neutral atmosphere, and size of the polar cap, the region over which the escape happens.

The scientists show that with the extreme conditions likely to exist at Proxima b, the planet could lose an amount equivalent to the entirety of Earth’s atmosphere in 100 million years — just a fraction of Proxima b’s 4 billion years thus far. Even in the best-case scenario, that much mass escapes over 2 billion years, well within the planet’s lifetime.

Mars, a Laboratory for Studying Exoplanets

While Garcia-Sage spoke of magnetized planets, David Brain, planetary scientist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, spoke of Mars — a planet without a magnetic field.

“Mars is a great laboratory for thinking about exoplanets,” Brain said. “We can use Mars to help constrain our thinking about a variety of rocky exoplanets where we don’t have observations yet.”

Brain’s research uses observations from NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, mission to ask the question: How would Mars have evolved if it were orbiting a different kind of star? The answer provides information for how rocky planets — not unlike our own — could develop differently in different situations.

It is thought that Mars once carried water and an atmosphere that might have made it hospitable to Earth-like life. But Mars lost much of its atmosphere over time through a variety of chemical and physical processes — MAVEN has observed similar atmospheric loss on the planet since its launch in late 2013.

Brain, a MAVEN co-investigator, and his colleagues applied MAVEN’s insights to a hypothetical simulation of a Mars-like planet orbiting an M-class star — commonly known as a red dwarf star. In this imaginary situation, the planet would receive about five to 10 times more ultraviolet radiation than the real Mars does, which in turn speeds up atmospheric escape to much higher rates. Their calculations indicate that the planet’s atmosphere could lose three to five times as many charged particles and about five to 10 times more neutral particles.

Such a rate of atmospheric loss suggests that orbiting at the edge of the habitable zone of a quiet M-class star, instead of our Sun, could shorten the habitable period for the planet by a factor of about five to 20.

To receive the same amount of starlight as Mars receives from our Sun, a planet orbiting an M-type red dwarf would have to be positioned much closer to its star than Mercury is to the Sun. Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

“But I wouldn’t give up hope for rocky planets orbiting M dwarfs,” Brain said. “We picked a worst-case scenario. Mars is a small planet, and lacks a magnetic field so solar wind can more effectively strip away its atmosphere. We also picked a Mars that isn’t geologically active, so there’s no internal source of atmosphere. If you changed any one factor, such a planet might be a happier place.”

Each one of these studies contributes just one piece to a much larger puzzle — to determine what characteristics we should look for, and need to recognize, in the search for a planet that might support life. Together, such interdisciplinary research lays the groundwork to ensure that, as new missions to observe exoplanets more clearly are developed, we’ll be ready to determine if they might just host life.

Young classical music fans show their support for KUSC

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News

Fuente: University of Southern California

Alan Chapman, right, called Owen Dupuy KUSC’s “biggest 13-year-old fan” after he motivated his parents to contribute to the pledge drive of his favorite station. (USC Photo/Eric Lindberg)
For as long as he can remember, KUSC has been a big part of Owen Dupuy’s life — almost all 13 years of it.

The station’s classical music often plays in the background as the Irvine teenager does his homework, eats dinner with his family or drifts off to sleep. So when he heard some of his favorite KUSC announcers, like Alan Chapman and Jim Svejda, asking for pledges from listeners, he knew he had to act.

“It’s important to keep this type of great music on the air, so during the membership drives, they need our support,” he said. “Remember, the station gets about 75 percent of its total operating budget from people like me.”

He pestered his parents to contribute. “I think he must have asked us for two days straight,” his mother, Sue Dupuy, added. “He finally said, ‘Mom, this is really the last day, we have to do it now.’”

The young teen dipped into his allowance and gave $20, although he is quick to point out that he waited until a matching challenge to ensure that his support was doubled.

Dupuy’s encyclopedic knowledge of all things KUSC — he rattles off the titles and air times of various shows without a second thought — bowled over employees during his recent tour of the station. It prompted Chapman to proclaim him KUSC’s “biggest 13-year-old fan.”

But he isn’t the only youngster who has been inspired to donate to the radio station. During every membership drive, dozens of pledges come in from children who want to make a contribution. It’s an encouraging sign for station leaders, who hope to build a new generation of listeners who appreciate classical music.

Striking a chord

“When we hear those kinds of stories, we’re really excited,” said Minnie Prince, KUSC’s executive director of development. “It’s helping introduce kids to classical music.”

Gail Eichenthal, a longtime on-air announcer and KUSC’s chief engagement officer, said that children’s support gives the KUSC staff a lift.

Not only are they listening — which in itself is a thrill — but they feel a connection to the station and want it to succeed.

Gail Eichenthal

“Not only are they listening — which in itself is a thrill — but they feel a connection to the station and want it to succeed.”

In recent years, the station has made a concerted effort to build up its engagement efforts with children and local communities, including initiatives like collecting lightly used instruments from listeners to donate to public school and afterschool music programs in need.

A recent event called KUSC Kids Discovery Day brought thousands of children to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County for live performances by artists from LA Opera and the USC Thornton School of Music, interactive musical games and ukulele lessons. In addition to planning a return to the museum in April 2018 for a similar event, KUSC is holding “playground popup” concerts — bringing live shows to local public elementary schools.

“We definitely want to spark some excitement about live performance, and perhaps an interest in playing music themselves,” Eichenthal said. “If you haven’t had any access to classical music, it can be foreign and scary and intimidating. We really want to try to knock down those walls.”

All the right notes

One young fan who doesn’t need any encouragement when it comes to classical music is Benjamin Roberts. Before leaving the driveway with his dad in Calabasas to head to school, the 5-year-old has the opportunity to pick a radio station, and more often than not, he flips the dial to 91.5 FM.

Benjamin Roberts

Five year-old Benjamin Roberts knows many composers and pieces upon hearing them on KUSC. (USC Photo/Eric Lindberg)

On one occasion, his father had to take a call while on the road, and when he hung up, Benjamin exclaimed that the station had played a piece by Tchaikovsky. His passion for the genre became apparent as he showed off a book featuring 12 top composers and recited their full names, even though the cover only lists their surnames.

“The more classical music I’ve heard, the more interesting it sounds,” he said. “Some of it is kind of wild and crazy and gets me really excited, and some of it is really calm.”

It’s thrilling for Matt Roberts, Benjamin’s father, to listen to his son describe his favorite classical pieces — Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 and Beethoven’s Für Elise. His own father often listened to KUSC or classical music CDs on the drive to school when he was a boy, so it feels like he is continuing a family tradition.

“It’s a beautiful thing to pass this on to my son like my dad passed it on to me,” he said. “What’s also great about this whole experience is that it was never forced on him. It was just sort of organic, and he gravitated toward it quite naturally.”

The Roberts family had a recent opportunity to tour the KUSC studios, and Chapman even had Benjamin record a short message to play during an upcoming pledge drive. The recording ended up on the air a few weeks later, prompting calls from friends and family who happened to hear a familiar voice encouraging listeners to support the station.

Chapman also had Owen Dupuy try out the microphone and headphones during his visit, and the 13-year-old was a natural. He quickly launched into a story about how his family first started listening to the station to lull his older brother to sleep when he was a baby. Sue Dupuy and her husband, Roger, had tried everything to calm down their wailing infant, but nothing worked.

“My dad thought for a moment, then flipped a switch,” Owen said. “It was some German opera on KUSC, and that’s what finally made him calm down and go to sleep.”

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Is Netflix bad for you? How binge-watching could hurt your health

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News

Fuente: University of Southern California

Before you know it, you’ve watched the whole season. (Photo/iStock)
Back in the day, you’d wait a whole week for the next episode of your favorite TV show. Now we can watch the whole series in one sitting — and many of us do.

With the advent of streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, binge-watching has become the new normal. But this new habit of watching hours of back-to-back television could take a toll on us — particularly when it comes to sleep.

When you’re sleep-deprived, nothing good happens.

Raj Dasgupta

“When you’re sleep-deprived, nothing good happens,” said Raj Dasgupta, a physician in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine reported that binge-watching could lead to sleep deprivation. The study looked at 423 young adults, 80 percent of whom called themselves binge-watchers, bingeing an average of 3 hours and 8 minutes.

Everyone knows sleep is a necessary human function that helps the mind and body repair: It’s essential in warding off disease and maintaining memory. Adults are advised to get seven to eight hours of sleep — but these days, Dasgupta said, millennials are scraping by with as little as six hours.

When we’re deprived of sleep, lots of stuff can go wrong. For one, anxiety and depression can increase. That makes us prone to mistakes, which can stress us out more, Dasgupta said.

Research shows binge-watchers report higher levels of loneliness and depression. But they do say their binge-watching is sometimes helpful in social interactions, giving them something to talk about with friends and colleagues.

And Netflix knows what they’re fighting, tweeting in April that “Sleep is my greatest enemy.” The streaming platform reports its viewers take in at least two hours a day of their favorite shows.

Technology makes it easy

It’s not surprising we’re glued to the tube. The platforms have adapted to the habit, according to Wendy Wood, Provost Professor of psychology and business at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Once, you had to physically get off the couch to change the channel. Then, Wood said, the remove control came along.

Netflix has taken this one step further … You just sit there.

Wendy Wood

“Netflix has taken this one step further,” she said. “It automatically gives you the next program in a series without you making any decisions at all. You just sit there and the next episode is queued up and it plays.”

With only seconds to decide, Dasgupta joked, “That’s not enough time to even grab the remote.”

It also tricks your brain. Let’s say you’re watching a suspenseful show and the episode ends on a cliffhanger. That excitement is keeping your brain aroused and making it hard to transition to a sleep state. Plus, it’s luring you to watch a bit more.

Netflix reported that horror and thrillers — such as Breaking Bad and The Fall — are binged the quickest, with viewers watching an average of 2.5 hours daily.

Lack of sleep can have significant long-term effects, according to Dave Baron, a psychiatrist at the Keck School of Medicine.

“It affects the brain’s ability to do all the things the brain does,” he said, noting its impact on everything from heart health to cognition, such as planning and decision-making.

What to do about it

To keep from compromising those important hours of shut-eye, Dasgupta recommends setting some limits — such as deciding ahead of time how much TV you’ll watch. He also suggests turning off the episode before the cliffhanger, maybe during a slow part in the middle.

It’s also recommended to give yourself a consistent bedtime and wakeup time. That gets the body into a rhythm and improves sleep quality, Baron pointed out.

Wood, a Netflix customer herself, notes users can turn the “autoplay” function off. But she added: “Personally, I haven’t turned mine off yet.”

Like any guilty pleasure, she said, “In moderation, it’s great.”

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Expanded fitness facilities at Lyon Center, USC Village help Trojans stay in shape

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News

Fuente: University of Southern California

The renovated F45 training room in the Lyon Center is one of the most popular workout spaces. (Photo/Courtesy of USC Recreational Sports)
Fitness is easier to achieve than ever at USC, as students are enjoying new, state-of-the-art and significantly renovated recreational facilities.

Over the summer, the 28-year-old Lyon Center underwent the largest facelift in its history. The gym, which gets up to 3,500 users a day, opened this fall with new Olympic weight-training equipment, cardio machines and a freshly built F45 room.

And a new, 30,000 square-foot fitness complex opened along with the new USC Village, vastly increasing the indoor recreation space available to Trojans.

It’s the biggest increase in workout space since the Lyon Center opened in 1989.

Ainsley Carry

“It’s the biggest increase in workout space since the Lyon Center opened in 1989,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Ainsley Carry. “This has transformed student wellness at USC.”

The new and improved recreational spaces are part of a $10 million investment to enhance student facilities across campus.

Power lifting and free weights

The fitness complex at USC Village features power-lifting cages, benches and dumbbells, free weights and stacking stations, plus nearly a hundred cardio machines.

Among the new fitness offerings at that gym is the Queenax, a suspended bodyweight training system that includes a boxing system on wheels.

The sleek new F45 room in the Lyon Center is home to what has been the most popular workout class among Trojans since it launched last spring. The 45-minute classes focus on cardio and weight training through six body movements: squats, lunges, hip hinges, upper body pushing, and upper body pulling and rotation.

Queenax suspended bodyweight training

Queenax suspended bodyweight training is one of the new offerings in USC Village. (Photo/Courtesy of USC Recreational Sports)

Senior Matt Sanchez said he loves the new spaces.

“There has been a huge drop in wait times for equipment, like benches and barbells, so now I’m able to have a better-quality workout in a shorter time,” said the accounting major, who visits one of the two gyms at least six times a week.

“The new studios for classes like F45 and Queenax make me feel like I’m getting a top-of-the-line fitness experience at USC, something I couldn’t say before.”

Students, faculty and staff can use the two University Park Campus facilities from 6 a.m. to midnight weekdays and from 11 a.m. to midnight weekends. Members can also participate in 16 types of group fitness classes, which take place daily from the early mornings to late evenings.

For more information about recreational facilities, fitness classes, and club and intramural sports at USC, visit the USC Recreational Sports website.

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