How Bad Do You Want It?

first_imgDo you want what you want so much that you will get up in the lonely hours of the morning to work on it? Are you willing to stop hitting the snooze button on your life to have what you want?Do you want it so badly that you will stay up late into the evening doing the work it takes to have what it is you want? Does your desire to get what you want keep you up at night?Will you abandon the novelties and the distractions and invest your time and energy in moving towards what you really want instead? Are you willing to give it that kind of disciplined focus?Are you willing to learn what you need to learn? Do you want it that bad enough to go back to square one and start over with a different knowledge base? Are you willing to unlearn?Are you willing to scrap what you have always believed and try on new beliefs? Can you delete your self-limiting beliefs and replace them with an empowering set of beliefs that will support you getting what you really want?Are you willing to ignore the cynics, the skeptics, and the critics who will do everything in the power to remind you that what you want isn’t worth fighting for, can’t be achieved, and even if it could be you wouldn’t be the one to achieve it?Do you want what you want bad enough to do the things that make you uncomfortable? Are you willing to stretch yourself more than you have ever stretched yourself?Are you prepared to fail visibly, embarrassingly, and gloriously and rise from the ashes to try again and again? Will you run through this cycle enough times to get what you want?Are you really willing to pay the full price for what you want, whatever the price? Do you understand what that price is?A single “no” answer to any of these questions means you don’t want it bad enough. Now how bad do you want it?last_img read more

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Ten Popular Ideas About Sales That Aren’t Exactly True

first_imgThere are all kinds of ideas about what works and what doesn’t work in sales. Some of it contains a truth, but not the whole truth.Buyers are doing a ton of research. It’s true that buyers are doing research. Maybe some are 57%, 67%, or 117% through their buying process before they reach out to a salesperson. But many of your dream clients have bought what you sell before, have been called on by your competitors for years, and don’t do any research at all. Some are too busy. And why should they do so much research, your competitor’s phone call is coming in the next few minutes.The buying process matters. Your sales process doesn’t. Much of the current wisdom suggests that your sales process is no longer important and what matters now is the buyer’s buying process. It’s true your sales process needs to take account of your prospect’s buying process. But it’s criminal negligence to suggest you don’t need a sales process.Technology makes prospecting easier. Technology makes information acquisition easier. It might even allow you to warm up relationships. But prospecting is still the most difficult part of selling right now (ask anyone who has to open new opportunities). More still, the technology does little to help a salesperson that is unprepared to create enough value to command time. Bad prospecting is still bad prospecting.People don’t like being sold. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen anybody do what I would call a truly hard sell. It’s true that no one likes to be pressured to buy. But people do like working with smart, savvy, resourceful salespeople who can help them improve their results.Marketing is supposed to provide ready to buy leads. Marketing’s job is to drive awareness. It’s to help create demand. You could add more responsibilities here, but once you get so far down the continuum that you get to “ready-to-buy leads,” you’ve gone to far. If the lead was ready to sign the paperwork, marketing could email them and collect an e-signature (oh, wait, that’s Inside Sales). You take your leads as you find them. Pick them up and take them the rest of the way.The old stuff doesn’t work. The old stuff is the only stuff that works. Half of what you come across will tell you that the old ways we sold no longer work. They’ll tell you relationship selling doesn’t work, solutions selling is dead, as is consultative selling. And while that’s not exactly true, neither is true that only the shiny new, Sales 2.0 technology-aided sale works.Selling is all collaboration. It’s true that selling well is collaborative. But selling also carries some conflict. That conflict begins when you ask for your dream client’s time and they say no. If you do anything other than accept the “no” and hang up the phone, you have a necessary conflict. It’s true that it helps to turn conflict into an opportunity to collaborate, but isn’t true that it’s only collaborative.Everyone is buying on price. Not exactly true. It is true that globalization, disintermediation, and the recessions that started and closed the first decade of the 21st Century worked to try to commoditize everyone and everything. Yes; it’s true. But there as many buyers who want results, who want better, and who demand value. They’re still willing to pay for it—provided you can help them justify the higher price.Big data is the biggest daddy of them all. Is it going to revolutionize business? Is it going to change the way we sell? Sure. But for the individual salesperson right now, Little Data is every bit as important as Big Data. You already know a lot about your clients and prospects. They already know a lot about you. Right now, that’s more important.You’re supposed to be impartial. Being impartial doesn’t make you consultative. If what you sell doesn’t create value for your prospective, you’re supposed to disqualify them. If your client needs something you don’t sell, by all means advise them. But when you decide to pursue an opportunity, you better be damn partial.last_img read more

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What I Would Tell My Younger Self

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 My Teenage SelfYou know you really are an asshole sometimes. Your Mom is raising four kids by herself and you can really be a selfish, little bastard. Start helping her, damn it.Remember to thank the good people at the restaurant later on in life. They gave you a job and fed you. Working fulltime at the age of thirteen is going to do more to help you succeed than almost anything else. Yes, even just washing dishes is going to form your character.Identify and get close to people with a way bigger vision of themselves than anything you are comfortable with. Your vision is way too small. Stunted, really.Later on, you are going to love a really nice suit and a really great tie. No. Really. Stop laughing.Don’t listen to people who tell you street smarts trump book smarts. Don’t listen to people who tell you book smarts trump street smarts. These things aren’t mutually exclusive, and combined they are more powerful than either alone. Go to school.My Early 20’s SelfGet out of bed before the sun comes up and get busy. The fastest way to win is to hustle. Don’t hang out at night partying with your friends. Do the work that matters instead.Talent by itself isn’t enough. Confidence and marketing provide a surer, straighter path to success. Double down on the marketing and promotion.Did you ever do anything about that whole “school” thing we talked about?You are a leader when you decide to be, not when someone gives you permission. Just start leading.Uh, dude, you might want to get those headaches checked out at some point. It could be something serious. Just sayin.My Late 20’s SelfLife isn’t a race. Take your time. You can accomplish a lot AND enjoy the experience at the same time. You don’t get go back over this ground again.Write down everything, every story. You are going to wish you could recall all the places, the faces, the names, and the lessons later on.Damn, boy! That wife is yours is something special! Don’t botch it up!My 30’s SelfLook, people have been having babies for a three and half million years. You aren’t going to screw it up worse than anyone else has . . . I hope.Twins. Really? Well now isn’t that going to be interesting?Your work and your job aren’t the same thing. Don’t confuse them. Spend more time doing your work than doing your job. You don’t know what I am saying? Well, think about it until you figure it out.Don’t be so damn judgmental. Everybody is dealing with their own pain, their own fears, and their own life. Who made you their judge?You can’t pay people to not have to lead them or manage them. It doesn’t work that way.My Early 40’s SelfGet started. Don’t wait for permission. Share what you know with people who need it.More margin! More margin!You only have these little people in your house for a few more years. Love them and prepare them to be healthy, happy grown ups. Make your mark, man!Your TurnWhat would you tell your younger self?last_img read more

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A Note to the First Time Sales Manager

first_imgCongratulations on your new role! This is going to challenge you. It is going to stretch you beyond your current capabilities, and it is going to be rewarding in ways big and small, some rewards you won’t recognize at first.Success in this role is going to require a total shift in what has likely gotten you to this point, namely your individual success. Your individual success indicates that you have the ability to lead yourself, to take initiative, and to reach your personal and professional goals. Your success now depends entirely on your ability to teach, train, coach, and develop others to find their greatest level of personal and professional success.Your success is a mirror that reflects your team’s performance. Your results are their results. Not to worry, their results are also yours.There are some things it is important to get right from the very beginning.First, and most importantly, you have to establish the culture of your team. Are you going to allow people to be negative, cynical, or pessimistic, believing that external events, circumstances, and irrational competitors dictate their results? Or are you going to insist on a positive, optimistic, future-oriented, and empowered culture that rejects anything to the contrary? Leaving this to chance can be your undoing, and it is next to impossible to correct once a negative culture is established.Values and culture are non-negotiable. You need to establish this at the outset.Second, and equally important, you have to understand that your company is going to see you as a leader, believing that you serve the company and that you are responsible for managing the resources with which you have been entrusted. This is an honest, but partial, view of your role. To your team, you are their leader. They are going to become what you help them to become. You are going to be stretched, your company will ask too much of you when it comes to your time, and your people will need more from you than you are going to be prepared to provide. If you have to err, err on the side of building your people; this will be the key to your success over the long term.Third, leaders lead. You have choices available to you as a leader. The worst leaders lead by force, by coercion, and compulsion. The very best leaders start from a place of inspiration, influence, and persuasion. That said, you cannot leave it up to your team to decide their mission for themselves. Your role is to execute your company’s strategy, and you dictate what needs to be done and how that is going to be achieved. You can be very non-directive in your coaching, but you have to make these decisions. Trust your instinct.Finally, you have one single opportunity to break from the past. You must not waste this opportunity. If a change needs to be made, make it. Hold everyone accountable, and do not let up. It is very easy for people to slip back into their comfort zone, and some will try to wait you out. You cannot allow this to happen; you must draw a bright line here, and then you must defend it. You were put in this role to produce the best possible results from the team you have been selected to lead, and that should be your goal.If you help everyone on your team to grow and generate the best performance they are capable of, you will do well. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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How to Make Your Opportunity Your Client’s Priority

first_imgI had an interesting conversation with Hank Barnes last week. We were discussing competitive displacements, a euphemism for stealing clients from your competitors, and the conversation turned to client priorities. Part of displacing your competitor may also include displacing other priorities. Your client may want to change, need to change, and have every intention of eventually doing so, but yet they push that initiative into the future.Make It Strategic: There is a reason that you should start at Level 4, strategic outcomes in client conversations. The more strategic the outcome, the more important it is. The more important an initiative is to producing the strategic outcomes your client’s need, the more it is imperative that they take action. To make your opportunity more compelling, you need to tie it tightly to what is already compelling. How does what you are proposing to help your client with even greater outcomes?Increase the Delta: The larger the difference between the client’s current results and the results they need, the more likely it gets done. But looking at cost savings is only one measure of value, and perhaps not the most interesting. How the savings can be used to invest in their other priorities may make the delta more compelling. More still, if your client’s results are poor in one area, the time and energy being exerted to work around issues should be being put towards the more strategic outcomes.Critical Path: If there is a way you can make your opportunity part of the critical path to results, you can increase the probability of crowding out other initiatives that aren’t tied to the client’s most important projects and initiatives. If you can show how their results would be diminished by moving forward before making the changes you are recommending, you can increase the need to move your opportunity forward.None of this is easy. It likely means you need to have big conversations with your client’s leadership team to discuss priorities. You also must be able to position your opportunity as something strategic, something essential to their future success. It is, however, necessary and important to create a compelling reason to displace your competitor—and to displace other priorities. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

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Rajasthan Home Minister promises action in Alwar case

first_imgUnder pressure to act in the case of lynching of a man for transporting cows in Alwar district, Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria on Sunday said anyone found breaking the law will be punished. He reiterated that the State government would take action against “both the sides”.Speaking on the sidelines of the 11th Standing Committee Meeting of the Inter-State Council in New Delhi, Mr. Kataria said though deceased Pehlu Khan, a resident of Nuh in Haryana, did not have valid papers to transport the cattle out of Rajasthan, the people who allegedly thrashed him and his companions had taken the matter in their own hands.Mr. Kataria pointed out that only the Sub-Divisional Officer had the power to issue permit for carrying bovine animals out of the State. FIR registered“In this case, Pehlu Khan did not have valid documents,” he said. An FIR was registered against him for illegally transporting cows, the Minister addedHowever, it was the police who admitted him and others to the hospital in Behror and registered a case under Section 308 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code after the April 1 incident, he said. “When he died, the case was converted to Section 302 (murder) and several persons have since been arrested.”Law and order situationThe Minister denied that the law and order situation in the State had deteriorated after the incident.Pehlu Khan’s family members have stated that he had purchased the cows with proper receipts at a cattle fair organised by the Jaipur Municipal Corporation and was falsely accused of smuggling the bovine animals.Two more heldThe police have arrested two more persons – Dayanand, 40, and Neeraj, 19 – in connection with Pehlu Khan’s murder, on the basis of video footage of the April 1 incident. With the latest arrests, a total of five persons have been apprehended in the case.last_img read more

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Lalu calls key meeting on Monday, Nitish a day after

first_imgAmid the tense political atmosphere in Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad has called a meeting of party legislators on Monday, while alliance partner Janata Dal (United) has called a meeting of its core committee on Tuesday.The Opposition BJP, for its part, has appealed to RJD and JD(U) MLAs to pressure their party leaders to seek the resignation of Mr. Prasad’s son, Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, in the wake of the CBI booking him for alleged corruption in the award of a contract for managing two railway hotels.Nitish silentBihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar returned to Patna on Sunday afternoon, after three days in Rajgir, and drove straight to his 1 Anne Marg residence. He did not speak to the media.Mr. Kumar and his party leaders have been maintaining a stoic silence on the CBI raids on Mr. Prasad’s premises and the charge sheet filed against Rabri Devi and Mr. Tejaswi Yadav in connection with the railway hotels scam.The “image conscious” Chief Minister was expected to take a decision on Mr. Tejaswi Yadav after reaching Patna. But that did not happen. Mr. Kumar has also cancelled his weekly Lok Samvad programme on Monday due to “ill-health”.Mr. Prasad has been meeting senior party leaders and legal advisers at his 10 Circular Road residence for the past two days.Legal advisersParty sources said he spoke to eminent lawyer and party’s Rajya Sabha member Ram Jethmalani twice.Party leaders coming out after meeting the RJD chief said they would not be cowed down by the BJP’s political vendetta. Party sources told The Hindu that the RJD chief had identified another member for Deputy Chief Minister should Mr. Tejaswi Yadav need to be replaced.Not to quitNames of State Finance Minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Lalit Yadav, MLA, and Mr. Prasad’s elder son, Health Minister Tej Pratap Yadav, came up at the closed-door meeting with some top party leaders. However, party insiders said neither Mr. Tejaswi Yadav nor any of the family members favoured his resignation.Meanwhile, senior State BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi told presspersons that he was appealing to all RJD and JD(U) MLAs to demand the resignation of Mr. Tejaswi Yadav.The party’s leaders have been holding meetings for the last two days to discuss the fast changing political situation. Top State BJP leaders asked legislators on Sunday to gear up for a possible mid-term poll.last_img read more

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Faux pas leaves govt. red-faced

first_imgNagpur – The Maharashtra government was left red-faced in the State Assembly on Wednesday when the Speaker had to cancel a calling attention motion as the Agriculture Minister was unaware of cotton crops being hit by pink bollworm infestation.Officials of the Agriculture Department failed to brief Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar on the raging problem for which 69 members of the Assembly had moved the calling attention motion and demanded a detailed discussion.Speaker Haribhau Bagde announced postponement of the motion owing to lack of information of government officers on the issue. Members of the opposition immediately demanded an apology from the government and accused it of shielding private seed companies.Nationalist Congress Party MLA Ajit Pawar said, “The issue is not new. How can the Minister not get an answer from his department? Has he completely lost hold or is he shielding someone?”Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said, “When the State is staring at a loss of ₹30,000 crore, the Agriculture Department’s claim to having no information is a shameful thing.”last_img read more

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Amarinder to meet Trudeau on Wednesday

first_imgAmid ambiguity over his meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said on Monday that they would meet in Amritsar on Wednesday.“Look forward to meeting Canadian Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau in Amritsar on Wednesday. I’m hopeful that this meeting will help strengthen the close Indo-Canadian business ties as well as the deep-rooted people-to-people relations between our two countries,” the Chief Minister wrote on Twitter.Deep roots“While trade and business will be the focus area, the two leaders are expected to discuss steps to intensify the close relations between the people of the two countries,” said a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office.“Punjab has deep roots in Canada, where a large Punjabi community is settled, and has always striven to strengthen the connect,’’ Capt. Singh said in the statement.He pointed to the apology tendered by Mr. Trudeau in 2016 for the 1914 Komagata Maru incident, in which hundreds of Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus were denied entry to Canada and forced to return to India. This gesture underlined the depth of the bilateral relations, he said.last_img read more

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Bihar ex-Minister, husband booked under Arms Act

first_imgAn FIR was registered against Bihar’s former Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma and her husband under the Arms Act following recovery of 50 cartridges from her in-law’s house during a CBI raid in connection with the Muzaffarpur shelter home sex scandal, the police said.The CBI had on Friday raided nearly 12 places in four districts of Bihar, including the residences of Ms. Verma in Patna and her in-law’s place in Begusarai.The FIR was registered on Friday against Ms. Verma and her husband Chandrashekhar for recovery of 50 live cartridges from her in-law’s house at Arjun Tola village during a raid, Cheria Bariarpur police station SHO Ranjit Kumar Rajak said.Different firearmsThe police said the live cartridges were of different firearms.The FIR was registered against the couple by a CBI official, Mr. Rajak said, but declined to name him.Ms. Verma had resigned as Social Welfare Minister last week following a disclosure that her husband Chandrashekhar had spoken to the prime accused in the scandal, Brajesh Thakur, 17 times between January and June this year.The scandal came to light two months ago when an FIR was lodged by the Social Welfare Department following a social audit report submitted by Mumbai-based Tata Institute of Social Sciences which mentioned sexual abuse of girls lodged at the Muzaffarpur shelter home.last_img read more

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Fire breaks out in Kalka-Howrah train, no casualties

first_imgA fire broke out in the front coach of Kalka-Howrah train on Tuesday, however, no one was injured, a Railway Police official said.The blaze erupted in a seating cum luggage coach in the early hours between Dhirpur to Dhoda Khedia railway stations near Kurukshetra, Haryana, he said.“Smoke filled the SLR bogie (Seating cum Luggage Rake), which is next to the engine. The train was brought to a halt and all the passengers were safely evacuated when smoke was noticed,” the official said.“The bogie caught fire later and fire tenders were called. Three women and two children, who complained of difficulty in breathing as they had inhaled smoke, were provided medical attention,” he added.Short circuit?As per preliminary details, an electrical short circuit was believed to be the reason behind the fire, he said, adding that forensic experts had been called to ascertain the exact cause.The train which had started from Kalka in Haryana in the early morning was headed to Howrah.After the incident, the train was held up for more than two hours before the affected bogie was detached and placed about 50 to 60 metres away. Rail traffic on the route was also affected, he said.last_img read more

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Rajiv Gandhi statue vandalised in Ludhiana

first_imgA statue of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was vandalised in Ludhiana on December 25 by some persons, who Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh claimed, owed allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal in the State.The Chief Minister has asked the police to take action in the matter and identify the perpetrators. Paint was sprayed by miscreants on the statue at the Salem Tabri area in Ludhiana, police said. They carried out the act in full public glare and blamed Rajiv Gandhi for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, they said.Condemning the incident, Capt. Singh tweeted, “Strongly condemn vandalisation of Rajiv Gandhi’s statue by @Akali_ Dal_ workers in Ludhiana. Have asked Police to identify the guilty & take strict action.” “@officeofssbadal should apologise to people of Punjab for this obnoxious act,” he posted on Twitter tagging the office of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal. Capt. Singh also asked the SAD to apologise to the people of Punjab for this act.Police said the miscreants demanded that statues of Rajiv Gandhi across the country be removed and Bharat Ratna conferred on him be withdrawn. The statue was later cleaned by some Ludhiana Congress leaders.Ludhiana Congress unit president Gurpreet Singh said they have lodged a police complaint.last_img read more

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3 murders that rocked M.P. solved, say police

first_imgThe Madhya Pradesh police have solved all the three recent murders in the State in which the opposition BJP workers have some connection. These murders took place between January 17 and 23 in the Malwa region.In a major breakthrough in the murder of BJP Balwadi block president Manoj Thakre on January 20, the police have arrested seven persons. “Seven persons have been arrested in connection with the murder of Manoj Thakre. They include BJP State executive member Tarachand Rathor and his son,” Superintendent of Police Yangchen Dolkar Bhutia told reporters in Barwani district on Thursday. RSS worker heldIn another development, the Ratlam police on Thursday arrested a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker, Himmat Patidar, from Pratapgarh district in Rajasthan. He had faked his own murder on January 23 to claim insurance money totalling ₹20 lakh in order to repay debts.SP, Ratlam, Gaurav Tiwari said Patidar killed his farm labourer, Madan Malviya (32), to pass it off as his own murder. He later burnt the victim’s face to conceal his identity.In the case pertaining to the gunning down of Prahlad Bandhwar, senior BJP leader and chairman of Mandsaur municipality, on January 17, a BJP worker, Manish Bairagi, has been arrested.last_img read more

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India’s Fragmented Society Was Once a Melting Pot

first_img“In India we celebrate the commonality of major differences,” wrote the celebrated author Shashi Tharoor about his native country. “We are a land of belonging rather than of blood.” Indeed, India’s 1.24-billion-strong population is one of the world’s most diverse, with 700 ethnic and language groups and possibly many more, depending on how they are counted. Today, most of these groups keep pretty much to themselves, only rarely marrying outsiders. But a new study concludes that several thousand years ago, the entire subcontinent underwent a period of massive intermarriage, shuffling its population’s genetic deck so thoroughly that it left clear traces—even in the genomes of today’s most isolated tribes.In recent years, genetic studies of modern Indians have provided a host of new insights into the ancient history of this sprawling nation, which harbors nearly one-sixth of the world’s population. A key finding, reported in 2009 by a team led by geneticist David Reich of Harvard Medical School in Boston, was that most Indians today are descendants of two major population groups: Ancestral North Indians (ANI), who probably migrated into the subcontinent 8000 or more years ago from the Middle East, Central Asia, and Europe; and Ancestral South Indians (ASI), who were native to the region and had been there much longer. The study also showed that these two groups began to mix at some point in the past, although just when was not clear.Reich and his colleagues teamed up with researchers from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, India, to take a much closer look at the genetics of modern Indians. Using both newly generated and previously published genetic data from 571 people representing 73 ethnic and language groups, 71 from India and two from Pakistan (which prior to Indian independence from British rule in 1947 was considered part of India), the team analyzed the genetic differences among the subjects using several powerful statistical methods. The analysis included nearly 500,000 genetic markers on the subjects’ DNA.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 results, reported online today in The American Journal of Human Genetics, paint a complex picture: Beginning about 4200 years ago, ANI and ASI populations, which previously had kept mostly separate, began mating together, a flurry of intermarriage that probably lasted more than 2 millennia. Then, beginning about 1900 years ago or somewhat later, mating patterns shifted dramatically. Local populations became entrenched, eschewing intermarriage with other groups and adopting a cultural pattern of what researchers call endogamy, the practice of marrying only within an ethnic or social group.“There was a major demographic transformation in India from a region where mixture was pervasive to one in which it is very rare because of a shift to endogamy,” says lead author Priya Moorjani, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School.The traces of this alternating pattern can be clearly seen in the genomes of modern Indians today, the study finds. For example, the percentage of ANI ancestry ranges from a high of 71% in the Pathan ethnic group of northern India to a low of 17% in the Paniya group of southwest India, meaning that the degree of ancient admixture is still measurable and significant in even the most isolated and endogamous ethnic groups.“The most remarkable aspect of the ANI-ASI mixture is how pervasive it was, in the sense that it has left its mark on nearly every group in India,” Moorjani and her co-workers write.What accounts for this pattern? The team points out that the period of intermarriage overlaps with a time of huge social upheavals in India, including the collapse of the ancient Indus civilization—which thrived on the Indian subcontinent between about 2600 B.C.E. and 1900 B.C.E.—as well as large-scale population movements and the rise of the Vedic religion, the predecessor of modern Hinduism. But after 1900 years ago, India’s caste system became a major cultural force, the team concludes, based on its new genetic findings and confirmed by evidence from ancient religious texts. The system rigidly defined four social classes, with the Brahmans at the top and the Sudras at the bottom. Intermarriage was not allowed between them. The Rig-Veda, India’s oldest surviving text and a founding document of ancient Hinduism, does not mention the caste system in its earliest sections, probably written some 3000 years ago; only much later are references to it found.“The bulk of the Rig-Veda describes a society in which there is substantial movement among groups,” Moorjani points out. The four-caste system is only mentioned in an appendix written much later, she says, consistent with the genetic evidence.The study is “carefully and cautiously crafted,” says Toomas Kivisild, a population geneticist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and has “major significance for understanding the complex demographic processes in India that led to the endogamous rules of the caste system.”Lynn Jorde, a geneticist at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, calls the results “intriguing,” but cautions that they need to be confirmed with a larger number of samples from even more regions of the Indian subcontinent, as well as with the use of complete DNA sequences from the entire genomes of all the individuals studied.The team agrees that more needs to be done and suggests that ancient DNA studies of prehistoric burials—which would give scientists a finer grained picture of population mixing in the ancient past—could be the next step in this ongoing research.last_img read more

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Top Stories: Stranded Whales, a Lead-Laced Ocean, and Three-Parent Embryos

first_imgFind Along Chilean Highway Suggests Mass Stranding of Whales Millions of Years AgoIn 2010, highway workers in Chile uncovered a trove of fossils, including the skeletons of at least 30 large, mostly intact baleen whales. The 9-million-year-old fossils are the first definitive examples of ancient mass strandings of whales. What killed all these whales? Scientists may finally have the answer.3D Maps Reveal a Lead-Laced OceanSign 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 United States and Europe banned most uses of lead decades ago, but the pollutant’s fingerprint lingers on—as shown by remarkably detailed new maps of our oceans. The maps tell an especially sobering story of past pollution—and continuing contamination.Middle Eastern Virus More Widespread Than ThoughtIt’s called Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, after the region where almost all the patients have been reported. But the name may turn out to be a misnomer. A new study has found the virus in camels from Sudan and Ethiopia, suggesting that Africa, too, harbors the pathogen. That means MERS may sicken more humans than previously thought—and perhaps be more likely to trigger a pandemic.Getting Crops to ‘Talk’ to InsectsIf you want to keep insects off your crops, you have a couple of options: Use pesticides or confuse the bugs with pheromones. Pheromones—chemicals used by insects to communicate—are more environmentally friendly, but manufacturing them involves harmful chemicals. Now, scientists have figured how to produce pheromones from plants themselves, a safer and potentially cheaper approach.U.S. and U.K. Weigh In on Controversial IVF TechniqueA new in vitro fertilization technique that has provoked controversy because it involves combining genetic material from two different women’s egg cells has been assessed by both the United States and the United Kingdom this week.The U.K. government has issued proposed regulations that would allow researchers to try the controversial technique in patients. Across the pond in the United States, however, experts reached a different conclusion. Advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have concluded that mitochondrial transfer is in fact not yet ready for human clinical trials.The World’s Forests at Your FingertipsA new electronic tool called Global Forest Watch (GFW) offers the public, policymakers, and scientists near-real-time data on Earth’s forests through an interactive website. Launched last week by the World Resources Institute, GFW allows users to track deforestation over time, find recently clear-cut areas and current fires, and receive alerts when there are changes to specific tracts of interest.last_img read more

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Australian scientists take to the streets to protest job cuts

first_imgSYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—Abandoning their usual reserve, nearly 1000 scientists across the country downed instruments and grabbed placards this week to protest pending job losses at the nation’s leading research organization, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). “Scientists are not known for rushing to the barricades,” says Anthony Keenan of the CSIRO Staff Association, who adds that while staff members are concerned about job cuts at CSIRO, they are “dismayed” at the government’s short-sighted approach to science.  Job cuts at CSIRO are the direct result of the government’s decision last month to slash AU$115 million, or 16%, from the organization’s budget over 4 years. As many as 420 staff members, mostly scientists, could be out of work by June 2015, according to a memo circulated to staff members on 14 May by CSIRO chief Megan Clark. According to the Staff Association, the losses are “unprecedented.” Currently, CSIRO has 5500 positions. The pending cuts could leave the agency with 1000 fewer staff members than last year, and up to 2500 fewer than it had in the 1990s. The conservative government, elected last September, has also chosen not to appoint a science minister, the first time since the portfolio was created in 1931.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(*)Protests occurred today at the Black Mountain site near Canberra, the Melbourne suburb of Clayton, North Ryde near Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart, and Perth. On Tuesday, scientists gathered at regional sites in the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland, as well as in Western AustraliaAfter speaking at the Canberra protest, former science minister and opposition Labor Senator Kim Carr blasted the government with this tweet: “No Science Minister, no policy, no idea.”last_img read more

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Fukushima report urges U.S. plant operators to take heed

first_imgTo avoid the kind of complacency over safety that led to the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan, U.S. nuclear plant operators and regulators must be prepared to take timely action to upgrade plant safety features in line with advances in the understanding of natural hazards, states a report released today.The report, Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of U.S. Nuclear Plants, was written by a committee of the National Academy of Sciences. The panel drew on Japanese and international investigations into the causes of the Fukushima disaster, precipitated by the magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011.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(*)Like previous assessments, the academy’s report cites as a key contributing factor to the disaster the “failure of the plant owner [Tokyo Electric Power Co.] and the principal regulator [the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency] to protect critical safety equipment at the plant from flooding in spite of mounting evidence that the plant’s current design basis for tsunamis was inadequate.” The earthquake cut power from the electrical grid and the tsunami swamped the plant’s emergency generators, which were located in basements in the complex. The total loss of power deprived plant operators of reliable data on conditions within the reactors. They could not control key equipment, and therefore could not cool the reactors. Three of the plant’s six reactors suffered core meltdowns, hydrogen explosions damaged the facility, and the release of radioactive plumes led to the evacuation of about 100,000 nearby residents, many of whom remain in temporary housing.The report notes that plant personnel were inadequately trained and lacked sufficient manpower to cope with simultaneous crises at several reactors. The situation was exacerbated by the loss of communication lines between the plant and the headquarters in Tokyo.The report’s authors describe the disaster as a beyond-design-basis event, because several factors were more severe than anticipated by designers—particularly the earthquake and tsunami hazards. “The overarching lesson learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident is that nuclear plant licensees and their regulators must actively seek out and act on new information about hazards that have the potential to affect the safety of nuclear plants,” the report concludes, adding that plant operators “must take timely actions to implement countermeasures when such new information results in substantial changes to risk profiles at nuclear plants.” The report cites a need to strengthen capabilities “for identifying, evaluating, and managing the risks from beyond-design-basis events,” including large earthquakes or floods that occur very infrequently.During a dial-in press conference to discuss the report, committee member B. John Garrick, a consultant in Laguna Beach, California, explained that there is also a need to assess how a severe accident, simultaneously affecting multiple reactors at one site and within a region, can complicate crisis management at a time when electricity, support, and emergency services from off-site could be disrupted, as happened at the Fukushima plant. In such circumstances, plant personnel must be trained to respond in an ad hoc manner to circumstances that are nearly impossible to completely predict, the report states.Among a number of specific lessons, the report identifies the need to ensure a continuing source of power for instrumentation and safety system control and to cool and depressurize reactors; to improve monitoring of radiation levels both on-site and in the surrounding community; and to provide more robust communication links between on-site and off-site support facilities.  Robert Bari, a physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, noted that plant operators and regulators in the United States and other countries are already taking steps to upgrade plant systems, operating procedures, and operator training in response to the Fukushima disaster. But “it is too soon to evaluate their comprehensiveness, effectiveness, or status,” he said.  Norman Neureiter, acting director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy of AAAS, which publishes Science and ScienceInsider, chaired the committee of 21 experts.last_img read more

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Mysterious Indo-European homeland may have been in the steppes of Ukraine and Russia

first_imgBut many archaeologists noted that genetic and archaeological studies did indeed suggest massive ancient migrations from the Middle East into Europe that could have brought PIE and sparked such language diversification. In 2003, evolutionary biologists Russell Gray and Quentin Atkinson of the University of Auckland in New Zealand used computational methods from evolutionary biology to track words as they changed over time, and concluded that the Anatolian hypothesis was right. But steppe supporters remained unconvinced, even after Gray’s team published a confirming analysis in Science in 2012.Fans of the steppe hypothesis are now hailing a genetics study that used ancient DNA from 69 Europeans who lived between 8000 and 3000 years ago to genetically track ancient population movements. The work, now posted on the bioRxiv preprint server, was done by a large team led by geneticists David Reich and Iosif Lazaridis of Harvard Medical School in Boston and Wolfgang Haak of the University of Adelaide in Australia. Among the team’s samples were nine ancient individuals—six males, two females, and a child of undetermined sex—from the Yamnaya culture north of the Black Sea in today’s Russia. Beginning about 6000 years ago, these steppe people herded cattle and other animals, buried their dead in earthen mounds called kurgans, and may have created some of the first wheeled vehicles. (Many linguists think PIE already had a word for “wheel.”) The team also retrieved ancient DNA from four skeletons from the later Corded Ware culture of central Europe, known for the distinctive pottery for which they are named (see photo above), as well as their dairy farming skills. Archaeologists had noted similarities among these cultures, especially in their emphasis on cattle herding.The team focused on sections of DNA that they suspected would provide markers for past population movements and identified nearly 400,000 DNA positions across the genome in each individual. They used new techniques to zero in on the key positions in the nuclear DNA, allowing them to analyze twice as many ancient nuclear DNA samples from Europe and Asia as previously reported in the entire literature.The comparison of the two cultures’ DNA showed that the four Corded Ware people could trace an astonishing three-quarters of their ancestry to the Yamnaya. That suggests a massive migration of Yamnaya people from their steppe homeland into central Europe about 4500 years ago, one that could have spread an early form of the Indo-European language, the team concludes. Thus the paper for the first time links two far-flung material cultures to specific genetic signatures and to each other—and suggests, the team says, that they spoke a form of Indo-European.The Corded Ware culture soon spread across north and central Europe, extending as far as today’s Scandinavia. So the “steppe ancestry,” as the authors of the preprint call it, is found in most present-day Europeans, who can trace their ancestry back to both the Corded Ware people and the earlier Yamnaya. The work thus adds to genetic findings from last fall showing that the genetic makeup of today’s Europeans is more complicated than anyone expected.The results are a “smoking gun” that an ancient migration into Europe from the steppe occurred, says Pontus Skoglund, an ancient DNA specialist who is now working in Reich’s lab but was not a co-author on the paper. (Although the paper is publicly available on a preprint server, it is not yet published, and the authors declined to discuss their work until it’s published.) The paper “levels the playing field between the steppe hypothesis and the Anatolian hypothesis by showing that the spread of farming was not the only large migration into Europe,” Skoglund says.The second new paper to address PIE’s origin, in press at Language and due to be published online during the last week of February, uses linguistic data to focus on when PIE arose. A team led by University of California, Berkeley, linguists Andrew Garrett and Will Chang employed the language database and evolutionary methods previously used by Gray to create a family tree of the Indo-European languages from their first origins in PIE. But in certain cases, Garrett and Chang’s group declared that one language was directly ancestral to another and put that into their tree as a certainty. For example, they assumed that Latin was directly ancestral to Romance languages such as Spanish, French, and Italian—something that many but not all linguists agree on—and that Vedic Sanskrit was directly ancestral to the Indo-Aryan languages spoken on the Indian subcontinent.These constraints transformed the results from what Gray’s team has published: Garrett, Chang, and their colleagues found that the origins of PIE were about 6000 years ago, consistent with the steppe hypothesis but not the Anatolian, because the farming migration out of the Middle East was 8000 years ago. Once the original PIE speakers began to sweep out of the steppes about 4500 years ago, their languages spread and diversified, Garrett’s team says.But many supporters of the Anatolian hypothesis remain staunchly unconvinced. Paul Heggarty, a linguist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, questions Garrett’s methods, arguing that, for example, linguists cannot be sure if the Latin attested to in written documents really was the direct ancestor of later Romance languages, rather than some dialect of Latin for which no record remains. Even small differences in the true ancestral language, Heggarty insists, could throw off the timing estimates.As for the Reich paper, many archaeologists and linguists praise the data on ancient migrations. But they challenge what they see as its speculative link to language. The movement out of the steppes, Renfrew says, “may be a secondary migration into central Europe 3000 to 4000 years later than the spread of farmers, which first brought Indo-European speech to Europe.” If so, the Yamnaya steppe people would not have spoken PIE but an already derived Indo-European tongue ancestral to today’s Balto-Slavic languages such as Russian and Polish, Heggarty says. He adds that the wording of the Reich paper is “misleading.”Indeed, in a lengthy discussion in the paper’s Supplementary Information section, Reich and colleagues do concede that “the ultimate question of the Proto-Indo-European homeland is unresolved by our data.” They suggest that more ancient DNA, especially from points east of the steppes, may finally tie our linguistic history with our genes. Adapted from R. Bouckaert et al., Science (2012) What do you call a male sibling? If you speak English, he is your “brother.” Greek? Call him “phrater.” Sanskrit, Latin, Old Irish? “Bhrater,” “frater,” or “brathir,” respectively. Ever since the mid-17th century, scholars have noted such similarities among the so-called Indo-European languages, which span the world and number more than 400 if dialects are included. Researchers agree that they can probably all be traced back to one ancestral language, called Proto-Indo-European (PIE). But for nearly 20 years, scholars have debated vehemently when and where PIE arose.Two long-awaited studies, one described online this week in a preprint and another scheduled for publication later this month, have now used different methods to support one leading hypothesis: that PIE was first spoken by pastoral herders who lived in the vast steppe lands north of the Black Sea beginning about 6000 years ago. One study points out that these steppe land herders have left their genetic mark on most Europeans living today.The studies’ conclusions emerge from state-of-the-art ancient DNA and linguistic analyses, but the debate over PIE’s origins is likely to continue. A rival hypothesis—that early farmers living in Anatolia (modern Turkey) about 8000 years ago were the original PIE speakers—is not ruled out by the new analyses, most agree. Although the steppe hypothesis has now received a major boost, “I would not say the Anatolian hypothesis has been killed,” says Carles Lalueza-Fox, a geneticist at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain, who participated in neither of the new studies.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(*)Up until the 1980s, variations of the steppe hypothesis held sway among most linguists and archaeologists tracking down Indo-European’s birthplace. Then in 1987, archaeologist Colin Renfrew of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom proposed that PIE spread with farming from its origins in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, moving west into Europe and east further into Asia; over time the languages continued to spread and diversify into the many Indo-European languages we know today.Traditional linguists, meanwhile, painstakingly reconstructed PIE by extrapolating back from modern languages and ancient writings. (Listen to a short fable spoken in PIE here.) They disdained Renfrew’s idea of an Anatolian homeland, arguing for example that the languages were still too similar to have begun diverging 8000 years ago.center_img More than 400 Indo-European languages diverged from a common ancestral tongue; the earliest ones (top right), Anatolian and Tocharian, arose in today’s Turkey and China, respectively. last_img read more

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