Police shot Stephon Clark six times in the back, an independent forensic pathologist says

A new independent autopsy findings revealed that Stephon Clark was shot six times in the back.

An independent forensic pathologist on Friday said Stephon Clark the unarmed black man who was killed by the police was fatally shot six times in the back.

Dr. Bennet Omalu, who conducted an autopsy days after Clark was killed told reporters that his examination showed that Clark was hit by eight bullets, and all but one entered while his back was facing police. He added that the eight bullet that hit Clark on his left thigh came while he was on the ground and had already been shot multiple times.

“That he was assailing the officers, meaning he was facing the officers, is inconsistent with the prevailing forensic evidence” as documented in the autopsy, he said.

Sacramento police fatally shot Stephon Clark, 22, in his grandmother’s backyard on March 18, during their search for a vandal in the neighborhood. No weapon was found on him other than a cellphone phone.

This independent autopsy finding has raised new questions about Clark shootings. However, police have released videos showing the incident but urged the public not to take law into their hands until the investigation is complete.

“It’s very simple. The narrative that’s been put forth is they had to open fire because he was charging toward them,” said civil rights litigator Ben Crump, who is representing Clark’s family. Yet the autopsy shows, Crump said, “all of the bullets were from behind.”

Stephon Clark was buried on Thursday at a funeral attended by hundreds of mourners including Rev. Al Sharpton.

Twelve people killed as protesters and Israeli military clash in Gaza

At least 12 people were killed while more than 1000 injured in the clash between Palestinian protesters and the Israeli military.

A six-week campaign of protest in Gaza as resulted almost immediately into chaos and bloodshed with at least 12 Palestinians reported killed by Israeli soldiers in confrontations along the border fence.

The Israeli military reported Friday morning that Palestinian protesters were rioting in six different locations along the border, burning tires and throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the fence and at Israeli’s soldiers beyond it.

By late afternoon, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said that 12 people had been killed by Israeli fire, while more than 1000 injured.

The area surrounding the Gaza Strip has long been declared a closed military zone by the Israeli military, and “responding with riot dispersal means and firing towards main instigators.” said the military. Israeli forces fired live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas.

The march tagged the “Great March of Return,” or the “March of the million” by the organizers have in attendance about 20, 000 Palestinian including women and children who have erected tents in recent days about 700 yards from the border with Israel. The organizers also provided portable washrooms, free food, water and Wi-Fi

Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, the chief spokesman of the Israeli military, described the protest organizers as “an organization in crisis” and accused its commanders of hiding behind women and children.

“This is not Scouts summer camp,” the said of the border encampment in a radio interview on Thursday. “It’s a battle zone.”




Astronauts manage stress to a superhuman degree

Astronauts have the ability to deal with massive amounts of stress, including spacewalks that often leave them bleeding.

Astronauts are able to manage stress to a degree that seems superhuman, according to The Daily Beast. Between running across rooms, entering commands, waiting for prompts, troubleshooting obstacles using a communications relay that can break up, and finding crucial information in manuals, it’s daunting.

It’s easy to see what NASA only chose 12 people out of the 18,000 applicants from its recent call for astronauts.

So how do they do it? Are they born with the ability to handle this pressure? Or are they taught how to?

“I think of it as a combination of those things,” said Jim Picano, NASA’s senior operational psychologist.

He suggests that astronauts have an innate disposition to handle stress, as well as experiences that have shaped how they learn to deal with it. But he believes that training is just as important.

“The training that astronauts receive shapes their confidence in the procedures and equipment they have, to deal with spaceflight commands as well as emergencies,” he said. “Rehearsing these over and over again, and learning how to respond—I think that brings a sense of preparation that allows to them to believe they can influence and change their circumstances for the better.”

And spacewalks, also known as extravehicular activity (EVA), are the perfect test.

“Spacewalks are painful by nature,” said Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who spent 166 days in space across three different missions. “The suit is uncomfortable, resisting every motion. You typically come in from a spacewalk at least upbraided if not bleeding.”

It seems that being an astronaut is a combination of learned experience and new learning.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in stable condition, after open-heart surgery

The world famous actor previously elected to undergo open-heart surgery for a congenital condition that runs in his family.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has undergone an open-heart surgery, and is in stable condition, according to his spokesperson Daniel Ketchell.

The actor and former governor of California, went to Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles on Thursday for a catheter valve replacement, but the scheduled procedure led to further complications.

On Friday, Ketchell tweeted that on Thursday, Schwarzenegger “underwent a planned procedure to replace a pulmonic valve that was originally replaced due to a congenital heart defect in 1997.”

“That 1997 replace valve was never meant to be permanent, and has outlived its life expectancy, so he chose to replace it yesterday through a less-invasive catheter valve replacement,” he said. “During that procedure, an open-heart surgery team was prepared, as they frequently are in these circumstances, in case the catheter procedure was unable to be performed.”

The 70-year-old’s pulmonic valve was “successfully replaced” and the father of five “is currently recovering from the surgery and is in stable condition,” Ketchell concluded, “We want to thank the entire medical team for their tireless efforts.”

Schwarzenegger’s family has yet to comment.

Study sheds light on developmental origins of ‘butterflies of the soul’

A new study sheds light on the developmental origins of interneurons, or “butterflies of the soul.”

Interneurons, also referred to as the “butterflies of the soul,” play critical roles in transmitting information between sensory and motor neurons. And a new study sheds light on their developmental origins, according to Phys.org.

The Harvard Medical School team used single-cell analysis to track the behavior of interneurons, tracing their lineage from the earliest precursor states all the way into mature forms in mice. They found key genetic programs that determine the fate of developing interneurons, as well as when they are turned on and off.

“We knew more than 100 years ago that this huge diversity of morphologically interesting cells existed in the brain, but their specific individual roles in brain function are still largely unclear,” said Gordon Fishell, co-senior author of the study.

“Our study provides a road map for understanding how and when distinct interneuron subtypes develop, giving us unprecedented insight into the biology of these cells,” he said. “We can now investigate interneuron properties as they emerge, unlock how these important cells function and perhaps even intervene when they fail to develop correctly in neuropsychiatric disease.”

The findings were published in Nature.

Second wave of flu epidemic possible this season

The CDC warns that a second waver of this season’s flu epidemic is possible.

While flu activity nationwide has dropped to just above normal, the B viruses overtook influenza A during the week ending March 17, according to the CDC. And the agency is warning that influenza B infections, which commonly strike later in the season, could pose even greater risks for young children.

“This year’s flu shot protects you from several different strains of flu, including a type of influenza B,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer for the County of Santa Clara and Director of the County Public Health Department. “Flu season can continue until April or May each year and we are seeing a few cases of influenza B in our community, so it’s important to know it’s still not too late to get your flu shot. Protect yourself and your family by covering your cough, washing your hands, and staying home if you are sick.”

Officials are also warning that it’s possible for those who’ve already been sick with the flu to get hit again, but this time with a different strain later in the season. Experts recommend everyone who has not been vaccinated to get a flu shot while strains are still circulating.

Newly discovered organ could be largest in body

A team of scientists believe they have found a brand new organ known as the interstitium.

Researchers from the New York Department of Pathology have discovered what they believe to be a never-before-seen human organ, according to new research published in the journal Scientific Reports.

In the study, the team outlined their idea that the body contains a previously undiscovered network of fluid-filled pockets and collagen that sit beneath the skin and cover most internal organs.

Researchers accidentally discovered the proposed organ — known as the interstitium — while conducting a series of standard endoscopies. Though past endoscopies relied on cameras, newer techniques employ lasers that enable scientists to look into tissue at a microscopic level.

When the team behind the research studied a patient’s’ bile ducts, they expected to find the dense connective tissue that covers most organs. However, instead they found a mesh-like pattern of dark branching collagen bands around large, fluid-filled spaces.

After confirming their finding in other parts of the body, the team theorized that scientists had never found the interstitium because tissue samples caused the pockets to collapse and appear like solid tissue. After extracting bile samples, the scientists froze and studied them underneath a microscope. As expected, they found fluid pockets surrounded by bundles of collagen.

“This fixation artifact of collapse has made a fluid-filled tissue type throughout the body appear solid in biopsy slides for decades, and our results correct for this to expand the anatomy of most tissues,” said study co-author Neil Theise, a professor at New York University’s Department of Pathology, in a statement. “This finding has potential to drive dramatic advances in medicine, including the possibility that the direct sampling of interstitial fluid may become a powerful diagnostic tool.”

Researchers estimate that the interstitium contains up to a fifth of the body’s total fluids, and they believe the fluid is lymph — a colorless substance produced by the lymph nodes. Scientists are not sure why the interstitium exists, but they believe it could help absorb shock or act as an inner-body highway for white blood cells.

The team believes the system could foster disorders or certain diseases as well. For example, in some patients with cancer they found evidence the dangerous cells moved out of their initial site by hitching a ride along the interstitium.

The team needs to conduct more research to confirm their findings, but if they turn out to be true it would make the interstitium the first “new” organ discovered this year. It would also be the body’s 80th discovered organ, Gizmodo reports.

Viruses adapt through new evolutionary path, study says

Scientists have discovered a new evolutionary path used by viruses.

Researchers from the University of California San Diego have discovered evidence suggesting that viruses utilize a new path of evolution. The findings reveal the speed at which organisms such as viruses adapt to their surroundings.

The team ran experiments that found that viruses can infect “normal” hosts, which is expected. However, they also found evidence that they can infect new hosts targets — a process never before seen in evolution. The data could help solve the mysteries surrounding the genetic acquisition of new functions and the manifestation of mutations that ease transmission between hosts.

“This research shows us that viruses are much more adaptable than previously anticipated,” Justin Meyer, senior author of the study, said in a press release. “By learning how viruses achieve evolutionary flexibility, we have new insight into how to set up road blocks to stop the emergence of new diseases.”

The team discovered the means by which viruses violate well-accepted rules of molecular biology using a previously unknown evolutionary path.

“We were able to capture this evolutionary process in action,” said Katherine Petrie, lead author of the study. “We found that the protein’s ‘mistakes’ allowed the virus to infect its normal host, as well as different host cells. This nongenetic variation in the protein is a way to access more functions from a single DNA gene sequence. It’s like a buy-one-get-one-free special for the protein.”

The new findings could help improve our understanding of viral diseases like Zika, Ebola, and bird flu.

The findings were published in Science.

Study suggests Earth had water before it collided with the moon

A new study suggests that water existed on Earth before it collided with the moon.

An international team of researchers has found evidence that most of the Earth’s water was present before the impact that created the moon, according to Phys.org.

The moon’s origin is believed to be the result of a Mars-sized protoplanet colliding with protoplanetary Earth. After this crash, the ejected material coalesced and formed the moon. Before the new findings, the theory explaining the presence of water on Earth suggested that most of it came from asteroids and comets.

But while the new data supports the idea that the moon formed from an ancient planet colliding with Earth, it conflicts with the belief that Earth’s water came from asteroids and comets.

The study compared moon rocks from Earth and volcanic rocks retrieved from the ocean floor. After examining the composition signatures of oxygen isotopes to determine the origins of each, they found similarity between those from the moon and Earth.

The findings support the idea that the moon was formed from the Earth’s material due to a collision, but conflicts with the theory that water came from comets and asteroids. If it had come from these sources, the isotopes would be different than those in rocks originating from the moon.

Ultimately, the data suggests that water was present on protoplanetary Earth. In addition, the idea that water could survive such a massive impact opens up possibilities in our search for life outside of our solar system. Exoplanets believed to have endured collisions are typically believed to not be able to host life. Now, we might have to reexamine this notion.

The findings were published in Science Advances.

After expulsion, Britain goes after wealthy Russians: reports

Lawmakers wants Britain to go after wealthy Russians and Russian wealth.

On Thursday, British government said it would review the cases of 700 wealthy Russians granted visas to live in Britain because of their financial ability to invest millions of dollars in the country. The country also hinted on cutting off access to British financial markets.

This is not the first time London has promised to punish Russia. Britain swore to take action against Russia in 2006, when Kremlin critic Aleksandr V. Litvinenko was assassinated with a deadly radioactive isotope, eventually nothing was heard of the news, and this has made some critics to voice doubts whether there would be any difference this time.

However, London is ready to prove that Russia must suffer the consequences. So far, Britain and its allies have expelled more than 150 Russian government officials considered spies.

Lawmakers have suggested other moves to punish Russia like banning more Russian companies from British financial markets and revoking the broadcast license of RT, the Russian state-controlled television network.

According to Salisbury District Hospital, Yulia S. Skripal,  daughter of the former Russian spy Sergei V. Skripal who was assaulted with nerve agent while with her father “is improving rapidly and is no longer in a critical condition,” while authorities say his father remains hospitalized in critical condition.