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link @: learning english with voa news: Sunday, May 19, 2019

Today is another holiday, added for compensating the holiday on the passed Visakha Bucha day on Saturday. It's

become to be a long weekend for working people once again. 

There is a difference between people who are working and retired people. Because working people want to have

any long weekend for vacation. But the retired persons like me have much more vacation days in daily.

Luckily I can do something in the IT system, the social media as I want every day.

 Many thanks for both Google Translate and G Grammarly today again.

 

FRANCE 24 Live – International Breaking News & Top stories - 24/7 stream https://youtu.be/IBlUM-0NZZU


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‘Zombie Cells’: Researchers Fight Aging Process of the Human Body

4 hours ago

This April 2019 microscope photo provided by the Niedernhofer Lab of the Institute on the Biology of Aging and Metabolism at the University of Minnesota shows shows two senescent human fibroblast cells, above, next to normal ones in Minneapolis, Minnesota
This April 2019 microscope photo provided by the Niedernhofer Lab of the Institute on the Biology of Aging and Metabolism at the University of Minnesota shows two senescent human fibroblast cells, above, next to normal ones in Minneapolis, Minnesota
 

Creatures that refuse to die, commonly known as zombies, have appeared in popular movies and television shows for years.

Recent research has shown that an unusual part of real human biology possesses zombie-like qualities: a special kind of cells.

Like the stars of many scary stories, these so-called ‘zombie cells’ also refuse to die. Studies suggest that, as they build up in your body, they lead to aging and the conditions that come with that process, like bone and brain diseases.

Now, researchers are studying drugs that can kill zombie cells and possibly treat the problems they bring.

James Kirkland is a medical doctor and aging specialist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He is working on the research. He told the Associated Press that, generally, the goal is to fight aging itself. This in turn may delay the appearance of some age-related disease and disabilities.

The research has been done mainly in mice. Earlier this year, the first test on people was published and provided some interesting results.

Zombie cells are actually called senescent cells. They start out like usual cells, but then face problems, like viral infection or damage to their genetic material (DNA). At that point, a cell may die or become a zombie cell – entering a state of suspended animation.

These zombie cells release chemicals that can harm nearby normal cells. That is where the trouble starts.

What kind of trouble? In studies on mice, drugs that destroy zombie cells — called senolytics — have been shown to improve many different conditions. This includes cataractsdiabetes, enlargement of the heart, kidney problems, and age-related muscle loss.

Mouse studies have also shown a more direct tie between zombie cells and aging. When drugs targeting those cells were given to older mice, the animals showed improved walking speed, strength and an ability to continue physical activity. Even when researchers used the treatment on very old mice, it extended their lifespan by about 36 percent.

This April 2019 microscope photo provided by the Niedernhofer Lab of the Institute on the Biology of Aging and Metabolism at the University of Minnesota shows senescent human fibroblast cells in Minneapolis, Minn.
This April 2019 microscope photo provided by the Niedernhofer Lab of the Institute on the Biology of Aging and Metabolism at the University of Minnesota shows senescent human fibroblast cells in Minneapolis, Minn.

Researchers have also shown that putting zombie cells into young mice generally made them act older. Their walking speed slowed down. Their muscle strength and ability to stay active also decreased. Tests showed the newly added cells changed other cells into the zombie state.

This year, Kirkland and his team published the first study of a zombie-cell treatment in people. It involved 14 patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, an often deadly lung disease. Risk of the disease rises with age, and patients’ lungs show evidence of zombie cells.

After three weeks of treatment, patients who took part in the experiment improved on some measures of physical health, like walking speed. Other measures did not show improvement.

Gregory Cosgrove is a doctor and chief medical officer of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. He was not involved in the study. He noted that, overall, the results are a good sign.

“It really raises enthusiasm to proceed with the more rigorousstudies,” Cosgrove said.

The field of zombie cell research is still young. But Kirkland estimates at least 12 companies have formed or launched efforts to study treatments.

Laura Niedernhofer is a professor of biochemistry at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She suggested that, in addition to age-related diseases, anti-zombie cell drugs might be useful for treating early aging among cancer survivors. This condition brings on the early appearance of some diseases.

Niedernhofer said the goal is not to prevent damaged cells from turning into zombies, because they may become cancerous instead. The aim is to kill cells that have already changed or to limit the harm they do.

And what about giving them to healthy people who want to prevent aging? That is possible but a long way off, after studies have established that the drugs are safe enough, Niedernhofer said.

Kirkland added, “We may not get there.”

In any case, experts do support the research so far. George Kuchel, a doctor with the University of Connecticut Center on Aging in Farmington, found the results very interesting.

Nir Barzilai is a researcher of aging at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He believes treating zombie cells will play a part in the overall effort to delay, stop and maybe even undo aging.

I’m Bryan Lynn.

Malcolm Ritter reported on this story for the Associated Press. Pete Musto adapted it for VOA Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor. We want to hear from you. How likely do you think it is that researchers will be able to stop the process of aging? Write to us in the Comments Section.

Quiz: ‘Zombie Cells’: Researchers Fight Aging Process of the Human Body

Quiz: ‘Zombie Cells’: Researchers Fight Aging Process of the Human Body

Start the Quiz to find out

Words in This Story

mice – n. very small animals that have pointed noses and long, thin tails

suspended animation – n. a state in which the processes of the body, such as blood circulation, stop or become very slow for a period of time while a person or animal is unconscious

cataract(s) – n. a condition in which a part of your eye called the lens becomes cloudy and you cannot see well

diabetes – n. a serious disease in which the body cannot properly control the amount of sugar in your blood because it does not have enough insulin

enthusiasm – n. a strong feeling of active interest in something that you like or enjoy

rigorous – adj. done carefully and with a lot of attention to detail

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Salt Batteries Could Be Major Step in Move Away from Fossil Fuels

May 19, 2019

Personnel look up at an experimental salt-based heat storage facility at Berlin's Reuter thermal power station on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. The energy company, together with a Swedish start-up, is testing the use of salt to store heat, which accounts for
Personnel look up at an experimental salt-based heat storage facility at Berlin's Reuter thermal power station on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. The energy company, together with a Swedish start-up, is testing the use of salt to store heat, which accounts for

At a power station in Berlin, Germany, visitors find a shining piece of machinery that looks out of place in the building. Its silver pipes and containers hold a substance that reportedly could become a major ingredient for producing power in the future.

Vattenfall, the station’s operator, says this form of energy would not depend on traditional fossil fuels, such as oil or coal.

The company, working with a Swedish company called SaltX, is testing the use of salt to store heat. Yet it is not the kind of salt you add to food.
Heat-produced energy represents more than the half the power Germany uses. If it works well, the salt-based energy storage system could help solve a problem presented by renewable energy sources, such as wind and the sun’s energy.

The problem is that renewable energy sources are not completely dependable. They sometimes make too much, and sometimes too little power.

E.ON, another German power company, recently reported that wind and solar power produced up to 52 gigawatt hours of electricity during daylight hours on Monday, April 22. Germany’s energy usage at the time was just 49.5 gigawatt hours.

Hendrik Roeglin heads the salt storage project for Vattenfall. He told the Associated Press that power companies are able to produce twice as much energy as Germany needs through renewable sources. However, they cannot do so continuously.

“With many facilities like this one, in theory you wouldn’t need gas or other fossil fuel backups,” Roeglin noted.

Berlin’s Reuter power plant supplies heat to 600,000 households in the German capital. Now the plant is adding a salt-like substance called calcium oxide, also known as quicklime, to its power generating efforts. Vattenfall and SaltX have been making use of a simple chemical reaction that happens when quicklime becomes wet.

The salt-like particles collect the water, becoming calcium hydroxide and releasing large amounts of heat at the same time. The calcium hydroxide is then cooked, removing the water and changing it back into calcium oxide.

The process operates in much the same way batteries do. But instead of electricity, the system stores heat. SaltX says it has also created a way of covering the quicklime with small particles — known as a nano-coating. This prevents it from sticking together after several heating and cooling cycles.

Roeglin says the process can take in 10 times more energy than water, which is currently used for power-to-heat facilities. And unlike containers of hot water, which slowly cool down over time, the system can hold the chemically-trapped energy for far longer. Need heat? Just add water.

A chimney billows out steam at Berlin's Reuter West thermal power station on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. The energy company, together with a Swedish start-up, is testing the use of salt to store heat, which accounts for more than half the power consumed in
A chimney billows out steam at Berlin's Reuter West thermal power station on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. The energy company, together with a Swedish start-up, is testing the use of salt to store heat, which accounts for more than half the power consumed in

“It makes total sense to try this because storing energy is a hugely important step in the future,” says Kai Hufendiek. He is an energy economist at the University of Stuttgart and was not involved with the project.

The Swedish company SaltX claims that the system can produce temperatures above 500 degrees Celsius. Hufendiek noted that if this is true, it also makes the process interesting for industrial uses such as food processing.

SaltX adds that the calcium oxide currently mined in Finland could be safely used more than once. That makes it more useful than some battery technologies that use rare or toxic materials.

Simon Ahlin is a representative of SaltX. During a recent visit to the Reuter power plant, he said that this is a solution to energy needs that is available in a short amount of time.

“If your ambition is to be fossil-free within a generation, you have to consider … alternatives to reach that,” he told reporters.

Yet Hendrik Roeglin of Vattenfall is waiting until the end of the year to see the results of the tests.

The Berlin-based project can currently store enough energy to heat about 100 large houses. But SaltX says the facility could easily be expanded and provide heat to any of the homes or offices already connected to the city’s heating system.

Such systems, made of pipes pushing hot water or steam from power plants to homes and businesses, exist in many European countries. They also exist in China, Japan, Canada and the United States.

Experts agree that a number of technological solutions will be necessary to take the place of fossil fuels. Some already exist, while others are still experimental. U.S.-based automaker Tesla has already shown that it can provide large lithium-ion battery systems to operate electrical grids.

Moving away from nuclear, coal and gas is a big goal for a heavily industrialized country such as Germany. The government has set a date to close all the country’s nuclear plants by 2022 and stop burning coal for electricity by 2038. Gas will be a back-up technology until a way is found to depend wholly on renewable sources sometime around 2050.

The German plan is being closely watched by other countries studying how to meet the Paris climate accord signed in 2016. That agreement aims to keep warming in the Earth’s atmosphere well below 2 degrees Celsius.

I’m Ashley Thompson. And I'm John Russell.

 

Frank Jordans reported on this story for the Associated Press. Pete Musto adapted his report for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

We want to hear from you. How successful do you think these ‘salt batteries’ will be? Write to us in the Comments Section.

________________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

ingredient – n. one of the things that are used to make a food or product

renewable – adj. restored or replaced by natural processes

gigawatt – n. a unit of electric power equal to one billion watts

facilities – n. something such as a building or large piece of equipment that is built for a specific purpose

batteries – n. devices that are placed inside a machine (such as a clock, toy, or car) to supply it with electricity

cycle(s) – n. a set of events or actions that happen again and again in the same order

ambition – n. a desire to be successful, powerful, or famous

alternative(s) – n. something that can be chosen instead of something else

grid(s) – n. a network of electrical wires and equipment that supplies electricity to a large area

 

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2

Unit 2: Hidden talents

Present perfect continuous

 

Session 1

At the weekend, in spring, on Saturday. Learning which preposition to use with which time expression can be difficult. But don't worry, all is explained in 6 Minute Vocabulary. And we have lots of activities to help you practise...

 

Sessions in this unit

Session 1 score

0 / 14

 

Activity 1

6 Minute Vocabulary

 

In, at, on with time expressions

Neil is going to a wedding on Saturday, but Catherine likes to relax at the weekend. And what's Mike doing in the afternoon?

In 6 Minute Vocabulary we're looking at time expressions with the words in, at and on.Neil and Catherine are your guides - and they have lots of top tips to help you remember.

Listen to the audio and complete the activity

Downloads

You can download 6 Minute Vocabulary from our Unit 2 Downloads page. Remember, you can also subscribe to the podcast version.

Next

So, do you think you know how to use in, at and on with time expressions now? Would you like a chance to demonstrate your ability? Well, try the activities on the next two pages.

 

Session Vocabulary

  • Time expressions with at

    • specific times - at one o’clock / at 2:30pm
    • points of the day - at noon / at midday / at night / at midnight
    • points of the day when things happen - at breakfast / at dinner / at lunchtime
    • festivals and special days - at Easter, at Eid
    • weekend - at the weekend

    Time expressions with on

    • specific dates - on 3rd May
    • specific days - on Christmas Day / on New Year's Eve
    • days of the week - on Monday / on Mondays

    Time expressions with in

    • parts of the day - in the morning / in the afternoon / in the evening
    • seasons - in spring / in summer / in autumn / in winter
    • years - in 1996

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Photos of Their Majesties now available for download

national May 20, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

A total of eight pictures, most of them featuring both HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn and HM Queen Suthida, were released through the website yesterday. 

In one of the pictures, the royal couple are in Royal Thai Air Force uniform with a small plane behind them. The monarch is a qualified pilot for fighter and civilian aircraft. 

His Majesty the King has granted permission for people and organisations, from both private and government sectors, to use these pictures when they wish to express loyalty or pay tribute to him and his Queen on important occasions. 

June 3, the birthday of the Queen, is now a national holiday, along with the King’s birthday, July 28.

The King married his queen just prior to the coronation ceremony, which took place earlier this month. 

Last Friday, the King also granted 20 pictures of the Queen for use in honouring them. These pictures are available for download via the Public Relations Department’s website too. 

Anutin Charnvirakul
Anutin Charnvirakul

Pro-junta bloc claims deal with Democrats, Bhumjaithai

politics May 20, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

2,135 Viewed

THE PRO-JUNTA Phalang Pracharat Party claimed to have successfully cobbled together a coalition that could form a new government with the participation of the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties, a source from the major coalition partner said yesterday.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha will again head the post-election administration, with many members of his current post-coup Cabinet joining him, including General Prawit Wongsuwan, General Anupong Paochinda, Somkid Jatusripitak and Wissanu Krea-ngam, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

However, it remained unclear if Prayut would also double as defence minister or allow Prawit to assume the post again in addition to the deputy PM’s post.

Phalang Pracharath will get at least 16 Cabinet seats and the Democrats and Bhumjaithai would get seven each, the source said, adding that these numbers were based on an agreed quota of one Cabinet seat for seven MPs.

In the March 24 general election, Phalang Pracharath won 115 MP seats, the Democrats 52 and Bhumjaithai 51.

Among the key Cabinet portfolios expected to go to Phalang Pracharath are Finance, Transport, Commerce, Education, Foreign Affairs, Tourism and Sports, and Natural Resources and the Environment.

The Democrats are expected to get the Labour and Justice portfolios besides the minister of Social Development and Human Security as well as minister of University Affairs, Science Research and Innovations – a new ministry created by the current government. 

According to the source, the Democrat Party will also get deputy ministers for Interior, Finance and Education.

Bhumjaithai has successfully bargained for the seats of Public Health minister and Digital Economy and Society minister, in addition to deputy minister seats in the ministries of Transport, Interior and Commerce, the source said.

The party’s leader, Anutin Charnvirakul, is expected to become the new Public Health minister to push for its policy platform of legalising marijuana.

Meanwhile, political parties in the “democratic camp” still have not given up hope of forming a new coalition government despite claims by the rival pro-junta camp of their success, Pheu Thai secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai said yesterday.

The confidence was expressed as both Pheu Thai and Phalang Pracharat were heavily lobbying for support from smaller parties.

Phumtham said all the parties in the group, that he called the “democratic camp”, remained firm about going ahead with forming a new government.

He said his coalition had the main goal of “preventing the country reaching a dead end and stopping the continuation of power” by the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) through General Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is the sole prime ministerial candidate for Phalang Pracharath.

“The parties in the democratic camp still have not stopped today. For us, the journey is not completed,” Phumtham said in his Facebook post. 

“All the parties [in the camp] are still determined; we have exchanged views with all sides and we see hopes from the dialogue. I can tell you that there is progress in our work,” he said.

Rivals not convinced

Phumtham said the rival camp’s claim of near success in putting together a coalition government was merely a psychological move aimed at boosting their allies’ confidence in an attempt to gain political power and continue with their rule.

He voiced confidence that the Pheu Thai-led alliance would eventually win when the House of Representatives votes on Saturday.

“We are hopeful of a victory in the House of Representatives. We are confident that we can bring about better changes,” he said.

The new House of Representatives is scheduled to convene its first meeting on Saturday to elect the speaker and two deputy speakers.

General Prayut, who led the 2014 military coup to overthrow a Pheu Thai-led government, is the current prime minister and also heads the NCPO.

Both Pheu Thai and Phalang Pracharat have claimed legitimacy to form the next government, with the former winning the most House seats and the latter gaining the most popular votes in the March 24 general election.

Varawut Silpa-archa, a key figure in the Chart Thai Pattana Party, said yesterday that his party had been approached by both Pheu Thai and Phalang Pracharat to join their rival coalitions. “But there has been no agreement whatsoever,” Varawut said, adding that Chart Thai politicians would meet on Thursday to discuss “which way to head” regarding the matter.

Meanwhile, the Democrat Party, which is also being courted by both Pheu Thai and Phalang Pracharath, maintained yesterday that it would base its decision “mainly for the benefit of the people and the country”, spokesman Ramet Ratanachaweng said.

He said no meeting has been scheduled between the party’s newly elected MPs and new executive board headed by party leader Jurin Laksanavisit to decide about joining a new government.

“The public should trust the Democrat Party under the leadership of Jurin Laksanavisit. We will basically do whatever is needed to benefit the people and the country,” the spokesman said.

In a related development, the Bhumjaithai Party – which is also being wooed by rival camps to join their coalitions – holds an orientation meeting for its new MPs at a hotel in Buri Ram province today.

At the meeting, to be chaired by Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul, the party’s executives and MPs are expected to determine its stance as to which camp it would join to form a next government.

 ............................................................

FINISHED

20th May 2019

 


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