On Breaking and Establishing New Patterns

first_imgHere’s a pattern:You compete for your prospect’s business. You make it to the presentation stage. They say they like you a lot, but you cost more than your competitors. You lose the business.Here’s another pattern:You call your dream client to check in each quarter. They tell you nothing’s changed. You ask them if it’s okay to call them and check in again in another quarter. They happily agree.Here’s one more pattern:Your boss is a jerk. He doesn’t understand that it’s not your fault that you aren’t producing results. He tries to get you to change what you’re doing. You quit and get a new boss. The new boss is a jerk.The One Thing You Can ChangeThe common denominator in each of these patterns is you. If you continue to do the same thing over and over again, you will produce the same result over and over again. The only thing that you have any real ability to change is you. And how lucky we are that this is true.You can break unhealthy patterns at any time you choose. You can stop doing what you are doing when it isn’t working and do something different instead.Establishing Virtuous PatternsHere’s a different pattern:You win your dream client. You solve their problems and they’re happy with you. Instead of becoming complacent, you bring your dream client a new, unsolicited, value creating idea. Your dream client is even happier. You repeat this every quarter.Here’s one more pattern:You call your dream client and they refuse to give you their time. You nurture them by providing them an actionable, valuable idea or insight. They still refuse to give you the time of day. Nurture. Nurture. Nurture. Nurture. Your dream client is dissatisfied. They agree to meet with you.We fall into patterns. Some of them are vicious. Others are virtuous. To break unhealthy patterns and establish new ones, you have to change what you’re doing.QuestionsWhat are some of the patterns that you have fallen into that don’t serve you?Are there any patterns that you’ve adopted that served you at one time but that no longer serve you now?What are the healthy patterns of activity that are producing results for you now?How could you do even more of what is already working?Who has a pattern that you can follow to produce the same result they’re producing? What’s that pattern?last_img read more

Burning Brightly Still

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now The human spirit desires liberty. Everyone, everywhere in the world, should have what the human spirit desires most of all.The desire for liberty, freedom, burns like an ember in the souls of people in every nation on earth. It always has. It always will.What has made the United States exceptional for the last 237 years has been the fact that it has been an inspiration for those around the world who know in their hearts that liberty is their birthright.Let us always remember to be that example for those whose embers burn. And let us  remember that, no matter how faint those embers burn, the human spirit will always refuse to be snuffed out or extinguished.Let the embers burn brighter here–and everywhere on earth.Happy Independence Day!last_img read more

Negotiating and Discounting Are Different

first_imgNegotiating and discounting are not the same thing.When you negotiate, both parties try to find a way to exchange value that gives each side what they need. The key factor here is that both sides are giving something to get something they require.NegotiationsYour customer may tell you that they need a lower price. You counter by offering to reduce your price in exchange for something that provides you with as much or more value than what you gave in a price concession. That might mean that you ask for a larger order to grant that pricing, payment in full and in advance of delivery, exclusivity in your category, or one of the countless other trades that might make a win-win deal.Both parties are giving something to the other party. That’s what makes it a negotiation.DiscountingDiscounting is different. When you discount, your prospective client asks for a lower price, and you make the price concession to acquire the prospect’s business. Your potential client doesn’t give anything additional in return.Much of the time when people say they need to learn how to negotiate, they mean they need to learn how to defend their pricing model to avoid discounting. They want to know how to justify the delta, the difference between their pricing and their competitor’s pricing.Discounting may be necessary to win a deal. But negotiating is helpful when it comes to winning at a price that allows you to execute and deliver to your clients. 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

9 Reasons Sales Training Fails

first_img Free Webinar Series! Create a culture of value creation. Signup for this free webinar! In three, short, power-packed webinars, you will learn what you need to do to create a culture of value creators who create and win new opportunities. Download Now There are many reasons sales training fails. These are the reasons I most often come across.Lack of Leadership: I have walked into room after room full of salespeople because I was hired by management to train them, only to watch executive leadership and the sales managers walk out of the room. The leadership wasn’t interested in understanding what their salespeople were being taught, nor were they concerned enough about the execution of the new skills being taught to their salespeople. It was beneath them.Single Event Approach: When sales training is a single event, the expectation is unreasonably high. The trainer is expected to teach five or six concepts, the strategies for employing new skills, and the tactical decisions as to how and when to use them in a way that allows for perfect comprehension. The sales force, for their part, is supposed to grasp all of this information in a single day and exercise perfect recall and flawless execution. This isn’t how people gain new skills.No Ongoing Reinforcement: Most new skills are acquired over time. We tend to make mistakes, and it helps to have coaching and conversations to help the person learning gain an awareness of what they’re doing and how they might make adjustments. Over time, the distinctions they make allow for new choices and their skills improve.Lack of Managerial Will: When salespeople are trained, it is up to their individual managers to reinforce the training, and that means ensuring the sales force is taking new actions and producing new results. It also means that they have to observe the sales force in the field to verify for themselves.No Application: Providing information isn’t enough. Training without a focus on the practical application will not produce the necessary results. The concepts are important, but if the salesperson isn’t taught how and when to apply what they are learning in the context of what they do, they will lack the ability to apply what they have learned.No Consequences for Reverting Back to Old Habits: If there are no consequences for reverting back to old habits, then there is no accountability. If the change you are enabling with training is critical, then the new skills and behaviors cannot be a suggestion; it has to be non-negotiable. If you allow your people to wait you out, they will.Giving Up too Soon: Leaders underestimate how much time and energy is going to take to enable their sales force to acquire new skills, new beliefs, and new behaviors. They move on to other priorities when they need to talk about what they need from their sales force in every conversation. They need to point back to the training and the outcomes it was designed to help them produce over and over again until it becomes “the way we do things here.” When the leader gives up, the sales force gives up.B2C Training for B2B Sales: B2C and B2B are different. The sales approaches are different. The conversations are very different. What is at stake is often very different, as are the implications for the person buying. The approach that one might take when selling cars, where a buyer who walks off the lot is a lost sale, is different from a complex sale, where the buyers are going to need multiple conversations over time to understand what they need, how to change, and to build internal consensus. The tactics used in B2C will ruin your sales in B2B.Not Really Sales Training: Some of what it being described as sales training is not. It is training around the tools salespeople use, especially technological tools that are designed to help the salesperson with all sorts of tasks. Teaching people to use quoting software (or whatever is this year’s fashion) will help them be more efficient and give leaders more control. It might even help speed the quote to a client. But it isn’t likely to change the conversation between the salesperson and their prospect, nor is it going to create a preference to buy from them and their company.last_img read more

On exam day, varsity left red-faced

first_imgNinety-four students of the Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University (TMBU) who turned up for the post-graduation exams in Hindi on Thursday were dismayed to learn that the question papers had not arrived.It was the last paper of the second semester post-graduation Hindi exam. The question paper had apparently not been printed.The Vice-Chancellor of TMBU Nalini Kant Jha has served show cause notices on the officer in charge of PG Hindi and section officer in the Office of the Controller of Examinations. The two have been asked to reply to the notices by Friday, after which suitable action would be initiated, the V-C told PTI.The VC said the exam has now been fixed for April 22.last_img

Hurriyat leader targets Army chief

first_imgHurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Tuesday described the recent statements of the Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, on Kashmir as an “illustration of a criminal and fascist mentality”.“The statements only exposed the Army’s intentions. It testifies our claim that security forces are given a free licence to carry out genocide in Jammu and Kashmir with impunity,” said 86-year-old Mr. Geelani, who remains under house arrest.Gen. Rawat had backed Major Leetul Gogoi’s decision to tie a civilian to a jeep, saying a “dirty war has to be fought with innovative ways. For seven decades, we have time and again raised our voice and expressed our concern about the sinister plans of the Indian leadership in Kashmir. However, no serious steps were taken by international community,” said Mr. Geelani.The Jamaat-e-Islami expressed concern over the “threatening and intimidating” statements of General Rawat.last_img

Journalist Santanu Bhowmik abducted and killed while covering IPFT agitation

first_imgMiscreants allegedly owing allegiance to the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) have murdered a young television journalist at Mandwai, 25km east of Agartala, on Wednesday afternoon. Santanu Bhowmik, 27, was attacked with sharp cutting weapons while covering a road blockade agitation of the IPFT, which is demanding a separate tribal State called Tipraland.The murder of the journalist, who was working for a local television channel, occurred amid continuing clashes between supporters of the IPFT and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in the Khowai, Teliamura and Jirania subdivisions. Scores have been injured, houses burnt, police vehicles torched and policemen attacked in the second day of tension in Tripura.Police recovered journalist Santanu Bhowmik in a critical state after he was attacked by a group of miscreants at Mandwai. Doctors declared him brought dead after he was shifted to the GBP Hospital here. He had received injuries on his head.A large number of journalists from all segments of media gathered at the hospital to demand the immediate arrest of the murderers.last_img read more

Parrikar vows to make Goa a scientific hub

first_imgGoa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said that the State government was working on making Goa a scientific hub in India.After inaugurating the Nobel Prize lecture series in the city on Thursday, Mr. Parrikar said, “Our government seeks to reinforce Goa’s status as India’s scientific hub. The focus will be on significantly strengthening scientific education and promoting scientific temperament in the State.”Mr. Parrikar announced an annual innovation science contest where high school and college students in the State would be invited to propose breakthrough research ideas. He said, “We seek to develop the capacity of our human capital, the most precious resource into a knowledge powerhouse that fuels our nation’s growth and addresses our most critical development issues through innovation. Our government will support innovations for a period of one year.”Earlier, Mr. Parikkar inaugurated the 2nd edition of Nobel Prize Series India 2018 with the theme, Science Impact Lives, and the Nobel Science Exhibition and the India Science Exhibition: Ideas Changes the World.The event is organised by the Department of Biotechnology of the Ministry of Science and Technology in collaboration with Nobel Media AB Sweden, the Nobel Museum and the Goa government.Secretary of Department of Bio-Technology K. Vijayaraghvan, Nobel Media CEO Dr. Mathias Fyrenius, Director of the Nobel Museum Dr. Olov Amelin, Consul General of Sweden for Mumbai Ulrika Sundberg, and Nobel laureates Christiane Nusslein-Volhard, Serge Haroche, Richard J. Roberts, Tomas Lindahl were present.‘Be curious, ask questions’Prof. Volhard said that science is meant to improve humankind’s progress and encourage basic research. She said, “Basic research is not directly aimed at discovery but to understand complications.” Prof. Volhard said that she was currently working on fish and their patterns and colours. She urged students to be curious, ask questions and discover things to help humankind.The Nobel series is the beginning of a five-day programme across Goa, Mumbai, and Delhi to stimulate engagement in science and literature. The Nobel laureates will deliver lectures and take part in roundtable discussions and meetings with experts and students. A conference for students will take place in Goa and a national session will be hosted by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.The exhibition will be open to the public from Friday and continue till February 25. It is a unique opportunity to learn about the life of Alfred Nobel, view actual objects belonging to Nobel laureates and see how Nobel Prize-winning discoveries will affect the future.On Friday, the Nobel laureates will attend Nobel Dialogues, an interaction with students and teachers from schools, colleges and Kala Academy. On Saturday, they will have dialogues with scientists from the National Institute of Oceanography at Dona Paula.last_img read more

No remission yet for 458 convicts in Bengal jails

first_imgThere are 458 life convicts who have completed 14 years of imprisonment in several correctional homes in West Bengal, and as per existing laws, the State government should initiate the process of considering their release, the reply to the RTI query had revealed on August 17, 2017. The State government, however, is far from granting remission to any of these life convicts, despite the Calcutta High Court’s order to complete the process by May 2, 2018. The RTI query was filed by Pradeep Singh Thakur, State secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist (CPI-ML-Red Star). The highest number of such convicts are lodged in the Lalogola Open Air Correctional Home (89), followed by the Alipore Central Correctional Home (87). The Presidency Central Correctional Home and the Midnapore Central Correctional Home each have 57 such convicts.“We are yet to decide on the remission of the [sentence of 458] life term convicts in the State as the verification reports [from the police] about such convicts are yet to arrive,” Ujjal Biswas, the West Bengal Minister for the Department of Correctional Administration told The Hindu. “So far, we have sent about 250 of these life term convicts to open jails,” he added.Mr. Biswas pointed out that the Calcutta High Court, in its judgement on November 2, 2017, referred to the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court for such remission. ‘Case by case’ The HC order, delivered by the Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya and Justice Arijit Banerjee, had stated, “We direct the respondent authorities to undertake the exercise of considering case by case as to whether the life of convicts, who are presently in correctional homes, can be released upon remission of their punishment, following the guidelines laid down by the Hon’ble Apex Court in the aforesaid case.” The Supreme Court, in the related judgement, had stated that while granting remission, the concerned government has to “consider not only the gravity of the crime but also other circumstances, including whether the prisoner has now been de-sensitised and is ready to be assimilated in the society.”last_img read more

‘Issue caste certificates to candidates in 12 hours’: Akali Dal

first_imgAhead of the rural polls in Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday urged the State Election Commissioner to ensure that candidates aspiring to contest from seats reserved for schedule caste and backward classes are issued caste certificates within 12 hours so that no aspirant is deprived of the right to contest.SAD’s senior vice-president Daljeet Singh Cheema, through a letter pointed out that the election schedule was announced on August 29. Since then government offices have been closed. They are to open on September 4, when the process of nomination would begin, leaving the aspirant with no time to obtain the mandatory certificates. The elections are slated for September 19.Dr. Cheeema said all officials should be directed to ensure that such certificates are delivered instantly but not later than 12 hours.“If this is not possible, the candidates should be allowed to file nominations along with an affidavit with an explicit provision to submit such caste certificate later,” he added.Dr. Cheema criticised the Commission for announcing the poll schedule without consulting all parties.He also hit out at senior AAP leader H.S. Phoolka on his threat to resign from the Punjab Assembly if cases were not registered against former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal by September 15, relating to the police firing incidents at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura in 2015. “Mr. Phoolka’s licence should be revoked by the Bar Council of India immediately for making unconstitutional and illegal demand to register cases on the basis of a fabricated report,” said Dr. Cheema.last_img read more

Gujarat stares at acute water crisis

first_imgFollowing a deficit monsoon, Gujarat is staring at an acute water crisis as the 204 dams and reservoirs that supply water for drinking and irrigation to various parts of the State are drying up even before the winter ends.Kutch, parts of Saurashtra and north Gujarat are likely to face acute water shortage in the coming months as local water sources have almost dried up and they have to rely only on the Narmada project.“We will face water shortage because of the skewed monsoon. The State government has made elaborate arrangements to ensure that Narmada water is provided to the water-starved regions,” a State government official said.In Surendranagar district, water is supplied once a week, while in some places in Amreli, water is supplied once in 10 days. In parts of Saurashtra, water is supplied only once or twice a week.“As of now, 34 water bodies/dams/ reservoirs have completely dried up, while nearly 166 dams or water bodies are almost 70% dry,” the official said, adding that except south and central Gujarat districts, all other regions will face water crisis from January onwards. The State government has already declared 90 talukas in 16 districts as scarcity hit and also announced a relief package for farmers and cattle breeders.last_img read more

‘Contesting against BJP won’t affect alliance’

first_imgVowing to defeat a person “who betrayed people” by switching parties overnight, Maharastrawadi Gomantak Party(MGP) president Pandurang ‘Deepak’ Dhavalikar on Thursday began campaigning for the upcoming bypoll in the Shiroda Assembly constituency in North Goa.Mr. Dhavalikar’s statement was aimed at Subhash Shirodkar, the Congress MLA who resigned recently to join BJP and would contest from Shiroda in the bypoll.Mr. Dhavalikar, when contacted by The Hindu on Friday, denied that he was contesting the bypoll because of fears that two additions to the BJP legislative strength would reduce the MGP’s importance in the BJP-led alliance.On remarks by his brother, the MGP leader and minister Ramakrishna Dhavalikar, that there was no decision on Mr. Dhavalikar’s candidacy, the MGP chief said he was confident that the party and his brother would back him. When specifically asked if his contesting the election was not against the coalition “dharma”, as the MGP is an ally in the BJP-led government, Mr. Dhavalikar said, “My fight is not against the government or the BJP. It is against habitual defectors, whoever they are, but need to be taught a lesson so that others will be warned,” said Mr. Dhavalikar. When asked whether the MGP contesting the bypoll would affect its ties with the BJP, he said it would not have an impact.last_img read more

Disgruntled Uttar Pradesh Minister Om Prakash Rajbhar to meet Amit Shah

first_imgAfter having offered to quit the Backward Class Welfare Ministry in Uttar Pradesh, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party leader Om Prakash Rajbhar will now press his demands with the BJP’s central leadership.A disgruntled Mr. Rajbhar last week handed back the Backward Class Welfare portfolio to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, accusing his government of neglecting Other Backward Classes and discriminating against them. However, Mr. Adityanath rejected the proposal, said Arun Rajbhar, SBSP general secretary, on Sunday. The SBSP chief will now meet BJP president Amit Shah in Delhi on Tuesday to discuss implementation of the report proposing sub-categorisation of the OBC quota.last_img

Q&A: What Would You Do With the World’s Most Powerful Laser?

first_imgCHICAGO, ILLINOIS—This week, the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California announced an important milestone on the road to achieving ignition, which could lead to producing controlled fusion reactions here on Earth. But NIF isn’t just about harnessing the energy of the stars—it’s also about learning how stars produce their energy in the first place. In fact, pushing matter to extreme pressures and temperatures lets scientists explore all sorts of unanswered questions. Here, at the annual meeting of AAAS, which publishes Science, four physicists sat down with us to discuss NIF’s basic science potential and what experiments they would do if they had the laser all to themselves.Q: What was NIF designed to do? Johan Frenje (Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge): NIF is a laser that’s the size of three football stadiums, with 192 beams. We use those lasers to implode capsules to very, very high densities and, hopefully, high temperatures during what we call “shots.” When we reach those conditions, we may be able to ignite, where you produce more energy than you put in. We’ve made a significant amount of progress, but we have a long way to go before we achieve ignition.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(*)Ani Aprahamian (University of Notre Dame in Indiana): With ignition, we would have a power source like the sun, producing endless energy. But there have been some technical difficulties on the way to get there.Q: In addition to fusion research, what other kids of science can you do at NIF?A.A.: The work at NIF is really is at the gut of understanding matter. We think we understand a lot about plasmas and nuclear matter, but in reality, we don’t. What you can do with NIF is at the frontiers of knowledge.J.F.: To me, the biggest issue is understanding plasma at very high temperatures and pressures. Some of that physics is not understood yet, so we have quite a bit of work to do.Narek Gharibyan (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California): NIF is a wonderful source of neutrons that we can use to do basic science measurements. In particular, we’re trying to look at isomeric states, which is when an atomic nucleus gains energy and jumps from its ground state to an excited state. Those states aren’t stable, so it’s very difficult to do any measurements on an excited nucleus. But because NIF produces so many neutrons, you can actually create that state and measure it during the same shot. There are models that predict what these measurements would be, but experimental results are always needed to prove that what we think we know is actually right.René Reifarth (Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany): When you look at normal temperatures on Earth, we get up to around 300 kelvin, or 30°C. Inside a NIF shot, we reach temperatures of 150 million kelvin, which is more like the inside of a star. You cannot do that anywhere else, and even at NIF, you can only do it for very, very short times. This is the only chance we have to touch something that hot. There are more questions that can be addressed if you put matter under very extreme conditions.Q: How similar is a NIF shot to the inside of a star?R.R.: It depends on the star, and it depends on the shot. But in NIF, you can reach temperatures that are quite similar to typical stellar temperatures. Of course, the cores in the stars are much bigger and also stay at those extreme temperatures and pressures for much longer. NIF can only create those conditions during an implosion. Still, if we can explain what happens inside a NIF capsule, we hope that we can explain what happens inside a star. NIF tests our basic understanding of fusion, of explosions, all kinds of things.Q: If you had NIF all to yourself for a week, what kind of experiment would you do?R.R.: I would dope the capsules with heavy elements and see what happens.N.G.: We always talk about collecting literally everything that comes out of the capsule as it implodes to be able to study what happens when the plasma forms and well as how it cools For example, we don’t know if the debris is atomized or in chunks. There’s a lot of interesting things we could do with our own time at NIF.J.F.: I would look at charged particle transport, or how energy and particles are transported in plasmas. It’s a big problem, and we don’t understand it very well. There are lots of theories out there but there’s no experimental data on how the process works. People have been trying to do this for 30 years but it’s extraordinarily hard. I think there’s a lot of potential to do very high quality measurements with NIF.A.A.: I don’t think we’d be running short of ideas.See more of our coverage from AAAS 2014.last_img read more

Monkeys Can Do Math

first_imgIt looks like a standardized test question: Is the sum of two numbers on the left or the single number on the right larger? Rhesus macaques that have been trained to associate numerical values with symbols can get the answer right, even if they haven’t passed a math class. The finding doesn’t just reveal a hidden talent of the animals—it also helps show how the mammalian brain encodes the values of numbers.Previous research has shown that chimpanzees can add single-digit numbers. But scientists haven’t explained exactly how, in the human or the monkey brain, numbers are being represented or this addition is being carried out. Now, a new study helps begin to answer those questions.Neurobiologist Margaret Livingstone of Harvard Medical School in Boston and her colleagues had already taught three rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) in the lab to associate the Arabic numbers 0 through 9 and 15 select letters with the values zero through 25. When given the choice between two symbols, monkeys reliably chose the larger to get a correspondingly larger number of droplets of water, apple juice, or orange soda as a reward. To test whether the monkeys could add these values, the researchers began giving them a choice between a sum and a single symbol rather than two single symbols. Within 4 months, the monkeys had learned how the task worked and were able to effectively add two symbols and compare the sum to a third, single symbol.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(*)To ensure that the monkeys hadn’t simply memorized every possible combination of symbols and associated a value with the combination—this wouldn’t be true addition—Livingstone’s team next taught the animals an entirely new set of symbols—Tetris-like blocks rather than letters and numbers. With the new symbols, the monkeys were again able to add—this time calculating the value of combinations they’d never seen before and confirming the ability to do basic addition, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.But when Livingstone and colleagues started analyzing the data in more detail—they had the results of hundreds of tests per day for months on end—they realized that the monkeys weren’t 100% accurate. They tended to underestimate a sum compared with a single symbol when the two were close in value—sometimes choosing, for example, a 13 over the sum of eight and six. The underestimation was systematic—when adding two numbers, the monkeys always paid attention to the larger of the two, and then added only a fraction of the smaller number to it. The monkeys’ systematic errors argue against one theory of how the mammalian brain processes numbers. “What they’re doing is paying more attention to the big number than the little one,” Livingstone explains. But the altered values weren’t tied intrinsically to the symbols. If eight was the larger of two numbers in a sum, then its full value was considered, but if it was being added to a larger number, its value was diminished. One prevailing theory on number representation—dubbed logarithmic encoding—had proposed that the brain always underestimates the value of larger numbers in a systematic and unchangeable way. In such a case, the value of eight wouldn’t vary based on the situation as Livingstone observed.“They’ve shown that it’s very unlikely that there’s some kind of logarithmic encoding of numbers,” says psychologist David Burr of the University of Florence in Italy, who was not involved in the new work. Further research on how humans and monkeys estimate the value of numbers, and how this plays a role in the brain’s ability to add two values, could shed light on dyscalculia—a human learning disability specific to mathematics. Children with dyscalculia often have trouble not only adding numbers, but quickly guessing how many objects are in a group. Together with the new results on rhesus macaques, this suggests that estimating values is key to the ability to add.“Being able to estimate obviously has survival value; you want to be able to glance up and see how many lions are about to attack you,” Burr says. “The remaining goal is developing a model to explain how that happens in the brain.”last_img read more

Don’t Bar Old Folks From Clinical Trials, Researchers Argue

first_imgAn opinion column in today’s issue of The New York Times tackles a long-standing tension in the clinical trial world: the reluctance to include older subjects, even though they’re most of the population taking medications. Trials routinely bar senior citizens from their ranks, in part because researchers and drug regulators worry that the older you are, the more likely you are to have complicated health conditions that make testing new drugs more challenging. The opinion piece cites a paper published in The Journal of the American Medical Association back in 2007, which found that nearly 40% of trials in big-name journals between 1994 and 2006 excluded people over 65.It’s time for the system to change, the authors say. “Older Americans are our patients, too. We can’t leave them out,” write physician Donna Zulman and psychologist Keith Humphreys, who work at Stanford University School of Medicine in California and the Veterans Affairs health care system. Extrapolating results from young individuals to older ones is dicey, because biology shifts with age. Furthermore, “advanced age is not a reliable proxy for poor health,” Zulman and Humphreys argue. Researchers can still exclude trial volunteers if they have certain health conditions—but “not on their age alone.”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(*)last_img read more