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Daily Archives: April 26, 2022

Chart: The U.S. Recessions Costing the Most Jobs

Source : Statista

Cost of Sea Freight from China Continues to Fall Off Record High

The cost of sea freight out of China continued to drop this month from record highs early this year as overseas demand slackened and domestic Covid-19 outbreaks disrupted trucking.

The China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI), a measure of export container shipping prices to major markets, declined to 3109.78 for the week ending Friday, down 0.6% from the previous week and 13.3% lower than the early February peak, data from the Shanghai Shipping Exchange show.

Source : Caixin

Chart: The U.S. Productivity Pay Gap

Workers are more efficient than they used to be, but wages haven’t kept up.

Source : Chartr

Despite Hopes, Vitamin K2 Supplements Fail to Slow Calcium Buildup in Heart Valve

Laura Williamson wrote . . . . . . . . .

The progressive narrowing of the aortic heart valve in a group of older men could not be slowed during a recent clinical trial using vitamin K2 supplements, dampening hopes of finding a medical treatment for this common but serious condition.

The research, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, built upon earlier studies suggesting vitamin K2 supplements could slow the progression of aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the valve that controls blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. But this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial – considered the gold standard of epidemiological studies – found vitamin K2 and vitamin D supplements did not slow the progression of calcium deposits on the aortic valves of older men once the process had begun.

“As previous animal studies, epidemiological studies and an open-label study did suggest a beneficial effect, we hoped for a positive trial,” said lead study author Dr. Axel Diederichsen, a professor in the department of cardiology at Odense University Hospital in Denmark. “Thus, we were surely disappointed.”

Aortic stenosis is the most common heart valve disease in high-income countries, according to the study, which estimates it affects about 2% to 5% of people older than 65. The number of people in the United States and Europe with aortic stenosis is expected to more than double by the year 2050, according to American Heart Association statistics that estimate 12.4% of people over 75 have the condition.

Symptoms may include chest pain, a fluttering heartbeat, trouble breathing, lightheadedness, fatigue, swollen ankles or feet and difficulty sleeping. There are no treatments when detected early, other than trying to control risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes and gum disease. In the later stages, it is treated by replacing the heart valve. If not treated, aortic stenosis can progress and lead to heart failure and death.

“We haven’t had any medical therapies that slow the progression of stenosis,” said Dr. Brian Lindman, medical director of the Structural Heart and Valve Center and an associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. “We anticipate when we see it in the earlier stages that it will eventually become severe, and you’ll have to have your valve replaced.”

Lindman, who was not involved in the research, said he was disappointed by the results because prior research suggested “this might be an effective intervention. I very much want to identify an effective medical therapy for these patients, so there’s an emotional component to it.”

In the study, 365 men with aortic stenosis from four Danish hospitals were randomly assigned to receive placebo or 720 micrograms of vitamin K2 and 25 micrograms of vitamin D for two years. All were 65 to 74 years old with aortic valve calcification scores of 300 AU or higher, a measure obtained with CT scans showing calcification had begun. The scores were measured again at the end of one year and at the end of the study. They also measured calcification levels in participants’ coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart.

Researchers found no significant differences in valve calcification progression between the two groups, leading them to conclude the supplements were ineffective in slowing disease progression. However, there was some suggestion the group taking them experienced slower progression of calcification in their coronary arteries. Diederichsen said this needs to be explored in future studies. Researchers also said because the study only included men, the findings do not apply to women.

Research has suggested eating a diet high in vitamin K can benefit heart health. Vitamin K comes in two forms and is primarily found in leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach. Vitamin K2 is the less common form and is found in fermented foods, such as cheese. A study published last August in the Journal of the American Heart Association found eating a diet rich in vitamin K was associated with a lower risk for hospitalizations from cardiovascular disease related to plaque buildup in the arteries.

But Diederichsen said most foods contain insufficient levels of vitamin K2 to make an impact on heart health – with one exception. Natto, a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans, is high in vitamin K2.

While vitamin K2 supplements showed no promise for treating aortic stenosis, Lindman remains hopeful researchers will find another way to slow the progression of the disease. “There are a number of potential drugs and pathways that still need to be tested.”

Source: American Heart Association

Read also at The Heart and Vascular Centre:

What is Aortic Stenosis . . . . .

Pony.ai Scores Taxi License for Autonomous Vehicles in Guangzhou

Rebecca Bellan, Rita Liao wrote . . . . . . . . .

Autonomous vehicle startup Pony.ai has been awarded a permit in Guangzhou to operate 100 robotaxis as traditional taxis. The license, which allows Pony to charge for rides in its autonomous vehicles, signifies another step on the path to commercializing autonomous ride-hail vehicles in China.

WeRide, one of Pony’s competitors in China, has been running a partnered service with Guangzhou’s government-backed taxi group Baiyun since 2019, which has given the company an early mover advantage on the path to commercialization. However, this is said to be the first time China has rolled out a taxi license dedicated to an autonomous ride-hail fleet, without the need to partner up with a traditional taxi operator. The license also subjects Pony’s fleets to the same rules that regulate traditional human-operated cabs.

“The inclusion of autonomous vehicles in the unified and standardized management of taxis proves that both government policy and the public are increasingly accepting robotaxis as a form of everyday transportation, recognizing the ride experience and technical stability of Pony.ai’s robotaxi,” said Tiancheng Lou, co-founder and chief technology officer of Pony.ai in a statement.

Pony, which last month announced an undisclosed raise that brought the company’s valuation up to $8.5 billion, will begin charging fares in the Nansha District of Guangzhou in May, an 800 square kilometer port region in the middle of the country’s tech-driven Greater Bay Area. Passengers will be able to hail a ride and pay through the PonyPilot+ App between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m., with fares based on “standard taxi pricing in Guangzhou,” according to Pony.

The company did not respond to requests for information about what type of vehicles will be included in its fleet, but photos Pony shared with TechCrunch display a Lexus equipped with Pony’s sensor suite.

Each ride will initially have a human safety driver in the front seat, although Pony has stated its intention to remove the driver “over the short to intermediate time frame.” This is a bold goal, for no city government in China has officially allowed undrivered robotaxis to chauffeur passengers around. Even if Pony is able to remove the driver, it’s hard to imagine such a service will be allowed to operate on Guangzhou’s busy downtown in the short run.

Pony said it intends to gradually expand the scale and scope of its service to other areas of the city, but didn’t specify when.

“To qualify for the license, Pony.ai had to pass stringent safety and other multifaceted vehicle qualification tests set forth by national inspection institutions, such as having at least 24 months of [autonomous driving (AD)] testing in China and/or other countries, at least 1 million kilometers of testing mileage, at least 200,000 kilometers of AD testing within Guangzhou’s designated test area, and no involvement in any active liability traffic accidents,” the company said in a statement.

In California, where Pony was testing its driverless capabilities, the company recently had to issue a recall of its autonomous driving software following a crash in October, which led to the California Department of Motor Vehicles suspending the company’s driverless permit.

Guangzhou isn’t the first city Pony has charged for robotaxis in. The company, along with Baidu’s autonomous driving service, received a permit in Beijing last November to charge passengers within a small suburban pilot zone.

Pony is also testing autonomous vehicles in Shanghai and Shenzhen, as well as Fremont and Irvine in California. The company said it has completed more than 700,000 rides as of mid-April, although it’s likely that most of those rides occurred in China.

If commercialization in Guangzhou and Beijing is successful, Pony intends to expand its commercialized robotaxi footprint to two other major Chinese cities next year, with further expansion planned for 2024 and 2025, the company said. Pony did not respond to requests for more clarification, or whether it has applied for deployment permits in California.

The company had intended to go public in New York through a SPAC merger last year, but those plans were reportedly put on hold after the company failed to gain assurances from the Chinese government that it wouldn’t become a target of a crackdown against Chinese tech companies.

Source : Tech Crunch

央行出手稳预期 人民币汇率长期有支撑

记者: 向家莹 张莫 . . . . . . . . .



汇率阶段承压 央行下调外汇存准率






不会持续单边回调 汇率长期有支撑






市场有韧性 跨境资金流动长期将合理均衡





Source : 新华网

Infographic: All Electric Car Models Available in the U.S.

See large image . . . . . .

Source : Visual Capitalist