A disabled MP has spoken of her pride at being abl

first_imgA disabled MP has spoken of her pride at being able to speak openly about being dyspraxic, after having to hide her diagnosis from employers for years before she entered parliament.Emma Lewell-Buck (pictured) was previously a social worker but was “acutely aware that if there were any job cuts that would come around, it would be used against me and I would be the first one in the dole queue”.She said sheused to take work home with her at weekends, work late into the evening andstart early in the morning because, like many other disabled people, she feltshe had to “go the extra mile” and “work that little bit harder to proveyourself or keep up”.She wasspeaking at the launch event of Neurodivergent Labour (see separate story), a political campaign group that will fight forthe rights of people with neurological differences such as autism, dyslexia,dyspraxia and dyscalculia, both within the party and in wider society.Lewell-Buck,the shadow minister for children and families – who later confirmed toDisability News Service that she is happy to be described as a disabled MP –said that being dyspraxic affected her every day in her work.She said:“Every single thing I do I need to prep for meticulously, down to the tiniestdetail. “But I’m oneof the lucky ones because I am in a job where I can openly speak about mydisability and I can use my profile to raise awareness.”The MP forSouth Shields said she was only diagnosed at the age of 27, after beingassessed by an educational psychologist on the advice of a lecturer while shewas studying for a masters degree.She said:“My whole life clicked into place. I suddenly realised why, when I was growingup, I always felt different to other kids and always used to isolate myself. “I realisedwhy I put my shoes on the wrong feet, why I couldn’t tie my laces properly,button my coat up, why I was always spilling my drinks and why the whole familyalways referred to me as ‘our clumsy Emma’. “I wasalways so frustrated that things that used to come so easily to other kids wereso, so hard for me.”This caused“tremendous low self-esteem and self-confidence” as a child, she said.But she saidshe now saw her dyspraxia as an advantage.She said: “Ijust see it as I’m a little bit different to some of those around me. I’veembraced it. “It doesn’tdefine me, it’s just part of me. I’ve been forced to adapt and face thosechallenges, and come up with solutions, and I certainly don’t feeldisadvantaged.”She thankedthose neurodivergent party members who had developed the idea of the neworganisation, as well as shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who has supportedthe idea over the last three years and spoke at Saturday’s launch event.She said:“It is thanks to you that people like me have the confidence to talk about andembrace who we are and thanks to all of you that the fabulously neurodivergentpeople have been given this platform to help us on the way to that much-neededsocietal and cultural shift.”Lewell-Bucksaid that she, McDonnell and other Labour colleagues were “determined to changethe culture of our society and how neurodivergent people and people withdisabilities are treated. “Ourapproach is a clear move away from the dehumanising and debilitating hostileenvironment we have seen under the Tories to one where people will be treatedwith dignity and respect.”She said itwas “the neurodivergent people in this world who have always been the bigthinkers, and creators and innovators. “We are theones who always have the ability to think outside the box and come up withsolutions to some of the world’s greatest problems.”Among thedecisions agreed by the launch event was to endorse a draft Labour autism andneurodiversity manifesto that neurodivergent party members have spent threeyears developing.Included inthe manifesto are calls for neurodiversity training for all teachers andteaching assistants as part of their “core training”, support forneurodivergent students, smaller class sizes, and neurodiversity to be includedin the school curriculum.Lewell-Buck,who is leading on Labour’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)reforms, said the proposals in the draft manifesto were “an exact fit to thosethat I have been arguing for behind the scenes in my team meetings”, becauseshe was committed to making SEND “an embedded and intrinsic part of our overalleducation system”.She saidthat a good education “can make the difference between where you begin in lifeand where you end up. “I am livingproof of that: a dyspraxic, dyslexic, shy working-class girl, growing up on theestate where I did, and never destined to be a member of parliament. “So goodeducation can absolutely make the impossible happen. I am proud to be a LabourMP and I am very proud to be dyspraxic.”She added: “You have all stopped me feeling different and I have found my home and for that alone you are always going to have my help and support, and I look forward to working with you all.”A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

Multikulti on Valencia Street to Close After 16 Years

first_img 0% Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% The rest of the store’s items are full price, though they were vanishing on Wednesday as customer after customer came in to say goodbye.“What! What! It’s for real?” said one woman, her arms outstretched.“I know, I know,” Darwish said. “It’s been a long time here.”The shop is one of a few weird spots left on Valencia Street, customers said.“It’s just not your typical Valencia Street shop,” said Julie Mahony, who was buying a pair of pig-patterned socks and a lunchbox made to look like a first-aid kit. Mahony, who has been coming to the shop for 15 years, said it did not sell “overpriced furniture” and was not filled with “reclaimed wood” like other outlets on the street. She would shop here for costume parts or other knickknacks, and lamented the loss.“I will always think of you when I wear these socks,” she said as she left.Some of the dozens of designs at Multikulti. Photo by Joe Rivano Barros.Randy Jimenez, the manager of the clothing and accessories store Therapy two doors down, said he used to go to the shop often in his drag queen days to buy quality makeup instead of going to expensive stores downtown. He said Multikulti and Therapy were among the “last few” quirky shops on the corridor.“He kind of held that eccentric Valencia Street feel — and it’s gone,” he said. “It’s a sign of the times.”Darwish would change the shop often. When he first opened before 2000, it had some musical instruments and dancing accessories, he said, and the jewelry that still sits in display cases. Based on customer feedback, he began adding items, particularly geared towards the festival-going crowd. “Some people like stuff for Burning Man, some stuff for going to festivals — so I changed the merchandise,” he said. “It was fun.”Darwish said the landlord was selling the building and that his long-term future at the spot would have been uncertain. The shop’s last day will be December 31, and his own plans for the future, it seems, are unclear as well. As one customer said, the only certainty on Valencia Street is change.“That’s the thing with Valencia Street,” said Atoya Gibson, who has been coming to the shop for 10 years and lives around the corner. “Every other month things are changing. Nothing lasts.” center_img The clothing and accessories shop Multikulti, which has been on Valencia Street for the past 16 years, is shutting its doors in a month and a half, its owner said, because of a rent spike.“The rent is gonna increase,” said Reda Darwish, adding that he was presented with a three-year lease option that would have cost him $5,000 a month – too much for the costume shop to afford. Even with that guarantee, the rent would likely have gone up more after that, he said. “I know after these three years it’s gonna jump to double.”Multikulti, located at 539 Valencia St. near 16th Street, is filled with items for festival-goers, Burners, or quirky clothing aficionados. Groucho Marx noses, masquerade masks, and other costume parts are half off before the closure, and the mannequins themselves were on sale – $5 for a plastic leg, $3 for a torso.last_img read more

Popsicles at the park Not without proper documentation says SF park ranger

first_imgA neighborhood ice cream vendor dodged a $192 fine this week with the help of Mission residents.  The citation was reduced to a warning shortly after neighborhood activists angrily took to social media, saying that the citation was unfair — that In Chan Kaajal Park at 17th and Folsom was built for the community, and the vendor was doing no harm. “We fought for eight years to get this park built for the people of this neighborhood. Now that it’s here [Rec and Park] has nothing better to do than stand around harassing and ticketing the ice cream man,” Nancy Pili, an educator at the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, tweeted. Pili witnessed the ranger giving the paletero a ticket. She said she asked the ranger what the peddler was being cited for, and he replied “3.10,” parks code for “vending without a permit.” 0% In an email, Rec and Park spokeswoman Connie Chan said the ranger, Raul Garcia, “had previously warned the vendor, in both English and Spanish, that he was not allowed to sell without proper permits, including a health permit to ensure food safety.”Unpermitted popsicle (and other treat) sales are common in the city’s parks, including at Dolores Park, which accounted for 38 percent of vending citations citywide last year.Mission Local was unable to contact the paletero. His name was not immediately released by Rec and Park, though we have learned he purportedly goes by “Sanchez.”On Thursday, Rec and Park contacted Pili on Instagram, saying that the vendor’s citation had been “downgraded.” “Through the Department’s citation review process, the Chief Park Ranger downgraded the citation to a warning,” Chan confirmed. In Chan Kaajal Park opened last June, the city’s first new park in a decade. For some 17 years, community members rallied to convert the former parking lot into a green space.“This is a community open space, and it’s inequitable to charge immigrant vendors at our parks,” said Merilyn Duran, a community organizer with PODER, a local environmental justice organization. “It’s part of our community to have people vending on the street,” she said. “I mean, it’s ice cream.” Duran said the incident highlights a double-standard in the Mission’s parks. She said she very frequently sees people letting their dogs run off-leash in parks. That’s the same level of offense under the park code, which says dogs cannot be off their leashes in public.  “We’re not saying we hate dog owners,” she said. “We’re thinking about the disparities between folks being targeted and fined.” center_img Tags: parks • street vendors Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Distillations Strikes and gutters at Mission Bowling Club

first_imgI believe that. Justine is a woman of compelling contradictions. The first time I met her, she told me this story about herself:Just before she turned 18, Justine’s mother decided it was a scandal that her wild, tomboy daughter had never been confirmed in the church. She demanded that Justine go through the process. Justine, not quite yet independent, had no recourse — and so she went to be confirmed, wearing a tight and revealing red dress. After the service, where the holy words were said over her in a moment every bit as uncomfortable as you can imagine, Justine went home to get ready for a wild night of drinking with friends. But from her window she saw a propane tank explode out on a neighbor’s property, setting up a fire that threatened to engulf the whole area. Justine ran outside and began digging a fire stop, in her red dress, as the flames roared closer. Her efforts might very well have saved her homestead, but when the firefighters pulled her out her dress was melted to her body and they had to rush her to the hospital. When her mother came to visit her in the intensive care unit, all Justine could think to say, drugged and in pain, was: “Momma, tonight God and the Devil were at war for my soul.” There is a city surrounded by Detroit, Justine tells me. It’s a city enveloped by another city, and it once had the most bars, per capita, of any place in America. In the heyday of Detroit’s industrial revolution, it became a settlement for Polish immigrants coming in to work the assembly lines; gradually they converted the warehouses, churches, and markets around them into bars, each one amassing its own lifetime customers.Twenty years ago, Justine’s boyfriend heard about one of these bars — a perfect dive bar — in this city within a city, and the two of them went to see it. There they found what Justine describes as the most perfect jukebox in the world, and they met Eddy, a wrinkled old man who owned this bar and had been tending it most of his life. A painting of his wife, made in the 1950s when she was young and beautiful, hung on the wall beside the top-shelf booze. The woman herself lived above the bar but never came down. And as Eddy told them his story and poured them some scotch & gingers, Justine fell deeply in love with him.She got up, and put quarters in the jukebox, and a moment later, Eddy asked her boyfriend why he wasn’t dancing with her. The boyfriend said that wasn’t something he did. So Eddy walked around the bar and asked Justine if he could have a dance. Idon’t know who won. I don’t care. All I know is that I don’t want to go back to bowling alleys and mini-golf. I don’t see the point of adding better beer and craft cocktails to experiences that were never good enough to hold my interest anyway, things that were only a way to kill time with people I never liked quite enough to try and do something really special with. It’s worth exploring new places. That’s a worthy goal. But the truth is: I was in this bar/bowling alley ironically.A server came up to the balcony, where we’d been sitting alone all this time, to tell us that the place is closing down — at 8:30 — and we’d need to settle up. Justine looked at me inquisitively, wondering what we were going to do next. Maybe something more adventurous? That’s more like it. Just a few blocks up and over, there is another converted warehouse that now serves as a bar and mini-golf course. I know that some people go there because they sincerely like mini-golf, and some people go there for the unexpected novelty of playing mini-golf inside a San Francisco craft beer bar — but I have no idea what the ratio is. If this trend keeps up, however, we’ll soon have a whole district dedicated to drinking mediocre cocktails made of high-end booze while we play the favorite games of the places we deliberately ran away from. Was bowling and mini-golf always that much fun? Or does this represent a fundamental failure of a rich and tech-savvy metropolis to actually invent something better to do?Justine knows bowling, and enjoys it. “Growing up in the blue-collar Midwest? Oh yeah, guys joined leagues, my childhood was filled with it,” she said. “It was there, it was a thing to do.”But like me, she admits, she’s not very good at bowling. We both agreed that pool is the game we always wanted to be good at. “It takes me a while to get back into it,” she told me. “My first three games are terrible, then I suddenly get good, and everybody assumes I’ve been pulling a fast one on them this whole time.” That got her boyfriend up on his feet — not to dance with her, but to tell Eddy that this wasn’t okay, and he couldn’t do that.Eddy took the “no,” and went back to slinging beers. A year later, his bar was incredibly popular, in part from all the cool kids Justine’s boyfriend had brought. A few years after that, Eddy died and the bar fell apart, and now it’s gone. Tonight we were in San Francisco, sipping craft drinks at Mission Bowling Club on an upstairs balcony overlooking six regulation-sized bowling lanes within a converted warehouse. People who look an awful lot like hipsters are playing frames. I don’t know what Justine thinks of all this, although we both think it’s a fascinating view to drink by. But I can’t help wondering: Are these people bowling ironically? If they were, how could I tell?“Is it all in the wrist?” I asked out loud.“What?” Justine said.“Nothing.” I waved it away. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Addresslast_img read more

SAINTS had their World Club Challenge hopes dashed

first_imgSAINTS had their World Club Challenge hopes dashed by a ruthless first half South Sydney Rabbitohs performance.In front of a packed Langtree Park, four tries gave the visitors a 24-0 half time lead before they made the game safe in the second half.Keiron Cunningham’s men worked hard and put their bodies on the line but Souths were simply too strong in all facets of the game to secure their first world title.Saints’ supremo put faith in the same side that won at Salford last week with both Luke Thompson and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook on the bench.Souths looked formidable on paper – and got off to the best possible start when Glenn Stewart dove onto a kick through after just three minutes.Saints forced a drop out from the restart, but another penalty – somewhat harshly given for ball stealing – gave Souths a shot in front of goal.Reynolds making no mistake for 8-0.Saints almost hit back moments later; the ball swept right for Mark Percival to slide over from close range – but the video ref ruled he didn’t ground the ball.Saints defended more pressure and more sets but conceded again on the 20 minute mark.The ball was shifted right at pace, Joel Reddy made the break, cut back inside and Dylan Walker side stepped his way to the line.And moments later Greg Inglis ghosted through the defence after an error.Saints forced a dropout from the restart – lifting the crowd – and then a penalty and another drop out got them repeat sets.Souths were more than to the challenge though and turned defence into attack.With ten minutes remaining they drove down the field and a cross field kick took the most unluckiest of bounces if you are a Saints’ fan – straight into the welcoming arms of Joel Reddy.Mark Percival had another one chalked off right at the end the first half and Adam Swift was unlucky as he chased Wilkin’s kick in the final ten seconds.Saints began the first half with two strong clearing kicks but it was a kick from the Bunnies that led to their fifth try of the night.Luke Keary mopping up after a towering bomb.On 52 minutes Saints peppered the Souths’ line and went close through Wilkin and then Tommy Makinson who was bundled into touch.Seven minutes later Chris McQueen finished off another fine move to increase the advantage.Saints had their chances in the final 20 minutes – Swift combining with Lomax for one – but the South were simply too dominant and defence.Joel Reddy added his second try and Reynolds notched over a one pointer in the final stages to underline Souths’ world crown.Match Summary:Saints:Tries:Goals:Rabbitohs:Tries: Stewart, Walker, Inglis, Reddy (2), Keary, McQueenGoals: Reynolds (5 from 7), Luke (0 from 1)Drop: ReynoldsPenalties:Saints: 5Souths: 7HT: 0-24FT: 0-39 Ref: Richard SilverwoodAtt: 17,980Saints:1. Jonny Lomax; 2. Tommy Makinson, 17. Mark Percival, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Travis Burns, 12. Jon Wilkin; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 8. Mose Masoe, 21. Joe Greenwood, 11. Atelea Vea, 15. Mark Flanagan.Subs: 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Alex Walmsley, 18. Luke Thompson, 25. Andre Savelio.Souths:1. Greg Inglis; 2. Alex Johnston, 3. Dylan Walker, 4. Bryson Goodwin, 5. Joel Reddy; 6. Luke Keary, 7. Adam Reynolds; 8. George Burgess, 9. Issac Luke, 10. David Tyrrell, 11. Glenn Stewart, 12. John Sutton, 15. Ben Lowe.Subs: 13. Jason Clark, 16. Chris McQueen, 17. Thomas Burgess, 20. Chris Grevsmuhl.last_img read more

Boil water advisory for parts of Whiteville

first_imgWHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — A boil water advisory is in effect for some residents in Whiteville.City of Whiteville Safety and Risk Management Officer Hal Lowder, Jr. said the boil water advisory is for water customers impacted by the water outage in the areas of North Lee Street.last_img

Johnson garden featured on Azalea Garden Tour

first_img Searching for unique touches is a passion and her garden reflects many of her unique finds.Johnson’s dogs are another passion and her backyard is designed with them in mind.All plants that could be trampled by exuberant pets are elevated in pots and troughs for protection and easy maintenance.Related Article: 2019 Azalea Festival Home Tour: Sullivan HomeThis is the garden’s first time being on the Garden Tour.“My garden is different than a lot of others, I think, in that I haven’t been nurturing mine for a long time,” Johnson said. “Mine has been much more of a rehab, restore situation before and after which I think people will find interesting.”The garden also offers eclectic seating around a fire pit.The Cape Fear Garden Club’s Azalea Garden Tour runs Friday through Sunday. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Azaleas come in many different colors.Color is very important to the owner of this garden, Susan Johnson, and she uses it abundantly on her front door and in the vibrant pots placed on her front steps.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Salvation Army begins Angel Tree and Red Kettle initiatives

first_imgMajor Mark Craddock introduces the Angel Tree program at Independence Mall (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY) Wilmington, NC – The Salvation Army of Cape Fear, serving New Hanover, Bladen, Pender, Columbus, and Brunswick counties, is pleased to announce that 3,000 children will be helped this year in the annual Salvation Army Angel Tree program which, with generous help from the community, gives children in need the Christmas of their dreams.To start the new Angel Tree Season, The Salvation Army will host an Angel Tree Kickoff on Friday, November 16, 2018, at 12:00 Noon inside the Independence Mall (San Felipe Entrance). The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary will host the event and provide volunteers to assist Angel Adopters.- Advertisement – The Community Brass Band will provide Christmas music. The Salvation Army is pleased to share that Harris Teeter serves as the main sponsor of The Salvation Army Angel Tree.Placed within Independence Mall, the Angel Tree will operate from November 10 – December 10, 2018. On the tree are printed angels that have the name, age, and gift suggestions for a child “angel” registered in the program.Each angel is ready for members of the community to “adopt” (purchase gifts) for Christmas. Businesses and community organizations that would like to adopt angels or volunteer for the program can call Dottie Playforth at 910-762-2070 for more information.Related Article: Burgaw Christmas parade cancelled due to inclement weatherWhen ready to return Angel gifts to The Salvation Army, Angel Adopters may return their unwrapped, new gifts to the following locations:The Angel Tree in Independence Mall, Wilmington.The Salvation Army Family Store at 1411 Floral Parkway, WilmingtonThe Salvation Army Family Store at 820 N Second St., WilmingtonThe Salvation Army Family Store at 4566 Long Beach Road, SouthportThe Salvation Army is also kicking off its annual Red Kettle Campaign, with a goal of raising $325,000. The money raised in the Red Kettles helps with The Salvation Army’s social service programs. In 2018, The Salvation Army of Wilmington, NC has served more than 4,000 people through its social service programs that provide food, clothing, and emergency financial assistance to those in need.Over 1,000 additional people received service through The Salvation Army Red Shield Center of Hope.Community members who would like to volunteer to ring the bells can call Angela Fox at 910-762-2070.“The Salvation Army is grateful for the community and community partners. Because of their generosity, we can serve residents in need at Christmas and throughout the year with our social service programs,” said Major Mark Craddock , Corps Officer of The Salvation Army Wilmington, NC Corps.last_img read more

Google Finds Search Hijacking Virus on 1 Million Computers

first_imgAdvertisement Google users will now be greeted with a yellow warning at the top of their search results if they are affected, according to the security blog KrebsonSecurity.Damian Menscher, a Google security engineer, said the malware appeared to find its way onto computers via fake anti-virus software, also known as scareware. Unsuspecting victims download the software, which then uses a vulnerability in Windows takes control of web searches.When a search is entered, instead of going straight to Google it is first sent to servers controlled by the cyber criminals, which modify and redirect the traffic. – Advertisement – The ruse was discovered when engineers temporarily shut down one of Google’s data centres for maintenance. Normal search traffic was diverted to another of the firm’s sites, but Mr Menscher noticed more than a million computers were still trying to contact the dormant data centre.Further investigations uncovered the unique traffic signature generated by the malware, which Google will now detect and encourage victims to remove from their computer.The intiative is another sign that internet firms are becoming more aggressive in their response to cyber crime. Microsoft recently shut down the world biggest source of spam through the courts, and Virgin Media and TalkTalk have implemented systems, to warn broadband subscribers if their computer is infected or visiting a dangerous website respectivelySource: Telegraph Newslast_img read more

Huawei working on new entry level mobile phones for Africa

first_imgAdvertisement Following recent media reports that Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei Technologies has decided to put off its entry level smartphone segment, the company has reiterated that the market segment will always be an important part of its business strategy.Reports had suggested that the company will now focus on the middle-to-high-end space.But Yudi Rambaran, the product marketing director for Huawei South Africa, explained that whilst the Company is primarily focused on the mid-to-high-end space, it would continue to service the entry level segment. – Advertisement – “Our focus is indeed on the mid-tier and high end segments. However, for Africa and including South Africa, we will continue to bring some entry level devices to the market based on our market share ambitions and consumer requirements. In addition, we will continue to evaluate our key focus areas and adjust according to market conditions as well as our strategies.”Huawei’s IDEOS Android smartphone range, launched to the Kenyan and Ugandan market four years ago, strengthened the Company’s entry level smartphone portfolio in Africa. In May 2011 Huawei’s leadership lauded the phone’s performance, claiming at time the IDEOS was the “top selling device”.Rambaran told ITWeb Africa that the company has maintained the Ascend Y220 android smartphone within the operator channels and will be going into retail at a R599 price point, the Company’s most affordable smartphone offering.“Based on smartphone sales we’ve had a few of number one smartphone market share months in 2014, specifically around the Y220 and Y22000 models… so from that perspective, we know there is a demand for entry level models,” he said.Huawei has now brought to market the higher spec Y221 model, which is pitched at a slightly higher margin within the R800-to-R850 price range. However, the company is confident that operators will support the offering, subsidise the solution and help bring the price down closer to the entry price point.Referring to media reports that the company is distancing itself from the entry level mobile phone segment, Rambaran explained that this notion was more from a global view and Western ideal perspective.“… the majority of the entry level smartphones do not sell within the Western markets,” said Rambaran. The truth is that it is standard practice within the mobile space to focus on the mid-to-high tier segment because that is where the margins are, he explained. “This is where Huawei’s marketing efforts will be concentrated on.”At the same time the Company has recognised the strong consumer demand for a recognised brand, entry proposition across South Africa and Africa. To this end Rambaran also confirmed that the Company will be releasing three new entry-level products/ models in 2015.Huawei’s strategy has always centred on the desire to establish itself as a recognised brand in its own right. The intention is to build on the progress it believes it has made in this regard, to leverage off its evolution from ODM to OEM, and to grow the mid-to-high end segment within Africa, a market the Company describes as “aspirational and key to its growth strategy.”In November 2014 the company shipped more than three million smartphones in Eastern and Southern Africa.Larking Huang, general manager at Huawei Consumer South Africa has described 2014 as good for the company’s consumer device business.He added that in South Africa alone the company has shipped more than a million units, making Huawei the number 2 smartphone provider in the Middle East and Africa region.Credit: IT Web Africalast_img read more


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Synthetic enzymes could help ID proteins

first_imgAddThis ShareCONTACT: Jade BoydPHONE: 713-348-6778E-MAIL: jadeboyd@rice.eduSynthetic enzymes could help ID proteins‘Smart’ catalysts programmed to recognize specific molecular shapeUsing a rare metal that’s not utilized by nature, Rice University chemists have created a synthetic enzyme that could help unlock the identities of thousands of difficult-to-study proteins, including many that play key roles in cancer and other diseases.The research was published online this week in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.“We have combined the chemical capabilities of rhodium with what biology already knows about recognizing and selecting specific proteins,” said study co-author Zachary Ball, assistant professor of chemistry at Rice. “The result is a tool that, in many ways, is more powerful than any biological or chemical approach alone.”Ball began studying dirhodium catalysts more than three years ago. He did not start out trying to create enzymes with them, but he was intrigued by a study that showed dirhodium catalysts could be used to modify tryptophan, one of the 21 amino acids that are the basic building blocks of life.Catalysts enhance chemical reactions by increasing the rate of reaction without being consumed themselves. In living things, proteins called enzymes serve the same purpose. But unlike many inorganic catalysts, enzymes are very selective. In a process that biologists often liken to a “lock and key,” enzymes associate only with molecules that match their shape exactly. This prevents them from spurring extraneous reactions throughout the cell.Ball and postdoctoral research associate Brian Popp wondered if they could marry the selectivity of enzymatic reactions with a rhodium-based catalyst. They tested the idea by attaching their catalyst to a short segment of protein that can wrap with other proteins, like strands of rope fiber. This “coiled coil” wrapping motif is common in biology, particularly in signaling proteins. Signaling proteins are those that activate or deactivate key processes like apoptosis, the “programmed death” response that’s known to play a key role in cancer.“Signaling pathways are like a trail of dominoes,” Ball said. “Dozens of proteins can be involved, and they interact one after the other in a cascade. In most cases, the interactions are both fleeting and weak. They are difficult to observe with traditional methods, and as a result we are still in the dark about the roles that key signaling proteins play in health and disease.” Ball said his and Popp’s synthetic enzyme strategy might help solve that problem. In their tests, the chemists were able to develop synthetic enzymes that could selectively bind with proteins and attach tags that would allow biologists to identify them.In addition to tryptophan, the method worked with phenylalanine and tyrosine, two amino acids commonly found in signaling proteins. And recent unpublished studies indicate the researchers’ strategy might work for even more amino acids.Ball said the process must be refined before it can be used in the majority of biology labs, but he and Popp are already working toward realizing broad applications of the strategy.The research was funded by the Welch Foundation and Rice University.last_img read more

Better batteries from the bottom up

first_imgAddThis ShareCONTACT: Mike WilliamsPHONE: 713-348-6728EMAIL: mikewilliams@rice.eduBetter batteries from the bottom upRice University researchers build microbatteries with nanowire heartsRice University researchers have moved a step closer to creating robust, three-dimensional microbatteries that would charge faster and hold other advantages over conventional lithium-ion batteries. They could power new generations of remote sensors, display screens, smart cards, flexible electronics and biomedical devices.The batteries employ vertical arrays of nickel-tin nanowires perfectly encased in PMMA, a widely used polymer best known as Plexiglas. The Rice laboratory of Pulickel Ajayan found a way to reliably coat single nanowires with a smooth layer of a PMMA-based gel electrolyte that insulates the wires from the counter electrode while allowing ions to pass through. The work was reported this week in the online edition of the journal Nano Letters.“In a battery, you have two electrodes separated by a thick barrier,” said Ajayan, professor in mechanical engineering and materials science and of chemistry. “The challenge is to bring everything into close proximity so this electrochemistry becomes much more efficient.”Ajayan and his team feel they’ve done that by growing forests of coated nanowires — millions of them on a fingernail-sized chip — for scalable microdevices with greater surface area than conventional thin-film batteries. “You can’t simply scale the thickness of a thin-film battery, because the lithium ion kinetics would become sluggish,” Ajayan said.“We wanted to figure out how the proposed 3-D designs of batteries can be built from the nanoscale up,” said Sanketh Gowda, a graduate student in Ajayan’s lab. “By increasing the height of the nanowires, we can increase the amount of energy stored while keeping the lithium ion diffusion distance constant.”The researchers, led by Gowda and postdoctoral researcher Arava Leela Mohana Reddy, worked for more than a year to refine the process.“To be fair, the 3-D concept has been around for a while,” Reddy said. “The breakthrough here is the ability to put a conformal coat of PMMA on a nanowire over long distances. Even a small break in the coating would destroy it.” He said the same approach is being tested on nanowire systems with higher capacities.The process builds upon the lab’s previous research to build coaxial nanowire cables that was reported in Nano Letters last year. In the new work, the researchers grew 10-micron-long nanowires via electrodeposition in the pores of an anodized alumina template. They then widened the pores with a simple chemical etching technique and drop-coated PMMA onto the array to give the nanowires an even casing from top to bottom. A chemical wash removed the template.They have built one-centimeter square microbatteries that hold more energy and that charge faster than planar batteries of the same electrode length. “By going to 3-D, we’re able to deliver more energy in the same footprint,” Gowda said.They feel the PMMA coating will increase the number of times a battery can be charged by stabilizing conditions between the nanowires and liquid electrolyte, which tend to break down over time.The team is also studying how cycling affects nanowires that, like silicon electrodes, expand and contract as lithium ions come and go. Electron microscope images of nanowires taken after many charge/discharge cycles showed no breaks in the PMMA casing — not even pinholes. This led the researchers to believe the coating withstands the volume expansion in the electrode, which could increase the batteries’ lifespans.Co-authors are Rice graduate student Xiaobo Zhan; former Rice postdoctoral researcher Manikoth Shaijumon, now an assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram, India; and former Rice research scientist Lijie Ci, now a senior research and development manager at Samsung Cheil Industries.The Hartley Family Foundation and Rice University funded the research.last_img read more

Undocumented immigrants report stress psychological and physical loss

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis ShareRice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduAmy McCaig713-348-6777amym@rice.edu Undocumented immigrants report stress, psychological and physical lossRice study examines impact on undocumented Mexicans living in USHOUSTON – (Feb. 4, 2019) – Many undocumented Mexican immigrants suffer psychological and physical losses related to their migration to the U.S., according to a new study from researchers at Rice University.Luz GarciniThe study, “High Price Paid: Loss and Distress Among Undocumented Mexican Immigrants,” appears in the Journal of Latinx Psychology. It examines migration-related loss and psychological stress among undocumented Mexicans living in the U.S. The lead author hopes the research will highlight the mental health concerns and the challenges faced by this vulnerable population.“Learning about and quantifying the impact of migration-related loss on the wellbeing of undocumented immigrants is essential to identify strategies helpful to lessen the negative effects of such losses,” said Luz Garcini, a postdoctoral research fellow in Rice’s Department of Psychological Sciences, a faculty scholar at the Baker Institute for Public Policy and the study’s lead author.Garcini studied the prevalence of different types loss among undocumented Mexican immigrants in high-risk neighborhoods. She and her fellow authors were also interested in identifying the prevalence of clinically significant distress associated with this loss.They organized these losses in five categories: symbolic self, which assesses the loss of traditional cultural beliefs, values and behaviors; interdependence, which assesses the loss of social position and support; home, which assesses the loss of house, land, country and possessions; interpersonal, which assesses the death of or separation from friends or family; and intrapersonal integrity, which assesses the loss of autonomy, well-being and familiar food.The authors found that migration-related loss was extremely high across all categories. Almost all of the immigrants in the study suffered due to the loss of their homes (98 percent), long separation from family members (96 percent) and loss of their symbolic self (95 percent). About 87 percent reported loss of interdependence and about 81 percent reported loss of intrapersonal integrity.These losses were also linked to psychological stress, the study found. Psychological stress was measured using the Brief Symptom Inventory, a 53-item scale that is widely used to determine clinically relevant levels of psychological stress. Immigrants who experienced personal loss, particularly death of family members abroad or physical separation from family, reported the highest levels of psychological stress.Data for the study was collected from November 2014 to January 2015. The average age of participants was 38 years old. Most of them were female, married, had little formal education and lived on a monthly household income of less than $2,000. Most of them had been living in the U.S. for more than 10 years in mixed-status families, where some relatives are undocumented and others are legal residents or U.S. citizens.The study was coauthored by Thania Galvan of the University of Denver, Juan Pena of the University of New Mexico, Elizabeth Klonoff of the University of Central Florida, Deborah Parra-Medina of the University of Texas, and Khadija Ziauddin and Christopher Fagundes of Rice University.The study was funded by the Ford Foundation.-30-For more information or to request a copy of the paper, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or amym@rice.edu.This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu/.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Luz Garcini bio: https://www.bakerinstitute.org/experts/luz-maria-garcini/Headshot link: https://news.rice.edu/files/2018/06/Luz-Garcini-21nukhm.jpgPhoto credit: Jeff Fitlow.Photo link: https://news.rice.edu/files/2019/02/pexels-photo-568027-1lwfvkb-pmioae.jpegPhoto credit: 123rf.comLocated on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.If you do not wish to receive news releases from Rice University, reply to this email and write “unsubscribe” in the subject line. Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005last_img read more

Shark Tanks Mr Wonderful Talks About MBAs and More – Toronto News

first_img RelatedHow Toronto Schools Can Help You Pay for Your MBAEarning your MBA can be an expensive prospect. In Canada, tuition at the most expensive MBA programs can cost more than $100,000 for full-time and part-time students. This can be difficult for some low-income applicants. So, what are some Toronto schools doing to help offset the cost of tuition, living,…March 7, 2018In “Featured Home”Schulich Professor Honored, and More – Toronto NewsThis week has seen strides for Toronto’s business schools, so lets take a look at some of the highlights. Serving the Public Good – Corporate Knights Ed Waitzer, professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School and York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto, is the newest recipient if the Corporate…June 4, 2018In “Featured Home”Views from the 6: Top Employers in TorontoHome to the Maple Leafs, “Licky-Boom-Boom-Now” MC Snow, and those wacky Kids in the Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada is a piebald metropolis of 2.6 million with its own unique tempo. Our neighbor to the great white north feels much more like its own sovereign territory—one that not only actively welcomes…May 17, 2016In “Featured Home” regions: Toronto ‘Shark Tank’s’ Mr. Wonderful Talks About MBAs, and More – Toronto News Last Updated Mar 30, 2018 by Jillian MarkowitzFacebookTwitterLinkedinemail center_img About the AuthorJillian MarkowitzView more posts by Jillian Markowitz Take a look at some of the top stories coming out of the Toronto business schools this week.Kevin O’Leary: Here’s How Much an MBA Matters in Business – CNBCKevin O’Leary may be one of the most successful businessmen in Canada now, but when he graduated from the University of Waterloo in 1977, he struggled to even land an entry-level job. After two years of frustration and rejection, O’Leary decided to pursue an MBA at Western University Canada’s Ivey Business School. The business giant, known on ABC’s Shark Tank as “Mr. Wonderful,” sees his decision to enroll at Ivey as a turning point in his life.“The real value of an education is who you meet while you’re getting it,” O’Leary said in an interview with CNBC. “Think about that if you’re in college right now.”“‘The great thing about an MBA is not the technical skills you’ve learned—because frankly, to be honest with you, I forgot all of those—it was the people I met in my class,’ O’Leary explains. ‘Where are they now? Running banks, they’re industrialists, they’re venture capitalists, they’re investors, they’re all around the world,’ he says. ‘I can pick up the phone and say, ‘Hi. Mr. Wonderful here, let’s talk about a business idea.’”You can read more about O’Leary’s education and success here.Bank of Canada Fellowship for Rotman School Professor Renewed for Second Term – EurekAlert!In 2013, Peter Christoffersen, professor of finance at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management was awarded the Bank of Canada Fellowship, which was recently renewed. The Fellowship Award goes to academics whose research provides insight in areas essential to the bank. Christoffersen has been committed to researching new technology and its effects and potential in the finance realm.“The Bank is pleased to renew its support for Professor Christofferesen’s work,” said Governor Stephen S. Poloz. “He is helping to shed light on some important issues facing Canada’s financial industry.”Learn more about Christoffersen and the Bank of Canada Fellowship Award here.Schulich Students Win Developers’ Den Competition – RemiNetworkTwo groups of students from York University’s Schulich School of Business placed in the top three in this year’s Developers’ Den international case competition. The winning team was made up of four students from Schulich’s Master in Real Estate and Infrastructure (MREI) program: Derek Wei, Jordan Trinder, Alannah Bird, and Bao Nguyen. The competition, which took place on March 23rd, is in its eighth year.“The Developers’ Den competition provides an important opportunity for the best students to develop and showcase their analytical, creative and presentation skills as emerging talent in front of leaders within the real property sector,” said Jim Clayton, who was recently appointed to the Timothy R. Price Chair at Schulich’s Brookfield Centre in Real Estate and Infrastructure. “We are grateful for the tremendous support the competition receives from industry and alumni.”Check out more about the competition here.last_img read more