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


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Synthetic enzymes could help ID proteins

first_imgAddThis ShareCONTACT: Jade BoydPHONE: 713-348-6778E-MAIL: [email protected] 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: [email protected] 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 [email protected] [email protected] 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 [email protected] news release can be found online at Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Luz Garcini bio: link: credit: Jeff Fitlow.Photo link: 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 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

The Bookmark that charges your phone

first_imgYou know what blows up? Lithium Ion Batteries. You know what doesn’t? A Solar Panel. Safer, much more eco-friendly, and a whole lot more cheaper than an external battery, a solar panel may take slightly longer to charge your gadgets, but it does so with clean energy that’s free of cost.The Solar Paper by Yolk literally fits two high-efficiency solar panels into a product the size of your phone, but just a dazzling fraction of the thickness. Thin enough to be used as a bookmark (although it comes with a rather beautiful leather pouch of its own), the Solar Paper can harness the sun’s energy to charge your devices. The two-fold design can even be made to expand by magnetically plugging in more panels. The Solar Paper comes with a hub on the top with a seven-segment LCD panel that measures electrical current. The device even comes with its own auto-shut and auto-resume feature in case the sunlight gets temporarily obstructed by a cloud or any other object.The Solar Paper charger is clean, conscientious, and card-thin. It also doesn’t need periodic charging, like that clunky old power bank of yours.Designer: YolkBUY NOWBUY NOWSharePinShareFlipSharePocket1.0K Shareslast_img read more

Newport Avenue Market in Bend Oregon Wins Unified Grocers Award

first_imgNewport Avenue Market in Bend, Oregon Wins Unified Grocers Award 0 Google+ Tumblr Facebook Share. Pinterest E-Headlinescenter_img Twitter (Photo above: Family kitchen staff preparing meals. Photo by Newport Avenue  Market)Newport Avenue Market, known to many as the food hub of Central Oregon offering shoppers both mainstream and specialty grocery options, was recently awarded the Ben Schwartz Retail Grocery Visionary Award from Unified Grocers. This is the tenth year that Unified Grocers has presented the award to an outstanding independent retailer, and the first time this award has been given to a single store. Rudy and Debbie Dory and their daughter Lauren Johnson, owners of Newport Avenue Market, accepted the award at a special awards dinner last week in Los Angeles.“It’s an honor to receive this prestigious award and I’m proud that Newport Avenue Market is the first single-store recipient,” said Rudy Dory.In presenting the award, Bob Ling, president and chief executive officer, Unified Grocers, said that Newport Avenue Market has thrived because it’s a reflection of the Dory family. “Rudy, Debbie and Lauren are committed not only to their customers and their staff but also to the local community and that’s reflected in their many successes over the years,” said Ling.“Their passion to create a unique shopping experience is clearly evident as you walk through the store,” he added. “Innovation, quality and a friendly, knowledgeable staff are central to the success of Newport Avenue Market and that’s why customers come from near and far.”The award is given to an independent retail grocer or grocery company that is a leader and innovator in the retail grocery industry. The award recognizes retailers who, by their practice and example, have consistently demonstrated initiative, creativity and leadership within their businesses and, in the process, have inspired others to think and act creatively and with passion in the grocery field. To be eligible, retailers must be — or have been — a member of Unified Grocers or one of its predecessor companies.Located on the west side of Bend and locally family-owned since 1976, Newport Avenue Market offers shoppers both mainstream and specialty grocery options, all in a vibrant environment. Their expansive selection of high-quality, in-demand food and beverage items, otherwise known as the “Triple G” – Groceries, Gadgets and Gifts! – keeps shoppers always on their toes.The store employs over 100 “internal foodies,” with an average employee tenure of 10+ LinkedIn By CBN on February 19, 2015 Emaillast_img read more

New York The Gateway To Industry 40

first_img Filed Under: #NYCTech, AlleyTalk New York: The Gateway To Industry 4.0October 3, 2018 by Oliver Mitchell 220SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin As Hurricane Florence raged across the coastline of Northern Carolina, 600 miles north the 174th Attack Wing Nation Guard base in Syracuse, New York was on full alert. Governor Cuomo just hung up with Defense Secretary Mattis to ready the airbase’s MQ-9’s drone force to “provide post-storm situational awareness for the on-scene commanders and emergency personnel on the ground.” Suddenly, the entire country turned to the Empire State as the epicenter for unmanned search & rescue operations.Located a few miles from the 174th is the Genius NY Accelerator. Genius boasts of the largest competition for unmanned systems in the world. Previous winners that received one million dollars, include AutoModality and FotoKite. One of Genius’ biggest financial backers is the Empire State Development (ESD). Last month, I moderated a discussion in New York City between Sharon Rutter of the ESD, Peter Kunz of Boeing Horizon X and Victor Friedberg of FoodShot Global. These three investors spanned the gamut of early-stage funders of autonomous machines. I started our discussion by asking if they think New York is poised to take a leading role in shaping the future of automation. While Kunz and Friedberg shared their own perspectives as corporate and social impact investors accordingly, Rutter singled out one audience participant in particular as representing the future of New York’s innovation venture scene.Andrew Hong of ff Venture Capital sat quietly in front of the presenters, yet his firm has been loudly reshaping the Big Apple’s approach to investing in mechatronics for almost a decade (with the ESD as a proud limited partner). Founded in 2008 by John Frankel, formerly of Goldman Sachs, ff has deployed capital in more than 100 companies with market values of over $6 billion. As the original backer of crowd-funding site Indiegogo, ff could be credited as a leading contributor to a new suite of technologies. As Frankel explains, “We like hardware if it is a vector to selling software, as recurring models based on services leads to better economics for us than one-off hardware sales.” In the spirit of fostering greater creativity for artificial intelligence software, ff collaborated with New York University in 2016 to start the NYU/ffVC AI NexusLab — the country’s first AI accelerator program between a university and a venture fund. NexusLab culminated in the Future Labs AI Summit in 2017. Frankel describes how this technology is influencing the future of autonomy, “As we saw that AI was coming into its own we looked at AI application plays and that took us deeper into cybersecurity, drones, and robotics. In addition, both drones and robotics benefited as a byproduct of the massive investment in mobile phones and their embedded sensors and radios.  Thus we invested in a number of companies in the space (Skycatch, PlusOne Robotics, Cambrian Intelligenceand TopFlight Technologies) and continue to look for more.”Recently, ff VC bolstered its efforts to support the growth of an array of cognitive computing systems by opening a new state-of-the-art headquarters in the Empire State Building and expanding its venture partner program. In addition to providing seed capital to startups, ff VC has distinguished itself for more than a decade by augmenting technical founders with robust back-office services, especially accounting and financial management. Last year, ff also widened its industry venture partner program with the addition of Dr. Kathryn Hume to its network. Dr. Hume is probably best known for her work as the former president of Fast Forward Labs, a leading advisory firm to Fortune 500 companies in utilizing data science and artificial intelligence. I am pleased to announce that I have decided to join Dr. Hume and the ff team as a venture partner to widen their network in the robotics industry. I share Frankel’s vision that today we are witnessing “massive developments in AI and ML that had led to unprecedented demand for automation solutions across every industry.”ff’s commitment is not an isolated example across the Big Apple but part of a growing invigorated community of venture capitalists, academics, inventors, and government sponsors. Yesterday, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) officially announced the winner of its $30 million investment grant to boost the city’s cybersecurity ecosystem. CyberNYC will include a new startup accelerator, city-wide programming, educational curricula, up-skilling/job placement, and a funding network for home-grown ventures. As NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett explains, “The de Blasio Administration is investing in cybersecurity to both fuel innovation, and to create new, accessible pathways to jobs in the industry. We’re looking for big-thinking proposals to help us become the global capital of cybersecurity and to create thousands of good jobs for New Yorkers.” The Mayor’s office projects that its initiative will create 100,000 new jobs over the next ten years, enabling NYC to fully maximize the opportunities of an autonomous world.The inspiration for CyberNYC could probably be found in the sands of the Israeli desert town of Beer Sheva. In the past decade, this Bedouin city in the Holy Land has been transformed from tents into a high-tech engine for cybersecurity, remote sensing and automation technologies. At the center of this oasis is Cyber Labs, a government-backed incubator created by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP). Next week, JVP will kick off its New York City “Hub” with a $1 million competition called “New York Play” to bridge the opportunities between Israeli and NYC entrepreneurship.  In the words of JVP’s Chairman and Founder, Erel Margalit, “JVP’s expansion to New York and the launch of New York Play are all about what’s possible. As New York becomes America’s gateway for international collaboration and innovation, JVP, at the center of the “Startup Nation,” will play a significant role boosting global partnerships to create solutions that better the world and drive international business opportunities.”Looking past the skyscrapers, I reflect on Margalit’s image of New York as a “Gateway” to the future of autonomy.  Today, the wheel of New York City is turning into a powerful hub, connected throughout America’s academic corridor and beyond, with spokes shooting in from Boston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Silicon Valley, Europe, Asia and Israel. The Excelsior State is pulsing with entrepreneurial energy fostered by the partnerships of government, venture capital, academia and industry. As ff VC’s newest venture partner, I personally am excited to play a pivotal role in helping them harness the power of acceleration for the benefit of my city and, quite possibly, the world.Reprinted by permission.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POSTlast_img read more

Wellness Revolution on Main Street The Biotanica

first_img Filed Under: HealthTech, Wellness My most recent post talked about how wellness could be the soul of the transformation of streetside retail. Several trends drive this shift:The disappearance of traditional stores from Main Streets across America.The forceful emergence of experiential retail as a way to get consumers into a physical store, often in concert with a compelling online buying experience.The drive in healthcare to bring treatment closer to customers and to involve consumers more directly in their own care.Breakthroughs in science that bring treatments once reserved for hospitals and clinics onto the wrists or screens of consumers or that bring the expansiveness of crowd-sourcing to care.Today, these forces are expressed by pharmacies providing inoculations, housing mini-clinics; by retailers like Wal-Mart bringing mental health centers into the store; by walk-in clinics that include instant body scans tied to wearable sensor data; meditation pods in workout wear stores; blood pressure monitors in grocery stores; and dozens of other new experiences.But I think what we are seeing today is just the tip of the wellness retail iceberg.Within a few years, we will see the emergence of an entirely new kind of Main Street facility. I call it “the Biotanica”: the combination of biology and science with the spiritual, herbal and community aspects of traditional Hispanic botanicas.Biotanicas will deliver care and comfort. They will dispense drugs alongside biome and natural treatments. They will provide space for VR experiences, meditation, and exercise. They will house primary care doctors, nutritionists, and mental health professionals. They will have some of the feel of a health club, some of a clinic, some of an Apple store, some of a gourmet grocery and some of an AA meeting.Individuals will go to their biotanica to pick up personalized health products and treatments they purchased online. They’ll be able to buy next-gen food, in many cases formulated specifically for their needs. Many, if not most, of the basic medical treatment that now is in a clinic will move to biotanicas.The centers will also have doctors – not only RNs and primary care physicians in-house, but also diagnosticians and specialists available via telehealth connections.And, because of the range of activities housed in biotanicas and their deep importance to health and wellness, these facilities will become centers for community. They’ll house information sessions, counseling groups, bull sessions, meditation classes, nutrition and exercises classes.Biotanicas will be the general stores of the 21st century. Decades from now, young people will find the assertion that Main Street was once totally dominated by stores stuffed with products, and medicine only occurred in sterile, scary, expensive clinics and hospitals, bizarre. Having all the elements of wellness available next door and at their fingertips will seem utterly natural and obvious to future generations.Reprinted by permission.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST Wellness Revolution on Main Street: The BiotanicaJanuary 28, 2019 by Mike Edelhart 221SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedinlast_img read more

LG Watch W7 pokes mechanical hands through a Wear OS touchscreen

LG doesn’t just have the new V40 ThinQ smartphone today, it also has a brand new wearable, the LG Watch W7, which pairs physical hands with a touchscreen display. It’s the first Wear OS by Google smartwatch to have a full screen along with mechanical hands, with LG promising the digital functionality you expect but with the look and reliability of a traditional timepiece. That’s required some clever engineering, as you might expect. There’s a 1.2-inch circular LCD, with a hole puncturing it right through the center. That allows mechanical hands to sit on top of the screen. LG turned to Swiss watch specialists Soprod to help with the mechanism. In effect it’s a complicated sandwich of components which all work in tandem. First, the protective cover glass, then the touchscreen layer right underneath. Then come the physical hands, and finally the 360 x 360 display.AdChoices广告There are two buttons on the side, along with a knob for navigation, akin to the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown. The whole thing is rated at IP68 for water and dust resistance, and has WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.2 LE. No cellular option, at least not at this stage, but there are the usual sensors: accelerometer, magnetic, gyroscope, pressure, compass, altimeter, and barometer. Any 22 mm standard watch strap should fit. Inside, there’s Qualcomm’s APQ8009w Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipset, with 768 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage. That’s not Qualcomm’s very latest smartwatch SoC, but LG has done something special with it. The battery is a 240 mAh lithium polymer pack, which recharges using a special cradle making contact with the pogo-pins on the back. However, what’s really clever is how the LG Watch W7 manages battery life. In “Just Watch” mode, just showing the time with the mechanical hands, the Watch W7 should last for up to 100 days, LG promises. That’s because it can shut down the processor altogether and rely solely on the physical mechanism to keep track of the time. If you have Wear OS active, it’ll last for around two days of connected activity. However, even after that, there’ll be sufficient power for 2-3 days of using the smartwatch as just a mechanical watch, with the display a plain black background.The goal, LG says, was to create a watch that – from a single glance – you wouldn’t be able to tell whether it was a “smartwatch” or something more traditional. We’ve certainly seen smart wearables that promise to combine more basic watch functionality with optional smarter abilities, like the TicWatch Pro, but they still rely on a digital display rather than physical hands. This combination of analog and digital, though, doesn’t come cheap. LG says that the Watch W7 will go up for preorder on October 7, priced at $449.99. It’ll begin shipping on October 14. LG Watch W7 Gallery read more

Candid Chevy Bolt EV 470Mile Road Trip Story Is Sure To Entertain

Motor Trend Gives Positive Long-Term Verdict On Chevrolet Bolt EV A Little Secret GM Isn’t Telling Us About Improving The Bolt EV Battery Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 7, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Blissful Anniversary Bolt EV Road Trip? Or Fast Lane Back to the Bachelor Life?This past weekend I embarked on a spontaneous 470-mile round trip drive to go to an Ed Sheeran concert in Pittsburgh to celebrate 11 years of marriage to my wife. I initially had suggested a trip to Florida in November as a delayed anniversary gift, but the wife said: “Hey, there’s a concert in Pittsburgh today…let’s just go to that!” As I did not want to disappoint the wife, we were soon on the road in our Bolt EV! I was hoping this anniversary trip would not lead to a divorce filing!*This article originally appeared on bro05’s blog.Check Out These Stories: The Chevy Bolt EV Is Just A Normal Everyday Car And That’s Pretty Cool Source: Electric Vehicle News The distance from Woodstock, MD to Pittsburgh, PA was 230 miles one way, and it included a 177 mile stretch of highway that has exactly *0* CCS fast-charging stations (or any charging stations the Bolt could use, for that matter). There were a handful of fast charging options around the Pittsburgh area (including in a parking garage near the concert venue at PNC Park) that I could use to charge, though I had no clue if those stations would actually be available. Eh, don’t sweat the details, right?Not exactly the most road trip friendly setup.While the drive to Pittsburgh was around 230 miles, theoretically within the Bolt’s official 238-mile range, there was a significant elevation gain during the drive from near sea level to 2,500 feet. To make matters worse, this elevation gain was smack dab in the middle of the route, so it needed to be traversed regardless of the direction of travel.Not wanting to roll the dice that I could make it to Pittsburgh on a single charge, after leaving home with a100% charge good for 240 miles according to the Bolt’s range meter, I decided to “top off” my Bolt at a fast charging station in Hagerstown, MD 60 miles away for 15 minute pit stop to ensure I had enough battery to make it to Pittsburgh.Evgo station in Hagerstown, MD.After putting in about 5 kWh of charge into the battery, the GOM told me I had 205 miles of estimated range to cover 177 miles. I figured that was enough of a buffer. Aware of the elevation gain and being the first time I had ever driven this route, I decided to take it easy, driving 60 mph where the speed limit was 70, as there was plenty of time to get to the concert venue.Despite the conservative speeds, I watched my range buffer slowly shrink as the elevation slowly gained. At one point during the drive, my range buffer had been reduced to 4 miles, and if I turned on the HVAC, the estimated miles remaining actually dipped below the ‘miles to destination’ Google Maps in my center display reported (the Bolt subtracts range if you turn on the HVAC to account for energy usage). Knowing that eventually, I would soon start the descent down towards Pittsburgh, I drove on without too much worry.Finally, the elevation stopped climbing and the rate which I was losing estimated miles slowed down too. The nearly non-existent range buffer I had when I had reached the summit of the drive ended up growing to nearly 40 miles by the time we entered Pittsburgh. After finding the parking garage with the only CCS fast charging stations within 20 miles and plugging in (both stariost open. Woohoo!) I observed my Bolt had 13% charge and 38 miles of range remaining. The parking garage was nestled right between Heinz Field and PNC Park, which were pretty cool to finally see in person.The Gold 1 parking garage has 2 fast charging stations25 kW fast charging? Better than nothing.I’ll skip details of the actual concert itself, but the wife had a good time, so that’s all that really matters I guess. While the concert lasted over 3 hours, I realized that the charging station (what I found out later was a measly 25 kW CCS station) had a 1-hour auto shutoff, and there was no way to reinitiate a charging session remotely. Attempts to contact garage staff also failed.Pittsburgh skyline at night.Reflecting back on the charging station setup, I determined that it was one of the dumber charging arrangements I’ve seen. Ignoring the fact they were 25 kW “fast charging” stations, most people parking in that garage were likely attending sporting events or concerts, usually 3+ hour affairs that don’t allow you to return to the facility once you leave, so after 1 hour, you were for all intents and purposes, done charging till you returned to your car. I found that I had gained 77 miles of range in 1 hour (33% SOC added to the battery), which after doing the math, I realized a 7.2 kW L2 charging station would have added more miles (90-100 miles in 4 hours). Someone really dropped the ball with this station by having a 60-minute hard shutoff.After we finally escaped Pittsburgh after being stuck in horrific traffic for what seemed like forever, we headed towards an EVgo station about 20 miles east of Pittsburgh which was on the route home. It was a single EVgo station located in a strip mall that was next to an Applebee’s in Monroesville, PA. I was able to plug in and rest for about 30 minutrs while my Bolt charged up. The next charging station was over 170 miles away in Hagerstown, MD, and I knew a significant elevation gain was ahead, so I made sure to give myself at least a 25-mile buffer. Turns out that was barely enough.During the lonely drive to Hagerstown, I slowly watched the elevation climb in my TorquePro app while my range meter dropped faster than the miles I was covering. To make matters worse, it was very humid and chilly outside, which was the perfect recipe for my windshield fogging up, requiring me to turn on the defroster from time to time. Each time I turned on the defroster, precious electrons were zapped from my battery. About halfway into my 177-mile leg, the Bolt’s GOM spits out a number that was 8 miles less than the miles I still needed to drive. I knew that soon I would start a descent down from my current 2,500 elevation, but seeing a range number less than the miles-to-go number is always unnerving.Fortunately, I was soon back several miles to the good and made it to the fast charger at the Hagerstown Premium Outlets with my Bolt’s GOM merely blinking “LOW”.As I pulled up to the lone CCS charging station, I saw that a Leaf was plugged in! And he was plugged into the combo CCS/CHAdeMO station, and not the standalone CHAdeMO station just a few feet away! (Great ettiquette guy). The nightmare scenario! Who the heck was charging at an Outlet mall at 4 AM in the morning on a Sunday??? Besides me, that is. By some stroke of good luck, the Leaf was not actively charging despite being plugged in (and the owner was nowhere to be found), so I quickly plugged my Bolt in and swiped my EVgo card to activate the charge session. As home was only 58 miles away (this EVgo station was a 125 amp variety, not one of those fake “50 kW” 100 amp stations), so a 20-25 minute charge was all I needed to make it home. After 24 minutes of charging and a seemingly plentiful 78 miles of range, I unplugged and drove like a bat out of hell towards home (and then a slightly slower bat out of hell once I realized I was driving too fast to make it home without stopping to charge again). Made it home with plenty of range to spare!Living on the edge!Total trip stats.So aside from telling a tale of a not completely stress-free trip to Pittsburgh and back in my Bolt in a single day, what is the point of this story? It’s to show how while the CCS fast-charging network has improved immensely compared to a couple of years ago (this trip would not have been possible 2 years ago), and it is possible to travel long distances in a 200+ mile BEV like the Bolt (it’s not Tesla or bust for EV road trips), the infrastructure still isn’t quite there yet for worry-free travel. The Electrify America initiative is definitely a big step in the right direction, and with charging networks like Chargepoint and EVgo continuing to deploy their own fast-charging stations (with GM being rumored to be working on their own ultra-fast charging network), the CCS charging infrastructure will only continue to improve. For those of us willing to be adventurous and take a little risk, there is no need to wait to embark on those road trips. Just need to have a little bit of a clue and some patience.P.S. also found out being worried about running out of range is great for keeping you awake during a graveyard shift drive!Source: bro05’s blog read more

Human behavior and corporate culture may have impact on hygiene food safety

first_imgJun 7 2018Leadership and efficient communication in food companies have a large impact on hygiene and food safety, as proven by research at Ghent University. Many food processing companies have implemented a food safety management system to comply with the severe measures to deliver hygienic and safe food. Nevertheless, consumers can be exposed to unsafe food, with food poisoning as a result.Research at Ghent University shows that human behavior and corporate culture may have an impact on these problems.Certificate is no guaranteeResearchers Elien De Boeck, Prof. Liesbeth Jacxsens (faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University) and Prof. Peter Vlerick (faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ghent University) took a closer look at food companies and their management systems.”Food safety is often looked at from a purely technological approach”, De Boeck explains. “Many companies choose to obtain a food safety certificate merely because their customers demand it; not because they are intrinsically motivated to improve their company’s hygiene and food safety. As such, certificates risk to become merely a checklist with requirements and lose their original goal: to safeguard and improve hygiene and food safety.””A certificate is no guarantee for safe food”, the researcher continues. “Some companies with certificates still encounter food safety problems.”Human behavior and corporate cultureTheir study shows that in many cases, food safety problems are caused by the behavior of individual employees, who are, in turn, influenced by the corporate culture with respect to food safety and hygiene.Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerDe Boeck: “As a company, you make choices: for instance, how do we manage food safety? Is it our priority to produce safe and hygienic food, or to increase production? This organizational culture reflects on all aspects in production and processing, and on the behavior of employees. If you give employees sufficient time to do their job well, they will get the signal that quality and food safety are more important than quantity. Furthermore, stress and burn-out are clearly linked to a weak food safety culture.”Leadership and communicationA strong leading management and efficient communication seemed crucial to realize a better food safety culture.”Every food processing company should have strong leaders on crucial positions in the company”, De Boeck advises. “These persons have a positive influence on the behavior of individual employees.”Also good communication is important, to make employees aware of the importance of food safety and hygiene, for example by organizing frequent food safety and hygiene training.Positive food safety cultureIn certification of companies, food safety culture will become more important in the future.”Food companies need to aim for a good food safety culture, in which every employee is aware of the importance of safe and hygienic food”, the researcher concludes.Source: read more

Alloptical ultrasound system holds potential to revolutionize imageguided interventions

first_img Source: Jul 2 2018While ultrasound is one of the most common medical imaging tools, conventional electronic ultrasound devices tend to be bulky and cannot be used at the same time as some other imaging technologies. A new ultrasound system that uses optical, instead of electronic components, could improve performance while giving doctors significantly more flexibility in how they use ultrasound to diagnose and treat medical problems.In The Optical Society (OSA) journal Biomedical Optics Express, researchers demonstrate for the first time the use of an all-optical ultrasound imager for video-rate, real-time 2D imaging of biological tissue. The achievement is an important step toward making all-optical ultrasound practical for routine clinical use.Because they require no electronic components in the imaging probe, all-optical ultrasound systems could be safely used at the same time as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners. This would give doctors a more comprehensive picture of the tissues around an area of interest, such as a tumor or blood vessel.”All-optical ultrasound imaging probes have the potential to revolutionize image-guided interventions,” said Erwin J. Alles, University College London, United Kingdom. “A lack of electronics and the resulting MRI compatibility will allow for true multimodality image guidance, with probes that are potentially just a fraction of the cost of conventional electronic counterparts.”Lightbeam scanning mirrors built into the device increase image quality and make it possible to acquire images in different modes. In a clinical setting, this would allow doctors to rapidly toggle between modes on a single instrument to suit the task at hand. Acquiring different types of images using conventional ultrasound systems typically requires separate specialized probes.”The flexibility offered by the scanning mirrors will allow for seamless switching between 2D and 3D imaging, as well as a dynamically adjustable trade-off between image resolution and penetration depth, without the need to swap imaging probe,” said Alles. “Especially in a minimally invasive interventional setting, swapping imaging probes is highly disruptive, extends procedure times and introduces risks to the patient.”Eliminating electronicsConventional ultrasound imagers use arrays of electronic transducers to transmit high-frequency sound waves into tissue and receive the reflections. A computer then constructs images of the tissue.By contrast, all-optical ultrasound imagers use light to both transmit and receive ultrasound waves. Pulsed laser light is used to generate ultrasound waves, and scanning mirrors control where the waves are transmitted into the tissue. A fiber optic sensor receives the reflected waves.Related StoriesUT Dallas adds MILabs Hybrid OI/CT system to its innovative medical imaging solutionsPassive cavitation imaging can estimate a drug’s dose and location in the brainDyson-Hudson receives grant to study effectiveness of new treatment for shoulder painThe electronic components of conventional ultrasound devices make them difficult to miniaturize for internal use, so most existing ultrasound devices are large, handheld probes that are placed against the skin. While some high-resolution minimally invasive ultrasound probes have been developed, they are too expensive for routine clinical use. Optical components are easily miniaturized and tiny all-optical ultrasound probes would likely be significantly less expensive to manufacture than compact electronic ultrasound systems, researchers say.Speeding up image processingTo generate images, an all-optical ultrasound system must acquire data from multiple optical source locations, combine them together and then create a visualization that reconstructs the area being imaged.Researchers have previously demonstrated using all-optical ultrasound to generate high-quality 2D and 3D images, but acquiring the images took hours, making these devices too slow to be used in a clinical setting. The new demonstration is the first to acquire and display images with all-optical ultrasound at video rates.”Through the combination of a new imaging paradigm, new optical ultrasound generating materials, optimized ultrasound source geometries and a highly sensitive fiber-optic ultrasound detector, we achieved image frame rates that were up to three orders of magnitude faster than the current state-of-the-art,” said Alles.A medical multitoolOptical ultrasound systems are inherently more versatile than their electronic counterparts because they can produce sound at a much larger bandwidth. Alles and colleagues demonstrated how the light source can be manipulated to generate either low frequency ultrasound, which results in greater penetration into the tissue, or high frequency ultrasound, which offers higher resolution images at a shallower depth.The team tested their prototype system by imaging a deceased zebrafish, as well as a pig artery that they manipulated to emulate the dynamics of pulsing blood. The demonstration showed imaging capabilities comparable to an electronic high-frequency ultrasound system, with a sustained frame rate of 15 Hertz, a dynamic range of 30 decibels, a penetration depth of 6 millimeters and a resolution of 75 by 100 micrometers.To adapt the technology for clinical use, the researchers are working to develop a long, flexible imaging probe for free-hand operation, as well as miniaturized versions for endoscopic applications.last_img read more

Newly discovered mechanism may be useful target to stop flu virus from

first_imgJul 24 2018There’s a hitch in the swing of a protein that delivers the flu virus. Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine researchers believe this mechanism may be a useful target to stop the virus from infecting cells.In a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Rice-Baylor team led by biophysicist José Onuchic and biochemists Jianpeng Ma and Qinghua Wang delves further into a glycoprotein complex it began to define in a 2014 paper.That protein, hemagglutinin, sits on the surface of flu viruses and helps them attach to and transport through the protective membranes of target cells.The paper begins to define the mechanism that allows the protein to unfold and refold in a snap, changing its form to expose a peptide that attaches the virus to a cell and begins infection. The researchers believe therapeutic drugs can use this mechanism to shut the virus down.”This protein starts in a folded state and goes through a global transformation, refolding in a completely different state,” said Onuchic, co-director of Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP). “But there’s a small part in the center that evolution has conserved.”That single conserved amino acid residue is the hitch that makes the protein pause in the process of refolding. It allows a fusion peptide buried inside to bind to the target cell and begin infecting it. Without the pause, the refolding would be too quick for binding to take place.Lead author and Rice postdoctoral researcher Xingcheng Lin modeled that part of the protein, the B-loop of the HA2 domain. HA2 sits beneath another domain, a cap known as HA1 that mutates to escape past defenses. Lin explained that HA1 is a common target for flu medications because the exposed cap domain is more accessible than the protected HA2 domain.The problem is that HA1 mutates constantly to resist drugs, he said. That influences how effective flu vaccines are every year. Lin and Onuchic said HA2 presents a better target for drugs because the mechanism is highly conserved by evolution.”If a drug targets HA2, the domain cannot escape by making mutations because the mutations themselves would make it nonfunctional,” Lin said. “That kind of drug could become a universal vaccine.”HA2 is a trimeric structure that, when triggered by acidic conditions in the environment near a target cell, transforms itself from a random loop to a coiled coil. Even with the pause, it unfolds and refolds in a fraction of a second, far too fast for microscopes to see. But a computer simulation of the process can be slowed down.That happens to be a specialty of the CTBP, which uses programs that analyze the energy landscape of proteins to predict how they will fold. Onuchic and his colleagues are pioneers in the theory that folding proteins follow an orderly, “funneled” process that depends on the intrinsic energy of every atom in the chain, each of which constantly seeks its lowest energy state. If all the atomic “beads” can be identified, it’s possible to simulate the complex folding process.Related StoriesComputer-generated flu vaccine enters clinical trials in the USWomen’s greater immune response to flu vaccine declines with ageAntibiotics can wipe out early flu resistance, study findsThe Rice researchers often use coarse-grained models of proteins, a subset of atoms that represent the whole, to predict how they will fold. The new study was much more ambitious and set out to predict the complex unfolding and refolding by using not only every atom in the chain but also every atom in its liquid environment, Onuchic said.Lin modeled 40 microseconds (millionths of a second) of the HA2 domain transition that represents the entire process, which takes 1.4 milliseconds (thousandths of a second) to complete. Even that shortened process took two years of computer time to deliver results, he said.”The simulated domain is about 3,000 atoms, but when the environment, including water, is accounted for, the total simulation incorporates around 100,000 atoms,” Onuchic said. “It’s still an enormous simulation that required state-of-the-art techniques.”Previous theories based on crystallographic images of the before-and-after proteins put forth the idea of a spring-loaded domain that appeared to attach to the target cell after the cap’s removal. Onuchic said the complete model of HA2 supports a different mechanism.”We figured out there’s a bunch of energy that makes the final state of HA2 much more stable than the initial state,” he said. “But with the spring-loaded mechanism, most of the energy would already be wasted by the time it forms the coiled coil and binds the cell and viral membranes. It wouldn’t leave any energy to pull the membranes together.”That’s why we decided to do a full calculation of the system – all the atoms of the protein and all the water,” Onuchic said. “It was a gigantic effort.”The conserved hydrophilic (water-attracting) residue, known as Thr59, is of particular interest to the researchers not only for the way it disrupts folding and allows the virus to attack, but also because it has a twin.”In the full evolutionary tree, these viruses fall into two groups, and the difference appears to be this residue,” Onuchic said. “They split 1,500 years ago and somehow, after this separation, they’re fully conserved. They haven’t been able to change that residue no matter what, and we believe that makes this residue important.”The current research focused on the group that incorporates Thr59 and causes the H3N2 strain responsible for the Hong Kong flu, Lin said. The other residue, Met59, appears in the H1N1 strain that caused the Spanish flu.”We still have a long way to go to understand the entire protein,” he said. “Here, we only studied one domain of one protein, and there are several others that are very important to its function.””But what Xingcheng has already done is a computational tour de force,” Onuchic added. “He showed how this particular residue breaks the helical symmetry of the domain and makes it unstable enough to give the peptide time to grab the membranes.”Source: read more

A gut microbe that stops food allergies

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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img A class of bacteria commonly found in the guts of people—and rodents—appears to keep mice safe from food allergies, a study suggests. The same bacteria are among those reduced by antibiotic use in early childhood. The research fits neatly into an emerging paradigm that helps explain a recent alarming increase in food allergies and other conditions, such as obesity and autoimmune disease, and hints at strategies to reverse the trend.Food allergies have increased about 50% in children since 1997. There are various theories explaining why. One is that the 21st century lifestyle, which includes a diet very different from our ancestors’, lots of antibiotic use, and even a rise in cesarean section deliveries, has profoundly changed the makeup of microbes in the gut of many people in developed countries. For example, the average child in the United States has taken three courses of antibiotics by the time he or she is 2 years old, says Martin Blaser, an infectious disease specialist and microbiologist at New York University in New York City. (See here for more on the reach of microbiome research these days.)Cathryn Nagler, an immunologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois, has spent years probing links between the immune system, intestinal bacteria, and the onset of allergies. Back in 2004, she and her colleagues reported that wiping out gut bacteria in mice led to food allergies. Since then, Nagler has continued trying to understand which bacteria offer allergy protection and how they accomplish that. In one of the latest efforts, Nagler’s team first confirmed that mice given antibiotics early in life were far more susceptible to peanut sensitization, a model of human peanut allergy. Then, they introduced a solution containing Clostridia, a common class of bacteria that’s naturally found in the mammalian gut, into the rodents’ mouths and stomachs. The animals’ food allergen sensitization disappeared, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. When the scientists instead introduced another common kind of healthy bacteria, called Bacteroides, into similarly allergy-prone mice, they didn’t see the same effect. Studying the rodents more carefully, the researchers determined that Clostridia were having a surprising effect on the mouse gut: Acting through certain immune cells, the bacteria helped keep peanut proteins that can cause allergic reactions out of the bloodstream. “The bacteria are maintaining the integrity of the [intestinal] barrier,” Nagler says.The research “opens up new territory,” Blaser says. It “extends the frontier of how the microbiome is involved” in immune responses and the roles played by specific bacteria. (Blaser’s group reported earlier this month in Cell that giving mice penicillin soon after birth changed their gut microbiome and made them much more likely to be obese as adults.) Nagler and her university have filed for a patent application on the new findings. The ultimate goal is to “interrupt [the allergy] process by manipulating the microbiota,” she says—a probiotic consisting of Clostridia could be a new allergy therapy, for example. Nagler knows of none on the market yet, and they would need testing in people before becoming a treatment of choice.last_img read more