Hope against disease targeting children

first_imgHarvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers studying spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) have found what they term “surprising similarities” between this childhood disorder that attacks motor neurons and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.The findings have been published online by the journal Cell Stem Cell.The research team led by HSCI principal faculty member Lee Rubin uncovered molecular changes that explain, at least in part, why motor neurons rather than others are affected by the illness. Unlike ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, which tend to manifest later in life, SMA strikes infants. Unlike ALS, SMA is a genetic disorder that causes a range of outcomes, with the milder form leaving some children confined to wheelchairs, and the more severe form causing paralysis and death before the second birthday.Though not as well-known as ALS, SMA is “the most frequent fatal genetic disease of young children,” said Rubin, a professor in Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB). About one in 50 people are carriers of SMA and about one in 5,000 children are born with the disease.Rubin said researchers are still working to determine the mechanisms of SMA. “It has never been clear why motor neurons — which relay signals from the brain to the muscles via the spinal column — die selectively,” Rubin said. “It is clear motor neurons die well before other kinds of cells, even other kinds of spinal-cord neurons, and the mystery has been trying to understand that.”A research team composed of HSCI investigators at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and HSCRB, including HSCI principal faculty member John Rinn, worked in collaboration with the SMA Foundation’s Pediatric Neuromuscular Clinical Research Network and Wendy Chung from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons to make neurons from donors with SMA of varying degrees of severity.The researchers first determined that the neurons in a dish behaved similarly to the way neurons would behave in an SMA patient. Not only did motor neurons die before other types of neurons, but motor neurons derived from patients with severe SMA died very quickly in comparison to those made from patients with a milder form of the disease.Then, using a method of intracellular cell labeling developed in HSCI co-director Doug Melton’s lab, the researchers separated motor neurons from other types of neurons in the dish, carried out an RNA sequencing analysis, and compared SMA motor neurons to those from healthy individuals.Healthy cells have mechanisms that help maintain an appropriate quantity of protein made by genes that are turned on within a given cell. There is a balance between protein production and protein degradation. Over time, neural cells targeted by late-onset neurodegenerative diseases — Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, even ALS — lose their ability to maintain that balance. Proteins build up, and the clutter stresses the cell. If cells cannot resolve the issue, they shut down and die. After a number of cells have died, patients start to experience the effects of their disease.SMA, however, appears to work in the opposite way. There isn’t too much but too little of a specific protein, called survival of motor neuron (SMN), because the gene that codes that protein is broken. The researchers learned that a reduction in this protein affects the cells’ ability to process other proteins normally, leading to a motor neuron stress response. In particular, reduction in SMN causes a reduction in the levels of a chaperone protein that, Rubin said, acts like a protein traffic guard inside motor neurons. When other proteins are not folding correctly, the chaperone will hold up the stop sign, giving the other protein time to fold correctly before moving through the rest of the cell. If there are too few functional chaperones, it causes a protein traffic jam inside the cell. The buildup of these other proteins activates a stress response.When the research team shut off the stress response in the SMA-affected cells, both in culture and in a mouse model, they were able to keep the motor neuron cells from dying. “You could say that ALS and SMA converge on a pathway that causes motor neurons to be stressed,” Rubin said.Even though the two diseases have different origins — one with too much of the disease protein in the cells and the other with too little­­ — the point of convergence may be important, said Rubin. Because they both involve a stress response in motor neurons specifically, it is possible that the two diseases could eventually be treated by one drug.last_img read more

Former VP Pence opens transition office in northern Virginia

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence has announced the opening of his transition office in northern Virginia. The office will handle correspondence, scheduling requests, public statements and official activities for Pence and his wife, Karen. A spokesperson says the Pences are living in northern Virginia and have summer plans to move back to Indiana. Pence was Indiana’s governor and represented the state in the U.S. House before he and Donald Trump were elected president and vice president in 2016. They were defeated in November by Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.last_img

Aviatron to announce $6.2 million contract Friday

first_imgAviatron to announce $6.2 million contract todayGovernor to promote aviation industryWill urge Legislature to make permanent a tax exemption for aircraft partsMontpelier, Vt. — Governor Jim Douglas today will congratulate a Vermont aviation firm — Aviatron of South Burlington — for landing a $6.2 million aircraft maintenance contract. The governor will urge lawmakers to make permanent a tax exemption on aircraft parts to encourage additional job creation in this economic sector.ANNOUNCEMENTWHEN: Friday, March 7, 2008 11:00 a.m.WHERE: Aviatron, Inc. 25 Customs Drive, South BurlingtonSCHEDULE:Ø 11:15 a.m. Introductions and Contract Announcement (Open Press)Ø 11:20 a.m. Briefing and Site Visit (Open Press)Ø 11:45 a.m. Q & A with Media (Open Press)last_img read more

Interpol launches hunt for fugitives in Americas

first_imgBy Dialogo September 08, 2010 The United States and several other countries have launched a new operation to hunt down and capture international fugitives wanted by Interpol in the Americas, US officials said. The initiative, called “Operation Far Away,” is “an intelligence-driven operation designed to target, locate and arrest criminal aliens believed to be hiding in the United States and in other Western Hemisphere countries,” US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. The operation is expected throughout the month. Interpol will coordinate the operation with participation from Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Peru and the US territory of Puerto Rico. In 2009, Interpol issued more than 5,000 “red notices” for wanted criminals or suspects.last_img read more

Miami student helps keep the peace in Kosovo

first_imgMiami student helps keep the peace in Kosovo Already a member of the U.S. Army Reserves, Janko called Army headquarters in Europe and asked to be assigned to Kosovo as a peacekeeper. Because he was a reservist, all that was required was additional brief training in Germany on how to search for land mines and vehicles for weapons, and how to react to sniper attacks.“I wished to do something unselfish at least once in my life by volunteering,” Janko explained. “There is a quote which says, `You have not truly lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.’ This quote made me think that we in the United States have many resources to help those in need around the world. It would be a waste not to help our fellow human beings.”About 40,000 troops from 40 countries participated in the United Nations mission, about 5,600 from the U.S. NATO was assisted by non-NATO countries, such as Russia and Ukraine, to help the region build lasting peace by encouraging Kosovo’s two major ethnic groups 88 percent Albanians and 10 percent Serbians to work together to secure peace.The Albanians had been pursuing a non-violent separation from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia until the movement erupted into an armed rebellion in early 1999. Yugoslavia’s President Slobodan Milosevic launched a brutal campaign of “ethnic cleansing,” forcing 1 million Kosovo Albanian refugees to flee their homes and take refuge in Albania, Macedonia, and Montenegro. The United Nations forced Milosevic’s troops to withdraw from Kosovo, allowing the refugees to return to the province.“Virtually, the whole world showed up to help out,” said Janko, the son of Hungarian refugees, who added, “I never thought I’d ever be working with Russian soldiers.”Part of Janko’s mission was to help ensure that the first free elections in many decades — the October 28, 2000, municipal elections — were conducted safely.“Our work on the election project involved a lot of crisis management and making plans for such things as transporting ballots, response to possible terrorist attacks, and ensuring that the 80 polling places in the American sector were safe for voters,” Janko recounted. “It was also part of our job to ensure that the majority Albanians did not intimidate the minority Serbs.”Back at the UM School of Law, Janet Stearns, director of international and foreign programs, was on the receiving end of many post cards, pictures, and e-mails from Janko during his mission in Kosovo.“He is committed to the importance of the role of international law in the military’s work,” Stearns said. “He really taught me a lot from his commitment about the whole idea of peacekeeping and international law.”This summer, Janko is home in Hawaii, and will return to UM in the fall, where he will be writing his thesis on the role of the United Nations as a trustee-occupant to help foster newly created democracies.“My parents escaped from Communist Hungary in 1956 in hopes of finding a better life,” Janko said. “This dream of a better life is one which I would like to share with others in the world. I plan to apply for active duty with the Army JAG, so I may continue my peacekeeping duties.” Miami student helps keep the peace in Kosovo The words of Hugo Caminos, a professor of international law at the University of Miami School of Law, stuck with student Steve Janko long after he left the classroom.Caminos had told his students about the importance of putting politics aside in working with the international community to help refugees.And Janko, an LL.M. student in international law, grabbed the opportunity to follow his heart and do something to help. He took the fall 2000 semester off from his legal studies and joined a peacekeeping effort by over 40 countries to help refugees returning to their homes in Kosovo. Janko helped ensure elections went smoothly, protected churches from sabotage, searched vehicles for weapons, and promoted peace through interviews on Kosovo radio shows. July 1, 2001 Regular News Janko with children in Kosovo “I will never forget the children of Kosovo who have yet to be affected by ethnic hatred,” Janko said. “I visited a school one day and observed Albanian and Serbian children playing together. During my radio interviews on Kosovo’s airways, I encouraged the parents in Kosovo not to teach their children to hate. If I reached at least one parent, it was worth my trip over there.” last_img

What you need to launch your fintech

first_img continue reading » Getting your fintech’s brand and solution in front of the right audience can be tricky. There are many steps to take with a fintech launch, but those steps require supporting marketing materials.So, if you already have your target audience and you’re ready to follow the first steps of your fintech launch campaign, this blog is for you.Additional Materials and ConsiderationsAny fintech launch sequence will do better if it has content to fall back on. Especially the first email sequence should rely on building credibility and providing value.Some of the marketing collateral you might want to use includes: ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img

NY State Commits Promised $150 Million for Bay Park Plant

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York New York State is committing $150 million for a nitrogen removal system at Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant in East Rockaway after all.The announcement by Jon Kaiman, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s storm recovery advisor on Long Island, comes one day after four Nassau County legislators, including Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow), called on the state and federal government to secure the already-promised federal funding, which was absent from this year’s state budget proposal. The funding is critical, lawmakers and scientists say, to better treat the effluent that is discharged from Bay Park into Reynolds Channel daily. Nitrogen in the effluent is harmful to the all-important marshlands, which act as natural barriers and protect shorelines from erosion.“We are aware and we have been concerned about the Reynolds Channel sewage situation and the impact we face and the community faces and the region faces based on how that sewage ultimately is dispensed after its been treated,” Kaiman told reporters. “The ultimate goal from New York Offices of Storm Recovery and the state of New York and ultimately Nassau County is to rebuild Bay Park.”The funding had been approved last year as part of a Community Development Block Grant through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.Mangano thanked Cuomo for reaffirming his commitment to Nassau, and said the Department of Public Works would go ahead and include the nitrogen removal system as part of its rebuilding plan. The funds, however, have yet to be released.“This $150 million will go far to continue our efforts to clean up the western bays,” Mangano said. “In this day and age, we should not be dumping treated effluent into the bays. We already know that affects residential recreation opportunities in those bays, it affects fishing, it affects the commercial boating industry and now is the time to make this investment.”Although the county has already received more than $800 million to rebuild and harden the plant, which was knocked offline by Sandy in 2012, both Mangano and Kaiman called on FEMA to reconsider last year’s request for an estimated $550 million ocean outfall pipe, which would dump effluent away from local waterways.Gonsalves, in a statement, also urged FEMA to act.“Given the vital economic engine that Nassau is for the state and federal governments, we are prepared to fight for our fair share of funding,” said Gonsalves, who still intends to hold a hearing on the matter in the coming weeks.Additionally, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens and Jamie Rubin, director of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recover, penned a letter to FEMA outlining why an outfall pipe is critical to the future of Nassau.Because the effluent discharged from Bay Park “causes violations of state and federal Clean Water Act standards pre-dating Superstorm Sandy,” the project is critically important to coastal communities in the county, the letter states.The letter notes that Bay Park contributes more than 80 percent of the nitrogen discharged into the Western Bays. The state argues that if FEMA sits on the sidelines, the loss of marshlands due to nitrogen pollution will increase storm damage and future FEMA payouts if another major storm batters the Island.FEMA is sticking to previous remarks it made last year in its rejection letter.“FEMA has approved more than $800 million for the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, including $427 million in repairs and $383 million in mitigation funding to ensure it is rebuilt stronger and more resilient against storms,” FEMA spokesman Mike Wade said in a statement. “The Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant ocean outfall pipe project is not eligible for FEMA public assistance funding because such an outfall pipe did not exist when Hurricane Sandy hit in October 2012. Therefore, federal law prohibits spending FEMA funds on such an endeavor.”Letter from New York State to FEMA:last_img read more

Offices: Holborn-again

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Cesc Fabregas hits back at ex-Arsenal teammate Julio Baptista for criticising Manchester United’s tactics against PSG

first_imgCesc Fabregas hits back at ex-Arsenal teammate Julio Baptista for criticising Manchester United’s tactics against PSG Marcus Rashford’s penalty sent PSG crashing out of the Champions League (EPA)‘They had to bring on their academy players in the last 20 minutes because they did not have anything else.‘Have they been lucky? Yes. But they deserve respect for fighting and believing until the end.‘I am a defender of good football but you always have to adapt to what you have.’More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errors Advertisement Manchester United are through to the Champions League quarter-finals (Getty Images)More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityBut Fabregas hit back at his former Arsenal teammate by defending Solskjaer’s approach and pointing out that United were hampered by several injuries, as well as Paul Pogba’s suspension.‘Each team plays to their strengths and United had at least eight of their top players out,’ Fabregas said. Commentcenter_img Cesc Fabregas supported Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tactics in Manchester United’s win over PSG (Getty Images)Cesc Fabregas has defended Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after former Arsenal forward Julio Baptista criticised Manchester United’s tactics in their Champions League victory over Paris Saint-Germain.United completed a remarkable turnaround in Paris by sealing a 3-1 victory to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.Solskjaer’s side were forced to defend for the majority of the game but Romelu Lukaku capitalised on two defensive errors to keep United in the tie before Marcus Rashford’s penalty in extra time completed the upset.Baptista, however, was unhappy with United’s approach to the game and claims Solskjaer’s side will not win the competition if they adopt similar tactics in the next roundAdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘Manchester United have got to the next round without merit, they just played and defended the whole game, counting on luck to beat PSG,’ the Brazilian posted on Twitter.‘As good as they are, Manchester United cannot afford play like that if they want to win the Champions League.’ Metro Sport ReporterThursday 7 Mar 2019 8:42 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link4.4kShares Advertisementlast_img read more

Seadrill makes headway with restructuring plans

first_imgLooking ahead, Seadrill said that the offshore drilling market remains challenging and it expects this dynamic to continue in the short to medium term. The majority of customers remain focused on conserving cash and are still reluctant to commit to significant new capital projects offshore until an increased consistency and upward trend in oil prices is demonstrated. The significant rig supply overhang remains and a faster return to a balanced market will require drilling contractors to be more disciplined in retiring older units, the driller said.According to Seadrill, tendering activity has continued at increased levels, albeit from a low base, over the past few months, especially in the North Sea floater and South-East Asia and Middle-East jack-up segments. Market behavior points increasingly to the market having reached its bottom. An increasing number of recent tenders released by oil companies seek to contract at current bottom of cycle dayrates for increased durations and / or with multiple fixed price options periods.“We still believe in the long term fundamentals of the offshore drilling industry, driven by years of under-investment in new fields and the competitiveness of offshore resources on a full cycle basis,” Seadrill concluded.Also on Wednesday, Seadrill promoted its chief commercial officer Anton Dibowitz to the CEO role, to replace Per Wullf starting from July.Offshore Energy Today Staff In the quarterly report on Wednesday, Seadrill said that, during the first quarter 2017, its revenues decreased by 36% to $569 million from $891 million in the same period of 2016.The company’s operating income dropped by 75% totaling $83 million, compared to $328 million in the prior-year quarter.Net income for the first quarter 2017 was $57 million, resulting in basic and diluted earnings per share of $0.13, compared to net profit of $149 million in the same period of 2016.According to the quarterly report, Seadrill’s headcount has been reduced from 6,995 at year end 2015 to 5,196 at the end of the first quarter. Of the 1,799 reduction, 1,380 have been offshore and 419 onshore.Seadrill’s order backlog as at May 24, 2017 is $3.4 billion, comprised of $1.4 billion for the floater fleet and $2 billion for the jack-up fleet. The average contract duration is 13 months for floaters and 30 months for jack-ups. Profit & revenues down  Offshore driller Seadrill has said it has made progress with its restructuring plans which may involve Chapter 11 solution.In April, the company reached an agreement with its bank group to extend the comprehensive restructuring plan negotiating period until July 31, 2017, reflecting significant progress on the terms of such restructuring made with the bank group, Seadrill said in its first quarter 2017 report on Wednesday.The company also said it is now in advanced discussions with certain third party and related party investors and its secured lenders on the terms of a comprehensive recapitalization. Further, the company is in receipt of a proposal from the third party and related party investors which remains subject to further negotiation, final due diligence and documentation.Seadrill is also in discussions with certain bondholders who have recently become restricted again. While discussions with secured lenders and certain investors have advanced significantly, a number of important terms continue to be negotiated and no assurance can be given that an agreement will be reached.The company continues to believe that implementation of a comprehensive restructuring plan will likely involve schemes of arrangement or chapter 11 proceedings, and it is preparing accordingly.It is likely that the comprehensive restructuring plan will require a substantial impairment or conversion of bonds, as well as impairment and losses for other stakeholders, including shipyards.As a result, the company currently expects that shareholders are likely to receive minimal recovery for their existing shares. The company’s business operations remain unaffected by these restructuring efforts and the company expects to continue to meet its ongoing customer and business counterparty obligations. Bottom reachedlast_img read more