August 11, 2019 Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling As Pittsburgh prepared for their game last Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was expected to approach the organization for a trade in the offseason.Yahoo! Sports NFL insider Michael Silver went on to say that if Pittsburgh did shop the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Arizona would be a likely landing spot because of his close relationship with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, who served as Big Ben’s offensive coordinator for five seasons. LISTEN: Bruce Arians, Cardinals Head Coach Roethlisberger himself denied the report, calling it “one of the biggest B.S. stories” he’s ever heard. Meanwhile, Arians was asked about the rumor and his relationship with Roethlisberger Monday on Arizona Sports 620’s “The Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta.”“He’s like a second son to me,” Arians said. “We play a lot of golf together — he flew out here in March and we played golf and he lives around the corner from me down at Reynolds Plantation in Georgia. My children and he are very close.”Arians continued by shooting down any Roethlisberger-to-Arizona rumors.“He’s going to be a Steeler for life,” Arians said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt.”Pittsburgh drafted Roethlisberger out of Miami of Ohio with the 11th overall selection in the 2004 NFL Draft. He’s the franchise’s all-time leader with 32,378 passing yards and has led the Steelers to three Super Bowl titles, including SB XLII when they defeated the Cardinals in Tampa, 27-23. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retirescenter_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Your browser does not support the audio element. 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories last_img read more

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August 3, 2019 After over a year of negotiations Randolph Health

After over a year of negotiations Randolph Health

first_imgAfter over a year of negotiations, Randolph Health will not become part of Cone Health’s larger integrated health care network. Currently the two provide some services in Asheboro jointly, and Cone Health operates as a managing partner.Randolph Health CEO Steve Eblin says the two have been longtime partners and that conversations about integration were amicable.  “Now that the Cone deal is not going to happen, we’re disappointed about that but we are committed to finding a new integration partner, because in today’s health care world, a business model like ours, of a stand-alone hospital, really just doesn’t work for the long-term.”The announcement comes at a time when health care organizations and networks are consolidating amid changes in reimbursement and rising costs.Cone Health’s CEO said in a press release that it was a difficult decision, but that combining would require the organization’s priorities and projects to be scaled back or put on hold.last_img read more

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July 31, 2019 Disabled activists have criticised a council for p

Disabled activists have criticised a council for p

first_imgDisabled activists have criticised a council for pushing ahead with “discriminatory” plans for a memorial to victims of the Peterloo massacre – who died 200 years ago in the cause of equality – that will be completely inaccessible to many disabled people.The new memorial is set to be unveiled on 16 August, the 200th anniversary of the attack by paramilitary and military forces on more than 60,000 peaceful, pro-democracy and anti-poverty protesters in Manchester, which led to 18 deaths and nearly 700 serious injuries.The memorial (pictured) will be positioned near what was known in 1819 as St Peter’s Fields, the site of the massacre, and will be outside the current Manchester Central Convention Centre, which just a few weeks after the unveiling will host the Conservative party’s annual conference.It has been designed by artist Jeremy Deller as a series of concentric circles, with members of the public encouraged to climb the steps to a flat top.But the memorial, which has been funded by Manchester City Council, will be completely inaccessible to many disabled people, even though it has been designed to allow it to be used as a platform for speakers and demonstrators, mirroring those who spoke during the protest in 1819.Now a string of disabled activists from Manchester have attacked the council’s refusal to ensure that the memorial is accessible.Brian Hilton, digital campaigns officer for Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP), said: “Manchester City Council (MCC) is failing to deliver a fitting memorial.“Their chosen stepped design purposefully excludes disabled people.”In March, the designs were approved by Manchester City Council’s planning department, despite objections from GMCDP and others during the consultation and planning process and meetings with council leader Sir Richard Leese.Hilton said: “Manchester has a reputation of pulling together and lining up shoulder to shoulder in defiance of injustice, ignorance and segregation.“We are certain that once the campaign message is more widely heard the public will be as outraged as disabled people are and the council will be forced to listen and make the necessary changes.”Mark Todd, a former city council access officer, who started a Facebook page to protest at the design of the memorial – and who calls it “a monument to discrimination” – said the group was “angry and shocked” that it was going ahead “despite it being inaccessible to disabled people and others who cannot climb steps”.They believe this is “an act of exclusion that denies disabled people a voice, a blatant act of discrimination”, with the memorial “set to become a glaring metaphor for inequality and segregation with disabled people at the bottom of the memorial, literally being talked down to”.The group has called for a “major reworking” of the memorial by Manchester City Council (MCC), to make it accessible to those unable to climb steps, with options “explored in a full, open, transparent and public manner”.The group said that anything less would be a “breathtaking act of hypocrisy” and “an abandonment of the ideals of liberty and equality which moved those citizens to gather in St Peter’s Fields on 16th August 1819”.Dennis Queen, from Manchester Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “We think MCC choosing to deliberately create a platform inaccessible for all speakers – or signers – sends a clear message against democracy for all in Manchester – the exact opposite of the aims of the memorial.”Flick Harris, chair of Manchester Disabled People’s Access Group, said she and her colleagues were “shocked” that the council had approved the “newly designed inaccessible and unsafe Peterloo monument”.She said: “Any new designs and projects should be accessible for everyone or no-one.”Alan Holdsworth, a former Manchester resident who now lives in the US, where he is a member of the ADAPT grassroots disability rights organisation, said: “As a former Mancunian on behalf of ADAPT we are appalled that in 2019 we still have to fight against segregation and exclusion from the Peterloo massacre memorial.”Holdsworth, who founded the Disabled People’s Direct Action Network (DAN) in the UK, said: “What makes us more angry is that although disabled people were part of the consultation process their voices, ideas and reservations were ignored.“We call on the council to halt the process and include disabled people and accessibility in the design.”Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), said: “While DPAC realise that the new Peterloo memorial is to celebrate the martyrdom of 19th century activists it remains totally unacceptable in what is now the 21st century for any sector of our society – in this case disabled people – to be deliberately excluded from access to that memorial.“We are appalled that disabled people’s concerns have been repeatedly ignored by Manchester City Council and call for an immediate redesign of this structure, together with disabled people, so that all citizens are able to access it equally.”Although some changes have been made as a result of concerns about access, including the addition of a handrail, it appears that wheelchair-users will still only be able to reach the height of the lowest of the circles via a ramp.But the council made it clear to DNS yesterday (Wednesday) that it was unlikely that any further major changes would now be made, stating: “We are happy to continue dialogue and explore whether anything further can be done to address concerns but it is unlikely there could be any fundamental changes.”A council spokesperson said earlier: “We have engaged, and will continue to engage, with people who are disabled in order to make this memorial accessible while recognising that this is not a building or similar structure but a piece of public art.“Significant changes to the original design were made in response to this dialogue throughout the design’s development including the incorporation of a ramp and handrail and the replacement of tiles covering the memorial with stone to reduce slip hazards.“The specific design elements which provide information about Peterloo are all accessible.“We have taken these considerations seriously. While we respect the fact that some people feel that these changes still do not go far enough, we believe we have done the best we realistically can allowing for the constraints of the site, and this is the only feasible site in the original Peter’s Fields area.“Further mooted changes to the approved and already amended design would require new planning approvals and mean the project couldn’t be completed in time for the 200th anniversary commemorations.”Deller, whose work often focuses on political and social themes, expressed sympathy with the position of disabled campaigners and told Disability News Service: “I take responsibility for not considering enough the needs of people in wheelchairs.”He said further changes were suggested to improve access after the memorial secured planning permission, but he said the council had decided they were “so substantial it would have meant total redesign” and so were “not practical” because work had already begun.He said he still hoped that “once the memorial is built there might be a way to adapt it for wheelchairs”, but he had not responded by noon today (Thursday) to the council’s position that it was probably too late for further major changes.A spokesperson for the Peterloo Memorial Campaign, which campaigned for years for a memorial to be built, said disabled people were “right to be frustrated and angry about the lack of access to the monument”.He said: “In addition to commemorating the massacre, the memorial has been designed as a platform for speakers and demonstrators, but people using wheelchairs or unable to climb steps cannot use it fully.”He added: “We accept our share of responsibility for not immediately spotting this issue when the design was unveiled. “We have worked with the council, the artist and disabled people involved in or supportive of the Peterloo Memorial Campaign to try and find a ‘retrofit’ solution.“We are disappointed to be informed by the council that no solution is viable in the limited time left available.”The names of those who died, and the villages and towns of the protesters, will be engraved on the memorial, while those visiting will be shown the direction of other parts of the world where significant protests have taken place, such as Tiananmen Square, Cairo’s Tahrir Square and Gdansk in Poland.A smaller circle at ground-floor level will reproduce the information so that those who cannot climb the steps will be able to read it.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

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July 26, 2019

Company Vet David Abney Is New UPS CEO

first_img June 6, 2014 Company Vet David Abney Is New UPS CEO Image credit: UPS Pressroom UPS’s Chief Operation Officer David Abney UPS’s Chief Operation Officer David Abney got a promotion to CEO this week.  As of September 1, he’ll take over for current CEO Scott Davis, who has been CEO since 2008. Davis is retiring and will become the company’s non-executive Chairman. Abney started his tenure with UPS in 1974 as part-time package loader.  Prior to stepping into the role of CEO, Abney was involved with the worldwide aspects and expansion of the company, holding several positions, including SVP of global transportation services and president of UPS International. The company statement also noted that Abney’s expertise dealt with sustainability, especially finding alternative fuel sources for their shipping vehicles. These past responsibilities could play a part in UPS’s strategy moving forward. Related: The 10 Biggest IPOs Ever”Scott Davis has skillfully guided UPS through one of the most turbulent global economic periods in history while executing growth strategies in emerging markets and specialized business segments,” UPS board member Duane Ackerman said in a statement.Further emphasis on green shipping could be something to watch for once Abney gets started in the fall.  The global business also continues to be a going concern for UPS, as they recently announced the opening of both an 82,000 square foot air hub in Taiwan and a new distribution center in China near the Beijing Capital International Airport. The shift in CEOs was not really a shock to anyone familiar with the company’s past protocols. UPS is known to change up CEOs every five to seven years.”I think the timing is right, and the company is in great hands,” Davis told The Wall Street Journal.Related: Think Seattle’s Only Claim to Fame Is Starbucks? Think Again. –shares Entrepreneur Staff Next Article UPScenter_img Add to Queue Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Nina Zipkin Register Now » Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. 2 min readlast_img read more

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July 24, 2019

TechBytes with Gil Sommer VP of Product Connatix

first_imgTechBytes with Gil Sommer, VP of Product, Connatix Sudipto GhoshApril 19, 2019, 2:30 pmApril 12, 2019 About Connatix Gil Sommer is VP of Product at Connatix in charge of creating a plan for various product lines including the online video platform, experiential video formats and in-house revenue engine. He is an innovative, analytical and strategic product leader with hands-on experience in building exceptional B2C and B2B products in e-commerce and AdTech. Connatix is a next-generation video platform for publishers. We believe in the power of engaging content and are on a mission to help publishers deliver successful videos without compromise. With a cutting-edge video player, optimization engine, and suite of immersive formats, publishers can easily monetize their content while delivering engaging experiences. To expand reach, Connatix offers an extensive independent syndication network for distribution at scale. With first-to-market video capabilities, Connatix sits at the forefront of content innovation and is building a new generation of video experiences that are optimized for publisher success.Connatix works with over 3,000 publishers worldwide and in 2018, was ranked #2 in the comScore video metrix. Founded in 2014, the company is headquartered in New York City with offices in Tel Aviv, Israel and Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at Connatix.I am the VP of Product at Connatix. My team is responsible for creating and prioritizing a roadmap for various product lines, including our Online Video Platform, experiential video formats and in-house revenue engine.How much has the Mobile Advertising landscape evolved in the last two years?There have been many advances in Mobile Advertising in the last two years. From a marketer’s standpoint, mobile video has become a much larger focus. Many new formats have emerged and the advertising world has been following suit by adjusting the creative to be short (e.g the emergence of the six-second video ad) and memorable. From a technology standpoint, there have also been many advances.The IAB Tech Lab’s OM-SDK standard has solved one of the biggest roadblocks for further adoption of Video Advertising on mobile, which is the third-party measurement. The recent ads.txt standard will help fight the massive fraud operations that exist in mobile. These days, the major challenge that remains is the ability of advertisers to merge their segmentation data that is Cookie-based with Device-ID-based targeting.Tell us what you think about Apple’s recent announcement to curb fake news and clickbait content.Providing a better experience for users and combating the abundance of fake news should be a priority for all companies in the digital publishing ecosystem. Nonetheless, I tend to be a bit suspicious of announcements like this one, because of the nature of the incentive structure in the content space.When you look at clickbaits, for example, the financial incentive comes from the moment a user is on your site, and you earn money through advertising. This incentive will not change fundamentally and as long as there is money associated with viewing content, in one form or another, this type of content will exist. The fake news incentives are counterintuitive. In this case, the main incentive is to have people read and engage with fake content. The monetization aspect is secondary and many times non-existent. As long as there is an outlet to discover this type of content, it will exist.The only real way to “combat” the phenomena of fake news is through rigorous editorial work that is set to look for “high-quality” content. However, running such an operation would be costly and would require editorial expertise. I doubt Apple is built to do this, or would even want to do it. In the setup they announced, Apple News will be dependent on the work (and brand) of highly respectable publishers. Therefore, I would look at this as another power grab by Apple that is meant to control the users, and thus control more of the value chain.Why is Apple’s SEO a new disruption to Content Marketing? Every time a new industry has an aggregator that controls discoverability through some sort of algorithm, people learn how to “optimize” for the new algorithm, which means better financial results. This dynamic quickly turns into a new type of marketing service, and an adjacent industry develops. This is likely to happen in the Apple News case as it did with Google and Bing Search, Amazon Marketplace Search and Facebook among others.Which businesses would be greatly affected by this announcement? The largest impact by far will be on publishers. They could lose even more of the little power they have currently, and should proceed with caution. Rather than adopting a short-term view of this problem and going for immediate gains, they should take a step back to think through how this might diminish their future competitive advantage. To a lesser extent, this will impact advertisers by driving even more control of digital advertising to Google and Facebook. And if the last bit of market competition is lost, advertisers will, in turn, lose a lot of the power they have today.What role would Connatix play in providing programmatic technology for targeting the customers? Connatix is a publisher-first technology provider and as such, our focus is to help publishers provide great content to their readers and maximize the monetization opportunities they have. We believe providing tools that are better integrated — from the end users to the advertisers — will increase transparency, competition and performance and reduce inefficiencies throughout the value chain.What are the major trends and predictions do you see in the video content space?While there have been many advancements, we are still on the ground floor in regards to video content. It is still expensive to produce and there is a scarcity of content. So first and foremost, I believe many additional solutions will be focused on solving this inventory problem in an inexpensive way. Second, I see video content as not only a tool to summarize your article, but a tool to help writers convey their narratives in tandem with other mediums such as imagery, graphics, text and audio.We will see better tools supported by Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML), which will help editors deliver better videos for each article and each narrative. Lastly, we will see much more interactivity in video, allowing users to gain more from what they are seeing on the screen.How do you orchestrate your technology to clean up ad fraud within the programmatic space?Cleaning up ad fraud will benefit all players involved and we see this as a high priority and ongoing effort here at Connatix. We have built a system to weed out any bad aspects of the platform — be it traffic, hidden ads or malware. Our integrated technology stack helps reduce other types of fraud such as domain spoofing even further. We are also using third-party verification vendors to identify invaild traffic.However, fighting ad fraud requires cooperation with other members of the industry and we are actively working with them through the TAG initiative and other IAB Tech Lab initiatives to further combat fraud. Our experience with the implementation of ads.txt across web has shown that when we fight fraud together, everyone involved gets better performance. Real publishers get better monetization and advertisers get better results for their campaigns.What does your product roadmap look like for 2019-2020? Connatix is focused on continuing to provide great video solutions for publishers and advertisers. We recently launched a new OVP platform built from the ground up with an integrated revenue engine to help publishers scale their video strategy without the upfront risk they typically face. We are also exploring the role of interactivity and immersive elements in video to help publishers enhance the reader experience while achieving revenue goals.How do you see AI and Location Data further disrupting the era of Mobile Programmatic growth?AI will further help us connect the dots and provide users with relevant advertising at the right time. This, in turn, will provide a better experience for the user. Research has shown that when users feel advertising is helping them solve a problem or need, they tend to react better to it. AI will help us get there faster. Having said that, we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the quality of the content or ad creative. While data and AI will help with targeting, advertisers will still need to convey a message, interact emotionally and elicit a reaction from the user. Regardless of the advancements of AI, this is the one area where human creativity will still remain the winner and advertisers who invest in it will yield better results. AIAmazonBingConnatixFacebookGil SommergoogleIAB Tech Labmachine learningMarketing TechnologyNLPOnline Video Platformvideo advertising Previous ArticleUS Companies Seek Providers to Help Manage Enterprise Use of SalesforceNext ArticleMarTech Interview with Trevor Kaufman, CEO, Piano About GilAbout ConnatixAbout Gillast_img read more

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July 24, 2019

Neustar and Freckle Partner to Provide Marketers with Actionable PrivacyCompliant First Party

first_imgNeustar, Inc., a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information services and the leader in customer intelligence, trusted customer identity and marketing analytics solutions for Fortune 500 brands, and Freckle, a leader in privacy-compliant data and offline media measurement, announced they will make Freckle’s first-party data available in the Neustar Identity Data Management Platform (Identity DMP) for advanced audience planning and activation.Relevant and personalized experiences are in high demand. With the Neustar Identity DMP, marketers can create compelling connections across channels combining their own first party data with Neustar’s data directory marketplace. Check out our latest news.As part of the Freckle collaboration, Neustar will offer its customers the ability to leverage privacy-compliant first-party data that consumers have opted-in to provide through Freckle’s Killi App. Freckle’s Killi application allows consumers to take back control of their identity data by selecting the personal information they would like to share with brands in exchange for money. Killi provides marketers with real-time, reliable data that is direct from the consumer and fully compliant with global privacy standards.Marketing Technology News: SeQuel Response Hires New Director of Marketing to Propel Brand Awareness“Marketers need reliable and compliant, first-party data that respects consumer privacy,” said Neustar General Manager and Vice President for Marketing Solutions Michael Schoen. “With Freckle’s Killi data, we will provide relevant, consumer-approved data that helps our customers target and personalize messages to the right consumers based on their specific input.”“With consumer privacy issues at the forefront of marketing, brands are seeking partners that not only offer a competitive advantage through unique access to real-time consumer insights but are privacy compliant leaders,” said Neil Sweeney, founder and CEO, Freckle and Killi.Marketing Technology News: Sponsorship Made Simple for Personal, College, Sports, Community Events etc.“We’re pleased to partner with Neustar, a leader in privacy by design practices, to bring our compliant, first-party consumer data to their customers. As the only solution paying consumers cash for their data, we are confident that the two-way engagement that we have created will better enhance audience insights for marketers,” said Sweeney.Relevant and personalized experiences are in high demand. With the Neustar Identity DMP, marketers can create compelling connections across channels combining their own first party data with Neustar’s data directory marketplace. With access to Freckle’s Killi data within the Neustar Identity DMP data directory, brands can reach consumers, based on specific data they’ve provided about themselves, while uncovering powerful behavioral insights in a privacy-compliant manner. Since Freckle is constantly aggregating first-party data, marketers are receiving continually updated and refreshed segments, allowing them to expand their reach and accuracy across all channels.Marketing Technology News: Medallia Announces Launch of Initial Public Offering Neustar and Freckle Partner to Provide Marketers with Actionable Privacy-Compliant, First Party Consumer Data Business WireJuly 11, 2019, 6:49 pmJuly 11, 2019 customer identitydata management platformFreckleMarketing Technology NewsNeustarNewsoffline media measuremen Previous ArticleTremor Video Expands Its Advanced TV SolutionsNext ArticleRingCentral Ranked Highest for Growth and Innovation in 2019 Frost & Sullivan UCaaS Radar Reportlast_img read more

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July 18, 2019

Tropoelastin protein accelerates growth of stem cells

first_img Source:https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2019/02/01/stem-cell-growth-accelerated-by-tropoelastin-protein.html Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 1 2019Stem cells are vital for therapeutic treatments to repair and build human tissue including skin and muscles. Researchers are constantly looking for ways to make stem cells work better, with worldwide demand for the cells far outstripping supply.Now researchers have discovered a way to generate more stem cells cheaply and quickly, using tropoelastin – a protein that gives living tissues the ability to stretch and retract.Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), co-authors Dr Giselle Yeo and Professor Anthony Weiss – from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Bosch Institute – said the study describes a new and cost-effective method of growing and recruiting mesenchymal stem cells rapidly and efficiently.”Stem cells are increasingly being used as cell therapies for a range of diseases that cannot be reliably treated by conventional medicine including skeletal tissue injuries, heart attacks, degenerative diseases and organ failure,” Dr Yeo explained.”Unfortunately, a lack of supply is hindering widespread use of such cell therapies.”Our discovery – that tropoelastin dramatically promotes stem cell expansion and recruitment, and reliably preserves their ability to develop into different types of cells – points to new ways of cost-effectively and efficiently growing these stem cells to address the increasing global demand.”Such technologies can help significantly lower the currently prohibitive cost of many cell therapies.”Related StoriesExciting study shows how centrioles center the process of cell divisionAbcam Acquire Off-The-Shelf Diploid Library of Over 2,800 Knockout Cell LinesEvaluating safety and efficacy of magnetically labeled mesenchymal stem cellsTropoelastin is a key component of MeTro, the groundbreaking ‘squirtable’ elastic surgical glue that can seal wounds in 60 seconds when exposed to UV light, developed by Professor Weiss in conjunction with researchers in the United States. Professor Weiss won the Eureka Prize for Innovation in Medical Research for his development and commercialisation of tropoelastin protein biomaterials.Using human stem cells from donors, the researchers found that when small amounts of tropoelastin were applied it encouraged more cells to be produced, creating a better environment for growth compared to other commonly used proteins for stem cell cultures.”Stem cells need a home to live and grow, and we’ve essentially created a nice environment for them live in,” Professor Weiss said.”Making stems cells requires a process a bit like cooking soup – the more complex the culture or ‘soup’, the more difficult it is to control the growth of the cells and the more expensive it is to make.”Our technique simplifies the ‘soup’ – tropoelastin makes the process to grow stem cells simpler, and cheaper.”Tropoelastin also encourages other stem cells to join the ‘soup’ – further increasing the rate of growth of the cells.”Professor Weiss said the next stage of research would be to test the efficacy of tropoelastin inside the body.”We expect that once these stem cells are inside a living body they will actually help trigger repair, encouraging other cells to come to the damaged area and supporting the body to repair itself.”last_img read more

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July 18, 2019

UMD researchers connect a protein to antibody immunity for the first time

first_imgHCMV stays asleep inside our cells. Then one day, you get stressed, you have too much going on, and your immunity decreases allowing the virus to spring up again.”Xiaoping Zhu, professor and chair in Veterinary Medicine at UMD This is the case with all strains of the herpes virus like HCMV, chickenpox, and herpes simplex. HCMV can present similar symptoms to the flu virus. But unlike the flu, it persists in your body, and your immune system has to work harder than normal to combat the virus and keep it at bay.It can also be passed through the placenta to a pregnant mother’s unborn child, not only affecting the child’s immune system, but also potentially causing birth defects. “When the mother gets infected, the virus spreads from mother to baby and can cause mental disabilities, vision loss, and deafness. People are aware of this concern with Zika virus for instance, but Zika doesn’t stay in your system for life like HCMV, and it isn’t present in 50 to 80 percent of the population globally depending on where you live,” says Zhu.This makes the study of HCMV and the mechanisms that contribute to its persistence and transmission a high priority for the medical community, with National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding Zhu’s work. The immune system has two arms of immunity, at the cellular and antibody levels, to specifically destroy bugs. The mechanisms of the US11 protein that allow HCMV to evade white blood cells that kill viruses on the cellular level are well known, but in this latest publication from Zhu, he and his colleagues discuss a newly discovered function of the same protein that impairs antibody immunity. Antibody immunity normally prevents viruses from entering and infecting uninfected cells and labels the infected cells to be destroyed by the white blood cells. But US11 attacks a specific receptor that not only naturally bolsters your immunity, but also directs protective antibodies from the mother to be transferred to the fetus. With this receptor impaired, HCMV may reduce transmission of these critical antibodies, resulting in vulnerability to all sorts of birth defects, and at the very least compromising the child’s immunity throughout their life.Related StoriesStudy reveals how protein mutation is involved in Christianson syndromeProfessor Sara Linse highlights Fluidity One-W as key technique for protein interaction analysis at FEBS 2019Scientists discover hundreds of protein-pairs through coevolution study”This is the first time that we discovered that this virus, or any pathogen, has this strategy to destroy this receptor function and reduce antibody functionality,” says Zhu. “Antibodies are also used to treat diseases like AIDS, cancer, and make vaccines, and this mechanism makes that less effective. By understanding this function, we can hopefully figure out methods to block that mechanism in the future.”Beyond prevention for birth defects and immune system dysfunction, Zhu sees another potential treatment benefit for this mechanism for patients struggling with autoimmune diseases. “Humans have many autoimmune diseases, and in these cases like with lupus, it is actually our immune response that causes the disease, which is regulated by antibodies,” explains Zhu. “In these patients, we are concerned with how to reduce autoimmune antibodies, because their overproduction causes damage on our own tissues and cells, swelling in the joints, and substantial pain. Since this protein US11 can facilitate antibody degradation and suppress antibody function, it could be used in humans to treat autoimmune disease and target these disease-causing antibodies to indirectly benefit patients with immune diseases.”This therapeutic prospect is being patented by UMD through Zhu and Xiaoyang Liu, who stress the importance of directly translating basic research like this into applied outcomes and treatment options, not just for humans, but for animals that are infected with similar viruses as well. “Human and animal health research is interconnected,” says Zhu. “Similar knowledge can be used to promote animal and human health, and diseases pass directly from animals to humans and vice versa.”With humans and animals standing to benefit from this work in many different ways, the applications of this discovery are widespread. The full paper, entitled “Human cytomegalovirus evades antibody-mediated immunity through endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation of the FcRn receptor,” is available through Nature Communications. Source:University of MarylandJournal reference:Liu, X. et al. (2019) Human cytomegalovirus evades antibody-mediated immunity through endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation of the FcRn receptor. Nature Communications. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10865-y. Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 10 2019Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) may not be a household name as far as viruses go, but according to Xiaoping Zhu, professor and chair in Veterinary Medicine at UMD, half of the population walking around campus is likely to be a carrier. Once contracted, it lays dormant in your body for the rest of your life and can flare up whenever your immune system is severely compromised, giving you flu-like symptoms.This becomes a severe problem for people who already have weakened immune systems, for example the very young, old, pregnant women, organ transplant recipients, or HIV/AIDS patients. More concerning, however, is that HCMV is the number one infectious cause of congenital birth defects in the world, including developmental disabilities and deafness. But how can a protein be a major contributor in the development of birth defects, and also hold the potential to provide symptom relief from autoimmune diseases like lupus? In a new paper published in Nature Communications, Zhu and his colleagues are helping to answer this question and uncover the mechanisms that will lead to multi-faceted prevention and treatment.last_img read more

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July 18, 2019

Blockchainenabled cat breeding and the future of gambling

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Provided by Particle This is where things get interesting. Smart contracts are like regular contracts between people or organisations, but instead of the humans executing and enforcing those contracts, they can get a bit of code to do the work for them. For example, humans can program the smart contract to sell something (like a virtual cat) when a condition has been met (a certain number of ether has been sent).Put another way, imagine if eBay was run entirely by bots who were doing the bidding, buying and selling on our behalf. It’s this technology that allows for the buying, selling and breeding of cats in CryptoKitties. Citation: Blockchain-enabled cat breeding and the future of gambling (2018, February 26) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-blockchain-enabled-cat-future-gambling.html Virtual fur flies as ‘CryptoKitties’ collar blockchain You’ve certainly heard of bitcoin. Perhaps you’ve also heard of the technology behind it: blockchain. Or how blockchain is enabling all sorts of nifty things, like Power Ledger’s innovative clean power sharing.Or how it’s being used for other ground-breaking innovations … like games … about breeding cats (because, well, it’s the internet).CryptoKittiesCryptoKitties was one of the first and currently the most popular of the games that use blockchain. The game is pretty simple: you buy, sell and breed virtual cats. For real money. The more genetically rare the cat, the more money you can make hustling kitties.The most expensive CryptoKitty sold for more than $100,000 USD.In less than a month after it launched in December 2017, Axion Zen, the Canadian “innovation studio”behind the platform, had already made $12 million from the game. This revenue was based on charging 3.75% on all transactions (the buying, selling and breeding of cats) as well as a limited number of Gen 0 kitties.How it worksCryptoKitties is essentially a new type of app that is enabled by blockchain app platform Ethereum. Remember, blockchain is the technology that powers bitcoin. But blockchain can do so much more than just monetary exchange, which is what Ethereum allows.Put simply, Ethereum allows for the same things as bitcoin, such as acting as a currency (in this case, the currency is called ether, rather than bitcoin). But Ethereum is also a platform and thus also allows for the building of apps on top of it. These apps can use ether and smart contracts. Explore further This article first appeared on Particle, a science news website based at Scitech, Perth, Australia. Read the original article. Indeed, Ethereum is the same technology that powers Power Ledger, but instead of trading in virtual kitties, you’re trading in real-world clean energy.Serious fun?The creators of CryptoKitties stated in their White Pa-purr (meow!) that their original intention was to help educate the public about the potentials of the blockchain. However, the reality of the technology does raise some questions around what sort of activity users are actually engaged in. Specifically, can games like this be considered a form of gambling?If you’ve followed cryptocurrency at all, you’re aware of its volatility. Since its launch in 2009, for example, the price for 1 bitcoin has ranged from less than 1 cent to nearly US$18,000.Crypto is so volatile that banks are cracking down. Commonwealth (which owns BankWest) recently announced they would no longer allow crypto purchases with their credit cards.Alone, this volatility makes crypto investment closer to gambling than investment.But combining that volatility with the elements of a game do seem to push things like CryptoKitties even more towards the gambling end of the spectrum.Disrupting gamblingEach state in Australia has different laws about when, how and where we can gamble. In WA, poker machines can only be found at the Crown Casino.But with cryptocurrency-based games, it’s the wild west. By using cryptocurrency rather than conventional money and being entirely online, blockchain-based games are not regulated by current gambling laws.So just like the way Uber disrupted the taxi industry by—for better or worse—getting around the regulations around taxis and employment, blockchain-based games can and are disrupting the gambling industry.And while it wasn’t the original intention of CryptoKitties to open this metaphorical box, the sheer number of Ethereum-based games that are basically gambling suggests, to mix metaphors, the cat is well out of the bag (see what I did there?) The internet loves cats so much that now some people are investing tens of thousands of real-world dollars on blockchain-powered cats that don’t actually exist. read more

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July 18, 2019

Airbus to offer sleeping berths down in cargo hold

European aircraft giant Airbus announced on Tuesday that it is teaming up with Zodiac Aerospace to develop and market lower deck sleeping facilities for passengers that could be operational in A330 wide-body jets from 2020.The sleeper compartments “would fit inside the aircraft’s cargo compartments,” Airbus said in a joint statement with Zodiac, a subsidiary of the French aerospace company Safran.The modules “will be easily interchangeable with regular cargo containers,”the statement said. “Airlines will initially be able to choose from a catalogue of certified solutions by 2020 on A330,” for the sleeper pods, with the possibility of fitting them into A350 XWB airliners also being studied.Airbus and Zodiac said the sleeping berths would not only improve passenger comfort, but also enable airlines to add value for their commercial operations.”This approach to commercial air travel is a step change towards passenger comfort,” said Geoff Pinner, head of Airbus’ cabin and cargo programme.”We have already received very positive feedback from several airlines on our first mock-ups.” Christophe Bernardini, head of Zodiac’s aerospace cabin division, said the project “reaffirms our expertise in lower-deck solutions. An improved passenger experience is today a key element of differentiation for airlines.” In November 2016, the Air France-KLM had put forward the idea of sleeping berths for passengers in the economy class, either down in the hold or above the cabin in aircraft of the group’s new low-cost subsidiary, Joon. Explore further Airbus wants to offer airlines the possibility of installing passenger sleeping berths in the cargo holds of its A330 jets from 2020 Soon when you fly in an Airbus jet and you fancy a bit of shut-eye, all you will need do is make your way down to the cargo hold. Citation: Airbus to offer sleeping berths down in cargo hold (2018, April 10) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-airbus-berths-cargo.html American Airlines orders 47 Boeing 787s, cancels A350 order © 2018 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

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July 18, 2019

System outage causes flight cancelations in Frankfurt

Airport operator Fraport said an important database used to plan aircraft handling was out of action from 3:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Wednesday.News agency dpa reported that Fraport said backup procedures were activated, but weren’t able to handle the airport’s normal capacity—and 71 out of a total 1,560 planned flights were canceled.German airline Lufthansa said that it alone had to cancel 23 flights by midday, affecting more than 2,600 passengers. Lufthansa board member Harry Hohmeister said he expects Fraport to “get a grip quickly on the evident infrastructure problems.” © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. A technology failure at Frankfurt airport has caused the cancellation of dozens of flights at Germany’s busiest hub. Citation: System outage causes flight cancelations in Frankfurt (2018, May 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-outage-flight-cancelations-frankfurt.html Snow and ice ground hundreds of flights in Frankfurt Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

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July 18, 2019

Nations must boost adult training in face of automation OECD

first_imgDeveloped countries need to “urgently” boost adult training and education programmes to deal with future mass job upheaval brought on by automation, the OECD said Wednesday. Citation: Nations must boost adult training in face of automation: OECD (2019, February 13) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-nations-boost-adult-automation-oecd.html The OECD’s latest analysis found that one in seven jobs are at risk of being fully automated while another 30 percent would likely be overhauled The OECD’s latest analysis found that one in seven jobs are at risk of being fully automated while another 30 percent would likely be overhauled.But only 40 percent of workers in the jobs most at risk receive training, far less than the 59 percent of those with jobs at low risk, it found.”Many OECD countries need to urgently scale-up and upgrade their adult learning systems to help people adapt to the future world of work,” the Paris-based group of major economies said in a new report.The report said lack of motivation was a problem, with half of adults not wanting training, while 11 percent want to train but lack time, money, or support from their employer.The report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development assessed the “future-readiness” of each of its member countries’ adult learning systems.It found Greece, Japan and Slovakia performed poorly in most areas, but there was still plenty of room for improvement in better-performing countries such as Norway and Denmark.The report recommended that countries promote “the benefits of adult learning and providing targeted support for the low skilled, the unemployed, migrants and older people”.It also suggesting targeting training in areas were jobs were most likely to become obsolete in the future.Finally, it said nations should “ensure adequate public financing and incentivising employers to contribute through training levies and tax incentives, as well as encouraging individuals through subsidies and paid training leave”. OECD hopes for global digital tax by 2020center_img © 2019 AFP Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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July 18, 2019

Two injured several vehicles damaged in landslide at Arunachal Pradesh

first_img Next Press Trust of India ItanagarJuly 17, 2019UPDATED: July 17, 2019 22:51 IST Chief Minister Pema Khandu assured government support to the two injured persons. (File photo)Two persons were seriously injured and many vehicles damaged in a massive landslide on Wednesday, officials said.Triggered by incessant rain for the past few days, the mud slips occurred at around 8.45 AM along NH-415 near the police headquarters.The arterial highway was blocked for several hours because of the huge amount of debris.The two injured persons — Tarin Mosu and Biri Tath — were admitted to Ramakrishna Mission Hospital (RKMH) with hand and head injuries, Capital Superintendent of Police (SP) Tumme Amo said.The debris was cleared and no one else was found trapped under it as had been feared earlier, Home Minister Bamang Felix said after visiting the site.Dozens of cars, most of which were parked along the roadside and inside a nearby garage, were damaged as rocks and boulders rolled down the hill and rammed into them.The highway remained blocked for over five hours at that spot and cars remained stuck on both sides, Tumme Amo said.NH-415 is the lifeline for residents in the twin capital cities of Itanagar and Naharlagun, which are 14 kilometres apart, as the road connects the north-eastern state with neighbouring Assam.It was cleared for traffic at around 2.30 pm after five excavators were pressed into service along with personnel from the State Disaster Response Force, the National Disaster Response Force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the state police.Chief Minister Pema Khandu assured government support to the two injured persons.Chief Minister Pema Khandu also urged the people travelling on landslide-prone zones to be extremely careful and to strictly adhere to the instructions issued by the administration.”The government is privy to the situation and has put in place measures to tackle any untoward incident. Though we may not always succeed in tackling nature’s fury, with people’s co-operation, many precious lives and valuable properties can be saved,” Pema Khandu said in a statement.The home minister extended his gratitude to the people who came forward and volunteered in saving precious lives and appealed to the people to be vigilant during the monsoon.On July 11, two girls were buried in their sleep and three others were injured when a landslide caused a boundary wall to collapse on the hostel building of a school in Tawang district of the state.ALSO READ | Incessant rains trigger landslides, bring life to a standstill in Arunachal PradeshALSO READ | Landslide kills five in Arunachal PradeshALSO WATCH | Several dead as landslide hits Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang districtFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byShahrukh Tags :Follow ItanagarFollow LandslideFollow Arunachal PradeshFollow Pema KhanduFollow Rain Two injured, several vehicles damaged in landslide at Arunachal PradeshChief Minister Pema Khandu assured government support to the two injured persons. He also urged the people travelling on landslide-prone zones to be extremely careful and to strictly adhere to the instructions issued by the administration.advertisementlast_img read more

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