Lab study reveals Zika damage mechanism in fetal brain

first_imgScientists working to sort out how Zika virus might damage developing fetal brains revealed another piece of the puzzle today—its ability to hijack a human immune molecule.However, their experiments in the lab with a three-dimensional stem cell model also showed that treatment of infected cells with an inhibitor might be able to blunt the damage. A team based at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) reported its findings in Cell Stem Cell.The group’s work is the latest to involve organoids, or “minibrains,” to explore how the virus affects developing brains, which could lay the groundwork for potential new therapies.Stunted cell differentiation and cell deathUsing the 3-D stem cell model of a first-trimester human brain, the researchers discovered that Zika virus activates TLR3, a molecule that human cells typically use to fight off viruses. Zika-activated TLR3 shuts down genes the stem cells use to specialize into brain cells and switches on genes that trigger cell death—a double punch signifying apoptosis.Tariq Rana, PhD, senior author of the study and professor of pediatrics at UCSD School of Medicine, said today in UCSD news release, “We all have an innate immune system that evolved specifically to fight off viruses, but here the virus turns that very same defense mechanism against us.”Fortunately, there are TLR3 inhibitors that can block the process, he added.During the experiments, the organoid shrank after the scientists added a prototype Zika virus strain. The healthy mock-infected organoids grew an average of 22.6%, compared with a Zika-infected organoid that decreased in size by an average of 16%.To test if TLR3 activation was the cause of shrinkage, scientists treated some of the infected organoids with a TLR3 inhibitor. Though the inhibitor tempered Zika’s severe effects on cell health and brain size, the response wasn’t perfect: The treated infected organoids still showed more cell death and disruption than the healthy ones.Researchers cautioned that although the results are promising, they reflect only experiments on human and mouse cells grown in the lab and that the Zika strain they used came from Uganda, which is slightly different from the one responsible for the outbreak in the Americas.Rana said the 3D model was useful for identifying one microcephaly mechanism, “but we anticipate that other researchers will now also use this same scalable, reproducible system to study other aspects of the infection and test potential therapeutics.”Other developmentsOxitec’s transgenic mosquitoes will be used to fight Aedes aegypti mosquitoes on Grand Cayman island to reduce the threat of Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases, the company and the Grand Caymans Mosquito Research and Control Unit announced yesterday in a statement. Officials said they have had a difficult time reducing mosquito populations with traditional methods. The first phases of the roll-out will involve informing residents about the program, then conducting a pilot program to compare population levels of a limited treatment area with a non-treatment area.Spanish health officials today reported the country’s first microcephaly detection in the fetus of a woman with a travel-related Zika and dengue infection, Reuters reported today. Catalonia’s health department said various malformations were seen in the fetus, adding that the woman is 20 weeks along has decided to continue with her pregnancy.Ecuador has reported a slight increase in reports of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) in children younger than 15 years old, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said yesterday in its weekly situation update. AFP can be a manifestation of a wide spectrum of diseases. In reports in March and April PAHO noted increased rates of AFP in Colombia, Venezuela, and Honduras.See also:May 6 Cell Stem Cell studyMay 6 UCSD press releaselast_img read more

The UWI Top Ranking

first_img Oct 6, 2020 Oct 5, 2020 Oct 12, 2020 The conversation followed high-level professional conceptual and technical preparatory work with the THE team conducted by The UWI Pro Vice-Chancellors Densil Williams [Planning and Strategy] and Richard Bernal [Global Affairs]. Commenting on the University’s performance in the ranking scheme, Vice-Chancellor Beckles noted, “Entering officially into the rankings for the first time required tremendous mobilisation of resolve and resources. While we are very pleased with our entry ranking, alongside the largest, wealthiest universities, private and public, in the biggest countries, we recognise that we cannot rest on our laurels, not even for ten minutes, until we have reached top ten status in the next ten years.” He added, “We know what we have to do and our team is getting on with it.” This news of the regional ranking comes as The UWI celebrates its 70th anniversary and the University now has its sights set on the results of the global university ranking to be released in September 2018 in Singapore. “Radically enhancing the international reputation and status of The UWI is our ultimate target. To this end, we have embarked on an aggressive global strategy,” said Vice-Chancellor Beckles. In recent years, The UWI has established centres in Suzhou [China], New York [USA], and Lagos [Nigeria] with others being discussed for Canada, the European Union, Latin America, and the UK. As a result the University is positioned as one of the most globally engaged universities, a development that positively influenced this top third ranking in the Caribbean and Latin America. It Is Our CXC: Let Us Work Out A Solution – Amb.… CDB Approves Grant to Enhance Remote Learning for The UWI… CXC Chairman Convenes Independent Review Team The UWI, University of St Martin Sign MOU, Marking Historic… You may be interested in… The UWI salutes CDB on its golden anniversary(The University of the West Indies Press Release) The University of the West Indies (The UWI) congratulates the Caribbean Development Bank on its 50th Anniversary. The following statement is issued by the Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. Fifty years ago, in 1970, as the fledgling nations of…February 21, 2020In “CARICOM”New Rankings put The UWI among top 5 percent of best Universities in the world(The UWI Press Release), September 27, 2018—The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has broken into the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for the first time. The 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings has ranked The UWI among the world’s top institutions. The rankings show that The…September 27, 2018In “CARICOM”The UWI Climbs to Top 4%(The UWITV Press Release) At a media conference hosted at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Cave Hill Campus on October 17, Vice-Chancellor, of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles announced that the regional University had climbed the Times Higher Education (THE) rankings, following its debut last year.…October 21, 2019In “Barbados”Share this on WhatsApp Sep 28, 2020 Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… July 18, 2018 (The University of the West Indies, Regional Headquarters, Jamaica, Press Release) —After two years of intense effort and strategic interventions, on July 18, 2018, the Office of the Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) received news from The Times Higher Education (THE) that the University has been ranked 37th among the best 129 universities in its 2018 Times Higher Education Latin America University Rankings. The UK-based company behind the world’s most influential university ranking judges world-class universities based on rigorous criteria which include performance indicators grouped into five areas: teaching (the learning environment); research (volume, income and reputation); citations (research influence); international outlook (staff, students and research); and industry income (knowledge transfer). According to Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, “The UWI has been preparing itself for its first official hemispheric ranking since launching its current Triple A Strategy (Strategic Plan 2017-2022), entitled Revitalizing Caribbean Development.” During a June 2018 interview with the Times Higher Education and THE World University Rankings in London, Vice Chancellor, Sir Hilary Beckles discussed the sustainability of The UWI’s commitment to excellence, particularly with reference to the security of funding obligations expected of regional governments and the growing involvement of the regional private sector.last_img read more

Spanish jeweller to open first UK store

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Project MOST Fundraiser

first_imgThe Complete Unknowns rocked Project MOST’s fundraiser at The Clubhouse in East Hampton on Friday, April 26. Project MOST, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization providing after school programs designed to build upon the strengths of the children they serve by providing academic support and enrichment programs that help foster positive social development. Its goal for 2019 was to raise an additional $150,000 to bring total donations to $400,000. With Friday’s fundraiser, Project MOST continues to move steadily towards its goal. Sharelast_img

Pistol License Application Done Curbside

first_img Share The novel coronavirus pandemic will no longer slow those seeking a pistol permit. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office is now offering a curbside pistol license application submission process. The Pistol License Bureau at the sheriff’s office is responsible for the investigation, issuance, and maintenance of all pistol licenses for residents of the five East End towns. The office, located at the Suffolk County jail at 100 Center Drive in Riverside, was closed in March in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and with that came the temporary suspension of the processing of pistol licenses.“We were keeping anyone who did not need to be there out of the building,” Sheriff Errol Toulon said. Inmate visitation, including those from volunteers, rehabilitation workers, and religious workers were suspended due to the threat of the virus.“As time went on, we received many requests for pistol licensing to reopen, so that people could submit their applications,” he said. “It was decided that the safest way to accomplish this would be a system where applicants could stay in their vehicles and the investigator could come out to them.” The sheriff’s office announced the new procedure last week involving an application that can be downloaded and filled out in advance. It requires at least four character references, who must sign the application and have their signature notarized. When applicants are ready, there are designated parking spots outside the sheriff’s office, where they can wait after calling the bureau to let investigators know they are outside. Investigators and applicants should wear appropriate face masks or coverings, the sheriff’s office said. “Applicants should not come if they are feeling unwell or have a suppressed immune system,” a statement said. In case of bad weather, the curbside pistol licensing not be available. The Suffolk County Police Department’s Pistol License Bureau handles these duties for western Suffolk. Those wishing to download the application can visit www.SuffolkSheriff.com and click on the “services” tab at the top of the page.taylor@indyeastend.comlast_img read more

Image of the Day: First 2M Ship at Port of Charlestown

first_imgImage: Maersk Kotka; Source: Twitter / South Carolina PortsToday’s image presents you with the Maersk Line’s 318,20-meter container ship Maersk Kotka during her visit to the Port of Charlestown.The visit marked the first ever call of any ship from the 2M alliance, which was officially launched in January this year, to the port.The 2M alliance is formed based on Maersk Line’s and MSC’s 10-year vessel sharing agreement (VSA) on the Asia-Europe, Transatlantic and Transpacific trades. Maersk Line is contributing to the alliance with approximately 110 vessels and MSC with approximately 75.Maersk Kotka was built by Denmark-based Odense Steel Shipyard AS in 1996, registered in Mandeira (PT) and is currently sailing under the Portuguese flag. She left the Port of Charlestown on January 30th and is now heading for the Veracuz terminal, Mexico, according to the Maersk Line’s schedule list.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Carnegie’s waves reach COAST

first_imgCarnegie Wave Energy is undertaking a wave tank testing programme of its CETO 6 technology design at the University of Plymouth’s Coastal, Ocean and Sediment (COAST) facility.The wave tank testing would build on Carnegie’s internal modelling as well as previous wave tank trials and the in-ocean operation of the CETO 5 system in the now completed Perth Wave Energy Project, according to Tim Sawyer, CWE UK Chief Executive Officer.Sawyer said: “Over 340 separate tests will be carried out throughout the programme. These tests are aimed at evaluating and informing the design of our CETO 6 technology.”The expected outcomes of the testing include measurement of CETO 6 performance across a range of operational and extreme sea states, optimisation of Carnegie’s preferred power take-off (PTO) system operation and control, validation of Carnegie’s in-house modelling suite, and detailed and validated load case for CETO system design.The commencement of the testing coincided with discussions with academic and industry experts aimed at exploring opportunities to support CETO wave development in the UK.Carnegie also used this opportunity to hold a seminar hosted by the University of Plymouth and attended by members of the Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE).The seminar offered an opportunity to bring together industry and academia, share Carnegie’s development approach, and discuss opportunities for student development and collaboration, the Australian wave energy developer informed.Deborah Greaves, Professor in Ocean Engineering and Director of the COAST Lab, said: “We are delighted to be hosting and working with Carnegie Wave Energy on such a comprehensive testing programme and to be discussing opportunities for further collaboration. Their visit has also enabled us to bring together industry representatives, academics and students for discussion and exploration of key issues in the sector.”last_img read more

Civil procedure

first_img In person for the appellant; Christopher Brown (instructed by Thompson & Co) for the respondent. Legal profession – Course of conduct – Defence statements – Harassment X had previously worked for D as an assistant solicitor. During that period D had had clients whose legal fees had been guaranteed by an individual (B). X ceased his employment with D and later ran his own firm. D issued proceedings against B under the guarantee and B instructed X to act for him in those proceedings. Within the following month D wrote three letters to X alleging a conflict of interests and acts of impropriety by X and questioning his motivation for acting for B. The third letter made allegations of illegality and impropriety by an individual with whom X had previously run a partnership. X made a claim under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. D served a defence in which they made further allegations against X including of bigamy and forging a statement of truth. X’s claim was later struck out. On appeal the judge found that: the third letter was arguably capable of being described as harassing but that it was only one instance and so did not form a course of conduct; the defence did not amount to an occasion of harassment, partly because the cause of action had to be established as at the date of the claim form and what was said in the defence occurred thereafter; a partnership could not be a ‘person’ within the meaning of the act. The instant court was required to determine: (i) the difference between the third letter and the first two letters; (ii) whether, even if the first two letters by themselves were not capable of constituting harassment, they could amount, together with the third letter, to a ‘course of conduct’ within the meaning of the act; (iii) whether the defence could be relied upon as evidencing a course of conduct and whether it mattered that the defence post-dated the claim form; (iv) whether a partnership could be a defendant to a civil action under section 3 of the act. Held: (1) The three letters, particularly when viewed in light of each other, and especially the last two, arguably amounted to a deliberate attack on X’s professional and personal integrity, in an attempt to pressurise him, by his exposure to his client, the court or both, into declining to act for B or else advising B to meet D’s demands. Each letter, when considered side by side, arguably evidenced a campaign of harassment against X. They were arguably capable of causing alarm or distress and were arguably unreasonable, or genuinely offensive and unacceptable. Where a professional man’s integrity was deliberately and wrongly attacked, a potential claim lay under the act, Thomas v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2001] EWCA Civ 1233, [2002] EMLR 4 and Majrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Trust [2006] UKHL 34, (2007) 1 AC 224 considered (see paragraphs 41-42 of judgment). (2) The act was concerned with courses of conduct that amounted to harassment, rather than with individual instances of harassment. The course of conduct had to amount to harassment, both objectively and in terms of the required mens rea. The judge therefore erred in failing to ask himself, in light of his finding as to the third letter, whether the three letters as a whole could amount to a relevant course of conduct, Kelly v DPP [2002] EWHC 1428 (Admin), [2002] 166 JP 621 considered (paragraphs 45, 51). (3) X could refer to the defence as throwing evidential light on the proper understanding, interpretation and assessment of the letters. If it was doubtful that they arguably amounted to a course of conduct amounting to harassment the question could be looked at with the evidential assistance of the defence. For those purposes it did not matter that the defence post-dated the claim form. Further, in as much as X sought to rely on the defence as a second occasion making up a course of conduct, the judge erred in excluding it from consideration because it occurred after the claim form. That was a rule of practice, rather than a rule of law, and it could be departed from when the justice of the case required. Under the act a victim could seek an injunction before a course of conduct had been established if they could show a suitable case of fear of such a course of conduct. That was part of what X sought to do. In those circumstances it was profitless and harsh to force a claimant back to the issue of a further claim form where a defendant provided a further occasion making up a course of conduct amounting to harassment in the course of proceedings (paragraphs 52-53). (4) There was no reason why ‘person’ in section 3 should not be given its natural meaning, Majrowski considered. Therefore, a partnership could be a defendant to a civil action under that section (paragraph 63). Appeal allowed. center_img The appellant (X) appealed against a decision upholding the striking out of his claim of harassment made against the respondent firm of solicitors (D).last_img read more

Patent court fears

first_img Mark Anderson, Anderson Law, Shillingford, Oxfordshire Your report ‘Euro patent court “ruinous for business”‘ will have left readers who are not specialists in patent law uncertain as to whether the main issue is the principle of the court, its location, procedural rules, languages used, or the training of judges. Most pertinent is the quote from Philip Westmacott, that ‘international patent law is complex and ­for SMEs… potentially ruinous’ and the issues ‘must be debated and discussed in detail’. There are two pressing issues for English solicitors: (a) articles 6 to 8 in the draft legislation, and (b) the location of the central court. Articles 6 to 8 were introduced by the European Commission’s legal team. The effect would be to make decisions of the court subject to appeal to the European Court of Justice. This would be disastrous. To quote the president of the European Patent Lawyers Association: ‘There are various important issues – one is a timing issue. The involvement of the ECJ will delay infringement proceedings for years. Second is the cost… and third, which is maybe the most important, is that the judges at the ECJ do not have patent law expertise.’ As for the location of the court, patent lawyers have estimated that the value to the UK economy of having the court in London would be about £120m per annum.last_img read more

TBS International takes delivery of second multipurpose tweendecker newbuilding

first_imgDakota Princess is the second of a series of six TBS-designed “Roymar Class” 34,000 dwt multipurpose tweendecker vessels that the company had ordered for a purchase price of USD35.4 million per vessel. Of the remaining four vessels, TBS expects to take delivery of two vessels in 2010 and two in 2011.With this delivery, TBS’ current fleet consists of 49 vessels with an aggregate of 1.47 million dwt, consisting of 26 tweendeckers and 23 handymax/ handysize bulk carriers.Joseph E. Royce, chairman and chief executive officer and president stated, “This delivery is in line with our long term fleet modernisation programme and our commitment to provide additional services to our clients. We remain committed to deliver shareholder value.”last_img