In Short

first_imgCake-loving linguistsThose wanting to brush up on their French- and Spanish-speaking skills while eating cake, can now do so at The Phoenix Bakery Café in Weymouth. The Love Learning adult education courses are to take place in the café from September. There is an introductory price of £9 per class, which includes master baker Aidan Chapman’s own-brand coffee and a small slice of organic patisserie.Macmillan move West Cornwall Pasty Co is to support the 2010 World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, organised by Macmillan Cancer Support, and will donate 20p from every hot drink sold on the day (24 September).Naan better Honeytop Speciality Foods claims to have created the world’s largest-ever naan bread. At 10ft by 4ft, the giant flatbread, created to launch Brewers Fayre’s curry nights, was the equivalent of 167 normal-size naan breads and weighed in at more than 40kg.Prescribed GeniusGluten-free food specialist Genius Foods has announced that its gluten-free fresh bread is now available on prescription across the UK and Northern Ireland a first for the firm. Each prescription is for a case containing six loaves of either white or brown 400g unsliced Genius bread.last_img read more

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It doesn’t add up

first_imgAn important new finding by Harvard researchers indicates that cellular mutations responsible for an organism’s successful adaptation do not, when combined over time, provide as much benefit as they would individually be expected to provide.The study from the laboratory of Christopher Marx, an associate professor in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB), is one of two investigations with identical approaches and equivalent results that are being published in Friday’s (June 3) issue  of the journal Science. The other paper comes from the lab of Tim Cooper, an assistant professor in the University of Houston’s Department of Biology and Biochemistry.Hsin-Hung Chou, a postdoctoral fellow in Marx’s lab, is the first author on the Harvard paper.Although the Harvard and Houston groups each studied a different bacterium that evolved in different conditions, the patterns they uncovered were the same: The more fit the strain was before introducing the beneficial mutation in question, the less further improvement was conferred.Marx and Cooper, who are both colleagues and friends, submitted their work simultaneously to Science this past February, asking that the journal consider their manuscripts jointly. “We independently came to the same remarkable punch line with completely different model systems. We thus feel that this congruence of results adds substantial strength to the suggestion of generality from our findings,” they wrote in their joint submission letter to Science. The two research groups posit that their findings help explain the “deceleration of population adaptation” over time.Although the papers of Marx and Cooper came to remarkably similar conclusions, they contrasted strongly with analogous studies looking at mutational combinations within single proteins. For example, an earlier paper from the laboratory of Daniel Hartl, Higgins Professor of Biology in OEB, showed that mutations within the enzyme that provides resistance to penicillins interacted with each other violently. The same mutation could be tremendously beneficial if partnered with some mutations, and quite deleterious when grouped with others. These interactions would greatly constrict which paths for improvement can be driven by natural selection.In their letter to Science, Marx and Cooper wrote that “our papers are critical because they paint … [a] picture that suggests that adaptation involving the wider context of whole genome networks may behave entirely differently than adaptation of proteins.  Interactions between beneficial mutations are common but seldom impose hard limits on the mutational transitions that can be selected. This result has broad implications for understanding the trends and causes of fitness landscapes.“Any finding in experimental evolution establishes rigorously what can happen; when results are repeated across systems it suggests that this might actually be what does happen in nature.  Indeed, this simple effect of mutation interactions on the form of the fitness landscape may provide a new ‘predictability’ to evolutionary biology,” they wrote.The editors of Science apparently agreed with Marx and Cooper, and not only are the papers being published in the same issue of the journal, Science is also publishing a commentary on the papers titled “Evolutionary Sum Is Less Than Its Parts.”Earlier studies of evolutionary mutations in individual proteins, and preliminary studies done in Marx’s lab had shown that mutation was order dependent, that the order of changes over time had a controlling effect upon the end result. “But our work and the other new work being published shows a different picture throughout the cell,” Marx said. “We found that all positive mutations are always good, but the amount that they’re good becomes less and less over generations.”One of the exciting things about doing this kind of science, Marx said, is that it demonstrates that evolution is something that can be studied with microbes in the laboratory, and on the timeline of a graduate career. This allows questions of broad interest in natural systems to be addressed experimentally.“Our ultimate goal,” Marx said, “is to find out why this happens. We need to be able to understand these interactions in order ultimately to be able to take advantage of them.”last_img read more

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Pioneering a ‘staple’ approach for treating COVID-19

first_imgStrategies to bar the coronavirus (COVID-19) from entering cells — thereby preventing infection and averting transmission of the virus — are among the most promising treatment approaches to COVID-19. Everything from antibodies to specially made snippets of RNA are being mustered in the effort to develop a safe and effective coronavirus blocker.An approach notable for its ingenuity — and the fact that it has proven successful in other types of viruses — has been pioneered by Loren Walensky a pediatric oncologist and chemical biologist at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders, and his colleagues. Using what are known as stapled peptides, the approach seeks to jam the “landing gear” that the virus uses to fuse to the cells of the human respiratory system.The new virus consists of a short coil of RNA wrapped in a protein envelope that includes stalk-like projections resembling points on a crown. A key surface protein “contains a series of coiled sections known as alpha helices,” Walensky said. “The virus deploys three of these helices to overlap with three others to form a six-helix bundle that fuses with the human cell membrane, allowing the virus to penetrate and infect the cell.“Our approach is to make a ‘decoy’ helix that slips between the two groups of helices to prevent the bundle from assembling,” he said.The decoy consists of a stapled peptide. Peptides are short chains of amino acids — not long enough to be full-fledged proteins — but can interact with proteins to modulate a variety of cellular functions.“One advantage of using peptides is that they are nature’s solution to targeting proteins,” Walensky said.Early attempts to use natural peptides as therapies faced obstacles because the peptides can lose their shape and get degraded rapidly once injected into the body.A chemistry-based solution was to reinforce peptides with hydrocarbon “staples.” In 2010, Walensky and his associates showed that a stapled peptide could effectively target the fusion apparatus used by HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS.Because many other viral families — including those of the RSV, SARS, MERS, and Ebola viruses, as well as the novel coronavirus — use the same fusion mechanism, there are valid reasons for believing this approach will work against them as well.“As we previously demonstrated for the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), our newly designed stapled peptides targeting the novel coronavirus’ helical bundle may be effective both as a way to prevent infection as well as to block the spread of infection to the lungs in people with established infection,” Walensky said.Experiments are currently underway to test the Walensky lab’s peptides against the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.last_img read more

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Whorl…’s Sherie Rene Scott Will Remain in Prison an Extra Week

first_img Related Shows Sherie Rene Scott will remain behind bars a little longer! The world premiere of Whorl Inside a Loop, headlined by the Tony nominee, has extended through September 27. Directed by Michael Mayer and Dick Scanlan, and written by Scanlan and Scott, the production is playing off-Broadway at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theatre.In Whorl Inside a Loop, a well-regarded actress agrees to teach six inmates how to tell their stories behind the bars of a men’s maximum-security prison. Sharing intimate and sometimes hilarious details of their former lives (while portraying characters of varying age, gender and race), this unlikely group forms a bond—even as the actress’ life outside spins out of control. And when what happens in prison doesn’t stay there, no one is sure whom to trust.The cast also includes Derrick Baskin as Sunnyside, Nicholas Christopher as Rick, Chris Myers as Jeffrey, Ryan Quinn as Source, Daniel J. Watts as Flex and Donald Webber Jr. as Bey. Whorl Inside a Loop View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 27, 2015last_img read more

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Women’s Business Owners Network Welcomes New Members

first_imgThe Women Business Owners Network (WBON) welcomes 16 new members.Lisa Dagett, The UPS Store #4618; Linda Doty, Vermont By the Bushel; Sarah Forbes, Sarah Forbes Design; Sue Gillis, Vermont Woman; Bonnie Horsford, Universal Mortgage; Doris Kopp, Granny Blossom’s Specialty Foods & Marketing, Inc; Dr. Maria Kowalchyk-DeVito, De Vito Associates; Joan Lynch, The Inner Garden; Elizabeth Meyer, Child Care Resource; Catherine Miller, Education Consultant; Linda Mirabile, Mirabile Designs; Michelle Parent, Child Care Resource; Joanne Patalano, Eservices of Vermont, Web Designer – Database Developer – Computer Instructor; Cheryl Pickreign, Vermont Economic Development Authority; Pamela Scanlon, Athena Consulting; Emily Stebbins, Stebbins Ink;Womens Business Owners Network (WBON) is a Vermont-based non-profit association for women business owners. Since 1984, WBON has been offering a forum for members to exchange information and resources in an atmosphere of mutual respect.For more information, go to www.wbon.org(link is external) or call 802-363-WBON.last_img read more

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3 days, 4 stages and 40 bands: Red Wing Roots Music Festival

first_imgThe Steel Wheels’ Trent Wagler explains, “there is a momentum that is comfortable and yet, many times has surprised us all with collective beauty and joy. In our first three years we’ve had the opportunity to define what Red Wing is and it’s nice to start feeling the consistency and dependability of traditions seeping into this gathering. This year we hope to maintain that richness, but make no mistake, we still have some tricks up our sleeves!”RedWingDancing_Photo by The Pinwheel CollectiveLast year’s third annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival was wildly successful with approximately 2,750 attendees who raved about the music, the beauty of the setting, and the intimate and friendly atmosphere. Festival organizers are determined to retain that atmosphere and are limiting availability to 3,000 tickets this year. With sales running ahead of last year, fans are encouraged to purchase tickets soon, while they are still available.For tickets and more information, visit www.redwingroots.com Held in the heart of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley VA, the Red Wing Roots Music festival features 40 bands on four stages, over three days surrounded by the great outdoors. Incredible camping, an impressive list of kids activities, bike rides organized and led by the Shenandoah Valley Bike Coalition, Red Wing Fun Runs, and a group of food vendors that set a high bar for delicious, unique food set this festival apart from many others.The Steel Wheels host the festival and perform several times during the July weekend. This year they welcome the following headliners: Dawes, Shovels and Rope, The Lone Bellow, Aoife O’Donovan, Steep Canyon Rangers, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors and many more!RW4LineUpPicTo see the full lineup visit http://www.redwingroots.com/2016-line-up/The towering limestone chimneys, reaching more than 120′ in the air, provide a spectacular backdrop for fans to lounge in the Music Meadow and hear some great music in the great outdoors.Red Wing focuses on the whole experience: an incredible variety of food, craft vendors, kids activities, camping, swimming, organized bike rides and hiking adventures, and much, much more! Kids LOVE Red Wing (and so do parents, since kids 12 & under are FREE!)RWSFourSquareThe Steel Wheels are building the next generation of music lovers. Kids 12 and under are FREE and teenagers ages 13-17 can get a 3-day pass for only $39!last_img read more

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Long Island Teens Turn 9/11 Grief Into Positivity & Empowerment

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Juliette Scauso transformed her bereavement into empowerment following a retreat with 60 young adults brought together in the most heartbreaking of ways—all lost a family member to an act of terrorism.Project Common Bond, as the symposium that includes young adults from around the world is called, was organized by Manhasset-based nonprofit Tuesday’s Children, which serves the sons and daughters of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.“The opportunity to be part of such a wonderful and empowering program has been life changing for me,” said Scauso, of Melville, who was 4 years old when her father—a firefighter—died on 9/11. “I want to help heal, and to bond with others who feel the way I do.”Launched in 2008, Project Common Bond involves young adults from Algeria, France, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Macedonia, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Palestine, Spain, as well as Americans who lost a family member on 9/11, and children of military personnel killed in post-9/11 active duty. This year, 27 Americans participated, including seven from Manhasset.“They asked this program to be initiated because they wanted to learn more about people from all over the world who go through the same tragedy and circumstances,” notes Danielle Coon, the director of programs at Tuesday’s Children.The young adults, who are reminded of their loss on the anniversary of the attacks, shared their unshakable pain and traumatic grief with one another, embracing dramatic differences and transcending language boundaries.“For these teenagers, the sudden, violent and public nature of their loss becomes an overwhelming and defining characteristic of their lives,” said Terry Sears, executive director of Tuesday’s Children. “Project Common Bond helps them turn their personal tragedy into strength and create positive change within themselves and their communities.”Matt Jordan, from Westhampton, returned to the international project for a fourth year, and walked away thankful for the global perspective.“Project Common Bond has allowed me not only to meet new people from across the world, but to enrich my understanding of foreign cultures and experience firsthand the impacts of international affairs,” he said. “I now have a more mature outlook onto other cultures and I have developed a greater understanding of the issues that impact the lives of their people.”He noted how a Middle Eastern participant shared a large notebook she used to document extremist violence and its aftermath in her community.During their eight days spent at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania from July 26 through August 3, campers participated in therapeutic group work, leadership sessions, conflict resolution and peace-building projects, as well as team events designed to foster trust, healing and communication. The initiative also had participants in a daylong adventure-based expedition run.The camp curriculum was designed by Harvard Law School’s Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program and incorporated the Dignity Model, designed by Donna Hicks of the Weatherhead Center of International Affairs. The model’s core principles stress engagement in dialogue, a fundamental tenet of treating humans with dignity.“What has shaped me as an individual is the idea that you cannot fight hate with more hatred, that it will only add fuel to the fire,” Scauso said. “Knowing what it is like to have a loved one taken from you by inhumane acts of others is what fuels me in the fight against terrorism.”last_img read more

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Who really pays when it comes to EMV?

first_img 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr CUNA reported earlier this year that 36% of credit unions don’t anticipate full EMV functionality until at least the end of 2016.  CUNA also noted “Nearly six in 10 credit unions will rely on a rolling reissue as magnetic stripe cards expire, while 27% elect for a complete, simultaneous reissue. Only 7% of credit unions have no plans to convert to EMV.”  The Credit Union Times ran a recent survey, in conjunction with CSCU, which found 78% of credit unions have yet to implement EMV cards as of November 19, 2015.We are past the October 1 deadline set by Europay, MasterCard and Visa and the real costs of the EMV liability shift are beginning to come into focus.This shift has not been cheap, and credit unions have spent a lot of money on issuing new cards.  Merchants have also had to ‘fork’ over money for new card readers, which has led to new tensions between merchants and financial institutions over the cost of the transition. continue reading »last_img read more

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Greenwood Park beaches reopening Thursday

first_imgThe Broome County Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Services says the beach will reopen at 12:30 p.m. Thursday. Beaches are Nathaniel Cole and Dorchester Park are also open. LISLE (WBNG) — Beaches at Greenwood Park will reopen after previously closing due to high-levels of E-coli in the water.center_img The department says a second test of the water was ordered after the first showed the water was contaminated with E-coli. The second test shows the E-coli levels are now acceptable.last_img

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WHO says SARS outbreak is contained, but cause still unclear

first_img The agency commended Chinese authorities “for taking swift action to contain the latest outbreak once it was recognized and reported, by way of extensive contact tracing and the quarantine and medical observation of such individuals. Once again, it has been demonstrated that SARS is a containable disease.” Because more than 3 weeks have passed since the last patient was isolated, the chain of transmission apparently has been broken, the WHO said in a statement today. But WHO and Chinese experts investigating a Beijing virology laboratory where two SARS patients worked have been unable to pinpoint how the outbreak started, the agency said. Hundreds of people were quarantined during the outbreak. A Reuters report today said 28 staff members from the virology institute were still in quarantine. The nine cases in the outbreak included one death, that of Song’s mother. Except for the 31-year-old man who also worked in the lab, all the cases were traced directly or indirectly to Song. A 20-year-old nurse surnamed Li caught the virus from Song, and it subsequently spread from Li to several members of her family and other contacts. All but two surviving patients in the outbreak had been released from hospitals by May 12. However, the agency said investigators “have serious concerns about biosafety procedures at the Institute—including how and where procedures using SARS coronavirus were carried out, and how and where SARS coronavirus samples were stored.” “Preliminary findings in the investigation have yet to identify a single infectious source or single procedural error at the Institute—and it is conceivable that an exact answer may never be determined,” the WHO said today. See also:center_img Apr 25 WHO guidelines for safe handling of SARS specimenshttp://www.who.int/csr/sars/biosafety2003_04_25/en/ May 18, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization says China’s latest SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak appears to be contained after nine cases, but its precise origin is still a mystery. May 18 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2004_05_18a/en/ A 26-year-old woman surnamed Song became ill in late March after working in a lab at the National Institute of Virology for 2 weeks, and a 31-year-old man who worked in the lab fell ill in mid-April. Research on the SARS virus was done in the lab, but the two patients never worked with live virus, the WHO has said. The WHO urged all member countries to review the biosafety practices of labs that work with the SARS virus. The agency said many specimens were collected during and after the 2003 SARS outbreaks, and some are stored in labs with “inappropriate” containment measures. The WHO recommends biosafety level 3 as the minimum rating for labs handling the virus.last_img read more

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