NEWS SCAN: Home antiviral stockpiling, avian flu outbreaks, anthrax vaccine study, ASM meeting, flu shots in pregnant women

first_img Researchers suggest unique H5N1 virus sparked 2007 India outbreakAn H5N1 avian influenza isolate found in an outbreak in India’s Manipur state in 2005 might have been independently introduced to the area, perhaps through wild waterfowl, according to a report that appeared yesterday in Virology Journal. Investigation of the genome found that the virus belonged to clade 2.2 but was distinct from earlier Indian isolates. It more closely resembled isolates from waterfowl in Russia, China, and Mongolia.[Feb 24 Virology Journal abstract] Tactics for discouraging personal antiviral stockpilingEducational campaigns may not be enough to curtail personal stockpiling of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) during infectious disease outbreaks, but promoting appropriate prescribing practices might help, according to a study published in the Feb 23 issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. The researchers surveyed 109 patients who received prescriptions for oseltamivir in the fall of 2005 and compared their responses with those of 825 matched controls. Of the two-thirds who probably obtained oseltamivir for stockpiling, only two patients reported that they took the drug. Survey responses between the medication group and controls varied little, except regarding worries about avian flu.[Feb 23 Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol abstract] H5N1 detected in India, H7 strain found in Czech waterfowlOfficials in India’s West Bengal state today confirmed an H5N1 avian influenza outbreak in poultry near the town of Siliguri and said they planned to cull 5,000 birds to stop the outbreak, according to a report from the Press Trust of India. Elsewhere, veterinary authorities in the Czech Republic said yesterday that they found low-pathogenic H7 avian influenza in geese at a pond in the Hodonin region in the country’s southeast, the Czech News Agency (CAN) reported. The virus was found in 9 of 60 randomly selected geese. Animal health workers will cull about 3,000 geese and 350 ducks to stem the virus.[Feb 25 Press Trust of India story] Gates funds study of flu immunization in rural pregnant womenCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center said it has received a $6.7 million Gates Foundation grant to study influenza vaccination in pregnant women in rural areas with limited resources. The study, to be conducted in Bangladesh or Nepal, expands on a recent randomized trial that showed that flu immunization in pregnant women protects both the women and their infants. The study will involve 1,500 women and take 5 years, the hospital said yesterday. PharmAthene gives some phase 2 results for anthrax vaccinePharmAthene Inc. reported that its second-generation anthrax vaccine, Sparvax, was safe, well-tolerated, and immunogenic in a phase 2 trial involving 415 volunteers. Antibody concentrations in the volunteers were higher with one of two dosing schedules tested but did not differ according to dose levels. The company said the findings indicate that SparVax “may be a promising second generation rPA [recombinant protective antigen] vaccine candidate” for use in civilians. The firm issued a news release following a poster presentation yesterday at the American Society for Microbiology’s (ASM’s) Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting in Baltimore.[Feb 24 PharmAthene news release] Feb 25, 2009 ASM offers glimpses from biodefense meetingIn a news release from the Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting, the ASM provided some highlights from lectures and poster presentations on pandemic flu, the 1918 flu virus, and the anthrax letter investigation. Bruce Levin of Emory University lectured on whether the current worries about the risk of an H5N1 flu pandemic are justified, and scientists described a vaccine that protected mice and ferrets from the 1918 flu virus, ASM reported. The release also gives an overview of a presentation by several speakers on the science behind the anthrax investigation.[Feb 24 EurekAlert press release]last_img read more

India vs New Zealand 2nd Test results: Double fifties from openers help New Zealand…

first_imgImage Courtesy: Reuters/Twitter(@BLACKCAPS)Advertisement Team India has succumbed to another defeat in the final match of the Test series against New Zealand, as the hosts clinch a 2-0 victory. Another failure of the batting order, and Virat Kohli and his squad have suffered an embarrassing defeat in the 3rd day of the game today, winding up their lengthy tour of the Kiwis to a shameful conclusion. Bundling out the visitors by 124, New Zealand chased down the target with 7 wickets at hand today in Christchurch.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Reuters/Twitter(@BLACKCAPS)With Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant on strike, India resumed their score of 97 for 6 from tomorrow, but couldn’t battle it out against an overwhelming Kiwi bowling squad. Both Vihari (9) and Pant (4) saw early dismissals, and tail enders Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah had the same fate. However, Ravindra Jadeja, who set the Hagnely Oval on a frenzy after that superhuman catch yesterday, made an effort of 16, with one boundary and one over boundary, keeping his strike till the end.The Black Caps pacer duo Tim Southee and Trent Boult continued their hunt, as they picked up a total of 7 wickets. Boult dismissed Pant to make it his fourth wicket of the match, and Southee completed a triple strike, picking Vihari and Shami today.Advertisement With a target set of 132, the New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Tom Blundell started the chase with brilliant double fifties. Latham scored 52, including ten fours, and Blundell landed a 55, consisting of eight boundaries and a single six.The opening duo’s stunning efforts already sealed New Zealand’s victory, as even low scores from the middle order batsmen had the hosts winning the match. Skipper Kane Williamson, who’s bad form continues in the series, scored only five, equal to Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls, who both kept their strike till the end of the chase.Advertisement Umesh Yadav, who is in the squad as a replacement for Ishant Sharma, picked Latham’s wicket. Bumrah secured two wickets, dismissing Blundell and Williamson.In the post match interview, a gloomy Kohli lamented for the team not being up to the mark.“We accept it upfront and if we have to win away from home, we have to do that. No excuses, just learning moving forward. In Tests, we weren’t able to play the cricket we wanted to,” the 31 year old told reporters.While praising the bowlers who had an appreciable performance across the two Tests, Kohli stated that the batsmen didn’t do justice to their bowling counterparts.“Disappointing, have to go back to the drawing board and correct things going forward,” the Men in Blue captain concluded.Also read-Here’s how Ravindra Jadeja reacted to his gravity defying catch against New ZealandDoes Ravi Shastri need to be replaced for team India to do better in overseas conditions? Advertisementlast_img read more

Middletown Township Salutes All Veterans

first_imgPhotos by Alex Nazath MIDDLETOWN – The township’s vibrant 62nd Annual Veterans Day Parade was held Sunday, Nov. 3, starting at the Bayview School in Leonardo and winding through the “Showcase Corridor” of Campbell’s Junction before working its way back to VFW Post 2179 in Port Monmouth. Immediately following the parade there was a “Middletown Supports all Veterans” lunch and military display.last_img

Dr. Nelson Highlights New Initiatives to Transform UL

first_imgPresident Weah and Dr. Nelson handshakes during the program.-Weah advises Dr. Nelson to be Wise, VigilantThe President of the University of Liberia (UL), Dr. Julius J. S. Nelson has highlighted several new initiatives, including expanding sources of revenue intake to help transform the university.Dr. Nelson made the remarks on Thursday during his inauguration as the fifteenth president of the University of Liberia, held at the Fendall Campus. He said encouraging Curriculum Development & Enhancement –through a Curriculum Review Committee, will be set-up in the next couple of months to do a comprehensive review of all curricula across academic programs.“We will be ensuring that our curricula are benchmarked against other outstanding Universities within the sub-region. Gaps identified will be adjusted accordingly to ensure our graduates are capable of competing with their compatriots within the sub-region and beyond,” Dr. Nelson said.Dr. Nelson said his administration will be identifying areas of national needs and creating academic programs to train the needed local professionals, stating “We will continue to work with our local and international partners to ensure that we train professionals relevant to the growth and development of the country. We will particularly focus on creating new academic programs in areas where there are limited professionals in the country.”He said a notable example is the lack of a national tertiary Research Training Program. “Research drives innovation,” while indicating “A number of the challenges we face today can be resolved by sponsoring national research using locally trained professionals hired at affordable rates.”Dr. Nelson said the creation of the UL’s first Terminal (Doctoral) Program “will also be an opportunity we will explore and, through the expansion of our funding sources, we will implement this within the next four years. We will also support the creation of short-term programs that will provide ‘life skills’ to our young people and expand their employability,” Dr. Nelson said.He said the university will continue with faculty development initiative but with a huge emphasis on strengthening areas of gaps, indicating that UL has made significant progress over the years in improving its faculty profile particularly in the Sciences, Engineering and Business Programs.Dr. Nelson said despite the progress, there are still VISIBLE gaps relative to the required number of qualified instructors needed in some academic programs, including these notable departments: Mathematics, English, Mass Communication, History and Physics.“We will ensure that our intelligent and responsible Teaching Assistants and Instructors at these departments are provided the opportunity to study at top-notch universities, gain quality higher education and return to improve the faculty profile and academic standards at the university,” he said.Dr. Nelson, who extended gratitude to President Weah for his preferment as UL’s fifteenth president, said expanding our sources of revenue intake at the University – government’s subsidy has over the years accounted for over eighty percent (80%) of the University sources of revenue.He said while the UL will embrace additional government budgetary support, “we must now more than ever before be innovative to create additional sources of funding for the University.”“We will identify realistic investment opportunities, analyze the cost of funding those investment activities, solicit initial funding sources to finance the investments and analyze the relevant payback and profit earning periods for every investment portfolio before its inception,” Dr. Nelson said.He continued: “We will assemble a team of experienced professionals with relevant experiences in progressive investment activities to complete these analyses in the next six months to ensure we actively commence investment activities by our first anniversary of leadership here at the University of Liberia.”“We will catalog and cost our major objectives and projects and solicit funding through our local and international partners. Examples of those projects will include sourcing funding for our faculty and administrative development initiative, our curriculum advancement program, our facility, and administrative improvement projects,” the newly inaugurated president said.According to him, the projects will also include investment in infrastructure development as well as Information Communications Technology (ICT) as we strive to move the Business College and General Studies to the Fendall Campus.He said the success of his administration’s vision to brightening the light will require the support of all parties: transparency, accountability, total commitment and dedication in ensuring we provide the requisite learning environment and opportunities for our future generation.President George M. Weah said, “As you have been entrusted today with the gavel of authority of this venerable Institution, I urge you to use it with wisdom, in order to fulfill the vision which you have just outlined in your Inaugural Address.”President Weah said, “In my dual capacities as President of Liberia and Visitor to the University, I promise my fullest support to you and your team, as you now embark upon this journey of leadership and service.”Mr. President, you bring a lot of experience to this new position, having served for more than 12 years at the University in various positions of trust and responsibility.  Many of those years were spent in Student Affairs, where you dealt with student issues.President Weah told Dr. Nelson that he expects that Nelson’s experiences and expertise in this area will now become a very useful asset, as you engage the students of the University in order to address the various issues which are of pressing concern to them.“Dr. Nelson, you also served as a member of the faculty. So, you come with the experience of someone who spent time in the classroom. You are therefore very aware of the issues that members of the faculty of this University have to deal with,” President Weah said.He extended thanks and appreciation to Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, the 14th President, for her leadership.“The University of Liberia is a well-respected institution in our nation and around the world. It has trained the vast majority of Liberian professionals working in this country and around the world today. I pledge today, that my Administration will do all that is necessary to maintain this reputation and support your accomplishments so that you will continue to grow from strength to strength,” President Weah said.“The first time that I visited was to dedicate the automated registration system which my Government provided to mitigate the problems and delays that students were encountering during the registration process. Today, students do not have to form queues just to register for classes. So, we solved a major problem, which was a source of much confusion on your campus.“So, I visited the second time. I came to help solve that problem and announced a Free-Tuition Policy for all public universities in Liberia. Today, because of that policy, I am informed that enrollment at the University of Liberia has increased to nearly 19,000 students, an increase of 7,000 over the 12,000 students that were enrolled before the policy came into effect.“I made my third visit. This time it was different. I had come to fulfill my role as a Visitor of the University of Liberia by attending the 99th Commencement Convocation. During that commencement, as you will recall, I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree, thereby making me an alumnus of the UL“Today is my fourth visit in less than two years.  I am here to attend my first inauguration of a new president of the University.  I hope and I trust that this will not only be the first but also the last time that I will have to attend another inauguration of a new president for the rest of my tenure as Visitor,” President Weah said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Ag groups urge a closer look at steel trade

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Many agricultural groups are urging the U.S. Department of Commerce to consider the consequences to the rest of the U.S. economy and avoid igniting a trade war through new restrictions on steel or aluminum trade.In a letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the American Soybean Association (ASA), the National pork Producers Council along with several other agriculture organizations, expressed concerns regarding import restrictions under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.“If the Section 232 investigations on steel and aluminum result in new trade barriers, the aftermath could be disastrous for the global trading system and for U.S. agriculture in particular,” the groups state in the letter. “U.S. agriculture is highly dependent on exports, which means it is particularly vulnerable to retaliation. Many countries that export steel to the United States are also large importers of U.S. agriculture products. The potential for retaliation from these trading partners is very real. Short of explicit retaliation, these countries may also stall efforts to resolve current trade issues if they believe they have been unfairly targeted over legitimately traded products.”The restrictions would be imposed as a national security measure, according to the Trump Administration, which has raised concerns about U.S. reliance on imported steel for defense systems. Agricultural groups are concerned that import tariffs on the metals could prompt retaliatory duties on U.S. exports, including agricultural products. The administration is expected to make a decision soon on whether to invoke a 1962 trade law that allows presidents to restrict imports that threaten national security.last_img read more

The PLFA soil health test

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Alan Sundermeier, CCA, Ohio State University Extension and Vinayak Shedekar, postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State UniversityA diverse and active pool of micro and macro organisms is essential for a healthy soil. While the soil biology plays a key role in building healthy soils, it can also provide nutrients to crops and naturally control some soil-borne pests and diseases. However, it is difficult to assess the soil biological properties in a lab compared to traditional chemical soil testing.Identifying and quantifying different soil organisms requires a range of sophisticated methods and instruments that most soil labs do not have. However, some labs offer a PLFA test that serves as a very good indicator of soil microbial communities.PLFA are Phospholipid fatty acids found in the membranes of all active organisms. Certain fatty acids are used to indicate the bacteria, fungi, or other types of microbes, so quantifying the fatty acid content in a soil sample can indicate the size of a specific microbial group as well as the size of the entire microbial biomass. A gas chromatograph machine can measure the phospholipid fatty acid (PFLA) content of a particular soil sample.The PLFA test can provide a real-time snapshot of the soil microbial community. Soil microbes can effect functions such as plant growth, nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration. Changes in soil — altering processes such as tillage, cover crops, or manure application can be detected by the soil microbe reaction analyzed by the PLFA test. In this way, exact measurements of the type of soil microbe and total biomass of microbes can be determined and tracked as soil health changes over time.Phospholipid fatty acid (PFLA) analysis Indicates the amount of microbial biomass and proportions of microbial types such as mycorrhizal fungi, gram positive fungi, gram negative fungi, actinomycetes, and saprophytic fungi.PLFA is a snapshot of community structure and abundance at the time of sampling. As environmental conditions such as pH, temperature, and moisture change so does the microbial community. These communities are also influenced by soil type, organic matter, intensity and type of tillage, crop rotations, cover crops, and herbicide or pesticide applications. The ability of microbial communities to change rapidly provides producers with a tool to compare agricultural management techniques with respect to overall better soil health and fertility. There is no baseline for biological testing as there is for chemical analysis. Therefore, this test is most useful in making comparisons between management conditions.There are increases in fungal-to-bacterial ratio under the long-term no-till and cover crops. Also, total amount of bacteria and fungi increase with no-till and cover crops. As the ratio of fungi to bacteria increases, the soil biome becomes more efficient in utilizing carbon and other nutrients and the soil therefore releases less CO2 to the atmosphere. Overall, there is much more activity in matured systems than some of the transitional or conventionally tilled systems. Managing soil to improve the health of its microbial life can provide strong carbon gains before the soil’s capacity levels off.It is recommended to use the same laboratory for testing as each lab may use different fatty acids as key markers which will results in different values.last_img read more

Broadcast partners for the 2019 NRL Touch Premiership

first_imgKayo will be the only place you can watch all broadcasted games. Games will be available live and on-demand on Kayo. Sign up using this link: 1 (Saturday 6th April) and all other Saturday games will be available live and on-demand on Kayo, as well as (The stream will be able to be viewed globally.)All Sunday games will be broadcast live on Fox League and live and on-demand on Kayo.In New Zealand, all Fox League games will also run on Sky Sport. We’re pleased to announce our four broadcast partners for the #NRLTouchPremiership: Kayo, Fox League, and Sky Sport.last_img

10 months agoReal Madrid in contact with Mourinho, but…

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Real Madrid in contact with Mourinho, but…by Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid are in contact with sacked Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho – though not with an offer.Marca says the Portuguese was dismissed from his post at Old Trafford on Tuesday, two days after United were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool, and replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.He has since been linked with a second stint in charge of Real, five-and-a-half years after leaving the Spanish capital.Santiago Solari is currently in charge but the club could opt to replace him if Mourinho is willing.But the only communication between the two parties thus far has been to send messages of sympathy. last_img

23 days agoBruno Genesio would’ve taken Newcastle job – if takeover happened

first_imgAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Bruno Genesio would’ve taken Newcastle job – if takeover happenedby Ansser Sadiq23 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBruno Genesio admits that he would have taken over as manager of Newcastle United – if the club was taken over.It was rumoured in the summer that Genesio was the choice of Peter Kenyon, who was leading a consortium of investors to take over Newcastle from Mike Ashley.But the takeover never materialised and the opportunity went away for Genesio, with Steve Bruce taking over from Rafa Benitez instead.”Everything went really quickly, because I was meant to sign with Newcastle, but the sale then fell through,” Genesio told beIN SPORTS.”I then decided to take some time off for myself, but towards the end of July, I received a phone call from my agents with an opportunity to go manage in China at Beijing Guoan.”It just all went quickly. Forty-eight hours later I was on a plane, and four days later I was on the touchline for my first game.” last_img read more