News Article | February 15, 2017
No statistical methods were used to predetermine sample size. The experiments were not randomized and the investigators were not blinded to allocation during experiments and outcome assessment. We sequenced Chenopodium quinoa Willd. (quinoa) accession PI 614886 (BioSample accession code SAMN04338310; also known as NSL 106399 and QQ74). DNA was extracted from leaf and flower tissue of a single plant, as described in the “Preparing Arabidopsis Genomic DNA for Size-Selected ~20 kb SMRTbell Libraries” protocol (http://www.pacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Shared-Protocol-Preparing-Arabidopsis-DNA-for-20-kb-SMRTbell-Libraries.pdf). DNA was purified twice with Beckman Coulter Genomics AMPure XP magnetic beads and assessed by standard agarose gel electrophoresis and Thermo Fisher Scientific Qubit Fluorometry. 100 Single-Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) cells were run on the PacBio RS II system with the P6-C4 chemistry by DNALink (Seoul). De novo assembly was conducted using the smrtmake assembly pipeline (https://github.com/PacificBiosciences/smrtmake) and the Celera Assembler, and the draft assembly was polished using the quiver algorithm. DNA was also sequenced using an Illumina HiSeq 2000 machine. For this, DNA was extracted from leaf tissue of a single soil-grown plant using the Qiagen DNeasy Plant Mini Kit. 500-bp paired-end (PE) libraries were prepared using the NEBNext Ultra DNA Library Prep Kit for Illumina. Sequencing reads were processed with Trimmomatic (v0.33)42, and reads <75 nucleotides in length after trimming were removed from further analysis. The remaining high-quality reads were assembled with Velvet (v1.2.10)43 using a k-mer of 75. High-molecular-weight DNA was isolated and labelled from leaf tissue of three-week old quinoa plants according to standard BioNano protocols, using the single-stranded nicking endonuclease Nt.BspQI. Labelled DNA was imaged automatically using the BioNano Irys system and de novo assembled into consensus physical maps using the BioNano IrysView analysis software. The final de novo assembly used only single molecules with a minimum length of 150 kb and eight labels per molecule. PacBio-BioNano hybrid scaffolds were identified using IrysView’s hybrid scaffold alignment subprogram. Using the same DNA prepared for PacBio sequencing, a Chicago library was prepared as described previously10. The library was sequenced on an Illumina HiSeq 2500. Chicago sequence data (in FASTQ format) was used to scaffold the PacBio-BioNano hybrid assembly using HiRise, a software pipeline designed specifically for using Chicago data to assemble genomes10. Chicago library sequences were aligned to the draft input assembly using a modified SNAP read mapper (http://snap.cs.berkeley.edu). The separations of Chicago read pairs mapped within draft scaffolds were analysed by HiRise to produce a likelihood model, and the resulting likelihood model was used to identify putative mis-joins and score prospective joins. A population was developed by crossing Kurmi (green, sweet) and 0654 (red, bitter). Homozygous high- and low-saponin F lines were identified by planting 12 F seeds derived from each F line, harvesting F seed from these F plants, and then performing foam tests on the F seed. Phenotyping was validated using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). RNA was extracted from inflorescences containing a mixture of flowers and seeds at various stages of development from the parents and 45 individual F progeny. RNA extraction and Illumina sequencing were performed as described above. Sequencing reads from all lines were trimmed using Trimmomatic and mapped to the reference assembly using TopHat44, and SNPs were called using SAMtools mpileup (v1.1)45. For linkage mapping, markers were assigned to linkage groups on the basis of the grouping by JoinMap v4.1. Using the maximum likelihood algorithm of JoinMap, the order of the markers was determined; using this as start order and fixed order, regression mapping in JoinMap was used to determine the cM distances. Genes differentially expressed between bitter and sweet lines and between green and red lines were identified using default parameters of the Cuffdiff function of the Cufflinks program46. A second mapping population was developed by crossing Atlas (sweet) and Carina Red (bitter). Bitter and sweet F lines were identified by performing foam and taste tests on the F seed. DNA sequencing was performed with DNA from the parents and 94 sweet F lines, as described above, and sequencing reads were mapped to the reference assembly using BWA. SNPs were called in the parents and in a merged file containing all combined F lines. Genotype calls were generated for the 94 F genotypes by summing up read counts over a sliding window of 500 variants, at all variant positions for which the parents were homozygous and polymorphic. Over each 500-variant stretch, all reads with Atlas alleles were summed, and all reads with the Carina Red allele were summed. Markers were assigned to linkage groups using JoinMap, with regression mapping used to obtain the genetic maps per linkage group. The Kurmi × 0654 and Atlas × Carina Red maps were integrated with the previously published quinoa linkage map13, with the Kurmi × 0654 map being used as the reference for the positions of anchor markers and scaling. We selected markers from the same scaffold that were in the same 10,000-bp bin in the assembly. The anchor markers on the alternative map received the position of the Kurmi × 0654 map anchor marker in the integrated map. This process was repeated with anchor markers at the 100,000-bp bin level. The assumption is that at the 100,000-bp bin level recombination should essentially be zero. On this level, a regression of cM position on both maps yielded R2 values >0.85 and often >0.9, so the regression line can easily be used for interpolating the positions of the alternative map towards the corresponding position on the Kurmi × 0654 map. All Kurmi × 0654 markers went into the integrated map on their original position. Pseudomolecules were assembled by concatenating scaffolds based on their order and orientation as determined from the integrated linkage map. An AGP (‘A Golden Path’) file was made that describes the positions of the scaffold-based assembly in coordinates of the pseudomolecule assembly, with 100 ‘N’s inserted between consecutive scaffolds. Based on these coordinates, custom scripts were used to generate the pseudomolecule assembly and to recoordinate the annotation file. DNA was extracted from C. pallidicaule (PI 478407) and C. suecicum (BYU 1480) and was sent to the Beijing Genomic Institute (BGI, Hong Kong) where one 180-bp PE library and two mate-pair libraries with insert sizes of 3 and 6 kb were prepared and sequenced on the Illumina HiSeq platform to obtain 2 × 100-bp reads for each library. The generated reads were trimmed using the quality-based trimming tool Sickle (https://github.com/najoshi/sickle). The trimmed reads were then assembled using the ALLPATHS-LG assembler47, and GapCloser v1.1248 was used to resolve N spacers and gap lengths produced by the ALLPATHS-LG assembler. Repeat families found in the genome assemblies of quinoa, C. pallidicaule and C. suecicum (see Supplementary Information 3) were first independently identified de novo and classified using the software package RepeatModeler49. RepeatMasker50 was used to discover and identify repeats within the respective genomes. AUGUSTUS51 was used for ab initio gene prediction, using model training based on coding sequences from Amaranthus hypochondriacus, Beta vulgaris, Spinacia oleracea and Arabidopsis thaliana. RNA-seq and isoform sequencing reads generated from RNA of different tissues were mapped onto the reference genome using Bowtie 2 (ref. 52) and GMAP53, respectively. Hints with locations of potential intron–exon boundaries were generated from the alignment files with the software package BAM2hints in the MAKER package54. MAKER with AUGUSTUS (intron–exon boundary hints provided from RNA-seq and isoform sequencing) was then used to predict genes in the repeat-masked reference genome. To help guide the prediction process, peptide sequences from B. vulgaris and the original quinoa full-length transcript (provided as EST evidence) were used by MAKER during the prediction. Genes were characterized for their putative function by performing a BLAST search of the peptide sequences against the UniProt database. PFAM domains and InterProScan ID were added to the gene models using the scripts provided in the MAKER package. The following quinoa accessions were chosen for DNA re-sequencing: 0654, Ollague, Real, Pasankalla (BYU 1202), Kurmi, CICA-17, Regalona (BYU 947), Salcedo INIA, G-205-95DK, Cherry Vanilla (BYU 1439), Chucapaca, Ku-2, PI 634921 (Ames 22157), Atlas and Carina Red. The following accessions of C. berlandieri were sequenced: var. boscianum (BYU 937), var. macrocalycium (BYU 803), var. zschackei (BYU 1314), var. sinuatum (BYU 14108), and subsp. nuttaliae (‘Huauzontle’). Two accessions of C. hircinum (BYU 566 and BYU 1101) were also sequenced. All sequencing was performed with an Illumina HiSeq 2000 machine, using either 125-bp (Atlas and Carina Red) or 100-bp (all other accessions) paired-end libraries. Reads were trimmed using Trimmomatic and mapped to the reference assembly using BWA (v0.7.10)55. Read alignments were manipulated with SAMtools, and the mpileup function of SAMtools was used to call SNPs. Orthologous and paralogous gene clusters were identified using OrthoMCL28. Recommended settings were used for all-against-all BLASTP comparisons (Blast+ v2.3.056) and OrthoMCL analyses. Custom Perl scripts were used to process OrthoMCL outputs for visualization with InteractiVenn57. Using OrthoMCL, orthologous gene sets containing two copies in quinoa and one copy each in C. pallidicaule, C. suecicum, and B. vulgaris were identified. In total, 7,433 gene sets were chosen, and their amino acid sequences were aligned individually for each set using MAFFT58. The 7,433 alignments were converted into PHYLIP format files by the seqret command in the EMBOSS package59. Individual gene trees were then constructed using the maximum likelihood method using proml in PHYLIP60. In addition, the genomic variants of all 25 sequenced taxa (Supplementary Data 5) relative to the reference sequence were called based on the mapped Illumina reads in 25 BAM files using SAMtools. To call variants in the reference genome (PI 614886), Illumina sequencing reads were mapped to the reference assembly. Variants were then filtered using VCFtools61 and SAMtools, and the qualified SNPs were combined into a single VCF file which was used as an input into SNPhylo62 to construct the phylogenetic relationship using maximum likelihood and 1,000 bootstrap iterations. To identify FT homologues, the protein sequence from the A. thaliana flowering time gene FT was used as a BLAST query. Filtering for hits with an E value <1 × e−3 and with RNA-seq evidence resulted in the identification of four quinoa proteins. One quinoa protein (AUR62013052) appeared to be comprised of two tandem repeats which were separated for the purposes of phylogenetic analysis. For the construction of the phylogenetic tree, protein sequences from these five quinoa FT homologues were aligned using Clustal Omega63 along with two B. vulgaris (gene models: BvFT1-miuf.t1, BvFT2-eewx.t1) and one A. thaliana (AT1G65480.1) homologue. Phylogenetic analysis was performed with MEGA64 (v6.06). The JTT model was selected as the best fitting model. The initial phylogenetic tree was estimated using the neighbour joining method (bootstrap value = 50, Gaps/ Missing Data Treatment = Partial Deletion, Cutoff 95%), and the final tree was estimated using the maximum likelihood method with a bootstrap value of 1,000 replicates. The syntenic relationships between the coding sequences of the chromosomal regions surrounding these FT genes were visualized using the CoGE65 GEvo tool and the Multi-Genome Synteny Viewer66. The alignment of bHLH domains was performed with Clustal Omega63, using sequences from Mertens et al.39. The phylogeny was inferred using the maximum likelihood method based on the JTT matrix-based model67. Initial trees for the heuristic search were obtained automatically by applying Neighbour-Join and BioNJ algorithms to a matrix of pairwise distances estimated using a JTT model, and then selecting the topology with superior log likelihood value. All positions containing gaps and missing data were eliminated. Trimmed PE Illumina sequencing reads that were used for the de novo assembly of C. suecicum and C. pallidicaule were mapped onto the reference quinoa genome using the default settings of BWA. For every base in the quinoa genome, the depth coverage of properly paired reads from the C. suecicum and C. pallidicaule mapping was calculated using the program GenomeCoverage in the BEDtools package68. A custom Perl script was used to calculate the percentage of each scaffold with more than 5× coverage from both diploids. Scaffolds were assigned to the A or B sub-genome if >65% of the bases were covered by reads from one diploid and <25% of the bases were covered by reads from the other diploid. The relationship between the quinoa sub-genomes and the diploid species C. pallidicaule and C. suecicum was presented in a circle proportional to their sizes using Circos69. Orthologous regions in the three species were identified using BLASTN searches of the quinoa genome against each diploid genome individually. Single top BLASTN hits longer than 8 kb were selected and presented as links between the quinoa genome assembly (arranged in chromosomes, see Supplementary Information 7.3) and the two diploid genome assemblies on the Circos plot (Fig. 2a). Sub-genome synteny was analysed by plotting the positions of homoeologous pairs of A- and B-sub-genome pairs within the context of the 18 chromosomes using Circos. Synteny between the sub-genomes and B. vulgaris was assessed by first creating pseudomolecules by concatenating scaffolds which were known to be ordered and oriented within each of the nine chromosomes. Syntenic regions between these B. vulgaris chromosomes and those of quinoa were then identified using the recommended settings of the CoGe SynMap tool70 and visualized using MCScanX71 and VGSC72. For the purposes of visualization, quinoa chromosomes CqB05, CqA08, CqB11, CqA15 and CqB16 were inverted. Quinoa seeds were embedded in a 2% carboxymethylcellulose solution and frozen above liquid nitrogen. Sections of 50 μm thickness were obtained using a Reichert-Jung Frigocut 2800N, modified to use a Feather C35 blade holder and blades at −20 °C using a modified Kawamoto method73. A 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (Sigma-Aldrich) matrix (40 mg ml−1 in 70% methanol) was applied using a HTX TM-Sprayer (HTX Technologies LLC) with attached LC20-AD HPLC pump (Shimadzu Scientific Instruments). Sections were vacuum dried in a desiccator before analysis. The optical image was generated using an Epson 4400 Flatbed Scanner at 4,800 d.p.i. For mass spectrometric analyses, a Bruker SolariX XR with 7T magnet was used. Images were generated using Bruker Compass FlexImaging 4.1. Data were normalized to the TIC, and brightness optimization was employed to enhance visualization of the distribution of selected compounds. Individual spectra were recalibrated using Bruker Compass DataAnalysis 4.4 to internally lock masses of known DHB clusters: C H O = 273.039364 and C H O = 409.055408 m/z. Accurate mass measurements for individual saponins and identified compounds were run using continuous accumulation of selected ions (CASI) using mass windows of 50–100 m/z and a transient of 4 megaword generating a transient of 2.93 s providing a mass resolving power of approximately 390,000 at 400 m/z. Lipids were putatively assigned by searching the LipidMaps database74 (http://www.lipidmaps.org) and lipid class confirmed by collision-induced dissociation using a 10 m/z window centred around the monoisotopic peak with collision energy of between 15–20 V. Quinoa flowers were marked at anthesis, and seeds were sampled at 12, 16, 20 and 24 days after anthesis. A pool of five seeds from each time point was analysed using GC/MS. Quantification of saponins was performed indirectly by quantifying oleanolic acid (OA) derived from the hydrolysis of saponins extracted from quinoa seeds. Derivatized solution was analysed using single quadrupole GC/MS system (Agilent 7890 GC/5975C MSD) equipped with EI source at ionisation energy of 70 eV. Chromatography separation was performed using DB-5MS fused silica capillary column (30m × 0.25 mm I.D., 0.25 μm film thickness; Agilent J&W Scientific), chemically bonded with 5% phenyl 95% methylpolysiloxane cross-linked stationary phase. Helium was used as the carrier gas with constant flow rate of 1.0 ml min−1. The quantification of OA in each sample was performed using a standard curve based on standards of OA. Specific, individual saponins were identified in quinoa using a preparation of 20 mg of seeds performed according a modified protocol from Giavalisco et al.75. Samples were measured with a Waters ACQUITY Reversed Phase Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography (RP-UPLC) coupled to a Thermo-Fisher Exactive mass spectrometer, which consists of an electrospray ionisation source and an Orbitrap mass analyser. A C18 column was used for the hydrophilic measurements. Chromatograms were recorded in full-scan MS mode (mass range, 100 −1,500). Extraction of the LC/MS data was accomplished with the software REFINER MS 7.5 (GeneData). SwissModel76 was used to produce homology models for the bHLH region of AUR62017204, AUR62017206 and AUR62010677. RaptorX77 was used for prediction of secondary structure and disorder. QUARK78 was used for ab initio modelling of the C-terminal domain, and the DALI server79 was used for 3D homology searches of this region. Models were manually inspected and evaluated using the PyMOL program (http://pymol.org). The genome assemblies and sequence data for C. quinoa, C. pallidicaule and C. suecicum were deposited at NCBI under BioProject codes PRJNA306026, PRJNA326220 and PRJNA326219, respectively. Additional accessions numbers for deposited data can be found in Supplementary Data 9. The quinoa genome can also be accessed at http://www.cbrc.kaust.edu.sa/chenopodiumdb/ and on the Phytozome database (http://www.phytozome.net/).
News Article | March 1, 2017
FORT MYERS, Fla., March 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WhereverTV Broadcasting Corp. (OTC:TVTV), a leader in delivering Over-the-Top (OTT) subscription television services to a variety of devices including smartphones, TabletPCs, streaming media players, computers and connected TVs announced today recent corporate developments and plans to advance its position in the industry and increase customer appeal. The Company also discussed strategies for growth, 6 subscription packages with costs as low as 22 cents per day, free offer Promo Codes, pursuit of new channels, and discussed its patent initiatives. “WhereverTV is looking forward to an extremely busy and productive year. And we now expect 2017 will be WhereverTV’s breakout year,” said Edward D. Ciofani, Chief Executive Officer. “The company is currently negotiating with several major media content providers with regards to increasing the depth and breadth of our mainstream channel offerings both domestically as well as internationally. In addition to ramping up social media and digital marketing programs, and co-marketing and branding initiatives, we are also aggressively pursuing joint venture partnerships for regional and global distribution opportunities. Our goal is to quickly become the best over-the-top provider of live-streaming real-time television programming and country music content distribution worldwide. We are seeing progress. Meanwhile, the Board of Directors has approved pursuit of monetizing our intellectual property and maximizing the value of our patent assets,” he added. The WhereverTV platform continues to evolve and improve under the re-vamped and re-launched https://Wherever.TV website. The company has improved the user experience, signal transmission, device applications and digital rights protocols. These security protocols implemented have been tested to meet or exceed Digital Rights Management security protocols required by major media corporations and have since been approved by several media corporations. All parties have agreed that these protocols too are in compliance with and had adhered to the industry’s Best Practices. “Approvable Digital Rights Management protocols are an effective conversation starter,” commented Edward Ciofani. WhereverTV also announced it is in negotiations with several major media content providers to sign carriage agreements for their mainstream channel content. Actual channels or companies were not disclosed at this time. WhereverTV said it intends to provide its customers with some of the most desirable channels offered by cable & satellite companies, including familiar programming, niche programming, and sports programming. Currently, the content WhereverTV offers includes 135 channels available in multiple languages, from the US and around the world. WhereverTV is presently targeting to add 50 more channels in 2017. The Company also announced changes to its Board of Directors, moves to strengthen its balance sheet, the near completion of its audited financial results and significant funding commitments from its management team. Milo Seidl was elected to the Board of Directors. The Company also formally announced 6 channel packages and an opportunity for users to watch them FREE. The ARABIC TV package includes 38 channels, CHOICE TV includes 23 channels, FAITH TV includes 7 channels, MOROCCO TV includes 5 channels, SPANISH TV includes 29 channels, and DIGITAL RODEOTV is one channel that offers live country music concerts on demand. Viewers can watch channels free for a limited time by entering PROMO CODES. The Company announced promo codes that give users free access for a limited period of time. “We like to tell people, try it for free, then keep it,” said CEO Ed Ciofani. The free promo codes are ARABIC TV: ARABIC14, CHOICE TV: CHOICE14, FAITH TV: FAITH14, MOROCCO TV: MOROCCO14, and SPANISH TV: SPANISH14, and DIGITAL RODEOTV: DIGITAL14. The promo codes will work on any device with access to a web browser or on any compatible iOS or Android device. Please go to your device’s app store at: Apple iOS ITunes or Google Play Android to download the free app for mobile devices or tablets. WhereverTV has hundreds of channels currently grouped in these subscription packages. ARABIC TV channels include: 2M TV, Al Magharibia TV, RT Arabic, Canal Algerie, Dandana TV, Al Aan TV, AlAlam TV, Al Mayadeen Live, Al Quran Al Karim TV, Al Rasheed TV, Al Rayyan TV, Al Sharqiya, AlSharqiya News, Sunnah TV, Al-Iraqiya TV, iFilm Arabic, Jordan TV, Kuwait TV, Kuwait TV 2, Kuwait Sport TV - KTV3, MTC TV - Melli TV, Oman TV, Payam TV, Qatar TV, Roya TV, Turk TV, Saudi TV Live, Sudan TV, Syria Drama TV, Syria TV, Asr TV, Tunisia TV, Wesal TV, Yemen TV, France 24 Live, France 24 Arabic, Libya TV, Libya Awalan TV, CHOICE TV Jewelry TV, RT News, FNX TV, Duck TV, FNTSY Sport Network, Fight Network Channel, NewsMax, Pursuit Channel, RT Documentary, Vibrant TV, YouToo America, AWE TV, One America News Channel, Revolt TV Channel, France 24 Live, Bandwagon Live, Movee4U, The Walk TV, Dream TV, My Life TV, Westerns Channel, American Cooking Show, Weather Network, DIGITAL RODEOTV Digital Rodeo TV, FAITH TV GOD TV Live, TBN Live, Enlace TV, Juce TV – JCTV, Smile of a Child, The Church Channel, The Walk TV, MOROCCO TV 2M TV, Al Magharibia TV, RT Arabic, Canal Algerie, France 24 FR, and SPANISH TV France 24 Live, RT Espanol, Hola TV, CB Noticias 24, Canal Sur Directo, Telefe Online, Esperanza TV, Teleformula, Az Corazon, Az Clic, Az Cinema, Estudio 5, Nuevo Tiempo, Musica Tropical, Musica Romantica, La Mega Mundial, AtreSeries, Antena 3 Online, TYC Sports, Video Rola, Canal 52, Superene, Bolivia TV, TV Quisqueya, BYU International, UN3 TV, LifeDesign TV, Canal de la Ciudad, and TV Chile. For more information please click: Internet TV, Over-the-Top or WhereverTV. Founded in 2007, WhereverTV is the next generation subscription television service providing consumers with live-streaming, genre-specific, and in-language viewing choices from around the world, delivered to anywhere in the world, and through any internet enabled device. Programming is identical to existing broadcast and distribution providers with the only differences being that the broadcast signals are accessed through the internet via an over-the-top (OTT) platform, and channel management is handled by the company’s patented Interactive Program Guide (IPG) technology. WhereverTV provides an economically beneficial and completely versatile alternative to traditional cable and satellite services, with the added benefits of personalization and portability. Also known as Internet TV, WhereverTV delivers these same channels, shows and events to SmartTVs and digital media receivers including: GoogleTV, AppleTV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Droid Smartphone, and TabletPCs. The WhereverTV platform enables subscribers to access licensed and free-to-air content across these devices with the IPG across unlimited geographies, and wherever there is internet connectivity. The customer viewing experiences are based on customer location (geo-targeting) and content-rights management (subscriptions). Current in-language subscription offerings include Arabic TV, French TV, Italian TV, and Moroccan TV. Current genre specific subscriptions include NEWS channels, faith based channels and more. Apps are presently available for free in App Stores for iOS (Apple), Android and Amazon Fire TV devices. DVR functionality to record your shows and view later is presently in the works. Licensed US TV content subscriptions have been available since 2015. Please visit: www.wherever.tv, for more info. This news release contains forward-looking statements, which may not be based on historical facts. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results events or developments to be materially different from any future results, events or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors should be considered carefully and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. Except as required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any obligation to update any such factors or to publicly announce the results of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments.
News Article | February 23, 2017
AMERICAN FORK, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Four Foods Group (FFG) – a rapidly growing restaurant development, investment and management company – today announced that it has acquired The Soda Shop, an early-stage participant in the growing specialty soda marketplace. The all-cash acquisition closed on January 31, 2017. The Soda Shop founders Chase Wardrop and Dylan Roeder both retain equity in the company, and will serve as Division Presidents for the venture going forward. The announcement comes on the heels of FFG’s acquisition of the popular and fast-growing R&R Barbecue restaurant concept, and its announcement of expansion throughout the western United States. “Our philosophy of finding smart operators who need growth capital and proven restaurant management systems continues to pick up momentum,” said Andrew K. Smith, FFG Chief Executive Officer. “We want partners who have skin in the game, both financially and from an operations perspective, and we’ve proven it’s a formula that leads to growth and success.” FFG has described itself as a restaurant concept investment incubator, and the FFG and The Soda Shop partnership is a good example of how this approach creates opportunities. In 2015, while participating in a lecture series with young entrepreneurs at Brigham Young University, Smith met The Soda Shop founders Wardrop and Roeder. The two BYU students had signed up for an hour session with Smith to get advice on becoming entrepreneurs while starting their first venture. However, the relationship did not end with that class appointment, and over the course of the following months and years, Smith continued to provide advice and mentorship to Wardrop and Roeder. Fast forward a couple years and Wardrop and Roeder moved back to their home state of Arizona to launch The Soda Shop. The Soda Shop currently has two locations: one in Gilbert, Arizona that opened in 2015, and another in Mesa, Arizona, that opened in 2016. The menu features a variety of house-made concoctions that put a tasteful twist on the traditional fountain drink. For example, the “Don’t Ya Wanta” combines orange soda, vanilla, and half and half, giving it flavors reminiscent of an orange push-up popsicle. The Soda Shop also offers frozen custard with candy mix-ins, cookies and traditional Italian sodas. “Chase and Dylan have all the qualities an entrepreneur needs to be successful, and they are the type of partners I want while scaling this new venture,” said Smith. “They work hard, have passion for their brand, are sponges when discussing future strategy and improvements to make within the brand, and they never give up. That’s why The Soda Shop is where it is today.” This starting point is exactly where the management and capital resources of FFG come into play when scaling a restaurant brand. The FFG model for incubating new and emerging brands provides support in key areas of business management to set their operating partners up for success. FFG has established expertise in development and construction, in-house real estate, facility management and set-up, operations, human resources, recruiting, hiring and training, payroll and benefits administration, IT support, marketing, financial oversight, accounting and investment financing. Importantly, FFG provides capital to the support services for the business to grow, while allowing the operating partner to maintain significant equity in the business as revenue increases. “It is important to me that everyone wins in the process,” said Smith. “One of my core beliefs is there is enough to go around for everyone. Thinking otherwise is one of the biggest mistakes any business can make, and it happens all the time in the restaurant industry. Too many people think keeping it all to themselves makes them more money, but that is just flat out wrong thinking. When you focus on something other than your ownership and the money you make, it is magical…and we’ve proven it can work.” “Andrew has been so generous with his time and knowledge while we were getting our business concept developed and launched,” said The Soda Shop Co-Founder Chase Wardrop. “This next step of really growing The Soda Shop is going to be a great ride.” “We already have more than a half dozen sites we are looking at securing for our growth this year, and this investment will let us put our foot on the gas pedal right now,” added The Soda Shop Co-Founder Dylan Roeder. “We are really looking forward to being part of Four Foods Group as another company in their portfolio of brands.” The Soda Shop will focus immediate growth efforts in Arizona and Las Vegas. More information about Four Foods Group can be found at www.fourfoodsgroup.com and The Soda Shop at www.thesodashop.co. Four Foods Group (FFG) is a restaurant development, investment, and management company with 46 restaurant locations and additional sites in development or under construction. FFG has ranked among Inc. Magazine’s 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America for five consecutive years, a MWCN 100 recipient four years, and as a UV50 company for six years running. The company currently employs nearly 2,000 employees in five states, with more than 110 at their corporate offices in American Fork, Utah. Their restaurants rank among the Technomic Top 150 Fast Casual Restaurants.
News Article | February 23, 2017
Submission of kits improves to a rate of 75 percent from 38 percent in Utah with BYU nursing professor's in-depth involvement Since 2011, BYU nursing professor Julie Valentine has been researching the issues surrounding sexual assault kit processing and has been working with law enforcement agencies to improve the process. Nearly one year ago, in a press conference at BYU, Valentine spoke to a room full of media about the results of her groundbreaking study, looking at the processing of 1,874 sexual assault kits, commonly called rape kits, in seven Utah counties between 2010 and 2013. This was the most comprehensive study ever conducted on sexual assault kits in the United States. Valentine has worked to build upon her initial research and recently released a study that includes another year of data; the results now span from 2010--2014 and include 2,317 fully collected sexual assault kits. She found some encouraging results from the 2014 numbers. "We are seeing a significant increase in kit submission rates throughout the state," Valentine said. "Law enforcement agencies are to be commended for this substantial improvement." The big finding from the new study is that in 2014, 75 percent of sexual assault kits in Utah were submitted by law enforcement to the state crime laboratory for analysis. From 2010 to 2013, only 38 percent of kits were submitted. Washington County saw the most significant improvement. The submission rate of kits there increased to 93 percent in 2014 from only 18 percent in 2010 to 2013. Considerable variability still exists among jurisdictions on kit submission rates, and length of time between assault and submission date remains an issue. Submission rates of kits submitted to a crime lab within a month of the assault ranges from 2 percent in Washington County to 21 percent in Salt Lake County. In a review of 525 sexual assault kits submitted to the Utah Bureau of Forensic Services from Salt Lake County, Valentine discovered nine kits did not include the DNA of the suspect. Of the other 516 some of the kits did not have enough DNA to complete the analysis, some had DNA that matched the suspect, and some had DNA of an unknown assailant which has been entered into CODIS. "Generally, people tend to think of kit submissions as only benefitting victims," Valentine said. "This is important, but only part of the story. Testing kits benefits both victims and suspects. It helps to establish the truth." This most recent study of Valentine's is currently published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Valentine's role in helping improve sexual assault kit processing is not just in crunching the numbers and sharing her research. She has been on the front lines. Last year she worked extensively with West Valley City's police department, where she helped train the department on the impact that trauma has on sexual assault victims. That led to implementing new protocols, meant to ensure compassionate treatment and support for sexual assault victims. The results of Valentine's work with West Valley City showed that sexual assault prosecution jumped from 6 percent to 24 percent. Valentine's work is currently front-and-center in the Utah legislature. House Bill 200 (HB200) mandates the submission and testing of all rape kits, development of trauma informed training for law enforcement and development of a tracking system allowing victims to track their own rape kits through the process. The bill is getting a substantial amount of media attention in Utah and is being watched throughout the US. "The passage of HB200 will be a victory for sexual assault victims, but also a victory in applying the scientific advancements of DNA analysis in establishing truth and justice in these cases," Valentine said. "The end result will be improved identification of serial perpetrators, thereby making Utah a safer state. A safer state is a healthier state."
News Article | February 18, 2017
The ancient art of origami has been inspiring engineers and designers for decades. The principles behind this Japanese folding technique have been appropriated by everyone from solar array designers for implementation in space to medical engineers creating ingestible robotics. Now a team at Brigham Young University (BYU) has created a lightweight bulletproof shield inspired by a Yoshimura origami crease pattern... Continue Reading Origami-inspired bulletproof shield can stop a .44 Magnum Category: Military Tags: Kevlar Law Enforcement Origami Bulletproof Police Related Articles: Kevlar gauntlets to protect soldiers in combat The world's most secure front door BulletSafe's ball cap and T-shirt dress you in casual bulletproofing Bulletproof laptop bag can stop a .44 Magnum round The ancient art of origami has been inspiring engineers and designers for decades. The principles behind this Japanese folding technique have been appropriated by everyone from solar ... Scientists at BYU borrowed a pattern from the ancient paper-folding technique to make a lightweight shield that's a big improvement over current technology. How origami could provide 'revolutionary' police protection, Sat 18 Feb 17 from The Christian Science Monitor Engineering professors at Brigham Young University have designed a new bulletproof shield for law enforcement that can withstand shots fired from 9mm, .357 Magnum, and .44 Magnum ... The barrier was created by engineers at Brigham Young University in Utah. It is made up of 12 layers of bulletproof Kevlar and weights just 55lbs (25kg). Engineers at Brigham Young University have developed an origami-inspired ballistic shield that can protect multiple people from gunfire. Designed to be portable, the device weighs 25kg and folds ...
News Article | February 17, 2017
The ancient art of origami has been inspiring engineers and designers for decades. The principles behind this Japanese folding technique have been appropriated by everyone from solar array designers for implementation in space to medical engineers creating ingestible robotics. Now a team at Brigham Young University (BYU) has created a lightweight bulletproof shield inspired by a Yoshimura origami crease pattern. After consulting with law enforcement and several federal departments, professor of mechanical engineering Larry Howell and his BYU team realized that current bulletproof shields and barriers, which are heavy, cumbersome and lack portability, were well overdue for an update. In the quest for something lighter and more compact that would still provide protection from bullets, the team developed an innovative new shield design made of 12 layers of bulletproof kevlar that takes only fives seconds to deploy. At only 55 lb (25 kg) the barrier is almost half the weight of current steel-based shields and can safely protect two to three people at once. "It goes from a very compact state that you can carry around in the trunk of a car to something you can take with you, open up and take cover behind to be safe from bullets," says Terri Bateman, BYU adjunct professor of engineering. "Then you can easily fold it up and move it if you need to advance your position." During testing, the researchers found the shield to be even more successful than they had initially predicted, stopping bullets from 9mm, .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum handguns. "Those are significant handguns with power," says Howell. "We suspected that something as large as a .44 Magnum would actually tip it over, but that didn't happen." Currently still in prototype form, the team is continuing to work with law enforcement agencies and has tested it with officers on site who have been impressed. The team also believes the barrier could have broader uses, such as for safety in schools or protecting the wounded in emergencies. Check out the team explaining and testing the design in the video below.
News Article | February 15, 2017
New research suggests that cutting calories could do more than just slim our waistlines, it might also be a newfound fountain of youth. A study by a team at Brigham Young University finds that eating less can actually slow down the process of aging at a cellular level. Scientists observed two groups of mice – one with access to an all-you-can-eat buffet while the other had enough food to survive but with calories restricted to 35 percent less. The mice with a lower caloric intake saw protein production by the ribosomes in their cells reduced. This actually slows down the aging process of the cell by allowing the ribosomes to repair themselves. "The ribosome is a very complex machine, sort of like your car, and it periodically needs maintenance to replace the parts that wear out the fastest," said BYU biochemistry professor and study co-author John Price. "When tires wear out, you don't throw the whole car away and buy new ones. It's cheaper to replace the tires." Price explains that there seems to be a direct connection between restricting calorie consumption and an increase in longevity. "The calorie-restricted mice are more energetic and suffered fewer diseases," Price said. "And it's not just that they're living longer, but because they're better at maintaining their bodies, they're younger for longer as well." The BYU team isn't the first to make the connection between caloric intake and lifespan. In fact, a long-term study involving monkeys that spans decades has shown similar results – one of the study subjects has even set a longevity record for his species. The link to a slowdown in protein production on the cellular level and the part played by the ribosome in preserving youth is a new revelation, according to the BYU team. Ribosomes can use up to a fifth of a cell's energy to create the proteins it needs to function. Eating less reduces demand on this tiny protein factory, so it has time to do a little self-maintenance in order to keep producing quality proteins that keep the entire body functioning better. But Price cautions that starving yourself to stay young isn't a strategy that can be prescribed just yet. Such research has yet to be tested on humans and a more well-rounded approach to self care is essential. "Food isn't just material to be burned — it's a signal that tells our body and cells how to respond," Price said. "We're getting down to the mechanisms of aging, which may help us make more educated decisions about what we eat."
News Article | February 2, 2017
Top Scientific Minds You Probably Never Heard Of It seems almost unthinkable that the ancient art of paper folding could inspire the design of a satellite radiator. But what may have been unthinkable before is now a possibility after researchers from NASA and Brigham Young University started developing a game-changing thermal design for an origami-inspired radiator. NASA shared on Jan. 31 how Goddard Space Flight Center technologist Vivek Dwivedi, together with two researchers from Brigham Young University in Utah, began building the non-traditional radiator to cool down or warm up small satellites. Dwivedi partnered with BYU Assistant Professor Brian Iverson and doctoral student Rydge Mulford. The design, which draws inspiration from Japan's art of paper folding called origami, will expand or deflate depending on the temperature. Generally, radiators transfer heat energy in between media either for cooling or heating. Aside from its traditional uses in automobiles and buildings, it can be found in motherboards, spacecraft, and satellites. This new satellite radiator is seen as the answer to the almost 100 years of research on the use of cavities in heat loss, Mulford said. The researchers have discovered that the deeper the cavity, the greater the absorption of heat. Conversely, the cavities need to be shallow to facilitate heat dissipation. "Origami allows you to change the depth of these cavities in real time, thereby changing the heat loss from a surface in real time," he explained. Satellites' temperature-sensitive components experience changes in temperature due to electronics or heat absorption from Earth or the sun. This novel radiator, with its shape-shifting movements, will determine the heat loss either to cool down or warm up a satellite. The BYU researchers are in the thick of designing the three-dimensional accordion-like radiator. Dwivedi, on the other hand, is developing a special coating to enhance heat absorption or dissipation of the radiator. Dwivedi, working with professor Raymond Adomaitis at the University of Maryland in College Park, is experimenting with very thin silver and titanium applied on vanadium-oxide. Tests have shown that vanadium-oxide transitions to a metal state from a semiconductor when it reaches the temperature of 154 degrees Fahrenheit. The transition, the NASA technologist said, increases the capability of the surface to emit heat, which will be crucial to avoid overheating when a satellite experiences fluctuating temperatures while in orbit. In developing this new satellite radiator, Dwivedi has the goal "to replace traditional radiators with dynamic ones." © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | February 20, 2017
Unless modern criminals are easily distracted by paper cranes, “life-saving” probably isn’t the first word you’d think to use to describe the ancient Japanese paper-folding art of origami. That may be about to change, however, courtesy of a new research project coming out of Utah’s Brigham Young University. What engineers at BYU have developed is an origami-inspired, lightweight bulletproof shield designed to protect officers from gunfire. More: Sounds crazy, but this liquid body armor is more bulletproof than Kevlar “Our lab has been looking at different origami-based concepts,” Larry Howell, professor of mechanical engineering, told Digital Trends. “For example, we’ve previously worked with NASA to create deployable space systems that are very compact for launch, and which can then expand in space. We’ve also worked on surgical applications, where you could get something to enter the body through a small incision, and then unfold to carry out complex tasks. However, the idea of using this research to create a barrier was a new opportunity for us.” Created by the university’s Compliant Mechanisms Research group, the Kevlar barrier is a freestanding shield structure, which can be erected in just a matter of seconds. It is built with 12 layers of Kevlar, which are fused together with a thin aluminum core in the center, based on an origami fold pattern called Yoshimura. This is ideal because not only does it open quickly, but it also has a curved shape that protects from both the front and sides. In testing, the shield was shown to be able to stop bullets from several common handguns. “In an emergency situation, the origami shield can be transported easily in the trunk of a car, carried to the location, and deployed quickly to protect two to three officers,” Terri Bateman, adjunct professor of engineering at BYU, told Digital Trends. “Other products on the market are heavier — up to 90 pounds — must be held up by the user, and are flat. During the development process, the professors and students in our lab were highly motivated by the thought that this product could save lives.” The next step is to further refine the shield, and make improvements so it can be easily manufactured. There are also other variations the team is interested in developing such as a smaller model for an individual officer, or ones that could potentially be used in public buildings (such as schools) to protect inhabitants in the case of a shooting.
News Article | February 18, 2017
BYU engineering professors have created an origami-inspired, lightweight bulletproof shield that can protect law enforcement from gunfire.