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WHEATON, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First Trust Senior Floating Rate Income Fund II (the "Fund") (NYSE: FCT) has declared the Fund’s regularly scheduled monthly common share distribution in the amount of $0.0663 per share payable on June 15, 2017, to shareholders of record as of June 5, 2017. The ex-dividend date is expected to be June 1, 2017. The monthly distribution information for the Fund appears below. The majority, and possibly all, of this distribution will be paid out of net investment income earned by the Fund. A portion of this distribution may come from net short-term realized capital gains and/or return of capital. The final determination of the source and tax status of all 2017 distributions will be made after the end of 2017 and will be provided on Form 1099-DIV. The Fund is a diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund's primary investment objective is to seek a high level of current income. As a secondary objective, the Fund attempts to preserve capital. The Fund pursues these investment objectives by investing in senior secured floating-rate corporate loans. First Trust Advisors L.P., the Fund's investment advisor, along with its affiliate, First Trust Portfolios L.P., are privately-held companies which provide a variety of investment services, including asset management and financial advisory services, with collective assets under management or supervision of approximately $105 billion as of April 30, 2017 through unit investment trusts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, mutual funds and separate managed accounts. Past performance is no assurance of future results. Investment return and market value of an investment in the Fund will fluctuate. Shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Principal Risk Factors: The Senior Loans in which the Fund invests are generally considered to be "high-yield securities". High yield securities are subject to greater market fluctuations and risk of loss than securities with higher ratings. Lower-quality debt tends to be less liquid than higher-quality debt. The Fund's portfolio is also subject to credit risk, interest rate risk, liquidity risk and prepayment risk. Interest rate risk is the risk that fixed-income securities will decline in value because of changes in market interest rates. Credit risk is the risk that an issuer of a security will be unable or unwilling to make dividend, interest and/or principal payments when due and that the value of a security may decline as a result. Credit risk may be heightened for the Fund because it invests in below investment grade securities. Liquidity risk is the risk that the fund may have difficulty disposing of senior loans if it seeks to repay debt, pay dividends or expenses, or take advantage of a new investment opportunity. Prepayment risk is the risk that, upon a prepayment, the actual outstanding debt on which the Fund derives interest income will be reduced. The Fund may not be able to reinvest the proceeds received on terms as favorable as the prepaid loan. Use of leverage can result in additional risk and cost, and can magnify the effect of any losses. The risks of investing in the Fund are spelled out in the shareholder reports and other regulatory filings. The Fund’s daily closing New York Stock Exchange price and net asset value per share as well as other information can be found at www.ftportfolios.com or by calling 1-800-988-5891.


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

Leading Sporting Attire and Accessory Supplier will be the Official Vendor at the Tournament this Memorial Day Weekend Soccer and Rugby Imports, a soccer and rugby supplier based out of New York and Connecticut, has announced that they have partnered with the FC Transylvania Soccer Club. FC Transylvania, Inc. (FCT) is a Premier Level Soccer Club based in Mt. Kisco, New York. It was established in 2006 in an effort to provide soccer players from towns in Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield Counties the opportunity to compete at Premier, Division 1 and 2 levels. At FC Transylvania, their goal is not only to win but to help players develop self-confidence and positive character traits that will help them be successful in life. The 9th annual Transylvania Memorial Day Tournament will be held on Sat., May 27th and Sun., May 28th, 2017 at Onatru Farm Park located at 99 Elmwood Road, South Salem, NY 10590. The scheduling for the tournament goes as follows: “We are thrilled to be a big part in this year’s tournament,” said Jessica Rinaldi, Manager at Soccer and Rugby Imports. “We look forward to seeing everyone perform and wish everyone the best of luck.” To register for the event, please visit https://events.gotsport.com/forms/app/Default.aspx?EventID=58872. Soccer and Rugby Imports was established in 1993, beginning its first seven years in a small retail strip in Westport, Conn. Since the year 2000, the Avalos family took over the business and quickly began to outgrow its modest Westport location. In 2004, as the popularity of soccer in the area increased, as well as the reach of the business, the store moved to nearby Southport, Conn. Four more locations have opened in the subsequent years: Ridgefield, Conn., Greenwich, Conn., Madison, Conn., and Bronxville, N.Y. Soccer and Rugby Imports has been supplying Connecticut's soccer clubs and organizations across the country and abroad for the past 20 years. From cleats and practice gear from the retail shop to customized jerseys, shorts, warm-ups, and backpacks from the Team Sales department, thousands of people have been linked to Soccer and Rugby Imports. Soccer and Rugby Imports also carries exclusive gear. For more information, please visit http://www.soccerandrugby.com/ or call 1-800-726-8626.


WHEATON, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First Trust Senior Floating Rate Income Fund II (the “Fund”) (NYSE: FCT) has decreased its regularly scheduled monthly common share distribution to $0.0663 per share from $0.0675 per share. The distribution will be payable on May 15, 2017, to shareholders of record as of May 3, 2017. The ex-dividend date is expected to be May 1, 2017. The monthly distribution information for the Fund appears below. The majority, and possibly all, of this distribution will be paid out of net investment income earned by the Fund. A portion of this distribution may come from net short-term realized capital gains and/or return of capital. The final determination of the source and tax status of all 2017 distributions will be made after the end of 2017 and will be provided on Form 1099-DIV. The Fund is a diversified, closed-end management investment company. The Fund’s primary investment objective is to seek a high level of current income. As a secondary objective, the Fund attempts to preserve capital. The Fund pursues these investment objectives by investing in senior secured floating-rate corporate loans. First Trust Advisors L.P., the Fund’s investment advisor, along with its affiliate, First Trust Portfolios L.P., are privately-held companies which provide a variety of investment services, including asset management and financial advisory services, with collective assets under management or supervision of approximately $104 billion as of March 31, 2017 through unit investment trusts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, mutual funds and separate managed accounts. Past performance is no assurance of future results. Investment return and market value of an investment in the Fund will fluctuate. Shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Principal Risk Factors: The Senior Loans in which the Fund invests are generally considered to be “high-yield securities”. High yield securities are subject to greater market fluctuations and risk of loss than securities with higher ratings. Lower-quality debt tends to be less liquid than higher-quality debt. The Fund’s portfolio is also subject to credit risk, interest rate risk, liquidity risk and prepayment risk. Interest rate risk is the risk that fixed-income securities will decline in value because of changes in market interest rates. Credit risk is the risk that an issuer of a security will be unable or unwilling to make dividend, interest and/or principal payments when due and that the value of a security may decline as a result. Credit risk may be heightened for the Fund because it invests in below investment grade securities. Liquidity risk is the risk that the fund may have difficulty disposing of senior loans if it seeks to repay debt, pay dividends or expenses, or take advantage of a new investment opportunity. Prepayment risk is the risk that, upon a prepayment, the actual outstanding debt on which the Fund derives interest income will be reduced. The Fund may not be able to reinvest the proceeds received on terms as favorable as the prepaid loan. Use of leverage can result in additional risk and cost, and can magnify the effect of any losses. The risks of investing in the Fund are spelled out in the shareholder reports and other regulatory filings. The Fund’s daily closing New York Stock Exchange price and net asset value per share as well as other information can be found at www.ftportfolios.com or by calling 1-800-988-5891.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Neuroscientists have, for the first time, shown that gut bacteria "speak" to the brain to control food choices in animals. In a study publishing April 25 in the Open Access journal PLOS Biology, researchers identified two species of bacteria that have an impact on animal dietary decisions. The investigation was led by Carlos Ribeiro, and colleagues from the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal and Monash University, Australia. There's no question that nutrients and the microbiome, the community of bacteria that resides in the gut, impact health. For instance, diseases like obesity have been associated with the composition of the diet and the microbiome. However, the notion that microbes might also be able to control behavior seems a big conceptual leap. Yet that's what the new study shows. Experiments conducted using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, a model organism allowed the scientists to dissect the complex interaction of diet and microbes and its effect on food preference. The scientists initially showed that flies deprived of amino acids showed decreased fertility and increased preference for protein-rich food. Indeed, the team found that the removal of any single essential amino acid was sufficient to increase the flies' appetite for protein-rich food. Furthermore, the scientists tested the impact on food choices of five different species of bacteria that are naturally present in the guts of fruit flies in the wild. The results exceeded the scientists' expectations: two specific bacterial species could abolish the increased appetite for protein in flies that were fed food lacking essential amino acids. "With the right microbiome, fruit flies are able to face these unfavorable nutritional situations," says Santos. "In the fruit fly, there are five main bacterial species; in humans there are hundreds," adds co-author Patrícia Francisco. This highlights the importance of using simple animal models to gain insights into factors that may be crucial for human health. How could the bacteria act on the brain to alter appetite? "Our first hypothesis was that these bacteria might be providing the flies with the missing essential amino acids," Santos explains. However, the experiments did not support this hypothesis. Instead, the gut bacteria "seem to induce some metabolic change that acts directly on the brain and the body, which mimics a state of protein satiety," Santos says. In sum, this study shows not only that gut bacteria act on the brain to alter what animals want to eat, but also that they might do so by using a new, unknown mechanism. In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS Biology: https:/ Citation: Leitão-Gonçalves R, Carvalho-Santos Z, Francisco AP, Fioreze GT, Anjos M, Baltazar C, et al. (2017) Commensal bacteria and essential amino acids control food choice behavior and reproduction. PLoS Biol 15(4): e2000862. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.2000862 Funding: Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) (grant number postdoctoral fellowship SFRH/BPD/78947/2011). Received by RLG. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript; Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) (grant number PTDC/BIA-BCM/118684/2010). Received by CR. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript; Human Frontier Science Program (grant number RGP0022/2012). Received by CR. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript; EUROPEAN COMMISSION - MARIE CURIE ACTIONS (grant number FLiACT - Grant agreement no.: 289941). Received by CR. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript; Ciência sem Fronteiras program of the CNPq (grant number 200207/2012-1). Received by GTF. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript; Royal Society (grant number UF100158). Received by MDWP. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript; BIAL Foundation (grant number 283/14). Received by CR. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript; EMBO (grant number ALTF 1602-2011). Received by RLG. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (grant number BB/I011544/1). Received by MDWP. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript; Champalimaud Foundation. Received by CR. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript; Australian Research Council (grant number Australian Research Council Future Fellow - FT150100237). Received by MDWP. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript; Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) (grant number postdoctoral fellowship SFRH/BPD/76201/2011). Received by ZCS. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript; Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) (grant number postdoctoral fellowship SFRH/BPD/79325/2011 ). Received by PMI. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript; Kavli Foundation. Received by CR. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing Interests: I have read the journal's policy and the authors of this manuscript have the following competing interests. PMI has a commercial interest in the flyPAD open-source technology.


News Article | March 2, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

OAKVILLE, ON--(Marketwired - March 02, 2017) - FCT announced today the retirement of Patrick Chetcuti, president, after a 26-year career that began in 1992. Chetcuti will continue with FCT as a member of its board of directors. "I'd like to thank Pat for his leadership and vision in growing the title insurance industry in Canada," said FCT CEO Michael LeBlanc. "It has been a pleasure to work closely with Pat for the past 23 years. I respect his insight and dedication to both our customers and our business, and I'm grateful he will remain involved with the company as a board member." After running a successful real estate law practice for 20 years in Hamilton, Ontario, Chetcuti helped bring title insurance to Canada. Chetcuti was confident that title insurance could improve the real estate conveyancing process and change the way real estate transactions were handled in Canada. "We knew we had a better solution for consumers," said Chetcuti in a previous interview available on the FCT Blog. "People told us we were crazy -- the old way was how real estate transactions had been managed for decades and decades." Since then, FCT has been a leader in the industry thanks to the vision, hard work and dedication of FCT's employees. "Yes, we're at the forefront of our industry. But to me, the real success is to be able to sit back and watch the accomplishments of the amazing people who came to work for us," said Chetcuti. "They're more than employees. They're friends. How nice it is to be able to visit our building and still have a great sense of family." Founded in 1991, the FCT group of companies is based in Oakville, Ontario, and has over 800 employees across the country. The group provides industry-leading title insurance, default solutions and other real estate-related products and services to approximately 1,250 lenders, 43,000 legal professionals and 5,000 recovery professionals, as well as real estate agents, mortgage brokers and builders, nationwide. The Great Place to Work® Institute has named FCT one of Canada's Top 50 Best Workplaces for two consecutive years (2015, 2016) and certified FCT as a Great Place to Work. FCT's parent company, First American Financial Corporation, was named by Fortune® magazine as one of the 100 best companies to work for in America in 2016. For more information on FCT, please visit the company website at www.fct.ca. † The FCT group of companies includes FCT Insurance Company Ltd., which provides title and valuation insurance with the exception of commercial policies, which are provided jointly by FCT Insurance Company Ltd. and First American Title Insurance Company. Services by First Canadian Title Company Limited.


Lentz T.,FCT Inc.
IPC APEX EXPO 2014 | Year: 2014

The trajectory of electronic design and its associated miniaturization shows no signs of altering course. Surface Mount Technology will require innovative materials and processes to stay in lockstep with other segments of the electronics industry. Nano-coatings have been introduced by various manufacturers, with the promise of addressing some of the challenges relative to solder paste printing. Stated benefits include: Reduced underside cleaning, reduced bridging, improved solder paste release and improvements in yield. With several nano technologies already on the market and more likely to be introduced, how can the performance be quantified? How robust are these coatings? How can an assembler approach the ROI of these coatings? What hidden benefits or negative impacts should be considered? This paper will present a rigorous method for evaluating the performance and economic benefits of solder paste stencil nanocoatings. Criterion such as underside cleaning, bridging, transfer efficiency across SARs, solder paste deposit geometry, post-print cleaning, and abrasion resistance of the coating, will all be considered and weighted. Performance of currently available coatings will be compared. A discussion of the economic impact on current and future SMT design will be included.


Krippahl L.,FCT Inc. | Barahona P.,FCT Inc.
Algorithms for Molecular Biology | Year: 2015

This paper presents a constraint-based method for improving protein docking results. Efficient constraint propagation cuts over 95% of the search time for finding the configurations with the largest contact surface, provided a contact is specified between two amino acid residues. This makes it possible to scan a large number of potentially correct constraints, lowering the requirements for useful contact predictions. While other approaches are very dependent on accurate contact predictions, ours requires only that at least one correct contact be retained in a set of, for example, one hundred constraints to test. It is this feature that makes it feasible to use readily available sequence data to predict specific potential contacts. Although such prediction is too inaccurate for most purposes, we demonstrate with a Naïve Bayes Classifier that it is accurate enough to more than double the average number of acceptable models retained during the crucial filtering stage of protein docking when combined with our constrained docking algorithm. All software developed in this work is freely available as part of the Open Chemera Library. © Krippahl and Barahona; licensee BioMed Central.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2009

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will utilize direct-methane SOFCs to produce syngas by reacting methane with oxygen using electrochemical partial oxidation (EPOx). Syngas is a precursor for hydrogen and synthetic liquid chemicals/fuels including methanol and various hydrocarbons. Advantages are similar to ceramic membrane reactors: syngas without nitrogen dilution and reduced cost due to process intensification by combining the oxygen separation and partial oxidation steps. SOFCs have an added advantage - dual products: syngas and electricity - that can significantly improve economics. FCT recently demonstrated high-rate production of syngas (30 sccm/cm2) and high electrical power density (0.9 W/cm2) at 750ýýC using conventional Ni-YSZ anode-supported SOFCs. Stable SOFC electrical output was reported for up to 300 hours. This project will develop alternate support materials for SOFCs that facilitate direct stable operation in fuels such as natural gas and in the presence of sulfur. FCT proposes to implement its expertise in segmented in series SOFC design into for scaling up EPOx for commercial applications. A scale-up of EPOx generation to a small stack of approximately 100W and 4L/min of syngas will be performed. This project demonstrates a new technology with potentially major impact in the fuel cell and alternative fuels areas. It is well known that cost is the main barrier to commercial introduction of fuel cells and the acceptance of fuels such as hydrogen. By co-producing syngas/hydrogen and electricity, the method demonstrated here has the potential to decrease the cost of both. This will not be an incremental decrease in cost, as might be expected for an improvement of a technology, but a substantial decrease as a result of a completely new approach. This new technology has the potential to significantly impact commercialization of these technologies.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SMALL BUSINESS PHASE I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2010

This SBIR Phase I project will develop a more durable high-temperature solid oxide electrochemical cell that can be used to electrolyze carbon dioxide and water into hydrogen and carbon monoxide for the further production of liquid fuels. The research will be focused on the analyses of the degradation mechanisms and stability of high temperature electrodes. The technology can be used to sequestrate carbon dioxide, convert cheap electricity into chemical energy for storage, and provide a flexible device for the conversion between electricity and chemical energy.

The broader/commercial impact of the project will be that the technology to be developed can be used to sequester carbon dioxide from power plants and meanwhile convert carbon dioxide and water into carbon monoxide and hydrogen for the production of hydrocarbon fuel. The technology will also provide a method to store chemical energy using cheap electricity. The solid oxide electrochemical cell has the potential to be a flexible device operated as either an electrolyzer or fuel cell for the conversion between electricity and chemical fuels. Compared to existing low-temperature water electrolysis, the high-temperature solid oxide electrochemical cell can achieve high energy conversion efficiency.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2010

This SBIR Phase I project will develop a more durable high-temperature solid oxide electrochemical cell that can be used to electrolyze carbon dioxide and water into hydrogen and carbon monoxide for the further production of liquid fuels. The research will be focused on the analyses of the degradation mechanisms and stability of high temperature electrodes. The technology can be used to sequestrate carbon dioxide, convert cheap electricity into chemical energy for storage, and provide a flexible device for the conversion between electricity and chemical energy. The broader/commercial impact of the project will be that the technology to be developed can be used to sequester carbon dioxide from power plants and meanwhile convert carbon dioxide and water into carbon monoxide and hydrogen for the production of hydrocarbon fuel. The technology will also provide a method to store chemical energy using cheap electricity. The solid oxide electrochemical cell has the potential to be a flexible device operated as either an electrolyzer or fuel cell for the conversion between electricity and chemical fuels. Compared to existing low-temperature water electrolysis, the high-temperature solid oxide electrochemical cell can achieve high energy conversion efficiency.

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