Baton Rouge, LA, United States
Baton Rouge, LA, United States

Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College is a public coeducational university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The University was founded in 1853 in what is now known as Pineville, Louisiana, under the name Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy. The current LSU main campus was dedicated in 1926, and consists of more than 250 buildings constructed in the style of Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, and occupies a 650-acre plateau on the banks of the Mississippi River.LSU is the flagship institution of the Louisiana State University System, and the largest institution of higher education in Louisiana in terms of student enrollment. In 2011, the University enrolled nearly 24,000 undergraduate and over 5,000 graduate students in 14 schools and colleges. Several of LSU's graduate schools, such as the E.J. Ourso College of Business and the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, have received national recognition in their respective fields of study. Designated as a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant institution, LSU is also noted for its extensive research facilities, operating some 800 sponsored research projects funded by agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.LSU's athletics department fields teams in 21 varsity sports , and is a member of the NCAA and the SEC . The University is represented by its mascot, Mike the Tiger. Wikipedia.


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Patent
Sulfagenix and Louisiana State University | Date: 2015-06-02

The present invention relates to sulfur compositions which are useful, for example, for treating a NO deficiency disorder, supplementing deficits in circulating nitrite, and/or improving bodily endurance or exercise performance.


Patent
Louisiana State University and University of New Orleans | Date: 2015-05-04

A surface protein of the murine fungal pathogen Pneumocystis murina can be used to generate an immune response in a recipient animal or human that provides prophylactic protection and an anti-fungal activity in subjects already infected with a Pneumocystis species. Further, the disclosure provides novel polypeptides or peptides derived from the P. murina surface protein Surface Peptidase 1 (SPD-1) that are useful, alone or in combination with the SPD-1 polypeptide, in compositions and methods for the generation of an anti-Pneumocystis immune reaction by a recipient subject. The compositions and methods of the disclosure provide advantageous alternatives to available immunogenic determinants for the treatment or prevention of fungal pneumonia.


Patent
Louisiana State University | Date: 2016-05-23

A compound includes the structure of general Formula II, pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof, and/or solvates thereof: wherein R^(1), R^(2), R^(3), are independently selected from the group consisting of null, hydroxy, alkoxy, and halo, or R^(1 )and R^(2 )taken together form a cyclic boronate ester and R^(3 )is null; wherein when four bonds to boron are present, boron bears a formal negative charge and the structure further comprises a countercation that is potassium or sodium, X^(1), X^(2), X^(3), and X^(4 )are independently selected from the group consisting of O, CH, and N, with the proviso that no more than two of combined O and N are selected, and Z is selected from the group consisting of hydrogen, alkyl, aryl, heteroaryl, and halogen, any of which may be optionally substituted. Such compounds can increase glucose uptake by cells and preferably do not substantially increase adipogenesis.


A composition comprising thermoset polymer, shape memory polymer to facilitate macro scale damage closure, and a means for molecular scale healing is disclosed; the composition has the ability to resolve structural defects by a bio-mimetic close-then heal process. In use, the shape memory polymer serves to bring surfaces of a structural defect into approximation, whereafter use of the means for molecular scale healing allowed for movement of the healing means into the defect and thus obtain molecular scale healing. The means for molecular scale healing can be a thermoplastic such as fibers, particles or spheres which are used by heating to a level at or above the thermoplastics melting point, then cooling of the composition below the melting temperature of the thermoplastic. Compositions of the invention have the ability to not only close macroscopic defects, but also to do so repeatedly even if another wound/damage occurs in a previously healed/repaired area.


Patent
Louisiana State University | Date: 2016-09-15

Described herein are methods of transdifferentiating preadipocytes, populations of transdifferentiated preadipocytes, and methods of using the transdifferentiated preadipocytes.


Patent
Louisiana State University | Date: 2015-04-21

The invention relates to amino nitrile compounds. Such compounds can increase glucose uptake by cells and preferably do not substantially increase adipogenesis.


An optical zoom lens device for use with a portable electronic device comprising an encasement including a lens and a light sensor and a pivot for connecting the encasement to the portable electronic device.


Patent
Louisiana State University | Date: 2016-11-04

A sensing material for use in a sensor is disclosed. Such a sensing material includes a polymer base and a piezoresistive nanocomposite embedded into the polymer base in a continuous pattern. The nanocomposite comprises a polymer matrix and a plurality of conductive nanofillers suspended in the matrix. The conductive nanofillers may be one or a combination of nanotubes, nanowires, particles and flakes. The density of the plurality of nanofillers is such that the nanocomposite exhibits conductivity suitable for electronic and sensor applications.


A method for one of altering and enhancing the stereospecificity of an enzyme comprising introducing a stereospecific editing domain into the enzyme.


Simms J.R.Z.,Louisiana State University
Journal of Coastal Research | Year: 2017

Despite living in what was described as a "layer cake made of Jell-O, floating in a swirling Jacuzzi of steadily warming, rising water," many Louisiana residents of Terrebonne Parish, which is contained entirely within the coastal zone, repeatedly express a strong commitment to remain in place. Combining analyses of primary and secondary materials with crucial informant interviews, conducted in 2012-15, the empirical focus of this research documents how the intersections of resilient practices, sense of place, and social relations play out for those who continue to return, (re)adapt, and rebuild after a hurricane, tropical storm, sharp decline in seafood prices, or other fast- or slow-moving disaster. This research seeks to answer the following two questions: (1) how can residents' sense of place, resilient practices, and social relations affect the processes surrounding possibilities of migration? and (2) what is the relationship between these three factors and the places in which interviewees reside? At present, little is known about how the identities of coastal Louisiana residents, interconnected and contingent on social relations, sense of, and attachment to, place affect the decisions surrounding migration possibilities. © Coastal Education and Research Foundation, Inc. 2017.


Fraiman J.B.,Louisiana State University
Nature Reviews Cardiology | Year: 2017

Cardiovascular safety is an important consideration in the debate on the benefits versus the risks of electronic cigarette (EC) use. EC emissions that might have adverse effects on cardiovascular health include nicotine, oxidants, aldehydes, particulates, and flavourants. To date, most of the cardiovascular effects of ECs demonstrated in humans are consistent with the known effects of nicotine. Pharmacological and toxicological studies support the biological plausibility that nicotine contributes to acute cardiovascular events and accelerated atherogenesis. However, epidemiological studies assessing Swedish smokeless tobacco, which exposes users to nicotine without combustion products, generally have not found an increased risk of myocardial infarction or stroke among users, but suggest that nicotine might contribute to acute cardiovascular events, especially in those with underlying coronary heart disease. The effects of aldehydes, particulates, and flavourants derived from ECs on cardiovascular health have not been determined. Although ECs might pose some cardiovascular risk to users, particularly those with existing cardiovascular disease, the risk is thought to be less than that of cigarette smoking based on qualitative and quantitative comparisons of EC aerosol versus cigarette smoke constituents. The adoption of ECs rather than cigarette smoking might, therefore, result in an overall benefit for public health. © 2017 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.


OBJECTIVES:: To determine the association between preadmission oral corticosteroid receipt and the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome in critically ill patients with sepsis. DESIGN:: Retrospective observational study. SETTING:: Medical, surgical, trauma, and cardiovascular ICUs of an academic medical center. PATIENTS:: A total of 1,080 critically ill patients with sepsis. INTERVENTIONS:: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:: The unadjusted occurrence rate of acute respiratory distress syndrome within 96 hours of ICU admission was 35% among patients who had received oral corticosteroids compared with 42% among those who had not (p = 0.107). In a multivariable analysis controlling for prespecified confounders, preadmission oral corticosteroids were associated with a lower incidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome in the 96 hours after ICU admission (odds ratio, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.33–0.84; p = 0.008), a finding that persisted in multiple sensitivity analyses. The median daily dose of oral corticosteroids among the 165 patients receiving oral corticosteroids, in prednisone equivalents, was 10 mg (interquartile range, 5–30 mg). Higher doses of preadmission oral corticosteroids were associated with a lower incidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome (odds ratio for 30 mg of prednisone compared with 5 mg 0.53; 95% CI, 0.32–0.86). In multivariable analyses, preadmission oral corticosteroids were not associated with in-hospital mortality (odds ratio, 1.41; 95% CI, 0.87–2.28; p = 0.164), ICU length of stay (odds ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.63–1.30; p = 0.585), or ventilator-free days (odds ratio, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.71–1.57; p = 0.783). CONCLUSIONS:: Among ICU patients with sepsis, preadmission oral corticosteroids were independently associated with a lower incidence of early acute respiratory distress syndrome. Copyright © by 2017 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Rutt C.L.,Louisiana State University
Check List | Year: 2017

Here I present a 6-month bird inventory of Laysan (25.776° N, 171.733° W), a coral island in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Forty-four species belonging to 17 families were recorded, including six globally threatened species. Three species new to Laysan were found: Tringa brevipes, Tringa glareola, and Larus hyperboreus. This study expands upon previous ornithological coverage of the island, the majority of which has been partial, transitory, or historical. © 2017 Check List and Authors.


Brent D.A.,Louisiana State University
American Journal of Agricultural Economics | Year: 2017

The system of prior appropriation in theWestern Unites States prioritizes property rights for water based on the establishment of beneficial use, creating a hierarchy where rights initiated first are more secure. I estimate the demand for security in water rights through their capitalization in agricultural property markets in the Yakima River Basin, a major watershed in Washington State. All water rights are satisfied in an average year, so the relative value of secure property rights is a function of water supply volatility and the costs of droughts are predominantly born by those with weak rights. In aggregate, security in water rights does not capitalize into property values at the irrigation district level; however, there is heterogeneity in the premiumfor secure water rights. The lack of a premiumfor district-level water security is robust to a variety of econometric methods to account for correlated district unobservables, and the null result produces an economically significant upper bound on the value to water security for the district. The ability for farmers to adapt to water supply volatility, as well as expectations about water markets and government infrastructure investment, are leading explanations for the lack of an aggregate premium. These explanations are supported by the pattern of heterogeneity in the water security premium. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. All rights reserved.


Saltz J.B.,Rice University | Hessel F.C.,Baylor College of Medicine | Kelly M.W.,Louisiana State University
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2017

Thinking about the evolutionary causes and consequences of trait correlations has been dominated by quantitative genetics theory that is focused on hypothetical loci. Since this theory was initially developed, technology has enabled the identification of specific genetic variants that contribute to trait correlations. Here, we review studies of the genetic basis of trait correlations to ask: What has this new information taught us? We find that causal variants can be pleiotropic and/or linked in different ways, indicating that pleiotropy and linkage are not alternative genetic mechanisms. Further, many trait correlations have a polygenic basis, suggesting that both pleiotropy and linkage likely contribute. We discuss implications of these findings for the evolutionary causes and consequences of trait correlations. We review evidence for the types of causal mutations that generate trait correlations and how they contribute to their genetic architectures.We highlight examples illustrating that pleiotropy and LD are not defined by gene boundaries and are not mutually exclusive.Trait correlations with a complex polygenic basis may arise and be maintained through different evolutionary processes than trait correlations dominated by a single large-effect locus.Questions remain about the evolutionary causes and consequences of trait correlations in the face of shifting genetic architectures. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.


O'Connell R.F.,Louisiana State University
Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical | Year: 2017

We give a simple derivation and expansion of a recently proposed new relativistic interaction between the electron and the spin angular momentum of the electromagnetic field in quantum electrodynamics (QED). Our derivation is based on the work of Moller, who pointed out that, in special relativity, a particle with spin must always have a finite extension. After generalizing Moller's classical result to include both rotation and quantum effects, we show that it leads to a new contribution to the energy, which is the special relativistic interaction term. In addition, we show that all relativistic terms involving spin terms arising from the Dirac equation may be obtained by this method. © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Fang Y.,Louisiana State University | Flake J.C.,Louisiana State University
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2017

Electrochemical reduction of CO2 provides an opportunity to store renewable energy as fuels with much greater energy densities than batteries. Product selectivity of the reduction reaction is known to be a function of the electrolyte and electrode; however, electrodes modified with functional ligands may offer new methods to control selectivity. Here, we report the electrochemical reduction of CO2 at functionalized Au surfaces with three thiol-tethered ligands: 2-mercaptopropionic acid, 4-pyridinylethanemercaptan, and cysteamine. Remarkably, Au electrodes modified with 4-pyridinylethanemercaptan show a 2-fold increase in Faradaic efficiency and 3-fold increase in formate production relative to Au foil. Conversely, electrodes with 2-mercaptopropionic acid ligands show nearly 100% Faradaic efficiency toward the hydrogen evolution reaction, while cystemine-modified electrodes show 2-fold increases in both CO and H2 production. We propose a proton-induced desorption mechanism associated with pKa of the functionalized ligand as responsible for the dramatic selectivity changes. © 2017 American Chemical Society.


Wu J.,Louisiana State University
Decision Support Systems | Year: 2017

The wide adoption and perceived helpfulness of online user reviews on consumers' decision making have energized academic research on the assessment of review effectiveness. Although the literature probed the impacts of user reviews on various elements of review effectiveness independently, little research has done to examine them jointly. Inspired by communication theories, we conceptualize a framework for user review effectiveness in which we focus on the joint assessment of its first two elements: Review Popularity and Review Helpfulness. We develop our hypotheses regarding the effects of the user review determinants on both Review Popularity and Review Helpfulness, and further develop an operational model to empirically test our hypotheses using data collected from Amazon. Our study suggests that disentangling Review Popularity and Review Helpfulness in assessing review effectiveness is not only conceptually sounding, but also managerially beneficial. We find that Review Popularity is as important as Review Helpfulness in review effectiveness evaluations. Review determinants may play opposite roles on Review Popularity and Review Helpfulness (e.g., valence), and can drive review effectiveness via Review Popularity or Review Helpfulness or both. These findings offer new insights for various decision makers to harvest user review effectiveness in online markets. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Kaiser M.J.,Louisiana State University
Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering | Year: 2017

From 2004–2015, over 11,000 wells were plugged and abandoned in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but no studies have ever been conducted on the reliability of operations and the frequency of remediation activity. The purpose of this paper is to estimate the probability that a dry tree well abandoned using rigless methods, the most common approach in the shallow water Gulf of Mexico, requires remediation after initial operations are completed. A random sample of 502 platform wells abandoned in 2010 in water depth less than 400 ft were tracked for five years to identify bubbling/leaking events. Nine wells were identified that required remediation after operations were performed leading to a remediation probability estimate of 1.8% and a 95% confidence interval ranging between 0.6 and 3.0%. The limitations of the analysis and directions for future work are described. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Panday A.,Louisiana State University | Grove A.,Louisiana State University
Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews | Year: 2017

Eukaryotic genomes are packaged in chromatin. The higher-order organization of nucleosome core particles is controlled by the association of the intervening linker DNA with either the linker histone H1 or high mobility group box (HMGB) proteins. While H1 is thought to stabilize the nucleosome by preventing DNA unwrapping, the DNA bending imposed by HMGB may propagate to the nucleosome to destabilize chromatin. For metazoan H1, chromatin compaction requires its lysine-rich C-terminal domain, a domain that is buried between globular domains in the previously characterized yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae linker histone Hho1p. Here, we discuss the functions of S. cerevisiae HMO1, an HMGB family protein unique in containing a terminal lysine-rich domain and in stabilizing genomic DNA. On ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and genes encoding ribosomal proteins, HMO1 appears to exert its role primarily by stabilizing nucleosome-free regions or "fragile" nucleosomes. During replication, HMO1 likewise appears to ensure low nucleosome density at DNA junctions associated with the DNA damage response or the need for topoisomerases to resolve catenanes. Notably, HMO1 shares with the mammalian linker histone H1 the ability to stabilize chromatin, as evidenced by the absence of HMO1 creating a more dynamic chromatin environment that is more sensitive to nuclease digestion and in which chromatin-remodeling events associated with DNA double-strand break repair occur faster; such chromatin stabilization requires the lysine-rich extension of HMO1. Thus, HMO1 appears to have evolved a unique linker histone-like function involving the ability to stabilize both conventional nucleosome arrays as well as DNA regions characterized by low nucleosome density or the presence of noncanonical nucleosomes. © 2016 American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


News Article | April 11, 2017
Site: www.cemag.us

A team of scientists led by Associate Professor Yang Hyunsoo from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Faculty of Engineering has invented a novel ultra-thin multilayer film which could harness the properties of tiny magnetic whirls, known as skyrmions, as information carriers for storing and processing data on magnetic media. The nano-sized thin film, which was developed in collaboration with researchers from Brookhaven National Laboratory, Stony Brook University, and Louisiana State University, is a critical step towards the design of data storage devices that use less power and work faster than existing memory technologies. The invention was reported in prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications on March 10. The digital transformation has resulted in ever-increasing demands for better processing and storing of large amounts of data, as well as improvements in hard drive technology. Since their discovery in magnetic materials in 2009, skyrmions, which are tiny swirling magnetic textures only a few nanometers in size, have been extensively studied as possible information carriers in next-generation data storage and logic devices. Skyrmions have been shown to exist in layered systems, with a heavy metal placed beneath a ferromagnetic material. Due to the interaction between the different materials, an interfacial symmetry breaking interaction, known as the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction (DMI), is formed, and this helps to stabilise a skyrmion. However, without an out-of-plane magnetic field present, the stability of the skyrmion is compromised. In addition, due to its tiny size, it is difficult to image the nano-sized materials. To address these limitations, the researchers worked towards creating stable magnetic skyrmions at room temperature without the need for a biasing magnetic field. The NUS team, which also comprises Dr. Shawn Pollard and Yu Jiawei from the NUS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, found that a large DMI could be maintained in multilayer films composed of cobalt and palladium, and this is large enough to stabilize skyrmion spin textures. In order to image the magnetic structure of these films, the NUS researchers, in collaboration with Brookhaven National Laboratory, employed Lorentz transmission electron microscopy (L-TEM). L-TEM has the ability to image magnetic structures below 10 nanometers, but it has not been used to observe skyrmions in multilayer geometries previously as it was predicted to exhibit zero signal. However, when conducting the experiments, the researchers found that by tilting the films with respect to the electron beam, they found that they could obtain clear contrast consistent with that expected for skyrmions, with sizes below 100 nanometers. Pollard explains, “It has long been assumed that there is no DMI in a symmetric structure like the one present in our work, hence, there will be no skyrmion. It is really unexpected for us to find both large DMI and skyrmions in the multilayer film we engineered. What’s more, these nanoscale skyrmions persisted even after the removal of an external biasing magnetic field, which are the first of their kind.” Yang adds, “This experiment not only demonstrates the usefulness of L-TEM in studying these systems, but also opens up a completely new material in which skyrmions can be created. Without the need for a biasing field, the design and implementation of skyrmion based devices are significantly simplified. The small size of the skyrmions, combined with the incredible stability generated here, could be potentially useful for the design of next-generation spintronic devices that are energy efficient and can outperform current memory technologies.” Yang and his team are currently looking at how nanoscale skyrmions interact with each other and with electrical currents, to further the development of skyrmion based electronics.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.newscientist.com

Break out the censor’s black bars for naked singularities. Quantum effects could be obscuring these impossible predictions of general relativity, new calculations show. Albert Einstein’s classical equations of general relativity do a fairly good job of describing gravity and space-time. But when it comes to the most extreme objects, such as black holes, general relativity runs into problems. Among those is the prediction of naked singularities: theoretical points in space-time where gravity becomes infinitely large, but without the signature “blackness” of real black holes. Black holes are cloaked by an event horizon, a boundary within which the gravitational force of a singularity is so strong that light cannot escape. Naked singularities have no such cloak. But naked singularities streaking through space would be a problem for physics as we know it. Physics is founded on the assumption that you can predict the evolution of systems based on some set of initial conditions. But near a naked singularity, which is basically an abrupt puncture in space-time, that predictive power collapses. It produces an area rife with paradoxes, where anything could happen without warning. That is an issue for the universe as we know it. “We live in a rather classically predictable world and we don’t see infinities everywhere,” says Marc Casals at the Brazilian Center for Research in Physics in Rio de Janeiro. This same problem is thought to arise in certain regions of regular black holes too, but their event horizons protect us, making sure we can never observe the infinity of a singularity or the implosion of our ability to describe sequences of events. “Physicists believe that although there are these bizarre solutions to Einstein’s equations, once we add all the complications, these weird properties will disappear,” says Ivan Agullo at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. “But actually proving that is very difficult.” Now, new calculations by Casals and his colleagues show that quantum effects may force naked singularities to clothe themselves in event horizons just like normal black holes. “If, by some evil means, somebody created a naked singularity, it would quickly cease to exist,” says Casals. “These quantum fields would very quickly turn the naked singularity into a black hole.” His team’s calculations show that including quantum fields also eliminates the regions in black holes where physics breaks down. While this still allows singularities to exist within event horizons, it protects the universe outside them from their weird physical effects. “We don’t smooth them out, but at least we shield them,” says Casals. But these calculations come with a caveat: although we live in a four-dimensional world, they apply to a simpler universe with only three dimensions, two of space and one of time. “Usually what happens in two-plus-one dimensions is a good guide to what would happen in the real world, so it certainly gives a springboard or a point of reference for explorations in the real world,” says Robert Mann at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. It is also a step towards understanding how gravity and general relativity, which operate on huge scales, interact with the quantum nature of matter, which is most evident in small systems. Many physicists hope that the two will eventually be combined into a single theory of quantum gravity. “There is this belief that quantum gravity will solve these undesirable features of classical space-time,” says Casals. “Our calculations show that this may be true.”


News Article | April 11, 2017
Site: www.sciencemag.org

More than 40 years ago, a leading relativity theorist made a surprising prediction. Whereas empty space should feel immeasurably cold to any observer gliding along at a constant speed, one who is accelerating, say because he's riding a rocket, would find empty space hot. This so-called Unruh effect seemed practically impossible to measure, but now four theorists claim they have devised a doable experiment that could confirm the underlying physics. Skeptics say it will do no such thing—but for contradictory reasons. "The hope is that this will convince skeptics that the whole thing is coherent," says Stephen Fulling, a theoretical physicist and mathematician at Texas A&M University in College Station who was not involved in the work. But Vladimir Belinski, a theorist at International Network of Centers for Relativistic Astrophysics in Pescara, Italy, says, "The Unruh effect is nonsense, it's based on a mathematical mistake." According to Albert Einstein's theories of special and general relativity, things can appear bizarrely different to observers in motion relative to one another. Suppose you stand next to a meter stick with a watch on your wrist. If your friend zips past at near–light-speed, she'll see that the stick is shorter than a meter and that your watch ticks abnormally slowly. Conversely, if she carries a meter stick, you'll see it contract and, to you, her watch will tick slowly. Things get even weirder if one observer accelerates. Any observer traveling at a constant speed will measure the temperature of empty space as absolute zero. But an accelerated observer will find the vacuum hotter. At least that's what William Unruh, a theorist at the University British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, argued in 1976. To a nonaccelerating observer, the vacuum is devoid of particles—so that if he holds a particle detector it will register no clicks. In contrast, Unruh argued, an accelerated observer will detect a fog of photons and other particles, as the number of quantum particles flitting about depends on an observer's motion. The greater the acceleration, the higher the temperature of that fog or "bath." The effect is too feeble to measure directly. To see the vacuum heat to 1 K, an observer would have to accelerate 100 quadrillion times faster than the best rocket can. But Daniel Vanzella, a theorist at the University of São Paulo in São Carlos, Brazil, and colleagues argue that it should be possible to detect the key thing—the fog of photons seen by the accelerating observer—by studying light radiated by electrons. Here’s how that would work: Suppose you shoot a bunch of electrons laterally across a magnetic field. Basic physics dictates that the electrons will turn circles in the field. Now, apply a vertical electric field to also give the electrons an upward push. As well as circulating, the bunch of will also accelerate upward. The setup thus defines two frames of reference. In the frame accelerating upward with the bunch, the electrons turn circles (see figure). In the nonaccelerating "lab frame" the bunch traces a stretched corkscrew trajectory. Vanzella and colleagues start their analysis in the accelerating frame, where they assume the circulating electrons encounter that fog of photons. The electrons will both absorb photons from and radiate photons into the fog. Weirdly, every event in the accelerated frame in which the electrons absorb or emit a photon corresponds to an event in the lab frame in which the electrons emit a photon. The theorists use relativity theory to predict the spectrum of emitted photons in the lab frame, as they report in a paper in press at  . In the lab frame, they calculate, the spectrum of emitted photons should have a tell-tale excess at long wavelengths—but only if there was a fog of photons in the accelerating frame to begin with, Vanzella says. Roughly speaking, the fog of photons in the accelerated frame heats up the electrons and makes them radiate a bit more in the lab frame. Thus, the experiment would provide a way to test whether the Unruh effect exists: Observe the excess of long-wavelength photons in the lab frame, and you'll know that the accelerated frame space is full of photons. Skeptics say the experiment won’t work, but they disagree on why. If the situation isproperly analyzed, there is no fog of photons in the accelerated frame, says Detlev Buchholz, a theorist at the University of Göttingen in Germany. "The Unruh gas does not exist!" he says. Nevertheless, Buchholz says, the vacuum will appear hot to an accelerated observer, but because of a kind of friction that arises through the interplay of quantum uncertainty and acceleration. So,the experiment might show the desired effect, but that wouldn't reveal the supposed fog of photons in the accelerating frame. In contrast, Robert O'Connell, a theorist at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, insists that in the accelerated frame there is a fog of photons. However, he contends, it is not possible to draw energy out of that fog to produce extra radiation in the lab frame. O'Connell cites a basic bit of physics called the fluctuation-dissipation theorem, which states that a particle interacting with a heat bath will pump as much energy into the bath as it pulls out. Thus, he argues, Unruh's fog of photons exists, but the experiment should not produce the supposed signal anyway. The discord aside, George Matsas, a theorist also at São Paulo State University and an author on the new paper says he’s looking for experimenters interested in performing the test. It could be done with particle accelerators and electromagnets currently available, Matsas says. "The parameters in the paper were chosen to be realistic," he says. Even if the experiment works as predicted, however, the debate over the Unruh effect seems likely to smolder on.


Is alternate-day fasting more effective for losing and maintaining weight compared with a daily diet that simply limits calorie intake? Findings of a new study have revealed that while fasting diets are on trend these days, they are no better than traditional calorie-restricted diet when it comes to weight loss. In a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine on May 1, Eric Ravussin, from Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and colleagues took a closer look at the relative effectiveness of the alternate-day fasting weight loss method in which a person drastically reduces his or her calorie intake every other day but eat more than usual on so-called non-fasting days. Beyoncé and Benedict Cumberbatch are just among the celebrities whose diets are known to be based on intermittent fasting. Ravussin and colleagues found that intermittent fasting is not significantly better compared with diet that restricts intake of calories per day for people who want to lose weight or maintain weight. Participants in the traditional diet group and the fasting group lost an average of about 7 percent more of their body weight than those who did not go on a diet after six months. After a year, participants in the first two group lost 5 to 6 percent of their initial body weight. The results show that there is no significant difference between traditional method of losing weight and alternate-day fasting. "Alternate-day fasting has been promoted as a potentially superior alternative to daily calorie restriction under the assumption that it is easier to restrict calories every other day. However, our data from food records, doubly labeled water, and regular weigh-ins indicate that this assumption is not the case," the researchers wrote in their study. In the study, those in the alternate-day fasting group consumed 25 percent of their normal calories intake on fasting days but 125 percent of their normal calorie intake on non-fasting days. Those in the traditional diet group, on the other hand, consumed 75 percent of their normal calorie intake daily. Researchers also found that it is not easy to change people's eating habits. A large percentage of the participants who were asked to fast for the study did not follow the requirements and even dropped out of the study. In comparison, 38 percent of those in the fasting group dropped out prior to the one-year mark of the study because they were not satisfied with their diet, while only 29 percent of those in the traditional diet group did. "We know daily calorie restriction — if you have to count your calories every day and all that — it's a tough one. I think that there's some hope that this alternate-day fast, or modified fast, would be a better or easier strategy, but ... the dropout rate is kind of alarming," Ravussin said. Researchers also found that participants in the fasting group tend to cheat on their fasting days by eating more than they should. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


J. Lawrence Mullens, Co-President and Co-Owner of North Delta Title Company, has joined The Expert Network©, an invitation-only service for distinguished professionals. Mr. Mullens has been chosen as a Distinguished Lawyer™ based on peer reviews and ratings, dozens of recognitions, and accomplishments achieved throughout his career. Mr. Mullens outshines others in his field due to his extensive educational background, numerous awards and recognitions, and career longevity. He earned his Bachelor of Science in 1970 from the Northeast Louisiana University and his Juris Doctor in 1973 from Louisiana State University Law School. He is an AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell®, was named to the Who’s Who in South and Southwest list in 1975, and was named Outstanding Young Man of America in 1979. With over 40 years dedicated to law, Mr. Mullens brings a wealth of knowledge to his industry and, in particular, to his area of specialization, real estate law. When asked about his decision to pursue a career as an attorney, Mr. Mullens said: "I wanted to further my education and be a professional, and I always liked the law. Once I got into law school in 1973, I realized being a lawyer would be the perfect fit." After honing his skills in real estate law and establishing a reputation for excellent guidance and representation over the ensuing two decades, Mr. Mullens joined forces with attorney Kirby Price in 1994 to found North Delta Title Company with the mission of providing clients with a single source for all of their real estate transaction needs. Since its founding, North Delta has closed over 20,000 quality, timely, and cost-effective real estate transactions. As a thought-leader in his field, Mr. Mullens remains an active member of the legal community. He is especially proud of being asked to be President of the Louisiana Land Title Association, of which all title attorneys in his area are members. He has also served as a delegate to the House of Representatives on behalf of the Louisiana State Bar Association for many years and has been a frequent speaker throughout the state on various real estate topics. This prominence in his field gives Mr. Mullens a unique vantage point from which to keep his eye on prevailing trends within real estate law. In particular, he has noticed a recent spike in Northeast Lousiana's real estate market. He noted: "CenturyLink has become a major player in Northeast Louisiana, so we're seeing our market change because of their influence. They are bringing in other high-end companies such as IBM and others. Because of this, a lot of people are really looking at Northeast Louisiana as a place to live and place to do business, which has been very wonderful for our title companies and real estate attorneys." For more information, visit Mr. Mullens' profile on The Expert Network© here: https://expertnetwork.co/members/j-lawrence-mullens/0608fe760b9da635 The Expert Network© has written this news release with approval and/or contributions from J. Lawrence Mullens. The Expert Network© is an invitation-only reputation management service that is dedicated to helping professionals stand out, network, and gain a competitive edge. The Expert Network© selects a limited number of professionals based on their individual recognitions and history of personal excellence.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has ranked the best four-year and two-year colleges in Louisiana for 2017. Of the 22 four-year schools honored, Tulane University of Louisiana, Loyola University of New Orleans, Xavier University of Louisiana, Louisiana College and Louisiana State University came in as the top five. 18 two-year schools also made the list, with Louisiana State University Eunice, Delgado Community College, Southern University Shreveport, Bossier Parish Community College and Northwest Louisiana Technical College coming in at the top of the list. A full list of schools is included below. “Students looking at colleges in Louisiana have a wide variety of program options and schools to choose from,” said Wes Ricketts, senior vice president of LearnHowToBecome.Org. “We’ve compared each and found the colleges that provide high quality educational experience with high student success rates as they pursue their careers.” To be included on Louisiana’s “Best Colleges” list, schools must be regionally accredited and not-for-profit. Each college was also analyzed based on more than a dozen metrics that include the annual alumni earnings 10 years after entering college, availability of career counseling services, student/teacher ratio, graduation rate and financial aid availability. Complete details on each college, their individual scores and the data and methodology used to determine the LearnHowToBecome.org “Best Colleges in Louisiana” list, visit: Louisiana’s Best Four-Year Colleges for 2017 include the following schools: Centenary College of Louisiana Dillard University Grambling State University Louisiana College Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Louisiana State University Alexandria Louisiana State University Shreveport Louisiana Tech University Loyola University New Orleans McNeese State University Nicholls State University Northwestern State University of Louisiana Our Lady of Holy Cross College Our Lady of the Lake College Southeastern Louisiana University Southern University and A & M College Southern University at New Orleans Tulane University of Louisiana University of Louisiana at Lafayette University of Louisiana at Monroe University of New Orleans Xavier University of Louisiana The Best Two-Year Colleges in Louisiana for 2017 include the following schools: Baton Rouge Community College Bossier Parish Community College Capital Area Technical College Central Louisiana Technical Community College Delgado Community College Fletcher Technical Community College Louisiana Delta Community College Louisiana State University-Eunice Northshore Technical Community College Northwest Louisiana Technical College Nunez Community College Remington College-Baton Rouge Campus Remington College-Lafayette Campus River Parishes Community College South Central Louisiana Technical College-Young Memorial Campus South Louisiana Community College Southern University Shreveport SOWELA Technical Community College About Us: LearnHowtoBecome.org was founded in 2013 to provide data and expert driven information about employment opportunities and the education needed to land the perfect career. Our materials cover a wide range of professions, industries and degree programs, and are designed for people who want to choose, change or advance their careers. We also provide helpful resources and guides that address social issues, financial aid and other special interest in higher education. Information from LearnHowtoBecome.org has proudly been featured by more than 700 educational institutions.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.washingtonpost.com

A swarm of tiny bugs with an enormous appetite has invaded the Louisiana marsh, and are sucking the life out of vegetation that helps keep the state’s fragile coast from further dissolving into the sea. Scientists and agricultural experts are teaming up to stop the parasites from destroying the critical Roseau cane, but they’re beset by a major problem: They don’t fully know what the bug is, so they don’t exactly know how to attack it, and their early ideas so far — fire, insecticides and possibly the release of a microscopic wasp that preys on the bug, will likely result in nasty side effects. Louisiana State University entomologist Rodrigo Diaz said researchers only recently discovered the foreign family of insects to which the invasive species belongs, called Aclerdidae, which is native to Japan and China. But the lab tests that identified it couldn’t reveal how it arrived — on a ship, attached to a migrating bird or even on the wind. What’s certain is that a team of surveyors checking the cane that comes in various shades of green last year, found stalks bent in water, brown and dead in the mouth of the Mississippi River. That’s when they began to notice significant die-offs of four varieties of cane and more open water in the hundreds of acres the cane once occupied. Two to three years before, there was a thick, unrelenting wall of marsh. “They are feeding on it,” said J. Andrew Nyman, a professor at the School of Renewable Natural Resources at LSU. “The bugs suck the sap out. The leaves are trying to send sugar to the roots, and they suck out so much that the plant can’t function. It dies.” Nyman said he picked up a stalk one day, and the bugs covered it. In an online seminar about the invasion, Diaz displayed a graph that said six feet of cane can have nearly 200 insects almost invisible to the naked eye, and 700 in extreme cases. He described them as translucent, extremely small but highly mobile, and moving in dense populations. The mealy bug, as it’s also known, adds to the many invasive insects that have made their way to the United States from Asia and Europe. Animals that have ruined plants and crops, and even invaded homes, include the brown marmorated stink bug, the kudzu bug, the emerald ash borer, and aphids that are threatening Florida’s citrus industry by destroying orange groves and wreaking havoc on Christmas tree pines from West Virginia to North Carolina along the Appalachian Mountains. The Louisiana cane is crucial to staving off land loss. It builds soil in an area that lost 250 square miles of coast to erosion and sinking land over about a half century. Roseau cane also has a checkered history. At least one variety, the European, is itself invasive. The delta Roseau cane from North Africa and the greeny variety from Europe were introduced. Scientists aren’t sure whether a fourth variety, the Gulf Roseau cane, is invasive or introduced. But on a coast beaten down by harsh weather and erosion, even the exotic species turned out to be a godsend for stabilizing the land. In other areas of Louisiana and other states, they are a nuisance, which is why some people, Diaz said, want to transport the parasite to those areas to destroy the cane. Bad idea, he said. Who knows where the bugs will go after the cane is gone. They could wander to native plants, even farm crops, and develop a taste for those. [Florida citrus growers worry that this bug will be the end of orange juice] But the insects don’t wait for human transport. Even now they hop aboard grackles and red-winged blackbirds that flock into the reedy cane, hoping for a ride to another healthy batch of cane to get a meal and lay eggs. They’re also known to hop into air boats piloted by fishermen. Scientists have pleaded with the owners to wash them down. Diaz said experts are weighing options to fight the threat. An idea for a controlled burn is derived from China, where blazes are set in marshes to get rid of the swarm. But fire can spread, and the Louisiana coast has a network of oil and gas wells that could explode in flames. Planting a plague-resistant strain of cane has come up, but no one knows whether such a thing exists. Insecticides is another consideration, but that could get expensive because of the vast area that needs spraying and would require environmental assessments. Another concern is the inadvertent contamination of speckled trout, redfish, shrimp and oysters — not to mention the birds that feed on them. Maybe the parasite’s natural predator, a tiny wasp from Asia, can be employed. They have been considered as a solution to the stink bug problem as well, but it takes years of study before a new species can be released, for fear that the wasp might turn on native animals and start killing them, too. Or maybe, just maybe, the insect is its own worst enemy. It might eat itself out of house and home before anything else can be done. “What you could end up with in 10 years is the bugs will die back,” Nyman said, after killing all the cane. “They’ll become a smaller part of the landscape, both the bug and the plant.” Forget the Grinch. This greedy bug is the real Christmas tree thief The 12 most dangerous invasive species — other than humans The great bee bumble. How a Cheerios plan to save bees went terribly wrong


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

By encouraging these professional consultants to become members of the IARFC, these recipients help their peers tap into a premier network of value added benefits. Along with an engraved award of recognition, the winners will be listed in the Association’s publication the Register. A photo will be included as recognition of their efforts. “This is a new appreciation program for the IARFC,” relates Awards Program Director Wendy Kennedy. “Along with the Loren Dunton Memorial Award and the Founder’s Award, it seeks to applaud the efforts of our distinguished members who believe in the IARFC Mission.” The 2016 first place winner is Michael D. Piershale, RFC® of Piershale Financial Group in Crystal Lake, IL. With more than 30 years of experience, Mike has extensive knowledge in key areas of financial planning and works with clients on retirement and estate planning, portfolio management, and insurance needs. In addition, his widespread knowledge on tax planning allows him to highlight opportunities for maximizing tax reduction strategies. Second place winner is Christopher D. Dantin, RFC® of Dantin Financial in Baton Rouge, LA. Following in his father’s footsteps, Chris chose to pursue a career in financial services and earned a Bachelor’s Degree with a focus in Finance from Louisiana State University. He has served 17 years in the financial services industry, is a Registered Financial Consultant and has received recognition as a top producer in the Million Dollar Round Table and Leaders Club. A significant group of members tied for third place. The IARFC is grateful for their support and hope they will continue to carry the message of the IARFC throughout the financial services community. “The only way that an Association grows is by attracting new members,” confirms IARFC Chairman H. Stephen Bailey.” Encouraging your peers to join is the best recruiting effort an Association can utilize. We salute your pride in being a Registered Financial Consultant and congratulate you on your award.” For more information on the value of being part of a dedicated Association of Registered Financial Consultants, contact info(at)iarfc(dot)org or visit the IARFC website.


News Article | May 1, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Tampa, Fla. (May 1, 2017) - At the 24rd Annual Conference of the American Society of Neural Therapy and Repair (ASNTR), held April 27-29 in Clearwater Beach, Florida, ASNTR awarded The 2017 Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair to Li-Ru Zhao, PhD, MD, a tenured Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University and research scientist at the Syracuse (NY) Veterans Administration Medical Center. The award, presented to her on Saturday April 29, recognized her significant research contributions in acute and chronic stroke, vascular dementia, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Zhao received her MD from Hebei Medical College in Shijizhaung China in 1982 and her PhD in neuroscience from the Wallenberg Neuroscience Center, Lund University, Lund, Sweden in 2004. She carried out postdoctoral work at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis. She subsequently served as a researcher and assistant at Northwestern University, and associate professor at Louisiana State University prior to coming to SUNY Upstate Medical University and the Syracuse VA Medical Center. Dr. Zhao's extensive investigation into potential treatments for the debilitating effects of stroke includes the first demonstration of the neuroprotective properties of stem cell factor (SCF), granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and SCF + G-CSF combinations in treating the effects of acute and chronic stroke. She discovered that these growth factors - naturally occurring substances capable of stimulating cellular growth, proliferation and healing - could be used alone or in combination to reduced brain damage from stroke and improve motor function. Her many studies into SCF and G-CSF used a variety of approaches, including molecular and cell biology as well as brain and cell imaging. Her contributions to Alzheimer's disease (AD) research have investigated how amyloid plaques in the brain (one of the causes thought to be behind the development of AD) might be cleared by injections of bone marrow-derived monocytes/macrophages (BMDMs) and SCF+G-CSF, all of which have been found to be low in the blood and bone marrow of AD patients. In her most recent stroke studies she is investigating Cerebral Autosomal-Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL), the most common yet rare form of hereditary stroke disorder. Using animal models, she found that neural stem cells were radically reduced in patients with CADSIL, causing cognitive impairment. Currently, there is no drug that can improve the functional or delay the progressive brain damage caused by CADASIL. Her laboratory is currently studying how the bone marrow stem cell factors (SCF and G-CSF) repair the brain in both AD and CADASIL and is working at determining how the bone marrow stem cell factors regulate neuronal process formation, synaptic generation, and stem cell growth and differentiation. "Dr. Zhao's studies have significantly advanced our understanding about the contribution of SCF and G-CSF in slowing the progression of Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Barry J. Hoffer, MD, PhD, scientist emeritus at the National Institutes of Health and an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "She has also carried out exceptional service activities as a peer reviewer for grants for NIH, AHA, and Alzheimer's Association, as well as for a large number of scientific journals." According to Dr. Hoffer, she has successfully balanced her career and personal life, including raising an "exceptionally gifted" son who is currently a resident in neurosurgery at University Hospitals of Cleveland. The award Dr. Zhao received is named for Bernard Sanberg, father of Dr. Paul Sanberg (University of South Florida), a co-founder of the ASNTR. After Bernard Sanberg died of a stroke in 1999, the award bearing his name was established and is presented by the ASNTR annually to an individual who has made outstanding research contributions in the field of neural therapy and repair. The award, first presented in 2000, is presented every year at ASNTR's Annual Meeting. Recent past winners of the Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair include: Mariana E. Emborg, PhD, MD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, John D. Elsworth, PhD, Yale School of Medicine, Douglas Kondziolka, MD, NYU Langone Medical Center; Mike Modo, PhD, University of Pittsburgh; Timothy Collier, PhD, Michigan State University; Donald Eugene Redmond, MD, Yale University; Shinn-Zong Lin, MD, PhD, China Medical University; Howard J. Federoff, MD, PhD, Georgetown University; Barry J. Hoffer, MD, PhD, National Institutes of Health ASNTR's 25th Annual Conference will be held April 25-29, 2018 in Clearwater Beach, Florida. For more information, email Donna Morrison dmorriso@health.usf.edu or visit the ASNTR website http://www. ASNTR is a society for basic and clinical neuroscientists using a variety of technologies to better understand how the nervous system functions and establish new procedures for its repair in response to trauma or neurodegenerative disease. Member scientists employ stem/neural cell transplantation, gene therapy, trophic factor and neuroprotective compound administration and other approaches.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: www.PR.com

Mansfield, TX, April 26, 2017 --( Dr. Henderson is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and is affiliated with CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Westover Hills in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Henderson believes that God has always blessed her with a serving spirit which naturally extended into her service in family and geriatric medicine. Dr. Henderson is committed to helping her patients enjoy a healthier lifestyle. She works with each one to discuss ways they can make better choices for their health. Specialty - Family Medicine Education & Residency Mercer University, Medical Center of Central Georgia, Residency in Family Medicine Mercer University, Medical Center of Central Georgia, Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine Mansfield, TX, April 26, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Dr. Rashida Henderson is a caring and diligent family physician based in Mansfield, TX. Dr. Henderson attended Louisiana State University, where she received her medical degree. She completed her residency in family medicine and fellowship in geriatric medicine at Mercer University, Medical Center of Central Georgia. She also holds her master’s degree in cellular and molecular biology from Louisiana Tech University.Dr. Henderson is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and is affiliated with CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Westover Hills in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Henderson believes that God has always blessed her with a serving spirit which naturally extended into her service in family and geriatric medicine.Dr. Henderson is committed to helping her patients enjoy a healthier lifestyle. She works with each one to discuss ways they can make better choices for their health.Specialty - Family MedicineEducation & ResidencyMercer University, Medical Center of Central Georgia, Residency in Family MedicineMercer University, Medical Center of Central Georgia, Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Mansfield Primary Care Doctors


Mary Frances Gardner Recognized as an America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals Woman of the Month and Top Female Leader Mary Frances Gardner, of New Orleans, Louisiana, has recently been recognized as a Top Female Leader and the June 2017 Woman of the Month by America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals for her distinguished contributions and achievements in field of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Mary Frances Gardner was born in Houston, Texas. She earned her B.S. at Louisiana State University, and her M.D. at Louisiana State University School of Medicine. Dr. Gardner earned her M.P.H. at Tulane University School of Public Health and served her Ob/Gyn residency at Tulane University. Dr. Gardner held a private practice from 1973 to 1991. Afterward, she was associated with Tulane University Student Health Services from 1991 to 2005. She currently has a private practice. Dr. Gardner has numerous honors and awards, including a Tropical Medicine Fellowship at Louisiana State University School of Medicine. She is a Fellow with the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American College of Ob/Gyn. Dr. Gardner is affiliated with the Jefferson Parish Medical Society, Zonta International, the American Medical Women’s Association, the American Medical Students Association, and Women Leaders in Medicine. About America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals America's Registry is a membership organization that gives its members the type of national recognition they strive for. Professional business people may join memberships, societies and organizations to develop business contacts, thus gaining image and credibility for themselves and their organization. As a powerful third party endorsement, America's Registry offers this kind of recognition for individuals on a national basis with the added benefit of instantaneous networking with the other members. Members are encouraged to welcome, network and assist each other whether they are in the same or an entirely different industry or profession. Being in America's Registry can be viewed by the members as a letter of introduction to all the other members. New Orleans, LA, April 26, 2017 --( PR.com )-- About Mary Frances GardnerDr. Mary Frances Gardner was born in Houston, Texas. She earned her B.S. at Louisiana State University, and her M.D. at Louisiana State University School of Medicine. Dr. Gardner earned her M.P.H. at Tulane University School of Public Health and served her Ob/Gyn residency at Tulane University. Dr. Gardner held a private practice from 1973 to 1991. Afterward, she was associated with Tulane University Student Health Services from 1991 to 2005. She currently has a private practice. Dr. Gardner has numerous honors and awards, including a Tropical Medicine Fellowship at Louisiana State University School of Medicine. She is a Fellow with the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American College of Ob/Gyn. Dr. Gardner is affiliated with the Jefferson Parish Medical Society, Zonta International, the American Medical Women’s Association, the American Medical Students Association, and Women Leaders in Medicine.About America’s Registry of Outstanding ProfessionalsAmerica's Registry is a membership organization that gives its members the type of national recognition they strive for. Professional business people may join memberships, societies and organizations to develop business contacts, thus gaining image and credibility for themselves and their organization. As a powerful third party endorsement, America's Registry offers this kind of recognition for individuals on a national basis with the added benefit of instantaneous networking with the other members. Members are encouraged to welcome, network and assist each other whether they are in the same or an entirely different industry or profession. Being in America's Registry can be viewed by the members as a letter of introduction to all the other members.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

Those who want to avoid the dangers of being overweight are resorting to many measures in diet management. Intermittent fasting, for one, has caught up in popularity with many celebrities joining the bandwagon. Now, the program is pitted against the merits of daily diet control that mainly exercises calorie restriction. However, the question remains which one gives better results in weight loss. Intermittent fasting is no better than calorie-controlled daily diet in managing weight loss and body weight, according to a new study. However, enthusiasts vouch that the fasting results are awesome. Despite a plethora of dietary methods, the fact that the fasting method is surging shows it is no fad, according to Baby2Body.com founder Melinda Nicci, who also has been practicing this mode of fasting for quite some time. Nicci argues that intermittent fasting offers an eating pattern that easily merges with a person's lifestyle in a most practical manner. Fasting enthusiasts also point to celebrities such as Beyoncé and Benedict Cumberbatch who are into intermittent fasting to reinforce their case. The advocates of intermittent fasting say that it is not an eating pattern that alternates between fasting and eating. It is also not a program that allows a choice between what to eat or eliminate from consumption. They say fasting gives the body the much needed time to reset its systems. The proponents also point to the flexibility with which intermittent fasting can be observed under various time spans depending on a person's convenience. One common style in intermittent fasting is to fast for 16 hours while keeping an 8-hour window for eating. The second option is to go for 24 hours of fasting twice a week and eat regularly on the other five days. Enthusiasts swear that intermittent fasting has many benefits, including biological impacts. It allows the body to remove waste from cells in a process called autophagy and promotes better healing and faster recovery. The blood levels of human growth hormone also go up during fasting and it enables better fat-burning and muscle growth. The insulin levels also get a leg up from fasting, as its feedback mechanism undergoes an autoregulation. Intermittent fasting also reduces oxidative stress, which leads to signs of aging. However, intermittent fasting is not advisable for pregnant women or lactating mothers. This eating style will not help in meeting the nutritional and energy needs of the mother or baby. Fasting is also not good for those trying to conceive, especially if they had eating disorders or problems with stress, anxiety, and sleeping disorders such as insomnia. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine said that intermittent fasting, however, is not superior to the intake of controlled diet. Led by Eric Ravussin of Louisiana State University, the research looked at the relative efficacy of intermittent fasting vis a vis traditional diet control. "Alternate-day fasting has been promoted as a potentially superior alternative to daily calorie restriction under the assumption that it is easier to restrict calories every other day. However, our data from food records, doubly labeled water, and regular weigh-ins indicate that this assumption is not the case," the researchers said. The problem with the said fasting is that despite reducing calorie intake, it also allows those who practice it to go scot-free on non-fasting days without any control in calorie intake. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | April 26, 2017
Site: co.newswire.com

River Valley Smile Center, a leading dental practice in Fort Smith, Ark., will sponsor a community, family event celebrating Cinco de Mayo from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 7 at Fort Smith Park. The event will be hosted by La Raza, 92.3. The celebration will host live music, food vendors, bounce house inflatables and other fun activities. The event will provide an opportunity for community members to celebrate Cinco de Mayo together in a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. Cinco de Mayo is often mistaken for Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. River Valley Smile Center is a collective team of committed dental professionals, including two dentists, serving the River Valley with dedicated dental care. Dr. Liggett has been community-oriented throughout his professional career; conducting many dental mission trips, founding the Weekend Dental Clinic and Free Extraction Day, organizing discussions for the local dental community to better recognize/prevent child abuse and more. Dr. Liggett graduated from Louisiana State University, School of Dentistry, in New Orleans, with a Doctorate in Dental Surgery. Dr. Johnson is a passionate second generation dentist who joined River Valley Smile Center in 2013. He is a proud captain in the Arkansas Army National Guard and previously worked in a VA hospital providing dental care for veterans. Dr. Johnson graduated from Louisiana State University, School of Dentistry, in New Orleans, with a Doctorate in Dental Surgery. River Valley Smile Center is a comprehensive dental practice that offers an array of services, including cosmetic and restorative dentistry, whitening, veneers, clear braces, same-day crowns, root canals, oral surgery, gum treatment, children’s dentistry, implants and more. River Valley Smile Center is a comprehensive dental practice located in Fort Smith, Ark. At River Valley Smile Center, patients receive a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to help them reach their optimal oral health. What sets River Valley Smile Center apart from other dental practices is the unique way in which the doctors collaborate to ensure patients get the very best care for each aspect of their treatment. River Valley Smile Center offers services ranging from cosmetic and restorative dentistry, whitening, veneers, clear braces, same-day crowns, root canals, oral surgery, gum treatment, children’s dentistry to implants. River Valley Smile Center is accepting new patients. To learn more about River Valley Smile Center, please visit: http://www.rivervalleysmiles.com/


News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The National Academy of Sciences announced today the election of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The National Academy of Sciences announced today the election of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Those elected today bring the total number of active members to 2,290 and the total number of foreign associates to 475. Foreign associates are nonvoting members of the Academy, with citizenship outside the United States. Newly elected members and their affiliations at the time of election are: Bates, Frank S.; Regents Professor, department of chemical engineering and materials science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Beilinson, Alexander; David and Mary Winton Green University Professor, department of mathematics, The University of Chicago, Chicago Bell, Stephen P.; investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and professor of biology, department of biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Bhatia, Sangeeta N.; John J. (1929) and Dorothy Wilson Professor, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Buzsáki, György; professor, Neuroscience Institute, departments of physiology and neuroscience, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York City Carroll, Dana; distinguished professor, department of biochemistry, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City Cohen, Judith G.; Kate Van Nuys Page Professor of Astronomy, department of astronomy, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena Crabtree, Robert H.; Conkey P. Whitehead Professor of Chemistry, department of chemistry, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. Cronan, John E.; professor and head of microbiology, professor of biochemistry, and Microbiology Alumni Professor, department of microbiology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Cummins, Christopher C.; Henry Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Darensbourg, Marcetta Y.; distinguished professor of chemistry, department of chemistry, Texas A&M University, College Station DeVore, Ronald A.; The Walter E. Koss Professor and distinguished professor, department of mathematics, Texas A&M University, College Station Diamond, Douglas W.; Merton H. Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance, The University of Chicago, Chicago Doe, Chris Q.; investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and professor of biology, Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene Duflo, Esther; Co-founder and co-Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, and Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Edwards, Robert Haas; professor of neurology and physiology, University of California, San Francisco Firestone, Mary K.; professor and associate dean of instruction and student affairs, department of environmental science policy and management, University of California, Berkeley Fischhoff, Baruch; Howard Heinz University Professor, department of social and decision sciences and department of engineering and public policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Ginty, David D.; investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and Edward R. and Anne G. Lefler Professor of Neurobiology, department of neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston Glass, Christopher K.; professor of cellular and molecular medicine and professor of medicine, University of California, San Diego Goldman, Yale E.; professor, department of physiology, Pennsylvania Muscle Institute, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia González, Gabriela; spokesperson, LIGO Scientific Collaboration; and professor, department of physics and astronomy, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge Hagan, John L.; John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Law, department of sociology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. Hatten, Mary E.; Frederick P. Rose Professor, laboratory of developmental neurobiology, The Rockefeller University, New York City Hebard, Arthur F.; distinguished professor of physics, department of physics, University of Florida, Gainesville Jensen, Klavs F.; Warren K. Lewis Professor of Chemical Engineering and professor of materials science and engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Kahn, Barbara B.; vice chair for research strategy and George R. Minot Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Kinder, Donald R.; Philip E. Converse Collegiate Professor of Political Science and Psychology and research scientist, department of political science, Center for Political Studies, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Lazar, Mitchell A.; Willard and Rhoda Ware Professor in Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, and director, Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia Locksley, Richard M.; investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and professor, department of medicine (infectious diseases), and Marion and Herbert Sandler Distinguished Professorship in Asthma Research, University of California, San Francisco Lozano, Guillermina; professor and chair, department of genetics, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Mavalvala, Nergis; Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics and associate head, department of physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Moore, Jeffrey Scott; Murchison-Mallory Professor of Chemistry, department of chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Moore, Melissa J.; chief scientific officer, mRNA Research Platform, Moderna Therapeutics, Cambridge, Mass.; and Eleanor Eustis Farrington Chair of Cancer Research Professor, RNA Therapeutics Institute, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester Nunnari, Jodi M.; professor, department of molecular and cellular biology, University of California, Davis O'Farrell, Patrick H.; professor of biochemistry and biophysics, department of biochemistry and biophysics, University of California, San Francisco Ort, Donald R.; research leader and Robert Emerson Professor, USDA/ARS Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit, departments of plant biology and crop sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Parker, Gary; professor, department of civil and environmental engineering and department of geology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Patapoutian, Ardem; investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and professor, department of molecular and cellular neuroscience, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif. Pellegrini, Claudio; distinguished professor emeritus, department of physics and astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles Pikaard, Craig, S.; investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; and distinguished professor of biology and molecular and cellular biochemistry, department of biology, Indiana University, Bloomington Read, Nicholas; Henry Ford II Professor of Physics and professor of applied physics and mathematics, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. Roediger, Henry L.; James S. McDonnell Distinguished and University Professor of Psychology, department of psychology and brain sciences, Washington University, St. Louis Rosenzweig, Amy C.; Weinberg Family Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences, and professor, departments of molecular biosciences and of chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. Seto, Karen C.; professor, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, Conn. Seyfarth, Robert M.; professor of psychology and member of the graduate groups in anthropology and biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Sibley, L. David; Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor in Molecular Microbiology, department of molecular microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Spielman, Daniel A.; Henry Ford II Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics, departments of computer science and mathematics, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. Sudan, Madhu; Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. Tishkoff, Sarah; David and Lyn Silfen University Professor, departments of genetics and biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Van Essen, David C.; Alumni Professor of Neurobiology, department of anatomy and neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Vidale, John E.; professor, department of earth and space sciences, University of Washington, Seattle Wennberg, Paul O.; R. Stanton Avery Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Environmental Science and Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena Wilson, Rachel I.; Martin Family Professor of Basic Research in the Field of Neurobiology, department of neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston Zachos, James C.; professor, department of earth and planetary sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Newly elected foreign associates, their affiliations at the time of election, and their country of citizenship are: Addadi, Lia; professor and Dorothy and Patrick E. Gorman Chair of Biological Ultrastructure, department of structural science, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel (Israel/Italy) Folke, Carl; director and professor, The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden (Sweden) Freeman, Kenneth C.; Duffield Professor of Astronomy, Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories, Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Australian National University, Weston Creek (Australia) Lee, Sang Yup; distinguished professor, dean, and director, department of chemical and biomolecular engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, South Korea (South Korea) Levitzki, Alexander; professor of biochemistry, unit of cellular signaling, department of biological chemistry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem (Israel) Peiris, Joseph Sriyal Malik; Tam Wah-Ching Professorship in Medical Science, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China (Sri Lanka) Robinson, Carol Vivien; Dr. Lee's Professor of Chemistry, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford, Oxford, England (United Kingdom) Thesleff, Irma; academician of science, professor, and research director, developmental biology program, Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki (Finland) Underdal, Arild; professor of political science, department of political science, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway (Norway) The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and -- with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine -- provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.


HOUSTON, April 25, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) (Nasdaq:APA) today announced the appointment of two new executives to its midstream and marketing team in the Houston office. Brian W. Freed has been named senior vice president, Midstream and Marketing, and Robert W. (“Bob”) Bourne has been named vice president, Business Development – Midstream and Marketing. Photos accompanying this announcement are available at "With our significant, multiproduct discovery at Alpine High, we have an increased focus on midstream optimization and ensuring we have flexibility and options to move our production to market. Brian and Bob bring valuable experience and additional expertise to Apache's midstream and marketing team. Their broad product marketing skill set will be highly beneficial as we grow Alpine High from startup to a multiproduct producing asset over the coming years," said John J. Christmann IV, Apache’s chief executive officer and president. Freed will have leadership and oversight of all of Apache’s midstream and marketing strategies, activities and business opportunities in North America and internationally. Bourne will have responsibility for generating and developing new business opportunities for Apache’s Alpine High discovery, including executing an effective midstream and marketing strategy for Alpine High’s oil, gas and liquids production and managing commercial aspects of transportation, storage, processing and marketing of hydrocarbon products from Alpine High. Freed joins Apache from Crestwood Equity Partners LP, where he served as senior vice president of commercial operations, Western United States from 2015 to 2017 and as vice president of crude logistics for Inergy from 2012 to 2015, which merged with Crestwood. In 2002, Freed co-founded and served as president and chief executive officer of Entessa, a highly successful software and consulting company focused in the midstream oil and gas industry through its flagship product, Synthesis. In 2010, he led the merger and recapitalization of Energy Solutions International with Entessa and took the helm as chief executive officer of the combined 150-person company with offices in seven countries. He completed the integration of the company’s multinational operations and facilitated a successful exit at a material premium for shareholders when the company was sold to Oaktree Capital. Freed remained with Energy Solutions International as a member of the board and audit committee until the company was sold to Emerson in 2015. In 2011, as vice president of business development, he helped to grow midstream startup Rangeland Energy LLC until its sale to Inergy in 2012. Freed earned his Bachelor of Science in finance from West Virginia University and served with honor and distinction as a field artillery officer in the United States Army, achieving the rank of captain. He is one of the inaugural inductees into the Army ROTC Hall of Fame. Bourne has had a strong focus on producer and end-user relations and midstream business development throughout his career. He has been responsible for commercial transactions covering thousands of miles of pipe and associated infrastructure across the United States’ Gulf Coast region. From 1984 to 2003, he held positions of increasing responsibility with Shell Trading (formerly Coral Energy), including as senior vice president of producer services and derivative product marketing. Bourne was a founding member of the executive leadership team that oversaw the formation of Coral Energy, a partnership formed by Shell and Tejas/Acadian Gas. His experience also includes serving as senior vice president of business development for American Midstream Partners from 2014 to 2015; a principal of Costar Midstream LLC, an Energy Spectrum Capital company from 2012 to 2014; chief executive officer of Gas Solutions from 2010 to 2012; senior vice president of Energy Transfer Partners responsible for commercial and business development of the Houston Pipeline System from 2005-2009; vice president of Crosstex Energy (now Enlink Midstream) from 2004 to 2005; and gas supply representative for Delhi Gas Pipeline from 1981 to 1984. Mr. Bourne earned his Bachelor of Science in finance from Louisiana State University. Apache Corporation is an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Canada, Egypt and the United Kingdom. Apache posts announcements, operational updates, investor information and copies of all press releases on its website, www.apachecorp.com, and on its Media and Investor Center mobile application, which is available for free download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.


HOUSTON, April 25, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) (Nasdaq:APA) today announced the appointment of two new executives to its midstream and marketing team in the Houston office. Brian W. Freed has been named senior vice president, Midstream and Marketing, and Robert W. (“Bob”) Bourne has been named vice president, Business Development – Midstream and Marketing. Photos accompanying this announcement are available at "With our significant, multiproduct discovery at Alpine High, we have an increased focus on midstream optimization and ensuring we have flexibility and options to move our production to market. Brian and Bob bring valuable experience and additional expertise to Apache's midstream and marketing team. Their broad product marketing skill set will be highly beneficial as we grow Alpine High from startup to a multiproduct producing asset over the coming years," said John J. Christmann IV, Apache’s chief executive officer and president. Freed will have leadership and oversight of all of Apache’s midstream and marketing strategies, activities and business opportunities in North America and internationally. Bourne will have responsibility for generating and developing new business opportunities for Apache’s Alpine High discovery, including executing an effective midstream and marketing strategy for Alpine High’s oil, gas and liquids production and managing commercial aspects of transportation, storage, processing and marketing of hydrocarbon products from Alpine High. Freed joins Apache from Crestwood Equity Partners LP, where he served as senior vice president of commercial operations, Western United States from 2015 to 2017 and as vice president of crude logistics for Inergy from 2012 to 2015, which merged with Crestwood. In 2002, Freed co-founded and served as president and chief executive officer of Entessa, a highly successful software and consulting company focused in the midstream oil and gas industry through its flagship product, Synthesis. In 2010, he led the merger and recapitalization of Energy Solutions International with Entessa and took the helm as chief executive officer of the combined 150-person company with offices in seven countries. He completed the integration of the company’s multinational operations and facilitated a successful exit at a material premium for shareholders when the company was sold to Oaktree Capital. Freed remained with Energy Solutions International as a member of the board and audit committee until the company was sold to Emerson in 2015. In 2011, as vice president of business development, he helped to grow midstream startup Rangeland Energy LLC until its sale to Inergy in 2012. Freed earned his Bachelor of Science in finance from West Virginia University and served with honor and distinction as a field artillery officer in the United States Army, achieving the rank of captain. He is one of the inaugural inductees into the Army ROTC Hall of Fame. Bourne has had a strong focus on producer and end-user relations and midstream business development throughout his career. He has been responsible for commercial transactions covering thousands of miles of pipe and associated infrastructure across the United States’ Gulf Coast region. From 1984 to 2003, he held positions of increasing responsibility with Shell Trading (formerly Coral Energy), including as senior vice president of producer services and derivative product marketing. Bourne was a founding member of the executive leadership team that oversaw the formation of Coral Energy, a partnership formed by Shell and Tejas/Acadian Gas. His experience also includes serving as senior vice president of business development for American Midstream Partners from 2014 to 2015; a principal of Costar Midstream LLC, an Energy Spectrum Capital company from 2012 to 2014; chief executive officer of Gas Solutions from 2010 to 2012; senior vice president of Energy Transfer Partners responsible for commercial and business development of the Houston Pipeline System from 2005-2009; vice president of Crosstex Energy (now Enlink Midstream) from 2004 to 2005; and gas supply representative for Delhi Gas Pipeline from 1981 to 1984. Mr. Bourne earned his Bachelor of Science in finance from Louisiana State University. Apache Corporation is an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Canada, Egypt and the United Kingdom. Apache posts announcements, operational updates, investor information and copies of all press releases on its website, www.apachecorp.com, and on its Media and Investor Center mobile application, which is available for free download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.


Ingram D.K.,Louisiana State University | Roth G.S.,GeroScience Inc.
Ageing Research Reviews | Year: 2015

Strong consensus exists regarding the most robust environmental intervention for attenuating aging processes and increasing healthspan and lifespan: calorie restriction (CR). Over several decades, this paradigm has been replicated in numerous nonhuman models, and has been expanded over the last decade to formal, controlled human studies of CR. Given that long-term CR can create heavy challenges to compliance in human diets, the concept of a calorie restriction mimetic (CRM) has emerged as an active research area within gerontology. In past presentations on this subject, we have proposed that a CRM is a compound that mimics metabolic, hormonal, and physiological effects of CR, activates stress response pathways observed in CR and enhances stress protection, produces CR-like effects on longevity, reduces age-related disease, and maintains more youthful function, all without significantly reducing food intake, at least initially. Over 16 years ago, we proposed that glycolytic inhibition could be an effective strategy for developing CRM. The main argument here is that inhibiting energy utilization as far upstream as possible provides the highest chance of generating a broad spectrum of CR-like effects when compared to targeting a singular molecular target downstream. As an initial candidate CRM, 2-deoxyglucose, a known anti-glycolytic, was shown to produce a remarkable phenotype of CR, but further investigation found that this compound produced cardiotoxicity in rats at the doses we had been using. There remains interest in 2DG as a CRM but at lower doses. Beyond the proposal of 2DG as a candidate CRM, the field has grown steadily with many investigators proposing other strategies, including novel anti-glycolytics. Within the realm of upstream targeting at the level of the digestive system, research has included bariatric surgery, inhibitors of fat digestion/absorption, and inhibitors of carbohydrate digestion. Research focused on downstream sites has included insulin receptors, IGF-1 receptors, sirtuin activators, inhibitors of mTOR, and polyamines. In the current review we discuss progress made involving these various strategies and comment on the status and future for each within this exciting research field. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Finley J.W.,Louisiana State University | Seiber J.N.,University of California at Davis
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2014

The Earth's population is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, posing significant challenges in meeting human needs while minimally affecting the environment. To support this population, we will need secure and safe sources of food, energy, and water. The nexus of food, energy, and water is one of the most complex, yet critical, issues that face society. There is no more land to exploit, and the supply of fresh water in some areas of the world limits the use of land for food. All solutions must also deal with the overlay of global climate change. Meeting current and future populations needs will require security in food, energy, and water supplies. A nexus approach is needed to improve food, energy, and water security integrating the management of the limited resources while transitioning to a more "green" economy, which provides adequate food, energy, and water for the expanding human population. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Gambini R.,Institute Fisica | Pullin J.,Louisiana State University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We quantize spherically symmetric vacuum gravity without gauge fixing the diffeomorphism constraint. Through a rescaling, we make the algebra of Hamiltonian constraints Abelian, and therefore the constraint algebra is a true Lie algebra. This allows the completion of the Dirac quantization procedure using loop quantum gravity techniques. We can construct explicitly the exact solutions of the physical Hilbert space annihilated by all constraints. New observables living in the bulk appear at the quantum level (analogous to spin in quantum mechanics) that are not present at the classical level and are associated with the discrete nature of the spin network states of loop quantum gravity. The resulting quantum space-times resolve the singularity present in the classical theory inside black holes. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Gambini R.,Institute Fisica | Pullin J.,Louisiana State University
Classical and Quantum Gravity | Year: 2014

We introduce quantum field theory on quantum space-times techniques to characterize the quantum vacua as a first step toward studying black hole evaporation in spherical symmetry in loop quantum gravity and compute the Hawking radiation. We use as quantum space-time the recently introduced exact solution of the quantum Einstein equations in vacuum with spherical symmetry and consider a spherically symmetric test scalar field propagating on it. The use of loop quantum gravity techniques in the background space-time naturally regularizes the matter content, solving one of the main obstacles to back-reaction calculations in more traditional treatments. The discreteness of area leads to modifications of the quantum vacua, eliminating the trans-Planckian modes close to the horizon, which in turn eliminates all singularities from physical quantities, like the expectation value of the stress-energy tensor. Apart from this, the Boulware, Hartle-Hawking and Unruh vacua differ little from the treatment on a classical space-time. The asymptotic modes near scri are reproduced very well. We show that the Hawking radiation can be computed, leading to an expression similar to the conventional one but with a high frequency cutoff. Since many of the conclusions concern asymptotic behavior, where the spherical mode of the field behaves in a similar way as higher multipole modes do, the results can be readily generalized to non spherically symmetric fields. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 1.47M | Year: 2015

Concerns are growing about how much melting occurs on the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), and how much this melting will contribute to sea level rise (1). It seems that the amount of melting is accelerating and that the impact on sea level rise is over 1 mm each year (2). This information is of concern to governmental policy makers around the world because of the risk to viability of populated coastal and low-lying areas. There is currently a great scientific need to predict the amount of melting that will occur on the surface of the GrIS over the coming decades (3), since the uncertainties are high. The current models which are used to predict the amount of melting in a warmer climate rely heavily on determining the albedo, the ratio of how reflective the snow cover and the ice surface are to incoming solar energy. Surfaces which are whiter are said to have higher albedo, reflect more sunlight and melt less. Surfaces which are darker adsorb more sunlight and so melt more. Just how the albedo varies over time depends on a number of factors, including how wet the snow and ice is. One important factor that has been missed to date is bio-albedo. Each drop of water in wet snow and ice contains thousands of tiny microorganisms, mostly algae and cyanobacteria, which are pigmented - they have a built in sunblock - to protect them from sunlight. These algae and cyanobacteria have a large impact on the albedo, lowering it significantly. They also glue together dust particles that are swept out of the air by the falling snow. These dust particles also contain soot from industrial activity and forest fires, and so the mix of pigmented microbes and dark dust at the surface produces a darker ice sheet. We urgently need to know more about the factors that lead to and limit the growth of the pigmented microbes. Recent work by our group in the darkest zone of the ice sheet surface in the SW of Greenland shows that the darkest areas have the highest numbers of cells. Were these algae to grow equally well in other areas of the ice sheet surface, then the rate of melting of the whole ice sheet would increase very quickly. A major concern is that there will be more wet ice surfaces for these microorganisms to grow in, and for longer, during a period of climate warming, and so the microorganisms will grow in greater numbers and over a larger area, lowering the albedo and increasing the amount of melt that occurs each year. The nutrient - plant food - that the microorganisms need comes from the ice crystals and dust on the ice sheet surface, and there are fears that increased N levels in snow and ice may contribute to the growth of the microorganisms. This project aims to be the first to examine the growth and spread of the microorganisms in a warming climate, and to incorporate biological darkening into models that predict the future melting of the GrIS. References 1. Sasgen I and 8 others. Timing and origin of recent regional ice-mass loss in Greenland. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 333-334, 293-303(2012). 2. Rignot, E., Velicogna, I., van den Broeke, M. R., Monaghan, A. & Lenaerts, J. Acceleration of the contribution of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to sea level rise. Geophys. Res. Lett. 38, L05503, doi:10.1029/2011gl046583 (2011). 3. Milne, G. A., Gehrels, W. R., Hughes, C. W. & Tamisiea, M. E. Identifying the causes of sea-level change. Nature Geosci 2, 471-478 (2009).


Patent
Louisiana State University, Johns Hopkins University and The Regents Of The University Of California | Date: 2012-04-13

Administration of an HNO/NO^() donating compound, such as Angelis salt, increases myocardial contractility while concomitantly lowering left ventricular preload in subjects experiencing heart failure. Moreover, administration of the HNO/NO^() donating compound isopropylamine (IPA)/NO (Na(CH_(3))_(2)CHNHN(O)NO) surprisingly exhibited positive inotropic effects in subjects experiencing heart failure that were superior to those caused by the HNO/NO^() donating compound Angelis salt. Additionally, in contrast to the effects observed with NO donors, administration of an HNO/NO^() donor in combination with a positive inotropic agent did not impair the positive inotropic effect of the positive inotropic agent. Further, HNO/NO^() exerts its positive inotropic effect independent of the adrenergic system, increasing contractility even in subjects receiving beta-antagonist therapy.


Patent
Louisiana State University, The Regents Of The University Of California and Johns Hopkins University | Date: 2010-11-18

Administration of an HNO/NO^() donating compound, such as Angelis salt, increases myocardial contractility while concomitantly lowering left ventricular preload in subjects experiencing heart failure. Moreover, administration of the HNO/NO^() donating compound isopropylamine (IPA)/NO (Na(CH_(3))_(2)CHNHN(O)NO) surprisingly exhibited positive inotropic effects in subjects experiencing heart failure that were superior to those caused by the HNO/NO^() donating compound Angelis salt. Additionally, in contrast to the effects observed with NO^() donors, administration of an HNO/NO^() donor in combination with a positive inotropic agent did not impair the positive inotropic effect of the positive inotropic agent. Further, HNO/NO^() exerts its positive inotropic effect independent of the adrenergic system, increasing contractility even in subjects receiving beta-antagonist therapy.


Patent
Louisiana State University, The Regents Of The University Of California and Johns Hopkins University | Date: 2014-09-17

Administration of an HNO/NO^(+) donating compound, such as Angelis salt, increases myocardial contractility while concomitantly lowering left ventricular preload in subjects experiencing heart failure. Moreover, administration of the HNO/NO^() donating compound isopropylamine (IPA)/NO (Na(CH_(3))_(2)CHNHN(O)NO) surprisingly exhibited positive inotropic effects in subjects experiencing heart failure that were superior to those caused by the HNO/NO^() donating compound Angelis salt. Additionally, in contrast to the effects observed with NO^() donors, administration of an HNO/NO^() donor in combination with a positive inotropic agent did not impair the positive inotropic effect of the positive inotropic agent. Further, HNO/NO^() exerts its positive inotropic effect independent of the adrenergic system, increasing contractility even in subjects receiving beta-antagonist therapy.


CosmoPHOS-nano is a multidisciplinary, translational and business-oriented project, aiming to accomplish the following objectives: 1) develop the CosmoPHOS system, which is a novel theranostic (diagnostic & therapeutic) nanotechnology-enabled portable combination system enabling endovascular in vivo near-infrared fluorescence molecular imaging, endovascular near-infrared targeted photodynamic therapy, real-time & follow-up therapy monitoring of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (CAD), 2) nonclinically evaluate this system, 3) clinically validate the system after regulatory approval, & 4) reduce in the long-term CAD deaths and morbidity by up to 40%, resulting in a significant decrease of the European and global healthcare costs for CAD, increasing the income of the European healthcare industry from CAD market which is the global largest. The CosmoPHOS-nano consortium has a five year history of successful collaboration between the industrial and academic partners, and its funding would underpin a team devoted to delivering a novel powerful & affordable healthcare solution against the leading cause of death, without the need for heavy and expensive medical equipment. The CosmoPHOS system consists of two interacting components: a) targeted theranostic near-infrared photoactivatable biocompatible nanomedicines, and b) medical devices. After systemic administration, the nanomedicines targeted accumulate in coronary atherosclerotic plaques, followed by endocoronary photoactivation and detection by the medical devices, enabling molecular imaging, targeted therapy, real-time & follow-up therapy monitoring of CAD. Preliminary in vitro & in vivo successful experimental results, as well as parts of the CosmoPHOS system are already available from the prior five year collaboration. The project plan includes: A) nonclinical R&D (30 months); B) nonclinical validation & regulatory approval (18 months); C) first-in-man phase-I clinical trial in 20 CAD patients (12 months).


Daniel R. Shea, DDS from Shea Family Dentistry, Contributes to U.S. Marines Toys For Tots Literacy Campaign Baton Rouge, LA, December 12, 2016 --( Dr. Daniel R. Shea, owner of Shea Family Dentistry, a local dentist from Baton Rouge, LA, joined dozens of his dental colleagues from across America at a Gala event hosted by MGE: Management Experts in Florida honoring the U.S. Marine Corp and the Toys for Tots Literacy Campaign in a fight against illiteracy. The harm imposed on our children and future generations can no longer be tolerated. Millions of dollars are spent on education yet the U.S. ranks number 14 internationally. This is unacceptable and evokes a call-to-arms for effective participation by all. Dr. Daniel R. Shea is more than a local dentist. He is an active and caring member of his community; always active in helping and caring for others. Case in point: In addition to his most recent contribution, Shea Family Dentistry has participated for the last 7 years in Operation Gratitude’s Candy Buy Back Program, shipping treats and toothbrushes to deployed troops. Looking at the facts, one cannot deny that illiterate children turn into illiterate adults, and those adults who are unable to read at a third-grade level not only feel excluded from society, but they also raise illiterate children, as they cannot teach them how to read. Is there a connection between illiteracy and poverty? According to recent U.S. Census Bureau reports, more than 20% of children under 18 years of age live in poverty - the highest poverty rate in 15 years. That’s 15.5 million children! People in poverty cannot afford books. Now, add this to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center of Education statistics whereby 44 million adults are functionally illiterate leads one to ask is there a connection to illiteracy and poverty? Furthermore, connect this with the Bureau of Justice statistics that about 41% of inmates in the State and Federal prisons and local jails had not completed high school or its equivalent; as well as persons with poor households at or below the poverty level had more than double the rate of violent victimization, as well as higher rate of violence involving a firearm compared to persons above the Federal Poverty Level, thus leading one to ask: Is there then a connection to illiteracy, poverty and crime? This is what motivated Dr. Daniel R. Shea and hundreds of attendees of this Gala to participate, which ended up ensuring that 110,000 children would receive not only toys for Christmas, which in itself is a great gesture of humanity, but also the gift of literacy and the hopes of a brighter future for these children in successfully participating in society. A little information about Dr. Daniel R. Shea; he graduated from Louisiana State University’s Dental School in 1994, and served as a General Dental Officer in the United States Air Force Dental Corps from 1994 through 1997. After serving with the Air Force, Dr. Daniel R. Shea went into private practice with his father and taught dentistry at LSU School of Dentistry. Due to Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Shea moved his family to Baton Rouge, LA and took a full time teaching position with the also displaced LSU School of Dentistry. In 2007, when the dental school returned to New Orleans, Dr. Shea returned to private practice when he purchased a dental office on Perkins Road near City Park. Dr. Daniel R. Shea, his wife Susan, and their three children enjoy living in Baton Rouge and being active members of their community. Daniel R. Shea, DDS Shea Family Dentistry 1930 Perkins Road Baton Rouge, LA 70808 (225)-344-0391 www.DrDanielShea.com Baton Rouge, LA, December 12, 2016 --( PR.com )-- Dr. Daniel R. Shea, from Shea Family Dentistry, joined forces with U.S. Marines Toys For Tots Literacy Campaign with MGE: Management Experts and dozens of dental colleagues to combat the scourge of illiteracy; giving the gift of reading to 110,000 children.Dr. Daniel R. Shea, owner of Shea Family Dentistry, a local dentist from Baton Rouge, LA, joined dozens of his dental colleagues from across America at a Gala event hosted by MGE: Management Experts in Florida honoring the U.S. Marine Corp and the Toys for Tots Literacy Campaign in a fight against illiteracy. The harm imposed on our children and future generations can no longer be tolerated. Millions of dollars are spent on education yet the U.S. ranks number 14 internationally. This is unacceptable and evokes a call-to-arms for effective participation by all.Dr. Daniel R. Shea is more than a local dentist. He is an active and caring member of his community; always active in helping and caring for others. Case in point:In addition to his most recent contribution, Shea Family Dentistry has participated for the last 7 years in Operation Gratitude’s Candy Buy Back Program, shipping treats and toothbrushes to deployed troops.Looking at the facts, one cannot deny that illiterate children turn into illiterate adults, and those adults who are unable to read at a third-grade level not only feel excluded from society, but they also raise illiterate children, as they cannot teach them how to read. Is there a connection between illiteracy and poverty? According to recent U.S. Census Bureau reports, more than 20% of children under 18 years of age live in poverty - the highest poverty rate in 15 years. That’s 15.5 million children! People in poverty cannot afford books. Now, add this to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center of Education statistics whereby 44 million adults are functionally illiterate leads one to ask is there a connection to illiteracy and poverty? Furthermore, connect this with the Bureau of Justice statistics that about 41% of inmates in the State and Federal prisons and local jails had not completed high school or its equivalent; as well as persons with poor households at or below the poverty level had more than double the rate of violent victimization, as well as higher rate of violence involving a firearm compared to persons above the Federal Poverty Level, thus leading one to ask: Is there then a connection to illiteracy, poverty and crime?This is what motivated Dr. Daniel R. Shea and hundreds of attendees of this Gala to participate, which ended up ensuring that 110,000 children would receive not only toys for Christmas, which in itself is a great gesture of humanity, but also the gift of literacy and the hopes of a brighter future for these children in successfully participating in society.A little information about Dr. Daniel R. Shea; he graduated from Louisiana State University’s Dental School in 1994, and served as a General Dental Officer in the United States Air Force Dental Corps from 1994 through 1997. After serving with the Air Force, Dr. Daniel R. Shea went into private practice with his father and taught dentistry at LSU School of Dentistry. Due to Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Shea moved his family to Baton Rouge, LA and took a full time teaching position with the also displaced LSU School of Dentistry.In 2007, when the dental school returned to New Orleans, Dr. Shea returned to private practice when he purchased a dental office on Perkins Road near City Park. Dr. Daniel R. Shea, his wife Susan, and their three children enjoy living in Baton Rouge and being active members of their community.Daniel R. Shea, DDSShea Family Dentistry1930 Perkins RoadBaton Rouge, LA 70808(225)-344-0391www.DrDanielShea.com Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Shea Family Dentistry


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

METAIRIE, La.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Upstream Exploration LLC (“Upstream” or the “Company”) a privately-held independent oil and gas exploration and production company, announced today that Louis Belanger joined Upstream on January 1, 2017 as Vice President of Engineering. Mr. Belanger brings over 32 years of oil and gas experience to the Company and has previously held key positions and consulted for several large and small U.S. Gulf Coast focused exploration and production (“E&P”) companies. Mr. Belanger’s expertise is in reservoir engineering, prospect evaluations and corporate reserves. Prior to joining Upstream, Mr. Belanger worked as an independent engineering consultant for numerous Gulf Coast companies, including Upstream. Prior to his work as a consultant, he was senior vice president of engineering at Goldking Onshore Operating, a senior reservoir engineer at Cimarex and director of acquisitions and reserves and economics at Energy Partners Ltd. Mr. Belanger began his career at Arco and moved to New Orleans soon thereafter to join LL&E, where he worked for 11 years and became familiar with the Louisiana onshore and offshore properties that he has evaluated for most of his career. Mr. Belanger earned a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering from Louisiana State University and Masters of Business Administration from Tulane University. Michael Willis, Upstream’s President, commented, “We are pleased to welcome Louis Belanger as an important member of our Upstream team where he will be focused on developing and evaluating known discoveries for Upstream, while lending his prospect evaluation and Gulf Coast E&P focused experience to our prospect evaluations. Louis is a great addition to our already strong team and will assist Upstream in growing our asset base in this improving economic environment.” Upstream Exploration is a privately held, independent oil and gas exploration and production company focused on the exploration, exploitation and development of oil and gas properties, primarily in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico and along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The Company is headquartered in Metairie, Louisiana and has approximately 20 total employees in its headquarters and field locations.


News Article | December 15, 2016
Site: www.businesswire.com

METAIRIE, La.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Upstream Exploration LLC (“Upstream” or the “Company”), a privately-held independent oil and gas exploration and production company, announced today that Chris McLindon joined Upstream on December 1, 2016 as Senior Explorationist. Mr. McLindon brings over 35 years of oil and gas experience to the Company and has previously held key positions at a number of large and small U.S. Gulf Coast focused exploration and production (“E&P”) companies. Over his career, Mr. McLindon has been responsible for regional geological and geophysical interpretation and prospect generation on multiple south Louisiana onshore and offshore properties. Prior to joining Upstream, Mr. McLindon worked as a deep water exploration geologist at Stone Energy, as an independent geological consultant, as a geologist at Cimarex Energy and as a geologist at Helis Oil & Gas. It was at these companies over the past 16 years that he developed a strong expertise in 3-D seismic interpretation software and application. Mr. McLindon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Louisiana State University and is a member of several professional geologist associations. Michael Willis, Upstream’s President, commented, “We are pleased to welcome Chris McLindon as an important member of our Upstream team where he will be focused on geological interpretation and exploration. Chris has an extensive E&P background and his experience with 3-D seismic interpretation and prospect generation primarily in south Louisiana will serve us well in the future.” Upstream Exploration is a privately held, independent oil and gas exploration and production company focused on the exploration, exploitation and development of oil and gas properties, primarily in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico and along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The Company is headquartered in Metairie, Louisiana and has approximately 20 total employees in its headquarters and field locations. For additional information, please visit www.upstreamexp.com.


News Article | March 4, 2016
Site: www.spie.org

For the first time, scientists have observed gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime arriving at Earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein's 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window to the cosmos. The discovery was announced on 11 February at a press conference in Washington, DC, hosted by the National Science Foundation, the primary funder of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO). The gravitational waves were produced during the final fraction of a second of the merger of two black holes to produce a single, more massive spinning black hole. This collision of two black holes had been predicted but never observed. The event took place on 14 September 2015 at 5:51 a.m. EDT (09:51 UTC) by both of the twin (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington. The LIGO observatories are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), and were conceived, built and are operated by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). SPIE video and related article: LIGO Hanford scientists celebrate while looking ahead to future discoveries This discovery comes at the culmination of decades of instrument research and development, through a world-wide effort of thousands of researchers, and made possible by dedicated support for LIGO from the NSF. It marks the beginning of a new era of gravitational-wave astronomy - the possibilities for discovery are as rich and boundless as they have been with light-based astronomy. Gravitational waves carry information about their dramatic origins and about the nature of gravity that cannot otherwise be obtained. Based on the observed signals, LIGO scientists estimate that the black holes for this event were about 29 and 36 times the mass of the sun, and the event took place 1.3 billion years ago. About 3 times the mass of the sun was converted into gravitational waves in a fraction of a second-with a peak power output about 50 times that of the whole visible universe. By looking at the time of arrival of the signals-the detector in Livingston recorded the event 7 milliseconds before the detector in Hanford-scientists can say that the source was located in the Southern Hemisphere, in the approximate direction of the Magellanic Clouds. How our sun and Earth warp space and time, or spacetime, is represented here with a green grid. As Albert Einstein demonstrated in his theory of general relativity, the gravity of massive bodies warps the fabric of space and time-and those bodies move along paths determined by this geometry. His theory also predicted the existence of gravitational waves, which are ripples in space and time. These waves, which move at the speed of light, are created when massive bodies accelerate through space and time. (LIGO) According to general relativity, a pair of black holes orbiting around each other lose energy through the emission of gravitational waves, causing them to gradually approach each other over billions of years, and then much more quickly in the final minutes. During the final fraction of a second, the two black holes collide into each other at nearly one-half the speed of light and form a single more massive black hole, converting a portion of the combined black holes' mass to energy, according to Einstein's formula E=mc2. This energy is emitted as a final strong burst of gravitational waves. It is these gravitational waves that LIGO has observed. "Our observation of gravitational waves accomplishes an ambitious goal set out over 5 decades ago to directly detect this elusive phenomenon and better understand the universe, and, fittingly, fulfills Einstein's legacy on the 100th anniversary of his general theory of relativity," says Caltech's David H. Reitze, executive director of the LIGO Laboratory. The discovery, accepted for publication in the journal Physical Review Letters, was made by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (which includes the GEO Collaboration and the Australian Consortium for Interferometric Gravitational Astronomy) and the Virgo Collaboration using data from the two LIGO detectors. The discovery was made possible by the enhanced capabilities of Advanced LIGO, a major upgrade that increases the sensitivity of the instruments compared to the first generation LIGO detectors, enabling a large increase in the volume of the universe probed-and the discovery of gravitational waves during its first observation run. The US National Science Foundation leads in financial support for Advanced LIGO. Funding organizations in Germany (Max Planck Society), the U.K. (Science and Technology Facilities Council, STFC) and Australia (Australian Research Council) also have made significant commitments to the project. Several of the key technologies that made Advanced LIGO so much more sensitive have been developed and tested by the German UK GEO collaboration. Significant computer resources have been contributed by the AEI Hannover Atlas Cluster, the LIGO Laboratory, Syracuse University, and the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. Several universities designed, built, and tested key components for Advanced LIGO: The Australian National University, the University of Adelaide, the University of Florida, Stanford University, Columbia University of the City of New York, and Louisiana State University. "In 1992, when LIGO's initial funding was approved, it represented the biggest investment the NSF had ever made," says France Córdova, NSF director. "It was a big risk. But the National Science Foundation is the agency that takes these kinds of risks. We support fundamental science and engineering at a point in the road to discovery where that path is anything but clear. We fund trailblazers. It's why the U.S. continues to be a global leader in advancing knowledge." LIGO research is carried out by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC), a group of more than 1000 scientists from universities around the United States and in 14 other countries. More than 90 universities and research institutes in the LSC develop detector technology and analyze data; approximately 250 students are strong contributing members of the collaboration. The LSC detector network includes the LIGO interferometers and the GEO600 detector. The GEO team includes scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, AEI), Leibniz Universität Hannover, along with partners at the University of Glasgow, Cardiff University, the University of Birmingham, other universities in the United Kingdom, and the University of the Balearic Islands in Spain. LIGO was originally proposed as a means of detecting these gravitational waves in the 1980s by Rainer Weiss, professor of physics, emeritus, from MIT; Kip Thorne, Caltech's Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, emeritus; and Ronald Drever, professor of physics, emeritus, also from Caltech. "The description of this observation is beautifully described in the Einstein theory of general relativity formulated 100 years ago and comprises the first test of the theory in strong gravitation. It would have been wonderful to watch Einstein's face had we been able to tell him," says Weiss. "With this discovery, we humans are embarking on a marvelous new quest: the quest to explore the warped side of the universe-objects and phenomena that are made from warped spacetime. Colliding black holes and gravitational waves are our first beautiful examples," says Thorne. In a 1987 interview with SPIE, Thorne talked about his vision for the LIGO detectors. "The kinds of things one will see with gravitational waves will be very different from what one sees with electromagnetic waves," Thorne said. "The region from which the gravitational waves would come would be the region of very strong gravity, deep in the interior of the imploding star...Gravitational waves are the only things that can get out unimpeded, with no loss of information." The SPIE video below is from a visit in September 2015 to the Hanford LIGO observatory. The first gravitational wave had been detected a week earlier, but was not announced until February 2016.


News Article | March 3, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

The Community for Accredited Online Schools, a leading resource provider for higher education information, has compiled a list of the best colleges and universities with online programs in Louisiana for 2017. Of the 20 four-year schools that were ranked, Tulane University of Louisiana, Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, Loyola University New Orleans and Louisiana Tech University secured the top five institutions. Louisiana’s top six two-year schools were also included on the list, with Delgado Community College, Southern University Shreveport and Bossier Parish Community College scoring highest. “For many students, earning a degree in a traditional classroom setting can be difficult, especially when working a full-time job or living far away from campus,” said Doug Jones, CEO and founder of AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org. “These Louisiana schools have outstanding online programs that meet the needs of students who need more flexible scheduling.” To earn a spot on the Best Online Schools list, colleges and universities in Louisiana must be institutionally accredited, public or private not-for-profit entities. Each college is also judged based on such criteria as student/teacher ratios, employment services, student counseling, graduation rates and financial aid availability. For more details on where each school falls in the rankings and the data and methodology used to determine the lists, visit: Louisiana’s Best Online Four-Year Schools for 2017 include the following: Grambling State University Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Louisiana State University-Alexandria Louisiana State University-Shreveport Louisiana Tech University Loyola University New Orleans McNeese State University New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Nicholls State University Northwestern State University of Louisiana Our Lady of the Lake College Southeastern Louisiana University Southern University and A & M College Southern University at New Orleans Tulane University of Louisiana University of Holy Cross University of Louisiana at Lafayette University of Louisiana at Monroe University of New Orleans Xavier University of Louisiana Louisiana’s Best Online Two-Year Schools for 2017 include the following: Bossier Parish Community College Delgado Community College Fletcher Technical Community College Louisiana State University-Eunice Northshore Technical Community College Southern University Shreveport ### About Us: AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org was founded in 2011 to provide students and parents with quality data and information about pursuing an affordable, quality education that has been certified by an accrediting agency. Our community resource materials and tools span topics such as college accreditation, financial aid, opportunities available to veterans, people with disabilities, as well as online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning programs that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational success.


News Article | December 21, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

A physicist helped to catch the first direct signs of long-sought gravitational waves. By Davide Castelvecchi A year ago, Gabriela Gonzalez was struggling to contain the biggest secret of her life. Two giant detectors in the United States had picked up signs of gravitational waves — wrinkles in space-time imagined by Albert Einstein but never before directly witnessed. It was Gonzalez’s job to help lead more than 1,000 scientists in their careful efforts to verify the discovery before announcing it to the public. News like that doesn’t stay under wraps for long, but the discovery was so momentous that the research team took nearly five months to analyse data from the two Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors in Washington state and Louisiana. As spokesperson for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, Gonzalez was one of the key people coordinating the analysis by groups scattered around the world, including researchers at the Virgo interferometer near Pisa, Italy, which pools its data with LIGO. The role of shepherding this massive effort made use of Gonzalez’s multidimensional talents. Most physicists know early on whether they will be a theorist or an experimentalist. But Gonzalez started her graduate studies as a theoretical physicist and only later switched to experimental work, when she showed uncommon aptitude. “It was the thing that set her up as a first-class scientist,” says Rainer Weiss, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and one of the founders of LIGO. Throughout her career, Gonzalez has done “a bit of everything” at LIGO, she says. For a while, she took on the crucial task of diagnosing the performance of the interferometers to make sure that they achieved unparalleled sensitivity — which is now enough to detect length changes in the 4-kilometre-long arms of the interferometers to within one part in 1021, roughly equivalent to the width of DNA compared with the orbit of Saturn. She has helped to lead the teams that analyse the data. And she nudged gravitational-wave researchers and dozens of their colleagues in conventional astronomy into signing pacts of cooperation. Together, they will look for phenomena that emit both gravitational and electromagnetic waves, in what has been called the coming age of multimessenger astronomy. In the hectic months before announcing the LIGO discovery, Gonzalez and her colleagues struggled to make sure that they had iron-clad evidence. They knew that history had not been kind to those who had previously reported gravitational waves. Most recently, in early 2015, an international collaboration had to retract its claims that a tele­scope at the South Pole had discovered indirect signs of the long-sought vibrations. To add to the pressure on the LIGO team, rumours of a discovery began to leak within a week of the initial finding, and reporters started to call. Throughout the long analysis period, Gonzalez says, she never made an important decision without consulting colleagues. But others laud her leadership. “What Gaby did is, she managed to get us through this period,” Weiss says. Gonzalez is based at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, close to the LIGO interferometer in Livingston. In 2008, she became the first woman to receive a full professorship in her department. She says that she has never experienced outright sexual harassment or discrimination during her career, but “I had to prove myself perhaps more than other people”. Gonzalez has said that after her current term as LIGO spokesperson ends in March 2017, she will not run again. She plans to go back to full-time research. The field of science she helped to create — gravitational-wave astronomy — has just seen its dawn. “It has always been a fun ride. And now it’s even better.” An AI developer beat one of the best at Go. Next up, solve global problems. By Elizabeth Gibney For veteran gamer Demis Hassabis, March brought the toughest match of his life — and he wasn’t even playing. Hassabis had to watch from the sidelines as his team’s creation, the computer program AlphaGo, took on Lee Sedol, a top-ranked champion in the strategy game Go. The computer won, marking a huge victory for the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and another in a series of triumphs for Hassabis. As co-founder of DeepMind, the London-based firm that developed AlphaGo, Hassabis was both elated and relieved. “It felt like our moonshot, and it was successful,” he says. But the win was about much more than Go. Hassabis wanted to show the world the power of machine-learning techniques, which he hopes to someday harness in a human-like, general AI capable of solving complex global problems. Hassabis had sketched this vision out as a precocious youth. A chess prodigy, he began designing innovative, multimillion-selling video games while in his teens and started his own company in his early 20s. After completing a PhD in cognitive neuroscience, he founded DeepMind in 2010. Google bought the company 4 years later for a reported £400 million (more than US$650 million at the time). At the firm, researchers apply inspiration from neuro­science to eye-catching AI tasks, from synthesizing speech to navigating the London Underground. Each algorithm builds complexity on to the last, says Hassabis, and weaves in capabilities that have historically been developed separately in AI. DeepMind AIs have gone from learning how to see, and acting on that vision, to using it to plan and reason. In terms of real-world problem-solving, the team used machine learning to cut power usage in Google’s data centres by 15%, something that Hassabis hopes to apply on a much grander scale. Although the company’s researchers do publish, their work-in-progress is kept under wraps, which irks some academics. And some data-privacy advocates have concerns over Google DeepMind’s plans to collaborate with the UK National Health Service. Scientists, however, have been flocking to work at the company. In person, Hassabis is unassuming but eager. He has a knack for swaying others to his passion, says Eleanor Maguire, his former PhD supervisor at University College London. “Once he gets talking about something he’s interested in, it’s infectious,” she says. Fitting research alongside running the company now means saving science for the small hours of the morning, something Hassabis says he doesn’t mind. “It’s a very important mission that we’re on, and I think it’s worth the sacrifice.” A coral researcher sounded the alarm over massive bleaching at the Great Barrier Reef. By Daniel Cressey When Terry Hughes flew over the Great Barrier Reef in March, his heart sank at the sight of telltale pale patches just below the surface, where corals were dead or dying. Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC’s) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Townsville, says that he and his students wept after looking at the aerial surveys of the damage. The bleaching hit nearly all of the reef, with initial surveys showing 81% of the northern section suffering severely. It was the most devastating bleaching ever documented on the Great Barrier Reef — and part of a wider event that was harming corals across the Pacific. The trigger for this year’s coral troubles in the Pacific was a strong El Niño warming pattern in the tropical part of that ocean. Abnormally high water temperatures prompt corals to expel the symbiotic zooxanthellae algae that provide them with much of their food — and their colour. Some corals can recover after bleaching, but others die. Follow-up studies in October and November found that 67% of ­shallow-water corals in the 700-kilometre northern section of the Great Barrier Reef had died. When the massive El Niño reared up in the Pacific in 2015, Australian researchers feared that the country’s reefs could be in danger. So Hughes, one of the world’s leading coral researchers, assembled a task force ready to survey the reef if bleaching occurred. The group eventually expanded to 300 scientists. “We put together a very detailed research plan, hoping of course that it wouldn’t happen,” he says. Hughes is based close to the central portion of the Great Barrier Reef. After leading the initial surveys, he became the de facto spokesperson on the catastrophe. At the height of media interest in the bleaching, Hughes did 35 interviews in one day. “In Australia, even people who have never been to the Great Barrier Reef and might never go there regard it as an icon,” says Bob Pressey, a fellow researcher at the ARC centre. The crisis on the reef defied some rules. Conventional thinking on bleaching events, says Hughes, is that corals die slowly from starvation after their zooxanthellae leave. But this year, water temperatures were so high that “we saw a lot of corals die before the starvation kicked in. They actually cooked.” Corals throughout the world have struggled in the past couple of years, as global temperatures have repeatedly hit record highs. In October 2015, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared that a global bleaching event was happening as coral reefs in Hawaii, Papua New Guinea and the Maldives began to succumb. This year, the bleaching spread to Australia, Japan and other parts of the Pacific. Researchers say that, as climate change drives up baseline temperatures, bleaching will afflict reefs more frequently. Under some scenarios, this could happen so often that most corals can no longer survive. Hughes is not ready to give up on the Great Barrier Reef just yet. But the recent bleaching has left corals in a weakened state, prone to attacks from pathogens and predators. Another bleaching event in the near future could bring further damage. “The message to people,” he says, “should be we’ve got a closing window of opportunity to deal with climate change.” An atmospheric chemist laid the foundation for an international climate agreement. By Jeff Tollefson It isn’t often that atmospheric chemists get to help save the world, but Guus Velders had his chance in October. He was attending inter­national negotiations in Kigali, Rwanda, that were seeking to phase out production and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), extremely potent greenhouse gases commonly used in air conditioners. Most nations had agreed on an aggressive timetable to begin eliminating the compounds, but India and a handful of other countries wanted an extra four years. After plugging the numbers into a model on his laptop computer, Velders informed negotiators that this particular concession would have little impact on the planet. That and his earlier work helped to smooth the way for a widely hailed global accord, which was signed on 15 October. Velders, a soft-spoken researcher at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, the Netherlands, is proud of the part he played. “I’ve never been involved in a process that leads to a global agreement on climate before,” he says. It was no coincidence, however. Colleagues say that Velders has become the world’s expert on HFC emissions, and that nobody else could have provided such rapid analysis in Kigali. He is part of a community of scientists that has helped to refashion the 1987 Montreal Protocol — an international agreement designed to protect the stratospheric ozone layer — into a tool with which to fight global warming. The refrigerants that fall within the scope of the protocol are also powerful greenhouse gases, and Velders’ team showed that the Montreal agreement actually did more to control global temperatures than did the 1997 Kyoto Protocol climate treaty. More recently, the team projected how much warming HFCs were likely to cause over the twenty-first century. That helped to set the stage for the agreement on HFCs, which was reached as an amendment to the Montreal Protocol. “The Velders team always answered the right questions at the right time,” says Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development, an advocacy group in Washington DC. “It’s safe to say that we wouldn’t have this agreement without them.” Now it’s back to the drawing board for Velders’ team. Their scenario about how HFC emissions would grow over time was rendered obsolete by the new agreement to ban them. That’s the kind of intellectual setback that Velders heartily accepts. A physician raced to make sense of a medical mystery in northeast Brazil. By Declan Butler Fears about the Zika virus spread across the globe in 2016, and the ­epicentre of concern was Brazil, where the epidemic first appeared in the Americas. Some researchers even called for postponing the Olympic Games scheduled for Rio de Janeiro in August that year. But away from the media frenzy, Celina Maria Turchi Martelli battled on the front lines in northeast Brazil to make sense of the medical mystery there. Turchi, a physician and infectious-disease expert, has had her life turned upside down by Zika since September 2015. That’s when the ministry of health asked her to investigate a sharp rise in reports of babies born with abnormally small heads and brains, a condition known as microcephaly, in her home state of Pernambuco. She quickly became convinced that the country was facing a public-health emergency. “Not even in my worst nightmare as an epidemiologist had I imagined a microcephaly neonate epidemic,” she says. Turchi, who is based at the Aggeu Magalhães Research Center in Recife, immediately contacted scientists across the globe for help. She formed a networked task force of epidemiologists, infectious-diseases experts, paediatricians, neurologists and reproductive biologists. The challenges were formidable, says Turchi: there were no reliable lab tests for Zika, and there was no consensus on a case definition of microcephaly. But the intense networking paid off, and Turchi and her colleagues eventually generated enough evidence to demonstrate a link between the condition and infection with Zika in the first trimester of pregnancy. Still, the mysteries are far from solved, says Turchi. Although Zika has spread across the Americas, the expected explosion in the number of microcephaly cases outside northeast Brazil has not materialized. Turchi and her task force are now trying to work out why. When she started going into the hospitals of Recife to investigate the outbreak, Turchi says, she had to innovate. “There was no book to follow.” Now, she and her colleagues are writing that book. The founder of an illegal hub for paywalled papers has attracted litigation and acclaim. By Richard Van Noorden It took Alexandra Elbakyan just a few years to go from information-technology student to famous fugitive. In 2009, when she was a graduate student working on her final-year research project in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Elbakyan  became frustrated at being unable to read many scholarly papers because she couldn’t afford them. So she learnt how to circumvent publishers’ paywalls. Her skills were soon in demand. Elbakyan saw scientists on web forums asking for papers they couldn’t access — and she was happy to oblige. “I got thanked many times for sending paywalled papers,” she says. In 2011, she decided to automate the process and founded Sci-Hub, a pirate website that grabs copies of research papers from behind paywalls and serves them up to anyone who asks. This year, interest in Sci-Hub exploded as mainstream media cottoned on to it and usage soared. According to Elbakyan’s figures, the site now hosts around 60 million papers and is likely to serve up more than 75 million downloads in 2016 — up from 42 million last year and, by one estimate, encompassing around 3% of all downloads from science publishers worldwide. It is copyright-breaking on a grand scale — and has brought Elbakyan praise, criticism and a lawsuit. Few people support the fact that she acted illegally, but many see Sci-Hub as advancing the cause of the open-access movement, which holds that papers should be made (legally) free to read and reuse. “What she did is nothing short of awesome,” says Michael Eisen, a biologist and open-access supporter at the University of California, Berkeley. “Lack of access to the scientific literature is a massive injustice, and she fixed it with one fell swoop.” For the first few years of its existence, the site flew under the radar — but eventually it grew too big for subscription publishers to ignore. In 2015, the Dutch company Elsevier, supported by the wider publishing industry, brought a US lawsuit against Elbakyan on the basis of copyright infringement and hacking. If Elbakyan loses, she risks having to pay many millions of dollars in damages, and potentially spending time in jail. (For that reason, Elbakyan does not disclose her current location and she was interviewed for this article by encrypted e-mail and messaging.) In 2015, a US judge ordered Sci-Hub to be shut down, but the site popped up on other domains. It’s most popular in China, India and Iran, she says, but a good 5% or so of its users come from the United States. Elbakyan has found her name splashed across newspapers, and says she typically gets a hundred supportive messages a week, some with financial donations. She says she feels a moral responsibility to keep her website afloat because of the users who need it to continue their work. “Is there anything wrong or shameful in running a research-access website such as Sci-Hub? I think no, therefore I can be open about my activities,” she says. Critics and supporters alike think that the site will have a lasting impact, even if it does not last. “The future is universal open access,” says Heather Piwowar, a co-founder of Impactstory, a non-profit firm incorporated in Carrboro, North Carolina, which helps scientists track the impact of their online output. “But we suspect and hope that Sci-Hub is currently filling toll-access publishers with roaring, existential panic. Because in many cases that’s the only thing that’s going to make them actually do the right thing and move to open-access models.” Whether or not that’s true, Elbakyan says she will keep building Sci-Hub — in particular, to expand its corpus of older manuscripts — while studying for a master’s degree in the history of science. “I maintain the website myself, but if I’m prevented, somebody else can take over the job,” she says. Shock, anger, scepticism and congratulations. Those were some of the reactions that fertility specialist John Zhang triggered in the scientific community in September, when he announced that a controversial technique that mixes DNA from three people had been used to produce a healthy baby boy. This kind of technique is intended to prevent children from inheriting disorders involving mitochondria — the cellular structures that produce energy. But ethical and safety concerns have prompted the United States to ban such procedures without a permit. Zhang, who works at New Hope Fertility Center in New York City, performed the technique at the company’s clinic in Mexico. Critics saw this as an attempt to evade regulation, and complained that he had announced the work at a conference rather than in a publication. But Zhang brushes aside those objections. “The most important is to have a live-birth baby, not to tell the whole world,” he says. Zhang has a habit of pushing scientific and ethical boundaries. In the 1990s, he worked with reproductive endocrinologist Jamie Grifo at the New York University Langone Medical Center to develop a version of the technique that Zhang used this year. The approach was designed to help older women to become pregnant by replacing their ageing mitochondria with those from younger eggs. No successful pregnancies resulted. When US regulators began restricting this technique in 2001, Zhang and his collaborators in China took over the work. In 2003, Zhang’s team created and implanted multiple embryos into a woman. After all the fetuses were miscarried, China banned the technique as well. Grifo and some others applaud Zhang’s latest work. “I think it’s a great thing it was finally done,” says Grifo. But others have criticized the New Hope team. “A lot of things they did were completely unsafe,” such as infusing the donor’s egg with a drug that could cause chromosomal abnormalities, says Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a stem-cell scientist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Zhang is undeterred. He says that plenty of other families at risk of mitochondrial disease have expressed interest in his procedure, and he hopes to perform it in other countries. “Five to ten years from today, people will look at it and say, ‘Why were we all so stupid, why were we against it?’” he says. “I think you have to show the benefit to mankind.” It was a trip to the Galapagos Islands at the age of ten that first whetted Kevin Esvelt’s appetite for tinkering with evolution. As he stood marvelling at the iguanas, birds and sheer diversity of the place that had inspired Charles Darwin, Esvelt vowed to understand evolution — and improve on it. “I wanted to learn more about how these creatures came to be,” he says. “And, frankly, I wanted to make more of my own.” Today, Esvelt is still a precocious biologist. Less than a year after launching his lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab in Cambridge, he has already made a name for himself as one of the pioneers of a controversial technique called a gene drive. His method harnesses CRISPR–Cas9 gene editing to circumvent evolution, forcing a gene to spread rapidly through a population. It could be used to wipe out mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria or eradicate invasive species. But it could also set off unintended ecological chain reactions, or be used to create a biological weapon. The idea of CRISPR gene drives hit Esvelt when he was tinkering with the Cas9 enzyme in 2013. “I had one day of absolute, ecstatic glee: this is what’s going to let us get rid of malaria,” says Esvelt. “And then I thought, ‘Wait a minute.’” Following that thought, Esvelt has worked to ensure that ethics comes before experiments. He first sounded the alarm in 2014, calling for public discussion about gene drives even before he had demonstrated that a CRISPR–Cas9 gene drive could work (K. A. Oye et al. Science 345, 626–628 (2014); K. M. Esvelt et al. eLife 3, e03401; 2014). Since then, he and his colleagues have shown how gene drives might be made safer, and how they could be reversed (J. E. DiCarlo et al. Nature Biotechnol. 33, 1250–1255; 2015). This year, his advocacy has begun to bear fruit. Researchers and policymakers worldwide have been discussing the technology, and a report from the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine urged that gene-drive research proceed, but cautiously. Omar Akbari, who studies gene drives at the University of California, Riverside, believes Esvelt’s outreach has focused public attention — and attracted funding — for a nascent technology at just the right time. “I attribute that to Kevin,” says Akbari. “It’s difficult for a scientist to do what he’s done.” An astronomer detected the nearest known planet outside the Solar System. By Alexandra Witze Guillem Anglada-Escudé wasn’t surprised early this year when evidence of an alien world rippled across his computer screen. He had been almost certain that an Earth-sized planet orbited Proxima Centauri, the star nearest the Sun at just 1.3 parsecs (4.2 light years) away. To Anglada, an astronomer at Queen Mary University of London, the discovery came as more of a relief than a shock. He and his colleagues had been working feverishly to stake their claim in the competitive world of planet hunting, and the Proxima find confirmed that they were on the right path. “We made it,” he says. To the rest of the world, the discovery of the closest known exoplanet to Earth stoked the public imagination. It raised questions about whether life might exist in our cosmic backyard, and whether astronomers might be able to detect it. These are the kinds of question that got Anglada into planet hunting in the first place. A science-fiction fan while growing up near Barcelona, Spain, he got his astronomical start doing data simulations for Gaia, a European Space Agency mission to map 1 billion stars. Later, he turned his data-crunching skills to exoplanets. He developed a method for extracting faint planetary signals from data gathered by the world’s premier ground-based planet-hunting instrument, the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) at the European Southern Observatory in La Silla, Chile. “Guillem has a natural talent of seeing the big picture where others see details,” says Mikko Tuomi, an astronomer at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, UK, and a collaborator of Anglada’s. But Anglada soon ran straight into high academic drama, tussling with other researchers over who deserved credit for discovering a planet bigger than Earth and smaller than Neptune orbiting the star Gliese 667C. “I could have left the field and done something else,” he says. “But I took the decision of following it very aggressively.” He dived into HARPS data, publishing paper after paper on the planetary signals he discovered amid the background noise in the data. And then, as if to push back on all the secrecy and competition, Anglada launched a very public hunt for a planet orbiting Proxima. He put together a team and got observing time on HARPS, as well as other telescopes that could double-check whether any promising evidence that they found was caused by stellar activity, which can mimic the signs of a planet (a problem that plagues many exoplanet claims). The researchers put nearly all their details on an outreach website and social-media accounts. Being so transparent “didn’t seem dangerous at all”, Anglada says. “We had a feeling nobody else would do this.” Within days, they confirmed that the planet was there; within weeks, they submitted a manuscript detailing their discovery. The planet, called Proxima b, is at least 1.3 times the mass of Earth and orbits Proxima every 11.2 days. Although it is close to its star, the world is within the ‘habitable zone’, where liquid water could exist on its surface. That makes it not only the closest known exoplanet of the 3,500-plus confirmed so far, but also a place where otherworldly life could thrive — a double bonus for researchers and science-fiction fans alike. Just before the paper was published in Nature in August (G. Anglada-Escudé et al. Nature 536, 437–440; 2016), Anglada e-mailed British sci-fi writer Stephen Baxter, author of the novel Proxima (Gollancz, 2013). They corresponded about what life might be like on a world with one hemisphere permanently facing a flaring star, as happens at Proxima. People could eventually get a close-up look at Proxima b. The Breakthrough Starshot initiative aims to send fleets of tiny laser-propelled spacecraft to a nearby star, and it may target Proxima as its closest and best option. Anglada’s next step is to see whether Proxima b transits, or passes across the face of its star as seen from Earth. The chances are low, but if it does, then much more science can be gleaned when Proxima’s light passes through the planet’s atmosphere, if it has one. And if the transit does not happen? Then Anglada may be off, to tease out some other signal of another world. A transgender physicist paved the way for greater acceptance of minority groups. By Elizabeth Gibney Physicists can be open to seeing the world in new ways, but they need to see the data first. This posed a problem for Elena Long, a nuclear physicist who has fought for her field to be more inclusive of people from sexual and gender minorities. “We didn’t have any data, because people considered it too offensive to ask if we exist. It was a catch-22.” Long was one of the architects of a first-of-its-kind survey run by the American Physical Society (APS), charting the experiences of physicists who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or from another sexual or gender minority (LGBT). The findings, presented to a packed room at the APS March meeting this year, were stark. Of the 324 scientists who responded, more than one in five reported having been excluded, intimidated or harassed at work in the previous year. Transgender physicists reported the highest incidence of discrimination. Long, who is transgender herself, was unsurprised. In 2009, she began work for her PhD at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Virginia, which lacked trans-inclusive employment protections and health-care benefits. She felt isolated without LGBT support networks. “I loved the work I was doing, and I loved the research. But it was rough,” she says. So she founded the LGBT+ Physicists support group and began pushing for greater recognition at the APS, which eventually created a committee to collect data on LGBT discrimination. Many physicists, she says, could not even understand the need for such a study. Thanks to Long and her colleagues, physics is emerging as exemplary in its approach to these issues, says Samuel Brinton, a board member of the society Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. “We are literally using their work to start changes for the better in multiple fields,” he says. The APS accepted the recommendations made in the March report. And in August, a major APS division voted to move its 2018 meeting out of Charlotte, North Carolina, in response to a state law that forces people to use public toilets that match the gender they were assigned at birth. Long has meanwhile won two young-scientist awards offered by her lab and become a co-leader on two new accelerator experiments. “I’ve known a lot of postdocs who’ve done voluntary work, and usually it compromises their science,” says Karl Slifer, Long’s postdoctoral supervisor at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. “I’ve never seen that in Elena.” (Long attributes her strict time management to a computer program she designed that charts every hour of her day.) Now Long is helping to set up an APS membership group focusing on diversity and inclusion, which she hopes will make it easier for scientists in other minority groups to flourish. “I’m sure there are other people facing problems in the field I never thought about,” she says. “I don’t want them to wait seven years to get to a place where they can have a voice.” Bargmann is steering the research operations of a US$3-billion effort by the philanthropic organization to cure, prevent or manage all disease by 2100. As the new head of the world’s most powerful X-ray free-electron laser, Feidenhans’l will guide the €1.2-billion (US$1.3-billion) facility during its ramp up to becoming fully operational by mid-year. Boeke is a director of an ambitious effort that is seeking to synthesize the human genome. He and others are already close to making a yeast genome. China’s plans call for launching the Chang’e-5 mission in the latter half of 2017 to collect the first lunar rock samples to be brought back to Earth since the 1970s. With her experience in President Barack Obama’s cabinet, McNutt will have a central role in representing US science during Donald Trump’s presidency.


News Article | December 8, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Safe Chain Solutions, a Benchworks Company, recently announced that the company has been named to the 2016 LSU 100: Fastest Growing Tiger Businesses, ranking fourth overall. The rankings were released on October 13 at an awards ceremony in Baton Rouge. The list honors the 100 fastest growing businesses led or owned by former students of Louisiana State University (LSU). Each company’s ranking is determined by its compound annual growth over a three-year period. In addition to celebrating the success of the honorees, the LSU 100 provides a forum to pass lessons on to the next generation of LSU entrepreneurs. Safe Chain Solutions Managing Partner Pat Boyd, a former student at LSU, commented on Safe Chain’s ranking, saying, “We are thrilled to be named in the LSU 100, and honored to have finished in the top 5. LSU is an exceptional university. My experience there was instrumental in my growth and development, both personally and professionally. Applying what I learned at LSU has helped me and my partners shape Safe Chain into the vibrant, growing business that it is today.” Safe Chain Solutions President and Partner Charles Boyd had this to say: “The entire Safe Chain team is proud to have our name recognized within such an outstanding group of businesses.” About Safe Chain Solutions Safe Chain Solutions is a rapidly growing distributor serving customers worldwide through its three divisions: Logistics Solutions, Healthcare Solutions and Specialty Pharmacy. Headquartered in Cambridge, Maryland, the company has sales offices in Miami and Annapolis, Maryland. For more information, visit http://www.SafeChainSolutions.com or call 855-43PL-SCS (855-437-5727). About Benchworks Benchworks, a comprehensive marketing services firm headquartered in Chestertown, Maryland, was founded in 1991. The company specializes in the design, production and launch of complete marketing and branding services. Clients include a wide variety of companies in the pharmaceutical, beverage, manufacturing and education industries in North America and Europe. For additional information, please visit http://www.Benchworks.com or call 800-536-4670.


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: www.bbc.co.uk

A $100m initiative to listen for signals from alien life is targeting a star with an unusual dimming pattern. The Breakthrough Listen project, backed by Prof Stephen Hawking, will train a US radio telescope on a target called Tabby's Star. Tabby's Star has been a subject of attention and controversy over its irregular dimming pattern. Some scientists have been puzzled by large dips in the star's brightness. One of the most favoured explanations for this behaviour is that a swarm of comet fragments is periodically blocking light from the star, which also known by its official designation - KIC 8462852. One very remote and speculative idea - yet one that has attracted much attention in the media - is that the pattern is caused by some kind of artificial structure, or a collection of structures, around the star. The co-director of the Breakthrough Listen programme, Dr Andrew Siemion, said he was sceptical of explanations that involved intelligent life. He added: "The Breakthrough Listen programme has the most powerful SETI equipment on the planet, and access to the largest telescopes on the planet. "We can look at it with greater sensitivity and for a wider range of signal types than any other experiment in the world." The team plans to use the 100m Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, US, to observe the star, which is named after the leader of the team that discovered it - Tabetha Boyajian, assistant professor at Louisiana State University. Previous searches, using the Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck Observatory, have failed to find any unusual signals around the star. But Dr Siemion explained: "The Green Bank Telescope is the largest fully steerable radio telescope on the planet, and it's the largest, most sensitive telescope that's capable of looking at Tabby's star given its position in the sky." The unusual behaviour around Tabby's star was first reported in September 2015 by Dr Boyajian, who was then a postdoctoral student at Yale University. The findings were published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The team was actually looking for evidence of planets orbiting stars other than our own. While most such dimming by transiting planets is brief, regular and blocks just 1 or 2% of the light of the star, Tabby's star dims for days at a time, by as much as 22%, and at irregular intervals. Speculation that the phenomenon could be caused by a "megastructure" built by an intelligent civilisation, has been dismissed by most scientists. But it has propelled the stellar object to prominence in the popular media. "I don't think it's very likely - a one in a billion chance or something like that - but nevertheless, we're going to check it out," said Dan Werthimer, chief scientist at Berkeley SETI, based at the University of California, Berkeley. Yet Tabby's Star remains a fascinating conundrum for astronomers. Some observations show that the dips in brightness are more irregular than a comet swarm would produce. And another study suggested that it had been dimming at a steady rate for the past century. The Breakthrough Listen initiative was launched in 2015 at an event in London. It is largely funded by Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner - who also supports the Breakthrough Prizes for science and maths.


News Article | November 30, 2015
Site: www.washingtonpost.com

In the spring of 2010, a lone gray whale was spotted off the Mediterranean coast of Israel, an event that sparked international interest for an important reason: It was the first North Atlantic sighting of a gray whale, a species nowadays restricted to the Pacific Ocean, in about 200 years. The case is just one example in a recent spate of animals turning up in places they don’t belong — generally, either Pacific species showing up in the Atlantic, or vice versa. Northern gannets, a North Atlantic species, have been spotted off the coast of California several times in recent years, for instance, while several Pacific species of auks, a type of diving bird, have recently been observed in the Atlantic. It’s a perplexing — yet apparently increasing — trend. And while animals do occasionally wander outside of their ranges, scientists are starting to believe that the recent flurry of movements between the Atlantic and Pacific ocean basins are early evidence of yet another consequence of climate change. They’re arguing that as sea ice continues to melt in the Arctic, passageways are opening for certain animals — heretofore restricted by the ice — to start moving through, enabling them to cross into new territories. This is the focus of a new paper, released Monday in the journal Global Change Biology, that explores the recent uptick in what the authors refer to as “faunal exchange,” or the movement of wildlife between the Atlantic and Pacific ocean basins, via the Arctic. Such movements are likely to be made possible by the opening up of passageways, including the famed Northwest Passage, a shipping route through the Arctic currently largely blocked by sea ice. Marine mammals, such as whales or seals, are often physically prevented from moving through the Arctic by sea ice, which gets in the way of their swimming or prohibits them from coming up to breathe. And seafaring birds, while capable of flying over the frozen ocean, frequently choose not to do so because the ice prevents them from diving for fish. But as passageways open up in the melting ice, these animals become more free to move about as they please. Such exchange could cause a variety of ecosystem-level changes down the road, the authors of the new paper argue, such as the potential for dramatic changes to food webs. The paper bases its argument on the growing list of recent examples — the gray  whales, the gannets and the auks, as well as unusual sightings of other birds and mammals, such as bowhead whales and shearwaters. “Animals on occasion get lost and they show up in strange places — ‘birds have wings’ is the saying,” said the paper’s lead author, the aptly named Seabird McKeon, a research scientist with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. “There are some species that are more prone to vagrancy than others, and so we do have this backdrop of motion.” However, he added, “when we’re talking about this exchange, and when the exchange starts becoming noticeable,” that’s when it becomes apparent that a pattern — likely caused by some other, external factor — is emerging. “Some people might feel that this paper is not loaded down with evidence — they’re basically talking about 10 or 20 species that have been seen out of their geographic range — but they make a good point,” said Larry Crowder, science director for Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions, who was not involved with the paper. “If there hasn’t been a gray whale in the Atlantic in 200 years and now there is one, that’s a change,” he said, adding, “They certainly didn’t overreach.” In fact, Kristin Laidre, a principal scientist at the University of Washington’s Polar Science Center (who was also not involved with the paper), said that the ideas presented in the paper have been floating around the scientific community for some time. “I think in the kind of ecological studies that consider the consequences of ice loss, the idea that species in the Pacific may become more connected with species in the Atlantic [or vice versa] isn’t really a new idea,” she said. Laidre was the lead author on a recent paper in Conservation Biology that explored the conservation status of Arctic marine mammals in light of the increasing effects of climate change in the region. The paper touches on the potential for increased movement of animals in the Arctic — and many of the species discussed in that paper also appear in McKeon’s new paper, where he and his colleagues have compiled a list of marine mammals and birds that they expect will move increasingly between the Atlantic and Pacific ocean basins in the future. The list includes bird species such as Arctic terns, common eiders, Atlantic puffins and short-tailed shearwaters and mammals such as beluga whales, ringed seals and Atlantic white-sided dolphins. Altogether, the list contains dozens of species, including both polar species, which typically inhabit open waters above the Arctic Circle, and what the authors refer to as ice-edge species, which live south of the Arctic sea ice. While no one can say for sure yet what consequences these types of movements could have, McKeon and his colleagues discuss a number of possible outcomes in the paper. It’s important to note that these outcomes are all speculative for the time being. However, scientists can look at past examples of other faunal exchanges to get a sense of what could happen in the future. One example the authors point to is the Great American Biotic Interchange, which occurred several million years ago when the isthmus of Panama formed, allowing land animals a bridge to cross between North and South America. As the authors note, the fossil record indicates that in this case, mammals from North America invaded South America and outcompeted many of the native species there for resources. This type of outcome is a potential concern with species crossing from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and vice versa. Additionally, introducing new predators into an area where they didn’t previously exist can “change food web dynamics profoundly,” Laidre pointed out, noting that the killer whale is a recent prime example. As the authors wrote in the paper, killer whales recently “expanded into ice-free areas of Hudson Bay where they were documented preying upon Arctic marine mammals including beluga (Delphinapterus leucas), narwhal (Monodon monoceros), bowhead, and at least four species of seal.” There could be genetic changes within migrating populations, as well, as they move and mix with one another. One consequence could be an increase in hybridization, whereby some species or subspecies could eventually be genetically phased out of existence, suggested Ryan Terrill, a Ph.D. candidate at Louisiana State University’s Museum of Natural Sciences, who served as a peer reviewer on the paper. On the other hand, this type of mixing could add genetic diversity to small subpopulations, which could be a good thing, said Laidre. In general, Laidre said, the effects of the exchange will not necessarily be all negative. “It’s more of a big baseline shift,” she said. And McKeon noted, “Populations of animals have been moving as long as there have been populations of animals.” So it’s not necessarily a good idea to try and stop them. The key, he said, is rather to increase the monitoring of wildlife as they move about in the Arctic to better understand which species are ending up where and how they might be affecting their environment. This information can help inform conservation tactics moving forward, including the need for updated international conservation agreements. “As the Arctic opens, environmental protections may be undermined,” said Kirsten Oleson, an assistant professor of ecological economics at the University of Hawaii and a co-author on the paper. “We haven’t really thought about protecting fauna in the Arctic because it’s been so remote and there’s been so little access to the area. But as the access increases and these animals are moving through the newly liquified waters, then new environmental protections may need to be put in place.” For instance, as animals move around and their surrounding ecosystems correspondingly adjust, humans may need to alter certain behaviors in order to avoid harming an already shifting and vulnerable environment. “The paper stressed a lot about shifts in food webs of oceanic organisms, but not too much shifts in threats from humans,” Crowder pointed out. “If you have a lot of ships moving through the Northwest Passage, you’re also likely to have the potential for ship strikes of whales, which hasn’t been an issue because shipping [in the Arctic] has been pretty limited.” In general, it’s fair to say that faunal exchange between the Atlantic and Pacific will largely be a “wait-and-see” kind of situation. Scientists seems to agree that it’s already beginning to occur, and will only increase as more passages open up in the Arctic — but its exact effects remain to be seen. Nevertheless, the phenomenon represents yet another — and little talked-about — consequence of anthropogenic climate change, one with potential far-reaching and large-scale implications for the world’s ecosystems. “Inasmuch as we have created the situation, these are natural responses to changing global patterns,” McKeon said. “And so our responsibility, if anything, is to allow species to adjust and to adapt to a changing world in the same way that we are attempting to adjust and adapt to a changing world.”


News Article | February 11, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

Albert Einstein was dead on, peering into the future with his 1915 general theory of relativity. As part of the National Science Foundation's major live-stream and accompanying press release statement this morning, it was announced that scientists have observed ripples in spacetime fabric called gravitational waves for the first time ever. The waves came to Earth from a cataclysmic event in the far universe, thus confirming Einstein's theory, as reported by the NSF. According to the NSF, the gravitational waves were detected on Sept. 14, 2015, by twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, based in Livingston, La., and Hanford, Wash. LIGO scientists estimate that the black holes for this event were an estimated 29 and 36 times the mass of the sun, figuring that the event occurred 1.3 billion years ago. What's key about this discovery is the NSF says gravitational waves carry information about the nature of gravity that can't be gathered from anywhere else. The detected gravitational waves last September were generated during the final fraction of a second amidst the merger of two black holes, according to physicists and the NSF. "Our observation of gravitational waves accomplishes an ambitious goal set out over five decades ago to directly detect this elusive phenomenon and better understand the universe, and, fittingly, fulfills Einstein's legacy on the 100th anniversary of his general theory of relativity," Caltech's David H. Reitze, executive director of the LIGO Laboratory, said as part of the NSF's press release on Thursday's amazing announcement. Added Gabriela González, professor of physics and astronomy at Louisiana State University: "This detection is the beginning of a new era: The field of gravitational wave astronomy is now a reality." The windows of possibility that the confirmation of gravitational waves opens up is massive. "With this discovery, we humans are embarking on a marvelous new quest: the quest to explore the warped side of the universe — objects and phenomena that are made from warped spacetime," Caltech's Kip Thorne told the NSF. "Colliding black holes and gravitational waves are our first beautiful examples." Needless to say, scientists aren't in the least bit surprised that Einstein was right with his prediction, either. "The description of this observation is beautifully described in the Einstein theory of general relativity formulated 100 years ago and comprises the first test of the theory in strong gravitation," Rainer Weiss, MIT professor of physics, added. "It would have been wonderful to watch Einstein's face had we been able to tell him." The full study by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration will be published in the journal Physical Review Letters.


News Article | November 9, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Leading online higher education resource provider AffordableCollegesOnline.org has released its list of the Best Online Colleges in Louisiana for 2016-2017. Using a combination of value-based statistics, the site determined 23 schools offer top quality, affordable online education programs, with University of Louisiana at Monroe, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Southern University A & M College, Bossier Parish Community College, Louisiana State University Eunice and Southern University Shreveport scoring highest. "The number of local students attending college in Louisiana has decreased since 2008, while the number of out-of-state students enrolled is on the rise” said Dan Schuessler, CEO and Founder of AffordableCollegesOnline.org. "With top online learning programs, the schools on our list are not only the most cost-efficient, they are also creating opportunities for both in- and out-of-state students to earn a quality education.” There are several eligibility requirements that must be met for schools to qualify for the Best Online Colleges in Louisiana list. Only schools who hold accreditation and are public or private not-for-profit institutions are eligible. Maximum tuition costs are also set to ensure affordability standards; two-year schools must offer in-state tuition no more than $5,000 per year and four-year schools must offer in-state tuition no more than $25,000 per year. Once basic eligibility is confirmed, all qualifying schools are scored against one another using statistical factors such as financial aid, graduation rates and more. Louisiana’s Best Online Colleges are listed alphabetically below. Full ranking and information on the data and methodology used to determine each school’s placement can be found at: A complete listing of the Best Online Colleges in Louisiana for 2016-2017: Bossier Parish Community College Delgado Community College Fletcher Technical Community College Grambling State University Louisiana State University - Alexandria Louisiana State University - Eunice Louisiana State University - Shreveport Louisiana Tech University McNeese State University New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Nicholls State University Northshore Technical Community College Northwestern State University of Louisiana Our Lady of Holy Cross College Our Lady of the Lake College Southeastern Louisiana University Southern University and A & M College Southern University at New Orleans Southern University Shreveport University of Louisiana at Lafayette University of Louisiana at Monroe University of New Orleans Xavier University of Louisiana AffordableCollegesOnline.org began in 2011 to provide quality data and information about pursuing an affordable higher education. Our free community resource materials and tools span topics such as financial aid and college savings, opportunities for veterans and people with disabilities, and online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning environments that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational and career success. We have been featured by nearly 1,100 postsecondary institutions and nearly 120 government organizations.


News Article | December 6, 2016
Site: www.businesswire.com

NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First NBC Bank Holding Company (NASDAQ:FNBC) (“First NBC” or “the company”) announced today a leadership transition plan designed to strengthen the company’s operations and to best position First NBC for the future. As part of its ongoing review of management and internal controls, the First NBC Board of Directors has announced its intent, subject to regulatory approvals, to: First NBC has a comprehensive search process underway to identify a permanent Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer. The search process is led by the Board’s recently formed Structural and Organizational Committee. First NBC has retained Chrisman & Company, a leading executive search firm, to assist in the process. “The leadership transition plan announced today is designed to strengthen First NBC’s operational foundation as we focus on fortifying the Bank’s capital position and delivering enhanced shareholder value,” said Shivan Govindan, First NBC's Chairman of the Board. “First NBC is a valuable New Orleans institution with deep relationships with our customers and the local communities we serve. Thanks to Ashton and the rest of the management team’s hard work, we believe we have a strong foundation for success and profitability.” Mr. Moyse has served as Chairman of the Board of First NBC Bank since September 2016 and as a director of the Bank since its inception in 2006. Mr. Moyse has more than 35 years of banking experience having served as an executive officer of two banking institutions and a director or advisory director of four banking institutions. He began his banking career at City National Bank of Baton Rouge, where he served in numerous senior executive officer positions, as well as Chairman of the Board. During this time, he also served as President of the Community Development Corporation of First Commerce Corp., the $9.4 billion asset parent bank holding company for City National Bank. Upon the bank’s acquisition by Bank One, Mr. Moyse continued to serve as a senior executive for Bank One’s Louisiana operations for 12 months. After leaving Bank One, he served as a director and founder of Alliance Bank of Baton Rouge from 1999 until its acquisition by IBERIABANK in 2004, after which he served for almost two years as an advisory director of IBERIABANK. Mr. Moyse is a graduate of the College of Emporia, B.S., and Louisiana State University, M.S.W. Ms. Crowle has more than 35 years of banking experience and has served as a Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer of First NBC Bank and First NBC Bank Holding Company, holding various managerial responsibilities over the Bank’s operations. As Chief Compliance Officer, Ms. Crowle has overseen bank administrative processes, legal processes, regulatory compliance including BSA and serving as the primary liaison for all regulatory agencies, as well as bank security, internal audit and internal controls. Ms. Crowle also served as one of the organizing executives when the Bank opened and has coordinated the administration of M&A activity and the resulting conversions. Prior to joining First NBC, Ms. Crowle served for 10 years as a Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer of First Bank & Trust (New Orleans) and as Compliance Officer while employed for 15 years at Delta Bank. “Buck and Marsha have been valued members of First NBC, and we appreciate their willingness to step into these roles on an interim basis,” said Mr. Govindan. “We believe Buck’s significant industry expertise will provide valuable support to the company and its management team during this important time in its history. Likewise, I have great confidence that Marsha will help strengthen our operations and control environment.” Added Mr. Govindan, “On behalf of the entire First NBC Board, I want to thank Ashton for his leadership in helping to create New Orleans’ largest locally headquartered financial institution. Ashton is a stalwart of the community and we are pleased that he will remain an integral member of our expanded management team, delivering the service our customers have come to expect from First NBC.” “Building First NBC and serving the people of New Orleans has been a privilege and highlight of my professional career,” said Mr. Ryan. “I am extremely proud of all that we have accomplished and the significant role First NBC has played in rebuilding the region after Hurricane Katrina. I intend to shift my focus to helping First NBC in growing and maintaining its customer relationships, and I am very pleased to have Buck’s and Marsha’s combined focus dedicated to improving our operational strength. I look forward to working with Buck and continuing to serve our customers as President. As we begin the transition to the next chapter in First NBC’s history, I have great confidence in the company and I am committed to supporting a seamless transition.” As previously announced, First NBC’s Board of Directors is actively pursuing strategic options to deliver enhanced shareholder value. First NBC does not intend to comment further unless and until a definitive transaction is achieved. This release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. Forward-looking statements reflect the current views and estimates of management of First NBC with respect to future economic circumstances, industry conditions, company performance and financial results. They often include the words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate” or words of similar meaning, or future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could” or “may.” Forward-looking statements, by their nature, are subject to risks and uncertainties. A number of factors - many of which are beyond the control of First NBC - could cause actual conditions, events or results to differ significantly from those described in the forward-looking statements. Among other factors, actual results may differ from those described in forward-looking statements due to First NBC’s ability to obtain all applicable regulatory approvals associated with the proposed appointments in a timely manner, as well as other factors included in filings made by First NBC with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those risk factors set forth in First NBC’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Copies of First NBC’s reports filed with the SEC are available in the Investor Relations section of First NBC’s website, www.firstnbcbank.com. First NBC undertakes no duty to update forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date the forward-looking statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.


News Article | December 20, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

The new office of Dermatology Associates of DFW, North Fort Worth/Keller, include nine exam rooms, including four spacious procedure rooms for skin cancer surgeries as well as cosmetic procedures. Dr. Ben Treen, MD, is thrilled to lead the practice, ideally located to care for patients in and around North Fort Worth, Alliance, Trophy Club, Roanoke, Westlake, Southlake, Watauga, Colleyville, and North Richland Hills. Joining Dr. Treen at the new office is Amanda Rickords, PA-C. Dr. Treen is a strong advocate for preventive exams and emphasizes the importance of comprehensive skin exams. “Many patients have thanked me for what they say is the most thorough exam they have ever had,” Dr. Treen says. “I have found unsuspected skin cancers on numerous occasions by looking at the whole person, not just the spot or problem that stimulated the visit. I strive to treat everyone the way I would want a member of my family treated, as all deserve dignity and respect.” Dr. Treen, a New Orleans native, earned his bachelor’s degree in biology the University of Georgia and his medical degree at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C. He completed residencies in internal medicine at Ochsner Medical Foundation in New Orleans and dermatology at Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology and a Fellow of the American Society of Mohs Surgery.


Esteemed Roundtable Member, Dr. Mary Frances Gardner, Has Now Been Recognized by America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals as a Professional of the Year Dr. Mary Frances Gardner of New Orleans, Louisiana, has recently been recognized by America’s Registry of Outstanding as a Roundtable Member for her outstanding contributions and achievements in the field of Ob/Gyn. She has now been selected as Professional of the Year 2017. The Professional of the Year membership in America’s Registry is awarded to those candidates who have achieved recognition in their respective industry or profession for their accomplishments and who have established a commendable reputation. This membership honors individuals who have reached the highest standards of business practices and, as such, should be recognized for their standings in the business world. America’s Registry is pleased to honor Dr. Mary Frances Gardner for her accomplishments in the field of Ob/Gyn. www.americasregistry.com/profoftheyear_bio.asp Farmingdale, NY, November 17, 2016 --( PR.com )-- Dr. Mary Frances Gardner was born in Houston, Texas. She earned her B.S. at Louisiana State University and her M.D. at Louisiana State University School of Medicine. She also earned her M.P.H. at Tulane University School of Public Health and served her Ob/Gyn residency at Tulane University. Dr. Gardner held a private practice from 1973 to 1991. Afterward, she was associated with Tulane University Student Health Services from 1991 to 2005 and currently has a private practice once again. Dr. Gardner has several honors/awards to her credit, including: Tropical Medicine Fellowship, Louisiana State University School of Medicine; Fellow, American College of Preventive Medicine; Fellow, the American College of OB/GYN. She is also affiliated with the Jefferson Parish Medical Society, Zonta International, the American Medical Women’s Association, the American Medical Students Association and Women Leaders in Medicine, 2015.The Professional of the Year membership in America’s Registry is awarded to those candidates who have achieved recognition in their respective industry or profession for their accomplishments and who have established a commendable reputation. This membership honors individuals who have reached the highest standards of business practices and, as such, should be recognized for their standings in the business world. America’s Registry is pleased to honor Dr. Mary Frances Gardner for her accomplishments in the field of Ob/Gyn.


News Article | November 17, 2015
Site: www.scientificcomputing.com

The SCinet network, SC’s Supercomputing Internet, is now live. On November 14, 2015, the Austin Convention Center became home to the fastest and most innovative computer network in the world, delivering more than 1.6 terabits per second of network bandwidth to the SC conference (SC15). SCinet gives the SC conference attendees a unique chance to showcase and discover the latest research in HPC. By building the fastest, most innovative operational network possible every year, SCinet enables data-intensive research and live-use of high performing hardware to run multi-gigabit demonstrations, requiring a fast and robust infrastructure. “This network is unrivaled with regards to its capabilities and the broad-reaching influence, both nationally and internationally, to support demonstrations and experiments that could not be done easily in any other place. It’s a one-of-a-kind environment where research meets production,” says Davey Wheeler, SCinet Chair and Senior Network Engineer from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). “As the SCinet Chair leading the development of this network, this year is a culmination of 17 years of experience working on SCinet from year to year. It is humbling and honoring to be able to work aside these colleagues and see the tremendous talent, dedication and creativity of the volunteers.” SCinet is built by a team of expert volunteers from around the world, taking one year to design the network, three weeks to set it up, four days to operate it, and 24 hours to tear it down. Over 100 engineers from industry, academia and government institutions came together to build this network, using over $22 million in loaned equipment and over 89 miles of newly installed fiber optic cables. “Having been the SCinet Chair for SC07 in Reno, I am intimately familiar with the incredible amount of planning and work that goes into creating what will be the most powerful network. Over 130 SCinet volunteers from more than 15 countries have worked energetically for the past year to provide wired and wireless access to our conference attendees, and the platform for our exhibitors to showcase bandwidth-driven HPC and cloud computing applications. SCinet continues to be a crucial part of SC, and I am extremely grateful for their hard work,” says Jackie Kern, Director of IT Shared Services at UIUC and SC15 Conference Chair. For SC15, SCinet has connected multiple 100 gigabit circuits, bringing an unprecedented 1.62 terabits per second of bandwidth to the Austin Convention Center. Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN) leads this effort in collaboration with leading national and international research networks and commodity providers. LEARN and SCinet supports the HPC community by providing multiple 100 gigabit waves and complementary capabilities throughout the SC15 conference events. In addition to the massive external capacity SCinet brings to the convention center, the network is also supporting research initiatives through a half-day workshop, Innovating the Network for Data-Intensive Science (INDIS); and the Network Research Exhibition (NRE). SCinet organizes the INDIS workshop to discuss technical papers and show floor demonstrations dedicated to high performance networking technologies, innovations, protocols, hardware and much more. Further, SCinet is providing the wireless connectivity for more than 11,000 expected conference attendees throughout the conference areas. The SCinet team built the SC15 wireless network using 339 wireless access points to support more than 4,000 simultaneous users on the conference wifi. The wireless network will include support for eduroam (education roaming) service, which allows users (researchers, teachers, students, and staff) from participating institutions to securely access the protected wireless network using their home organization’s login credentials. SCinet is the result of the hard work and significant contributions of many government, research, education and corporate collaborators who have volunteered time, equipment and expertise to ensure SC15’s success. This year, SCinet continued the Contributors Program and would like to give a special thank you to all SCinet contributors and volunteers. Volunteers from the following organizations supporting the development and deployment of SCinet: Alcatel-Lucent, Army Research Laboratory, CABLExpress Corporation, CENIC, CenturyLink, Ciena, Cisco, Clemson University, DFN-Verein, DataDirect Networks, Dell Research, Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), Florida LambdaRail (FLR), Freelance, Georgia Institute of Technology, Idaho State University, InMon Corporation, Indiana University, Indiana University GlobalNOC, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Infinera, Internet Consulting of Vermont, Internet2, JDSU, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN), Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI), Louisiana State University, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, REANNZ, Radware, Reservoir Labs, SURFnet, Sandia National Laboratories, The University of Texas at Austin, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, University of Amsterdam, University of California, San Diego, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Heidelberg, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan, University of Oklahoma, University of Pittsburgh, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, University of Texas, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Utah Education Network, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

The Community for Accredited Online Schools (AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org), an online leader in higher education information, has released its list of the Best Pharmacy Technician Programs in the nation for 2016-2017. Data from both on-campus and online programs was compiled to determine top programs across the U.S., with Pensacola State College, Vincennes University, North Seattle College, Baker College and Seminole State College of Florida scoring in the top five for four-year schools and Arkansas State University Beebe, Eastern New Mexico University Roswell Campus, Central Louisiana Technical Community College, Cape Fear Community College and Eastern Arizona College scoring in the top five for two-year schools. “A majority of jobs in the U.S., including pharmacy technician positions, do not require a Bachelor’s degree,” said Doug Jones, CEO and Founder of the Community for Accredited Online Schools. “This list focuses on ranking the schools that provide top-quality pharmacological training that prepares students to make a successful, efficient transition from the classroom into the workplace.” Whether offering on-campus or online programs, schools are required to meet specific standards to land a spot on the Best Pharmacy Technician Programs list. Each institution must be an accredited two- or four-year public or private not-for-profit college or university. Each must also offer career placement services for students after they graduate. A dozen other data points were compared to determine where each school scored in the ranking, including financial aid information and tuition rates. Community for Accredited Online Schools’ complete list of the Best Pharmacy Technician Programs for 2016-2017 is printed below. For specific data and details on each school’s ranking visit: Albany Technical College Angelina College Arkansas State University - Beebe Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Ashland Community and Technical College Atlanta Technical College Augusta Technical College Cape Fear Community College Casper College Central Georgia Technical College Central Louisiana Technical Community College Cerritos College Chemeketa Community College Clark College College of the Mainland Columbus Technical College Crowder College Davidson County Community College Durham Technical Community College Eastern Arizona College Eastern New Mexico University - Roswell Campus El Paso Community College Fayetteville Technical Community College Gateway Community and Technical College Georgia Northwestern Technical College Guilford Technical Community College Hutchinson Community College Jefferson Community and Technical College Johnston Community College Jones County Junior College Lakeshore Technical College Lone Star College Miles Community College National Park College North Dakota State College of Science North Georgia Technical College North Iowa Area Community College Pikes Peak Community College Renton Technical College Sinclair College Somerset Community College Southern Regional Technical College Spokane Community College State Fair Community College Texas State Technical College - Waco Tulsa Community College Vance-Granville Community College Wake Technical Community College Wayne County Community College District Western Iowa Tech Community College Baker College Cabarrus College of Health Sciences Florida State College at Jacksonville Gulf Coast State College Indian River State College Jackson College Louisiana State University - Alexandria Marygrove College Miami Dade College North Seattle College Oklahoma State University - Oklahoma City Pasco-Hernando State College Pensacola State College Remington College - Dallas Campus Remington College - Memphis Campus Remington College - Shreveport Campus Robert Morris University Illinois Seminole State College of Florida Snow College South Texas College The University of Montana University of Alaska Anchorage University of Rio Grande Vincennes University West Virginia University at Parkersburg About Us: The Community for Accredited Online Schools (AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org) was founded in 2011 to provide students and parents with quality data and information about pursuing an affordable education that has been certified by an accrediting agency. Our community resource materials and tools span topics such as college accreditation, financial aid, opportunities available to veterans, people with disabilities, as well as online learning resources. We feature higher education institutions that have developed online learning programs that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational success. environments that include highly trained faculty, new technology and resources, and online support services to help students achieve educational and career success.


News Article | December 8, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The University of Texas at Arlington has won three national U.S. Department of Transportation grants that could be worth about $12 million in funding to UTA during the next five years and speaks to the University's growing expertise across several academic and research disciplines that intersect the nation's current and future transportation infrastructure. Researchers in the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs (CAPPA) and the Department of Civil Engineering are the principal investigators or co-principal investigators on the grants. UTA vied in a national competition for $300 million in DOT funding allocated to 32 University Transportation Centers across the country. UTA was one of only a few universities to land three projects. "The announcement of these awards signals a transformational achievement by CAPPA, by civil engineering, and by UTA as we focus on enabling the sustainable megacity that the Dallas/Fort Worth region will become in the next decade," said President Vistasp Karbhari. "It ensures that our talented faculty, researchers and students will be at the very center of progress and advancement, and will contribute significantly to quality of life in the years to come for North Texas and for the country." The first grant will establish the Center for Transportation Equity, Decisions and Dollars (C-TEDD) in North Texas, one of the 32 UTCs. The award will fund the center and transportation research, teaching and outreach on transportation-related projects and issues for the North Texas region and beyond. The C-TEDD grant is expected to total up to $7.7 million over a five year period. UTA's share in the first year is $1.4 million. Other partners in this Tier 1 University Transportation Center consortium with UTA are California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of South Florida. C-TEDD plans to assist transportation leaders and elected officials in making wiser, more informed choices about transportation through the information and data it provides. It will focus on preserving the existing transportation system, while aligning transportation decision-making and funding sources and mechanisms to achieve efficiency, equity and upward social mobility. Shima Hamidi, assistant professor of planning in CAPPA and principal investigator on the C-TEDD grant, said, "The center brings together nearly 50 top faculty in associated fields to collaboratively produce research that will address our transportation system needs in the smartest, most efficient and most equitable way possible," Hamidi said. "We want to improve the tools and technologies available for state and local governments so they can address infrastructure concerns efficiently." UTA also won U.S. DOT funding of another UTC as part of a Louisiana State University-led Transportation Consortium of South-Central States in the amount of a planned $12.5 million over five years. UTA Civil Engineering professors Stefan Romanoschi and Anand Puppala are UTA's representatives in that group. Romanoschi and Puppala could access up to $2.5 million in the first year of funding. This consortium aims to support all phases of research, technology transfer, workforce development and outreach activities of emerging technologies that can solve transportation challenges in the region. Its focus is on improving transportation infrastructure through research into innovative materials and new technology. Romanoschi is an expert in pavement engineering, pavement materials, pavement design and construction, pavement testing and management. Puppala's proficiency is in soil research, ground modification, using recycled waste materials, sustainability in geotechnical engineering, pavement geotechnics and site characterization. In addition, UTA's Stephen Mattingly, associate professor of civil engineering, is part of another similarly funded consortium led by Portland State University. Mattingly will draw upon a total award of $15.6 million that PSU will administer. His first-year funding is $310,000. His projects include developing institutional infrastructure, evaluating transit connections for opportunities and developing a non-motorized data archive and tools. Mattingly's expertise is in decision and risk analysis, transportation and public health, transportation planning, intelligent transportation systems, traffic engineering, public transit, bicycle and pedestrian behavior and safety, and transportation safety. The three awards speaks to all four key themes of the University's Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact, building sustainable urban communities, advancing health and the human condition, addressing the global environmental impact and utilizing data-driven discovery. In 2013, there were 45.3 million people living in poverty in the nation, an increase of more than 14 million since 2000. The number of people falling into this category who are over 65 will almost double in 30 years. Hamidi said UTA researchers look forward to collaborating with partner institutions to solve major transportation planning issues facing the nation. "The health and well-being of the DFW region, and others into the future, depends largely on its transportation networks and opportunities," said CAPPA Dean and co-Principal Investigator on the C-TEDD grant Nan Ellin. "As the U.S. DOT defines it, transportation includes all forms of mobility including walking and biking, so this Center and the work of the others will aim to render this entire mobility network more complete and efficient in order to enhance public health, environmental sustainability and access to upward mobility." About The University of Texas at Arlington The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie Research-1 "highest research activity" institution of about 55,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times' 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit http://www. to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at http://www. . For more on the Strategic Plan, see Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.


News Article | December 13, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A chemistry professor at The University of Texas at Arlington has been honored with a prestigious award for his groundbreaking contributions to the fields of analytical chemistry. Purnendu "Sandy" Dasgupta, the Hamish Small Chair of Ion Analysis in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UTA, was named recipient of the 2016 Eastern Analytical Symposium's highest award, the Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Fields of Analytical Chemistry. Dasgupta was presented with the award during the organization's annual meeting in Somerset, N.J. "This is a tremendous honor and I'm very grateful for this recognition by my peers," Dasgupta said. "This award means so much to me because it is a rare one that does not recognize expertise in a specific area but recognizes broad contributions across the fields of analytical chemistry." The Eastern Analytical Symposium and Exposition is held each year to provide professional scientists and students continuing education in the analytical and allied sciences through the presentation of symposia of papers, workshops and short courses. College of Science Dean Morteza Khaledi said that the EAS Award is a well-deserved honor for Dasgupta, noting that many of Dasgupta's important contributions to analytical chemistry have had significant positive impact on health and the human condition, one of the main pillars of UTA's Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact. "Through his research Dr. Dasgupta has done so much to address critical issues related to improving human health and the methods we use to treat disease and illness," Khaledi said. "His innovations and contributions across an array of fields make him a most worthy recipient of this prestigious award." The honor was made all the more special for Dasgupta by the presence at the awards ceremony of many close friends and colleagues, including Janusz Pawliszyn of the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada; Satinder Ahuja, president of Ahuja Consulting; Chris Pohl and Kannan Srinivasan of Thermo Fisher, a biotechnology product development company; Graham Marshall, president of Global FIA, a technology company specializing in flow-based analysis techniques; William Barber of Agilent Technologies, a public research, development and manufacturing company; and Kevin Schug, Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UTA. Dasgupta, who joined UTA in 2007 following 25 distinguished years at Texas Tech University, has won numerous awards over the course of his career. In August, he received the Tech Titans Technology Inventors Award, presented by the Technology Association of North Texas, for his many innovations in chemical and environmental analysis. Other honors he has received include the 2015 American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry J. Calvin Giddings Award for Excellence in Education; the 2012 Stephen Dal Nogare Award in Chromatography; the 2012 Wilfred T. Doherty Award, DFW Section of the ACS; and the 2011 ACS Award in Chromatography. He also was named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and an honorary member of the Japan Society of Analytical Chemistry, both in 2015. Among his recent research projects, Dasgupta led a team which devised a new method to measure the amount of blood present in dry blood spot analysis, providing a new alternative to the current preferred approach of measuring sodium levels. Dry blood spot analysis is simple and inexpensive and is routinely used to screen newborns for metabolic disorders. It also has proven effective in diagnosing infant HIV infection, especially in developing countries where health budgets are limited. Another of Dasgupta's recent projects is the development of a prototype for an implantable in-line shunt flow monitoring system for hydrocephalus patients, which could lead to better treatment, especially in infants and children who account for a large percentage of shunt operations every year. In another project, Dasgupta is using a $1.2 million grant from NASA to further the search for amino acids, the so-called building blocks of life, by extending a platform that he developed to detect and separate ions. Dasgupta's active research areas also include methods for environmentally friendly analysis of arsenic in drinking water; rapid analysis of trace heavy metals in the atmosphere; iodine nutrition in women and infants and the role of the chemical perchlorate; and the development of a NASA-funded ion chromatograph for testing extraterrestrial soil, such as that found on Mars. Dasgupta received a bachelor's degree with honors in Chemistry from Bankura Christian College in 1968 and a master's degree in inorganic chemistry from the University of Burdwan in 1970, both located in West Bengal, India. He came to the United States in 1973 and earned his doctorate in analytical chemistry under Philip W. West, with a minor in electrical engineering, from Louisiana State University in 1977. After working as an instructor at LSU, as a research chemist at the California Primate Research Center and as an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California at Davis, he joined Texas Tech University, where he did award-winning research and attained the rank of Paul Whitfield Horn Professor, the institution's highest honor. He has published more than 400 papers and holds 27 patents. The University of Texas at Arlington The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie Research-1 "highest research activity" institution. With a projected global enrollment of close to 57,000 in AY 2016-17, UTA is the largest institution in The University of Texas System. Guided by its Strategic Plan Bold Solutions | Global Impact, UTA fosters interdisciplinary research within four broad themes: health and the human condition, sustainable urban communities, global environmental impact, and data-driven discovery. UTA was recently cited by U.S. News & World Report as having the second lowest average student debt among U.S. universities. U.S. News & World Report also ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times' 2017 Best for Vets list.


Flash Physics is our daily pick of the latest need-to-know developments from the global physics community selected by Physics World's team of editors and reporters Originally planned for Mauna Kea mountain in Hawaii, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) could be built at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos in the Canary Islands. The TMT International Observatory (TIO) Board of Governors has chosen the observatory in Spain as the "primary alternative" to the controversial Hawaiian site, which is being opposed by native Hawaiians who see building the TMT on Mauna Kea as a desecration of their spiritual and cultural pinnacle. Chair of the board Henry Yang says: "Mauna Kea continues to be the preferred choice for the location of the Thirty Meter Telescope, and the TIO Board will continue intensive efforts to gain approval for TMT in Hawaii." In July 2016, TMT deputy project-manager Fengchuan Liu said that the decision to build the TMT on an alternative site will be taken "by early 2017". Construction of the TMT is planned to begin in April 2018, with completion in 2022. A new type of artificial-muscle fibre that has high tensile strength and actuates – expands or contracts in response to a stimulus – at much cooler temperatures than previous fibres, has been developed by researchers at the Louisiana State University in the US. Guoqiang Li says the team was able to exceed the performance of other artificial muscles by focusing on the thermal properties as well as the molecular structure of their polymer fibre. According to Li, the team found that two factors are crucial for high performance – the untwisting nature of the fibre during actuation and its negative coefficient of thermal expansion. "The actuation temperature is very high in the polymer fibres used previously, for example they can go to 160 °C," says Li. "For some applications, like medical devices, [the] actuation temperature is too high. So you need to find a way to lower it." Li's group managed to bring the maximum actuation temperatures down to 67 °C. This lower temperature is particularly significant when considering applications related to human body temperature. In addition to medical devices, such applications include breathable textiles and self-healing materials with structures that adapt to environmental changes. The research is described in Applied Physics Letters. A new way of switching a beam of light on and off using another light beam has been unveiled by physicists in the US. Unlike other "light–light" switching schemes, which employ intense light beams to control relatively dim beams, this latest technique uses a weak beam to control a much brighter beam. The switch makes use of a new type of optical material called a non-Hermitian photonic metamaterial, which is created within a silicon optical fibre. Tiny features in the silicon create a standing wave when infrared signal light is shone into one end of the fibre. When control light is shone into the opposite end of the fibre, destructive interference in the fibre prevents the signal light from being transmitted. Created by Liang Feng at the State University of New York at Buffalo and colleagues and described in Physical Review Letters, the new switch could – with further improvements – find use in high-speed, all-optical telecoms networks of the future.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

eMentor, powered by AcademyWomen, is joining forces with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University to offer online mentoring support to alumni of the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities-Families (EBV-F) and Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) programs. Alumni from these programs, which help shape veterans and military family members into successful entrepreneurs, will benefit from coaching by seasoned veteran and civilian entrepreneurs through the award-winning, web-based eMentor Leadership Program. Membership also includes ongoing post-program support with access to discussion forums and other relevant resources. Mentors and protégés receive membership at no cost. AcademyWomen has powered award-winning online mentoring services for military, veterans, and military spouses for almost a decade. Susan Feland, AcademyWomen Founder and President, said, "Mentoring provides protégés with perspective and insights helping them through countless decisions and challenges. For entrepreneurs, this can make the difference between success and failure. We're excited for the eMentor Leadership Program to help veterans find success post-service." Mentors for the eMentor program are selected for their expertise and willingness to support protégés after their IVMF programs are completed. “Entrepreneurs cite mentors and networks as one of the most important resources needed to start a new business,” said Meghan Florkowski, IVMF Director of Entrepreneurship Programs. "The IVMF is thrilled to have eMentor as a support mechanism for our EBV, EBV-F and V-WISE program participants. This partnership will bolster the number of successful entrepreneurs from the military and veteran communities." Visit ementorprogram.org to learn more about the Military Entrepreneur eMentor program and ivmf.syracuse.edu to learn more about the entrepreneurship programs that have served over 50,000 veterans, service members and military spouses. AcademyWomen is a 501c3 nonprofit leadership and professional development organization providing award-winning mentoring programs, networking events and career development opportunities. AcademyWomen cultivates and leverages the leadership of military officer and veteran women to impact positive change locally, nationally and globally. Through a group of like-minded women and men, AcademyWomen employs its global network to inspire ideas and action that make a positive difference in their communities and the world. This mission is achieved by serving a broader community of all military women, families and veterans. AcademyWomen builds and powers programs like eMentor, to also serve uniformed men, enlisted servicewomen /veterans, military spouses as well as past, current and future female officers. Membership is open to current and former military women officers from all commissioning sources and to all who are committed to the success of AcademyWomen’s mission. For more information, visit http://academywomen.org and follow AcademyWomen on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. eMentor is an award-winning online mentoring program that connects military personnel, veterans and military spouses for dynamic mentoring experiences that powerfully move them forward in their personal and professional lives. eMentor consists of multiple mentoring communities, each customized to meet the needs of its participants and to facilitate engaging relationships driven by the protégé’s goals. Since its launch in 2008, eMentor has served over 9,500 participants, including both men and women, officers and enlisted, members and veterans of all branches of the service, military spouses, officers-in-training and mentors from nearly every industry. eMentor boasts a 90% mentoring relationship satisfaction rating and has connected 41% of its participants to meaningful employment and career opportunities. eMentor has become one of the largest, most successful mentoring programs of its kind, and has been awarded HR.com’s Leadership Excellence Awards for Best Mentoring Program Nationally for the past four years. For more information, visit ementorprogram.org and follow eMentor on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University The Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. The Institute is supported by a world-class advisory board and public and private partners committed to advancing the post-service lives of America’s service members, veterans and military families. The IVMF and its professional staff deliver leading programs in career, vocational and entrepreneurship education and training. The Institute also conducts actionable research, policy analysis and program evaluations, coordinates comprehensive collective impact strategies, and works with communities and non-profits to enhance service delivery for veterans and their families. For more information, visit ivmf.syracuse.edu and follow the IVMF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. About the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) is a first-of-its-kind initiative that transforms veterans into entrepreneurs. Delivered by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, the EBV leverages the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans with service-related disabilities. Founded at Syracuse University in 2007, the program has since expanded to nine additional universities across the U.S., including Cornell University, The Florida State University, Louisiana State University, Purdue University, Saint Joseph’s University, Texas A&M University, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of Connecticut and University of Missouri. Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), corporate partners and donors allows post-9/11 veterans and transitioning service members with service-connected disabilities to attend the program at no cost. For more information, visit ivmf.syracuse.edu and follow the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram About the Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) Program The Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) program provides women veterans and military spouses with the tools to become successful entrepreneurs. Attendees of the V-WISE program receive in-depth instruction from prominent business owners, leadership consultants, educators, veterans and other experts who help shape their development as entrepreneurs in the areas of accounting, business law, business planning, finance, government contracting, human resources, marketing and technology. Created by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the program has impacted more than 2,000 women veterans and military spouses from all service branches and eras with more than 65 percent of V-WISE graduates starting or expanding a business. Ninety-two percent of V-WISE graduates are still in business today. They have generated over $41 million in revenue. For more information on V-WISE and its graduates, visit vwise.org and follow the V-Wise program on Facebook and Twitter.


Wright R.A.,Louisiana State University | McCurdy B.L.,Devereux Center for Effective Schools
Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions | Year: 2012

The Good Behavior Game (GBG) is a powerful group contingency with a history of documented empirical support. The purpose of this study was to compare two interdependent group contingencies, the GBG and a positive variation, the Caught Being Good Game (CBGG), in a school implementing school-wide positive behavior support. A kindergarten and fourth-grade classroom teacher with 17 and 20 students, respectively, implemented both versions of the game in a counterbalanced fashion. Using a withdrawal design, results showed similar effects on disruptive and on-task behaviors. The CBGG is discussed as an effective variation of the GBG that is acceptable to both teachers and students. © 2011 Hammill Institute on Disabilities.


Matthews R.A.,Louisiana State University | Barnes-Farrell J.L.,University of Connecticut
Journal of Occupational Health Psychology | Year: 2010

This manuscript reports the development of a measure of work and family domain boundary flexibility. Building on previous research, we propose an expanded definition of boundary flexibility that includes two components-flexibility-ability and flexibility-willingness-and we develop a measure designed to capture this more comprehensive definition of boundary flexibility. Flexibility-ability is conceptualized as an individual's perception of personal and situational constraints that affect boundary management, and flexibility-willingness is conceptualized as an individual difference variable that captures the motivation to engage in boundary flexing. An additional feature of domain boundaries, permeability, is also examined. Data are presented from two studies. Study 1 (N = 244) describes the development of a multiscale measure that extends current conceptual definitions of boundary flexibility. Study 2 (N = 225) describes the refinement and evaluation of this measure. Confirmatory factor analysis, reliability evidence, interscale correlations, and correlations with important work-family constructs (e.g., domain centrality, work-family conflict) provide initial construct validity evidence for the measure. © 2010 American Psychological Association.


Deegan L.A.,Ecosystems Center | Johnson D.S.,Ecosystems Center | Johnson D.S.,Sewanee: The University of the South | Warren R.S.,Connecticut College | And 4 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2012

Salt marshes are highly productive coastal wetlands that provide important ecosystem services such as storm protection for coastal cities, nutrient removal and carbon sequestration. Despite protective measures, however, worldwide losses of these ecosystems have accelerated in recent decades. Here we present data from a nine-year whole-ecosystem nutrient-enrichment experiment. Our study demonstrates that nutrient enrichment, a global problem for coastal ecosystems, can be a driver of salt marsh loss. We show that nutrient levels commonly associated with coastal eutrophication increased above-ground leaf biomass, decreased the dense, below-ground biomass of bank-stabilizing roots, and increased microbial decomposition of organic matter. Alterations in these key ecosystem properties reduced geomorphic stability, resulting in creek-bank collapse with significant areas of creek-bank marsh converted to unvegetated mud. This pattern of marsh loss parallels observations for anthropogenically nutrient-enriched marshes worldwide, with creek-edge and bay-edge marsh evolving into mudflats and wider creeks. Our work suggests that current nutrient loading rates to many coastal ecosystems have overwhelmed the capacity of marshes to remove nitrogen without deleterious effects. Projected increases in nitrogen flux to the coast, related to increased fertilizer use required to feed an expanding human population, may rapidly result in a coastal landscape with less marsh, which would reduce the capacity of coastal regions to provide important ecological and economic services. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Patent
Louisiana State University and Board Of Regents | Date: 2015-01-06

Sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua L., family Hamamelidaceae) fruit extract was discovered to possess potent activities against multiple targets of the PI3K (phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase) pathway, especially the PI3K/Akt and mTOR pathways. At a very low concentration of 1.85 g/ml (IC50), sweet gun extract showed the ability of simultaneously blocking the pathways of PI3K/Akt (upstream), mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) (downstream), as well as its downstream protein products S6K and S6. It was also able to block 5-HETE, a lipoxygenase product that contributes to inflammation and activation of PI3K/Akt. The sweet gum fruit extract was prepared with 50% methanol (47:1; raw to extract) and concentrated to an organic fraction (210:1 raw to extract) referred as LIS-100 via reverse-phase column chromatography using a bioassay directed fractionation approach. The extract is a new targeted therapeutic agent for numerous disorders known to be treated by mTOR inhibitors, including cancer, diabetes, obesity, and inflammation.


Grone B.P.,University of California at San Francisco | Maruska K.P.,Louisiana State University
Journal of Comparative Neurology | Year: 2015

To investigate the origins of the vertebrate stress-response system, we searched sequenced vertebrate genomes for genes resembling corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). We found that vertebrate genomes possess, in addition to CRH, another gene that resembles CRH in sequence and syntenic environment. This paralogous gene was previously identified only in the elephant shark (a holocephalan), but we find it also in marsupials, monotremes, lizards, turtles, birds, and fishes. We examined the relationship of this second vertebrate CRH gene, which we name CRH2, to CRH1 (previously known as CRH) and urocortin1/urotensin1 (UCN1/UTS1) in primitive fishes, teleosts, and tetrapods. The paralogs CRH1 and CRH2 likely evolved via duplication of CRH during a whole-genome duplication early in the vertebrate lineage. CRH2 was subsequently lost in both teleost fishes and eutherian mammals but retained in other lineages. To determine where CRH2 is expressed relative to CRH1 and UTS1, we used in situ hybridization on brain tissue from spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus), a neopterygian fish closely related to teleosts. In situ hybridization revealed widespread distribution of both crh1 and uts1 in the brain. Expression of crh2 was restricted to the putative secondary gustatory/secondary visceral nucleus, which also expressed calcitonin-related polypeptide alpha (calca), a marker of parabrachial nucleus in mammals. Thus, the evolutionary history of CRH2 includes restricted expression in the brain, sequence changes, and gene loss, likely reflecting release of selective constraints following whole-genome duplication. The discovery of CRH2 opens many new possibilities for understanding the diverse functions of the CRH family of peptides across vertebrates. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


The International Nurses Association is pleased to welcome Emily Grace Jordan, RN, BSN, to their prestigious organization with her upcoming publication in the Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare. Emily Grace Jordan is a Pediatric Nurse currently serving patients at the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas in Dallas, Texas. With over eight years of experience in nursing, she is a specialist in pediatric critical care and in pediatric hematology and oncology. Emily Grace Jordan graduated with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Louisiana State University in 2008, becoming a Registered Nurse. An advocate for continuing education, Emily Grace obtained her Master’s Degree in Nurse Education, and holds additional certification in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Furthermore, she is Neonatal Resuscitation Program certified. To keep up with the latest advances in her field, Emily Grace maintains a professional membership with the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, and the Society of Trauma Nurses. She says that her great success is due to her drive and her desire to care for others. When she is not working, Emily Grace enjoys cycling and working out, as well as taking walks with her two pet dogs. Learn more about Emily Grace Jordan here and be sure to read her upcoming publication in Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

ABQ Dentures offers a unique and valued specialty to the residents of Albuquerque. While the practice does offer a full menu of services in general dentistry, its primary focus is delivering top quality dentures. Patients benefit from the most preferred full and partial denture options available, including those that are fixed, removable or retained by dental implants. Whether a patient has a few missing teeth or needs a full mouth reconstruction, ABQ Dentures is dedicated to providing affordable and long-lasting solutions. ABQ Dentures is staffed with an experienced prosthodontist, who is recognized as an elite provider of All-On-4 implants. This innovative denture system uses just four dental implants to support a full arch of prosthetic teeth. All-On-4 implants require minimal bone density and can be placed in just 24 hours. ABQ Dentures is proud to be a one-stop shop for patients who need denture services. Not only do they place dentures, but they also offer denture cleanings, denture relines and emergency repairs. Their office environment includes relaxing patient amenities such as warm beverages, an Internet bar, TVs and ergonomic neck pillows. In addition, ABQ Dentures offers easy financing plans and accepts most dental insurance plans as well as Medicaid. “When a patient needs dentures, we want them to know that ABQ Dentures can give them the best experience possible, which includes top quality options, affordable prices and unrivaled service,” says Dr. Darren Norby of ABQ Dentures. More About Dr. Darren Norby and Dr. Peter Roukema: Dr. Darren Norby is a specialist in Prosthodontics. He received his Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from Brigham Young University in 2004 and his Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine in 2008. Dr. Norby studied for 3 additional years at Louisiana State University where he specialized in prosthodontics. He is also a certified dental technician (CDT) in the specialties of Complete Dentures and Ceramics, making him one of an elite group of dentists in the country with this training. Dr. Peter Roukema also leads the practice as a talented family dentist. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado and completed his dental training at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. Upon graduation, he moved to Albuquerque to receive an Advanced Education in General Dentistry certificate from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Dr. Roukema brings extensive experience in placing dentures, with a full understanding of the emotional process of transitioning from natural teeth to prosthetic teeth. For more information about ABQ Dentures or the services they offer, please visit abqdentures.com or call the office directly at (505) 933-8195.


News Article | August 23, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

Artist's illustration of cometary material crossing the face of a star — one possible explanation for the strange dimming exhibited by "Tabby's star." Nearly a year after first making headlines around the world, "Tabby's star" is still guarding its secrets. In September 2015, a team led by Yale University astronomer Tabetha Boyajian announced that a star about 1,500 light-years from Earth called KIC 8462852 had dimmed oddly and dramatically several times over the past few years. These dimming events, which were detected by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope, were far too substantial to be caused by an orbiting planet, scientists said. (In one case, 22 percent of the star's light was blocked. For comparison, when huge Jupiter crosses the sun's face, the result is a dimming of just 1 percent or so.) [13 Ways to Hunt Intelligent Alien Life] Boyajian and her colleagues suggested that a cloud of fragmented comets or planetary building blocks might be responsible, but other researchers noted that the signal was also consistent with a possible "alien megastructure" — perhaps a giant swarm of energy-collecting solar panels known as a Dyson sphere. Astronomers around the world soon began studying Tabby's star with a variety of instruments, and reanalyzing old observations of the object, in an attempt to figure out what, exactly, is going on. But they have yet to solve the puzzle. "I'd say we have no good explanation right now for what's going on with Tabby's star," Jason Wright, an astronomer at Pennsylvania State University, said earlier this month during a talk at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute in Mountain View, California. "For now, it's still a mystery." In fact, that mystery may have deepened over the past 12 months. For example, in January, Bradley Schaefer, a professor of physics and astronomy at Louisiana State University, determined that, in addition to the weird short-term dimming events, the brightness of Tabby's star had dropped by about 20 percent overall between 1890 and 1989. That pattern is very difficult for known natural phenomena to explain, he said. Schaefer came to this conclusion after poring over old photographic plates of the night sky that captured Tabby's star. Other researchers suggested that the trend Schaefer saw could have been caused by changes in the instruments used to take those photos over the century-long timespan. However, a new study bolsters Schaefer's interpretation. In the new work, Benjamin Montet (of the California Institute of Technology and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and Joshua Simon (of the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington) reanalyzed Kepler observations of Tabby's star from 2009 through 2013. They found that the object dimmed by 3 percent over that span, with a rapid 2-percent brightness dip over one 200-day period. "Of a sample of 193 nearby comparison stars and 355 stars with similar stellar parameters, 0.6 percent change brightness at a rate as fast as 0.341 percent [per year], and none exhibit either the rapid decline by > 2 percent or the cumulative fading by 3 percent of KIC 8462852," Montet and Simon wrote in the new study, which they uploaded to the online preprint site ArXiv on Aug. 5. "No known or proposed stellar phenomena can fully explain all aspects of the observed light curve." Schaefer's results, combined with those of Montet and Simon, make the comet hypothesis look less and less likely, Wright said in his SETI talk. "Why would comets, over a century, make the star dimmer?" he said. "What's going on?" [5 Bold Claims of Alien Life] The sustained dimming of Tabby's star is still consistent with at least some variants of the "alien megastructure" hypothesis, Wright said. "Some people have sort of facetiously offered that perhaps this is a Dyson sphere under construction: You're seeing lots of material getting built," he said. "In just 100 years, they've blotted out 20 percent of the starlight. That seems kind of fast to me — but, you know, aliens, right?" It's also possible that the alien megastructure — if it exists — is fully constructed, and some parts are just denser than others, Wright added. "That would naturally make the star get brighter and dimmer, as dense parts of the swarm came around," he said. "So if I had to invoke megastructures to explain it, that seems consistent. You've got lots of panels of different shapes, different sizes, and the big ones make big dips and the little ones make little dips, and the whole swarm is sort of like a translucent screen that makes the whole thing dimmer." But Wright and others have always stressed that the "E.T. did it" scenario is very unlikely, and that a more prosaic explanation will probably rise to the top eventually. And indeed, other recent observations throw some cold water on the alien-megastructure idea — and any other hypothesis that invokes some object or phenomenon near Tabby's star. Any structure surrounding the star, be it alien-made or naturally occurring, would heat up and give off infrared radiation, Wright said. But he and his colleagues saw no signatures of such "waste heat" in data gathered by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer spacecraft. And another research team — which analyzed observations by the Submillimeter Array telescope and the Submillimeter Common-User Bolometer Array-2 instrument, both of which are in Hawaii — also came up empty. Whatever is blocking the starlight from Tabby's star is "not surrounding the whole star — it must be along our line of sight," Wright said. "So you can do that if it's in a disk of some kind. And that hopefully will help constrain what the heck is going on." Wright has a hunch that the answer lies far away from Tabby's star, out in the dark depths of space. "I think I've all but abandoned circumstellar explanations, and I think now we're going to have to talk about [some] bizarre structure in the interstellar medium, and stuff like that," he said. Still, Wright hasn't given up on the alien-megastructure hypothesis. While the lack of waste heat is "almost a fatal blow" for the idea, he said, it's still viable if the purported aliens are doing something with the waste heat — turning it into matter, for example, or converting the heat into radio waves for communication purposes. Astronomers have already searched for such signals coming from Tabby's star using the Allen Telescope Array, a network of radio dishes in northern California operated by the SETI Institute. They found nothing. But Wright and his colleagues plan to conduct another search beginning in October; they've secured time on West Virginia's huge Green Bank Telescope for this purpose. "This is a 1-in-300,000 object," Wright said. "People have gone looking for more, and it's the only one. So that also says you're allowed to invoke one really rare thing, because it is a rare phenomenon." SETI: All About the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Infographic) Copyright 2016 SPACE.com, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

YOUNGSVILLE, La., Feb. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- RedHawk Holdings Corp. (OTCQB:IDNG) (“RedHawk” or the “Company”) announced today it is expanding its medical device warehousing and administrative offices at the Louisiana State University (“LSU”) Innovation Park (the “LSU Innovation Park”), a 200 plus acre university research park located five miles south of the main LSU campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Company said it hopes to complete the expansion of its innovation center offices by March 31, 2017 to address expected increased domestic and international demand for its medical devices. The Company announced in April 2016 that it had established the RedHawk Innovation Center to have access to LSU researchers, faculty, students, interns, equipment, intellectual property, and the vast network of LSU alumni. Commenting on the expansion of its medical device offices at the LSU Innovation Park, G. Darcy Klug, RedHawk’s Chairman and an LSU alumnus said, “The expansion of our medical device warehousing and administrative offices at the LSU Innovation Park permits the consolidation of our medical device administration, development, testing, warehousing, quality control, manufacturing, assembly and distribution capabilities. This consolidation also allows us to work closer on new product development with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, the LSU Health Science Center, the Pennington BioTech Initiative, the LSU Emerging Technology Center and more than 44 companies and research institutions located at the LSU Innovation Park.  We are exposed to new medical devices on a regular basis. This expansion and consolidation will allow us to improve our medical device administrative and operating efficiency and it will help increase our focus on new product development. We believe we are now better positioned to capitalize on the various medical device opportunities that are currently being offered to us.” RedHawk Holdings Corp., formerly Independence Energy Corp., is a diversified holding company which, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in sales and distribution of medical devices, sales of branded generic pharmaceutical drugs, commercial real estate investment and leasing, sales of point of entry full-body security systems, and specialized financial services. Through its medical products business unit, the Company sells WoundClot Surgical - Advanced Bleeding Control, the Sharps and Needle Destruction Device, the Carotid Artery Digital Non-Contact Thermometer and Zonis®. Its real estate leasing revenues are generated from various commercial properties under long-term lease. Additionally, RedHawk’s real estate investment unit holds limited liability company interest in various commercial restoration projects in Hawaii. The Company’s financial service revenue is from brokerage services earned in connection with debt placement services. RedHawk Energy holds the exclusive U.S. manufacturing and distribution rights for the Centri Controlled Entry System, a unique, closed cabinet, nominal dose transmission full body x-ray scanner. This release may contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are all statements other than statements of historical fact. Statements contained in this release that are not historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. The words “anticipate,” “may,” “can,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “projects,” “targets,” “intends,” “likely,” “will,” “should,” “to be,” “potential” and any similar expressions are intended to identify those assertions as forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain. Actual performance and results may differ materially from that projected or suggested herein due to certain risks and uncertainties. In evaluating forward-looking statements, you should consider the various factors which may cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statements including those listed in the “Risk Factors” section of our latest 10-K report. Further, the Company may make changes to its business plans that could or will affect its results. Investors are cautioned that the Company will undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.


News Article | September 4, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

Huddled around their hives, beekeepers around the south-eastern US fear a new threat to their livelihood: a fine mist beaded with neurotoxin, sprayed from the sky by officials at war with mosquitos that carry the Zika virus. Earlier this week, South Carolina beekeepers found millions of dead honey bees carpeting their apiaries, killed by an insecticide. Video posted by a beekeeper to Facebook showed thousands of dead insects heaped around hives, while a few survivors struggled to move the bodies of fellow bees. “This is what’s left of Flowertown Bees,” a despondent keeper says in the video. Company co-owner Juanita Stanley told the Associated Press her farm looked “like it’s been nuked” and estimated 2.5 million bees were killed. In another Facebook post, South Carolina hobbyist Andrew Macke wrote that he had lost “thousands upon thousands of bees” and that the spraying had devastated his business. “Have we lost our mind,” he wrote, “spraying poison from the sky?” Around the US, bees and other pollinators contribute an estimated $29bn to farm income. Clemson University’s department of pesticide regulation is investigating the incident. The program head, Dr Mike Weyman, said that though South Carolina has strict rules about protecting pollinators, county officials were using the neurotoxin, Naled, under a clause exempting them in a “clear and public health crisis”. More than three dozen people have tested positive for Zika in South Carolina, Weyman said, and officials have made it a priority to prevent local transmissions through the Aedes aegypti mosquito. “We don’t want one of those mosquitos having a blood meal on an individual we’ve already determined was positive,” Weyman said. “We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that [Zika] is up and running in Florida. If it gets in the mosquito population ... you’re playing catch-up.” South Carolina’s protocol for Zika infections is to alert local officials of a carrier’s residence, which they “consider a ground zero”, Weyman said. Local authorities then target the local mosquitos in a 200-yard radius, in this case with spray. Flowertown Bees was listed on local records but not in the state’s voluntary registry of pollinators, according to Weyman. “We know where the big ones are,” he said, “but as you can see this was a fairly large operation and almost right smack dab in the spray path.” Despite the investigation into what went wrong, the killing has beekeepers worried about what might happen next. “Everyone that I’ve spoken to has major concerns about the effect” of insecticides, said Jennifer Holmes, vice-president of the Florida State Beekeepers Association and the co-owner of a company with about 300 colonies north of West Palm Beach. Comparing bees to cows or other pillars of agriculture, she said: “If there was a regulation that allowed some spraying that would kill half of your livestock overnight, how would recover your livelihood?” Holmes has spent the last week working with beekeepers and state and county officials. The keepers, she said, fear “not just the immediate die-offs, but possible genetic die-offs or sterility” for bees that survive the first sprays. “We understand the serious threat of possible disease,” she said, “but we also have to maintain our agricultural livelihood.” A Louisiana beekeeper, who requested anonymity because of work with county officials, added another set of concerns: careless mixture and application of chemicals, mismanagement and long-term imbalance in the ecosystem. “In order to ‘fix’ the problem,” the keeper said, “it will all have to begin with re-establishing healthy soil that will nourish a healthy plant population that will nourish healthy populations, whether it be the honeybee or a deer. “Chemical application of any sort creates an imbalance from the ground up, even if a simple mosquito is the target.” Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and independent universities say Naled is far safer than other chemicals. It breaks down rapidly and, in the very low doses at which it is prescribed, should not pose a risk to humans. “In Louisiana, we use these products quite frequently to reduce mosquitos, but we don’t see many nontarget effects, because the doses are really small,” said Dr Kirsten Healy, a public health entomologist at Louisiana State University. “A lot of people don’t realize that we always have the environment in mind. We try to have products that have the lowest possible impact.” Even the mosquitos targeted “quickly bounce back”, she said. Healy recommended a multi-pronged approach: aerial and ground sprays along with removal of the trash cans, bird feeders and other containers where water pools and mosquitos breed. Aerial sprays threaten other pollinators. Dennis Olle, director of conservation programs for the North American Butterfly Association, noted the effect of chaotic ocean winds near his office in Miami. “It’s aerial bombing without any sense of being able to lay the chemical down on the target,” he said. Olle conceded that that he was not a scientist – he is an attorney – but described a 2015 Florida International University study that found Naled application was uneven and harmful to butterflies. “It kills everything,” he said. “There’s no question that it is highly, highly deleterious to butterflies and other arthropods, even mammals in high enough doses.” He agreed that door-to-door removal of breeding objects and hand spraying were effective techniques against mosquitos, but worried about repeated low doses of chemicals to both pollinators and his children. “If they’re killing every mosquito, as they claim, everything else needs to be worried too,” he said. “That’s not rocket science, that’s common sense.” Olle’s fears have sympathizers in Florida and Puerto Rico, where there have been, respectively, 35 and 13,791 mosquito infections of the Zika virus. Earlier this summer on Puerto Rico, doctors rallied against Naled when the CDC made a last-ditch plea to start spraying. Governor Alejandro García Padilla rejected the proposal in July, citing concerns over possible side effects on humans and other animals. Puerto Rico was also the site of some of what limited Naled-mosquito research has been performed in the last 30 years. Dr Duane Gubler, a professor at Duke Medical School and an expert in infectious diseases, led that research and found that Naled had mixed results. “It’s unpredictable,” Gubler said. “We did the whole city of San Juan and it appeared to be somewhat effective in some areas but not others.” Aedes aegypti mosquitos, Gubler said, were especially difficult targets since they breed inside and under houses, in buckets, tires, puddles or any container with stagnant water. “There’s some data from Florida that suggests it can be effective where Aedes aegypti mosquitos are primarily outdoor breeders,” he said, “but from my data, it was spotty.” Like Healy, Gubler recommended a mix of techniques – targeting adults and larvae through habitats and sprays and a partnership between citizens and agencies. “It’s near impossible for any government agency to control all of the mosquitos,” he said. “It’s a matter of weighing the benefits versus the risks,” he added, noting the critical place of bees, especially, in keeping crops growing. “If you have to make a decision on whether it protects, say, your pregnant wife from being exposed versus killing a few butterflies, I suspect in most people’s minds it’s probably worth the risk.”


News Article | February 2, 2016
Site: www.sciencenews.org

Branded as a home to an “alien megastructure,” it flickers and dims like an aging lightbulb. Twice, the star’s light plummeted by roughly 20 percent and then quickly rebounded. That was after the star steadily dimmed by about an additional 20 percent between 1890 and 1989, astronomer Brad Schaefer of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge reports online January 13 at arXiv.org. “Twenty percent dimming is inexplicable,” says Schaefer, who discovered the century-long fading in a photograph archive at Harvard University. “Tabby’s star is doing something utterly unique.” It’s no wonder that Jason Wright, an astronomer at Penn State, suggested to the Atlantic that maybe astronomers had stumbled upon a fleet of solar collectors built by an advanced civilization. A cloud of comets or other interplanetary debris is more likely, but even these down-to-earth ideas are problematic. “We’re left with a real mystery,” Schaefer says. Tabby’s star, also known as KIC 8462852, sits about 1,480 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus. Tabby’s was one of roughly 150,000 stars monitored by NASA’s Kepler space telescope. Kepler spent four years staring at one patch of sky, looking for dips in starlight as planets passed in front of their suns. Nearly 800 days into Kepler’s mission, the light from KIC 8462852 dropped by 15 percent and then just as quickly returned to normal. Almost two years later, a sharp 22 percent dip occurred among a series of rapid fluctuations. The behavior was so odd that Kepler’s data-sifting computers ignored it. Volunteers known as the Planet Hunters, who scour the data by eye, flagged KIC 8462852 as “bizarre.” Yale University astronomer Tabetha Boyajian, after whom the star is informally named, and colleagues published these findings online September 13 at arXiv.org. “We were working on it for years and had no idea what to do with it,” Boyajian says. While younger stars are often erratic, KIC 8462852 is middle-aged and well past its temper-tantrum stage. Infrared telescopes see no sign of a warm dusty disk encircling the star that might occasionally block the light. “We’ve learned a whole bunch about this system,” she says, “It’s very normal except for this one feature.” Whatever is passing in front of the star can’t be a solid body, judging by how the light dimmed and rebounded.  And it must be huge to block 20 percent of the light, comparable in size to the star itself. A cloud of disintegrating comets, perhaps nudged toward KIC 8462852 by a faint red star that appears to sit close by, seems the most likely culprit, Boyajian and colleagues conclude. A comet horde, however, doesn’t explain why the star faded through the 1900s. “That’s the second piece of evidence that shows this star is really weird,” says Boyajian. “It’s a very frustrating piece of evidence as well.... It doesn't point to an obvious explanation for what to think of next.” To account for the gradual fading, Schaefer calculated that there would need to be about 648,000 giant comets. “I do not see how it is possible for something like 648,000 giant comets to exist around one star,” he wrote, “nor to have their orbits orchestrated so as to all pass in front of the star within the last century.” Schaefer suspects that there is a dusty gas cloud orbiting the star. Similar dimming trends show up in 18 of 28 similar types of stars in the Harvard archive, independent data analyst Michael Hippke from Neukirchen-Vluyn, Germany, and Daniel Angerhausen of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., report online January 27 at arXiv.org. This leads Hippke and Angerhausen to propose the most banal explanation of all for the century-long dimming: imperfect data calibration. “This claim is easily proved wrong,” says Schaefer. Hippke and Angerhausen mixed photographs with different color sensitives, he says, and that can lead to apparent brightness changes where there are none. They also used photographs with known defects such as smeared images and double exposures. “Colloquially put, these are garbage,” he says. “Garbage in, garbage out.” Strange stellar behavior sometimes leads to out-of-the-box thinking. Perhaps an armada of solar-collecting stations, erected by extraterrestrial engineers, could occasionally block Kepler’s view, Wright and colleagues suggested in the Jan. 1 Astrophysical Journal. If anyone has set up camp around the star, however, they’re being quiet about it. Tabby aliens aren’t broadcasting detectable radio signals, Gerry Harp, an astrophysicist at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., and colleagues reported online November 5 at arXiv.org. An advanced civilization can’t hide from the laws of thermodynamics, notes Schaefer. All that harvested solar energy has to go somewhere. There should be an infrared glow equal to about 20 percent of the star’s energy to balance the thermodynamic checkbook. But there is no excess infrared light emanating from the star. Most researchers suspect the culprit will be a little more prosaic. “There are all sorts of things that make dips,” says Alice Quillen, an astrophysicist at the University of Rochester in New York. “I’m not trying to be boring, because aliens would be cool, too.” Comets or a debris disk far from the star remain the favored ideas, even though they can’t explain all the available data. “There has to be some solution,” Schaefer says. “We’ve effectively refuted every proposal on the table. Either there’s some completely new idea or we’re doing something wrong.” For now, ground-based planet searches and an army of amateur astronomers are keeping an eye on Tabby’s star. If scientists can catch the star in the act, they might finally get a handle on what’s going on.


News Article | November 22, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

BlueInGreen co-founder Dr. Scott Osborn has been named the Engineer of the Year by the Arkansas section of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). Osborn, who is also an associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering at the University of Arkansas, was chosen for his ongoing contributions to the engineering profession, both inside and outside of the classroom. In 2004, Osborn and Dr. Marty Matlock, a professor of biological and agricultural engineering at the University of Arkansas, co-founded BlueInGreen with support from VIC Technology Venture Development. Osborn holds 12 patents related to gas dissolution for water treatment, wastewater treatment, ecological restoration, oxidation and pH adjustment. "Dr. Osborn has been a friend and mentor to the entire team at BlueInGreen, but his impact reaches far beyond this company," said Product Manager Jessica Hart. "His ideas, innovation and instruction have directly and indirectly benefited many people around the world." A licensed professional engineer, Osborn served as BlueInGreen's President and Chief Technology Officer during its initial stages as a University of Arkansas startup and worked with its team of engineers to design and implement the company's first commercial installations. BlueInGreen's systems are currently being used at 27 sites in 14 states and Canada, treating over 700 million gallons of water each day. The company has contributed significantly to the economy of Arkansas through sales revenues, grants and investor funding. Osborn was previously named a Ford Foundation Design Fellow, where he worked to introduce engineering design into the curriculum at the Dwight Look College of Engineering. Osborn is also a recipient of the Massey-Ferguson Educational Gold Medal, awarded for the advancement of engineering knowledge and practice in agriculture soil. He has helped establish biological engineering programs at Louisiana State University, Texas A&M University and the University of Arkansas. "Dr. Osborn is a gifted engineer-educator who is a passionate and effective teacher," said Dr. Lalit Verma, Head of the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. "He utilizes his industry experience in preparing students to be successful engineers to address problems in sustainable food, water and energy systems." Osborn serves as a technical lead on BlueInGreen's Advisory Board. He is currently working in cooperation with BlueInGreen and Core Brewing Company, based in Springdale, Ark., to develop a new application for the company's pH adjustment line in order to make the beer carbonation process less expensive and more environmentally friendly, while also improving beverage quality. "We all owe a huge debt to Scott," said CEO Chris Milligan. "He's a one-of-a-kind teacher and entrepreneur, and his selflessness and leadership directly reflect our company's core values. In many ways, BlueInGreen would not be the same without Scott's early work." About ASABE ASABE is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food and biological systems. Further information on the Society can be obtained by contacting ASABE at (269) 429-0300, emailing hq(at)asabe(dot)org or visiting asabe.org. About BlueInGreen BlueInGreen, LLC is a water treatment company that provides the world's most efficient method of delivering dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide and ozone into water. The company offers cost-effective solutions for aeration, pH adjustment, oxidation and odor control. For more information, visit blueingreen.com.


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

Beth Linas has a reputation among her scientific colleagues for her love of social media. “Oh I’m ridiculed,” she tells me, via Twitter direct message (of course). “Not by everyone, but by some old school folk.” Linas, an infectious disease epidemiologist, tweets regularly about topics that she’s passionate about, whether it’s mobile technology or public health. During her fellowship year at the National Science Foundation, she is leveraging social media to help debunk theories that aren’t scientifically validated, such as that vaccines are linked to autism, as well as improve health literacy and inspire more women to train for STEM careers. Increasingly, young scientists like Linas regard Facebook, Twitter, and blogging platforms as a key part of their day job. Not everyone is on board. Linas stresses that the ridicule from her colleagues isn’t mean-spirited, but it still demonstrates some fundamental discomfort with engaging with the public. Social media is viewed by many, she says, as time spent away from more important work, like peer-reviewed research. Experts say that academics have to walk a fine line, even today. Many scientists today will encounter a “cultural pushback,” says Tim Caulfield, a health policy professor at the University of Alberta Caulfield, if they’re viewed as being too “self promotional.” Carl Sagan, for instance, is remembered for his television persona but many forget that he was also a prolific scientific researcher. Scientists on social media also risk alienating colleagues or university officials if they tweet or post about a controversial topic that doesn’t reflect well on their institution. For Prachee Avasthi, assistant professor of anatomy and cell biology at University of Kansas Medical Center, the biggest risk is to protect her reputation within the scientific community, so she watches what she tweets. “[Another] scientist might have power over me in that they might review my grants or papers.” Despite the risks, experts who have studied the trend see this as a way to increase public support for the sciences at a time when the Trump administration is questioning facts and threatening funding for basic research. “I tell academics that social media is now the top source of science information for people,” says Paige Jarreau, a science communication specialist at Louisiana State University. “And they are a trusted voice for people that don’t have that background and literacy.” Surveys show that public confidence in the scientific community has remained stable since the early 1970s, and that they are more trusted than public officials and religious leaders. For that reason, Caulfield argues that it’s meaningful for scientists to be part of the conversation even if they have far fewer followers than celebrities peddling pseudo-science, such as actress and Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow (Caulfield is the author of a book titled, Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?). A trusted voice can be very influential, he says. “[Scientists communicating online] is an important part of pushing back against misinformation.” Caulfield says he has been personally criticized for “spending so much time tweeting,” but he’s noticed a shift in recent years. Now, he says, students, scientists, and universities are approaching him to advise them on how to communicate their work to the public. At universities and medical centers, including Louisiana State University, science departments are now hosting regular workshops to encourage scientists to be present on social media. For Dana Smith, a science writer and communicator who previously worked at the Gladstone Institutes, it’s no longer an option for scientists not to engage with lay audiences. “It’s becoming a moral obligation,” she says, with much of their research funding coming from taxpayers. For this reason, she personally made the switch from academia–she was a doctoral psychology researcher at the University of Cambridge–to communications. She doesn’t think everyone needs to be the “next public face of science,” but she encourages researchers to try their hand at the occasional blog post or tweet.


News Article | December 6, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

New research examines how vertebrate species in the eastern United States ranging from snakes to mammals to birds responded to climate change over the last 500,000 years. The study, recently published in the journal Ecology Letters, reveals that contrary to expectation, the massive glaciers that expanded and contracted across the region affected animal populations in different ways at different times. The analysis provides a window into how animals might react to any kind of climate change, whether glacial cycles or global warming. "A big glacier should have affected everybody. It doesn't matter if you're a snake or a bird, it probably makes it hard to live there," said Frank Burbrink, an associate curator in the American Museum of Natural History's Department of Herpetology and lead author of the study. "So did these communities all change together as if they were one unit? There's never been a study that has comprehensively analyzed whether vertebrate communities responded to the glacial cycles in a uniform way." The most recent, rapid, and significant effect of global climate change occurred about 2.5 million years ago in the Quaternary period, when ice sheets expanded and contracted, altering both the environment and available land. In the area known as the Eastern Nearctic--defined as the forested and coastal regions of the eastern United States--glaciers extended as far south in the east to New York City and in the Midwest to south central Illinois. Temperature changed rapidly, in some cases at the rate of 5 to 10 degrees Celsius (about 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit) within several decades. To analyze the impact of this climate change, multidisciplinary researchers from the Museum, the 'Iolani School in Honolulu, the City University of New York's College of Staten Island, and Louisiana State University focused on the historical population sizes of tetrapods--snakes, lizards, mammals, birds, turtles, salamanders, and frogs--in the Eastern Nearctic over the last 500,000 years. They did this by looking at the animals' genomes and modeling the likelihood of their populations growing or shrinking. "When a glacier retreats, all of the organisms that were pushed south move back into that space and the signal of those changing populations gets imprinted in the genome," Burbrink said. "If you look at any individual species, you can see what its population has been doing over time based on how many changes they have in their genome. When populations expand, they have more genetic differences. And when populations are small, they have fewer." The longstanding scientific thought is that as a glacier recedes, local populations will expand "synchronously," or all at the same time. But the researchers did not find a uniform response to climate change within the tetrapod community. About 75 percent of the animals went through a population expansion, with only about 50 percent of those lineages expanding together. And 25 percent of the populations contracted. The results imply that there are additional layers of complexity involved in this problem. "In some ways, the old idea that the glacier receding would have a single effect on everything in the community is naïve," Burbrink said. And what do the results mean for the global warming the Earth is currently facing? "We need to move beyond viewing communities as single units," said co-author Brian T. Smith, an assistant curator in the Museum's Department of Ornithology. "Some species will respond in one way and others will respond in other ways. And there are many external historical, biological, and stochastic factors that will influence how populations respond to global warming." Other authors on this study include Yvonne Chan from the 'Iolani School, Edward Myers and Michael Hickerson from the City University of New York, and Sara Ruane from Louisiana State University. This work was funded in part by National Science Foundation grant #s DEB 1257926, DOB 1343578, DEB 1253710, the 7th European Community Framework Programme, and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). The American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869, is one of the world's preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. The Museum encompasses 45 permanent exhibition halls, including the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium, as well as galleries for temporary exhibitions. It is home to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, New York State's official memorial to its 33rd governor and the nation's 26th president, and a tribute to Roosevelt's enduring legacy of conservation. The Museum's five active research divisions and three cross-disciplinary centers support approximately 200 scientists, whose work draws on a world-class permanent collection of more than 33 million specimens and artifacts, as well as specialized collections for frozen tissue and genomic and astrophysical data, and one of the largest natural history libraries in the world. Through its Richard Gilder Graduate School, it is the only American museum authorized to grant the Ph.D. degree and the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Annual attendance has grown to approximately 5 million, and the Museum's exhibitions and Space Shows can be seen in venues on five continents. The Museum's website and collection of apps for mobile devices extend its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to millions more beyond its walls. Visit amnh.org for more information. Become a fan of the Museum on Facebook at facebook.com/naturalhistory, and follow us on Instagram at @AMNH, Tumblr at amnhnyc, or Twitter at twitter.com/AMNH.


News Article | September 16, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

The logo of Exxon Mobil Corporation is shown on a monitor above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, New York, U.S. December 30, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman faces an uphill climb in building a case against Exxon Mobil Corp for not writing down assets amid the oil-price slump because of the broad leeway that energy companies have enjoyed reporting under U.S. rules, accounting experts said. Schneiderman is investigating Exxon's accounting practices and why the oil giant has not taken writedowns even while oil prices have fallen, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. The price drop of more than 60 percent since 2014 has forced many integrated oil producers around the world to write down the value of their wells, leases and equipment, and Exxon is the only major producer to hold off so far. Oil in many wells can no longer be profitably recovered, and failing to write them down could give a misleading picture of a company's financial health. But accounting experts said it was far from clear that Exxon's lack of writedowns signaled any wrongdoing. Accounting rules give companies a choice of methods for valuing and impairing their assets, and writedowns can vary sharply based on the method used and other factors, they said. "This is an extremely subjective area," said Tom Selling, author of The Accounting Onion blog. "Everyone will have a different pattern of writedowns depending on how old their fields are and how much they cost to develop." An Exxon spokesman on Friday told Reuters its accounting follows rules of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which sets reporting standards for U.S. public companies. The largest U.S. oil companies have historically not taken large charges to write down the value of their assets when commodity prices tumble, said Brian Youngberg, oil company analyst at Edward Jones in St. Louis. Companies are reluctant to take writedowns because they reduce income and assets on the balance sheet, and once assets are written down, they cannot be written up, said Larry Crumbley, accounting professor emeritus at Louisiana State University. Accounting rules do not require companies to take impairments for a temporary drop in oil prices, but the rules do not define the timeframe of a temporary slump, said Terry Crain, accounting professor emeritus at the University of Oklahoma. "Is it a month or two, or several years?" Crain said. "It falls in a gray area." Chevron Corp, which took $2.8 billion of impairments and other charges in the second quarter, may not look at the current slump as temporary, Crain said. But Robert McTamaney, a lawyer with Carter, Ledyard & Milburn, said if companies believe prices will soon rise again, taking an impairment is the wrong move. He also noted that Exxon, as one of the nation's oldest oil producers, may be already carrying many of its rigs and other equipment at much lower prices, making writedowns unnecessary. "From glancing at it, I think Exxon has substantial arguments that their accounting is correct," he said. New York attorneys generals have a powerful tool for fighting accounting misconduct with the Martin Act, the state's securities fraud statute. The act allows for both civil and criminal charges, and the attorney general does not have to prove an intent to deceive. Exxon is not the first company whose accounting has come under the scrutiny of the New York attorney general's office. Former American International Group chief executive officer Maurice "Hank" Greenberg went on trial in New York state court Sept. 13, in a case stemming from a probe of AIG's accounting practices. McTamaney, who has been critical of the use of the Martin Act by New York attorneys general over the last decade or so, said he wondered why Schneiderman is bringing a case that "if it belongs anywhere, should be with the SEC." The SEC in 2013 questioned why Exxon had not taken an impairment charge despite stating it was making "no money" on U.S. natural gas due to falling prices, according to a letter published on the commission's website. The SEC declined comment on Friday on whether it is still looking into Exxon's accounting.


News Article | December 5, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

In a new study, Vanderbilt pharmacologist Jerod Denton, Ph.D., Ohio State entomologist Peter Piermarini, Ph.D., and colleagues report an experimental molecule that inhibits kidney function in mosquitoes and thus might provide a new way to control the deadliest animal on Earth. The investigators aim their inhibitor, named VU041, at the mosquito Anopheles gambiae, the leading vector for malaria, and Aedes aegypti, a mosquito that transmits Zika virus and other pathogens. The study appears in the journal Scientific Reports. Over several decades of exposure, mosquitoes have evolved genetic resistance to various insecticides that attack their nervous system. The new study shows for the first time that inducing kidney failure -- or, more correctly, Malpighian tubule failure -- in mosquitoes can circumvent resistance to conventional insecticides. "We're essentially preventing mosquitoes from producing urine after they take a blood meal," said Denton, associate professor of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology. According to Denton, in taking a blood meal mosquitoes can double or even triple their body weight. Besides providing nutrients, blood meals carry toxic salts; the potassium chloride lurking in red blood cells, if not quickly voided, can depolarize cell membrane potentials and kill straightaway. "So they've evolved a rapid diuretic process to very quickly separate the salt water from all the nutrients that they need for egg development. A lot of people don't realize that mosquitoes have kidneys, and when they take a blood meal from you they also urinate on you almost simultaneously. "What our compounds do is stop urine production, so they swell up and can't volume regulate, and in some cases they just pop," he said. Conventional mosquitocides cause death of males and females at all stages of mosquito development, and in doing so exert considerable selective pressure for the development of genetic resistance. "By targeting blood feeding female mosquitoes, we predict that there will be less selective pressure for the emergence of resistant mutations," Denton said. The investigators show VU041 to be effective when applied topically, which indicates that it potentially could be adapted as a sprayed insecticide. They also show that it doesn't harm honeybees. Arrangements are underway to test VU041 in a spray formulation. If that's successful, additional safety testing would be needed before deciding about commercial development, Denton said. Denton and Piermarini are joined in the study by former Vanderbilt research fellow Daniel Swale, Ph.D., now a faculty member at Louisiana State University, and colleagues from Ohio State, Vanderbilt, the University of Florida and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Other Vanderbilt participants in the study include Darren Engers, Ph.D., Sean Bollinger and Emily Days. The study was funded in part by a grant (DK082884) from the National Institutes of Health.


NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System’s (SLVHCS) new medical center, a 1.7 million-square-foot facility that replaces critical medical infrastructure irreparably damaged in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, will begin the intensive activation of all of its outpatient services Monday, December 5, 2016. Constructed by Clark/McCarthy Healthcare Partners (CMHP), a joint venture of Clark Construction Group, LLC, and McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., with local partners Landis Construction and Woodward Design+Build, the new VA Veterans medical center will deliver patient-centered care to serve Veterans’ changing medical, surgical and quality-of-life needs. Located on a 34-acre campus adjacent to the new University Medical Center New Orleans, Louisiana State University Health Science Center and Tulane Medical Center, the new VA Veterans medical center is part of an expanding medical district on the edge of the central business district in New Orleans. The unified nine-building campus encompasses the restored, historic Pan-American Life building which now serves as the administrative building for VA, and construction of a new diagnostic & treatment building, inpatient building, outpatient building, transitional living facility, central energy plant, patient parking garage and staff parking garage. In 2017, the CMHP team will complete construction of the ninth building, a new research facility incorporating the historic Dixie Brewery building. A central concourse organizes the campus, linking atriums that open into large program blocks subdivided into smaller buildings and separated by green courtyards that resemble the gardens of the French Quarter. In total, the new campus houses 200 inpatient beds, 370 outpatient exam rooms, 21 procedural suites, eight operating rooms, ambulatory clinics, emergency and imaging departments, mental health services, patient education facilities and outpatient rehabilitation services. The institution’s educational mission is advanced through state-of-the-art technology, including smart classrooms and conference rooms, integrated cameras in the operating rooms, robotic surgery and wireless technology. Designed and constructed for maximum resiliency, the facility can remain fully operational during a major storm or natural disaster, with enough provisions and accommodations for up to 1,000 staff and patients for five days. Critical healthcare functions, including the emergency room, are located at least 21 feet above the base flood elevation, and travel from building to building can take place entirely indoors. The campus also features an emergency transport heliport and boat dock and is designed with a full backup power system and the capacity to handle double inpatient occupancy in times of disaster. “Our team applied lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina to create a resilient hospital infrastructure with an efficient, patient-centered design that will serve up to 70,000 Veterans from throughout the region,” says Steve Maslen, project executive of CMHP. “As a civil engineer, I can see that this medical center has been designed and constructed to serve as a model for health care of the future and set the standards for patient-centered care,” said SLVHCS Medical Center Director Fernando O. Rivera, FACHE. “In a ribbon cutting November 18, we celebrated serving Veterans and expanding our services by using a state-of-the-art Veterans medical center. This event is a major step in giving Veterans back the medical center they have earned and deserve as we work toward seeing outpatients daily at the new facility beginning December 5.” Throughout construction, CMHP initiated and participated in a series of small business education and community outreach initiatives. Team members conducted two, six-part training sessions to help educate small business subcontractors on federal contracting and construction best practices. CMHP’s extensive volunteer efforts included renovating the local VFW Hall; restoring a home destroyed by Katrina through the Rebuilding Together program; hosting a backpack drive to donate school supplies to a charter high school in an area devastated by Katrina; and volunteering for the Hope House social service agency. Team members also educated high school students about the architecture, construction and engineering professions as volunteers for the New Orleans Chapter of the ACE Mentor Program. The project’s lead architect is Studio NOVA, a joint venture between NBBJ, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple and Rozas Ward Architects. Clark Construction Group is one of the nation’s most experienced and respected providers of construction services. With annual revenue in excess of $4 billion, Clark is consistently ranked among the nation’s largest general contractors. Clark completed nearly $1 billion of healthcare construction annually and has active hospital projects with Inova Health System, Dignity Health, Stanford University Medical Center, and Ventura and Alameda County. For more information visit http://www.clarkconstruction.com or follow the company on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the oldest privately held national construction company in the country – with more than 150 years spent collaborating with partners to solve complex building challenges on behalf of its clients. With an unrelenting focus on safety and a comprehensive quality program that span all phases of every project, McCarthy utilizes industry-leading design phase and construction techniques combined with value-add technology to maximize outcomes. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at www.mccarthy.com or by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+.


News Article | October 21, 2015
Site: news.yahoo.com

Women with an average risk of breast cancer should begin getting mammograms annually at age 45, according to new guidelines from the American Cancer Society (ACS). This recommendation raises the age at which the ACS recommends starting mammograms — in 2003, the organization recommended starting at age 40. "The guideline-development group concluded that the risk of cancer is lower for women ages 40 to 44," and the risk of false positives is somewhat higher, compared with women in the 45-to-49 age group, said Elizabeth T. H. Fontham, a co-author of the guidelines and the dean of the Louisiana State University's School of Public Health in New Orleans. "So a direct recommendation to begin screening at age 40 was no longer warranted." A false positive is an error in a test result that indicates a woman has breast cancer when she actually does not. However, women who want to start mammograms at 40 should still have the opportunity to do so, according to the new guidelines, published today (Oct. 20) in the journal JAMA. Some doctors were critical of the new guidelines. "I really don't think they are good," Dr. Kristin Byrne, chief of breast imaging at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said of the new guidelines. "I think that they make them too vague and confusing for patients as well as clinicians," said Byrne, who was not involved in the research. The guidelines are for women who have an average risk of breast cancer, who the researchers defined as women who have never had breast cancer, who don't have genetic mutations known to increase the risk of breast cancer and who did not receive radiation treatments to the chest at a young age (which may be given as a treatment for another condition), the authors of the guidelines said. [6 Things Women Can Do to Lower Breast Cancer Risk] To come up with the new guidelines, the researchers looked at recent research on both the benefits and potential harm related to breast-cancer-screening mammography and clinical breast examination. Specifically, they examined factors such as the numbers of deaths from breast cancer that can be prevented by screening and the number of extra years of life that women could gain by screening. They also looked at false-positive findings that could require women to undergo additional imaging, or a biopsy, that wind up showing that a woman does not have cancer. However, some false positives may actually provide patients with important information about their risk of breast cancer, Byrne said. "When we do a biopsy on a patient, and it comes back as something like LCIS — lobular carcinoma in situ — that is a false positive," she said. But having LCIS is risk factor for getting breast cancer later, she told Live Science. LCIS is a condition in which abnormal cells are present in the lobules of the milk-producing glands of the breast, but the cells do not grow through the walls of the lobules, according to ACS's website. Women who have been diagnosed with LCIS have a risk of getting breast cancer that's seven to 11 times higher, compared to women who don't have the condition, according to ACS. The new guidelines also recommend that women ages 45 to 54 should have a mammogram every year, but when they reach age 55, they should transition to having one every two years. This is different from the previous recommendation, which said that women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year. "As time went on, we began to see data that showed that the growth of tumors was much slower as women got older, and so annual screening was not as necessary," said co-author of the guidelines Robert A. Smith, of the American Cancer Society. "In other words, tumors grow slowly enough that you can screen safely every two years," Smith told Live Science. However, women ages 55 and older should still have the opportunity to continue screening annually if they want to, according to the guidelines. Moreover, ACS no longer recommends routine clinical breast exams for breast-cancer screening at any age, according to the new guidelines. "We just don't see evidence that clinical breast examination is accomplishing very much at all," Smith said. But Byrne disagreed. "A lot of patients never examine their own breasts," she said. She has had many patients who have come to her because their physicians palpated a mass that turned out to be cancer, she said. "Up to 15 percent of breast cancers are detected on clinical exam alone," she said. "Something is wrong with that guideline," Byrne added. Copyright 2015 LiveScience, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - November 16, 2016) - More than three quarters of children in the United States are currently not meeting physical activity recommendations, putting them at an increased risk for obesity, diabetes and related chronic illnesses, according to a report issued today. The 2016 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth was authored by researchers and health experts from organizations across the country that were assembled by the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance. The report shows only 21.6 percent of children ages 6-19 meet U.S. physical activity guidelines. Further, nearly 63 percent of children are getting more than the two hours of screen time per day which exceeds current recommended guidelines. Less than 13 percent of children walk or ride their bike to school, habits that have been associated with lower odds of obesity among children. "Improving the results of the nation's Report Card on physical activity for children and youth will require a multi-pronged, multi-sectoral approach to create a culture that supports and encourages positive movement experiences for children," said Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., chief science officer for American Council on Exercise. "ACE is proud to sponsor the Report Card and is committed to promoting the three core values of physical literacy for youth: ability, confidence and a desire to be physically active for life." The World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommend that children and youth engage in a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily, including vigorous-intensity activity at least three days per week. Four key recommendations to increase physical activity among youth were included in the report: ACE's commitment to youth fitness is deeply integrated within the organization, including these initiatives that can help address the recommendations of the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance: The 2016 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth was released today in conjunction with 37 other countries at the 2016 International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health in Bangkok, Thailand. This is the second comprehensive assessment of physical activity in U.S. children and youth, updating the first Report Card released in 2014. The Report Card can be downloaded from the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance website (http://physicalactivityplan.org/projects/reportcard.html). Further information about the international release of the Report Card can be obtained from the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance website (www.activehealthykids.org ). The Report Card is produced by the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance's (NPAP) U.S. Report Card Research Advisory Committee. Find more information about the Plan at www.physicalactivityplan.org. About ACE: With a mission to get people moving, the nonprofit organization American Council on Exercise (ACE) educates, certifies and represents more than 65,000 currently certified fitness professionals, health coaches and other allied health professionals. ACE advocates for a new intersection of fitness and healthcare, bringing the highly qualified professionals ACE represents into the healthcare continuum so they can contribute to the national solution to physical inactivity and obesity. ACE is the largest certifier in its space and all four of its primary certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the gold standard in the United States for accreditation of certifications that assess professional competence. ACE also plays an important public-service role, conducting and providing science-based research and resources on safe and effective physical activity and sustainable behavior change. For more information, call 800-825-3636 or visit ACEfitness.org. AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE, ACE and ACE logos are Registered Trademarks of the American Council on Exercise. About the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance: The NPAPA is a not-for-profit 501-c3 organization committed to ensuring the long-term success of the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP). A coalition of national organizations and at-large experts on physical activity and public health, they have come together to ensure that efforts to provide physical activity in the American population will be guided by a comprehensive, evidence-based strategic plan. For more information, see http://physicalactivityplan.org. About the Pennington Biomedical Research Center: The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. It is a campus of Louisiana State University and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 44 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dietitians, and support personnel, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Pennington Biomedical's more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 222-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For more information, see http://www.pbrc.edu.


News Article | January 8, 2016
Site: phys.org

More than 30 universities have banned or restricted hoverboards on their campuses in recent weeks, saying the two-wheeled, motorized scooters are unsafe. Beyond the risk of falls and collisions, colleges are citing warnings from federal authorities that some of the self-balancing gadgets have caught on fire. "It's clear that these things are potentially dangerous," said Len Dolan, managing director of fire safety at Kean University in Union, New Jersey. The public school of 14,000 students issued a campus-wide ban effective on Monday, telling students in an email that any hoverboards found on campus would be confiscated. "These things are just catching fire without warning, and we don't want that in any of our dorms," Dolan said. Outright bans also have been issued at schools such as American University and George Washington University, both in Washington, D.C. Other schools said they will forbid the scooters in dorm rooms or campus buildings, a policy adopted at colleges including Louisiana State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Arkansas. After banning hoverboards from dorms in December, officials at the University of Hartford in Connecticut are now considering a full ban because of concerns over how to store them safely, said David Isgu, a school spokesman. Some of the reported fires have occurred while the boards were being charged, authorities say. At Ohio State University and at Xavier University in Cincinnati, students were told they can bring a hoverboard only if it came with a seal showing that the board meets certain safety standards. Schools have issued bans as recently as Thursday, when the University of Connecticut announced that the devices aren't welcome on campus. The University of Alabama and the University of Kentucky declared bans on Wednesday as students prepare to return from break. "We are not willing to risk your safety and our community's safety," University of Kentucky Fire Marshal Greg Williamson told students in a statement. Bryce Colegrove, a sophomore at Shawnee State University in Ohio, got an email from his school on Tuesday telling students to leave their hoverboards at home after the holidays. It was bad timing for Colegrove, who had just received one as a gift from his girlfriend and had even plotted his new routes to class. "Honestly I was really disappointed," said Colegrove, 20. "I don't think it's right to ban them. I mean, it's a college campus; it's not a high school." Others took to social media to voice their frustration, with some saying they planned to bring their scooters to school anyway. Hoverboards, which are made by several brands, already have been banned by the three largest U.S. airlines, citing potential fire danger from the lithium-ion batteries that power them. The devices also are prohibited on New York City streets, and a new law in California requires riders to be at least 16 and wear a helmet in public. On Monday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that it's now investigating 28 fires in 19 states tied to the motorized scooters. Fire officials from New Jersey to California have blamed the boards for fires that damaged homes. The federal commission also said there have been serious injuries caused by falls. Colleges reported that even though the gadget has been gaining popularity, it's still relatively rare on campuses. Dolan, of Kean University, said he saw about six students riding the scooters last fall. News of swift sales over the holidays, plus the reports of fires, led him to propose the ban. "If that may inconvenience a couple dozen students, then that's what it's going to have to be," he said. Fire officials in several states have issued their own warnings about the devices, including in New Jersey, were authorities recommended that all public colleges ban them. Still, several colleges have suggested that they may allow hoverboards in the future. American University said its ban is temporary, but will last "until further notice." At Wellesley College near Boston, a policy bans the motorized scooters "until safety standards can be developed and implemented by the manufacturers." Explore further: U.S. colleges going smoke-free


News Article | November 30, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Gene therapy gives hope to millions of patients. Researchers from the University of Warsaw have been working on mRNA containing a modified fragment which initiates protein biosynthesis. Recently published results reveal that new compounds - designed and synthesized at the University of Warsaw - are more stable and effective than their natural equivalents, and their synthesis is simpler. The compounds allow scientists to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of protein biosynthesis in cells, which in turn should help them design better therapeutics. Protein production is frequently disrupted in the cells of a disease-affected organism. This manifests as imbalance in the synthesis of certain proteins or production of damaged proteins, which in extreme cases leads to cancer. Gene therapy is one of the methods used for dealing with this problem. It involves supplying the organism with genetic material encoding proteins whose properties support healthy cell activity. In the early days of experiments on gene therapy, researchers used DNA as the genetic material. However, genes delivered in the form of DNA integrate with the patients' genome, which beside solving the targeted problem, may also bring new serious and unexpected symptoms. Medical researchers have high hopes as to the therapeutic potential of mRNA; the molecules are smaller and simpler, which makes them easier to prepare under laboratory conditions, and - perhaps most importantly - unlike DNA, they don't make permanent changes to the organism's genetic makeup. mRNA molecules are natural polymers formed in cells. They contain precise copes of genes (DNA fragments), so they carry the genetic code and act as templates in the production of new proteins. mRNA molecules are broken down by enzymes after a few minutes or hours. This short lifespan of natural and synthetic mRNA is one of the problems limiting its practical applications. The application of mRNA in gene therapy would be more feasible, if the molecule used in drugs "survived" for longer than its natural equivalent, and if the therapeutic efficacy was as high as possible. The team working on mRNA stabilization was originally founded at the Division of Biophysics (Institute of Experimental Physics, Faculty of Physics, the University of Warsaw). The initiator of research into mRNA structure and function is Prof. Edward Darzynikiewicz (Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw). The team working on therapeutic modifications of mRNA molecules is led by Prof. Jacek Jemielity, formerly from the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw and currently working at the Centre of New Technologies at the University of Warsaw. The team brings together over a dozen PhD holders and student researchers, with Dr. Joanna Kowalska acting as the main animator of research at the University of Warsaw. The scientists work alongside colleagues from the US and Germany and with pharmaceutical companies. In 2011, the consortium between the University of Warsaw and the Louisiana State University patented and commercialized the team's invention improving the stability and efficiency of mRNA. The solution is currently undergoing clinical tests conducted by one of the pharma partners. The key innovation is the five-prime cap (5' cap) - an artificial mRNA segment replacing its natural 7-methylguanosine structure. The ongoing Warsaw research aims to discover new, better cap analogues, design a technology for large-scale production of therapeutic mRNA, and improve understanding of the course of natural protein synthesis. "The 7-methylguanosine cap is at the 5' end of the mRNA molecule," explains Prof. Darzynkiewicz. "In cytoplasm, the cap structure is recognized by the eIF4E factor which initiates the process of protein biosynthesis, known as translation. This stage decides on the speed of the entire complex sequence of events, which culminate with the synthesis of protein in the cell. The cap protects the mRNA from degradation by cleaving enzymes - nucleases. Unfortunately cells remove the cap using decapping enzymes such as Dcp1/Dcp2. A few years ago we discovered that using modified cap analogues can prevent the degradation of the 5' mRNA end and improve the rate of translation." The team's latest results reveal that the search for new, natural cap analogues is promising. "Our recent paper, published in Nucleic Acids Research,(1) presents a new class of modified caps which are an improved version of those currently undergoing clinical trials," says Prof. Jemielity. "The modification involves swapping an oxygen atom for a sulfur atom in several positions in a specific place of the cap molecule, known as the tri- or tetra-phosphate bridge. mRNA with this chemically modified cap is bound effectively by the eIF4E factor during the stage limiting the speed of protein biosynthesis. It's also highly resistant to the cleaving of the cap structure by the Dcp1/Dcp2 enzyme. Under cellular conditions this mRNA is more stable and produces higher amounts of therapeutic protein, which we have demonstrated in a model used in studies of cancer vaccines. We hope that our modified mRNA will enable us to use lower doses of therapeutics - and lower doses mean a lower risk of side effects." The drug's availability is also very important for the patient. Traditional enzyme methods of modifying caps (and in turn therapeutic mRNA) are time consuming and very ineffective. "Back in 2010, it took us six months to prepare the first four grams of cap needed to start clinical trials, and the amount was barely sufficient to treat 12-13 patients," recalls Dr. Kowalska. Meanwhile, the potential demand can be estimated as kilograms of the compounds every year, leading researchers to seek faster and cheaper production methods. "We turned our attention to click chemistry," says Sylwia Walczak, PhD student at the University of Warsaw. "We have been developing a method of effective synthesis of cap analogues from prefabricated units - chemical 'building blocks'. The structure of each block has at least one fragment which joins its counterpart in another molecule, interlocking like bricks." By applying the method in straightforward production of modified caps, scientists from Poland have developed 36 new analogues. "Two of the compounds have properties we were hoping for: when they are introduced to mRNA, they work as well as the natural cap," adds Anna Nowicka, working on her PhD at the University of Warsaw. "We are certain that this discovery will pave the way to developing new chemical methods of adding the cap to mRNA which will compete with expensive and time consuming enzymatic methods," adds Nowicka. The work of the team of eight authors describing the discovery was published in late summer in the leading journal Chemical Science.(2) The search for new, improved cap analogues slowly shifts from the trial and error approach towards rational design. This is possible due to advances in the understanding of mRNA-related processes, their control and dynamics. Recently, the team from Warsaw contributed to new insights into mRNA decapping "For the first time we have been able to design compounds which, by mimicking the 5' mRNA cap, are able to inhibit the Dcp1/Dcp2 enzyme, which cleaves the cap from mRNA exposing it to degradation," says Dr. Marcin Ziemniak, who completed his PhD at the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw earlier this year. "Working with colleagues at the University of California in San Francisco, John D. Gross and Jeffrey Mugridge, we have used X-ray crystallography to get new insight into structure and function of Dcp1/Dcp2. We have used our compound to capture the key stage of enzyme activity, which is binding the cap. To put it more simply, we used our compound as a bait, which imitates the mRNA cap. The enzymatic complex 'swallows' the bait, 'freezes', and can be 'photographed'. Our results indicate that as the bait is taken - the inhibitor is bound - the enzyme complex undergoes global structural changes. The chemical composition of molecules remains unchanged, of course, but their fragments rotate relative to one another to reach a situation when the enzyme is ready to act." The results have been published in two prestigious journals: RNA (January) and Nature Structural and Molecular Biology (October).(3,4) "We believe that the results will allow us to design even better inhibitors of mRNA decapping," stresses Prof. Jemielity. "They will be useful in further research into mRNA degradation processes, and hopefully they will also find therapeutic applications such as increasing the potency mRNA-based gene therapies." Scientists stress that the problems they are working on require an interdisciplinary approach. "The work we are conducting at the Faculty of Physics is unique," says Dr. Kowalska. "We have access to state-of-the-art research labs, although it's true to say that other teams have similar equipment. Our advantage lies in our team, which consists from experts in biophysics, chemistry and molecular and cellular biology. Conducting research on the boundaries of three different disciplines and the ability to look at the same research problem from different perspectives is incredibly inspirational, and gives us opportunity to come up with completely fresh ideas and solutions which would be far more difficult to reach using just a single approach. I believe this is a unique approach not only in Poland but on a global scale," Kowalska sums up the situation. Physics and Astronomy first appeared at the University of Warsaw in 1816, under the then Faculty of Philosophy. In 1825 the Astronomical Observatory was established. Currently, the Faculty of Physics' Institutes include Experimental Physics, Theoretical Physics, Geophysics, Department of Mathematical Methods and an Astronomical Observatory. Research covers almost all areas of modern physics, on scales from the quantum to the cosmological. The Faculty's research and teaching staff includes ca. 200 university teachers, of which 88 are employees with the title of professor. The Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, is attended by ca. 1000 students and more than 170 doctoral students. 1. "Cap analogs modified with 1,2-dithiodiphosphate moiety protect mRNA from decapping and enhance its translational potential", By Malwina Strenkowska, Renata Grzela, Maciej Majewski, Katarzyna Wnek, Joanna Kowalska, Maciej Lukaszewicz, Joanna Zuberek, Edward Darzynkiewicz, Andreas N Kuhn, Ugur Sahin, Jacek Jemielity, Published in Nucleic Acids Research 44 (2016) doi: 10.1093/nar/gkw896, http://nar. 2. "A novel route for preparing 5? cap mimics and capped RNAs: phosphate-modified cap analogues obtained via click chemistry", By Sylwia Walczak, Anna Nowicka, Dorota Kubacka, Kaja Fac, Przemyslaw Wanat, Seweryn Mroczek, Joanna Kowalska, Jacek Jemielity, Published in Chemical Science 7 (2016) DOI: 10.1039/C6SC02437H, http://pubs. 3. "Two-headed tetraphosphate cap analogs are inhibitors of the Dcp1/2 RNA decapping complex", By Marcin Ziemniak, Jeffrey S. Mugridge, Joanna Kowalska, Robert E. Rhoads, John D. Gross, Jacek Jemielity, Published in RNA 22 (2016) 518-529, http://rnajournal. 4. "Structural basis of mRNA-cap recognition by Dcp1-Dcp2", By Jeffrey S. Mugridge, Marcin Ziemniak, Jacek Jemielity, John D. Gross, Published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 23 (2016) doi:10.1038/nsmb.3301, http://www. Dr. Joanna Kowalska Institute of Experimental Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw tel. +48 22 55 40 774, +48 22 55 40 788 email: asia@biogeo.uw.edu.pl Prof. Edward Darzynkiewicz Institute of Experimental Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw tel. +48 22 55 40 787 email: edek@biogeo.uw.edu.pl Prof. Jacek Jemielity Centre of New Technologies, University of Warsaw +48 22 55 43774 e-mail: jacekj@biogeo.uw.edu.pl Press office of the Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw. FUW161109b_fot01s.jpg HR: http://www. Fragment of the X-ray crystal structure showing the cap bound by Dcp1/Dcp2. Based on pdb-entry 5KQ4. (Source: Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw)


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

DALLAS - Oct.24, 2016 - Carol White can't help but worry when she misplaces keys or can't recall a name ever since relatives have been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. "I live with the possibility Alzheimer's might also touch my life," she said. "You just take a deep breath and wonder." But the 69-year-old doesn't plan to sit around waiting to find out. She's joined a study at the UT Southwestern Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute to determine whether regular aerobic exercise and taking specific medications to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels can help preserve brain function. "There is plenty of evidence to suggest that what is bad for your cardiovascular system is bad for your brain, but the body is one machine and you cannot separate the heart from the brain," said Dr. Rong Zhang, Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Zhang is Principal Investigator for the 5-year study being carried out at six medical centers around the nation. They plan to enroll more than 600 older adults at high risk to develop Alzheimer's disease and measure whether certain interventions can be linked to slower brain decline. Participants will take part in regular aerobic exercise and take specific medications to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Information on this study is available on the rrAD trail website or contact Tammy Lewis at 214-345-4665 or ieembrain@texashealth.org">ieembrain@texashealth.org. Other trial sites include Texas Health Resources in Dallas, the University of Kansas Medical Center, Washington University School of Medicine, Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University, and Michigan State University. There is compelling evidence that hypertension is linked to development of dementia later in life, according to a statement from the American Heart Association issued earlier this month. But more data are needed to determine whether treating high blood pressure can preserve the brain's function. Doctors also need to know what kind of exercise or which medications or blood pressure levels will benefit at-risk patients the most. "That's the point of this study. People are looking for a silver bullet to stop the disease. But Alzheimer's is a multi-factorial disease. You have to do A, B, C, and D together, which will hopefully make the difference," said Dr. Zhang, Director of the Cerebrovascular Laboratory in the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine (IEEM) at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where the Dallas arm of the study will be carried out. The IEEM, a joint program between Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and UT Southwestern, is among the most sophisticated human physiology laboratories in the world. Researchers there are working to find treatments and contribute to the development of cures for many of society's most debilitating and chronic diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, Alzheimer's disease, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), and obesity. This new study builds upon prior research linking healthy lifestyles to better brain function. That includes a 2013 study from Dr. Zhang's team that found neuronal messages are more efficiently relayed in brains of older adults who exercise, and a recent UCLA study that found a healthy diet and regular exercise can reduce the incidence of toxic protein buildup associated with Alzheimer's. Other teams at the O'Donnell Brain Institute are designing tests for the early detection of patients who will develop dementia, and seeking methods to slow or stop the spread of toxic proteins associated with the disease such as beta-amyloid and tau, which are blamed for destroying certain groups of neurons in the brain. In the current study, supported by funding from the National Institutes on Aging, researchers will measure the effectiveness of various combinations of intervention in four groups of participants, including those who receive both aerobic training and medication that aggressively targets cardiovascular risks, and others that only receive some or none of these interventions. Researchers will watch for changes in the participants' memory and other functions using cognitive testing and MRIs that will monitor brain cell communication and blood flow, which is important for prevention of any buildup of toxic proteins. They will also measure brain volume and other factors to help them assess which combinations of interventions are most effective in slowing the decline in brain function. Ms. White was the first to sign up. "I'm just interested in doing anything that I can that might help in some small way to find a cure," said Ms. White, who does government and public affairs contract work in the Dallas area. "It's not a pleasant thing to see your relatives go through." Join the Friends of the Alzheimer's Disease Center for "From Astronauts to Alzheimer's Disease: How Understanding the Heart-Brain Connection May Prevent Cognitive Impairment," presented by Benjamin Levine, M.D., and Rong Zhang, Ph.D. Seating is limited for this free public event. RSVP today at rsvp@utsouthwestern.edu or call 214-648-2344.


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

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Northern Trust announced today that Glenn Weiss has joined its Atlanta Wealth Management office as president of the Georgia region, and a member of the East Region Operating Group. Weiss will oversee the wealth management business in Georgia and the neighboring southeastern states, with a focus on building Northern Trust’s presence locally and expanding the business regionally. He reports to Brett Rees, president of the mid-Atlantic region. “Glenn brings extensive wealth management experience, a depth of business acumen, proven leadership skills and a keen understanding of Northern Trust’s commitment to delivering superior client service,” said Rees. Weiss has been with Northern Trust for more than 14 years in the wealth management business and has over 25 years of experience and expertise in serving the holistic wealth management needs of high net worth individuals and the asset management needs of nonprofit clients. His previous roles at Northern Trust included senior wealth strategist and regional sales manager for the Chicago suburban communities, managing director for the DuPage (IL) wealth advisory team and most recently, senior managing director for a Chicago wealth advisory team. Prior to Northern Trust, Glenn was a vice president at Fifth Third Bank from 1993 to 2002. Weiss has a BS degree from Louisiana State University and a MBA with honors from North Central College (Naperville, IL). He holds the designations of Certified Retirement Services Professional (“CRSP”), Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (“CTFA”) and Certified Private Wealth Advisor (“CPWA”). He has a strong passion for community service, including a specific commitment to youth and education which he looks forward to bringing to the Atlanta Community. Weiss will be based in Northern Trust’s Atlanta office located at 3282 Northside Parkway NW, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30327. Northern Trust Wealth Management specializes in Goals Driven Wealth Management backed by innovative technology and a strong fiduciary heritage. Northern Trust Wealth Management is ranked among the top 10 U.S. wealth managers, with $248 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2016, and a wide network of wealth management offices across the United States. The Northern Trust Company is an Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC. Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of wealth management, asset servicing, asset management and banking to corporations, institutions, affluent families and individuals. Founded in Chicago in 1889, Northern Trust has offices in the United States in 19 states and Washington, D.C., and 20 international locations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. As of December 31, 2016, Northern Trust had assets under custody of US$6.7 trillion, and assets under management of US$942 billion. For more than 125 years, Northern Trust has earned distinction as an industry leader for exceptional service, financial expertise, integrity and innovation. Visit northerntrust.com or follow us on Twitter @NorthernTrust. Northern Trust Corporation, Head Office: 50 South La Salle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603 U.S.A., incorporated with limited liability in the U.S. Global legal and regulatory information can be found at http://www.northerntrust.com/disclosures.


Zellmer A.J.,Louisiana State University | Hanes M.M.,Eastern Michigan University | Hird S.M.,Louisiana State University | Carstens B.C.,Louisiana State University
Systematic Biology | Year: 2012

We collected ∼29 kb of sequence data using Roche 454 pyrosequencing in order to estimate the timing and pattern of diversification in the carnivorous pitcher plant Sarracenia alata. Utilizing modified protocols for reduced representation library construction, we generated sequence data from 86 individuals across 10 populations from throughout the range of the species. We identified 76 high-quality and high-coverage loci (containing over 500 SNPs) using the bioinformatics pipeline PRGmatic. Results from a Bayesian clustering analysis indicate that populations are highly structured, and are similar in pattern to the topology of a population tree estimated using *BEAST. The pattern of diversification within Sarracenia alata implies that riverine barriers are the primary factor promoting population diversification, with divergence across the Mississippi River occurring more than 60,000 generations before present. Further, significant patterns of niche divergence and the identification of several outlier loci suggest that selection may contribute to population divergence. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of using next-generation sequencing to investigate intraspecific genetic variation in nonmodel species. © The Author(s) 2012. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists. All rights reserved.


Qiu L.,Hong Kong University of Science and Technology | Gu G.,Louisiana State University | Chen W.,Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control | Year: 2013

In this paper, we study the problem of state feedback stabilization of a linear time-invariant (LTI) discrete-time multi-input system with imperfect input channels. Each input channel is modeled in three different ways. First it is modeled as an ideal transmission system together with an additive norm bounded uncertainty, introducing a multiplicative uncertainty to the plant. Then it is modeled as an ideal transmission system together with a feedback norm bounded uncertainty, introducing a relative uncertainty to the plant. Finally it is modeled as an additive white Gaussian noise channel. For each of these models, we properly define the capacity of each channel whose sum yields the total capacity of all input channels. We aim at finding the least total channel capacity for stabilization. Different from the single-input case that is available in the literature and boils down to a typical H∞ or H 2 optimal control problem, the multi-input case involves allocation of the total capacity among the input channels in addition to the design of the feedback controller. The overall process of channel resource allocation and the controller design can be considered as a case of channel-controller co-design which gives rise to modified nonconvex optimization problems. Surprisingly, the modified nonconvex optimization problems, though appear more complicated, can be solved analytically. The main results of this paper can be summarized into a universal theorem: The state feedback stabilization can be accomplished by the channel-controller co-design, if and only if the total input channel capacity is greater than the topological entropy of the open-loop system. © 1963-2012 IEEE.


Giovannoni S.J.,Oregon State University | Cameron Thrash J.,Oregon State University | Cameron Thrash J.,Louisiana State University | Temperton B.,Oregon State University | Temperton B.,Plymouth Marine Laboratory
ISME Journal | Year: 2014

Whether a small cell, a small genome or a minimal set of chemical reactions with self-replicating properties, simplicity is beguiling. As Leonardo da Vinci reportedly said, 'simplicity is the ultimate sophistication'. Two diverging views of simplicity have emerged in accounts of symbiotic and commensal bacteria and cosmopolitan free-living bacteria with small genomes. The small genomes of obligate insect endosymbionts have been attributed to genetic drift caused by small effective population sizes (N e). In contrast, streamlining theory attributes small cells and genomes to selection for efficient use of nutrients in populations where N e is large and nutrients limit growth. Regardless of the cause of genome reduction, lost coding potential eventually dictates loss of function. Consequences of reductive evolution in streamlined organisms include atypical patterns of prototrophy and the absence of common regulatory systems, which have been linked to difficulty in culturing these cells. Recent evidence from metagenomics suggests that streamlining is commonplace, may broadly explain the phenomenon of the uncultured microbial majority, and might also explain the highly interdependent (connected) behavior of many microbial ecosystems. Streamlining theory is belied by the observation that many successful bacteria are large cells with complex genomes. To fully appreciate streamlining, we must look to the life histories and adaptive strategies of cells, which impose minimum requirements for complexity that vary with niche. © 2014 International Society for Microbial Ecology All rights reserved.


Patent
Nestec S.A. and Louisiana State University | Date: 2014-11-20

The present invention provides formulations for enhancing bioavailability of water-soluble compounds including water-soluble vitamins. The formulations include a water-soluble vitamin and a glycoside selected from a diterpene glycoside and a triterpene glycoside. Methods for increasing the bioavailability of a water-soluble vitamin are also described


Patent
Louisiana State University and Aton Pharma | Date: 2013-11-22

A method of forming an ocular delivery device includes exposing a solid, shaped cellulose polymer to a solution including an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and a solvent capable of solubilizing the API, wherein the polymer absorbs at least a portion of the solution, including the API and solvent. The method may further include removing at least a portion of the absorbed solvent from the polymer by allowing the absorbed solvent to evaporate from the polymer or by drying the polymer. A variety of cellulose polymers may be used, including hydroxypropyl cellulose. A variety of APIs may be used, including Cyclosporine, Tobramycin and Vancomycin. Ocular delivery devices prepared by the methods may be used to treat a variety of eye disorders.


Patent
Nestec S.A. and Louisiana State University | Date: 2014-11-20

The present invention provides formulations for enhancing bioavailability of watersoluble compounds including water-soluble vitamins. The formulations include a watersoluble vitamin and a glycoside selected from a diterpene glycoside and a triterpene glycoside. Methods for increasing the bioavailability of a water-soluble vitamin are also described.


News Article | November 2, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Advanced Polymer Monitoring Technologies (APMT) today announced that it has achieved automatic control of polymer molecular weight during synthesis utilizing new capabilities integrated with APMT’s ACOMP product, which monitors polymer properties during polymerization reactions. The results of this collaborative research effort with Tulane University’s Center for Polymer Reaction Monitoring and Characterization (PolyRMC) were recently published in a leading polymer science journal, Macromolecules, in an article titled “Automatic Control of Polymer Molecular Weight during Synthesis.” This work was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. ACOMP’s real-time monitoring capabilities have enabled APMT to develop an automated software controller for molecular weight that does not require a detailed kinetic model. This new control interface coupled to ACOMP allows automatic control of molecular weight during free radical polymerization reactions. “ACOMP’s capability to control polymer molecular weight brings us one step closer to our goal – an ACOMP product platform capable of automatic feedback control of all major characteristics of virtually any polymerization reaction. This development will one day enable a next generation of tailored polymers where manufacturers can dial in specific properties and achieve these perfectly every time,” says Dr. Wayne Reed, APMT’s Chief Scientific Officer. The molecular weight controller is derived from the continuous measurement of monomer and polymer concentrations as well as the cumulative weight-average molecular weight throughout the polymerization process. The ACOMP molecular weight controller utilizes this information and responds with the appropriate control action to direct the polymerization along a predetermined molecular weight trajectory. In a complementary effort Louisiana State University is collaborating with APMT and Tulane on optimized, model based reaction control. The automatic control of polymer molecular weight was performed initially at the laboratory-scale. With this new capability and applications engineering facilities, APMT is now exploring new applications for ACOMP and the controller with interested manufacturers. About APMT     Advanced Polymer Monitoring Technologies, Inc. develops, manufactures and distributes products and services for the real-time monitoring, analysis and control of polymer reactions, solutions, dispersions and suspensions across all synthetic and natural polymer sectors from R&D through high volume industrial production. For more information, visit http://www.apmtinc.com.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

PLAINVIEW, NY--(Marketwired - February 16, 2017) - NeuLion, Inc. (TSX: NLN), a leading technology product and service provider specializing in the broadcasting, distribution and monetization of live and on-demand digital video content to Internet-enabled devices, and LSU Sports Properties, the official marketing and multimedia rights holder of the LSU Athletics Department, today announced a mobile first relaunch of the official athletics website of Louisiana State University. NeuLion and LSU Sports Properties have been proud partners since 2005 and collaborated on many successful projects, creating a compelling digital destination for Louisiana State University's passionate fan base. As part of the partnership extension, NeuLion and LSU Sports Properties enhanced the official athletics website of Louisiana State University, LSUsports.net. The enhanced site delivers a custom and innovative digital experience for LSU fans. Revamped around a mobile first strategy, LSUsports.net features a responsive and aesthetically modern, clean design to improve mobile experiences. Key features include increased video integration, with LSUsports.net LIVE free for fans and accessible through any device, and an enhanced social media integration to drive engagement and improve overall fan experiences. The NeuLion College Platform, which powers dynamic solutions for over 140 colleges, universities and conferences, combines industry leading content management and product promotion tools with a robust video solution to deliver a service worthy of LSU's ambitions. "One of our main goals with this generation of LSUsports.net is to deliver consistent LSU Athletics branding and messaging across all devices," said Todd Politz, Director of Digital Media at LSU Sports Properties. "Impressions originating from mobile devices have grown to nearly half of the website's traffic. Considering that volume, this responsive redesign of LSUsports.net was essential in helping our fans and visitors access a vast amount of data with ease." "We hope to deliver a mobile experience to Tiger fans that they haven't had in the past. Over the past six months, we've been taking steps to create a better online experience for our fan base. The first step was providing free live-streaming audio and video from more than 240 events each season. This relaunch of LSUsports.net is the next step to give Tigers fans more information at their fingertips than ever before." "We are proud to grow our relationship with an innovative partner such as LSU Sports Properties," said Tim Vargas, Senior Vice President at NeuLion. "LSU is one of the premier athletic departments in the country and together we can deliver a unique and compelling digital experience that matches their goals as an athletic department." NeuLion, Inc. (TSX: NLN) offers solutions that power the highest quality digital experiences for live and on-demand content in up to 4K on any device. Through its end-to-end technology platform, NeuLion enables digital video management, distribution and monetization for content owners worldwide including the NFL, NBA, World Surf League, Univision Deportes, Euroleague Basketball and others. NeuLion powers the entire video ecosystem for content owners and rights holders, consumer electronic companies, and third party video integrators through its MainConcept business. NeuLion's robust consumer electronics licensing business enables its customers like Sony, LG, Samsung and others to stream secure, high-quality video seamlessly across their consumer devices. NeuLion is headquartered in Plainview, NY. For more information about NeuLion, visit www.NeuLion.com. Certain statements herein are forward-looking statements and represent NeuLion's current intentions in respect of future activities. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of the words "will," "expect," "seek," "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "estimate," "expect," and "intend" and statements that an event or result "may," "will," "can," "should," "could," or "might" occur or be achieved and other similar expressions. These statements, in addressing future events and conditions, involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this release are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, NeuLion cannot assure readers that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this release and NeuLion assumes no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law. Many factors could cause NeuLion's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including: our ability to derive anticipated benefits from the acquisitions of DivX and Saffron Digital; our ability to realize some or all of the anticipated benefits of our partnerships; general economic and market segment conditions; our customers' subscriber levels and financial health; our ability to pursue and consummate acquisitions in a timely manner; our continued relationships with our customers; our ability to negotiate favorable terms for contract renewals; competitor activity; product capability and acceptance rates; technology changes; regulatory changes; foreign exchange risk; interest rate risk; and credit risk. These factors should be considered carefully and readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements. A more detailed assessment of the risks that could cause actual results to materially differ from current expectations is contained in the "Risk Factors" section of NeuLion's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, which is available on www.sec.gov and filed on www.sedar.com.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Search Influence, a local Internet marketing company, has recently promoted Paula Keller French to Director of Sales and Marketing from her previous role as Director of Account Management. In her new position, Keller French will help create digital marketing strategies for businesses that will allow them to find more customers online. French received a marketing degree from the E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University and has worked with Search Influence since 2009 with a wide array of large and small businesses, both locally and nationwide. Throughout her SEO experience, she has learned technical and strategic online marketing strategies to help businesses succeed. "Paula's experience developing strategies and running campaigns for hundreds of clients gives her a unique understanding of the marketing and business challenges in today's changing landscape," said Will Scott, co-founder, and CEO of Search Influence. "In her new role, she will help even more businesses understand that there are answers and that marketing can be accountable to ROI with the right mix of expertise." One of the key foundations of Search Influence's client success is consistent, flexible communication on how we optimize strategy to achieve continuing growth in customer acquisition. "One of the biggest frustrations we hear from businesses is not knowing if their marketing dollars are well spent," said Keller French. "We have a team of marketing experts who develop strategies that optimize our customers' business potential and proprietary technology that allows clients to clearly see ROI." Search Influence has helped set customers apart from their competitors for over 11 years by creating engaging content that reaches the right audience regardless of the advertising channel.. They are located at 935 Gravier St #1300, New Orleans, La., 70112. For more info, call (504) 208-3900 or visit http://www.searchinfluence.com. A national Internet marketing company based in New Orleans, Search Influence specializes in helping small businesses succeed online. Whether working directly with customers or with publisher partners, Search Influence focuses on customer return on investment. Search Influence offers local SEO, social media marketing and a full range of online marketing services, including in-house production services and online advertising.


News Article | August 30, 2016
Site: www.fastcompany.com

Whether it’s a new technology, a foreign language, or an advanced skill, staying competitive often means learning new things. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. workers have taken a course or sought additional training to advance their careers, according to a March 2016 study by Pew Research Center. They report that results have included an expanded professional network, new job or different career path. Being a quick learner can give you an even greater edge. Science proves there are six ways you can learn and retain something faster. If you imagine that you’ll need to teach someone else the material or task you are trying to grasp, you can speed up your learning and remember more, according to a study done at Washington University in St. Louis. The expectation changes your mind-set so that you engage in more effective approaches to learning than those who simply learn to pass a test, according to John Nestojko, a postdoctoral researcher in psychology and coauthor of the study. "When teachers prepare to teach, they tend to seek out key points and organize information into a coherent structure," Nestojko writes. "Our results suggest that students also turn to these types of effective learning strategies when they expect to teach." Experts at the Louisiana State University’s Center for Academic Success suggest dedicating 30-50 minutes to learning new material. "Anything less than 30 is just not enough, but anything more than 50 is too much information for your brain to take in at one time," writes learning strategies graduate assistant Ellen Dunn. Once you’re done, take a five to 10 minute break before you start another session. Brief, frequent learning sessions are much better than longer, infrequent ones, agrees Neil Starr, a course mentor at Western Governors University, an online nonprofit university where the average student earns a bachelor’s degree in two and a half years. He recommends preparing for micro learning sessions. "Make note cards by hand for the more difficult concepts you are trying to master," he says. "You never know when you’ll have some in-between time to take advantage of." While it’s faster to take notes on a laptop, using a pen and paper will help you learn and comprehend better. Researchers at Princeton University and UCLA found that when students took notes by hand, they listened more actively and were able to identify important concepts. Taking notes on a laptop, however, leads to mindless transcription, as well as an opportunity for distraction, such as email. "In three studies, we found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand," writes coauthor and Princeton University psychology professor Pam Mueller. "We show that whereas taking more notes can be beneficial, laptop note takers’ tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning." While it sounds counterintuitive, you can learn faster when you practice distributed learning, or "spacing." In an interview with The New York Times, Benedict Carey, author of How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens, says learning is like watering a lawn. "You can water a lawn once a week for 90 minutes or three times a week for 30 minutes," he said. "Spacing out the watering during the week will keep the lawn greener over time." To retain material, Carey said it’s best to review the information one to two days after first studying it. "One theory is that the brain actually pays less attention during short learning intervals," he said in the interview. "So repeating the information over a longer interval—say a few days or a week later, rather than in rapid succession—sends a stronger signal to the brain that it needs to retain the information." Downtime is important when it comes to retaining what you learn, and getting sleep in between study sessions can boost your recall up to six months later, according to new research published in Psychological Science. In an experiment held in France, participants were taught the Swahili translation for 16 French words in two sessions. Participants in the "wake" group completed the first learning session in the morning and the second session in the evening of the same day, while participants in the "sleep" group completed the first session in the evening, slept, and then completed the second session the following morning. Participants who had slept between sessions recalled about 10 of the 16 words, on average, while those who hadn't slept recalled only about 7.5 words. "Our results suggest that interweaving sleep between practice sessions leads to a twofold advantage, reducing the time spent relearning and ensuring a much better long-term retention than practice alone," writes psychological scientist Stephanie Mazza of the University of Lyon. "Previous research suggested that sleeping after learning is definitely a good strategy, but now we show that sleeping between two learning sessions greatly improves such a strategy." When learning a new motor skill, changing the way you practice it can help you master it faster, according to a new study at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In an experiment, participants were asked to learn a computer-based task. Those who used a modified learning technique during their second session performed better than those who repeated the same method. The findings suggest that reconsolidation—a process in which existing memories are recalled and modified with new knowledge—plays a key role in strengthening motor skills, writes Pablo A. Celnik, senior study author and professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation. "What we found is if you practice a slightly modified version of a task you want to master," he writes, "you actually learn more and faster than if you just keep practicing the exact same thing multiple times in a row."


News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: www.csmonitor.com

Tropical bird wings look different than those from other regions, say scientists. Birds with longer and pointier wings dominate temperate areas, like Europe and North America (red). Birds with smaller and rounder wings dominate in tropical areas, like southern Africa and South America (Blue). The left bird, Dark batis (Batis crypta), has smaller round wings. The bird on the right, Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus), has long pointy wings evolved for long-distance flying. Painting by Jon Fjeldså. Some birds have short wings, and some have long wings. Some birds have pointed wings, and some have rounded wings. And those distinctions may have to do with where they live. A new study finds that birds that live closer to the equator have shorter, rounder wings than those that live farther away. This is a pattern that scientists have always suspected to be the case, but there had not been a comprehensive assessment of the evidence – until now. A team of researchers studied thousands of specimens in natural history museum collections, representing 782 species of corvoid birds, in an effort to suss out patterns of diversity across the globe. Their results were published Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. "The pattern has generally been thought to be quite likely by scientists for some time. But this was really the first actual empirical evaluation of it across a large group of birds," study lead author Jonathan Kennedy, a researcher at the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, tells The Christian Science Monitor in a phone interview. "This research corroborates previous studies that documented a link between a bird's morphology, including wing shape, and where the bird occurs in the landscape," Robb Brumfield, the director of Louisiana State University's Museum of Natural Science, who was not part of the new research, agrees in an email to the Monitor. These findings are unsurprising, Dr. Kennedy says, because of the different advantages that different wing shapes and sizes give a bird. For example, the scientists expected to find that birds from northern, temperate regions have pointier, longer wingtips because they make it easier for the birds to soar long distances. Birds living in those chillier regions usually go on long annual migrations to winter in warmer regions closer to the equator. On the flip side, birds with shorter, rounder wings would be able to dart through dense tropical vegetation more easily. And, because they find all the food and other resources they need in the regions near the equator, they wouldn't need wings well-adapted for long journeys. This makes sense evolutionarily, too, Dr. Brumfield says. "For example, bird species found on oceanic islands will often have wing morphologies that are better for long-distance flight, reflecting their ability to have colonized the island in the first place. In contrast, bird species that spend their entire lives in the dark understory of a continental tropical forest will typically have wing morphologies that are better for short-distance flight." One of the reasons the researchers studied corvoid birds is that they are a superfamily within the Passeriform order. Passerine birds, also known as songbirds, make up about two-thirds of all bird species globally, Kennedy explains, and Corvoidea make up about a sixth of that order. But most importantly, he says, "they're present on almost all of the world's continental landmasses. That's everywhere except Antarctica." As such, Kennedy says, "I would expect that this pattern is very consistent across passerine birds." So by studying Corvoidea – crows, ravens, jays, and their relatives – the researchers were able to tap into broader patterns. Although this pattern fits with ecologists' and ornithologists' expectations, articulating the pattern could help scientists better understand broader evolutionary patterns. When Kennedy and his colleagues started to measure bird wings, they were looking to see if there was a correlation between diversification and dispersal ability. The idea was that perhaps an animal's ability to disperse across more landscapes and establish populations in new habitats would drive a diversity of species, as the animals would be adapting to new niches. So the team used wing shape as a proxy for dispersal ability. But they found, at best, a weak correlation between present-day wing morphology and diversification rates. "They suggest that there was an influence of past wing morphology," Melissa Bowlin, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist studying migratory birds at the University of Michigan-Dearborn who was not part of the research, says in a phone interview with the Monitor. "But unfortunately we don't know what the wing morphology was like in the past." So, Dr. Bowlin says, it remains an open question whether dispersal ability affects diversification. She adds that by not finding a significant relationship between the two, the research "confirms some things that we suspected about wing shape and how quickly that can evolve." She explains that because wing shape has likely evolved since the organisms diversified, that's why the researchers don't find a correlation between present-day wing shape and the diversity of corvoid species alive today. "The reason why scientists care about questions like this is that we currently have major problems with invasive species all over the world. These species are coming in and destroying native species or replacing native species, and it's a serious conservation issue," Bowlin says. "One of the things that we don't understand is what characteristics of a species make it a good invasive species. We think that dispersal ability probably affects that, but we don't know. So that's one of the things that these authors were trying to figure out. Does dispersal ability essentially make for a good invasive species?" And although that question remains open, Kennedy says his research does show that "wing morphology and its evolution is an extremely complex process. It's only by studying across a group of birds, like this, that we can expect to understand the general principles." And, he adds, "Because all birds have wings, there is this assumption that they are all particularly capable fliers." But it's just not the case that flight capability is that uniform.


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: astrobiology.com

Breakthrough Listen, which was created last year with $100 million in funding over 10 years from the Breakthrough Prize Foundation and its founder, internet investor Yuri Milner, won't be the first to search for intelligent life around this star. "The Breakthrough Listen program has the most powerful SETI equipment on the planet, and access to the largest telescopes on the planet," said Andrew Siemion, director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center and co-director of Breakthrough Listen. "We can look at it with greater sensitivity and for a wider range of signal types than any other experiment in the world. " "Everyone, every SETI program telescope, I mean every astronomer that has any kind of telescope in any wavelength that can see Tabby's star has looked at it," he said. "It's been looked at with Hubble, it's been looked at with Keck, it's been looked at in the infrared and radio and high energy, and every possible thing you can imagine, including a whole range of SETI experiments. Nothing has been found." While Siemion and his colleagues are skeptical that the star's unique behavior is a sign of an advanced civilization, they can't not take a look. They've teamed up with UC Berkeley visiting astronomer Jason Wright and Tabetha Boyajian, the assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Louisiana State University for whom the star is named, to observe the star with state-of-the-art instruments the Breakthrough Listen team recently mounted on the 100-meter telescope. Wright is at the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds at Pennsylvania State University. The observations are scheduled for eight hours per night for three nights over the next two months, starting Wednesday evening, Oct. 26. Siemion, Wright and Boyajian are traveling to the Green Bank Observatory in rural West Virginia to start the observations, and expect to gather around 1 petabyte of data over hundreds of millions of individual radio channels. "The Green Bank Telescope is the largest fully steerable radio telescope on the planet, and it's the largest, most sensitive telescope that's capable of looking at Tabby's star given its position in the sky," Siemion said. "We've deployed a fantastic new SETI instrument that connects to that telescope, that can look at many gigahertz of bandwidth simultaneously and many, many billions of different radio channels all at the same time so we can explore the radio spectrum very, very quickly." The results of their observations will not be known for more than a month, because of the data analysis required to pick out patterns in the radio emissions. First reported in September 2015 by Boyajian, then a postdoc at Yale University, Tabby's star - more properly called KIC 8462852 - had been flagged by citizen scientists because of its unusual pattern of dimming. These volunteers were looking at stars as part of the internet project Planet Hunters, which allows the public to search for planets around other stars in data taken by NASA's Kepler spacecraft, which has been monitoring 150,000 stars for regular dimming that might indicate a planet had passed in front of it. But while most such dimming by transiting planets is brief, regular and blocks just 1 or 2 percent of the light of the star, Tabby's star dims for days at a time, by as much as 22 percent, and at irregular intervals. While Boyajian speculated in her 2015 paper that the irregular dimming might be explained by a swarm of comets breaking up as it approached the star, subsequent observations show the star, which is located about 1,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus, is far more irregular than a comet swarm would produce. In fact, it seems to have been dimming at a steady rate for the past century. Speculation eventually arose that the dimming was caused by a Dyson structure: a massive orbiting array of solar collectors that physicist Freeman Dyson once proposed would be a natural thing for a civilization to build as it needed more and more energy to power itself. Theoretically, such a structure could completely surround the star - what he termed a Dyson sphere - and capture nearly all the star's energy. How likely is that? "I don't think it's very likely - a one in a billion chance or something like that - but nevertheless, we're going to check it out," said Dan Werthimer, chief scientist at Berkeley SETI. "But I think that ET, if it's ever discovered, it might be something like that. It'll be some bizarre thing that somebody finds by accident ... that nobody expected, and then we look more carefully and we say, 'Hey, that's a civilization.'" Breakthrough Listen is monitoring many other stars using three telescopes that can peer into all segments of the cosmos: the Parkes Telescope in Australia and the Green Bank Telescope to search for radio transmissions, and the Automated Planet Finder at Lick Observatory in California to search for optical laser transmissions. Follow the Berkeley SETI Research Center and Breakthrough Listen via social media: @BerkeleySETI on Twitter, as well as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Wright, Boyajian and Siemion will engage in a live video chat from the Green Bank Telescope at 4 p.m. EDT (1 p.m. PDT) Wednesday, Oct. 26, about their Tabby's star observations.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

BRENTWOOD, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Commerce Union Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CUBN) (“Commerce Union Bancshares,” or the “Company”), parent of Reliant Bank, announced today that it has hired Terry M. Todd to lead the Company’s expansion into Chattanooga, TN, one of the state’s fastest growing metropolitan markets. Reliant Bank’s new office will be located in the Republic Centre, 633 Chestnut St, Suite 630, Chattanooga, TN 37450. “We are pleased to announce the appointment of Terry Todd as Reliant Bank’s new Market President for Chattanooga,” stated DeVan Ard, CEO of Reliant Bank and President of the Company. “Terry will be responsible for Reliant Bank’s expansion into Chattanooga, including opening our new office in the city and hiring new lenders to expand our loan, deposit and treasury management opportunities. “Ron DeBerry and I both worked in Chattanooga in the 1980’s and 1990’s, for Commerce Union Bank (now Bank of America) and AmSouth Bank (now Regions Bank) respectively,” continued Ard. “We have many friends and business connections in Chattanooga. We are both very familiar with the growth potential of the Chattanooga market and are excited about expanding our services targeted to business and commercial customers with Terry Todd as our market leader.” Commenting on the announcement, William R. DeBerry, Chairman and CEO of the Company, said, “Terry joined my team at Commerce Union Bank of Chattanooga in 1987 where he headed our SBA lending program and led the state in SBA loan production. He has a strong background in business development, marketing, customer service and building organizational effectiveness. We believe his extensive knowledge of the Chattanooga market will be a key driver in our loan growth as he ramps up our lending team in Chattanooga and the surrounding area.” Darrell Freeman, founding director of Reliant Bank, CEO of Zycron, Inc. and a native Chattanoogan, added, “I am excited to see our bank expanding into my home town, where I still have family and friends. We have a great opportunity with Terry to bring Reliant’s high touch approach to banking to the Chattanooga community.” Prior to joining Reliant Bank, Terry M. Todd was Regional President for FSG Bank in Chattanooga, TN. As Regional President for FSG Bank, he was responsible for 12 branches with $270 million in loans and $175 million in deposits. He previously served as Business Banking Manager for SunTrust Bank’s Chattanooga Region that included 40 plus branches in Chattanooga, Cleveland, Winchester and Savannah, TN; Rome and Carrollton, GA; and Florence, AL. Todd started his banking career in 1981 at the former Commerce Union Bank, later Bank of America. He transferred to Commerce Union Bank of Chattanooga’s office in 1987. Todd is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin. He is also a graduate of the Banking School of the South at Louisiana State University, the Tennessee Bank Commercial Lending School and the Tennessee Bank Consumer Lending School. He is also actively involved in the Chattanooga community on non-profit and other community boards. About Commerce Union Bancshares, Inc. and Reliant Bank Commerce Union Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CUBN) is a Brentwood, Tennessee-based bank holding company which operates banking centers in Davidson, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner and Williamson Counties, Tennessee through its wholly-owned subsidiary Reliant Bank. Reliant Bank is a full-service commercial bank that offers a variety of deposit, lending and mortgage products and services to business and consumer customers. For additional information, locations and hours of operation, please visit our website found at www.reliantbank.com. Statements in this press release relating to Commerce Union Bancshares Inc.’s plans, objectives, expectations or future performance are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words “believe,” “may,” “should,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “objective,” “possible,” “seek,” “plan,” “strive” or similar words, or negatives of these words, identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations. The Company’s actual results in future periods may differ materially from those indicated by forward-looking statements due to various risks and uncertainties, including those related to the combination of Commerce Union Bank and Reliant Bank following the merger. These and other risks and uncertainties are described in greater detail under “Risk Factors” in the Company’s 10-K and subsequent periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements in this press release are made as of the date of the release and the Company does not assume any responsibility to update these statements.


News Article | December 25, 2016
Site: www.PR.com

The American Law Society Board of Directors is proud to announce that Mark Pearce has been accepted as a new member with ATL distinction. The America's Top Lawyers list is comprised of well-rounded individuals representing a diverse cross-section of U.S. legal advocates. Pineville, LA, December 24, 2016 --( Mark Pearce earned his Juris Doctor from The Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University in 1992. Mark graduated magna cum laude from Louisiana Tech University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1984. Also of note was his work as former Director at Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana. The American Law Society board of directors selectively chooses lawyers who show a history of greatness and consistency. It is their privilege to have Mark Pearce join the organization. If you would like to contact Mr. Pearce, do so through his profile page at: "We look forward to following Mark Pearce's career and are extremely excited to see his articles, videos, and information posted on America Law Society's platform." - Valerie Dougherty of American Law Society Pineville, LA, December 24, 2016 --( PR.com )-- Mark Pearce joined the Cleco Corporation in Pineville, Louisiana in 2002 as a Senior Attorney. Starting in 2005, he assumed the role of Associate General Counsel at Cleco and has served as General Counsel since 2013. Prior to joining Cleco Corporation as an attorney, Mark worked as a Partner at Stafford, Stewart and Potter (1992-2002), as a Senior Engineer at Cleco Corporation (1986-1989) and as a Design Engineer at Bingham Willamette (1984-1986).Mark Pearce earned his Juris Doctor from The Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University in 1992. Mark graduated magna cum laude from Louisiana Tech University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1984. Also of note was his work as former Director at Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana.The American Law Society board of directors selectively chooses lawyers who show a history of greatness and consistency. It is their privilege to have Mark Pearce join the organization.If you would like to contact Mr. Pearce, do so through his profile page at: www.americanlawsociety.org/louisiana/pineville/i-need-a-lawyer/mark-d-pearce "We look forward to following Mark Pearce's career and are extremely excited to see his articles, videos, and information posted on America Law Society's platform." - Valerie Dougherty of American Law Society


News Article | December 6, 2016
Site: phys.org

A coluber constrictor, one of the vertebrates included in the study. Credit: © AMNH/F. Burbrink New research examines how vertebrate species in the eastern United States ranging from snakes to mammals to birds responded to climate change over the last 500,000 years. The study, recently published in the journal Ecology Letters, reveals that contrary to expectation, the massive glaciers that expanded and contracted across the region affected animal populations in different ways at different times. The analysis provides a window into how animals might react to any kind of climate change, whether glacial cycles or global warming. "A big glacier should have affected everybody. It doesn't matter if you're a snake or a bird, it probably makes it hard to live there," said Frank Burbrink, an associate curator in the American Museum of Natural History's Department of Herpetology and lead author of the study. "So did these communities all change together as if they were one unit? There's never been a study that has comprehensively analyzed whether vertebrate communities responded to the glacial cycles in a uniform way." The most recent, rapid, and significant effect of global climate change occurred about 2.5 million years ago in the Quaternary period, when ice sheets expanded and contracted, altering both the environment and available land. In the area known as the Eastern Nearctic—defined as the forested and coastal regions of the eastern United States—glaciers extended as far south in the east to New York City and in the Midwest to south central Illinois. Temperature changed rapidly, in some cases at the rate of 5 to 10 degrees Celsius (about 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit) within several decades. To analyze the impact of this climate change, multidisciplinary researchers from the Museum, the 'Iolani School in Honolulu, the City University of New York's College of Staten Island, and Louisiana State University focused on the historical population sizes of tetrapods—snakes, lizards, mammals, birds, turtles, salamanders, and frogs—in the Eastern Nearctic over the last 500,000 years. They did this by looking at the animals' genomes and modeling the likelihood of their populations growing or shrinking. "When a glacier retreats, all of the organisms that were pushed south move back into that space and the signal of those changing populations gets imprinted in the genome," Burbrink said. "If you look at any individual species, you can see what its population has been doing over time based on how many changes they have in their genome. When populations expand, they have more genetic differences. And when populations are small, they have fewer." The longstanding scientific thought is that as a glacier recedes, local populations will expand "synchronously," or all at the same time. But the researchers did not find a uniform response to climate change within the tetrapod community. About 75 percent of the animals went through a population expansion, with only about 50 percent of those lineages expanding together. And 25 percent of the populations contracted. The results imply that there are additional layers of complexity involved in this problem. "In some ways, the old idea that the glacier receding would have a single effect on everything in the community is naïve," Burbrink said. And what do the results mean for the global warming the Earth is currently facing? "We need to move beyond viewing communities as single units," said co-author Brian T. Smith, an assistant curator in the Museum's Department of Ornithology. "Some species will respond in one way and others will respond in other ways. And there are many external historical, biological, and stochastic factors that will influence how populations respond to global warming." Explore further: Common US snake actually three different species More information: Frank T. Burbrink et al, Asynchronous demographic responses to Pleistocene climate change in Eastern Nearctic vertebrates, Ecology Letters (2016). DOI: 10.1111/ele.12695


Protein production is frequently disrupted in the cells of a disease-affected organism. This manifests as imbalance in the synthesis of certain proteins or production of damaged proteins, which in extreme cases leads to cancer. Gene therapy is one approach to this problem. It involves supplying the organism with genetic material encoding proteins whose properties support healthy cell activity. In the early days of experimental gene therapy, researchers used DNA as the genetic material. However, genes delivered in the form of DNA integrate with the patient's genome, which may cause serious and unexpected symptoms. Medical researchers have high hopes about the therapeutic potential of mRNA; the molecules are smaller and simpler, which makes them easier to prepare under laboratory conditions, and perhaps most importantly, unlike DNA, they don't make permanent changes to the organism's genetic makeup. mRNA molecules are natural polymers formed in cells. They contain precise copes of genes (DNA fragments), so they carry the genetic code and act as templates in the production of new proteins. The mRNA molecules are broken down by enzymes after a few minutes or hours. This short lifespan of natural and synthetic mRNA is one of the problems limiting practical applications. The use of mRNA in gene therapy would be more feasible if the molecule used in drugs survived for longer than its natural equivalent, and if the therapeutic efficacy was as high as possible. In 2011, the consortium between the University of Warsaw and the Louisiana State University patented and commercialized the team's invention, improving the stability and efficiency of mRNA. The solution is currently undergoing clinical tests conducted by one of the pharma partners. The key innovation is the five-prime cap (5' cap), an artificial mRNA segment replacing its natural 7-methylguanosine structure. The ongoing Warsaw research aims to discover improved cap analogues, design a technology for large-scale production of therapeutic mRNA, and improve understanding of the course of natural protein synthesis. "The 7-methylguanosine cap is at the 5' end of the mRNA molecule," explains Prof. Darzynkiewicz. "In cytoplasm, the cap structure is recognized by the eIF4E factor, which initiates the process of protein biosynthesis, known as translation. This stage decides on the speed of the entire complex sequence of events, which culminates with the synthesis of protein in the cell. The cap protects the mRNA from degradation by cleaving enzymes—nucleases. Unfortunately, cells remove the cap using decapping enzymes such as Dcp1/Dcp2. A few years ago, we discovered that using modified cap analogues can prevent the degradation of the 5' mRNA end, and improve the rate of translation." The team reports that the search for natural cap analogues is promising. "Our recent paper, published in Nucleic Acids Research, presents a new class of modified caps which are an improved version of those currently undergoing clinical trials," says Prof. Jemielity. "The modification involves swapping an oxygen atom for a sulfur atom in several positions in a specific place of the cap molecule, known as the tri- or tetra-phosphate bridge. mRNA with this chemically modified cap is bound effectively by the eIF4E factor during the stage limiting the speed of protein biosynthesis. It's also highly resistant to the cleaving of the cap structure by the Dcp1/Dcp2 enzyme. Under cellular conditions, this mRNA is more stable and produces higher amounts of therapeutic protein, which we have demonstrated in a model used in studies of cancer vaccines. We hope that our modified mRNA will enable us to use lower doses of therapeutics—and lower doses mean a lower risk of side effects." The drug's availability is also very important for the patient. Traditional enzyme methods of modifying caps (and in turn therapeutic mRNA) are time consuming and ineffective. "Back in 2010, it took us six months to prepare the first four grams of cap needed to start clinical trials, and the amount was barely sufficient to treat 12 or 13 patients," recalls Dr. Kowalska. Meanwhile, the potential demand can be estimated at kilograms every year, leading researchers to seek faster and cheaper production methods. "We turned our attention to click chemistry," says Sylwia Walczak, Ph.D. student at the University of Warsaw. "We have been developing a method of effective synthesis of cap analogues from prefabricated units—chemical 'building blocks'. The structure of each block has at least one fragment which joins its counterpart in another molecule, interlocking like bricks." By applying the method in straightforward production of modified caps, scientists from Poland have developed 36 new analogues. "Two of the compounds have properties we were hoping for. When they are introduced to mRNA, they work as well as the natural cap," says Anna Nowicka, who is working on her Ph.D. at the University of Warsaw. "We are certain that this discovery will pave the way to developing new chemical methods of adding the cap to mRNA, which will compete with expensive and time-consuming enzymatic methods." The work was published in late summer in the journal Chemical Science. The search for new, improved cap analogues slowly shifts from the trial and error approach toward rational design. This is possible due to advances in the understanding of mRNA-related processes, their control and dynamics. Recently, the team from Warsaw contributed to new insights into mRNA decapping. "For the first time we have been able to design compounds which, by mimicking the 5' mRNA cap, are able to inhibit the Dcp1/Dcp2 enzyme, which cleaves the cap from mRNA exposing it to degradation," says Dr. Marcin Ziemniak, who completed his Ph.D. at the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw earlier this year. "Working with colleagues at the University of California in San Francisco, John D. Gross and Jeffrey Mugridge, we have used X-ray crystallography to get new insight into structure and function of Dcp1/Dcp2. We have used our compound to capture the key stage of enzyme activity, which is binding the cap. To put it more simply, we used our compound as a bait, which imitates the mRNA cap. The enzymatic complex 'swallows' the bait, 'freezes,' and can be 'photographed'. Our results indicate that as the bait is taken—the inhibitor is bound—the enzyme complex undergoes global structural changes. The chemical composition of molecules remains unchanged, of course, but their fragments rotate relative to one another to reach a situation when the enzyme is ready to act." The results have been published in two prestigious journals: RNA (January) and Nature Structural and Molecular Biology (October). "We believe that the results will allow us to design even better inhibitors of mRNA decapping," says Prof. Jemielity. "They will be useful in further research into mRNA degradation processes, and hopefully they will also find therapeutic applications such as increasing the potency mRNA-based gene therapies." Scientists stress that the problems they are working on require an interdisciplinary approach. "The work we are conducting at the Faculty of Physics is unique," says Dr. Kowalska. "We have access to state-of-the-art research labs, although it's true to say that other teams have similar equipment. Our advantage lies in our team, which consists from experts in biophysics, chemistry and molecular and cellular biology. Conducting research on the boundaries of three different disciplines and the ability to look at the same research problem from different perspectives is incredibly inspirational, and gives us opportunity to come up with completely fresh ideas and solutions which would be far more difficult to reach using just a single approach. I believe this is a unique approach not only in Poland but on a global scale," Kowalska sums up the situation. More information: Malwina Strenkowska et al, Cap analogs modified with 1,2-dithiodiphosphate moiety protect mRNA from decapping and enhance its translational potential, Nucleic Acids Research (2016). DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkw896 Sylwia Walczak et al. A novel route for preparing 5′ cap mimics and capped RNAs: phosphate-modified cap analogues obtained via click chemistry, Chem. Sci. (2017). DOI: 10.1039/C6SC02437H Jeffrey S Mugridge et al. Structural basis of mRNA-cap recognition by Dcp1–Dcp2, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.3301


News Article | October 31, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Artificial muscles made significant gains when a literal twist in the development approach uncovered the tensile or stretchy abilities of polymer fibers once they were twisted and coiled into a spring-like geometry. In a similar manner to the powerful climbing tendrils of cucumber plants, the unique geometry gives the coil a flexing motion when fiber material shrinks a reaction that can be controlled with heat. Now, researchers have improved these tensile properties even further by focusing on the thermal properties of the polymer fiber and the molecular structure that makes best use of the chiral configuration. In the cover article appearing this week in Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing, Guoqiang Li and his team in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Louisiana State University discuss how they have developed a new fiber that offers higher tensile stroke and is triggered or actuated at temperatures more than 100 degrees Celsius cooler than its predecessors. "We analyzed the principle behind why the polymer fiber, through twisting and coiling, can behave so remarkably," said Li, explaining their methodology. According to Li, they found two driving factors: the untwisting nature of the fiber during actuation and the negative coefficient of thermal expansion (NCTE). The two-way shape memory polymer (2W-SMP) fiber Li and his team developed addressed both of these factors. When it comes to the untwisting that drives this chiral-upon-chiral architecture to flex and contract, Li's group focused on this issue at the molecular level. The reversible responses of the 2W-SMP polymer that make them ideal come from a stable molecular network of chemical cross links. The network provides chains of oriented molecules in the polymer whose melting and recrystallization gives rise to the important memory characteristics of the fiber. The reversible melt/crystallization transition also provided better thermal expansion properties compared to standard fibers, where actuation comes from the intrinsic contraction of the polymer components in the presence of heat (and relaxation when the heat is removed). The 2W-SMP fiber demonstrates thermal expansion/contraction an order of magnitude higher than the NCTE of its predecessors. By addressing these two characteristics, the fibers Li produced and tested in their twisted-then-coiled muscle configurations showed greater tensile actuation, but they also brought down the temperature needed to actuate these artificial muscle fibers. "The actuation temperature is very high in the polymer fibers used previously, for example they can go to 160 degrees C," said Li. "For some applications, like medical devices, [the] actuation temperature is too high. So you need to find a way to lower it." That is exactly what the group did, reporting maximum actuation temperatures of 67 C. The low temperature is significant when considering a host of applications related to human body temperature beyond just medical devices, including breathable textiles and self-healing materials whose structures adapt to environmental changes. Li and his team still face challenges with the performance of the fiber's specific work as well as efficiency in converting thermal energy into actuation, and look to address these issues in future work. One potential approach may be to incorporate conductive reinforcement into the material with carbon nanotubes. "Our polymer is very soft. So by adding some reinforcement, like carbon nanotubes, we'd have two benefits," Li said. "The first one makes it into a conductor, that means we can also use electricity and have it trigger the muscle behavior. The other is that the carbon nanotube will increase the stiffness." Greater stiffness means better energy storage for the fiber, which in turn increases the energy conversion efficiency.


News Article | October 31, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 31, 2016 -- Artificial muscles made significant gains when a literal twist in the development approach uncovered the tensile -- or stretchy -- abilities of polymer fibers once they were twisted and coiled into a spring-like geometry. In a similar manner to the powerful climbing tendrils of cucumber plants, the unique geometry gives the coil a flexing motion when fiber material shrinks -- a reaction that can be controlled with heat. Now, researchers have improved these tensile properties even further by focusing on the thermal properties of the polymer fiber and the molecular structure that makes best use of the chiral configuration. In the cover article appearing this week in Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing, Guoqiang Li and his team in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Louisiana State University discuss how they have developed a new fiber that offers higher tensile stroke and is triggered -- or actuated -- at temperatures more than 100 degrees Celsius cooler than its predecessors. "We analyzed the principle behind why the polymer fiber, through twisting and coiling, can behave so remarkably," said Li, explaining their methodology. According to Li, they found two driving factors: the untwisting nature of the fiber during actuation and the negative coefficient of thermal expansion (NCTE). The two-way shape memory polymer (2W-SMP) fiber Li and his team developed addressed both of these factors. When it comes to the untwisting that drives this chiral-upon-chiral architecture to flex and contract, Li's group focused on this issue at the molecular level. The reversible responses of the 2W-SMP polymer that make them ideal come from a stable molecular network of chemical cross links. The network provides chains of oriented molecules in the polymer whose melting and recrystallization gives rise to the important memory characteristics of the fiber. The reversible melt/crystallization transition also provided better thermal expansion properties compared to standard fibers, where actuation comes from the intrinsic contraction of the polymer components in the presence of heat (and relaxation when the heat is removed). The 2W-SMP fiber demonstrates thermal expansion/contraction an order of magnitude higher than the NCTE of its predecessors. By addressing these two characteristics, the fibers Li produced and tested in their twisted-then-coiled muscle configurations showed greater tensile actuation, but they also brought down the temperature needed to actuate these artificial muscle fibers. "The actuation temperature is very high in the polymer fibers used previously, for example they can go to 160 degrees C," said Li. "For some applications, like medical devices, [the] actuation temperature is too high. So you need to find a way to lower it." That is exactly what the group did, reporting maximum actuation temperatures of 67 C. The low temperature is significant when considering a host of applications related to human body temperature beyond just medical devices, including breathable textiles and self-healing materials whose structures adapt to environmental changes. Li and his team still face challenges with the performance of the fiber's specific work as well as efficiency in converting thermal energy into actuation, and look to address these issues in future work. One potential approach may be to incorporate conductive reinforcement into the material with carbon nanotubes. "Our polymer is very soft. So by adding some reinforcement, like carbon nanotubes, we'd have two benefits," Li said. "The first one makes it into a conductor, that means we can also use electricity and have it trigger the muscle behavior. The other is that the carbon nanotube will increase the stiffness." Greater stiffness means better energy storage for the fiber, which in turn increases the energy conversion efficiency. The article, "Artificial muscles made of chiral two-way shape memory polymer fibers," is authored by Qianxi Yang, Jizhou Fan and Guoqiang Li. The article will appear in the journal Applied Physics Letters on October 31, 2016 (DOI: 10.1063/1.4966231). After that date, it can be accessed at http://scitation. . Applied Physics Letters features concise, rapid reports on significant new findings in applied physics. The journal covers new experimental and theoretical research on applications of physics phenomena related to all branches of science, engineering, and modern technology. See http://apl. .


News Article | October 31, 2016
Site: phys.org

This is the fabrication procedure and actuation of coiled artificial muscle based on two-way shape memory polymer fiber. Credit: Louisiana State University Artificial muscles made significant gains when a literal twist in the development approach uncovered the tensile—or stretchy—abilities of polymer fibers once they were twisted and coiled into a spring-like geometry. In a similar manner to the powerful climbing tendrils of cucumber plants, the unique geometry gives the coil a flexing motion when fiber material shrinks—a reaction that can be controlled with heat. Now, researchers have improved these tensile properties even further by focusing on the thermal properties of the polymer fiber and the molecular structure that makes best use of the chiral configuration. In the cover article appearing this week in Applied Physics Letters, Guoqiang Li and his team in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Louisiana State University discuss how they have developed a new fiber that offers higher tensile stroke and is triggered—or actuated—at temperatures more than 100 degrees Celsius cooler than its predecessors. "We analyzed the principle behind why the polymer fiber, through twisting and coiling, can behave so remarkably," said Li, explaining their methodology. According to Li, they found two driving factors: the untwisting nature of the fiber during actuation and the negative coefficient of thermal expansion (NCTE). The two-way shape memory polymer (2W-SMP) fiber Li and his team developed addressed both of these factors. When it comes to the untwisting that drives this chiral-upon-chiral architecture to flex and contract, Li's group focused on this issue at the molecular level. The reversible responses of the 2W-SMP polymer that make them ideal come from a stable molecular network of chemical cross links. The network provides chains of oriented molecules in the polymer whose melting and recrystallization gives rise to the important memory characteristics of the fiber. The reversible melt/crystallization transition also provided better thermal expansion properties compared to standard fibers, where actuation comes from the intrinsic contraction of the polymer components in the presence of heat (and relaxation when the heat is removed). The 2W-SMP fiber demonstrates thermal expansion/contraction an order of magnitude higher than the NCTE of its predecessors. By addressing these two characteristics, the fibers Li produced and tested in their twisted-then-coiled muscle configurations showed greater tensile actuation, but they also brought down the temperature needed to actuate these artificial muscle fibers. "The actuation temperature is very high in the polymer fibers used previously, for example they can go to 160 degrees C," said Li. "For some applications, like medical devices, [the] actuation temperature is too high. So you need to find a way to lower it." That is exactly what the group did, reporting maximum actuation temperatures of 67 C. The low temperature is significant when considering a host of applications related to human body temperature beyond just medical devices, including breathable textiles and self-healing materials whose structures adapt to environmental changes. Li and his team still face challenges with the performance of the fiber's specific work as well as efficiency in converting thermal energy into actuation, and look to address these issues in future work. One potential approach may be to incorporate conductive reinforcement into the material with carbon nanotubes. "Our polymer is very soft. So by adding some reinforcement, like carbon nanotubes, we'd have two benefits," Li said. "The first one makes it into a conductor, that means we can also use electricity and have it trigger the muscle behavior. The other is that the carbon nanotube will increase the stiffness." Greater stiffness means better energy storage for the fiber, which in turn increases the energy conversion efficiency. Explore further: Scientists put a new twist on artificial muscles


News Article | November 2, 2016
Site: www.rdmag.com

Artificial muscles made significant gains when a literal twist in the development approach uncovered the tensile -- or stretchy -- abilities of polymer fibers once they were twisted and coiled into a spring-like geometry. In a similar manner to the powerful climbing tendrils of cucumber plants, the unique geometry gives the coil a flexing motion when fiber material shrinks -- a reaction that can be controlled with heat. Now, researchers have improved these tensile properties even further by focusing on the thermal properties of the polymer fiber and the molecular structure that makes best use of the chiral configuration. In the cover article appearing this week in Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing, Guoqiang Li and his team in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Louisiana State University discuss how they have developed a new fiber that offers higher tensile stroke and is triggered -- or actuated -- at temperatures more than 100 degrees Celsius cooler than its predecessors. "We analyzed the principle behind why the polymer fiber, through twisting and coiling, can behave so remarkably," said Li, explaining their methodology. According to Li, they found two driving factors: the untwisting nature of the fiber during actuation and the negative coefficient of thermal expansion (NCTE). The two-way shape memory polymer (2W-SMP) fiber Li and his team developed addressed both of these factors. When it comes to the untwisting that drives this chiral-upon-chiral architecture to flex and contract, Li's group focused on this issue at the molecular level. The reversible responses of the 2W-SMP polymer that make them ideal come from a stable molecular network of chemical cross links. The network provides chains of oriented molecules in the polymer whose melting and recrystallization gives rise to the important memory characteristics of the fiber. The reversible melt/crystallization transition also provided better thermal expansion properties compared to standard fibers, where actuation comes from the intrinsic contraction of the polymer components in the presence of heat (and relaxation when the heat is removed). The 2W-SMP fiber demonstrates thermal expansion/contraction an order of magnitude higher than the NCTE of its predecessors. By addressing these two characteristics, the fibers Li produced and tested in their twisted-then-coiled muscle configurations showed greater tensile actuation, but they also brought down the temperature needed to actuate these artificial muscle fibers. "The actuation temperature is very high in the polymer fibers used previously, for example they can go to 160 degrees C," said Li. "For some applications, like medical devices, [the] actuation temperature is too high. So you need to find a way to lower it." That is exactly what the group did, reporting maximum actuation temperatures of 67 C. The low temperature is significant when considering a host of applications related to human body temperature beyond just medical devices, including breathable textiles and self-healing materials whose structures adapt to environmental changes. Li and his team still face challenges with the performance of the fiber's specific work as well as efficiency in converting thermal energy into actuation, and look to address these issues in future work. One potential approach may be to incorporate conductive reinforcement into the material with carbon nanotubes. "Our polymer is very soft. So by adding some reinforcement, like carbon nanotubes, we'd have two benefits," Li said. "The first one makes it into a conductor, that means we can also use electricity and have it trigger the muscle behavior. The other is that the carbon nanotube will increase the stiffness." Greater stiffness means better energy storage for the fiber, which in turn increases the energy conversion efficiency.


PURPOSE:: To evaluate the importance and practicality of testing for matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) in dry eye and ocular surface disease. This enzyme, which can cause tissue damage, seems also to be the most reliable diagnostic indicator of ocular surface disease. METHODS:: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, polymerase chain reaction, diffusion, and InflammaDry, a new rapid immunoassay by RPS (Rapid Pathogen Screening Inc). RESULTS:: MMP-9 measurement is sensitive and accurate for diagnosing dry eye and ocular surface disease and compares favorably in both sensitivity and specificity against the existing methods of dry eye diagnosis. Abnormal elevations of MMP-9 may predict post-laser in situ keratomileusis complications and refractive complications such as epithelial ingrowth and corneal ulceration. The presence of elevated MMP-9 on the ocular surface will identify those patients who should receive antiinflammatory therapy, such as cyclosporine, and may predict those patients who will respond to this therapy. CONCLUSIONS:: A rapid in-office test that is sensitive for identifying inflammatory dry eye and ocular surface disease may facilitate better preoperative management of the ocular surface. Optimization of the ocular surface perioperatively would be expected to reduce complications from laser in situ keratomileusis and other surgeries that often make the underlying disease worse. This test may also indicate the need for antiinflammatory therapies, such as cyclosporine or steroids, and also may predict those patients who are more likely to respond. Copyright © 2012 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Smith K.R.M.,Louisiana State University | Matson J.L.,Louisiana State University
Research in Developmental Disabilities | Year: 2010

Behavior problems such as aggression, property destruction, stereotypy, self-injurious behavior, and other disruptive behavior are commonly observed among adults with intellectual disabilities (ID), autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and epilepsy residing at state-run facilities. However, it is unknown how these populations differ on behavior problem indicies. Assessment of behavior problems were made with the ASD-behavior problems-adult version battery. One hundred participants with ID were matched and compared across four equal groups comprising 25 participants with ID, 25 participants with epilepsy, 25 participants with ASD, and 25 participants with combined ASD and epilepsy. When controlling for age, gender, race, level of ID, and hearing and visual impairments, significant differences were found among the four groups, Wilks's Λ=.79, F(12, 246)=1.93, p<05. The multivariate η2 based on Wilks's Λ was .08. A one-way ANOVA was conducted for each of the four subscales of the ASD-BPA as follow-up tests to the MANOVA. Groups differed on the aggression/destruction subscale, F(3, 96)=.79, p>05, η2=.03, and stereotypy subscale, F(3, 96)=2.62, p>05, η2=.08. No significant differences were found on the self-injury subscale and disruptive behavior subscale. Trend analysis demonstrated that individuals with ID expressing combined co-morbid ASD and epilepsy were significantly more impaired than the control group (ID only) or groups containing only a single co-morbid factor with ID (ASD or epilepsy only) on these four subscales. Implications of these findings in the context of known issues in ID, epilepsy, and ASD, current assessment practices among these populations and associated challenges are discussed. © 2010.


Yang M.-Y.,Louisiana State University
Child Abuse and Neglect | Year: 2015

This study employs four waves of survey data on 1,135 families from the Illinois Families Study, a longitudinal panel study of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in Illinois. This study explores the following issues within this low-income population: (1) whether material hardships are associated with child protective services (CPS) investigations, (2) whether the effect of material hardship on CPS differs by the type of child maltreatment investigated, and (3) whether psychological distress mediates the association between material hardship and CPS involvement. Results from pooled and fixed effects logistic regressions suggest that caregivers who experience material hardship are more likely to become involved in CPS. In general, investigated neglect reports are responsive to particular types of hardship such as housing and food, while investigated physical abuse reports are responsive to levels of hardship regardless of specific types. The association between material hardship and CPS involvement is not fully explained by depressive symptoms or parenting stress. The study results suggest that in order to prevent child maltreatment, it may be necessary to address a family's unmet material needs through economic support interventions. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Prada C.,Louisiana State University | Hellberg M.E.,Louisiana State University
American Naturalist | Year: 2014

Natural selection can maintain and help form species across different habitats, even when dispersal is high. Selection against inferior migrants (immigrant inviability) acts when locally adapted populations suffer high mortality on dispersal to unsuitable habitats. Habitat-specific populations undergoing divergent selection via immigrant inviability should thus show (1) a change in the ratio of adapted to nonadapted individuals among age/size classes and (2) a cline (defined by the environmental gradient) as selection counterbalances migration. Here we examine the frequencies of two depthsegregated lineages in juveniles and adults of a Caribbean octocoral, Eunicea flexuosa. Distributions of the two lineages in both shallow and deep environments were more distinct when inferred fromadults than juveniles. Despite broad larval dispersal, we also found an extremely narrow hybrid zone (<100 m), with coincident clines for molecular and morphological characters of the host coral and its algal symbiont. Effective dispersal estimates derived from the hybrid zone are remarkably small (<20 m) for a broadcast spawner. The large selection coefficient against mismatched genotypes derived from cohort data is consistent with that from field transplant experiments. Narrow hybrid zones and limited effective dispersal may be a common outcome of long periods of postsettlement, prereproductive selection across steep ecological gradients. Strong diversifying selection provides a mechanism to explain the prevalence of depth-segregated sibling species in the sea. © 2014 by The University of Chicago.


Borel T.,Louisiana State University | Sabliov C.M.,Louisiana State University
Annual Review of Food Science and Technology | Year: 2014

Food bioactives are known to prevent aging, cancer, and other diseases for an overall improved health of the consumer. Nanodelivery provides a means to control stability, solubility, and bioavailability, and also provides controlled release of food bioactives. There are two main types of nanodelivery systems, liquid and solid. Liquid nanodelivery systems include nanoemulsions, nanoliposomes, and nanopolymersomes. Solid nanodelivery systems include nanocrystals, lipid nanoparticles, and polymeric nanoparticles. Each type of nanodelivery system offers distinct benefits depending on the compatibility of nanoparticle properties with the properties of the bioactive and the desired application. Physicochemical properties of nanoparticles such as size, charge, hydrophobicity, and targeting molecules affect the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) of nanodelivery systems. The fate of the bioactive depends on its physicochemical properties and the location of its release. The safety of nanodelivery systems for use in food applications is largely unknown. Toxicological studies consisting of a combination of in silico, in vitro, and in vivo studies are needed to reveal the safety of nanodelivery systems for successful applications in food and agriculture. Copyright © 2014 by Annual Reviews.


Kim J.,Louisiana State University
ILAR journal / National Research Council, Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources | Year: 2012

Two histone marks, H3K27me3 and H3K9me3, are well known for their repressive roles in the genic and nongenic regions of metazoan genomes. Several protein complexes are known to be responsible for generating these marks, including polycomb repression complex 2 and several H3K9 methylases. Recent studies have shown that the targeting of these histone-modifying complexes within mammalian genomes may be mediated through several DNA-binding proteins, including AEBP2, JARID2, and YY1. In this review, we discuss the potential targeting mechanisms in light of the recent results that have been derived from genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing data and the in vivo functions of these two histone marks in light of the results derived from mouse and human genetic studies.


Bray G.A.,Louisiana State University
Annual Review of Nutrition | Year: 2015

As Erwin Chargaff observed, "Scientific autobiography belongs to a most awkward literary genre," and mine is no exception. In reviewing my scientific life, I contrast the nutritional influences that would have existed had I been born 100 or 200 years earlier than I actually was. With this background, I trace the influences on my formative years in science beginning in high school and ending as a postdoctoral fellow in Professor E.B. Astwood's laboratory, when my directional sails were set and obesity was the compass heading. With this heading, the need for organized national and international meetings on obesity and the need for a scientific journal dealing with obesity as its subject matter became evident and occupied considerable energy over the next 30 years. The next section of this memoir traces the wanderings of an itinerant academic who moved from Boston to Los Angeles and finally to Baton Rouge. The influence of Sir William Osler's idea that there is a time for education, a time for scholarship, a time for teaching, and time to retire has always been a guide to allocating time ever since I was an intern at Johns Hopkins Hospital. It was in Baton Rouge that the final phase began: I agreed to become the first full-time executive director of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, a decision that changed my life. The article ends with a quotation from Tennessee Williams that reflects the theater, which has given me so much pleasure over the years: "There is a time for departure even when there's no certain place to go." Copyright ©2015 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Stackhouse S.,University of Michigan | Stixrude L.,University College London | Karki B.B.,Louisiana State University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We combine first-principles calculations of forces with the direct nonequilibrium molecular dynamics method to determine the lattice thermal conductivity k of periclase (MgO) up to conditions representative of the Earth's core-mantle boundary (136 GPa, 4100 K). We predict the logarithmic density derivative a=(∂ln k/∂ln ρ)T=4.6±1.2 and that k=20±5Wm-1K-1 at the core-mantle boundary, while also finding good agreement with extant experimental data at much lower pressures. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Karki B.B.,Louisiana State University | Stixrude L.,University College London
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

First-principles molecular dynamics simulations show that water (8.25 wt%) dramatically affects the transport properties of SiO2 liquid increasing the diffusivity and decreasing the viscosity by an order of magnitude. At 3000 K, the diffusivity of Si, O, and H, and the viscosity vary anomalously with pressure. Highly mobile protons make the hydrous liquid a potential superionic conductor. The predicted dynamical changes are associated with structural depolymerization and water speciation, which changes from being dominated by hydroxyls at low pressure to extended structures at high pressure. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

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