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

ELBA, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Security Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NSEC) released estimates of 2017 year to date spring storm losses incurred by property and casualty subsidiary National Security Fire & Casualty and a preliminary estimate of the impact of storm losses on first quarter results. Our property and casualty segment can be impacted by severe storm activity resulting in incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses primarily from tornado, wind and hail related damage. These storm systems or other natural disasters are classified as catastrophes (referred to as "cat events" or "catastrophe events" throughout the remainder of this document) by Property Claim Service (PCS) when these events cause $25 million or more in industry wide direct incurred losses and affect a significant number of policyholders. During the first quarter of 2017, National Security Fire & Casualty Company (NSFC) was impacted by eight catastrophe events which produced 731 claims with reported losses (including loss adjustment expenses) totaling $3,521,000. In comparison, NSFC was impacted by seven catastrophe events during the first quarter of 2016 leading to 385 claims totaling $1,447,000. The $2,074,000 increase in first quarter 2017 catastrophe losses compared to last year will adversely impact our first quarter financial results. While an active spring storm season is not unusual, higher than normal temperatures in January of 2017 led to an early start to the traditional "spring storm season" which usually leads to increases in storm activity in March, April and May. According to weather.com, January's tornado outbreak was the third largest outbreak during the winter months on record and caused extensive damage in the Southeastern U.S., primarily in the state of Georgia. While the claims incurred from 2017 cat events were widespread across our coverage area, incurred losses from these cat events heavily impacted Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Incurred losses from cat events impacting Georgia made up approximately 50% of all losses incurred from cat events in the first quarter of 2017. Furthermore, incurred losses from cat events impacting Alabama and Mississippi made up an additional 37% of all claims incurred from cat events in the first quarter of 2017. The unusually warm weather in the Southeastern U.S. led to an increase in both frequency and severity of storm related losses throughout the first quarter. The 731 catastrophe related claims incurred during the first quarter of 2017 averaged approximately $4,800 per claim; in comparison, the 385 catastrophe related claims in the first quarter of last year averaged approximately $3,800 per claim. Due to the negative impact of the cat losses, we expect to end the first quarter of 2017 with a consolidated net loss in the range of $300,000 to $450,000. We are scheduled to release first quarter financial results on May 12, 2017. In addition to the negative impact catastrophe events had on first quarter of 2017 results, we are also disclosing the following forward looking information. During the first week of April 2017, NSFC was impacted by two additional cat events. As of April 20, 2017, we have incurred 260 claims from these cat events totaling $1,013,000. While we are very early in the second quarter and mostly milder weather had prevailed over the past two weeks, these early catastrophe losses will reduce second quarter net income by approximately $669,000. The National Security Group, Inc. (NASDAQ Symbol: NSEC), through its property and casualty and life insurance subsidiaries, offers property, casualty, life, accident and health insurance in ten states. The Company writes primarily personal lines property coverage including dwelling fire and windstorm, homeowners and mobile homeowners lines of insurance. The Company also offers life, accident and health, supplemental hospital and cancer insurance products. The Company was founded in 1947 and is based in Elba, Alabama. Additional information about the Company, including additional details of recent financial results, can be found on our website: www.nationalsecuritygroup.com. Information about forward-looking statements Any statement contained in this report which is not a historical fact, or which might otherwise be considered an opinion or projection concerning the Company or its business, whether expressed or implied, is meant as and should be considered a forward-looking statement as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and opinions concerning a variety of known and unknown risks, including but not limited to changes in market conditions, natural disasters and other catastrophic events, increased competition, changes in availability and cost of reinsurance, changes in governmental regulations, technological changes, political and legal contingencies and general economic conditions, as well as other risks and uncertainties more completely described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If any of these assumptions or opinions proves incorrect, any forward-looking statements made on the basis of such assumptions or opinions may also prove materially incorrect in one or more respects and may cause future results to differ materially from those contemplated, projected, estimated or budgeted in such forward-looking statements.


El Dr. Yacob Astatke de Morgan State University en EE.UU., galardonado Airbus Group y el Consejo Global de Decanos de Ingeniería (GEDC) han elegido al Dr Yacob Astatke, de Morgan State University en EE.UU., como ganador del Premio a la Diversidad de la Educación en Ingeniería 2016 de este año por su trabajo educativo en el campo de la ingeniería. La ceremonia de entrega tuvo lugar durante la conferencia GEDC and World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) de Seúl, Corea del Sur. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161107/436689 ) El Premio está concebido para promover un colectivo mundial de ingeniería más diverso y reconocer las iniciativas básicas y a las personas detrás de estas, que permiten que estudiantes de todas las procedencias y perfiles puedan estudiar y triunfar en el campo de la ingeniería. De un total de 40 candidatos de 17 países, el Dr. Yacob Astatke fue elegido por su impresionante introducción de iniciativas tecnológicas y educativas en universidades de Etiopía con el fin de mejorar la enseñanza de la ingeniería en África. Lleva 13 años impartiendo cursos de graduado, compartiendo buenas prácticas y dando clases. Asimismo ha liderado la implementación de Mobile Studio Technology y la pedagogía en cinco universidades de Etiopía, habiendo sido una figura decisiva a la hora de facilitar la donación de equipos y otros recursos. Además de la notoriedad mundial que otorga el premio, el Dr Astatke ha recibido una importante contribución económica para poder continuar con el desarrollo de su trabajo. Junto con otros dos destacados finalistas, el Dr Astatke presentó su proyecto ante un distinguido jurado internacional presidido por Charles Champion, vicepresidente ejecutivo de Ingeniería de Airbus, y Peter Kilpatrick, presidente del GEDC y decano de Ingeniería de la Universidad de Notre Dame, en Estados Unidos. "En Airbus,  la diversidad es parte de nuestro ADN. Nuestro éxito futuro seguirá nutriéndose de la diversidad de nuestra plantilla, que es la que impulsa la innovación, la creatividad y el rendimiento", ha dicho Charles Champion. "Los logros del ganador del premio de 2016 son testimonio de su intenso trabajo y compromiso en este ámbito. Esperamos que los líderes mundiales de la ingeniería se sientan inspirados para seguir su ejemplo y realizar iniciativas similares con el fin de crear una comunidad mundial de ingenieros más diversa", ha añadido. Airbus Group y el GEDC comparten la creencia de que tanto el sector industrial como el académico deberían promover activamente un colectivo de estudiantes más diverso que estudie y se plantee una carrera profesional en el campo de la ingeniería. Las presentaciones de los finalistas fueron evaluadas por el jurado en función de su capacidad de encauzar el deseo de una mayor diversidad en ingeniería hacia un cambio real y cuantificable, a través de una iniciativa que se pueda reproducir en otros ámbitos. "Nuestros tres finalistas han aceptado el reto vital de animar a más jóvenes a dedicarse a la ingeniería y así ayudar a resolver algunos de los desafíos más importantes que nos plantea el siglo XXI", ha dicho Peter Kilpatrick, del GEDC. "El mensaje es que juntos, inspirándonos en el trabajo de nuestros finalistas como valiosos ejemplos de éxito, hagamos que nuestro trabajo pueda y efectivamente marque la diferencia". El jurado ha estado constituido por las siguientes eminencias: Doctor Sirin Tekinay, presidente y Rector de la Universidad ISIKUN y uno de los líderes del GEDC; Profesor Qidi Wu, director de la Universidad de Tsinghuay, presidente del CEEAA, director del International Centre for Engineering Education bajo los auspicios de la UNESCO (ICEE) y director del departamento de Ciencias Empresariales de NSFC; y Profesor Soonja Choe, presidente de la Universidad de Inha (perteneciente al Grupo KAL), Corea del Sur.


Airbus Group et le conseil mondial des doyens des facultés et écoles d'ingénieurs (GEDC - Global Engineering Deans Council), ont décerné au Dr. Yacob Astatke,  de la Morgan State University aux Etats-Unis, le « Prix de la Diversité 2016 GEDC Airbus » pour ses travaux réalisés dans le cadre de programmes d'études d'ingénieur. La cérémonie de remise des prix a eu lieu à l'occasion de la conférence du GEDC et du forum mondial sur les études d'ingénieur (WEEF - World Engineering Education Forum) à Séoul, en Corée du Sud. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161107/436689 ) L'objectif de ce prix est de promouvoir la diversité dans les études d'ingénieur au niveau mondial, et de récompenser les personnes ayant mené des initiatives à l'échelle locale en vue de permettre aux étudiants, quels que soient leur origine et leur profil, de poursuivre avec succès des études d'ingénieur. Sur un total de 40 candidats originaires de 17 pays, le prix a été décerné au Dr. Yacob Astatke, doyen associé par intérim (Engineering for Undergraduate Studies) à la Morgan State University, pour avoir mis en place des initiatives impressionnantes axées sur la technologie et la formation au sein de différentes universités d'Ethiopie, et permettant d'améliorer les programmes d'études d'ingénieur en Afrique. Au cours des 13 dernières années, il a dispensé des cours aux étudiants du premier cycle ainsi que des sessions de formation et partagé avec eux les meilleures pratiques. Il a dirigé la mise en œuvre de la Mobile Studio Technology et l'introduction de l'enseignement pédagogique dans cinq universités d'Ethiopie. Il a aussi contribué à faciliter les dons d'équipements et autres ressources. Outre la visibilité mondiale offerte par ce prix, Dr. Yacob Astatke a bénéficié d'une contribution financière significative en vue de soutenir et développer ses travaux. Aux côtés de deux autres finalistes hors pair, Dr. Yacob Astatke a présenté son projet devant un jury international, mené par Charles Champion, Executive Vice President Engineering d'Airbus, et Peter Kilpatrick, Chairman du GEDC et Dean of Engineering à l'Université de Notre Dame, aux Etats-Unis. "A Airbus, la diversité fait partie de notre ADN. Notre succès futur continuera à s'appuyer sur la diversité de nos employés, sachant que l'innovation, la créativité et les performances naissent de cette diversité", a déclaré Charles Champion. "Les réalisations de notre lauréat 2016 témoignent de ses efforts et de son engagement dans ce domaine. Nous espérons que cet exemple inspirera les leaders dans le domaine de l'ingénierie et qu'ils reprendront cette initiative en vue de bâtir une communauté d'ingénieurs plus diversifiée à l'échelle mondiale", a-t-il ajouté. Airbus Group et le GEDC sont tous deux convaincus que l'industrie et le monde académique doivent encourager activement une communauté d'étudiants plus diversifiée à étudier et poursuivre une carrière d'ingénieur. Les présentations effectuées par les finalistes ont été évaluées par le jury en fonction de leur capacité à transformer le souhait de diversité au niveau des études d'ingénieur, en un changement concret et mesurable pouvant être mis en œuvre ailleurs. "Nos trois finalistes ont relevé l'important défi qui consiste à encourager un plus grand nombre de jeunes à effectuer des études d'ingénieur pour résoudre certains des plus grands défis auxquels nous sommes confrontés en ce 21ème siècle", a déclaré pour sa part Peter Kilpatrick du GEDC. "Notre message est qu'ensemble, inspirés par les travaux de nos finalistes qui constituent d'excellents exemples pour parvenir au succès recherché, nous pouvons progresser et faire la différence." Le jury était composé du Docteur Sirin Tekinay, Présidente, Rectrice de l'Université d'ISIKUN et l'un des leaders du GEDC ; du Professeur Qidi Wu, Directrice de l'Université Tsinghua, Présidente du CEEAA, Directrice de l'International Centre for Engineering Education (ICEE), sous les auspices de l'UNESCO, et Directrice du Département des Sciences du Management de la NSFC ; et du Professeur Soonja Choe, Présidente de l'Université Inha (appartenant au groupe KAL), Corée du Sud.


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

Methane problem India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), which made the country’s space agency only the fourth to successfully send a probe to the red planet, has a problem with its methane sensor, according to online news outlet Seeker. Measurements of atmospheric methane by MOM had been eagerly awaited, but no such data have been released since the probe reached Mars in September 2014. A methane specialist at NASA told Seeker that although the sensor collects measurements, a design flaw means that it does not process and send back spectroscopic data in a usable form. The Indian Space Research Organisation, which has not acknowledged the problem, will repurpose the sensor into an albedo mapper, says the NASA scientist. First US astronaut to orbit Earth dies John Glenn, the first US astronaut to orbit Earth and an icon of the US space age, died in Columbus, Ohio, on 8 December, aged 95. Trained as a Marine Corps pilot, in February 1962 Glenn became the second person to circle the planet in space, after the Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagarin. Glenn completed 3 laps over 5 hours in NASA’s Friendship 7 capsule (pictured). He later entered politics and served as Democratic senator for Ohio for 24 years, working on issues including energy policy and nuclear non-proliferation. In 1998, aged 77, Glenn flew aboard the space shuttle Discoveryas the oldest astronaut ever to do so. Catch commitment Some of the world’s largest seafood companies have committed to clean up their industry in a statement issued on 14 December. The statement is the result of a process started by scientists at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, who in 2014 identified that 13 “keystone” fisheries companies controlled 11–16% of all wild marine catches. Eight of these companies have now agreed to improve their transparency and the traceability of their fish, and to “engage in science-based efforts to improve fisheries”. Habitat laws The European Union has decided against overhauling major pieces of legislation that protect birds and natural habitats. Conservationists celebrated after the findings of a review, announced on 7 December, stated that the laws were “fit for purpose” and would not be opened up to reforms that could weaken them. The birds and habitats directives protect more than 1,000 species and 1 million square kilometres of land in the EU. On 8 December, the European Commission announced that it was taking France to court for breaching the birds directive by failing to protect wild species. Peatland protection Indonesian president Joko Widodo announced a moratorium on 5 December on development activities that damage the nation’s vast peatlands. The action will, among other things, prevent the conversion of peatland into oil-palm plantations. It comes after catastrophic fires linked to the clearing choked the region’s air with smoke last year, causing health problems, as well as an estimated US$16 billion of economic damage. Indonesia has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions — the bulk of which come from deforestation and peatland destruction — by 29% by 2030, compared with projected levels. AI research Breaking with its usual secretive approach, computer giant Apple announced on 6 December that it will, for the first time, allow its artificial-intelligence (AI) researchers to publish their work. Critics have said that prohibiting researchers from engaging with the AI community was part of the reason that the company had fallen behind in the field. Meanwhile, Uber, the car-hailing company, announced the previous day the creation of Uber AI Labs in San Francisco, California, in a bid to improve its driverless-car technologies, among other things. Chinese fraud cases The Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) has released a list of 61 cases of scientific misconduct discovered during 2015 and 2016 in research that it had funded. The cases involve plagiarism, falsified data and images, authorship problems, and faked publication lists in grant applications. Many of the researchers involved were caught using fake peer reviewers. The list, which was posted on the agency’s website after a press conference in Beijing on 12 December, is part of the country’s ongoing crackdown on research misconduct. Punishments meted out to those who received the grants — and, in the case of retracted papers, to first and corresponding authors — include publicly criticizing the researchers, revoking their grants, recovering funds and banning them from applying for grants from the NSFC for up to seven years. Trump transition US president-elect Donald Trump has made a number of key cabinet nominations. On 13 December, he nominated Rex Tillerson, the chief executive of oil giant Exxon Mobil, to be his secretary of state. As the United States’ top diplomat, Tillerson (pictured) would have a prominent role in climate policy — such as in negotiating a US exit from the 2015 Paris climate accord, something Trump pledged during his campaign. On 7 December, Trump picked Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has questioned the science underlying global warming, and is one of dozens of state officials who have mounted a legal challenge to President Barack Obama’s limits on carbon emissions from power plants. And as Nature went to press, Trump was expected to announce Cathy McMorris Rodgers to lead the Department of the Interior, which oversees federal public lands and natural resources. McMorris Rodgers, a congresswoman from Washington state, has also expressed doubt over human-induced climate change and has advocated expanding oil and gas development. All nominations will need approval from the Senate. NIH clinical chief The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has chosen a retired army major general to head its troubled Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. On 9 December, the agency announced that James Gilman, a cardiologist, will join the centre as its first chief executive. In 2015, federal inspectors found widespread contamination in a facility that manufactures experimental drugs and other medical products for the centre. John Gallin, the centre’s director at the time, stepped down and has now been appointed its chief scientific officer. Anonymity ruling PubPeer, a website that allows anonymous reviews of scientific papers, has won a key legal battle against a cancer researcher who claims that defamatory remarks on the site cost him a job. In a ruling published on 6 December, judges in a Michigan appeals court reversed a 2015 decision that mandated the site to reveal the identity of anonymous commenters after the scientist, Fazlul Sarkar, sued them. Sarkar can continue to pursue a defamation case, judges said, but he is not entitled to reveal the identities of PubPeer commenters, whose anonymity is protected by the US First Amendment. Impact-factor rival Publishing giant Elsevier launched the CiteScore index on 8 December — a rival to the Journal Impact Factor (JIF), one of science’s most contentious metrics. CiteScore ranks journals using a similar formula to that of the JIF, but it covers twice as many journals and includes tweaks that produce some notably different results — including lower scores for some high-JIF journals. Climate coalition Bill Gates on 12 December announced the launch of an ambitious effort to commercialize emerging low-carbon technologies in industry, transport, agriculture and the energy sector. The Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund will be “guided by science” and led by an alliance of 20 of the world’s richest people. They aim to invest more than US$1 billion over the next 20 years in climate-friendly technologies including clean power generation and electricity storage. Investors contributing to the fund, which will begin next year, also include Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. R&D funding slips Spending on research and development (R&D) by governments and higher-education institutions in the now 35 member states of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) fell in 2014 for the first time since the organization began collecting the data in 1981. The OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2016, published on 8 December, also shows that the share of public R&D in total government spending fell between 2000 and 2015 in seven of the ten leading member countries. The three exceptions are Korea, Germany and Japan. A UK parliamentary inquiry last week published evidence on how the country’s higher-education system might be affected as a result of Brexit, the split from the European Union. More than 31,000 academics at UK universities are non-British EU citizens and may lose their right to live in the United Kingdom after Brexit. Statistics sent to the inquiry by the UK Department for Education show that these individuals are concentrated in the sciences. See go.nature.com/2hsxra3 for more.


Airbus Group and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), have named Dr Yacob Astatke, from Morgan State University in the USA, as the recipient of the 2016 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award for his work in engineering education. The Award ceremony took place during the GEDC and World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) conference in Seoul, South Korea. The Award is designed to promote a more diverse engineering workforce globally. It recognises grass roots initiatives and the people behind them which enable students from all backgrounds and profiles to study and succeed in the field of engineering. Out of a total of 40 candidates from 17 countries, Dr Yacob Astatke was selected as the award recipient for his impressive introduction of technology and training initiatives across universities in Ethiopia to improve the delivery of engineering education in Africa. For the past 13 years, he conducted graduate courses, sharing best practice and delivering training. He led the implementation of Mobile Studio Technology and pedagogy in five universities in Ethiopia and has been instrumental in facilitating the donation of equipment and other resources. In addition to the global visibility which the award offers, Dr Astatke has received a significant financial contribution to support and develop his work. Along with two other remarkable finalists, Dr Astatke presented his project to a distinguished international Jury led by Charles Champion, Airbus' Executive Vice President Engineering and Peter Kilpatrick, Chairperson of the GEDC and Dean of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, US. "At Airbus diversity is in our DNA. Our future success will continue to draw on the diversity of our workforce because innovation, creativity and performance are driven by this diversity," said Charles Champion. "The achievement of our 2016 award recipient is testimony to their hard work and commitment in this field. We hope that engineering leaders from around the world will be inspired to follow this example, and replicate these initiatives in order to build a more diverse global community of engineers." Airbus Group and the GEDC are united in their belief that both industry and academia need to actively encourage more diverse students to study and pursue a career in engineering. The finalists' presentations were evaluated by the Jury based on their ability to channel a desire for more diversity in engineering into real, measurable change through an initiative that has the potential to be replicated elsewhere. "Our three finalists have taken up the vital challenge of encouraging more young people to become engineers in order to solve some of the biggest challenges we face in the 21st century," said Peter Kilpatrick of the GEDC. "The message is that together, looking to the work of our finalists for inspiration and as great examples for success, the work we do can and will make a difference." The Jury also included: Doctor Sirin Tekinay, President, Rector of ISIKUN University and a GEDC leader; Professor Qidi Wu, Director at Tsinghua University, Chairperson of the CEEAA, Director of the International Centre for Engineering Education under the Auspices of UNESCO (ICEE) and Director of the Department of Management Sciences of NSFC; and Professor Soonja Choe, President of Inha University (part of KAL group), South Korea. More information can be found at http://www.airbusgroup.com/diversityaward.


Airbus Group and the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), have named Dr Yacob Astatke, from Morgan State University in the USA, as the recipient of the 2016 GEDC Airbus Diversity Award for his work in engineering education. The Award ceremony took place during the GEDC and World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) conference in Seoul, South Korea. The Award is designed to promote a more diverse engineering workforce globally. It recognises grass roots initiatives and the people behind them which enable students from all backgrounds and profiles to study and succeed in the field of engineering. Out of a total of 40 candidates from 17 countries, Dr Yacob Astatke was selected as the award recipient for his impressive introduction of technology and training initiatives across universities in Ethiopia to improve the delivery of engineering education in Africa. For the past 13 years, he conducted graduate courses, sharing best practice and delivering training. He led the implementation of Mobile Studio Technology and pedagogy in five universities in Ethiopia and has been instrumental in facilitating the donation of equipment and other resources. In addition to the global visibility which the award offers, Dr Astatke has received a significant financial contribution to support and develop his work. Along with two other remarkable finalists, Dr Astatke presented his project to a distinguished international Jury led by Charles Champion, Airbus' Executive Vice President Engineering and Peter Kilpatrick, Chairperson of the GEDC and Dean of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, US. "At Airbus diversity is in our DNA. Our future success will continue to draw on the diversity of our workforce because innovation, creativity and performance are driven by this diversity," said Charles Champion. "The achievement of our 2016 award recipient is testimony to their hard work and commitment in this field. We hope that engineering leaders from around the world will be inspired to follow this example, and replicate these initiatives in order to build a more diverse global community of engineers." Airbus Group and the GEDC are united in their belief that both industry and academia need to actively encourage more diverse students to study and pursue a career in engineering. The finalists' presentations were evaluated by the Jury based on their ability to channel a desire for more diversity in engineering into real, measurable change through an initiative that has the potential to be replicated elsewhere. "Our three finalists have taken up the vital challenge of encouraging more young people to become engineers in order to solve some of the biggest challenges we face in the 21st century," said Peter Kilpatrick of the GEDC. "The message is that together, looking to the work of our finalists for inspiration and as great examples for success, the work we do can and will make a difference." The Jury also included: Doctor Sirin Tekinay, President, Rector of ISIKUN University and a GEDC leader; Professor Qidi Wu, Director at Tsinghua University, Chairperson of the CEEAA, Director of the International Centre for Engineering Education under the Auspices of UNESCO (ICEE) and Director of the Department of Management Sciences of NSFC; and Professor Soonja Choe, President of Inha University (part of KAL group), South Korea. More information can be found at http://www.airbusgroup.com/diversityaward.


Die Airbus Group und der Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), die führende internationale Organisation im Bereich der Ingenieurausbildung, haben den GEDC Airbus Diversity Award 2016 an Dr. Yacob Astatke von der Morgan State University in den USA für seine Arbeit in der Ingenieursausbildung verliehen. Die Preisverleihung fand während der Konferenz des GEDC und World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF) in Seoul, Südkorea, statt. Die Auszeichnung dient zur Förderung der Vielfalt in Ingenieurberufen weltweit. Gewürdigt werden Basisinitiativen und die dahinter stehenden Personen, welche Studierende unabhängig von ihrem Hintergrund und Profil dazu ermuntern, ein Ingenieurstudium aufzunehmen und eine erfolgreiche berufliche Laufbahn im Ingenieurwesen anzustreben. Unter den insgesamt 40 Kandidaten aus 17 Ländern wurde Dr. Yacob Astatke für die überzeugende Einführung von Technologie und Ausbildungsinitiativen an Universitäten in Äthiopien zur Verbesserung der Ingenieurausbildung in Afrika. In den letzten 13 Jahren unterrichtete er an Hochschulen und setzte sich für den Austausch von Best Practices in der Ausbildung ein. Er trieb den Einsatz von Mobile Studio Technology und Pädagogik an fünf Universitäten in Äthiopien voran und trug maßgeblich zur Erleichterung von Sachspenden und anderen Zuwendungen bei. Zusätzlich zur globalen Außenwirkung, die der Award sichert, erhielt Dr. Astatke einen bedeutenden finanziellen Beitrag zur Unterstützung und Entwicklung seiner Arbeit. Zusammen mit zwei anderen beeindruckenden Finalisten präsentierte Dr. Astatke sein Projekt vor einer hochkarätig besetzten internationalen Jury unter dem Vorsitz von Charles Champion, Executive Vice President Engineering von Airbus, und Peter Kilpatrick, Vorsitzender des GEDC und Dekan der Fakultät für Ingenieurswissenschaften an der Universität Notre Dame, USA. "Vielfalt ist in der DNA von Airbus verankert. Unser Erfolg wird sich auch weiterhin auf die Vielfalt unserer Mitarbeiter stützen, da Vielfalt ein Motor für Innovationen, Kreativität und Leistung ist", sagte Charles Champion. "Die Leistung unseres diesjährigen Preisträgers ist Zeugnis seiner harten Arbeit und seines großen Einsatzes. Wir hoffen, dass führende Persönlichkeiten im technischen Bereich auf der ganzen Welt diesem Beispiel folgen und ähnliche Initiativen auf die Beine stellen, um für mehr Vielfalt im globalen Ingenieurwesen zu sorgen." Die Airbus Group und der GEDC verbindet die Überzeugung, dass sich die Industrie und die akademische Welt aktiv für mehr Vielfalt in der Studentenschaft einsetzen müssen, damit Studierende ein Ingenieurstudium aufnehmen und eine berufliche Laufbahn im Ingenieurwesen anstreben. Die Jury bewertete die Präsentationen der Finalisten nach ihrer Fähigkeit, den Wunsch nach mehr Vielfalt im Ingenieurwesen durch eine andernorts wiederholbare Initiative in reale, messbare Veränderungen zu übertragen. "Unsere drei Finalisten haben sich der wichtigen Herausforderung gestellt, mehr junge Menschen für den Ingenieurberuf zu begeistern und einige der größten Aufgaben zu lösen, vor denen wir im 21. Jahrhundert stehen", sagte Peter Kilpatrick des GEDC. "Wir sehen die Arbeit unserer Finalisten als Inspiration und großartige Erfolgsbeispiele, und die Botschaft lautet, dass wir mit unserer Arbeit wirklich etwas bewegen können und werden." Die Jury-Mitglieder waren Doktor Sirin Tekinay, Präsidentin, Rektorin der Universität ISIKUN und GEDC-Leiterin; Professor Qidi Wu, Direktorin der Universität Tsinghua, CEEAA-Vorsitzende, Direktorin des ICEE (International Centre for Engineering Education) unter der Schirmherrschaft der UNESCO (ICEE) und Direktorin der Fakultät für Managementwissenschaften am NSFC; und Professorin Soonja Choe, Präsidentin der Universität Inha (Teil der KAL Group), Südkorea.


News Article | October 31, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

WAUKEGAN, Ill., Oct. 31, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northern States Financial Corporation (OTC PINK:NSFC) (the “Company”), the holding company of NorStates Bank (the “Bank”), an FDIC insured financial institution, today reported third quarter 2016 net income of $483,000 as compared with $354,000 for the second quarter 2016 and $514,000 for the third quarter of 2015. Per share book value at September 30, 2016 was $0.65. Pretax income for the third quarter of 2016 was $612,000 as compared with pretax income of $564,000 for the same quarter of 2015, an increase of 8.5%.  Income tax expense for the third quarter of 2016 was $129,000 as compared with $50,000 for the same quarter of 2015 due to the effect of the Company’s application of deferred tax assets in the third quarter of 2015.  For the nine months ended September 30, 2016, pretax income was $1,700,000 as compared with pretax income of $1,151,000 for the first nine months of 2015, an increase of 47.7%. Total assets of the Company were $508 million at September 30, 2016, an increase of $23 million, or 4.8%, from December 31, 2015.  Loans increased $37 million, or 15.6%, between December 31, 2015 and September 30, 2016 while deposits increased $19 million, or 4.7%, between those dates. The Bank’s third quarter 2016 net interest margin was 3.09%, compared with 3.03% during the third quarter of 2015.  The Bank’s cost of interest-bearing liabilities was 0.11% in the third quarter of 2016, compared with 0.13% in the third quarter of 2015. The Bank’s leverage capital ratio at September 30, 2016 was 10.61%. With regard to asset quality, the Company’s non-performing assets (“NPAs”) at September 30, 2016 decreased $5.6 million, or 22.08%, from December 31, 2015, due primarily to a reduction in loans on nonaccrual status and other real estate owned.  At September 30, 2016, the ratio of nonperforming loans to total assets was 1.70% and the allowance for loan and lease losses to total loans was 2.10%. “We continue to make progress regarding profitability and credit quality,” stated Scott Yelvington, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and Bank. “Our focus will remain on the reduction of NPAs, cost reduction and the profitable deployment of liquidity.” Northern States Financial Corporation is the holding company for NorStates Bank, a full-service commercial bank with eight branches in Lake County, Illinois.  NorStates Bank is the successor to financial institutions dating to 1919.  NorStates Bank serves the populations of northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin. This release may contain forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties.  Such risks and uncertainties may include, but are not necessarily limited to, fluctuations in interest rates, inflation, government regulations, general economic conditions, competition within the business areas in which the Company conducts its operations including the real estate market in Illinois, and other factors beyond the Company’s control.  Such risks and uncertainties could cause actual results for subsequent interim periods or for the entire year to differ materially from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statement.  Readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s beliefs, expectations and assumptions only as of the date hereof.  The Company undertakes no obligation to update statements to reflect new information or subsequent events or circumstances.


News Article | December 22, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Male hypogonadism is a condition that diminishes testosterone levels in approximately 30% of older men, but currently available therapies can produce serious side effects. In a study published December 22 in Stem Cell Reports, researchers developed an alternative approach involving the direct conversion of adult skin cells into functional testosterone-producing cells. When transplanted into male rodents with hypogonadism, these so-called Leydig-like cells survived and restored normal testosterone levels. "Our study is the first to report a method for generating Leydig cells by means of direct cell reprogramming," says senior study co-author Yadong Huang of Jinan University. "This alternative source of Leydig cells will be of great significance for basic research and provides the attractive prospect of clinical application in the field of regenerative medicine." Male hypogonadism is characterized by symptoms such as mood disturbances, sexual dysfunction, decreased muscle mass and strength, and decreased bone mineral density. One primary cause is the dysfunction of testosterone-producing Leydig cells in the testes. Testosterone replacement therapy can alleviate some symptoms resulting from Leydig cell failure, but it may also increase the risk of prostate and cardiovascular complications, such as the formation of blood clots. Leydig cell transplantation could be a promising alternative to hormone replacement therapy, providing physiological patterns of hormone for a longer period of time. However, stem cell-based approaches are costly, time-consuming, and limited by ethical concerns and the risk of tumor formation. Huang and co-senior study author Zhijian Su of Jinan University reasoned that the direct conversion of adult skin cells into Leydig cells would be a faster, safer regenerative medicine approach. To test this idea, the researchers screened 11 transcription factors that could affect the ability of Leydig cells to produce testosterone. Using lentiviral vectors to force the expression of three of these transcriptional factors, Dmrt1, Gata4, and Nr5a1, they were able to directly reprogram mouse skin cells into functional Leydig-like cells, which showed normal gene activity and were capable of producing testosterone. When transplanted into the testes of rats or mice with hypogonadism, these cells survived and restored normal testosterone levels. According to the authors, future studies should aim to improve the efficiency of the approach to generate a pure population of cells that closely mimic adult Leydig cells. For their own part, the researchers are examining in more detail the mechanisms underlying the direct conversion of skin cells into Leydig-like cells. To make the findings more relevant to patients, they are also examining direct cellular conversion strategies using small molecules and other non-viral methods. "In the end, we are hopeful that this research will pave the way for clinical trials testing a novel regenerative medicine approach to treat androgen deficiency in men," Su says. The work is supported by the NSFC, National Key New Drug Creation of China, Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, Science & Technology Plan Project of Guangzhou, Project of Research Development and Industrialization of Guangdong Province, Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities Project, and the Guangdong Province Higher Vocational Colleges & Schools Pearl River Scholar Funded Scheme (2012-2017). Stem Cell Reports, Yang et al.: "Direct reprogramming of mouse fibroblasts toward Leydig-like cells by defined factors" http://www.cell.com/stem-cell-reports/fulltext/S2213-6711(16)30272-7 Stem Cell Reports, published by Cell Press for the International Society for Stem Cell Research (@ISSCR), is a monthly open-access forum communicating basic discoveries in stem cell research, in addition to translational and clinical studies. The journal focuses on shorter, single-point manuscripts that report original research with conceptual or practical advances that are of broad interest to stem cell biologists and clinicians. Visit http://www. . To receive Cell Press media alerts, please contact press@cell.com.


News Article | August 31, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

A country without science is like a car without an engine: it's not going anywhere. This Outlook surveys the global scene (see page S2) and then embarks on a world tour, examining countries' achievements, and mistakes, as they attempt to harness the power of science for economic growth. China is focusing on collaborative centres that tap into the success of it's basic research labs and spin out their findings into practical technologies (S8). Australia has travelled a similar path, making strides in capitalizing on its research foundation — but has ended up overcompensating, robbing its basic-research effort to pay for applied work (S14). Proving that past trauma needn't prevent a robust research effort, just 22 years after the genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda is emerging as a scientific spark plug for central Africa (S4). Countries in the Middle East, long buoyed by oil revenues, are girding themselves for the post-fossil-fuel era (S6). Singapore has made outstanding progress towards putting science at the centre of its economy — but it's not clear how the small city-state can afford to continue on this trajectory (S16). Countries with revered scientific pasts have their own stories to tell. Post-Soviet era, Russia is struggling to keep its scientific enterprise reputable (S10). Germany has abandoned its tradition of egalitarianism and is giving some institutions elite status, much to the dismay of many researchers (S12). In the United States, applying research to economic development rests largely at the state level — Massachusetts is an example of the dynamism possible with decentralized authority (S18). And globally, leaders need to be mindful of perverse incentives that run counter to research excellence (S20). This Outlook was produced in partnership with the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). As always, Nature has sole responsibility for all editorial content.

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