United States
United States

Time filter

Source Type

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

The Zika virus remains a mystery. Isolated from macaque monkeys in the Ziika Forest in Uganda in 1947, the virus was shown to infect humans not long after, but it was identified as a benign disease, with mild symptoms. For this reason, it was not heavily studied until almost 70 years later when it appeared to be associated with an unusual cluster of cases of microcephalic birth defects and Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) paralysis in Brazil in 2015 and 2016. If the at-least-70-year-old virus is responsible for the recently reported neurological diseases, why were the first serious effects not noticed until recently? And, why were these effects first in Brazil, very distant from its continent of apparent origin, Africa? The mysterious history of the virus matters because its details might tell us the backstory of how it came to be what it is where it is and from that, why it is doing so much damage. But, how do you know the history of an invisible virus, which leaves no physical record? It is especially hard to know the history of Zika because the seemingly benign disease has been under-the-radar for most of its known time in human hosts. This is where genetics can help, since single-strand RNA viruses like Zika tend to change rapidly over time and, with bioinformatics, researchers can deduce what the ancestral relationships are between different viruses collected at different places in different times from different hosts. While the first noted occurrence of the virus was in Africa, it was detected only a few years later in Asia, and separate lineages of the disease are known from both areas - a clue that the history hidden in the genes may be complicated. "But sequence data on Zika is limited," notes University of North Carolina at Charlotte Bioinformatics and Genomics Professor Daniel Janies. "People have made the assumption that it came out of Africa because that's where it was discovered. However, it has not been easy to reconstruct the history of Zika with the data we have," he said. Janies heads a team of researchers who have recently completed a phylogenetic and geographic analysis of the available collection of Zika's genetic sequences. The analysis provides the most complete study of the virus's history to date and reveals specific genetic changes that occurred as the virus crossed the Pacific Ocean on its way to the Americas. An analysis of the genes involved also suggests new hypotheses to explain the virus's association with microcephaly and GBS. A report by Janies, Adriano de Bernardi Schneider, Jun-tao Guo, Gregorio Linchangco, Zachary Witter, Dylan Vinesett and Lambodhar Damodaran from the department of Bioinformatics and Genomics at UNC Charlotte, Robert Malone from Atheric Pharmaceutical, and Jane Homan from IoGenetics LLC appears in the current issue of Cladistics. "Our results indicate that Zika may have deep ancestry in Asia that has been under-recorded," Janies said. "For example, not all the recent global outbreaks of Zika appear to result from a simple linear chronology of travel from the most recent past outbreak." "Recently there has been an outbreak of Zika in Singapore in parallel to the one in the Americas. We have updated our analyses and the Singapore Zika virus is distantly related to the viral lineage in the Americas. This lends support for the hypothesis that there are yet-to-be discovered reservoirs of Zika virus in Asia," Janies said. The Cladistics report traces Zika's phylogenetic tree through analysis of genetic sequences, combining it with the chronology and geographic information from the samples, and allows the researchers to detail the virus' probable historical path as well as specific genetic and structural changes in the virus as it traveled to the Americas. The researchers noted in particular some new mutations that began appearing in the virus as it travelled from island to island across the Pacific. Not long after these mutations appear, there are records in French Polynesia of an increase in both microcephaly and GBS. The specific nature of the new mutations in the virus also suggest to the team some possible relationships between viral infection and the severe symptoms associated with the virus in the Americas. "We looked at the viral changes that correspond to the first reports of microcephaly and we saw the origins of these changes in the Pacific lineages," Janies noted. "There are mutations that occurred in the part of the viral genome that codes the viral envelope protein and the ends of the viral genome that are called 'untranslated regions.' We focused on the envelope protein because that's the part responsible for the entry of the virus to host's cells. We studied the untranslated regions since they mediate the types of tissues the virus attacks and viral replication." Both sets of mutations suggested potential relationships to the virus's new association with neurological and developmental problems in adults and infants. "Members of our team found that Zika has recently started making its envelope proteins with features, called epitopes, that are similar to human proteins, which could cause a human host immune response to the virus to be diluted," Janies said. "The theory underlying this idea is called 'epitope mimicry.' The similarity is advantageous to the virus because it confuses the host's immune system and blunts the immune reaction to the virus." However, the researchers suspect that the human proteins being mimicked may be significant for reasons besides providing immune system "cover" for the attacking virus. An important element of the envelope protein mutation, Janies points out, is not only in the mimicry itself, but also, in the specific genes being mimicked: "Our team members found that two of the human proteins that Zika is mimicking are involved in the signaling that goes on when the sensory organs are being formed in the fetus. These genes are called 'Neuron Navigator Protein 2' and 'Human Neurogenic Differentiation Factor 4', " he said. "Because these are the proteins are being mimicked, a hypothesis is that the developmental pathways that rely on the proteins may be being disrupted by the immune system," Janies said. The other mutations, on the untranslated regions, suggest other possible effects that might change where Zika virus infects in the body. "Although epitope mimicry hypothesis helps clarify the protein-immune interaction, the mutations in the untranslated regions may explain the types of tissues Zika attacks" UNC Charlotte Bioinformatics and Genomics graduate student Adriano de Bernardi Schneider said. "The presence of specific binding regions on untranslated regions of the Zika viral genome, called "Musashi Binding Elements" provides bases for the study of changes in tissue preference of the virus." In this part of the study, the authors evaluated the changes in the virus' Musashi Binding Elements and found that they increased the efficiency of the Zika virus that is circulating in the Americas in hijacking human cells. Musashi is a family of RNA-binding proteins in the host cells that control gene expression and the development of stem cells. The finding that Zika has mutated to be better at binding to human Musashi proteins, leads to the hypothesis that Zika is adapting to be more efficient at attacking human cells. Moreover, the role of Musashi proteins in stem cells provides another possible target for the study of developmental defects in the fetus associated with Zika infection in pregnancy. Both the autoimmune effect and changes in the virus' tissue specificity are working hypotheses suggested by computational models and will require further study to verify. In contrast, the information gained from studying Zika's phylogenetic history is of immediate importance to medicine and public health response, as this work puts the mutations in specific time and place context, at a time when the virus has nearly circled the planet, changing from place to place in its travels and leaving different variants. Many versions of the virus currently exist globally and these variants have different capabilities and effects. "We're tracing the lineages and the geographic links in a very rigorous way and pulling it all together, pin-pointing Zika's molecular changes in time and space - showing what actually is going on in different places," Janies said. "Why does it matter? Well, when Zika arrives someplace is it going to be benign or dangerous? It has been both -- it depends on where it is coming from." The full paper can been seen at: http://onlinelibrary. . This research study is based upon work supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Program Simplifying Complexity in Scientific Discovery (SIMPLEX) and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Pacific (SSC Pacific) under Contract No. N66001-15-C-4039 and by the UNC Research Opportunities Initiative grant to UNC Charlotte, NC State University, and UNC-Chapel Hill.


News Article | December 6, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 06, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Hilton Charlotte University Place is thrilled to announce the appointment of Ahmed Azizy to Executive Chef. Chef Azizy brings exceptional culinary leadership and expertise to the property’s on-site dining options, Edgewater Bar & Grille and Fountainview catering. Hilton Charlotte University Place offers a tranquil lakeside escape near UNC Charlotte and the area’s best shopping destinations. Guests will marvel at the hotel’s new Edgewater Bar & Grille, formerly known as Lakefront Restaurant, which underwent $750,000 in renovations earlier this year. Edgewater Bar & Grille now boasts new communal tables, private dining spaces, a revamped bar with nine beer taps, seven HD TVs that can be seen at every angle, and fresh, modern decor. The restaurant also features natural light with a stunning view of the beautiful Lake at University Place. The Hilton staff is confident Chef Azizy will continue to enhance the dining experience for guests and locals alike. The entire team at the Hilton Charlotte University Place is extremely excited to welcome Chef Azizy to the new restaurant. “We’re thrilled with all of the recent changes taking place,” said Brandon Devoe, Director of Food and Beverage. “The space looks phenomenal, and with the new appointment of Chef Azizy, Edgewater Bar & Grille brings a truly unique experience to the university area.” As a native of Mohammedia, Morocco, Chef Azizy grew up with very diverse styles of food and cooking. His unique background makes him a visionary in the Culinary Arts world. Chef Azizy notably worked his way to success after moving to the United States. Following his 1991 graduation from The New England Culinary Institute, Chef Azizy traveled to Nice, France where he went on to win first place in the US Division of the Grand Prix Auguste Escoffier Competition in 1996. Following this career milestone, Chef Azizy went on to work for both the Ritz-Carlton Chicago and The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, along The Magnificent Mile, where he quickly worked his way up the fine dining corporate ladder. In addition to the hotel industry, he exercised his innate talent, formal education and experience as a private chef for a number of Chicago’s Gold Coast notables. Chef Azizy has been an Executive Chef for GF Management, Hilton Charlotte University Place’s ownership group, since 2008. Most recently, he held the title of Executive Chef at GF Management’s Holiday Inn Charlotte Center City’s on-site restaurant, Caffe Siena. Chef Azizy’s resume boasts numerous experiences that make him a more than qualified fit for the Hilton Charlotte University Place. To learn more about Chef Azizy and the Hilton Charlotte University Place, or to make a reservation with Edgewater Bar & Grille, please call (704) 547-7444 or visit http://bit.ly/1hAQWLT. About Hilton Charlotte University Place Hilton Charlotte University Place is a lakeside hotel ideal for business and leisure travelers. Located only 15 miles from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, this Charlotte hotel is near UNC Charlotte and next to the Shoppes at University Place, which offers multiple dining and shopping venues in a tranquil lake setting. The Charlotte Motor Speedway, where you can enjoy a variety of racing attractions, is only 5.8 miles from this hotel. Guests can enjoy complimentary access to the fitness center or swim in the seasonal outdoor swimming pool. Other amenities at this Charlotte, NC hotel include casual dining at Lakefront Restaurant, 20,000 sq. ft. of event space for groups of up to 800, and complimentary local shuttle transportation within a 5-mile radius Monday through Friday. Business minded guests can stay connected to the office, family and friends using complimentary standard Wi-Fi access. About GF Management GF Management is an award-winning, full-service hospitality ownership, management and advisory company founded in 1988 and based in Center City Philadelphia. With more than 80 hospitality assets under management, including hotels, resorts, conference centers, catering facilities, waterparks, casinos and golf courses in 28 states, GF Management specializes in third-party management, asset management and advisory services for a variety of individual, private, institutional and financial clients. Many of GF’s core hospitality assets within the portfolio are owned by its principals and therein provide the strength and balance of ownership and management. The Company is currently seeking to expand its portfolio of full-service ownership and management assignments through long-term contracts and joint-venture investment opportunities. For more information about GF Management call 215-972-2222 or visit www.GFHotels.com.


Patent
Unc Charlotte | Date: 2013-07-23

Provided are isolated antibodies, and fragments and derivatives thereof, which bind to tumor antigens. Also provided are compositions and delivery agents that include the disclosed antibodies and fragments and derivatives thereof; cells that produce the same; methods for producing the same; methods of using the same for detecting, targeting, and/or treating tumors and/or metastatic cells derived therefrom and/or tumor stem cells; and methods for predicting the recurrence of cancer in a subject.


Patent
Unc Charlotte | Date: 2015-07-27

Provided are isolated antibodies, and fragments and derivatives thereof, which bind to tumor antigens. Also provided are compositions and delivery agents that include the disclosed antibodies and fragments and derivatives thereof; cells that produce the same; methods for producing the same; methods of using the same for detecting, targeting, and/or treating tumors and/or metastatic cells derived therefrom and/or tumor stem cells; and methods for predicting the recurrence of cancer in a subject.


Patent
Unc Charlotte | Date: 2016-05-13

Provided are isolated antibodies, and fragments and derivatives thereof, which bind to tumor antigens. Also provided are compositions and delivery agents that include the disclosed antibodies and fragments and derivatives thereof; cells that produce the same; methods for producing the same; methods of using the same for detecting, targeting, and/or treating tumors and/or metastatic cells derived therefrom and/or tumor stem cells; and methods for predicting the recurrence of cancer in a subject.


Patent
Unc Charlotte | Date: 2011-05-25

Provided are isolated antibodies, and fragments and derivatives thereof, which bind to tumor antigens. Also provided are compositions and delivery agents that include the disclosed antibodies and fragments and derivatives thereof; cells that produce the same; methods for producing the same; methods of using the same for detecting, targeting, and/or treating tumors and/or metastatic cells derived therefrom and/or tumor stem cells; and methods for predicting the recurrence of cancer in a subject.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 499.99K | Year: 2014

Nanohmics/UNC proposes the Argus-EC wide spectral band laser threat sensor, with capability to provide real-time gathering of data regarding laser radiation directed against instrumented military assets. The proposed team comprises Nanohmics, Inc., and the Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The successful Phase I reduced the primary technical risks related to the Argus-EC sensor development. In Phase II, we propose to fabricate, characterize, and flight test sensor hardware. The overarching goal is to transition the sensor suite from the breadboard hardware stage, through laboratory and environmental testing, to a flight-tested prototype device (TRL 6-7). We expect that at the completion of Phase II, we will have demonstrated and tested a wide-spectral-band laser threat sensor suite that is capable of detecting and geolocating laser irradiation threats from the VIS through LWIR bands, with a dynamic range of 106 or greater. The developed hardware will be suitable for flight on small UAVs and will be ready for transition to operational testing and evaluation.


News Article | February 24, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

On a daily basis, Xcelerate Nike Lacrosse Camps challenge campers in a positive, respectful, and fun-filled summer camp environment, enabling them to build confidence, experience success, and showcase their newfound skills. "Xcelerate offers a variety of camp programs that will get you closer to your goal. We start with the fundamentals and build from there," says Steve Anderson, Founder of Xcelerate Lacrosse. "At the end of the camp our goal is for each camper to walk away with a higher lacrosse IQ, an enhanced skill set, new role models, new friends, and a true love of the game. Our small-group training gives in-depth instruction on offensive, defensive and team strategy." Jay Card - Coach Card has a wealth of experience having been a collegiate player, professional player and as a camp director for Xcelerate over the last 5 years. Coach Card will be directing camp at Auburn University (AL), North Central College (IL), St. Olaf College (MN), UNC Charlotte (NC), Baldwin Wallace University (OH), Vanderbilt University (TN) and Pacific Lutheran University (WA). Malcolm Chase - Coach Chase has a wealth of experience having been a collegiate player & coach, professional player and as a camp director for Xcelerate over the last 12 years. Coach chase will be directing camp in Vail (CO), Oregon State University (OR) and Southwestern University (TX). Dan Coates - Team Captain of the NLL’s Colorado Mammoth, Coates is also a Gold Medal winner for Team Canada in the World Lacrosse Championships. Coach Coates will be directing camp at Northern Kentucky University (KY), University at Buffalo (NY), Baldwin Wallace University (OH) and the University of South Carolina (SC). Jacob DeCola - Coach DeCola came to Albion College in 2009 to begin the varsity lacrosse program. Under his leadership, the Britons have built a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association champion in just six seasons. Coach DeCola will be directing camp at Albion College (MI). Jesse King - As a professional player in both the MLL and NLL, Coach King has a wealth of experience and is excited to lead the Xcelerate Nike staff in 2017. Coach King will be directing camp at Emory University (GA), Saint Louis University (MO), Oregon State University (OR) and Pacific Lutheran University (WA). Brian Lalley - Coach Lalley has a wealth of experience having been a collegiate player at Ohio State University, a college coach at Canisus College and as a camp director for Xcelerate over the last 3 years. Coach Lalley will be directing camp at Northern Kentucky University (KY), William Jewell College (MO), University at Buffalo (NY), Baldwin Wallace University (OH) and the University of South Carolina (SC). Jason Rife - Coach Rife brings an abundance of coaching experience that features more than 15 years of coaching at the collegiate level. Coach Rife will be directing camp at North Central College (IL) and Vanderbilt University (TN). Unlike tournaments, Xcelerate's summer camp opportunities provide youth and high school lacrosse players a balance of traditional and progressive drills which lead to tangible results. For more information visit http://www.xceleratelacrosse.com or call 1-800-645-3226 Xcelerate Nike Lacrosse Camps provide players of all positions and skill levels an opportunity to learn from some of the best coaches and players in the game today. Unlike tournaments, Xcelerate's summer camp opportunities provide youth and high school lacrosse players a balance of traditional and progressive drills which lead to tangible results. US Sports Camps (USSC), headquartered in San Rafael, California, is America's largest sports camp network and the licensed operator of Nike Sports Camps. The company has offered summer camps since 1975 with the same mission that defines it today: to shape a lifelong enjoyment of athletics through high quality sports education and skill enhancement.


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

Xcelerate Lacrosse is offering the first 20 registered campers at each location a free Nike Vapor 2.0 Head. Xcelerate Nike Lacrosse Camps provide players of all positions and skill levels an opportunity to learn from some of the best coaches and players in the game today. Xcelerate's innovative curriculum and balanced approach to the game has made them the leader in lacrosse instruction throughout the nation. On a daily basis, coaches challenge campers in a positive, respectful, and fun-filled summer camp environment, enabling them to build confidence, experience success, and showcase their newfound skills. At the end of the week, campers walk away from any Xcelerate Nike Lacrosse Camp with a higher lacrosse IQ, an enhanced skill set, new friends, and a true love of the game. “Xcelerate Nike Lacrosse Camps provide campers the opportunity to learn from some of the most respected coaches in the nation,” says Steve Anderson, Founder of Xcelerate Lacrosse. “We provide a nice balance of experienced senior staff members, highly skilled professional players, enthusiastic recent college graduates, and current college players. Their coaching credentials are outstanding: All-Pros, All-Americans, Hall of Famers, Coaches of the Year, and All-World players.” Overnight Lacrosse Camp locations include: Auburn, AL (Auburn University); Vail, CO (Vail Mountain Lodge); Atlanta, GA (Emory University); Naperville, IL (North Central College); Highland Heights, KY (Northern Kentucky University); Albion, MI (Albion College); Northfield, MN (St. Olaf College); Liberty, MO (William Jewell College); St. Louis, MO (Saint Louis University); Amherst, NY(University at Buffalo); Charlotte, NC (UNC Charlotte); Cleveland, OH (Baldwin Wallace University); Corvallis, OR (Oregont State); Columbia, SC (Univeristy of South Carolina); Nashville, TN(Vanderbilt University); Georgetown, TX (Southwestern University); Tacoma, WA (Pacific Lutheran University). For additional details or to register online, visit http://www.xceleratelacrosse.com/ or call 1-800-645-3226. Xcelerate Nike Lacrosse Camps provide players of all positions and skill levels an opportunity to learn from some of the best coaches and players in the game today. Unlike tournaments, Xcelerate's summer camp opportunities provide youth and high school lacrosse players a balance of traditional and progressive drills which lead to tangible results. About US Sports Camps, Inc. US Sports Camps (USSC), headquartered in San Rafael, California, is America’s largest sports camp network and the licensed operator of Nike Sports Camps. Over 80,000 kids attended a US Sports Camps program in 2016. The company has offered summer camps since 1975 with the same mission that defines it today: to shape a lifelong enjoyment of athletics through high quality sports education and skill enhancement.


News Article | September 13, 2016
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

The discovery of a rare gold coin bearing the image of the Roman Emperor Nero at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte's archaeological excavations on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, has just been announced by the archaeologists in charge of the project, Drs. Shimon Gibson, James Tabor, and Rafael Lewis. "The coin is exceptional," said Gibson, "because this is the first time that a coin of this kind has turned up in Jerusalem in a scientific dig. Coins of this type are usually only found in private collections, where we don't have clear evidence as to place of origin." The gold coin (aureus) bears the bare-headed portrait of the young Nero as Caesar. The lettering around the edge of the coin reads: NERO CAESAR AVG IMP. On the reverse of the coin is a depiction of an oak wreath containing the letters "EX S C," with the surrounding inscription "PONTIF MAX TR P III." Importantly, these inscriptions help to work out the date when the coin was struck as 56/57 AD. Identification of the coin was made by the historian and numismatist, Dr. David Jacobson from London. The coin dates to a little more than a decade before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD, and was found in rubble material outside the ruins of the 1st Century Jewish villas the team has been excavating. The team has hypothesized that the large houses may have belonged to wealthy members of the priestly caste, and it may have come from one of their stores of wealth. "The coin probably came from one of the rich 2000-year old Jewish dwellings which the UNC Charlotte team have been uncovering at the site," said Gibson. "These belonged to the priestly and aristocratic quarter located in the Upper City of Jerusalem. Finds include the well-preserved rooms of a very large mansion, a Jewish ritual pool (mikveh) and a bathroom, both with their ceilings intact." This mansion and other like it, were utterly destroyed by Titus and the Roman legions, when Jerusalem was razed to the ground. It is likely, owing to the intrinsic value of the gold coin, it was hidden away ahead of the destruction of the city, and was missed by the marauding and looting Roman soldiers. "It's a valuable piece of personal property and wouldn't have been cast away like rubbish or casually dropped. It's conceivable that it ended up outside these structures in the chaos that happened as this area was destroyed." The image of Nero is significant in that it shows the presence of the Roman occupation and provides a clear late date for the occupation of the residences. There is no historical evidence that Nero ever visited Jerusalem. Tabor pointed out that the coin is dated "to the same year of St. Paul's last visit to Jerusalem, which resulted in his arrest (on the charge of taking Gentiles into the Temple) and incarceration in Caesarea." Last of the Julio-Claudian line, Nero was Roman emperor for fourteen years (54-68 AD). He had the reputation for being a tyrant, and some believed he was responsible for the devastating fire of 64 AD, which resulted in the burning of much of Rome. The archaeological project has brought to light many other significant finds during the 2016 summer season, and work at the site will be resumed next year.

Loading UNC Charlotte collaborators
Loading UNC Charlotte collaborators