Lexington, KY, United States
Lexington, KY, United States

The University of Kentucky is a public co-educational university in Lexington, Kentucky. Founded in 1865 by John Bowman as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky, the university is one of the state's two land-grant universities, the largest college or university in the state, with 28,928 students as of Fall 2012, and the highest ranked research university in the state according to U.S. News and World Report.The institution comprises 16 colleges, a graduate school, 93 undergraduate programs, 99 master programs, 66 doctoral programs, and four professional programs. The University of Kentucky has fifteen libraries on campus. The largest is William T. Young Library, a federal depository, hosting subjects related to social science, humanities and life science collections. In recent years, the university has focused expenditures increasingly on research, following a compact formed by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1997. The directive mandated that the university become a Top 20 public research institution, in terms of an overall ranking to be determined by the university itself, by the year 2020. Wikipedia.


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Patent
University of Kentucky | Date: 2016-11-09

A proppant for use in hydraulic fracturing to stimulate a well is provided. The proppant is fly ash particles having a mean particle size (d50) of between 45 m and 150 m and a size distribution defined by (d10)5 m and (d98)250 m.


Patent
Vermillion and University of Kentucky | Date: 2016-11-30

The present invention provides protein-based biomarkers and biomarker combinations that am useful in qualifying ovarian cancer status in a patient. In particular, the biomarkers of this invention are useful to classify a subject sample as ovarian cancer, ovarian cancer of low malignant potential, benign ovarian disease or other malignant condition. The biomarkers can be detected by SELDI mass spectrometry.


Mattos L.V.,Federal University of Fluminense | Jacobs G.,University of Kentucky | Davis B.H.,University of Kentucky | Noronha F.B.,Brazilian National Institute of Technology
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2012

Significant progress has been made in gaining insight into the reaction mechanisms of ethanol reforming. To this end, infrared spectroscopy has been a powerful tool in achieving this goal. The dissociation of ethanol to ethoxy species can occur on the support, and those with sufficiently labile O adatoms or OH groups offer a means of accomplishing this step. Dehydrogenation of the ethoxy species to acetaldehyde is very likely assisted by the metal particles added to the support, as well as the presence of labile O adatoms or hydroxyl groups located on the support. A major route to catalyst deactivation is that of carbon formation. Temperature-programmed oxidation, used to characterize the nature of carbon deposits, demonstrated significant amounts of carbon deposited on the catalyst surface. The metal appears to operate across the metal-oxide junction to assist in hydrogen transfer and related reactions such as acetate demethanation.


Vyas K.S.,University of Kentucky
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2012

The clinical importance of vitamin A as an essential nutrient has become increasingly clear. Adequate vitamin A is required for normal organogenesis, immune competence, tissue differentiation, and the visual cycle. Deficiency, which is widespread throughout the developing world, is responsible for a million or more instances of unnecessary death and blindness each year. β-Carotene is an important, but insufficient, source of vitamin A among poor populations, which accounts for the widespread nature of vitamin A deficiency. It has only recently become apparent that the bioconversion of traditional dietary sources of β-carotene to vitamin A is much less efficient than previously supposed. The other major carotenoids, particularly lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, have been found to have important biological properties, including antioxidant and photoprotective activity, and high intake has been linked in observational studies with reduced risk of a number of chronic diseases. But, to date, no clinical trials have proven the clinical value of ingested carotenoids individually or in combination, in either physiologic or pharmacologic doses, with the excepton of the provitamin A activity of carotene. Indeed, several trials have suggested an increased risk of lung cancer among high-risk individuals (smokers and asbestos workers) who were given high doses of β-carotene alone or in combination with other antioxidants. Much more evidence is needed before commonly encountered claims of the value of ingesting high doses of non-provitamin A carotenoids are validated. © 2012 American Society for Nutrition.


Secretory IgA (SIgA) antibodies represent the first line of antigen-specific immune defense protecting the mucosal surfaces against environmental pathogens and antigens, and maintaining homeostasis with the commensal microbiota. The polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR) has the dual role of transporting locally produced dimeric IgA across mucosal epithelia, and serving as the precursor of secretory component, a glycoprotein that enhances the immune functions of SIgA. The complex regulation of pIgR expression and transcytosis by host and microbial factors is finely tuned to optimize the role of SIgA in mucosal immunity. Disruption of this regulatory network in disease states similar to inflammatory bowel disease can result in profound consequences for mucosal homeostasis and systemic sequelae. Future research into the function and regulation of pIgR and SIgA may offer new insights into the prevention and treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases that originate at mucosal surfaces.


Jonnalagadda D.,University of Kentucky | Izu L.T.,University of California at Davis | Whiteheart S.W.,University of Kentucky
Blood | Year: 2012

Platelets release numerous bioactive molecules stored in their granules enabling them to exert a wide range of effects on the vascular microenvironment. Are these granule cargo released thematically in a context-specific pattern or via a stochastic, kinetically controlled process? Here we sought to describe the platelet exocytosis using a systematic examination of platelet secretion kinetics. Platelets were stimulated for increasing times with different agonists (ie, thrombin, PAR1-agonist, PAR4-agonist, and convulxin) and micro-ELISA arrays were used to quantify the release of 28 distinct α-granule cargo molecules. Agonist potency directly correlated with the speed and extent of release. PAR4-agonist induced slower release of fewer molecules, whereas thrombin rapidly induced the greatest release. Cargo with opposing actions (eg, proangiogenic and antiangiogenic) had similar release profiles, suggesting limited thematic response to specific agonists. From the release time-course data, rate constants were calculated and used to probe for underlying patterns. Probability density function and operator variance analyses were consistent with 3 classes of release events, differing in their rates. The distribution of cargo into these 3 classes was heterogeneous, suggesting that platelet secretion is a stochastic process potentially controlled by several factors, such as cargo solubility, granule shape, and/or granule-plasma membrane fusion routes. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.09K | Year: 2012

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The major barriers to preventing or treating Alzheimer's disease (AD) are its unknown pathogenesis/etiology and the lack of an objective, sensitive and specific biomarker of the disease, particularly at the early stageswhen therapeutic interventions would likely have the greatest efficacy. The basic hypothesis of this application is that plasma levels of a novel aberrant protein/protein complex consisting or lipocalin (brain-specific) prostaglandin-d- synthase (PDS) andtransthyretin (TTR) are decreased early in disease progression and that baseline (pre-conversion) PDS/TTR levels are significantly lower in subjects who transition to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or AD compared to normal control (NC) subjects or subjects with non-AD neurodegenerative disorders. As such, plasma PDS/TTR concentrations can be used to preferentially identify subjects who are likely to transition to MCI or AD. Preliminary analysis of antemortem plasma samples from 76 NC and 45 MCI subjects showed a statistically significant decrease of PDS/TTR levels in MCI. In addition, analysis of plasma PDS/TTR concentrations in normal subjects who later converted to MCI showed PDS/TTR concentrations before conversion were significantly (32 percent) lowerthan levels in plasma from NC subjects who remained cognitively normal during a comparable follow-up period. Although our preliminary data are promising and suggest PDS/TTR concentrations may be used to identify and predict subjects who will convert to dementia, further study is needed. To further test our hypothesis, we will analyze plasma samples from additional 80 - 100 samples from each group (NC, MCI and probable AD). We will also test whether plasma PDS/TTR complex concentrations decrease in the sameperson following conversion to MCI or AD by analyzing pre- and post-conversion specimens from NC subjects who transitioned from normal to MCI (n = 83) or AD (n = 32) compared to results obtained for plasma samples from control subjects who remained cognitively normal (n = 360) after a comparable follow-up period. Plasma specimens will also be analyzed from subjects with non-AD neurodegenerative diseases including frontotemporal dementia and diffuse Lewy body disease. In addition, we will test whether pre-conversion PDS/TTR concentrations alone, or in combination with A 1-42, A 1- 40, measures correlate with or enhance identification of MCI/AD patients based on Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and specific memory scores (Animal fluency, Trials A, Trials Band logical memory (logmemL)). Overall, the proposed studies, if successful, will identify and validate a novel blood based biomarker of AD that can be used to identify subjects early in disease progression when pharmacologic interventions likely have thegreatest efficacy. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and currently affects 4.5 million Americans. Two major barriers to treating and eventually preventing AD are: 1) the lack of understanding about the process of neuron degeneration and loss and 2) the lack of a sensitive and specific biomarker of the disease. Preliminary and future studies described in this application show that a novel protein-protein complex present in serum can be quantified using an enzyme linked immunoassay (ELISA). This protein-protein complex is a sensitive and specific biomarker of AD including early stages of AD when therapeutic interventions are most likely to have beneficial effects.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.99K | Year: 2010

The leakage of electromagnetic (EM) energy into air vehicles, and particularly into ordnance, poses a hazard that requires careful evaluation. Under current guidelines, such evaluations are primarily to be carried out through extensive testing of items under possible field conditions, a process that can be both time-consuming and costly. The scope of this STTR Phase I activity is to implement a high order accurate full wave time-domain, broad band electromagnetics solver to predict the electromagnetic field environment for integration and certification of armament and munitions for aircraft with complex weapons delivery platforms. This modeling and simulation capability will provide the needed critical support and cost savings to the US Air Force, 46th Test Wing, 780th Test Squadron, Eglin AFB, in performing various test and evaluation (T&E) studies for assessment of aircraft/store EM compatibility. HyPerComp plans to collaborate with Professor Stephen Gedney of the University of Kentucky in this effort. BENEFIT: In addition to serving the vital interests of the Air Force, the development of an electromagnetic solver for electrically large problems will be well suited for a number of commercial applications involving EM simulations. Some of these include patient-specific hyperthermia radiation treatment for cancer, study of long term radiation effects from cellular phones, the sensitivity of cellular phones to various positions in a metropolitan area, hazards from high power lines near residential areas, meeting the EMC specifications of high power microwave circuits, and modeling of waveguide problems. The advancements to be made in quick-turnaround parallel processing using PC-based computing will significantly leverage any commercialization efforts.


News Article | December 16, 2016
Site: www.PR.com

Turf Nation Will No Longer Manufacture Turf for UBU Sports Brand Turf Nation has ceased manufacturing synthetic turf for the UBU Sports brands. Dalton, GA, December 16, 2016 --( The Turf Nation synthetic turf is manufactured using a highest grade C8 Polyethylene fiber that remains available thru Turf Nation. Over several years, this specially formulated fiber has proven its superior performance for durability & wear ability. Turf Nation’s C8 fiber is in hundreds of synthetic turf fields throughout United States, Canada, Mexico & Puerto Rico. Turf Nation has supplied synthetic turf, over the past eight years, that has been installed in many high-profile facilities including: US Bank Stadium (Vikings) NRG Stadium (Texans) MetLife Stadium (New York Giants & New York Jets) Paul Brown Stadium (Bengals) Mercedes Benz Super Dome (Saints) NFL Hall of Fame (Tom Benson Stadium) NFL Pro Bowl (Aloha Stadium) Ball Parks of America University of Wisconsin-Oshgosh (Titan Stadium) Nike World Headquarters (Bo Jackson Field) University of Cincinnati (Nippert Stadium) University of Oregon (Pape Field) University of Kentucky (Commonwealth Stadium) University of Houston (TDECU Stadium) Southern University (Ace W Mumford Stadium) New Mexico State University (Aggie Memorial Stadium) Tulane University (Yulman Stadium) St Cloud State (Husky Stadium) Saint Olaf College (Manitou Field) University of Hawaii (Aloha Stadium) Northwestern College (Reynolds Field) 11 NFL practice facilities 3 NFL spring training camp venues Countless prestigious collegiate and high school facilities Dalton, GA, December 16, 2016 --( PR.com )-- The high quality synthetic turf manufactured by Turf Nation is being used by 14 National Football teams including the NRG Stadium (home of the Houston Texans and the site of the upcoming 2017 NFL-Super Bowl LI) & the U.S. Bank Stadium (home of the Minnesota Vikings & venue of the 2018 Super Bowl LII). The previous NFL Super Bowl in 2013 (New Orleans-Superdome) and 2014 (New York-MetLife Stadium) have been played on turf manufactured by Turf Nation Inc. www.turfnation.com The Turf Nation synthetic turf is manufactured using a highest grade C8 Polyethylene fiber that remains available thru Turf Nation. Over several years, this specially formulated fiber has proven its superior performance for durability & wear ability. Turf Nation’s C8 fiber is in hundreds of synthetic turf fields throughout United States, Canada, Mexico & Puerto Rico.Turf Nation has supplied synthetic turf, over the past eight years, that has been installed in many high-profile facilities including:US Bank Stadium (Vikings)NRG Stadium (Texans)MetLife Stadium (New York Giants & New York Jets)Paul Brown Stadium (Bengals)Mercedes Benz Super Dome (Saints)NFL Hall of Fame (Tom Benson Stadium)NFL Pro Bowl (Aloha Stadium)Ball Parks of AmericaUniversity of Wisconsin-Oshgosh (Titan Stadium)Nike World Headquarters (Bo Jackson Field)University of Cincinnati (Nippert Stadium)University of Oregon (Pape Field)University of Kentucky (Commonwealth Stadium)University of Houston (TDECU Stadium)Southern University (Ace W Mumford Stadium)New Mexico State University (Aggie Memorial Stadium)Tulane University (Yulman Stadium)St Cloud State (Husky Stadium)Saint Olaf College (Manitou Field)University of Hawaii (Aloha Stadium)Northwestern College (Reynolds Field)11 NFL practice facilities3 NFL spring training camp venuesCountless prestigious collegiate and high school facilities Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Turf Nation


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

The call, from her department chair, was an opportunity for any scholars on her campus interested in doing research in response to the terrorist attacks. Soon after, she was instructed to put together a proposal, "because we're sending teams into the field as soon as it's safe." Today, the director of the UK Risk and Disaster Communication Center is helping transform the ways crises are communicated in real-time on social media—focusing on messaging about disasters, specifically, warnings and other public safety concerns on Twitter and other short messaging devices. She has studied and reported on the use of Twitter by officials following the Boston Marathon attacks, the 2012 Colorado wildfires and other events. For the past several years, Sutton and her research team have been collecting and analyzing millions of tweets. "In a warning, we know that people need information about the hazard itself and the population it's going to affect. And, really importantly, what people need to do to protect themselves at the time," said Sutton, who is also an assistant professor in the UK College of Communication and Information's Department of Communication. Sutton said a lot of the 140-character messages she studies include that information, but many emergency tweets include something that hinders the dissemination of the message—a link to a website. "Which, you would think, would be a great way to give additional information," she said. "But what we've found is that when a link is included, it decreases the likelihood that someone will pass it on." The researcher attributes that to today's sound bite society—"people's willingness to get an entire message in 140 characters"—and people's unwillingness to click on a link because of spam or slow website loading times on mobile devices. She has also found that including a visual is important for increasing retweets, but only if it includes actionable risk information. Another tip Sutton gives to public communicators and emergency managers: use the hashtag that has surfaced so that messages are "in one stream of information." "The message content makes a real difference, but the style in which it's delivered also makes a difference," she said. Before the 9/11 attacks, disaster scholars focused primarily on natural and technological hazards. Technological hazards include such things as nuclear events, like the Three Mile Island accident, train crashes, and train derailments with chemical spills—all having long-term impacts on communities. But after 9/11, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), which oversees responses to federal disaster declarations, was absorbed into the Department of Homeland Security. "And that really changed the nature and the shape of disaster response as well as disaster research," Sutton said. Now scholars study a wider range of event types. The practical implications of Sutton's research has allowed her to meet with practitioners—including those from the National Weather Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—to offer research-based guidance, helping them build strategies based upon evidence, not intuition. And by contributing to their success, she continues to help people directly impacted by disasters get the information they need in the most effective way. This video feature is part of a monthly series called "see discovery: The People Behind Our Research." The videos, produced by REVEAL, highlight the important work being conducted at the University of Kentucky by telling the stories of our researchers. The idea is to discover and share what motivates our faculty, staff and students to ask the questions that lead to discovery. Explore further: Natural disasters are affecting some of Australia's most disadvantaged communities


News Article | November 6, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

Exercise during pregnancy may be as effective in protecting the next generation from age-related health risks as efforts made during the offspring's own adulthood, new research suggests. Kevin Pearson, associate professor at the University of Kentucky Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, will present preliminary findings on the long-term effects of physical activity during pregnancy at the American Physiological Society's Integrative Biology of Exercise 7 meeting in Phoenix. Oxidative stress is damage to the body caused by an accumulation of unstable molecules called free radicals. The buildup of free radicals decreases resistance to stress and increases the risk of obesity and age-related and chronic disease. Reducing oxidative stress can help lessen the risks of conditions such as cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The research team examined markers of oxidative stress, inflammation and insulin sensitivity in mice that were born to mothers who were exercised while pregnant. The offspring of the exercised mice had better stress resistance and improved insulin sensitivity, even into adulthood, than those born to sedentary mothers. "To date, caloric restriction has been the most reproducible and promising intervention to improve these outcomes. An intense and expanding area of research is focused on discovering other short-term or easily achievable interventions that can have long-lasting beneficial effects," the researchers wrote. The results of the rodent studies also have implications for human health. "Our findings highlight pregnancy as a sensitive period when positive lifestyle interventions could have significant and long-lasting beneficial effects on offspring metabolism and disease risk," wrote the research team.


News Article | March 2, 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 Kentucky for 2017. Of the 20 four-year schools that were ranked, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, Eastern Kentucky University, Murray State University and Western Kentucky University came in as the top five institutions. The top 16 two-year schools were also included, with West Kentucky Community and Technical College, Maysville Community and Technical College, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Jefferson Community and Technical College and Somerset Community College named as the top five. “The schools on our list have been evaluated based on more than a dozen unique data points,” said Doug Jones, CEO and founder of AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org. “The results is a selection of the best online curriculum, program variety, student resources and graduation outcomes in Kentucky.” To earn a spot on the Best Online Schools list, colleges and universities in Kentucky 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 resources, 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: The Best Online Four-Year Schools in Kentucky for 2017 include the following: Asbury University Brescia University Campbellsville University Eastern Kentucky University Georgetown College Kentucky Christian University Kentucky State University Kentucky Wesleyan College Lindsey Wilson College Midway College Morehead State University Murray State University Northern Kentucky University The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Thomas More College Union College University of Kentucky University of Louisville University of the Cumberlands Western Kentucky University Kentucky’s Best Online Two-Year Schools for 2017 include the following: Ashland Community and Technical College Big Sandy Community and Technical College Bluegrass Community and Technical College Elizabethtown Community and Technical College Gateway Community and Technical College Hazard Community and Technical College Henderson Community College Hopkinsville Community College Jefferson Community and Technical College Madisonville Community College Maysville Community and Technical College Owensboro Community and Technical College Somerset Community College Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College West Kentucky Community and Technical College 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 16, 2016
Site: co.newswire.com

Today, Turf Nation announced that it has ceased manufacturing synthetic turf for the UBU Sports Brand. The high quality synthetic turf manufactured by Turf Nation is being used by 14 National Football teams including the NRG Stadium (home of the Houston Texans and the site of the upcoming 2017 NFL-Super Bowl LI) & the U.S. Bank Stadium (home of the Minnesota Vikings & venue of the 2018 Super Bowl LII). The previous NFL Super Bowl in 2013 (New Orleans-Superdome) and 2014 (New York-MetLife Stadium) have been played on turf manufactured by Turf Nation Inc. www.turfnation.com The Turf Nation synthetic turf is manufactured using a highest grade C8 Polyethylene fiber that remains available through Turf Nation. Over several years, this specially formulated fiber has proven its superior performance for durability & wear ability. Turf Nation’s C8 fiber is in hundreds of synthetic turf fields throughout United States, Canada, Mexico & Puerto Rico. Turf Nation has supplied synthetic turf, over the past eight years, that has been installed in many high-profile facilities including: US Bank Stadium (Vikings) NRG Stadium (Texans) MetLife Stadium (New York Giants & New York Jets) Paul Brown Stadium (Bengals) Mercedes Benz Super Dome (Saints) NFL Hall of Fame (Tom Benson Stadium) NFL Pro Bowl (Aloha Stadium) Ball Parks of America University of Wisconsin-Oshgosh (Titan Stadium) Nike World Headquarters (Bo Jackson Field) University of Cincinnati (Nippert Stadium) University of Oregon (Pape Field) University of Kentucky (Commonwealth Stadium) University of Houston (TDECU Stadium) Southern University (Ace W Mumford Stadium) New Mexico State University (Aggie Memorial Stadium) Tulane University (Yulman Stadium) St Cloud State (Husky Stadium) Saint Olaf College (Manitou Field) University of Hawaii (Aloha Stadium) Northwestern College (Reynolds Field) 11 NFL practice facilities 3 NFL spring training camp venues Countless prestigious collegiate and high school facilities​


However, people can control what they eat, and healthful dietary choices might help the body put up a natural defense system against the adverse effects of environmental toxicants. Investigators at the University of Kentucky Superfund Research Center (UK-SRC) were the first to obtain evidence that healthy nutrients and biological components rich in plant-derived diets, as well as increased physical activity, can counteract the negative effects of environmental pollutants. Such pollutants, which include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), remain in the environment for a long time and can accumulate in the body. The study, led by nutritional biochemist and UK-SRC director Bernhard Hennig, was featured this month as a National Institute of Environmental Health Science/National Institutes of Health "Story of Success." These online articles highlight NIEHS/NIH-funded scientists working in a variety of disciplines and performing groundbreaking research into how the environment influences the development and progression of disease. PCBs, which were banned from industrial uses decades ago for hazardous effects, continue to exist in soil, water, air and sediments, especially in areas designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as Superfund sites. Researchers in the UK-SRC investigate persistent organic pollutants common at Superfund sites in Kentucky with the objective of detecting and reducing such toxic chemicals from the environment. Biomedical researchers in the UK-SRC are interested in discovering whether nutrition, or the type of food we eat, can modulate the adverse effects of environmental pollutant exposure at the molecular level, utilizing mostly cell culture and animal models. Major findings suggest that consuming healthful diets rich in nutrients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, such as green tea-derived polyphenols, can reduce the disease risk caused by exposure to PCBs. The results of a recent animal-model study, which was selected as a Research Brief for the National Institutes of Environmental Health's website, show an interaction between dioxin-like PCBs and a biomarker for cardiovascular disease. Exposure to a dioxin-like PCB was associated with increased production of a biomarker for cardiovascular disease called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), which is produced when the body metabolizes animal-derived foods including dairy and meat. Several studies have shown an association between TMAO and a high risk for cardiovascular disease in animals and in humans. The UK study was the first to suggest that exposure to dioxin-like PCBs can increase the circulating level of TMAO in the body, and the researchers proposed that PCBs contribute to individual variability of a common biomarker for cardiovascular disease. The researchers observed an association of higher levels of PCB in the blood with the metabolic process that produces TMAO. The researchers believe this mechanism reveals a link between exposure to PCBs, diet and cardiovascular disease risk. Hennig said their research generated optimistic findings with evidence that people can potentially moderate the adverse effects of ubiquitous pollutants through dietary choices. Hennig said the research within the UK-SRC gives insight into how stressful chemical elements interact in the body and create a ripple effect in human cells that leads to dysfunction and disease. Understanding the interplay of diet and chemical toxicity in the development of many diseases will allow health providers to recommend healthful nutrition to fight disease risks associated with exposure to environmental pollutants and related chemical toxicants. "The idea is that healthful nutrition, and even physical activity or exercise, is helpful and it actually makes you less vulnerable to disease potential that is a result of exposure to these pollutants," Hennig said. Hennig, with fellow UK-SRC scientists Andrew Morris and Michael Petriello, will continue work with researchers at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to explore mechanisms of diet-derived biomarkers like TMAO and leverage this knowledge for human health. They will test blood samples of individuals exposed to high levels of PCB living in Alabama to verify their findings in animals which suggest associations between PCB exposure, high circulating levels of TMAO and an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. Hennig is hopeful that their continued research will show that healthy dietary choices, such as diets rich in fruits and vegetables, can reduce the negative impacts of chemical stressors that can contribute to heart disease, atherosclerosis and stroke. "There is a lot of opportunity throughout life for this disease to be modified," Hennig said. "Individual food components can modulate environmental stressors, and nutritional interventions may provide the most sensible means to develop primary prevention strategies of diseases associated with many environmental toxic insults." More information: Michael C. Petriello et al. Dioxin-like pollutants increase hepatic flavin containing monooxygenase (FMO3) expression to promote synthesis of the pro-atherogenic nutrient biomarker trimethylamine N-oxide from dietary precursors, The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2016.03.016


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

Oct. 26, 2016 -- As U.S. coal production declines due to the rise of natural gas and alternative energies, the question remains: What will happen to those communities of coal workers? The answer may lie in a derivative of coal called "pitch," which can be used to produce a carbon-fiber material utilized in items from skis to automobile and aircraft parts. Engineers from the University of Utah are launching a $1.6 million project to research cost-effective, carbon-friendly methods of turning coal-derived pitch into carbon-fiber composite material, as well as analyze its market potential and whether it can help revitalize coal communities threatened by a decline in production. At a press conference Wednesday at the University of Utah's Industrial Combustion and Gasification Research Facility in downtown Salt Lake City, Jay Williams, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, announced the project would receive a $790,000 EDA POWER grant. It is one of a new slate of POWER grants announced by Williams that will finance projects to help struggling coal communities around the country. Matching funds for the Utah project also will come from industry-related agencies and companies. "There's an abundance of coal and we would like to find an alternative use for it. It is a huge natural resource in the U.S., and we have a whole coal-mining community that is desperate for a new direction," said University of Utah chemical engineering professor Eric Eddings, who leads the research team. "If we can find an economical way to use coal to produce carbon fibers and have enough useful products so there can be a market for it, then they have that new direction. And it's more carbon-friendly than just burning coal in a power plant." Typically, when coal is heated it produces hydrocarbon materials that are burned as fuel in the presence of oxygen. But if it is heated in the absence of oxygen--as in the cooking process smelters use to produce iron--those hydrocarbons can be captured, modified and turned into an asphalt-like material known as pitch. The pitch can then be spun into carbon fibers used to produce a composite material that is strong and light. Most carbon-fiber composite material is made from a derivative of petroleum known as polyacrylonitrile, but that process is expensive. While burning coal for power generation produces carbon dioxide (CO2) that is released into the atmosphere, processing coal for carbon fiber produces "substantially" less CO2, Eddings says. "We're taking the carbon and turning it into carbon fiber, so that's effectively isolating it from going into the environment," he says. With the new Utah grant, Eddings and his team will analyze the makeup of Utah coal--which has its own unique properties from coal in other regions--to determine how well it can be used for pitch-based carbon-fiber material. Researchers will produce different variants of pitch and then deliver them to Matthew Weisenberger and his team at the University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research, who are subcontractors in the project and experts at spinning pitch into carbon fibers. Engineers will research the best ways of producing pitch with as little CO2 as possible. The research team is also working with the Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI), a consortium of materials companies, research institutions and state agencies, to examine the market potential for producing this composite material from Utah coal, and if other coal communities can benefit from this technology. "I'm confident the research team can take Utah coal and produce carbon fiber," Greg Jones, founding director of UAMMI says. "The question is can Utah coal have some innate benefit that lends itself to carbon fiber that is somehow better than other coals? Can we find a way to produce carbon fibers more economically so it can be competitive and the market can grow?" The Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) initiative is an EDA program that puts federal economic and workforce development resources into communities and regions negatively impacted by changes in the coal economy. This newest round of grants announced Wednesday by Williams totals $8.4 million and funds 15 research projects across America. (See accompanying media release). The EDA is a bureau in the U.S. Department of Commerce. "I commend the University of Utah for its forward-thinking approach and determination to create and retain jobs in Utah's coal affected counties and on earning the state's first POWER grant award," said Assistant Secretary Williams. In Utah, six coal operators produced 17.9 million tons of coal valued at $600 million from one surface and seven underground mines in 2014, according to the latest statistics from the Utah Geological Survey. Today, there are six active Utah mines--not counting sites that produce coal from old waste piles--operating in Carbon, Emery, Sevier and Kane counties, according to the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining. If researchers prove successful in their work turning Utah coal into carbon fiber, the result could have a tremendous impact on the state's declining coal production as well as feed new material into the local hub of advanced materials manufacturers. Utah is a hotspot for advanced materials manufacturing, with more than 30 companies that manufacture or use carbon-fiber composites in their products, including for aerospace and defense applications, outdoor recreational equipment such as skis and bicycle rims, and lower-limb prosthetics. The advanced materials manufacturing industry in Utah employs more than 12,000 workers, according to the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. Part of the Utah team's research will be to determine if these same products can use carbon fiber composites made from coal-derived pitch. This news release and photos may be downloaded from: http://unews.


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

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--California and Hawaii American Water have named Richard Svindland their new president, effective March 1, 2017. Svindland replaces Robert MacLean, who has served as president of California American Water since 2009. MacLean will now become senior vice president of American Water’s Eastern Division, which is comprised of New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Maryland. MacLean also will serve as president of New Jersey American Water. “We are so pleased to promote both Rob and Rich. It is well-deserved,” said Walter Lynch, chief operating officer at American Water. “I know Rich will take over where Rob left off, ensuring our customers in California and Hawaii receive the best service possible, while continuing to focus on the successful completion of the Monterey Peninsula water supply project. His deep utility experience makes him well-suited for this new role.” Svindland has more than 25 years of experience in the water and wastewater fields, most recently serving as California American Water’s vice president of operations. Prior to that role, he led Engineering at California American Water, where he managed all of the company's capital projects to ensure timely and cost-efficient delivery. He also developed capital planning strategies and provided an operational review of existing infrastructure to ensure California American Water’s systems met both the current and future water needs. Prior to his roles in California, Svindland worked extensively in American Water's southeast region on various projects and was named 2003 Civil Engineer of the Year in Industry by the Kentucky section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a master's degree in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky. California American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), provides high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to more than 660,000 people. Hawaii American Water provides quality wastewater services to approximately 28,000 people. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.


Cheng-Lun Soo, MD Recognized as a Top 100 Doctor for Two Consecutive Years by Strathmore's Who's Who Worldwide Publication Oklahoma City, OK, March 02, 2017 --( About Cheng-Lun Soo, MD Dr. Soo is the Owner and a Physician for 16 years at Orthopedic Reconstruction Center which is a medical center providing orthopedic patient care in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He specializes in orthopedic spinal surgery. He is fluent in English and Chinese. Dr. Soo is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Deaconess Hospital and Integris Southwest Medical Center. Dr. Soo is a member of the A.A.O.S., the N.A.S.S and the Oklahoma Orthopedic Society. Born in Taipei, Taiwan on October 20, 1958, Dr. Soo obtained a M.D. from the University of Kentucky, School of Medicine in 1993 and completed his orthopedic residency and surgery internship at Baylor College of Medicine. He conducted his spine fellowship in a combined program at the University of Louisville and Tulane University. Dr. Soo is Board Certified in Orthopedic Surgery-spine. For further information, contact www.orc-ok.com. About Strathmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide Strathmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide is an international advertising, networking and publishing company based in Farmingdale, New York. They are proud to be able to satisfy their clients and continue to have repeat clientele due to their longevity and pride in their products and services. The Owners strive to connect business professionals to enhance their contact base and networking capabilities so they can get the acknowledgment and publicity within their industries and beyond. The Strathmore family has been providing these valuable services for over two decades. They target executives and professionals in all industries to be featured in their publication and on-line directory. Industries include business, law, education, healthcare and medicine, fine arts, IT, government, science, real estate, entertainment and many more accomplished fields. Professional profiles are listed in an annual hardcover journal and in a detailed, searchable database on the website www.strww.com. Oklahoma City, OK, March 02, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Cheng-Lun Soo, MD of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma has been recognized as a Top 100 Doctor for two consecutive years, 2016 and 2017, by Strathmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide Edition for his outstanding achievements and contributions for over 23 years in the field of orthopedic healthcare.About Cheng-Lun Soo, MDDr. Soo is the Owner and a Physician for 16 years at Orthopedic Reconstruction Center which is a medical center providing orthopedic patient care in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He specializes in orthopedic spinal surgery. He is fluent in English and Chinese.Dr. Soo is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Deaconess Hospital and Integris Southwest Medical Center. Dr. Soo is a member of the A.A.O.S., the N.A.S.S and the Oklahoma Orthopedic Society.Born in Taipei, Taiwan on October 20, 1958, Dr. Soo obtained a M.D. from the University of Kentucky, School of Medicine in 1993 and completed his orthopedic residency and surgery internship at Baylor College of Medicine. He conducted his spine fellowship in a combined program at the University of Louisville and Tulane University. Dr. Soo is Board Certified in Orthopedic Surgery-spine.For further information, contact www.orc-ok.com.About Strathmore’s Who’s Who WorldwideStrathmore’s Who’s Who Worldwide is an international advertising, networking and publishing company based in Farmingdale, New York. They are proud to be able to satisfy their clients and continue to have repeat clientele due to their longevity and pride in their products and services. The Owners strive to connect business professionals to enhance their contact base and networking capabilities so they can get the acknowledgment and publicity within their industries and beyond. The Strathmore family has been providing these valuable services for over two decades. They target executives and professionals in all industries to be featured in their publication and on-line directory. Industries include business, law, education, healthcare and medicine, fine arts, IT, government, science, real estate, entertainment and many more accomplished fields. Professional profiles are listed in an annual hardcover journal and in a detailed, searchable database on the website www.strww.com. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Strathmore Worldwide


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

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Healthcare Asset Network, a provider-to-provider platform for buying and selling surplus medical supplies and surgical equipment, announced today that it has closed a $3 million round of financing. The company will use the growth capital to expand its technology and sales teams and to accelerate its relationships with enterprise customers. The round included notable healthcare and technology founders such as Vencor/Kindred Healthcare founder Bruce Lunsford, Genscape founder Sterling Lapinski, and iPay founder Mike Bowers. Prior investors who also participated in the round include Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation and Tamarind Hill. Healthcare Asset Network worked closely with Louisville-based Venture First to identify and secure the investors for this round of funding. Healthcare Asset Network offers software that is professionalizing the healthcare secondary market and consolidating a disorganized, time-consuming customer experience into a single solution for buying and selling high-quality excess supplies and equipment. Its advanced, cloud-based technology simplifies critical buying and selling activities, significantly saving both time and money. Healthcare Asset Network has recently developed proprietary technology tailored specifically to large healthcare systems, with a particular focus on sustainability efforts. Current customers include healthcare systems (both large and small), ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient clinics, equipment refurbishing companies, distributors and humanitarian groups. According to Healthcare Asset Network Founder and CEO Kyle Green, “Healthcare Asset Network fills a unique void in the multi-billion dollar healthcare secondary market, which today lacks transparency, credibility and efficiency, and remains highly fragmented. Our unique matching technology provides a one-stop shop to buy and sell high-quality products which have been vetted and curated for our customers, making it not just the easiest but the most trusted solution available.” The company was established in 2013 by Green, who has extensive healthcare experience. He began his career as an Administrative Resident at University of Kentucky Healthcare and an Administrative Fellow at Johns Hopkins Medicine and later worked for Johns Hopkins International to open the first international standards hospital in Shanghai, China. He also served as VP of Operations at Kosair Children’s Hospital, then the Pediatric Service Line, at Norton Healthcare and was SVP of Clinical Operations, then Chief Strategy Officer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. For more information, please visit www.healthcareassetnetwork.com.


News Article | February 8, 2017
Site: www.medicalnewstoday.com

Chemists scouring Appalachia for exotic microorganisms that could yield blockbuster drugs have reported a unique find from the smoldering remains of a coal mine fire that's burned for nearly a decade in southeastern Kentucky. In new findings this week in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, a research team from Rice University, the University of Kentucky and the University of Oklahoma made new - and in some cases more effective - versions of the antibiotic daptomycin using an enzyme from a soil bacterium found in smoke vents of the Ruth Mullins coal fire. "We don't know the mechanism for why it makes daptomycin work better," said Rice structural biologist George Phillips, whose team determined the three-dimensional structure of the enzyme. "It may be that it just gets into membranes better because the enzyme's specialty is adding a prenyl group, an organic molecule that typically comes into play when a molecule docks with the outer membrane of a cell. The target for the drug is associated with the membrane, so this might be the mechanism for the improvement." The study's authors said the prenylating enzyme, which is called PriB, could prove useful to drug companies. Study co-author Jon Thorson, director of the University of Kentucky's Center for Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation (CPRI), said, "A major focus of CPRI is the discovery of novel microbial natural products and corresponding biocatalysts that have synthetic applications. The PriB discovery represents an example of the latter and, unlike most permissive prenyltransferases that can modify simple molecules, PriB is one of the first capable of modifying highly complex drugs like daptomycin." Thorson's center specializes in "bioprospecting," the search for new organisms like the one that yielded the prenylating enzyme, as well as the follow-up laboratory studies on the organisms to uncover and exploit new biosynthetic pathways, enzyme mechanisms, ligation chemistries and other biochemistry that could be useful for making drugs. Since the center's founding five years ago, Thorson and colleagues have isolated more than 750 microbial strains, including some that live miles below ground in coal mines. In addition, the team has isolated more than 250 corresponding microbial metabolites, more than half of which have never been previously documented. The organism that yielded PriB is Streptomyces species "RM-5-8," where RM reflects the strain's point of origin -- the Ruth Mullins coal fire, which has burned in eastern Kentucky for almost a decade. "Biological activities of prenylated compounds encompass virtually all fields of pharmacological sciences, hence prenylation of drugs is a novel way of creating new drug leads," said study co-author Shanteri Singh, an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma whose research focuses on understanding and exploiting prenylating enzymes. "In addition, developing an enzymatic prenylation platform is an interesting alternative, especially for molecules such as daptomycin, which is chemically challenging to modify." Phillips, Rice's Ralph and Dorothy Looney Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and professor of chemistry, has collaborated closely with both Thorson and Singh for more than a decade. Phillips' team specializes in using X-ray crystallography to determine the precise structure of proteins like PriB. "In the organism, the enzyme both makes prenyl groups and attaches them to the standard amino acid tryptophan," Phillips said. "This is part of a much larger metabolic pathway, but the (University of Kentucky) team isolated the gene that produces the enzyme, and they used that to create a form of E. coli that produced the enzyme in bulk." Phillips' team crystallized the protein and determined its shape. Phillips said the enzyme has a pocket where it binds with tryptophan and attaches the prenyl group. Studies at the University of Kentucky found the enzyme readily prenylates more than a dozen other compounds and can also use "nonnative" prenyl donors that notably expand its synthetic utility. Phillips said his group is already looking for ways to modify PriB's pocket to make it even more useful in biosynthesis. "This prenylation reaction could be broadly useful in producing drugs and other chemicals through biotechnology," Phillips said. "Because the enzyme is permissive, it is possible to think of using it to produce all sorts of drugs, including antibiotics and anti-cancer therapies." Further information can be viewed at https://youtu.be/VglEEjMviVA


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

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 13, 2016 -- Inherited differences in taste perceptions may help explain why some people eat more salt than recommended, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2016. "Genetic factors that influence taste aren't necessarily obvious to people, but they can impact heart health by influencing the foods they select," said lead author Jennifer Smith, B.S.N., R.N., a Ph.D. student at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. Previous research, according to the authors, showed that people who have one of the two most common variants of a gene (TAS2R38) that enhances bitter taste perception are likely to avoid heart-healthy foods with bitter properties, such as broccoli and dark leafy greens. In the current study, researchers sought to determine whether that bitter-enhancing genetic variations would also influence other food choices. Researchers analyzed the diet habits of 407 people (average age 51, 73 percent female) who have two or more heart disease risk factors and were participating in a cardiovascular risk-reduction study in rural Kentucky. Comparing those with one or two of the TAS2R38 gene variants that enhances bitter taste perception to those without this variant, researchers found that people who taste bitterness more strongly were nearly twice (1.9 times) as likely to eat more than the minimum recommended daily limit of sodium. Currently, the American Heart Association recommends a minimum reduction of sodium to no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day. Too much sodium, found mostly in dietary salt from processed, prepacked, and restaurant foods, is a risk factor for developing high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. The study participants with the bitter-enhancing gene variants were no more likely to consume more than the recommended daily amounts of sugar saturated fats or alcohol, all of which can have a negative impact on heart health. "There is some research suggesting that individuals who taste bitter more intensely may also taste salt more intensely and enjoy it more, leading to increased sodium intake. Another theory is that they use salt to mask the bitter taste of foods and thus consume more sodium," Smith said. Information about genetic influences on taste perception may some day help people select heart-healthy foods they can enjoy rather than trying to fight against their inborn preferences. "By identifying which gene variant a person has, we may be able to help them make better food choices through education that is personally tailored to them," Smith said. In the analysis, the investigators controlled for other factors that might affect taste and dietary intake, such as age, weight, smoking status, and the use of blood pressure medications known to alter taste perception. The authors noted that although the study participants were mostly white, the results are likely to be similar in other ethnic groups because more than 90 percent of the U.S. population has one of the two gene variants they studied. The researchers plan to extend their work to include an ethnically diverse group. Author disclosures are on the abstract. This study is funded by the University of Kentucky Center for the Biologic Basis of Oral/Systemic Diseases, the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence, the National Center for Research Resources, and the National Institutes of Health Resources and Services Administration. Note: Scientific presentation is 2 p.m. CT/ 3 p.m. ET, Sunday, Nov. 13, in the Science and Technology Hall, Special Focus Section. Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at http://www. .


CHICAGO, April 6, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, has been in place for years but there are still so many questions, particularly as to its future. The 13th Annual Employee Benefits Symposium at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago will tackle these issues on April 8. Experts from across the country will discuss various topics regarding the ACA at the day-long symposium hosted by John Marshall's Center for Tax Law & Employee Benefits. "The Center for Tax Law & Employee Benefits remains cutting edge in our deliverance of timely employee benefit issues," said Professor Kathryn Kennedy, director of the Center. "For this symposium, we tackle the issues surrounding the future of the Affordable Care Act and consider the advantages and disadvantages of relevant tax policies and the use of wellness accounts." The event will feature speakers from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, University of New Mexico School of Law, University of Kentucky College of Law and Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Topics covered during the program include: Can the ACA's Independent Review of ERISA Health Claims Co-Exist with the Abuse of Discretion Standard?; Inviting Everyone to the (Risk) Pool Party: A Proposal to Allow Reasonable Reliance on an Exchange's Estimated Premium Tax Credit; The Future of the Affordable Care Act's "Cadillac Tax"; and Fostering Patient Engagement in Employer Health Benefit Plans Through a Wellness Account. Many of the papers presented at the symposium will appear in the 2016 New York University Review of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation. To register for this event please visit http://events.jmls.edu/registration/node/804   About the Employee Benefits Symposium The Center for Tax Law & Employee Benefits proudly hosts the Annual Employee Benefits Symposium each spring, offering academics and leading practitioners the opportunity to present their works-in-progress on current employee benefits issues and receive feedback before publication. Past topics have included "The Changing Landscape of Executive Compensation Regulation and Reporting," "The Future of Employer-Provided Health Benefits," and "Legal Issues Regarding Public-Sector Employee Benefits Plans." About The John Marshall Law School The John Marshall Law School, founded in 1899, is an independent law school located in the heart of Chicago's legal, financial and commercial districts. The 2017 U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools ranks John Marshall's Lawyering Skills Program 5th, its Trial Advocacy Program 19th and its Intellectual Property Law Program 21st in the nation. Since its inception, John Marshall has been a pioneer in legal education and has been guided by a tradition of diversity, innovation, access and opportunity.


News Article | March 15, 2016
Site: phys.org

Funded in part by a U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory grant, Virginia Tech engineers will test HHS technology, a patented process that takes advantage of properties of water-friendly and water-repellent materials to extract rare earth elements from coal waste, according to Roe-Hoan Yoon, a University Distinguished Professor and the Nicholas T. Camicia Professor of Mining and Materials Engineering. The effort is led by principal investigator Rick Honaker, a professor and chair of the University of Kentucky's Department of Engineering, who received his undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees at Virginia Tech. Researchers from West Virginia University and representatives from five corporate partners are also part of the team. The pilot effort is important because rare earth materials, used to create powerful permanent magnets in products as common as computer hard drives to electric motors, are in increasingly short supply, particularly heavy rare earth elements, researchers said. The best known source of the heavy rare earths is the clay from the Jiangxi Province, South China. But those resources are expected to be exhausted within 20 years, while recent studies showed that coal may be an excellent source of higher value heavy rare earth elements. "The majority of rare earths is produced in China as byproducts," said Yoon, who is the director of the Center for Advanced Separation Technologies at Virginia Tech. "With the recent closure of the rare earth mine in California, the U.S. relies more heavily on imports. It will be good for the country if we can develop an advanced separation technology to extract the critical materials from coal as byproducts, particularly the high-value rare earths essential for advanced manufacturing industries." The issue of domestic production affects matters concerning development of renewable energy resources and national security, the researchers said. "Domestic supply of rare earth materials is critical for the U.S. manufacturing industry," said U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, who represents Virginia's 9th district in the U.S. House of Representatives. "As the nation moves toward electric-drive vehicles, wind farming, and other sustainable energy measures, it is important to develop a reliable source of essential materials. In addition, we will develop new, cleaner applications for coal and coal byproducts to revitalize the mining industry." The U.S. has 10.9 million tons of rare earth resources in coal deposits located in just five western and four eastern states, including Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia, according to the U.S. Geological Survey Coal Quality Database. Gerald Luttrell, the E. Morgan Massey Professor of Mining and Materials Engineering, will work with Yoon to execute Virginia Tech's part in the project, which involves a patented process called hydrophobic-hydrophilic separation (HHS). In addition to the academic partners, the team will also work with Arch Coal, Blackhawk Mining, Bowie Refining, Eriez Manufacturing and Minerals Refining Company. If the currently funded Phase I project is successful, researchers will seek $6 million in Phase II funding that will involve construction and testing of a mobile facility to be tested at different coal cleaning facilities in the central Appalachian coal field. Explore further: Commercial-scale test of new technology to recover coal from sludge successful


News Article | November 29, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

An international group of plant biologists have succeeded for the first time in visualizing how egg cells in plants divides unequally (asymmetric cell division) after being fertilized. The direction of this asymmetric cell division determines the body axis of flowering plants, i.e. the top part producing leaves and flowers, and the bottom part developing into roots. This mechanistic discovery on asymmetric cell division in plants provides insight into finding out how flowering plants have evolved to form their body shape. Nagoya, Japan - A group of plant biologists at the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University, the University of Tokyo, the Gregor Mendel Institute, and the University of Kentucky, have reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, on their discovery on how the plant's egg cells initially lose their skeletal pattern upon fertilization and are reorganized by two major cytoskeleton components in the cell, microtubules (MTs) and actin filaments (F-actin). Through live cell imaging, the group was able to visualize how fertilized egg cells in plants undergo asymmetric cell division, which is responsible for determining the plant's body axis. Flowering plants form various organs, such as the flower, leaves, root and stem, which develops along its body axis. As many plants take up a cylinder-like shape, the most important axis becomes the apical-basal (shoot-root) axis, i.e. the apical (top part) develops into shoots, containing flowers, stems and leaves, and the basal (bottom part) grows into roots. The fertilized egg cell (zygote), which is the origin for plants, establishes the plant's body axis from its first cell division. Before cell division occurs, the contents within the zygote become unevenly distributed (polarized). This results in an unequal (asymmetric) cell division, generating a relatively small cell on top and a large cell at the bottom. "Although polarization and asymmetric cell division of zygotes to form the body axis is a common phenomena found in algae, mosses, and flowering plants, the origin of cell polarity and how asymmetric cell division occurs have remained a mystery up to now," says Dr. Minako Ueda, a lecturer at ITbM, Nagoya University and a leader of this research. "The reason why this has been difficult was because there was not an efficient method to visualize the dynamics of cell division using the living zygote hiding deep inside the plants," she continues. In 2015, Dr. Daisuke Kurihara's research group at Nagoya University reported a technique to visualize the growth of living embryos in a model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis). Ueda, Kurihara and their colleagues improved the resolution of this imaging technique to be able to observe the internal structure of the cell. "The most difficult part of this research was to be able to identify the suitable markers to visualize the contents of the plant cell," explains Ueda. "With the help of Dr. Tomokazu Kawashima at the University of Kentucky and Professor Frederic Berger at the Mendel Institute, we tried different combinations of colored markers based on green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) to create a contrast between the different components within the cell. Yusuke Kimata, a graduate student in our group, conducted experiments to observe what was actually happening to the egg cell after fertilization." The group succeeded in visualizing for the first time, how the cytoskeleton of plant egg cells is disassembled after fertilization and then reorganized to create a polarity in the cell that eventually leads to asymmetric cell division. Plant cells contain two major cytoskeletons, i.e. microtubules (MTs) and actin filaments (F-actin), which help cells to maintain their shape, provide mechanistic support and enable the cells to divide and move. Ueda and Kimata used fluorescent markers of MTs and F-actin to see how they change before and after fertilization, and how the two fibers play a role in the polarization and asymmetric division of the zygote. "From our live cell imaging experiments, we observed that MTs that were initially aligned along the top-bottom axis of the unfertilized egg cell, disintegrates upon fertilization, leading to shrinkage of the cell," describes Ueda. "After nearly 3 hours, a ring structure appeared at the top part of the zygote, from where a bulge appeared to elongate the cell. This ring structure was retained while the cell elongated. Finally, the MTs gathered around the nucleus after about 18 hours and distributed the chromosomes, eventually leading to cell division after about 22 hours," she continues. "We were really excited when we saw this movie, where the zygotes behave like a stretched Japanese rice cake, as this event was nothing like we have seen before." The group then studied the dynamics of F-actin by live imaging techniques. In a similar manner to MTs, the initial assembly of F-actin in an unfertilized egg cell was disrupted upon fertilization. "What was different for F-actin, was that they align along the top-bottom axis after fertilization, and gather in a cap structure at the tip of the cell," describes Ueda. "We were able to observe that the initial assembly of both MTs and F-actin are disrupted upon fertilization of the egg cell, and the growing zygote gradually aligns these fibers in a different pattern from those in the egg cell. This is the first time to visualize the real time event of asymmetric cell division, and we were able to see other events such as cell elongation of the zygote and migration of the nucleus." Not only did the group succeed in visualizing the real time events of zygote polarization and asymmetric cell division, they were able to quantify the dynamic patterns of the cytoskeleton (i.e. formation of the ring structure and longitudinal array of MTs and F-actin, respectively). Experts of image analysis, Dr. Takumi Higaki and Professor Seiichiro Hasezawa at the University of Tokyo, performed these detailed quantification experiments. The group hypothesized that MTs and F-actin play different roles in the zygote due to their different alignment in the cell. In order to investigate their specific roles, they used inhibitors of each protein to see their effect on zygote polarization and asymmetric cell division. "Through live imaging, we saw that inhibition of MTs hinders zygote elongation, resulting in formation of a round and swollen shape of the zygote head," describes Ueda. "On the other hand, when we inhibited F-actin, the nucleus was unable to move upwards and remained near the center of the zygote. As a result, cell division occurred at the position of the nucleus, leading to nearly symmetric cell division, where the generated cells were similar in size." The group's results show that MTs are responsible for elongation of the zygote along the top-bottom axis, whereas F-actin plays a role in moving the nucleus towards the top part of the zygote, to make it ready for asymmetric cell division. "We were able to show by live cell imaging that polarization of the cell occurs after fertilization of the egg cell, and both MTs and F-actin play a role in inducing asymmetric cell division to form the plant's body axis," says Ueda. "We hope to be able to find the exact origin of what causes polarization and the components that are being distributed in the cell by visualizing more components in the plant zygote. We envisage that this work will lead to discovering how flowering plants have evolved to form their current structure and shape." This article "Cytoskeleton dynamics control the first asymmetric cell division in Arabidopsis zygote" by Yusuke Kimata, Takumi Higaki, Tomokazu Kawashima, Daisuke Kurihara, Yoshikatsu Sato, Tomomi Yamada, Seiichiro Hasezawa, Frederic Berger, Tetsuya Higashiyama and Minako Ueda is published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1613979113 (http://dx. ) The Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) at Nagoya University in Japan is committed to advance the integration of synthetic chemistry, plant/animal biology and theoretical science, all of which are traditionally strong fields in the university. ITbM is one of the research centers of the Japanese MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) program, the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI). The aim of ITbM is to develop transformative bio-molecules, innovative functional molecules capable of bringing about fundamental change to biological science and technology. Research at ITbM is carried out in a "Mix-Lab" style, where international young researchers from various fields work together side-by-side in the same lab, enabling interdisciplinary interaction. Through these endeavors, ITbM will create "transformative bio-molecules" that will dramatically change the way of research in chemistry, biology and other related fields to solve urgent problems, such as environmental issues, food production and medical technology that have a significant impact on the society.


Graham M.,Applied Technology Internet | Zook M.,University of Kentucky | Boulton A.,University of Kentucky
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers | Year: 2013

With the increasing prevalence of both geographically referenced information and the code through which it is regulated, digital augmentations of place will become increasingly important in everyday, lived geographies. Through two detailed explorations of 'augmented realities', this paper provides a broad overview of not only the ways that those augmented realities matter, but also the complex and often duplicitous manner that code and content can congeal in our experiences of augmented places. Because the re-makings of our spatial experiences and interactions are increasingly influenced through the ways in which content and code are fixed, ordered, stabilised and contested, this paper places a focus on how power, as mediated through technological artefacts, code and content, helps to produce place. Specifically, it demonstrates there are four key ways in which power is manifested in augmented realities: two performed largely by social actors, distributed power and communication power; and two enacted primarily via software, code power and timeless power. The paper concludes by calling for redoubled attention to both the layerings of content and the duplicity and ephemerality of code in shaping the uneven and power-laden practices of representations and the experiences of place augmentations in urban places. © 2012 The Authors. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. © 2012 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).


Fallin A.,University of Kentucky | Glantz S.A.,University of California at San Francisco
Milbank Quarterly | Year: 2015

Policy Points: The tobacco companies prioritized blocking tobacco-control policies in tobacco-growing states and partnered with tobacco farmers to oppose tobacco-control policies. The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, which settled state litigation against the cigarette companies, the 2004 tobacco-quota buyout, and the companies' increasing use of foreign tobacco led to a rift between the companies and tobacco farmers. In 2003, the first comprehensive smoke-free local law was passed in a major tobacco-growing state, and there has been steady progress in the region since then. Health advocates should educate the public and policymakers on the changing reality in tobacco-growing states, notably the major reduction in the volume of tobacco produced. Context The 5 major tobacco-growing states (Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia) are disproportionately affected by the tobacco epidemic, with higher rates of smoking and smoking-induced disease. These states also have fewer smoke-free laws and lower tobacco taxes, 2 evidence-based policies that reduce tobacco use. Historically, the tobacco farmers and hospitality associations allied with the tobacco companies to oppose these policies. Methods This research is based on 5 detailed case studies of these states, which included key informant interviews, previously secret tobacco industry documents (available at http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu), and media articles. This was supplemented with additional tobacco document and media searches specifically for this article. Findings The tobacco companies were particularly concerned about blocking tobacco-control policies in the tobacco-growing states by promoting a pro-tobacco culture, beginning in the late 1960s. Nevertheless, since 2003, there has been rapid progress in the tobacco-growing states' passage of smoke-free laws. This progress came after the alliance between the tobacco companies and the tobacco farmers fractured and hospitality organizations stopped opposing smoke-free laws. In addition, infrastructure built by National Cancer Institute research projects (COMMIT and ASSIST) led to long-standing tobacco-control coalitions that capitalized on these changes. Although tobacco production has dramatically fallen in these states, pro-tobacco sentiment still hinders tobacco-control policies in the major tobacco-growing states. Conclusions The environment has changed in the tobacco-growing states, following a fracture of the alliance between the tobacco companies and their former allies (tobacco growers and hospitality organizations). To continue this progress, health advocates should educate the public and policymakers on the changing reality in the tobacco-growing states, notably the great reduction in the number of tobacco farmers as well as in the volume of tobacco produced. © 2015 Milbank Memorial Fund.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 374.45K | Year: 2013

Socio-cultural factors are increasingly being recognized as critical to effective military operations. Therefore, collection and analysis of socio-cultural data is required to provide Warfighters with a comprehensive understanding of their operational environment. Warfighters need tools that enable the capture, management, and rapid analysis of socio-cultural data from heterogeneous sources (e.g., specialized units, combat patrols). Under Phase I, we designed and demonstrated a toolkit architecture that integrates a data management server with collection and analysis tools (including an in-depth analysis tool for expert analysts and a mobile data collection tool for Warfighters). Based on our Phase I successes, we propose a Phase II effort to design and develop a full-scope Rapid Ethnographic Assessment and Data Management Toolkit (READ-IT). This effort includes: (1) expanding our cognitive task analysis to additional operational settings and data collection opportunities; (2) extending our in-depth analysis and mobile collection tools with additional ethnographic assessment techniques and visualization methods; (3) developing high-level analysis tools to help Warfighters rapidly explore ethnographic data; (4) refining the integrated toolkit architecture and data management server; and (5) demonstrating and evaluating the full-scope READ-IT toolkit to support ongoing interactions with our DoD transition partners as well as commercial and academic partners.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.92K | Year: 2011

Obtaining support from the local population is crucial for successful counterinsurgency (COIN) operations. US forces often fail to adequately understand the ethnographic characteristics of foreign populationswarfighters need access to ethnographic methods which help them to rapidly capture and interpret cultural, social, and economic data. A warfighter in high-risk areas needs easy-to-use tools that integrate the functions of collecting, managing, analyzing, and visualizing ethnographic data. To address this need, Charles River Analytics proposes to design and demonstrate the Rapid Ethnographic Assessment and Data management Integration Toolkit (READ-IT) using a four step process. First, we will leverage Cognitive System Engineering (CSE) techniques to identify the current workflows for warfighters and analysts. Second, we will identify the relevant data collection and analysis techniques in a popular ethnographic tool and augment them with the CSE results. Third, we will combine the analysis techniques with proven components and design a linked suite of tools for rich exploratory data visualization and analysis across geospatial, spatial, and temporal dimensions. Finally, we will design a flexible, plug-in-based system architecture that allows the independent evolution of system components (including handheld applications for warfighters and a workstation for analysts) by leveraging our established capability for developing service-oriented architectures.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 209.57K | Year: 2012

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long-term objective of this project is to provide a smoking-cessation intervention tool for health care providers in prenatal settings. Smoking during pregnancy is a significant public health issue. The prevalence of smoking in women of child-bearing age generally ranges between 17 and 35 percent worldwide, and is heavily influenced by maternal age, ethnicity, education, and socioeconomic level. Smoking while pregnant has been linked to several serious health effectsin infants, including impaired lung function, low birth-weight, and preterm birth. Clearly, interventions to prevent smoking during pregnancy have enormous public health importance, but existing interventions have achieved sub-optimal outcomes. This application proposes development of QuitAdvisorOB, an interactive, web-distributable, clinical decision support software application for computers or mobile devices. Based on proven patient-centered counseling techniques such as Motivational Interviewing, the 5A's (ask, advise, assess, assist, and arrange), and Stages of Change, QuitAdvisorOB will assist prenatal care givers in providing patient-tailored smoking cessation counseling, while facilitating provider adherence to evidence- based practice guidelines.During Phase I, we will develop content and mock-ups of the proposed tool, create a web-based functioning prototype, and subject it to formal usability testing in OB/GYN physicians and nurses, and a pilot study evaluating the prototype's effect on the patients' progression along the stages-of-change continuum. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This research effort will impact public health by developing a health-care provider tool that aids in smoking-cessation counseling in pregnant women. Reducing smokingin pregnant women has significant health benefits for infants and children.


Patent
Texas A&M University, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign and University of Kentucky | Date: 2014-02-28

The present invention provides methods of producing biological products or increasing production of such products through expression in a plant of a bacterial or plant glycolate catabolic cycle gene, such as glycolate dehydrogenease (GDH), glycolate oxidase (GO), or malate synthase (MS) in combination with a plant gene, such as farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FPS), squalene synthase (SQS), or PLAS. Also provided are plants, plants parts and compositions produced through methods of the present invention. The invention leads to two to five fold increase of end product yield.


News Article | November 30, 2016
Site: marketersmedia.com

LAKE FOREST, CA / ACCESSWIRE / November 30, 2016 / XFit Brands, Inc. (OTCQB: XFTB), a global supplier of Fitness, Sports Surface, and MMA equipment sold worldwide whose brands include Throwdown, Transformations, EnviroTurf and GlideBoxx, today announced that it has completed its first installation of an EnviroTurf Sports Surface, shortly after the acquisition in October of this year. The EnviroTurf brand, which is part of the newly formed Sports and Surfaces Division of XFit Brands, became part of the Company in late October and is working on a number of high potential projects totaling in excess of $20 million in revenue over the next 12 months. The Division completed its first installation at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi, within 30 days post acquisition. The Belhaven University Bowl is a $4 million dollar project in the heart of the campus which features an EnviroTurf sports training surface that was designed, developed and installed for the Belhaven University Blazer Football, as well as the men's and women's Soccer teams. This multi-use field is EnviroTurf's most advanced sports training installation. On the Belhaven surface installation, we emplaced a proprietary fibrillated turf with durable polyurethane backing. The center of the field features a custom inlaid Belhaven Blazers logo spanning fifty-seven feet, and we also sourced and installed the goal-post end-zone uprights. In addition, we installed special 100 oz turf on the perimeter hill surrounding the end of the field for University fans to have a special viewing area. Additionally, below the field, EnviroTurf installed their most extensive water drainage system that is embedded within its proprietary base system and has the capacity to drain over 15 feet of water an hour. A time-lapsed video of the EnviroTurf Belhaven University Stadium build can be seen on the following link: http://blogs.belhaven.edu/now/2016/10/27/belhaven-bowl-stadium-phase-one-complete/. Jim Bateman, President of the Sports and Surfaces Division XFit Brands, Inc., commented, "We were truly blessed to be awarded this opportunity to build the Belhaven University Bowl. I know we have one of the best reputations for quality and delivery in the industry, but experience and track record is one thing, execution is another. Our EnviroTurf crew was highly efficient in delivering this project. I am proud of our team, they did another superb, on-time/as-promised job for the University." XFit's EnviroTurf Brand is recognized as one of leading brands in the United States for athletic field surfaces and is one of the preeminent quality providers of major sports playing fields worldwide. EnviroTurf has installed over 100 fields in its young history. The Company's portfolio includes some of the world's most state of the art, highest quality, safest and environmentally friendly sports fields and surfaces available. XFit Brands, Inc., which currently provides functional fitness equipment to major fitness outlets throughout the United States and to more than 20 countries internationally, will not only provide the resources for EnviroTurf to expand across all sports and at all levels from professional to the collegiate ranks and high schools, but they will also augment the supply chain, sourcing, production and execution capabilities of EnviroTurf to facilitate their growth. Xfit Brands is a turnkey supplier to thousands of major gym outlets worldwide and does everything from design, to production, to installation for the outlets. Having surface capabilities now in its portfolio compliments its broad line of functional fitness equipment, impact sports equipment, and accessories and furthers its one-stop-shop strategy. Hal Mumme, former Head Coach at the University of Kentucky, SE Louisiana, New Mexico State, and presently Head Coach at Belhaven commented, "In my 30 years as a head coach I have played on every type of synthetic field and the EnviroTurf Belhaven field is by far the best training surface I have ever seen, trained, and played football on." XFit Brands, Inc., is one of the leading suppliers of functional fitness brands, products, and equipment sold at retail and fitness outlets worldwide. The company provides a full portfolio of functional fitness products, Mixed Martial Arts gear, and other high and low impact fitness regimes and owns the Throwdown® trademarks registered in more than 30 countries for its Functional Fitness line and its MMA portfolio, Transformations™ in programming and training, the GlideBoxx® sports training system, and now EnviroTurf® Sports Training Surfaces. The company's portfolio of brands and products are sold in many countries around the world and supply many of the leading Gym and Fitness outlets throughout the United States. The Company's websites are www.XfitBrands.com, www.Throwdown.com, www.GlideBoxx.com, and www.EnviroTurfServices.com This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are any statement reflecting management's current expectations regarding future results of operations, economic performance, financial condition and achievements of XFit, including statements regarding XFit's expectation to see continued growth. The forward-looking statements are based on the assumption that operating performance and results will continue in line with historical results. Management believes these assumptions to be reasonable but there is no assurance that they will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking statements, specifically those concerning future performance are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. XFit Brands competes in a rapidly growing and transforming industry, and other factors disclosed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission may affect the Company's operations. Unless required by applicable law, XFit undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. LAKE FOREST, CA / ACCESSWIRE / November 30, 2016 / XFit Brands, Inc. (OTCQB: XFTB), a global supplier of Fitness, Sports Surface, and MMA equipment sold worldwide whose brands include Throwdown, Transformations, EnviroTurf and GlideBoxx, today announced that it has completed its first installation of an EnviroTurf Sports Surface, shortly after the acquisition in October of this year. The EnviroTurf brand, which is part of the newly formed Sports and Surfaces Division of XFit Brands, became part of the Company in late October and is working on a number of high potential projects totaling in excess of $20 million in revenue over the next 12 months. The Division completed its first installation at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi, within 30 days post acquisition. The Belhaven University Bowl is a $4 million dollar project in the heart of the campus which features an EnviroTurf sports training surface that was designed, developed and installed for the Belhaven University Blazer Football, as well as the men's and women's Soccer teams. This multi-use field is EnviroTurf's most advanced sports training installation. On the Belhaven surface installation, we emplaced a proprietary fibrillated turf with durable polyurethane backing. The center of the field features a custom inlaid Belhaven Blazers logo spanning fifty-seven feet, and we also sourced and installed the goal-post end-zone uprights. In addition, we installed special 100 oz turf on the perimeter hill surrounding the end of the field for University fans to have a special viewing area. Additionally, below the field, EnviroTurf installed their most extensive water drainage system that is embedded within its proprietary base system and has the capacity to drain over 15 feet of water an hour. A time-lapsed video of the EnviroTurf Belhaven University Stadium build can be seen on the following link: http://blogs.belhaven.edu/now/2016/10/27/belhaven-bowl-stadium-phase-one-complete/. Jim Bateman, President of the Sports and Surfaces Division XFit Brands, Inc., commented, "We were truly blessed to be awarded this opportunity to build the Belhaven University Bowl. I know we have one of the best reputations for quality and delivery in the industry, but experience and track record is one thing, execution is another. Our EnviroTurf crew was highly efficient in delivering this project. I am proud of our team, they did another superb, on-time/as-promised job for the University." XFit's EnviroTurf Brand is recognized as one of leading brands in the United States for athletic field surfaces and is one of the preeminent quality providers of major sports playing fields worldwide. EnviroTurf has installed over 100 fields in its young history. The Company's portfolio includes some of the world's most state of the art, highest quality, safest and environmentally friendly sports fields and surfaces available. XFit Brands, Inc., which currently provides functional fitness equipment to major fitness outlets throughout the United States and to more than 20 countries internationally, will not only provide the resources for EnviroTurf to expand across all sports and at all levels from professional to the collegiate ranks and high schools, but they will also augment the supply chain, sourcing, production and execution capabilities of EnviroTurf to facilitate their growth. Xfit Brands is a turnkey supplier to thousands of major gym outlets worldwide and does everything from design, to production, to installation for the outlets. Having surface capabilities now in its portfolio compliments its broad line of functional fitness equipment, impact sports equipment, and accessories and furthers its one-stop-shop strategy. Hal Mumme, former Head Coach at the University of Kentucky, SE Louisiana, New Mexico State, and presently Head Coach at Belhaven commented, "In my 30 years as a head coach I have played on every type of synthetic field and the EnviroTurf Belhaven field is by far the best training surface I have ever seen, trained, and played football on." XFit Brands, Inc., is one of the leading suppliers of functional fitness brands, products, and equipment sold at retail and fitness outlets worldwide. The company provides a full portfolio of functional fitness products, Mixed Martial Arts gear, and other high and low impact fitness regimes and owns the Throwdown® trademarks registered in more than 30 countries for its Functional Fitness line and its MMA portfolio, Transformations™ in programming and training, the GlideBoxx® sports training system, and now EnviroTurf® Sports Training Surfaces. The company's portfolio of brands and products are sold in many countries around the world and supply many of the leading Gym and Fitness outlets throughout the United States. The Company's websites are www.XfitBrands.com, www.Throwdown.com, www.GlideBoxx.com, and www.EnviroTurfServices.com This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are any statement reflecting management's current expectations regarding future results of operations, economic performance, financial condition and achievements of XFit, including statements regarding XFit's expectation to see continued growth. The forward-looking statements are based on the assumption that operating performance and results will continue in line with historical results. Management believes these assumptions to be reasonable but there is no assurance that they will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking statements, specifically those concerning future performance are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. XFit Brands competes in a rapidly growing and transforming industry, and other factors disclosed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission may affect the Company's operations. Unless required by applicable law, XFit undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.24-7pressrelease.com

ASHLAND, OH, February 15, 2017-- Shawn Metts has been named vice president of sales at Bookmasters , one of the largest providers of integrated book publishing services in the United States.Mr. Metts joins Bookmasters following 12 years of sales and national account management for F+W Media, where he was most recently their vice president of book sales. During his tenure at F+W he led teams of in-house and field sales representatives, as well as several foreign sales relationships and initiatives. His experience includes the integration of multiple publishing lines as well as leading strategic product and category launches.Mr. Metts began his career in book publishing with Joseph-Beth Booksellers, where he eventually became their general manager before moving onto F+W Media. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky."We're thrilled to have Shawn on our executive team," said Ken Fultz, general manager at Bookmasters. "His experience and passion are a great fit to our culture and our strategic plan."Mr. Metts will step into the role being vacated Deb Keets, who is retiring after 17 years of service to Bookmasters. He will be responsible for strengthening Bookmasters' existing relationships with university press and academic publishers, building relationships with prospective publishers across all market segments, and specializing in the sales of Bookmasters' book manufacturing offerings. Mr. Metts will also lead Bookmasters' in-house services sales team.About BookmastersBookmasters, based in Ashland, Ohio, is one of the largest providers of integrated publisher services in the United States. For more than 40 years, Bookmasters has offered services to publishers and authors such as book manufacturing, print sales and distribution, warehousing and fulfillment, eBook sales and distribution, and editorial and design services. To learn more, visit www.bookmasters.com Bookmasters is owned by Follett Corporation and is a strategic partner with Baker & Taylor, premier worldwide distributor of books, digital content, and entertainment products.


LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ:CHDN) (“CDI”) today announced that it has promoted Brad Blackwell to Senior Vice President and General Counsel.  The promotion is effective immediately. Blackwell joined CDI in 2005 and has held numerous roles of increasing responsibility, including Corporate Counsel (2005-2007); Vice President, Legal & Regulatory Affairs for TwinSpires (2007-2011); Vice President, Legal for CDI (2011-2015); and Vice President, Operations for CDI (2015-2017).  Prior to joining CDI, Blackwell was Assistant General Counsel and Secretary for Michaels Stores, Inc. in Irving, Tx., and an Associate Attorney in the Dallas office of Jones Day. Blackwell is a 1994 graduate of the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Accounting.  He received his J.D. from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville in 1998. “Brad is an exceptional attorney who has been pivotal to the success of our company,” CDI Chief Executive Officer Bill Carstanjen said.  “I have worked with Brad for twelve years and I know that his legal and business experience combined with his deep knowledge of our company will serve him well as our General Counsel.” “I look forward to leading our outstanding legal team and working closely with our numerous businesses to continue the growth of CDI,” said Blackwell. ABOUT CHURCHILL DOWNS INCORPORATED Churchill Downs Incorporated, (CDI) (NASDAQ:CHDN), headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is an industry-leading racing, gaming and online entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event - The Kentucky Derby.  We are a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with gaming positions in eight states, and we are the largest legal online account wagering platform for horseracing in the U.S., through our ownership of TwinSpires.com. We are also one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of mobile games through Big Fish Games, Inc. Additional information about CDI can be found online at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.


News Article | September 27, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

The number of babies in the U.S. born with neonatal abstinence syndrome has more than doubled in less than a decade, findings of a new study have shown. The condition is characterized by withdrawal symptoms that develop after babies become addicted to the drugs that their mothers used during pregnancy which include heroin or prescription opiates. Babies who suffer from neonatal abstinence syndrome may experience seizures, tremors, poor feeding, excessive crying, fever, sleep problems, rapid breathing and blotchy skin color. These babies often remain in the hospital for several weeks after they are born where they receive low doses of methadone, which is used to wean addicts off of heroin and prescription opiates. In the new study published in JAMA Pediatrics on Sept. 26, researchers have found that the rate of neonatal abstinence syndrome linked to the mother's use of opiates, which include heroin and prescription narcotics such as Vicodin and codeine, increased from 2.8 cases for every 1,000 births in 2009 to 7.3 for every 1,000 births in 2013. The findings are in line with earlier findings that point to an increase in the birth of babies who suffer from opiate withdrawal. Last month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed a bigger increase in incidences of opioid addiction in babies from 1.5 for every 1,000 births in 1999 to six for every 1,000 in 2013. "The United States is experiencing a rapid increase in neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) caused by in utero exposure to prescription and illicit (heroin) opioids," study researcher Joshua Brown, from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, and colleagues wrote in their study. "Increases in NAS correlate with the well-documented increase in prescription opioid abuse." Use of drug such as opioids during pregnancy can lead to premature birth and health problems for the baby. Children born to mothers who use drugs while pregnant face increased risks for birth defects, low birth weight and small head circumference. Although treatment given to babies suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome can ease symptoms, it does not necessarily address the developmental problems that these children may have later on in life. In 2015, the U.S. government passed a law that aimed to address the rising cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome in the country. The Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 law requires the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a study on the condition and come up with recommendations to prevent and treat it. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | October 27, 2016
Site: www.businesswire.com

LEXINGTON, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With the continuation of extremely positive clinical results from its early safety and feasibility study in Malaysia, Intralink-Spine, Inc. (ILS) believes the Réjuve System is going to change the landscape for the treatment of low back pain. “At the 3-month juncture, three of the four (3/4) patients have no (zero) low back pain. And, the fourth patient has virtually no back pain; in fact, she climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge two-weeks after the treatment and just returned from backpacking and climbing in Europe!” says Lyle Hawkins, CEO of Intralink-Spine, Inc. (Message from CEO) “We continue to be very pleased with the patient outcomes. Though limited to four patients at this stage, these 3-month data are indicative that the Réjuve device has a more lasting effect on low back pain and disability than the very common epidural steroid injection (ESI),” says Hawkins. “If our VAS and ODI trend lines continue as expected, Réjuve will have a very dramatic impact on how patients are currently treated for low back pain. So, you can understand why we continue to be excited about Réjuve.” “Within days after the Réjuve treatment, we’re seeing patient pain scores drop from 5-7 to 0 on the VAS pain scale, and disability scores drop from over 50% to 0 on the ODI. These initial clinical results demonstrate a significant reduction or elimination of pain, not just a slight reduction in pain, and these benefits are continuing past the 3-month point. This is great news, especially as we begin our larger pivotal clinical studies in the immediate months ahead,” says Tom Hedman, Ph.D., who is the Chief Scientific Officer for ILS and Adjunct Associate Professor in the F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Kentucky. “The micro-invasive Réjuve treatment provides immediate local structural support of the disc, versus just using an ESI to treat the pain.” “The patients received fluoroscopic image-guided injections of the Réjuve medical device in the lumbar intervertebral discs, with two posterolateral injections per treated level”, states orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Harwant Singh at the Pantai Medical Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “The patient ODI and VAS scores at the 3-month interval are impressive and encouraging for the Réjuve treatment.”


News Article | December 27, 2016
Site: www.businesswire.com

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Technology and Education, Inc. (NIPTE) is part of the newly created public-private partnership called National Institute for Innovation of Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL). Its formation was announced by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker on December 16, 2016. NIIMBL is led by the University of Delaware and includes some 150 private companies, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations across the nation. It is supported by a $70 million grant from U.S. Department of Commerce and an initial investment of $129 million from participating organizations. Its goal is to accelerate biopharmaceutical manufacturing innovation and educate and train a world-leading biopharmaceutical manufacturing workforce, fundamentally advancing U.S. competitiveness in this industry. The participating NIPTE team, currently comprised of six member institutions (Universities of Connecticut, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, Iowa, and Wisconsin), is a Tier 1 partner in NIIMBL. It will hold a seat on the Institute’s Governance Board and will play a major role in its initiatives primarily focusing on biopharmaceutical formulations and product development, and FDA regulatory science. The team will work in close collaboration with three other NIPTE member institutions, Purdue University, University of Maryland, and the University of Minnesota, which are Tier 1 partners alongside NIPTE. “We are extremely pleased that advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing is now part of the Manufacturing USA network,” said Dr. Vadim J. Gurvich, executive director of NIPTE and research associate professor at the University of Minnesota. “NIIMBL’s leadership has put together a very impressive partnership that will make a significant impact on biopharmaceutical manufacturing in this nation. As a key member, we will contribute to both research and education. For example, our Center of Excellence in Pharmaceutical Formulations will be a natural partner in NIIMBL.” NIPTE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit academic organization with the mission to improve human health through multi-university collaborative research advancing quality, safety, affordability, and speed to market of medicines. It is comprised of 15 top schools of pharmacy, chemical and pharmaceutical engineering, and one medical school. Current members are Duquesne University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Long Island University, Purdue University, Rutgers University, University of Connecticut, University of Iowa, University of Kansas, University of Kentucky, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Puerto Rico, University of Rochester Medical Center, University of Texas, and University of Wisconsin.


LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ:CHDN) (“CDI”) today announced that it has promoted Brad Blackwell to Senior Vice President and General Counsel.  The promotion is effective immediately. Blackwell joined CDI in 2005 and has held numerous roles of increasing responsibility, including Corporate Counsel (2005-2007); Vice President, Legal & Regulatory Affairs for TwinSpires (2007-2011); Vice President, Legal for CDI (2011-2015); and Vice President, Operations for CDI (2015-2017).  Prior to joining CDI, Blackwell was Assistant General Counsel and Secretary for Michaels Stores, Inc. in Irving, Tx., and an Associate Attorney in the Dallas office of Jones Day. Blackwell is a 1994 graduate of the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Accounting.  He received his J.D. from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville in 1998. “Brad is an exceptional attorney who has been pivotal to the success of our company,” CDI Chief Executive Officer Bill Carstanjen said.  “I have worked with Brad for twelve years and I know that his legal and business experience combined with his deep knowledge of our company will serve him well as our General Counsel.” “I look forward to leading our outstanding legal team and working closely with our numerous businesses to continue the growth of CDI,” said Blackwell. ABOUT CHURCHILL DOWNS INCORPORATED Churchill Downs Incorporated, (CDI) (NASDAQ:CHDN), headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is an industry-leading racing, gaming and online entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event - The Kentucky Derby.  We are a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with gaming positions in eight states, and we are the largest legal online account wagering platform for horseracing in the U.S., through our ownership of TwinSpires.com. We are also one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of mobile games through Big Fish Games, Inc. Additional information about CDI can be found online at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.


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

When thinking about a welfare recipient, people tend to imagine someone who is African American and who is lazier and less competent than someone who doesn't receive welfare benefits, according to new findings in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. This mental image, and its association with specific racial stereotypes, influences people's judgments about who deserves government assistance. "We show that when Americans think about recipients of government benefits, they overwhelmingly imagine a Black person - although, in reality, beneficiaries include White, Black, and Hispanic people in roughly equal proportions," explain researchers Jazmin L. Brown-Iannuzzi (University of Kentucky) and B. Keith Payne (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). "Moreover, when people consider granting or withholding benefits to the imagined recipients, they are less willing to grant benefits when the imagined person fits racial stereotypes about black recipients." Brown-Iannuzzi, Payne, and colleagues Ron Dotsch (Utrecht University) and Erin Cooley (Colgate University) were interested in studying how people think about welfare recipients when they considered that Americans often oppose redistributive policies despite rising economic inequality. "One reason, we hypothesized, could be that racial stereotypes shape perceptions of who benefits from such policies," Brown-Iannuzzi and Payne explain. To explore these mental representations, the researchers created a "base" image that was a morph of four images: an African American man, an African American woman, a White man, and a White woman. They then added a filter that distorted the base image to generate 800 unique face images. Participants looked at 400 pairs of faces and selected the face in each pair that looked more like a welfare recipient. The instructions did not refer to race or any other specific trait, and yet the two groups made strikingly similar selections, indicating strong consensus about what welfare recipients "look like." Based on participants' selections, the researchers superimposed images to create one photo showing the average mental image of a welfare recipient and another photo showing the average mental image of a non-recipient. The researchers then asked two completely different groups of participants to evaluate the aggregate faces on various features. Some of the features related to appearance - for example, participants rated the individual's race, gender, likeability, attractiveness, and happiness. Some of the features related to aspects of the individual's personality, including laziness, competence, humanness, and agency. Importantly, the participants were making these evaluations based on the image alone - they didn't know how the images were generated or what they represented. The data, from a total of over 400 adults, showed a strong convergence. Although they did not know what the faces represented, participants rated the average welfare recipient face as more African American (less White), less likeable, less attractive, and less happy than the aggregate non-welfare-recipient face. Moreover, they assessed the individual in the welfare recipient image to be lazier, more incompetent, more hostile, and less human. And these associations seem to have real-world consequences, shaping people's attitudes about who deserves welfare benefits. A total of 229 participants evaluated the individuals shown in the two average images, believing that they were composites photos of actual people who had applied for government welfare programs. The researchers explained that some of these applicants had turned out to be "responsible" recipients, while others had turned out to be "irresponsible." Again, participants rated the average welfare-recipient image as more African American, less competent, and less hardworking than the average non-recipient image. But participants also rated the person shown in the average welfare-recipient image as generally less responsible and less responsible with food stamps and cash assistance than the person in the other image. These impressions seemed to drive participants' opinions about whether the two individuals deserved welfare support. They expressed less support for giving food stamps and cash assistance to the person in the welfare-recipient image than to the person in the other image. The researchers conclude that these strong mental representations may contribute to growing inequality by triggering deeply-rooted biases about how resources should be distributed and to whom. "Our research sheds light on the psychological roots of political policy preferences," say Brown-Iannuzzi and Payne. "These findings can help us understand the different assumptions and different mental representations underlying deep political divisions." All data and materials have been made publicly available at figshare and can be accessed at https:/ . The complete Open Practices Disclosure for this article can be found at http://pss. . This article has received badges for Open Data and Open Materials. More information about the Open Practices badges can be found at https:/ and http://pss. . For more information about this study, please contact: Jazmin Brown-Iannuzzi at jazmin.bi@uky.edu B. Keith Payne at payne@unc.edu The article abstract is available online: http://journals. The APS journal Psychological Scienc is the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology. For a copy of the article "The Relationship Between Mental Representations of Welfare Recipients and Attitudes Toward Welfare" and access to other Psychological Science research findings, please contact Anna Mikulak at 202-293-9300 or amikulak@psychologicalscience.org.


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


LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ:CHDN) (“CDI”) today announced that it has promoted Brad Blackwell to Senior Vice President and General Counsel.  The promotion is effective immediately. Blackwell joined CDI in 2005 and has held numerous roles of increasing responsibility, including Corporate Counsel (2005-2007); Vice President, Legal & Regulatory Affairs for TwinSpires (2007-2011); Vice President, Legal for CDI (2011-2015); and Vice President, Operations for CDI (2015-2017).  Prior to joining CDI, Blackwell was Assistant General Counsel and Secretary for Michaels Stores, Inc. in Irving, Tx., and an Associate Attorney in the Dallas office of Jones Day. Blackwell is a 1994 graduate of the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Accounting.  He received his J.D. from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville in 1998. “Brad is an exceptional attorney who has been pivotal to the success of our company,” CDI Chief Executive Officer Bill Carstanjen said.  “I have worked with Brad for twelve years and I know that his legal and business experience combined with his deep knowledge of our company will serve him well as our General Counsel.” “I look forward to leading our outstanding legal team and working closely with our numerous businesses to continue the growth of CDI,” said Blackwell. ABOUT CHURCHILL DOWNS INCORPORATED Churchill Downs Incorporated, (CDI) (NASDAQ:CHDN), headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is an industry-leading racing, gaming and online entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event - The Kentucky Derby.  We are a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with gaming positions in eight states, and we are the largest legal online account wagering platform for horseracing in the U.S., through our ownership of TwinSpires.com. We are also one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of mobile games through Big Fish Games, Inc. Additional information about CDI can be found online at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.


LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ:CHDN) (“CDI”) today announced that it has promoted Brad Blackwell to Senior Vice President and General Counsel.  The promotion is effective immediately. Blackwell joined CDI in 2005 and has held numerous roles of increasing responsibility, including Corporate Counsel (2005-2007); Vice President, Legal & Regulatory Affairs for TwinSpires (2007-2011); Vice President, Legal for CDI (2011-2015); and Vice President, Operations for CDI (2015-2017).  Prior to joining CDI, Blackwell was Assistant General Counsel and Secretary for Michaels Stores, Inc. in Irving, Tx., and an Associate Attorney in the Dallas office of Jones Day. Blackwell is a 1994 graduate of the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Accounting.  He received his J.D. from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville in 1998. “Brad is an exceptional attorney who has been pivotal to the success of our company,” CDI Chief Executive Officer Bill Carstanjen said.  “I have worked with Brad for twelve years and I know that his legal and business experience combined with his deep knowledge of our company will serve him well as our General Counsel.” “I look forward to leading our outstanding legal team and working closely with our numerous businesses to continue the growth of CDI,” said Blackwell. ABOUT CHURCHILL DOWNS INCORPORATED Churchill Downs Incorporated, (CDI) (NASDAQ:CHDN), headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is an industry-leading racing, gaming and online entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event - The Kentucky Derby.  We are a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with gaming positions in eight states, and we are the largest legal online account wagering platform for horseracing in the U.S., through our ownership of TwinSpires.com. We are also one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of mobile games through Big Fish Games, Inc. Additional information about CDI can be found online at www.churchilldownsincorporated.com.


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.npr.org

To Test Zika Vaccines, Scientists Need A New Outbreak Researchers are eager to test promising vaccines against Zika, the virus that sparked a global health emergency last year. But uncertainty over whether the Zika epidemic will continue affects researchers' ability to finish testing vaccines. They need locations with an active viral outbreak to conduct large-scale human trials and make sure the vaccine actually protects against disease. "On one hand, you don't want to see outbreaks of infection," says Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "But on the other hand, [without that testing] you might have to wait a long time to make sure that the vaccine works." All the vaccines being tested are in Phase I clinical trials, which means they are being tested for safety in a small number of people. According to a review paper published Tuesday in the journal Immunity, the vaccines represent a variety of scientific techniques to thwart the disease, ranging from inactivating the virus to manipulating its DNA. The NIAID announced Tuesday it is launching yet another Phase I trial for a vaccine made out of proteins found in mosquito saliva. The product is intended to trigger a human immune system response to the mosquito's saliva and any viruses mixed with it. If successful, the product could protect humans against a number of mosquito-transmitted diseases, including Zika virus, dengue and chikungunya. All three have infected people in the United States. Col. Nelson Michael, director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and co-author of the paper, says he expects preliminary reports on the safety of some of the older vaccines in April. As of now, he says, it is impossible to guess which vaccine will prove most effective in providing immunity. "Sometimes it's difficult to predict which horse will win the race," Michael says. Zika, which is spread from infected people to others by mosquito bites or sexual contact, often infects people without showing symptoms. In some cases it causes flu-like symptoms, such as fever, muscle aches and joint pain in adults ― and, in rare cases, Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can cause temporary paralysis. But it is most notorious for causing some children to be born with microcephaly, a devastating a birth defect in which a child's head and brain is smaller average size ― if their mothers were exposed to Zika. The virus garnered international attention after hundreds of cases of disabled babies surfaced in Brazil. It quickly swept through South America and the Caribbean before stopping on the southern coast of the U.S. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a "public health emergency of international concern" on Feb. 1, 2016, then ended the alert on Nov. 18. Vaccines that meet the safety standard in Phase I clinical trials undergo subsequent rounds of testing to gauge effectiveness. To measure this, researchers rely on the gold standard of administering the vaccine to large number of people at risk to see if the vaccine is effective. However, Zika's recent arrival to the Western Hemisphere means researchers don't know whether the virus will become a perennial threat, or was a one-time explosion. The uncertainty poses challenges for Zika vaccine development. A lull in the outbreak could cause significant delays in testing, pushing back the timetable for a commercially available product, Fauci says. While researchers can use alternative methods to measure efficacy without large-scale testing, a decline in the circulation of the Zika virus could set progress back by years because the vaccine testing would be less reliable. "If we don't get a lot of infections this season in South America and Puerto Rico, it may take years to make sure the vaccine works," Fauci says. Fauci expects to launch the next round of human trials for a DNA vaccine developed by the NIAID next month. Michael also worries that a lag in the number of Zika cases could lead the private sector to pull funds from vaccine development. It takes millions of dollars to develop a drug or vaccine, and pharmaceutical companies play a critical role in making and manufacturing them, he said. But those companies have many competing interests, he notes, and if it is hard to test a vaccine this year, federal agencies and private companies may turn their Zika prevention efforts elsewhere. "This is a constant issue, where you put your resources," Michael says. So far, signs suggest that the climate could be ripe for Zika again this year. Warmer-than-usual temperatures are affecting areas across the Western Hemisphere, including hotbeds of the Zika outbreak in Brazil. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that South America experienced the second hottest January in recorded history. The balmy temperatures rev up the Aedes aegypti's behavior in multiple ways, says Grayson Brown, professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky. They tend to move faster, lay more eggs per day and feed more frequently. However, the heat is not necessarily correlated to higher numbers of the mosquito, Brown says, as they tend to live among humans, not in the wild. "This mosquito breeds almost exclusively in human created containers," he says. "You don't really find it out in the woods." In the United States, areas with populations of the Aedes aegypti are closely monitoring their numbers. Last year, Texas and Florida dealt with locally acquired cases of Zika infection. In Texas, public health officials have monitored mosquito populations throughout the winter to track their numbers and any presence of the virus. Despite unseasonably warm weather, Chris Van Deusen, spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, says they have seen lower numbers of the Aedes aegypti and no cases of Zika. Van Deusen says the state is also monitoring the outbreak in Mexico, since heavy traffic across the border increases the possibility of transmission in Texas. Officials are expecting another outbreak of locally transmitted cases of disease, Van Deusen says. But when and where? That's a mystery. "There's so many factors that go into it, it's really impossible to make an ironclad prediction," he says. This story was published as part of a partnership between NPR and Kaiser Health News (KHN), which is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.


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

Early on a cold spring morning, Diana Wall is trying out a tool normally used to make holes on golf courses — and she can't contain her excitement. Her team has always used more laborious methods to take samples of soil and its resident organisms. “Oh, that's a beautiful core,” she says as one student bags a sample filled with tiny roundworms. “Hello, nematodes!” Wall, a soil ecologist and environmental scientist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, has come to this site about an hour east of the campus to collect data for one of her latest experiments. She and her colleagues are creating an artificial drought in a patch of grassland by covering it with temporary shelters. They expect that predatory nematodes will die or enter a type of suspended animation, leaving the parasitic nematodes that prey on plants to dominate the ecosystem. “How do plants respond below-ground to drought?” she wonders. Wall has been asking — and answering — similar questions about soil for decades. She has become one of the most celebrated and outspoken experts on the hidden biodiversity in dirt, having studied soils and their inhabitants in nearly every corner of the world. She has a special fondness for Antarctica, which she has visited almost every year since 1989. It was there that she and a colleague made a landmark discovery, demonstrating that the soil in one of the driest spots on Earth is home to some animal life and not sterile, as many had thought. The same drive to challenge orthodoxy also helped her to advance in a field in which women were once rare. “Many times, I felt like I was hitting the glass ceiling and got discouraged,” she says, before emphasizing how things have improved. “Today, I love seeing so many women in Antarctic and other research.” Alongside her own experiments, Wall has become an ambassador for soil science and conservation — at a time when soil ecosystems are being devastated by forces such as erosion, pollution, pesticides and climate change. Soil degradation over the past two centuries or so has released billions of tonnes of stored carbon into the atmosphere, and this discharge could accelerate, speeding up climate change. Beyond that, says Wall, the threats to soil could jeopardize food production, water quality and the health of humans, plants and animals. The current path, she says, “leaves our terrestrial biodiverse world as we know it very uncertain”. The efforts of Wall and other scientists to raise the profile of soils have been making an impact. The United Nations declared 2015 the International Year of Soils, and in May, Wall travelled to Nairobi to launch the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas — a compendium of information developed by a team of more than 100 scientists, which she helped to lead. David Montgomery, a geomorphologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, says that Wall has inspired many other researchers in their science and outreach on topics important to society. “We need more first-rate scientists willing to speak in those arenas.” This month, Wall is busy planning for her next trip to Antarctica, which will come, as usual, just after Christmas. Her colleagues joke that those journeys keep Wall young because she often crosses the International Date Line on her birthday, essentially erasing the day from the calendar. Assuming that she passes her physical — for which she is swimming and cycling — this trip will be her 27th to Antarctica. Wall is 72 and has seemingly boundless energy. Tall and thin, she speaks quickly and picks up the pace as she describes the zoo of organisms in soils, from nematodes to the vast array of microbes. She emphasizes how bacteria and other microorganisms provide services that humans take for granted: filtering water, stabilizing soil, improving air quality and recycling nutrients that enable crops to grow. “I like to think of it as this factory underground,” she says. Wall credits her mother, a biology teacher, with helping to spark a lifelong interest in biology. Raised in Lexington, Kentucky, Wall got her PhD in plant pathology from the University of Kentucky in her home town. In 1972, she left for the US west coast to pursue postgraduate research in nematology — convinced that nematode parasites had a lot to reveal about how life behaves above ground. California was a shock at first. “That was eye-opening to me, because I had never crossed the Mississippi River, and it was — oh my god, where are the trees?” she says. But she ended up liking it there, and the University of California, Riverside, remained her home for much of the next two decades. She strung together a series of grants to keep her work going, confident that soil microorganisms were more significant than most researchers realized. “Originally, I was just convinced these all make a difference and I was waiting to be proven wrong,” she says. Wall focused at first on nematodes in deserts and arid croplands, conducting the bulk of her research in southern California, New Mexico and Michigan. By the late 1980s, she was seeking ways to understand a species' impact on an ecosystem. “If you want to find out how a plant parasite has an effect on a root or a predator, how do you exclude everything in the soil except that?” She tried chemicals to kill off species, but they also harmed what she wanted to study. Then a colleague suggested that Wall go somewhere without plants, where the food web was simpler. “I tossed around a number of places,” she says. “And we ended up in Antarctica.” She and her colleague Ross Virginia from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, decided to collect samples in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, a series of ice-free basins near the US McMurdo research station. The valleys receive no snow or rain, and humidity is so low that researchers have found the mummified remains of seals that made their way into the valleys thousands of years ago. Previous researchers had discovered nematodes and other life near glacier-fed streams that trickle during summer, but experts thought that the dry soils making up most of the valleys were barren. On one of Wall and Virginia's first visits to the Dry Valleys, they had just six hours to collect as many samples as possible before the helicopter returned to pick them up. They found nematodes in about 65% of the samples. “I couldn't believe it,” she says. Ultimately, this showed that life can thrive even in the most inhospitable underground environments, revealing that major ecosystems were being overlooked. Wall has returned to the Dry Valleys every field season except 1992, when she didn't receive funding for the trip. To recognize that long-running research, the US Geological Survey named valleys there after Wall and Virginia. Their work in Antarctica dovetailed with discoveries that Wall had previously made about how nematodes cope with extremely dry conditions in the US Southwest. In the Chihuahuan Desert, Wall and her colleagues showed that the worms rely on anhydrobiosis1: they shed most of their water and put metabolic activity on hold. Wall says that the nematodes end up looking like Cheerios, the ring-shaped dry cereal. When she went to Antarctica, Wall and her colleagues found that Dry Valley nematodes use the same mechanism2 to cope with arid conditions there3. With one eye focused on tiny nematodes, Wall kept the other on the bigger picture of how these creatures fit into ecosystems. This was all part of her ever-growing desire to understand and highlight the importance of life underground — something routinely ignored by many researchers until roughly the past decade. Studies that tracked the decomposition of fallen leaves and other organic materials, for example, tended to overlook the role of soil organisms. Wall says she grew tired of that limited perspective. “We wanted to show that animals are important in these processes.” So in 2001, she started a global, multiyear project to measure the impact of soil animals. Her team sent mesh bags filled with hay to colleagues at more than 30 sites around the world. Placed in various locations, the bags attracted worms, beetles and other types of soil invertebrate, while control bags excluded them. Wall's team then analysed the carbon content in each bag and compared the rates at which the organic matter decomposed with and without the soil animals. The results supported Wall's point: soil fauna increased decomposition rates significantly in many regions4. A follow-up study5 found that excluding soil fauna reduced decomposition rates by a global average of 35%. Those studies helped to convince researchers to pay more attention to life in soil (see ‘Soils under siege’). “We now understand how key these organisms are to many ecosystem processes,” says Amy Austin, an ecologist at the University of Buenos Aires. The litter finding means that there could be big changes in how carbon moves throughout ecosystems as forces such as climate change alter soil communities. Wall and her colleagues have seen some of this up close during their most recent field season in Antarctica. In as-yet-unpublished work, they found that the dominant nematode in the Dry Valleys, an endemic genus named Scottnema, has been declining in number, whereas a nematode that lives in wetter soils, Eudorylaimus, has been increasing, thanks to the melting of ice and permafrost. “It looks like there's going to be a species shift,” she says. “It's a fight for habitat.” Scottnema is Wall's favourite nematode. “It's living in this harshest environment, mostly by itself, and it's just so recognizable,” she says. But that's not the only reason that she has concerns about the species' decline. The two nematodes feed on different carbon sources in the soil, and population changes could alter the rate at which underground carbon escapes into the atmosphere. If so, the carbon-storage potential of the soil in Antarctica — a crucial region for absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere — could change. Shifts in soil biota elsewhere on the planet could also affect how much carbon remains locked up, she says. In August this year, Wall found herself at the White House talking about soils with other experts and policymakers as part of a national effort to prevent erosion and promote soil health. It was the latest scene in a role she has increasingly embraced over the past 15 years — to bring soil health to the global stage. As Wall's research career blossomed, she took on more leadership positions. She served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences in 1993 and the Ecological Society of America in 1999. By that point, her involvement in these organizations was making her think bigger. “I'd been pretty concentrated on the Antarctic research,” she says. “I thought I should be doing more.” She began participating in and leading initiatives that were increasingly global in scope — chairing, for example, the International Biodiversity Observation Year starting in 2001, which funded research projects to highlight the importance of biodiversity around the world. In 2011, Wall became the founding science chair of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative, the group behind the soil atlas that was launched in May. Looking forward, Wall wants to integrate data on soil health and biodiversity into global policies for mitigating large-scale environmental challenges. And she's talking to colleagues about launching a big US experiment to unravel the relationships between soils, biodiversity and health. “Conservation and protecting species is a very old idea, and so is soil conservation. But only now are these two ideas coming together,” she says. While campaigning for soils, Wall has also been a champion for women in science. When she was starting out, there weren't many role models for women in her field. And when she made her first trips to Antarctica, she made do with men's long underwear and boots, and endured eight-hour flights on military aircraft that lacked sit-down toilets. Wall was initially turned down for a tenure-track position at the University of California, Riverside, in the late 1980s — a decision that she and others suggest was related to her gender. Jill Baron, director of the North American Nitrogen Center at Colorado State University, says that how Wall recovered from that rejection is emblematic of her character. “She moved on into this stellar career,” says Baron. “And she's been working to make sure that other young women who come in don't have to ever have that again.” That kind of drive makes a big impression on people just entering science. Ashley Shaw, a PhD student studying under Wall, recalls their first meeting. “She was just so enthusiastic about her science and what she was working on,” says Shaw. “I walked away feeling like I could save the world.” Wall joined Colorado State University in 1993 to become director of the institution's Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory. There, colleagues say, she attracted interdisciplinary, accomplished scientists, which elevated the stature of the lab both on and off campus. She now serves as founding director of the university's School of Global Environmental Sustainability. There, in an office covered in photos and paraphernalia from Antarctica, she talks eagerly about her goals for the future — and takes offence when people ask her if she plans to retire. “Whether I pass my physical to go to Antarctica or get too old and have to have a wheelchair dropped for me from the sky,” she says, “I want to keep working on the issues.”


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Study finds Injury is more likely to occur in youth flag football than in youth tackle football, but severe injuries and concussions were not significantly different between leagues University of Iowa Health Care researchers report that the results of a study of injury rates in youth football leagues did not show that flag football is safer than tackle football. Concerns about the rate of concussions among athletes and the long term effects of repeated head injuries lead to discussion that children under the age of 12 should not participate in contact sports such as tackle football. The UI researchers studied three large youth football leagues with almost 3,800 participants. The research team compared the number of injuries, severe injuries, and concussions in players competing on flag football teams and tackle football squads. The results of the study, published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, showed that injuries were more likely to occur in youth flag football than in youth tackle football. There was no significant difference in the number of severe injuries and concussions between the leagues. "We wanted to test the hypothesis that not allowing tackling might reduce the risk for injury in young athletes," said Andrew Peterson, MD, a specialist with UI Sports Medicine and the study's lead author. "Based upon our results, we cannot conclude that youth flag football is safer than youth tackle football." The researchers found that the number of injuries in youth football players is relatively low overall, but sports-related injuries remain the leading cause of injury among children and adolescents. About 2.8 million people between the ages of six and 14 participate in youth football in the U.S. "We hope that this information will help families as they make decisions about a child's participation in youth football, either in flag or tackle leagues, said Peterson. The research team also included Adam Kruse, MS, Scott Meester, BS, Benjamin Reidle, BS, Tyler Slayman, MD, Todd Domeyer, MD, Joseph Cavanaugh, PhD, and Kyle Smoot, MD, a senior author on the study, formerly at the University of Iowa and currently at the University of Kentucky.


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

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Autumn adorns trees with richly hued leaves and clusters of nuts or other presentations of seeds for the future of tree species. Meg Staton, a research scientist with a penchant for big data, looks at these trees and sees thousands upon thousands of data points to be compiled for analyses. Staton is an assistant professor of bioinformatics with the University of Tennessee Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, and she is also a co-principal investigator in a three-year, $3-million grant by the National Science Foundation to develop a user-friendly interface that will help forest scientists everywhere record and share their genomic data for various tree species. As part of the grant, which was awarded earlier this year, researchers from four universities are working with the U.S. Forest Service's Southern Research Station to accelerate both basic discovery and improvement of important agronomic and silvic traits in tree crops. Dorrie Main, a professor at Washing State University (WSU), is principal investigator for the project, but Staton is leading the UT Institute of Agriculture portion of the effort, which totals more than $623,000. The project team proposes to "create a model 'ecosystem' of community databases that can inter-communicate and will also provide big data analysis tools utilizing common controlled vocabularies." Just what is big data? In the case of this project, big data is the collection of massive amounts of information regarding the genomics of trees. Staton says the sets of information are so large that a single researcher would have difficulty storing and analyzing all the information for a single plant or for a collection of plants or species. "There are so many sources of public data available, but they can be disorganized and difficult to find. We plan to link the many different types of open research data for trees together as richly annotated data sets," Staton said. "With access to new data sets and enhanced computing capabilities through the web, researchers can build on previous work to enhance selection, breeding and management of trees for a variety of goals, such as agronomic efficiency gains and conservation of native species. A previous grant allowed the researchers, including Staton, to develop the cyberinfrastructure for the Tripal software which allows for flexible access to information already existing for forest and fruit trees. Once complete, Tripal will enable scientists and the public to easily access information about trees, tree genetics, sequences of tree genomes and other information housed in specialized tree breeding and research community databases. Staton adds that there may soon be a social media component of the highly technical database. "We're working to make the Tripal cyberinfrastructure interface compatible with certain mobile apps that allow users to geo-tag tree species on social media. Citizens are valuable allies in protecting our forests, and it's also a great way to engage youth with the outdoors and our beautiful local trees," she said. The grant will also enable adoption of these new data-sharing capabilities through development of educational online modules that can train scientists to effectively query existing data, upload new data, assign metadata and perform custom analyses. The investigators also hope that this project will help raise public awareness of the importance of healthy trees as well as promote stewardship of our forests. They write in their grant proposal abstract that healthy trees are of critical importance to a productive, sustainable planet and the U.S. economy. Other participating researchers in the project are Sook Jung and Stephen Ficklin from WSU, Jill Wegrzyn from the University of Connecticut and Albert Abbott from the University of Kentucky. Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu


Digging around in the dark can sometimes lead to interesting results: in the acidic waters of an abandoned coal mine in Kentucky (USA), researchers discovered ten previously unknown microbial natural products from a strain of Streptomyces. They have now introduced these compounds in the journal Angewandte Chemie. Four of the molecules contain a cyclopentenone ring, which is rare in this class of substances. The team led by Khaled A. Shaaban and Jon S. Thorson at the University of Kentucky (UK)'s Center for Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation (Lexington, USA) is part of a broader new initiative focused on mining-associated environments in Appalachian Kentucky. The goal is to seek out new organisms that produce previously unknown metabolites that could be potential starting materials for pharmaceutical development. The team has discovered previously unknown metabolites of a strain of Streptomyces in the abandoned underground Rock Creek coal mine in McCreary County. These compounds belong to the family of ansamycins, compounds that contain an aromatic ring system bridged by a long, aliphatic chain. The geldanamycins (Gdm) are a subset of the ansamycins whose aromatic ring consists of a quinone group, a six-membered ring of carbons with two double bonds and two oxygen atoms attached by double bonds. Gdm inhibits heat shock protein 90 (Hsp 90), a protein important for cell survival. Various Gdm analogs are in clinical use as antitumor drugs. Characterization of the new compounds revealed that six of them are previously unknown geldanamycin variants. Four others are a new type of ansamycin: Instead of an aromatic ring, they have a cyclopentenone group, a ring of five carbons with a double bond and one oxygen atom bound by a double bond. These new compounds were named McCrearamycins after their county of origin. The researchers speculate that Gdms could be precursors of the McCrearamycins. Experiments with Gdms and model substances revealed that the quinone group can easily be converted to a cyclopentenone via a benzylic acid rearrangement. This could be a new synthetic route for the production of cyclopentenone derivatives. Along with three known Gdm derivatives, the new compounds were tested for their ability to inhibit Hsp 90 and to probe their cytotoxicity against a line of cancer cells. The two did not correlate in all cases. It is clear that small structural variations can give rise to differences in cell uptake and/or different cytotoxicity mechanisms. This is worth examining further in the development of new pharmaceuticals. In collaboration with S. Randal Voss and UK's Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center, researchers also validated a new test for the activity of Hsp 90. The Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is able to regenerate damaged limbs. Hsp 90 plays an important role in this process. In the presence of massive doses of Gdm, the amputated tails of axolotl embryos were not able to regenerate. High doses also caused developmental abnormalities. Gdm is thus useful for investigating the role of Hsp 90 in regeneration processes, and the test is useful in the search for Hsp 90 modulators. Explore further: Bacterium from coal mine fire could aid drug targeting More information: Xiachang Wang et al, Mccrearamycins A-D, Geldanamycin-Derived Cyclopentenone Macrolactams from an Eastern Kentucky Abandoned Coal Mine Microbe, Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2017). DOI: 10.1002/anie.201612447


The 27-year-old traditional breeding program, which has attempted to infuse blight resistance from the Chinese chestnut tree into American chestnuts, is receiving a boost from tree molecular geneticists at Penn State and five other universities working collaboratively in a bid to improve the process. While traditional breeding has been taking place, so have parallel lines of research into genetic modification and also bio-control of the fungus that causes the blight. "Teams of researchers are now at a crossroads where all three methodologies may be combined to provide a more robust product," said Sara Fitzsimmons, a research technologist who is also director of restoration for The American Chestnut Foundation, the group leading the chestnut-restoration effort. "By merging successes in genetic modification, hypovirulence and traditional breeding, restoration of a disease-resistant American chestnut tree is closer." The chestnut blight—which wiped out the American chestnut species across its 180-million-acre range in the first half of the 20th century—is caused by a fungus inadvertently introduced from Asia. Some view the loss of the chestnuts, which produced untold tons of food for wildlife and food and lumber for humans, as one of the worst U.S. ecological disasters. "We didn't account in our time estimates for how long it would take after we got nuts with blight resistance to plant out orchards and select progeny with the strongest resistance and eliminate material susceptible to the blight," said Fitzsimmons. "When we plant these trees with nuts generated by our latest generation of backcrossed trees, only 1 percent have the resistance that we are looking for. So you can imagine, if we're planting 27,000 trees, only about 270 have the combination of blight resistance and American chestnut characteristics we need." The chestnut orchard in The Arboretum at Penn State and the Chestnut Foundation's Meadowview Research Farms in Virginia contains the latest generation of traditionally bred plant material with the most chestnut blight resistance and American character. At the Penn State orchard last spring, Fitzsimmons and her colleagues conducted controlled pollination of selected trees. The tactic underlines challenges faced by researchers trying to bring back the American chestnut. "Because we still haven't finished planting out the orchard and we still haven't finished selecting and culling highly blight-susceptible trees we planted a few years ago, the blight-susceptible trees are pollinating trees that are selected and resistant," she explained. "So, when we collect nuts in this orchard, they have a wide variety of resistance and very few have full resistance, because there is so much pollen at this location." Fitzsimmons and other researchers bagged flowers on selected trees to keep unwanted pollen away and introduced pollen from trees known to have a high level of blight resistance. Blight resistance is measured after the fungus that causes the disease is applied to wounds made in the young chestnuts' trunks or branches. "When we were collecting open-pollination nuts, we were hoping that they wouldn't have this much susceptibility in the progeny, but because there is so much susceptibility in the pollen cloud, we were not able to get rid of it," Fitzsimmons explained. "So this year, we took the best of the best, and we performed controlled pollination. Controlled pollination, however, yields about 50 percent or fewer nuts than open pollination does. "These control-pollinated nuts will be a true test of levels of resistance possible in this population." The American Chestnut Foundation started its cross-breeding program in 1989, and Penn State got involved in 1997. The first orchard was planted by Professor Emeritus of Forest Genetics Henry Gerhold on State Game Land 176, not far from the University Park campus, as part of Christmas tree improvement research he was conducting. Kim Steiner, professor of forest biology and now arboretum director—and also the senior science adviser to The American Chestnut Foundation—then conducted silvicultural trials with chestnuts at the University's Stone Valley Recreation Area, starting in 1997. The chestnut orchard in The Arboretum at Penn State was started in 2002. In 2004, Professor of Molecular Genetics John Carlson started to examine the underlying molecular components of blight resistance. In a project funded by the National Science Foundation from 2006 to 2009, his laboratory identified several potential blight-resistance genes by painstakingly comparing genes expressed in cankers of susceptible American and resistant Chinese chestnut plants. With funding from The Forest Health Initiative, Carlson since 2009 has led a project to sequence and characterize the entire genome of one of the blight-resistant donor Chinese chestnut trees in the chestnut foundation's breeding program, with an eye toward identifying all of the resistance genes. Carlson, director of Penn State's Schatz Center for Tree Molecular Genetics, is now collaborating with tree geneticists and researchers at the University of Kentucky, Clemson University, Virginia Tech, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the State University of New York at Syracuse and the foundation to unravel the mystery of blight resistance. The group also is testing a genome-sequence-based system to accelerate the selection of blight-resistant plants that now are genetically American, using nuts harvested this fall from the trees that underwent controlled pollination in the Penn State orchard. Developing blight resistance in American chestnut is complex and challenging, concedes Carlson, who also has applied molecular-genetics techniques to modify poplar trees for bioprocessing and biofuels. "Our aspirations are to move the resistance genes from Chinese chestnuts into American chestnuts and find out which combinations of genes would give the best resistance," he said. "That has proven to be extremely complicated because more than a few genes are involved, and we haven't yet pinned down which ones are the most important. Genetic engineering groups have been testing about a dozen blight-resistance genes that have been identified. We have to test them in combination because we know that blight resistance is not a single-gene trait, so we have to test multiple combinations of genes, which is very difficult to do and takes time." If biotechnology researchers do develop a genetically modified, blight-free American chestnut, current federal regulations would limit distribution of the plants, Fitzsimmons noted. An estimated five years will be required to have the product deregulated by governmental agencies before it is available for widespread distribution and planting. "We expect to have research plantings of GMO backcross trees within the next two years," she said. "While GMO cannot be allowed to open pollinate under current regulations, GMO American chestnuts appear to offer an excellent chance of creating a blight-resistant American chestnut." The Chestnut Foundation also is planning to soon deploy a biocontrol, developed by pathologists from West Virginia University and the University of Maryland, to weaken the fungus that causes chestnut blight. The biocontrol involves infecting the fungus that causes chestnut blight with a virus that makes the fungus sick and reduces its virulence. "We are now focusing on the three Bs in concert to restore the American chestnut—breeding, biocontrols and biotechnology," Fitzsimmons said. "This gives us a bigger suite of tools to fight off this fungus and blight." But even if all of these initiatives to restore the American chestnut come off without a hitch, it may take a century or more to see chestnuts again across their former range, from Maine to Florida, she concedes. Based on research she is conducting in Maine and Vermont on naturally regenerating sites, it looks like it takes at least 20 years for a plot of chestnuts just to become established beneath a forest canopy. "Tree breeding, especially hardwoods, takes extraordinary patience because results often aren't seen over a lifetime—we knew that," she said. "To see a naturally regenerating American chestnut population regaining its reproductive niche in the ecological landscape will take a long time—50 years at least after we plant nuts from truly blight-resistant trees." No matter how long it takes, the chestnut reintroduction effort is monumental, Steiner stressed, because it is likely the most complex and long-term attempt to rescue a plant species ever pursued. Breeding trees to develop blight resistance is difficult enough, but in this particular case the rescue requires transferring genes from one species to another while still maintaining the genetic diversity of the original species. "A 'horticultural' solution—where a successful product is commonly a single, clonally propagated genotype—is not sufficient because we are attempting to restore a species to the wild where it must survive, reproduce and eventually evolve on its own," Steiner said. "A remarkable feature of this project is that it is being performed by a small non-profit with the help of thousands of volunteers. Fortunately, the work of the foundation has catalyzed millions of dollars in research by collaborators such as John Carlson, and this has greatly assisted progress." Explore further: Using DNA 'fingerprinting' to understand ancestry and immunity of trees


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

Following natural infection equine arteritis virus (EAV) establishes a long-term carrier state in the reproductive tract of stallions without any evidence of clinical signs. These carrier stallions maintain and perpetuate the virus in the equine population between breeding seasons. Sexual transmission of the virus can lead to outbreaks of equine viral arteritis characterized by abortion and respiratory disease in horses. The change of just four nucleotides in the CXCL16 gene is all that is necessary to determine whether or not stallions are likely to become long-term carriers of EAV. Sanjay Sarkar, Ernest Baily and Udeni Balasuriya of the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and colleagues report these findings December 8th, 2016 in PLOS Genetics. EAV infection is a serious problem for horse breeders because it can result in 10-70% of infected stallions becoming long-term carriers that can spread the virus in their semen for months or many years. In previous studies, the scientists discovered that some stallions have subpopulations of CD3+ T lymphocytes - a type of white blood cells - that are susceptible to EAV infection in lab experiments and are also associated with being carriers. To follow up on these findings, the researchers performed a genome wide association study to find gene alleles that correlate with persistent EAV infection. They identified alleles of the CXCL16 gene that code for two slightly different proteins, one associated with susceptibility to long-term infection, and the other associated with resistance to becoming a long-term carrier. Studies performed in cell culture suggest that the susceptible form of the protein acts as an entry receptor for the virus and is more effective at seeking out and binding the virus compared to the resistant form. The study describes the specific biological mechanisms that underlie resistance to lasting EAV infections in intact sexually matured male horses. It also adds to our general understanding of host-virus interactions and the evolution of resistance to infectious diseases. The results will likely have a significant impact on horse breeding industries, which can experience considerable economic hardship due to EAV infection. Findings from this study will enable development of a genetic test to identify the stallions at most risk for becoming EAV carriers and will help elucidate the mechanisms involved, the understanding of which could lead to development of treatment strategies to clear the infection. In the meantime, preferentially breeding for the "resistance" allele may help to limit persistent EAV infections in stallions. In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS Genetics: http://journals. Citation: Sarkar S, Bailey E, Go YY, Cook RF, Kalbfleisch T, Eberth J, et al. (2016) Allelic Variation in CXCL16 Determines CD3+ T Lymphocyte Susceptibility to Equine Arteritis Virus Infection and Establishment of Long-Term Carrier State in the Stallion. PLoS Genet 12(12): e1006467. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006467 Funding: This work was supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative competitive grant number 2013-68004-20360 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


News Article | September 7, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

When biologist Adrian Smith chose to study ants, he approached the field with ambitious questions and big dreams of discovering how animal societies work. The reality was much less glamorous. To capture ant colonies to study in the lab, he digs human-sized holes and then plucks out thousands of insects, one by one. After six hours or more of this backbreaking work, Smith, who works at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, and his teammates sometimes discover that the queen is missing, or they've inadvertently cut her in half. They then have to start over again. Such mind-numbing work occupies researchers' time in most specialities. By nature, science depends on intensive data collection, repetition and replication. To cope with the tedium, experienced scientists have found tricks for making the work more pleasurable, such as getting to know colleagues who are in the same trenches and keeping long-term goals in mind. Given the intense focus required for the bulk of their work, many scientists learn to value brainless tasks that allow them to zone out and indulge in free thinking. That can lead to creative research ideas or ways to boost efficiency. Faced with day after day of doing the same thing, researchers who appreciate boredom can gain insight into their goals and priorities. Boredom is a typical part of the process of scientific discovery, which rarely happens in a day. Even when intriguing results emerge, it can take many months to write a paper, get it peer reviewed and complete multiple revisions, and then wait for publication before sharing discoveries with the world. The first step towards coping successfully can be simply to accept the drill. “We wouldn't be on the edge of discovery if it was easy,” Smith says. “Sometimes, you're in places where no one has really looked, or you're seeing something no one has seen before. To get to that point, it takes some tedious work.” At such times, it can help to remember that the work might eventually bring bursts of exhilaration or, sometimes, a real thrill of discovery, says David Burnham, a palaeontologist at the University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum in Lawrence. He regularly digs for dinosaur bones — an experience that resembles a notorious description of war, he says — it entails “long periods of boredom, interspersed with high excitement”. Every trip begins months beforehand with much tiresome preparation, such as filling out forms to get excavation permits. Once his team arrives in the field, the group has to organize gear, drive on bumpy dirt roads and hike to a site where the researchers set up tents and equipment. Then comes the slow process of digging, often in hot or otherwise uncomfortable conditions. The work starts with shovels and picks, but when fossil evidence begins to appear, the palaeontologists switch to smaller, more delicate tools to unearth what might end up being just unidentifiable shards of bone. Any finds that could add to the overall puzzle must be carefully wrapped and meticulously documented before being taken to the lab, where an even more delicate process of excavation and investigation continues. As the hours disappear, Burnham keeps in mind the possibility that he might at any moment find a motherlode of bones or a fossil that will change everything. Equally motivating are sporadic discoveries that shed light on big questions. Sometimes, the pay-off can be huge. On one memorable dig in China, Burnham's team found a raptor that turned out to be a new species. During the monotonous fact-checking process required to verify the find, the team compared the new bones to those of a related raptor and realized that the relative had grooved teeth, which suggested that it was venomous. That realization led to a paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1 in 2010, that described the first venomous raptor ever known. Finds such as those are rewarding enough, he says, to confer a surprisingly high tolerance for boredom or similar discomfort. “That one piece of excitement is so exhilarating,” he says. “It just gets into your blood and you have to keep going.” Telling others about your grand goals can be another way to endure tedium, suggests David Hadley, an epidemiologist in Tampa, Florida, who does both academic and industrial research. He is developing a programme that would help oncologists to settle on the best course of care for patients with cancer on the basis of treatment data from previous patients and other information such as their ages, gender and genetic variations. To get it right, he has to run a lot of computer simulations and then wait as a computer crunches data, sometimes for up to a week. Often, results reveal mistakes that need to be fixed before the next simulation can be run. “It really helps to talk to other people about the big picture, not necessarily about what you are doing day to day, but about what you are trying to achieve overall,” he says. “In my case, it's trying to help sick kids. That is why I'm motivated to do it.” Just as musicians need to learn scales before they can improvise, grunt work is a necessary step towards designing studies to answer big questions, adds William Stoops, a behavioural pharmacologist at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He has spent many hours supervising research subjects as they interact with a computer to earn doses of addictive drugs, with the goal of working out what drives drug use and abuse, and finding treatments. “If you can't understand what a subject is supposed to do in a session, and you design an experiment that's just not feasible, it will fail,” he says. “Every graduate student and postdoc learns this stuff from the ground up.” Frequently reminding yourself of the potential pay-off can make delayed gratification more palatable, Smith says. “It sucks until it doesn't” is a mantra that he repeated to himself on a trip this year to Florida, where he spent eight long, hot days roaming around forests getting bitten by mosquitoes while crawling on his hands and knees to look for ants. It was tough going until he found what he was looking for: colonies of Formica archboldi, a species that preys on other ants and litters its nests with their carcasses. He wanted to take them to his lab to study their prey preferences and possible predatory behaviours. It could always be worse, adds neuroscientist Dean Burnett, who, as a graduate student at Cardiff University, UK, watched many rats navigate many mazes, tallying which direction the rats chose at each turn, to try to understand how they retrieved memories. Without a way to automate data collection, he would remind himself of the glamour of his previous job: embalming corpses for a medical school. He recommends starting work with your eyes open and the expectation that some tasks will be less fun than others. “People want to do science, and they have big lofty goals,” he says. “A lot is day-to-day work. There can't be many jobs that are generally enjoyable all day, every day.” To make monotonous work more bearable, it can also be useful to schedule repetitive tasks to match your own ebbs and flows of energy, says Karen Warkentin, an integrative biologist at Boston University in Massachusetts. To do her work, she has forced herself to stay awake many nights in a dark lab, waiting for snakes to wake up and eat frog eggs. She has walked around a pond counting bundles of dozens of eggs, often recounting and recounting. And she has measured thousands of frogs as they grew from tadpoles to adults, all in the name of understanding plasticity in the early-life stages of amphibians, among other goals. After handling frogs all day, she spent evenings plugging numbers into spreadsheets and checking columns — clocking 16-hour work days in what she calls a “crazy marathon” of an experiment. She prefers different times for different tasks. For her, early morning is usually best for creative work, such as writing. When her brain feels fried, often after lunch or in the evening, she finds satisfaction in repetitive jobs. “You can feel like, 'Hey, I'm still being productive',” she says. Warkentin likes to work in silence, but many researchers distract themselves by listening to music, podcasts or books on tape (see 'Tunes for tedium'). Tedious times can also be a bonding experience, Burnham says. While digging for dinosaur bones, his field crew chats and jokes around, creating memories and forging friendships. “The best way to endure it is to put together a field crew of people who are like-minded and enthusiastic and really want to be there,” he says. “Then you can sit around and have fun.” Boredom isn't just something to endure: it can carry value of its own, giving the brain uninhibited space to wander and wonder. As a graduate student, Smith had an idea while watching ants (Novomessor cockerelli) move around in a box for hours: what if he reunited a group of isolated worker ants with the queen instead of with the rest of the colony, as he had done in other experiments? The results were surprising: the queen attacked the main worker and rallied the rest of the workers to gang up on it. The discovery spawned two publications: one in the German journal Naturwissenschaften2 in 2011, and the other in Animal Behavior3 in 2012. Smith also credits boredom for some unexpected twists in his career. During bouts of daydreaming and podcast-listening while doing menial tasks, he decided to create a series of YouTube videos and launch a podcast, Age of Discovery, in which he interviews biologists about their careers. Developing those multimedia skills helped him to land his current job, which includes outreach and communications. “I spent countless hours thinking about whether I wanted to commit to things that were tangential to my research but turned out to not be tangential to my career,” he says. “That stuff wouldn't have happened if I was just occupied in front of the computer writing all the time or whatever.” Boredom can also spark creative ways to minimize it. Frustrated with how long it took to run computer simulations for his software, Hadley more than once boosted his efficiency by rewriting programs created by others. “If you are only doing something once or twice, you can afford to wait a couple of seconds,” he says. “When you are doing permutations two million times, that's two million seconds lost. It helps me reduce my downtime.” These kinds of stories are being documented in an emerging field of research on the value of boredom. In one study4, Jennifer Hunter, a PhD student at York University in Toronto, and her colleagues found that — after accounting for traits such as extroversion — people who are prone to boredom also report being curious types, adding to growing evidence that boredom can breed innovation. “I think it can be a huge catalyst,” she says. “Don't ignore your boredom. It can tell you really powerful things about what you're doing.” As a career evolves, boredom can become a state of comfort. Although Warkentin's frog-counting work might sound tedious, she doesn't mind it — instead, she finds it satisfying to be in the natural world and enjoy serendipitous experiences with wildlife. She looks for the same personality fit when fielding applicants for her team. “When I'm recruiting students,” she says, “I'm like, 'Does this sound like your idea of a good time?'” The answer might be 'no', and those feelings are worth paying attention to, says Margaret Couvillon, a behavioural ecologist who recently completed a postdoc at the University of Sussex, UK, and will soon begin teaching entomology at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg. Couvillon started out as a neurobiology PhD student, and found herself staring at slices of bird brains. As she slowly inserted probes into the tissue to find neurons, she became discontented. Her true interest was animal behaviour, and she realized that she really wanted to watch animals in action, not study their brains in the lab. When she transferred to an ecology programme elsewhere, she discovered that her experiments included plenty of tedious elements, too. She has spent “many, many, many hours” watching videos of dancing bees (Apis mellifera) and timing and measuring their movements to determine where they forage. She has also spent a lot of time sitting in front of honeybee feeders, counting insects that visit and waiting for long stretches when none come by. But Couvillon has discovered that she's much happier enduring boring work when it addresses the questions that truly interest her. And with so much of her time taken up by mentally exhausting tasks, she has come to cherish the chance to sit by a honeybee feeder on a nice day. She suggests keeping expectations realistic — after all, nobody has a job that delivers eureka moments every day. She also recommends shadowing a variety of scientists to see whether the daily reality seems appealing before committing to a speciality. “Not all dirty work is created the same,” Couvillon says. “You have to have an everyday life you can handle.”


News Article | November 23, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Soil isn't one size fits all. It may look the same under your feet - but under a microscope, that's a different story. A plant's roots, tiny bugs - these things can tell one soil from another quite easily. Soil scientists typically measure different aspects of soil -- how much air it contains, how well it retains water, heat, and more -- to determine if it is best for a specific purpose. These are called soil physical properties. And, when it comes to building on or growing in soil, it's important to know its many physical properties. Does water flow through the soil or run right over the surface? Quickly or slowly? How much water and air can it provide? How hard is it for roots and farm equipment to get through? Soil sustains crops, forests, animal production, urban development, and even projects like building silos, dams, and greenhouses. Robson Armindo, a professor at the Federal University of Paraná in Brazil, wanted to better understand the interactions of soil, air, and water. He worked with Ole Wendroth from the University of Kentucky. "Having a questioning personality, it was hard for me to use a generic soil physical quality index without knowing its origin and process," Armindo says. "This sparked my curiosity to evaluate many other factors in an analysis." For crop production, Armindo defines soil quality as the ability of a given soil to give a plant everything it needs to grow the best it can. A successful crop depends on a good soil match. "For example, under conditions of highly irrigated vegetable production, the best soil type may be a sandy soil rather than a clay one," he says. "The user should consider the purpose, crop type, and climate to classify whether the soil has adequate physical qualities or not." But what makes a soil high quality? Soil structure can change depending on the crop, climate, and land use in question. In addition, soils differ greatly over space and time. This variability makes it difficult. Armindo and Wendroth combined this information in mathematical equations. They tested their theory across different soils in Germany, Brazil, and the United States and found it successful. Their method for assessing soil physical quality can be carried out on any soil. For example, it would be useful for understanding if a certain soil would serve as a strong foundation for a building or field of crops. Assessing soil physical quality can save time and money. It can help steer away from soils that wouldn't help crops grow their best. "By using the information from these equations, a person may decide how to use a particular soil," Armindo explains. "Once the agronomist or land manager has access to this information, in addition to other physical, chemical, and biological properties, he or she can make a decision about the soil's best use and management." Read more about Armindo's research in Soil Society of America Journal. Funding for this research was provided by the U.S. National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the State of Kentucky as well as the Brazilian Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES).


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

PRG Real Estate, a leading multifamily real estate investment and management firm, announced today the acquisition of The Resort at Lake Crossing Apartments, located in Lexington, KY. The Resort at Lake Crossing is a 208-unit garden-style apartment community located along the major thoroughfare of Richmond Road. The community’s location provides proximity to major employers such as IBM, Lexmark, and Trane along with regional attractions such as The University of Kentucky, Jacobson Park, and the Keeneland Horse Racing Track. Built in 1999, The Resort at Lake Crossing provides a favorable mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units with spacious floorplans averaging over 1,000 square feet. Unit interiors are well-appointed with oversized bathtubs, wood burning fireplaces, vaulted ceilings and large patios or balconies. The property also has a wide variety of unique amenities to offer residents such as a saltwater pool and sundeck, 24-hour health and fitness center and a full-service coffee bar and picnic area. PRG plans to further enhance the community by redecorating the clubhouse and upgrading the apartment homes with new appliances, flooring and fixtures. “PRG is excited to assume ownership and management of Resort At Lake Crossing which will be our 4th acquisition in the Lexington market,” states CEO Sam Foster. “We have found that hands on management and focused customer service is the key to success. Our planned capital improvements will enhance both the apartment interiors as well as common area amenity space, improving the resident living experience and increasing the value of the property.” Founded in 1985 by Steven Berger and Jon Goodman, PRG Real Estate is a Philadelphia based real estate firm that acquires and manages quality apartment communities throughout the eastern half of the United States. Since its founding, PRG has acquired well over 50 communities and 13,000 apartment units. PRG also has been designated as an Accredited Management Organization by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and holds membership in the National Apartment Association (NAA) as well as the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC). For more information please visit http://www.prgrealestate.com


News Article | December 9, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

In a paper published in Acta Cryst. B, (2016), doi: 10.1107/S2052520616017297 Carol Brock of the University of Kentucky looks at some of the organizing principles behind crystal structures with high Z', where Z' is loosely the number of symmetry-independent molecules in the asymmetric unit. This study lies at the very heart of understanding and being able to control properties of molecular structures. Pharma and agrichem industries attach great importance to understanding crystal structure. The solid form impinges directly on properties such as solubility, bioavailability, processing characteristics, bulk density, dissolution rate, permeability, surface electrostatic charge and so on, so it is imperative to have a clear understanding of the molecular-level make-up of a material and how this affects its properties. This study illustrates that the high Z' phenomenon, like polymorphism itself, has many root causes but careful study of each structure allows the identification of organization principles in most cases. Brock leaves the door open for future research saying "very few structures are so complex that it is difficult to understand how the crystals could have formed". This comprehensive survey, in conjunction with a groundswell of work by a number of groups on this increasingly intriguing problem over the past 20 years, shows that there is no one-size-fits-all explanation and that the details of each structure are uniquely tied to the chemical details of the molecules that comprise it. The search goes on, but perhaps we are now at least beginning to know how to formulate the question.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

FRANKLIN, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Community Health Systems, Inc. (NYSE: CYH) announced today that W. Larry Cash, President of Financial Services and Chief Financial Officer, will retire from his executive management position and the Company’s Board of Directors on May 16, 2017, the date of the Company’s 2017 annual meeting of stockholders. Cash has served as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer since joining the organization in September 1997 and was elected to the Board in 2001. The Board of Directors approved Cash’s retirement plans today. Upon his retirement, Cash will enter into a consulting agreement with the Company, under which he will advise the Company’s management team on issues related to healthcare finance, management and operations. Thomas J. Aaron, who currently serves as Senior Vice President–Finance at Community Health Systems, will be appointed Chief Financial Officer immediately following Cash’s retirement. Aaron joined Community Health Systems in November 2016 after a 32-year career at Deloitte & Touche LLP. Aaron retired from Deloitte in October 2016 after serving as Tennessee Managing Partner and leading teams for many of the firm’s largest national healthcare provider and payer clients, including Community Health Systems, Inc., most recently in 2013. Commenting on the announcement, Wayne T. Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Community Health Systems, Inc., said, “No one has been more involved or more influential in shaping the evolution of Community Health Systems over the past two decades than Larry Cash. I am extremely grateful to Larry for his significant contributions, and I am proud of all that we have accomplished. Larry’s business and financial expertise have been critical to our success and encompassed every aspect of the Company’s strategic initiatives, operations and financial management. He has capably guided us through billions of dollars in financial transactions, numerous acquisitions and divestitures, our IPO in 2000, and he has provided oversight for many of our corporate departments. Community Health Systems has relied on Larry’s vast knowledge, integrity and tireless work, and he will leave us positioned to build on our accomplishments well into the future. I wish Larry the very best in his retirement and, on behalf of our Board and everyone at Community Health Systems, we thank him for his outstanding service.” Smith went on to say, “I am very pleased that Tom Aaron will transition into the role of CFO upon Larry’s retirement. Through his leadership role at Deloitte, Tom worked directly with our company as an audit partner for many years. Since joining our organization last November, Tom has been immersed in our financial operations, and he will continue to work closely with Larry to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities. I am highly confident in Tom’s ability to help Community Health Systems achieve our strategic and financial objectives.” Larry Cash is a 20-year veteran of Community Health Systems and has more than 30 years of management experience in the hospital and managed care sectors. Cash currently serves on the Board of Directors for Community Health Systems, Inc. and Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. Cash has been named one of the top three CFOs in the healthcare sector by Institutional Investor 11 times. He was named Business Tennessee’s first ever CFO of the Year in 2008. He also earned that distinction in the public companies category from the Nashville Business Journal in 2009 and went on to become recipient of the CFO Lifetime Achievement award from the Nashville Business Journal in 2014. Prior to joining Community Health Systems, Cash served as Vice President and Group Chief Financial Officer of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation from September 1996 to August 1997. Prior to Columbia/HCA, Cash spent 23 years at Humana Inc., most recently as Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations from 1993 to 1996. Cash received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky. He is a Certified Public Accountant and is professionally affiliated with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Tom Aaron joined Community Health Systems as Senior Vice President–Finance in November 2016 after concluding a 32-year career at Deloitte. Aaron served as Deloitte’s Tennessee Managing Partner for ten years. His healthcare industry experience at Deloitte includes audits of public and private companies, strategy and operations improvement consulting, mergers and acquisitions, financing and public equity offering services, and participation in numerous board and committee meetings. As a Deloitte partner, Aaron was the lead client service and lead assurance partner on the Community Health Systems’ external audit from 1996 to 2003 and from 2008 to 2013. Aaron received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and serves as a Master’s of Accounting Advisory Board member for the University of Kentucky and Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management. Community Health Systems, Inc. is one of the largest publicly traded hospital companies in the United States and a leading operator of general acute care hospitals in communities across the country. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns, leases or operates 158 affiliated hospitals in 22 states with an aggregate of nearly 27,000 licensed beds. The Company’s headquarters are located in Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb south of Nashville. Shares in Community Health Systems, Inc. are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CYH.” More information about the Company can be found on its website at www.chs.net. Statements contained in this news release regarding operating results and other events are forward-looking statements that involve risk and uncertainties. Actual future events or results may differ materially from these statements. Readers are referred to the documents filed by Community Health Systems, Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K, current reports on Form 8-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. These filings identify important risk factors and other uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements, or to make any other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


SALEM, SC, November 25, 2016-- Thurlow R. Robe has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.Recognized for more than six decades of valuable contributions to his field, Dr. Robe parlayed his extensive background into his role as Director of the Robe Leadership Institute and Dean Emeritus and Moss Professor of Engineering Education Emeritus of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University from 1996 to the end of 2004. He began his career with General Electric as an engineer in 1954, and then earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering with high honors from Ohio University in 1955. Dr. Robe then served on active duty as an officer and supersonic jet fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force from March 1956 to October 1959 completing his 30 years of service in the USAF Reserves in 1985 as a Major. Upon leaving active duty in 1959 Dr. Robe returned to GE until he took another leave to become an Acting Instructor and then an Instructor of Civil Engineering at his alma mater in the early 1960s. While there, he furthered his knowledge by earning a Master of Science in mechanical engineering in 1962 and then cancelled his leave from GE to continue his education at Stanford University, earning a Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics in 1966.In 1965, Dr. Robe relocated and began a 15-year stint at the University of Kentucky, where he served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the College of Engineering, Professor, Associate Professor and Assistant Professor of Engineering Mechanics as well as a one year term as Special Assistant to the President of the University of Kentucky as an ACE Fellow during 1970-71. He also spent six months in 1973 as a research fellow at the University of Edinburgh. In 1975, during this Kentucky period, he also became the president and chairman of the board of Q.E.D. Associates, a consulting firm. Upon leaving the University of Kentucky in 1980, Dr. Robe returned to Ohio University as the Dean of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology - a position he served in for 16 years. During the last few years as dean he was honored with the title Cruse W. Moss Professor of Engineering Education.Over the years Dr. Robe also served as a NASA-ASEE Fellow at Langley Research Center, as a consultant to Liberty Mutual Insurance, Orbison Ruby & O'Connor Attorneys, IBM, the Ohio Valley Sub-section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Ohio State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors, among others. Dr. Robe also held directorships with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, and the Ohio Aerospace Institute. He also served as a consultant to the NASA Gemini XIII Mission with T. R. Kane in 1966. Dr. Robe is affiliated with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society of Engineering Education, and the Ohio and National Societies of Professional Engineers.During the course of his extensive career, Dr. Robe also contributed to numerous articles in professional journals and was awarded a patent for a trailer hitch. Additionally, he has held offices with ASME, Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers, Ohio Engineering Deans Council, National Society of Professional Engineers, and ABET's Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, among others.Dr. Robe is the recipient of various accolades, the most noteworthy being the establishment of the T. Richard & Eleanora K. Robe Leadership Institute by the Russ College Board of Visitors and the Ohio University Board of Trustees. Dr. Robe was also honored as the Ohio University Alumnus of the Year in 1996 and a member of the Academy of Distinguished Graduates of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University in 2001. In 1951 he received the Eagle Scout award.In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Robe has been featured in Who's Who in American Education, Who's Who in the Midwest, and Who's Who in Science and Engineering.About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis now publishes many Who's Who titles, including Who's Who in America , Who's Who in the World , Who's Who in American Law , Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare , Who's Who in Science and Engineering , and Who's Who in Asia . Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at www.marquiswhoswho.com


News Article | March 16, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

In 2014, Michael Burel completed an online workbook that asked about his scientific competencies and interests. When he indicated that he was skilled in statistical analysis and enjoyed presenting research to a non-scientific audience, the programme suggested that he work in public policy, a field that didn't interest him. He tossed the results aside. But last year, the doctoral student, who is studying stem cells at New York University, revisited the tool as part of a course on building career options. This time it led him to science writing, a path that resonated, and the instructor and guest speakers helped him to identify ways in which he could train for a career in the field. Since then, he has attended a science-writing seminar, talked to science journalists about how they trained for and landed their jobs and attended a science-writers conference. He now interns as a science writer for the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation in New York City, which supports medical research. He says that the career workbook and related course have been some of the most useful aspects of his graduate education: together, they helped him to identify a viable career and guided him to the workshops, classes and internships that provided a starting point for his success. Burel's experience illustrates both the promise and problems of the career-development programmes known as individual development plans (IDPs) in the United States and researcher development frameworks (RDFs) in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe. The programmes, available in hard copy and online, aim to help trainees to identify what aspects of science they like best, match them with careers that incorporate their interests and skills and identify gaps in their competencies. Versions of the programmes can be as elaborate as the multi-question workbook that Burel initially turned to, or as simple as a short conversation with an adviser followed up by a written training plan. Either way, IDPs and RDFs can lead users in wrong directions and to dead ends when completed on their own or without follow-up. Junior scientists who hope to exploit the value of a career-development plan should complete them as part of a career-building course, discuss them with peers and an adviser and revisit them often (see 'Career planner'). Although IDPs are commonplace in the private sector, the scientific workforce has adopted them fairly recently. Vitae, a UK-based organization that trains and develops researchers around the world, developed an RDF in 2009. In 2013, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommended that principal investigators (PIs) use them with their postdocs and graduate students. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) later created a template for the hard-copy version, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) launched an online version called myIDP. Many institutions have developed their own version. Some trainees say that their institution's IDP programme is written to aim users towards academia. And, they warn, if a PI or adviser is not on board with other career choices, it can be tricky to get effective results from the programme. Gary McDowell, a postdoc at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, completes an IDP every year and discusses it with his PI. He says that both the programme and his PI are academically oriented, so he tries to be realistic about the plan's empirical value. “It's helpful to figure out conferences to go to, papers to plan, skills I need to be developing,” he says. “Ultimately, I think any reflection on your career goals, identifying successes in the past year and planning what you need in the next year is helpful, regardless of how you feel about your career path. But people may fall through the cracks.” There is little formal incentive to complete an IDP or RDF. The NIH does not follow up on its recommendation, and not all institutions require trainees to use one. Nor is there a mandate for its use in any nation. Just 47% of the postdoctoral offices that participated in a survey by the US National Postdoctoral Association said that they require their postdocs to complete an IDP, according to a 2014 report (see go.nature.com/awsupm). And another 37% encourage their use, the report said. Ultimately, the trainee should not just create, but also follow through on their career-development plan, says Philip Clifford, associate dean for research at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who helped to develop both the FASEB and AAAS versions. The biggest mistake users make is to consider it an endpoint rather than a launch pad, he adds. He has run some 200 career-building courses and workshops that incorporate the plan and build on its use and results. Lina Dimberg, who participated in one of Clifford's courses, followed the instructions with care and found the programme fruitful. As a postdoc in cancer research at the University of Colorado Denver, she knew that she did not want to stay in academia but was unsure of her options. She completed an IDP with Clifford's guidance and immediately learned that her strongest skills — writing grant proposals and papers, reading the literature and discussing research — gave her a solid foundation for several science-related careers, one of which was medical writing. Clifford's curriculum required her to set up meetings with scientists in occupations that the IDP had pinpointed as career possibilities. One of those chats led to a job as a writer at a medical-device company after her postdoc ended; today, she works there as a senior scientist. Dimberg credits the IDP process and the workshop that supported it for helping her to define her career objectives and to develop the necessary confidence to market herself for the position. “The IDP opens your eyes to careers where you can combine your science interest with other interests and skills,” she says. Sometimes, the programme might identify a good direction, but the user might not be quite ready at that point in time. When Nathan Vanderford was a graduate student and postdoc, his PIs encouraged him to complete an IDP that highlighted a tenure-track position — even though he wasn't sure that was the right route. “I ended up with a plan that I felt was not true to my desired career path,” he says. He then spent years in other careers, including science communications and research operations. Today, he has come almost full circle and is now a faculty member at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, where he has a faculty-administrator post that his IDP results from so long ago did not quite predict. He teaches a career-development class that incorporates the programme's best principles. “The IDP I was forced to do has little to do with my current position,” he says. “I want to give students a mechanism that allows them to explore freely any career option they want to pursue.”


Mott C.,University of Kentucky | Roberts S.M.,University of Turku
Antipode | Year: 2014

In geographic scholarship, urban exploration (urbex) has been examined as an embodied practice with radical potential for re-appropriating urban spaces. However, geographic literature on urban exploration has largely ignored the particular qualities of the urban explorer as a subject and neglected feminist scholarship on embodiment and social difference. Based on our examination of both popular and academic treatments of urbex we identify a prevalent and largely unacknowledged culture of masculinism. We ask: Whose bodies explore? What counts as experience? What constitutes the exchange between body and place? And, with what effects? Addressing these questions permits considerations of exclusions and marginalizations left unaddressed in much geographic literature on urbex. © 2013 The Authors. Antipode © 2013 Antipode Foundation Ltd..


Kim K.,KAIST | Tsay O.G.,KAIST | Atwood D.A.,University of Kentucky | Churchill D.G.,KAIST
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2011

The destruction and detection methods for the chemical warfare agents are examined. Acetyl-cholinesterase (AChE) inhibition is the most well-known mode of action of nerve agents. When nerve impulses reach a nerve ending, acetylcholine is released from the terminals of presynaptic nerves into the synaptic or neuromuscular junction and binds to the ACh receptor site on the postsynaptic membrane, thereby causing stimulation of the nerve fibers or muscles. Enzymatic hydrolysis involves nucleophilic addition and acid-based reactions at the catalytic site of the enzyme that involves a catalytic triad. Neutralization with aqueous NaOH at ambient temperature allows for the destruction of significant quantities of sarin (GB). VX and R-VX are completely hydrolyzed within 1-2 months at room temperature to nontoxic compounds in the presence of a stoichiometric amount of water. Peroxides are attractive reactants for decontamination because they are nontoxic and noncorrosive.


Haque F.,University of Kentucky | Li J.,Beijing Key Laboratory for Microanalytical Methods and Instrumentation | Wu H.-C.,CAS Institute of High Energy Physics | Liang X.-J.,National Center for Nanosciences and Technology of China | Guo P.,University of Kentucky
Nano Today | Year: 2013

Sensitivity and specificity are two most important factors to take into account for molecule sensing, chemical detection and disease diagnosis. A perfect sensitivity is to reach the level where a single molecule can be detected. An ideal specificity is to reach the level where the substance can be detected in the presence of many contaminants. The rapidly progressing nanopore technology is approaching this threshold. A wide assortment of biomotors and cellular pores in living organisms perform diverse biological functions. The elegant design of these transportation machineries has inspired the development of single molecule detection based on modulations of the individual current blockage events. The dynamic growth of nanotechnology and nanobiotechnology has stimulated rapid advances in the study of nanopore based instrumentation over the last decade, and inspired great interest in sensing of single molecules including ions, nucleotides, enantiomers, drugs, and polymers such as PEG, RNA, DNA, and polypeptides. This sensing technology has been extended to medical diagnostics and third generation high throughput DNA sequencing. This review covers current nanopore detection platforms including both biological pores and solid state counterparts. Several biological nanopores have been studied over the years, but this review will focus on the three best characterized systems including α-hemolysin and MspA, both containing a smaller channel for the detection of single stranded DNA, as well as bacteriophage phi29 DNA packaging motor connector that contains a larger channel for the passing of double stranded DNA. The advantage and disadvantage of each system are compared; their current and potential applications in nanomedicine, biotechnology, and nanotechnology are discussed. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


News Article | November 3, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Dr. Arthur Keiser, Chancellor of Keiser University, announced during a press conference two weeks ago the addition of a football program at its Flagship campus in West Palm Beach. Today, Keiser University named Howard Schnellenberger, Gregg Wallick, Rob Konrad, and Dr. Gary Vonk to the committee that will undertake the national search for the program’s inaugural head football coach. Dr. Arthur Keiser said, “The committee is strategically comprised of individuals who have a clear focus on the achievement of each student-athlete’s academic goals, expertise in collegiate and professional football, and the value sports add to the overall educational experience.” At the press conference, Coach Howard Schnellenberger said, “A wise man once said that you judge one’s character by the company they keep on the grid iron. University of Miami is a great example of that, Louisville is a great example of that, Florida Atlantic University is a great example of that, and Keiser University is the next in line to become the next great example.” Kris Swogger was also introduced as the University’s new athletic director. Swogger will provide support to the selection committee and expects a comprehensive and thorough search leading to an anticipated announcement of the Seahawks’ head football coach by Dec. 31, 2016. Subsequently, recruitment of assistant coaches and athletes will take place during the first quarter and throughout 2017. “The first official game is anticipated for Fall 2018 with completion of the new stadium, track, and additional athletic facilities in Summer 2018,” said Swogger. Keiser and Swogger noted that legendary national championship coach and current Seahawk’s men’s basketball coach, Rollie Massimino will have an advisory role on the committee given his decades of inspiration as a mentor and leader to scores of student athletes. “I believe that we have the coaches, students, and staff to accomplish great things athletically and academically in the West Palm Beach community. It is an exciting time to be a Keiser University Seahawk, and I look forward to building a successful football program for our students, staff, alumni, and fans,” Swogger added. About the Committee Rob Konrad attended Syracuse University where he played football as a fullback before being drafted by the Miami Dolphins, playing from 1999 through 2004. Konrad is currently the CEP of Alterna Financial and a Managing Director of KT Capital Partners. He is most recently known for his heroic swim to safety after falling off his boat while fishing alone in the Atlantic Ocean. Konrad swam nine miles over 16 hours and remains an inspiration to many South Floridians as a professional player and a survivor. Coach Howard Schnellenberger attended the University of Kentucky where he was an All-American. He began his career as an assistant coach at Kentucky before moving on to the University of Alabama. In his professional career, he was an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins and head coach at Baltimore Colts, University of Miami, University of Louisville, University of Oklahoma, and Florida Atlantic University. Schnellenberger has been a part of seven NFL playoff teams, two Super Bowl championship staffs, and four collegiate national championships. Dr Gary Vonk has been with KU since 2007 and was named President of the Flagship Campus in July 2016. He formerly served as president of the Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach campuses, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Keiser University’s growing Graduate School and Online Division. He has an extensive history of academia, business, civic, and philanthropic leadership in Palm Beach County. Since taking the Flagship helm, Dr. Vonk has added new academic degrees and athletic programs in swimming, lacrosse, and football. Gregg Wallick is the Chairman of Keiser University’s Board of Trustees and President and CEO of Best Roofing, a premier commercial roofing company located in Pompano Beach. He graduated from the University of Miami with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration. Wallick was a former captain of the Hurricanes football team, is a current member of the NRCA (National Roofing Contracting Association), the FRSA (Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Association), and has 28 years of experience in the commercial roofing industry. Keiser University now has 22 intercollegiate athletic teams competing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) division. The Seahawks have won four national championships and boast 67 All-American student-athlete scholars from over 39 countries. The women’s golf team is the 2016 NAIA National Champions for the second straight year and third time in school history. Men’s basketball and men’s tennis are the Sun Conference regular season champions and the women’s soccer team won the 2015 Sun Conference Tournament Championship. About Keiser University Keiser University, co-founded by Dr. Arthur Keiser, Chancellor in 1977, is a private, not-for-profit University serving nearly 20,000 students offering 100 degrees at the doctoral through associate level on 18 Florida campuses, online and internationally, employing 3,800 staff and faculty. Ranked #23 by US News & World Report in its 2017 Best Regional Colleges South category, Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges as a Level VI to award certificates and degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Keiser University.


News Article | March 10, 2016
Site: phys.org

A new type of graphene-based filter could be the key to managing the global water crisis, a study has revealed. The new graphene filter, which has been developed by Monash University and the University of Kentucky, allows water and other liquids to be filtered nine times faster than the current leading commercial filter.


Brothers Osborne's "Stay a Little Longer" Is Song of the Year; Warner/Chappell Earns Publisher of the Year; Radio Personality Bobby Bones Saluted with Partners in Music Award NASHVILLE, TN--(Marketwired - November 01, 2016) - The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) hosted its 54th Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards on Monday, October 31 at Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville. The writers and publishers of country music's most-performed songs of 2015 were honored before an audience of distinguished Nashville songwriters, top country stars and music industry leaders. Hit songwriter Ashley Gorley was named ASCAP Country Music Songwriter of the Year for the third time in a row and the fourth time in his career, for his seven chart-topping songs from 2015. In a surprise appearance, John "Coach Cal" Calipari, the head coach of the University of Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team, introduced a video tribute to Gorley, who happens to be a passionate Wildcats basketball fan. After the video salute from Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan and Cole Swindell, Trace Adkins performed one of Gorley's first #1 hits, "You're Gonna Miss This." ASCAP President and award-winning songwriter Paul Williams presented Gorley with the award. Ricky Skaggs, a pioneer of bluegrass and country music with 14 Grammys and more than 30 albums to his credit, was honored in song before being presented with the esteemed ASCAP Founders Award. Garth Brooks performed "Highway 40 Blues"; Alison Krauss, with Suzanne and Sidney Cox of the Cox Family, performed "Waitin' for the Sun to Shine"; and Peter Frampton and Gordon Kennedy performed "My Cup Runneth Over." The ASCAP Founders Award is given to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Rising country star and longtime ASCAP member Chris Stapleton was honored with the ASCAP Vanguard Award, which recognizes the impact of songwriters on genres that are shaping the future of music. The award was presented by ASCAP Senior Creative Director Mike Sistad, an early Stapleton supporter. Stapleton is also nominated in five categories at the CMA Awards, which take place in Nashville on November 2. TJ and John Osborne, known also as EMI Nashville recording artists Brothers Osborne, performed "Stay a Little Longer," which received Song of the Year. The crowd was also treated to performances of ASCAP's top 5 country music songs of the year: "I'm Comin' Over" by songwriter Corey Crowder and recording artist Chris Young; "Save It for a Rainy Day" by songwriters Matthew Ramsey and Brad Tursi; "Gonna" by songwriter Craig Wiseman with Luke Laird; and "Nothin' Like You" by Dan + Shay and songwriters Chris DeStefano and Ashley Gorley. Fast-rising country music star Kelsea Ballerini was on hand as ASCAP honored iHeart Radio personality Bobby Bones with its Partners in Music Award, in recognition of his unwavering support of emerging and established ASCAP songwriters and artists. The Partners in Music Award honors an ASCAP licensee who has shown exceptional dedication in presenting ASCAP members' music to the public. Ballerini also performed her hit song, "Love Me Like You Mean It," to open the awards show. ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews presented the Publisher of the Year Award to Warner/Chappell Music Publishing CEO Jon Platt and EVP Ben Vaughn. Warner/Chappell published 18 of the most-performed ASCAP country songs of 2015, and earned the top publisher award for the fourth consecutive year. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business - from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With 600,000 members representing more than 10 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. www.ascap.com.


News Article | March 31, 2016
Site: www.sciencenews.org

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, an overzealous set of proteins and cells begins to chew away at the brain’s nerve cell connections, a study in mice suggests. That finding, described March 31 in Science, adds to a growing body of research that implicates excessive synaptic pruning, a process that shapes the young brain by culling unused connections, with disorders later in life. The new work pins the loss of nerve cell–connecting synapses on particular immune system molecules and a notorious Alzheimer’s-linked protein. By uniting these multiple strands of evidence, the study may help explain the earliest steps in Alzheimer’s march of neural destruction. “No one has put it together in quite this way,” says neuropathologist John Trojanowski. If the same process happens in humans, the new results may point to ways to slow or stop Alzheimer’s, says Trojanowski, of the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school. A curious observation led to this new view of neural whittling. A protein called C1q was packed around synapses in the brains of young mice genetically engineered to show signs of Alzheimer’s. And C1q was most abundant in brain areas known to suffer synapse losses as Alzheimer’s takes hold. C1q is a member of the complement cascade, a group of immune system proteins that calls in microglia cells to gobble up synapses or cells. This pruning is essential as the brain develops. But these neural gardeners seem to spring back into action in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, neuroscientist Beth Stevens of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University and colleagues found. And that reactivation seems to be helped along by the Alzheimer’s-related protein amyloid-beta. In the brains of mice that weren’t genetically engineered, injections of oligomeric A-beta, the form thought to be the most dangerous, caused C1q levels to rise. Along with this increase, synapses got destroyed, the team found. But A-beta injections didn’t harm synapses in mice lacking C1q, showing that C1q and A-beta are both needed for excessive pruning. How the two proteins exactly work together isn’t clear, Stevens says, but “they are definitely there at the right time and the right place.” Complement proteins and microglia are known to be active in late-stage Alzheimer’s, when the inflamed brain is packed with sticky gobs of A-beta. But the new results suggest that the synapse-pruning pathway is active much earlier in the disease process, long before A-beta plaques form. “The story is extremely compelling and tight in Alzheimer’s mouse models,” says neurologist Scott Small of Columbia University. There are reasons to think that a similar process happens in people. Autopsy studies by neurobiologist Stephen Scheff of the University of Kentucky in Lexington and colleagues, for instance, have turned up fewer synapses in the brains of people with mild cognitive impairment — thought to be an early stage of Alzheimer’s. The cause of that synapse loss could certainly be explained by changes in complement proteins or microglia, Scheff says. Any therapy that would target this pruning process would first depend on identifying people at risk. And so far, there are no good tests to spot excessive oligomeric A-beta in the brain, says neurologist Sam Gandy of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. “Oligomers are invisible,” he says. But if screening methods are developed, then the prospect of stopping Alzheimer’s by stopping synapse loss is appealing, Small says. A drug that could prevent C1q or its conspirators from targeting synapses for destruction might halt the damage, for instance. “It’s easier to cure a sick cell than a dead cell,” he says. Overactive synaptic pruning may be behind other brain disorders, Stevens suspects. She and her colleagues recently implicated a different complement cascade protein in schizophrenia (SN: 2/20/16, p. 7). “This may be a pathway that is dysregulated and playing a role in synapse loss in a host of neurological diseases, not just one,” she says. Stevens and several coauthors are involved with a company that is developing a drug to block C1q.


News Article | March 11, 2016
Site: www.rdmag.com

A new type of graphene-based filter could be the key to managing the global water crisis, a study has revealed. The new graphene filter, which has been developed by Monash University and the University of Kentucky, allows water and other liquids to be filtered nine times faster than the current leading commercial filter. According to the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report, lack of access to safe, clean water is the biggest risk to society over the coming decade. Yet some of these risks could be mitigated by the development of this filter, which is so strong and stable that it can be used for extended periods in the harshest corrosive environments, and with less maintenance than other filters on the market. The research team was led by Associate Professor Mainak Majumder from Monash University. Associate Professor Majumder said the key to making their filter was developing a viscous form of graphene oxide that could be spread very thinly with a blade. "This technique creates a uniform arrangement in the graphene, and that evenness gives our filter special properties," Associate Prof Majumder said. This technique allows the filters to be produced much faster and in larger sizes, which is critical for developing commercial applications. The graphene-based filter could be used to filter chemicals, viruses, or bacteria from a range of liquids. It could be used to purify water, dairy products or wine, or in the production of pharmaceuticals. This is the first time that a graphene filter has been able to be produced on an industrial scale – a problem that has plagued the scientific community for years. Research team member and PhD candidate, Abozar Akbari, said scientists had known for years that graphene filters had impressive qualities, but in the past they had been difficult and expensive to produce. "It's been a race to see who could develop this technology first, because until now graphene-based filters could only be used on a small scale in the lab," Mr Akbari said. Graphene is a lattice of carbon atoms so thin it's considered to be two-dimensional. It has been hailed as a "wonder-material" because of its incredible performance characteristics and range of potential applications. The team's new filter can filter out anything bigger than one nanometre, which is about 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. The research has gathered interest from a number of companies in the United States and the Asia Pacific, the largest and fastest-growing markets for nano-filtration technologies. The team's research was supported by industry partner Ionic Industries, as well as a number of Australian Research Council grants. Ionic Industries' CEO, Mark Muzzin, said the next step was to get the patented graphene-based filter on the market. "We are currently developing ways to test how the filter fares against particular contaminants that are of interest to our customers" Mr Muzzin said. Co-author of the research and Director of the Center for Membrane Science, Professor Dibakar Bhattacharyya, from the University of Kentucky, said: "The ability to control the thickness of the filter and attain a sharper cut-off in separation, and the use of only water as the casting solvent, is a commercial breakthrough."


News Article | November 24, 2016
Site: www.fastcompany.com

This is the time of year when we focus on giving thanks, with many of us sharing our gratitude with friends and family. But when is the last time you thanked your employees? Coworkers? Or boss? If you haven’t recognized the members of your work team lately, you need to repair the oversight before your Thanksgiving Day leftovers are history. Gratitude is absolutely vital in the workplace, says UC Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons, author of The Little Book of Gratitude: Creating a Life of Happiness and Wellbing by Giving Thanks, and a leading researcher on the subject. "Most of our waking hours are spent on the job, and gratitude, in all its forms, is a basic human requirement," he says. "So when you put these factors together, it is essential to both give and receive thanks at work." Gratitude has been the subject of numerous studies, and the findings could be beneficial to your workplace: Lack of gratitude is a major factor driving job dissatisfaction, turnover, absenteeism, and often, burnout, says Emmons. "In many organizations the workplace culture is toxic," he says. "Symptoms of this are exploitation, complaint, entitlement, gossip, negativity." Expressing thanks is a remedy against these symptoms, says Emmons. "Grateful individuals live in a way that leads to the kind of workplace environment that human beings long for," he says. Gratitude also reduces aggression, according to a study by the University of Kentucky. Participants who practiced gratitude were more sensitive toward others and less likely to seek revenge or retaliation when given negative feedback. Gratitude takes people outside of themselves and to a place that is part of a larger, more intricate network of sustaining relationships, says Emmons, relationships that are mutually reciprocal. "In this sense, it, like other social emotions, functions to help regulate relationships, solidifying and strengthening them," he says. Gratitude also leads to reciprocity. "It is not only a response to kindnesses received, but it is also a motivator of future benevolent actions on the part of the recipient," says Emmons. "Serving these functions, gratitude enhances our own well-being in that we are built for relationships," he points out. "Gratitude is the high-octane fuel that, without which, we’d be in relational ruin." Researchers from the London School of Economics found that financial incentives can backfire when it comes to motivating employees. An analysis of 51 separate experiments found overwhelming evidence that "incentives may reduce an employee's natural inclination to complete a task and derive pleasure from doing so." Appreciation is a much better motivator. A study by Glassdoor found that 80% of employees would be willing to work harder for an appreciative boss, and 70% said they’d feel better about themselves and their efforts if their boss thanked them more regularly. A study done at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania underscores this point. Researchers divided participants into two groups, and asked them to make fundraising calls to solicit alumni donations. One group followed the traditional method of making calls while another group was given a speech by the director of annual giving, who expressed gratitude for their efforts. The group who received the pep talk made 50% more fundraising calls than those who did not. There is no limit to the way in which gratitude is expressed, says Emmons. "We are hungry for genuine expressions of gratitude," he says. "Everyone wants to feel appreciated, valued, recognized." Employee recognition programs are a common way gratitude is demonstrated in workplaces, but little micro-expressions of gratitude are easier and can be delivered more frequently. "Just saying ‘thank you,’ acknowledging a kindness, or engaging in a helpful act are all ways of expressing gratitude," says Emmons. Particularly important is sincerity, adds Emmons. "With something like gratitude in the workplace, we know that it works, but we also know you have to keep gratitude authentic," he says. "If, for instance, a leader tries to offer gratitude for purely cynical or instrumental reasons, it's unlikely to work. "Gratitude is the ultimate performance-enhancing substance at work," says Emmons. "Gratitude heals, energizes, and transforms lives in a myriad of ways consistent with the notion that virtue is both its own reward and produces other rewards."


News Article | March 4, 2016
Site: www.labdesignnews.com

Institutions continually face critical decisions regarding increased expectations and growing student population, while managing decreased funding for higher education, especially as it relates to technology intensive STEM facilities. It is challenging to keep pace with the rising cost of education due to the decreasing value of the dollar, the downward trend of ancillary funding, increasing administrative costs and large scale fundraising. In an attempt to keep up with rising costs, institutions have resorted to numerous measures to meet both need and expectations. Cost cutting strategies often include increased class sizes, pay and/or hiring freezes, deferred maintenance of the institutions’ facilities, and reliance on graduate students and adjunct and non-tenured professors for student instruction. These trends are flawed in that they do not improve the quality of the students’ education, nor are they sustainable as long-term, fiscally responsible solutions. Rather than attempting to “fix” budgetary issues in this manner, new STEM facilities are able to implement lab support and space utilization strategies, which require less space than “traditional” facilities. Reduced program space translates to a savings in both operational and first costs, and can result in a modern day STEM facility with less financial compromises. The following addresses projects which optimize space utilization while simultaneously improving aspects of the students’ education, their experience and, as a result, allow the institutional dollars to stretch beyond expectations. Traditionally, STEM facilities are pressured to provide unique spaces for each discipline. The more specialized the space requirements, the less likely it is that the space can be appropriately configured and utilized for multiple courses. It is not unusual to see eight to 12 course offerings in Biology, three to five in Chemistry, two to four in Physics, and two to three in Earth and Environmental Sciences. With each of these distinct program types, STEM facilities run the risk of requiring an excessive quantity of space types simply to meet the breadth of courses offered. Depending on the course demand, its popularity and the number of students accommodated within a pre-defined class configuration, multiple spaces might be required within each of the space types to accommodate the necessary through-put of students. With lab blocks typically scheduled two to four hours, one to three times a week, closely sequenced courses are a necessity. Preparation for these labs may include significant time for chemical and equipment set-ups prior to the commencement of the session. Additionally, student lab time is typically needed to complete coursework outside of official class hours. Both of these issues can severely impact the optimized scheduling of lab spaces, which adversely impact overall utilization. Establish your company as a technology leader! For more than 50 years, the R&D 100 Awards have showcased new products of technological significance. You can join this exclusive community!  . The proposed design of the Skidmore College Science Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., addresses inefficient utilization, lab preparation and student access. Within the college’s existing STEM buildings, spaces originally intended as preparatory environments for the teaching lab spaces were commandeered due to expanding enrollment. This is a common occurrence at many institutions. Our strategy reinstated the separation of lab preparatory functions, allowing the lab preparation to occur simultaneous with the instruction in the adjacent lab. This is the first of two strategies implemented which increased the number of labs scheduled in a teaching lab space. The preparatory set-ups can be transferred to the lab for the subsequent lab course within minutes of the completion of the first session, which effectively enabled the scheduling of more lab sessions, compressed within a given week. In addition, the institution accommodated “open student lab hours” within labs throughout the day, which allowed students access to the lab environment to complete lab assignments and other work. This prevented optimal utilization of the most costly lab spaces. By providing “ancillary course work rooms” at a fraction of the size and cost of the typical teaching labs, student access to an appropriate work environment was unencumbered while keeping the labs available for scheduled courses. Combined, these two strategies reduced the number of labs required to meet the demand of scheduled courses, and resulted in flexible and efficient student space with the potential for teaching lab spaces to be better utilized for their intended purpose. The programming and design of Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) in Troy, N.Y., solved a similar dilemma differently. The removal of the preparatory function from the teaching labs spaces was also fundamental to their solution to optimize utilization. However, the preparatory space planning strategy differed. At HVCC, the preparation programs were combined to service all the labs from a remote, consolidated location, accessed by means of dedicated service corridors and a service elevator. In this instance, monetary savings came in the form of reduced construction costs for a single, larger preparatory space, rather than multiple smaller prep rooms scattered throughout the building. Additionally, there were financial advantages born from the increased operational efficiencies due to the single, centralized preparatory facility. There are clear benefits in the efficiency of the building when combining multiple, scattered, discrete prep spaces and consolidating and co-locating them as a singular entity. First, combining multiple prep spaces to a single, centralized preparation location avoids the duplication of equipment that would have been distributed among the isolated prep spaces in order to effectively service their corresponding teaching labs. This redundancy can be costly, and the distributed prep spaces may not be optimally sized, since its area is somewhat predetermined by the lab module width, as well as the depth of the adjoining labs. Additionally, the building area and infrastructure (including building services required by the equipment and systems for environmental control) are able to be reduced when redundant equipment is omitted. This operational cost savings for the building infrastructure is enhanced by the staffing efficiencies when preparation occurs in one suite of spaces, rather than preparing lab set-ups from many locations throughout the building. This strategy was furthered by the dedicated support staff already in place at HVCC. We implemented a similar strategy, at a much larger scale, at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, where their Academic Science Building serves over 35,000 students per year. This student population represents more than four times the combined totals of the other two institutions. Rather than a single preparatory lab for the entire building, we determined that the program would benefit from consolidation of prep spaces by designing the preparation to occur within a single program space, on each of the three levels of the building, rather than within a single consolidated suite of prep spaces. The scale of the labs and quantity of lab set-ups required on each floor factored into this decision. The preparation spaces are vertically stacked and directly adjacent to the dedicated service corridor and elevator. The preparation spaces serve labs which accommodate over 200 combined student seats on each level. As with the HVCC example, the use of the dedicated service corridor creates a safe environment for the building occupants by separating lab chemical distribution from the public circulation. At the University of Kentucky, where space is at a premium due to the number of students required to participate in introductory courses, another cost effective solution resulted from a shift in pedagogy. Rather than providing multiple, duplicate labs, each designed to accommodate 24 students and requiring 1,300 nsf of space to accommodate the demand for biology courses, technology enhanced active learning environments (TEAL Rooms) were provided to more efficiently meet the demand. These TEAL rooms support collaborative learning by merging lecture, simulation and hands-on experimentation. TEAL rooms are a good match for advancing specific biological courses of study. TEAL rooms are appropriate for the introductory Biology curriculum because the current pedagogy recognizes that skills such as analytical thinking and writing are just as important to scientific training as learning from experimental work. At 750 nsf these TEAL rooms accommodate the same number of students as the lab environments nearly twice their size, while providing a more optimal learning environment for much of the biological syllabi. Over 4,000 nsf of teaching lab and preparation space was not necessary due to the implementation of this strategy. This equates to a significant savings, especially because the TEAL space was provided at a reduced cost/sf when compared to the cost of traditional biology teaching labs. Additionally, the TEAL rooms do not require the ancillary preparatory programs to support them. Some of the remaining Biological programs still required the more typical lab space. However, much of the biology coursework is optimal for the active learning environment native to a TEAL room. Additionally, TEAL rooms are flexible spaces which use furniture rather than fixed casework, and accommodate other academic programs readily. Traditional STEM teaching facilities represent some of the most costly buildings in an academic setting to construct, operate and maintain. Planning strategies which optimize utilization of the program spaces within these facilities translate to better use of construction and operational funds. Strategies that consolidate space use are the key to stretching an institution’s dollars over the buildings’ lifetime. Rather than implementing more traditional cost cutting measures, these examples optimize the accommodation of the same programs in less space. These examples have; provided more functionality in less space, configured more optimal building support systems, implemented safer environments and incorporated the most current and appropriate teaching modalities, which resulted in the execution of a strategy superior to traditional methods. This allowed each institution to stretch their dollars the betterment of the institution, its faculty, staff and most importantly, the students. David Feth, AIA, LEED AP, is a Principal with Payette in Boston. www.payette.com


News Article | February 10, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Fund provides three $5,000 college scholarships to children of UAW Local 862 members or retirees Honors Lewis Sexton, Kentucky labor leader and former president of UAW Local 862 LEXINGTON, Ky., Feb. 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Morris Industries is pleased to announce the second year of the Lewis Sexton Scholarship Fund. The fund is named in honor of Lewis Sexton, former president of UAW Local 862 and the grandfather of Nate Morris, founder and chairman of Morris Industries. In partnership with the Blue Grass Community Foundation, the fund provides three $5,000 college scholarships to children of UAW Local 862 members or retirees. “For more than 50 years, Lewis Sexton has faithfully served the members and families of UAW Local 862,” says Morris, who is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Rubicon Global, the worldwide leader in sustainable, cloud-based waste and recycling solutions. “My grandfather’s integrity and commitment to the community are incredibly inspiring.” Sexton has been an influential union and labor voice in the commonwealth of Kentucky for more than six decades. He has been recognized nationally for his efforts and work on behalf of organized labor. While serving in the U.S. Army as a tank commander, Sexton started his career at the Ford Motor Company on South Western Parkway in Louisville, Kentucky. Soon after, he discovered his interest in serving the members of UAW Local 862. He was elected to serve as the group’s bargaining committeeman in 1965. In 1971, Lewis became the first committeeman to be elected president and building chairman of UAW Local 862, a capacity in which he served for 10 years. From 1966 to 2010, Sexton was a delegate to the UAW National Constitutional Convention. After his retirement, he was elected by the retired members to represent them on the UAW Local 862 Executive Board. He currently represents 5,000 retirees and surviving spouses. In addition to his service at UAW Local 862, Sexton has supported the Fraternal Order of Police and served as a Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff. He has also worked with several charitable organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, American Red Cross, Kosair Charities, United Way of Kentucky and Adopt A Child. Morris is proud to continue his grandfather’s legacy through the Lewis Sexton Scholarship Fund, which furthers the education of children in his home state of Kentucky. 2016 scholarship winners include: Samantha Crawford, attending Western Kentucky University; Taylor Garrison, attending Bellarmine University; and Elliann Yocum, attending the University of Kentucky. Applications for 2017 are due March 15. To apply or learn more, please visit http://morrisindustries.com/lewissexton/. About Morris Industries: Headquartered in Lexington, Ky., Morris Industries is a private holding company focused on applying technology to the industrial economy. Learn more at http://morrisindustries.com.


News Article | December 7, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

Picture this: a salamander and a mouse both lose a limb in an accident. “A salamander laughs at that kind of injury,” says James Godwin, an immunologist and regeneration biologist at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. “For a mouse, it's devastating. That's because, over the next few weeks, the salamander will regrow that lost limb — a perfect replica of the original — without any scar tissue forming. Meanwhile, the mouse, if it survives, will be left with a stump. Researchers have long looked at these divergent trajectories and wondered whether it might be possible to make mice — and by extension humans — behave more like the salamander. This requires identifying the molecular and cellular processes activated during the regenerative process that allow animals as varied as zebrafish, lizards and certain species of rodent to regrow everything from limbs to organs. The hope is to one day insert or reactivate the same pathways in humans. It's a tantalizing prospect. “Salamanders rebuild the tissue so perfectly that you can't recognize that it was regenerated,” says Elly Tanaka, a regenerative biologist at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna. Wouldn't it be amazing, she says, if humans could do the same? The origin of animals' ability to regenerate limbs and organs is uncertain. One possibility is that as mammals evolved more complex immune systems, they developed a scarring response to injury that helped to protect them against infection. Essentially, says Kenro Kusumi, a regeneration biologist at Arizona State University in Tempe, an injured animal must 'choose' between a quick heal with scar tissue or a slow regenerative response that might leave it more vulnerable to predation for a few weeks. Although there are exceptions, mammals generally go for the quick fix, whereas salamanders and a few other vertebrates, such as fish and lizards, hunker down and rebuild. If mammals have gained the scar response at the expense of regeneration, they might still have the molecular and cellular pathways needed for regeneration lying dormant. Regeneration in humans, says Kusumi, might “just be a matter of turning the switches back on. Humans, particularly early in life, do have limited repair capabilities, suggesting that some of the genetic programs for regeneration are present in mammals, but get turned off during development. Consider the heart. When an adult has a heart attack, hundreds of millions of heart muscle cells die and a scar forms around the injury. With no way to regenerate or repair those cells, the weakened and scarred heart is more prone to subsequent heart attacks or failure. But research shows that newborn mice can regenerate heart-muscle cells. If you take a pair of scissors and snip off a third of the ventricle of the heart in a one-day-old mouse, says Godwin, the heart will repair itself without scarring. Do the same experiment at day seven, however, and that ability has been lost. Intriguingly, human babies might have the same capacity. One case study reported an infant who had a heart attack at birth, and whose heart was scar-free a year later1. Nevertheless, evidence is sparse and experiments are obviously unethical. To achieve regeneration in humans, scientists must first identify the switches that turn on regeneration in other animals. One candidate for studying this is the salamander, which is capable of regrowing limbs that are perfect replicas of the original. That's why Tanaka has been studying the amphibians for 20 years. “The salamander system provides a kind of guiding principle of how regeneration can work,” she says, “of how parts are put together”. But it is not the only candidate. Over the years, regeneration biologists have expanded their animal repertoire, and their choice is often driven by the regenerating body part of interest. For instance, Kenneth Poss, a regeneration biologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, works with zebrafish (Danio rerio) because he's interested in heart regeneration. Although other animals, such as salamanders and lizards, are also capable of rebuilding a heart, the main advantage of the zebrafish is that it is an established lab animal, which makes it easier to create mutant and transgenic strains to test theories, Poss says. Some researchers are turning their attention to lizards, which can generate new tails. Although lizards are much closer to humans, genetically speaking, than salamanders or zebrafish, the new tail is imperfect, composed entirely of cartilage and no bone. Even so, figuring out how to grow back cartilage in humans would be a huge feat. “Cartilage is not a tissue that most animals can even heal,” says Thomas Lozito, a developmental biologist at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, whose work compares regeneration in lizards and salamanders. Thanks to efforts such as these, the basic steps involved in regeneration have been established in the organs of several types of animal; these include the zebrafish heart, salamander limb and mammalian liver. Although still a controversial idea, many scientists now think that regeneration is driven by a process known as dedifferentiation. That is, after an amputation or injury, adult fibroblast and muscle cells elsewhere in the body seem to receive signals to revert to a more embryonic state. “The cells go one step back in development,” says Guo Huang, a regenerative biologist at the University of California, San Francisco. As that dedifferentiation takes place, epidermal skin cells migrate to the injury site to seal it by forming a wound epidermis. Cells at the wound site then form a ridge, or apical epithelial cap, which sends out signals for the dedifferentiated cells to migrate in. Soon, the dedifferentiated cells start dividing to populate the bud of a new limb or other body part, known as a blastema. Scientists have begun to identify and even manipulate the genes and proteins activated during regeneration. “We've identified enough molecules that we can kind of make a basic mechanistic description of what's happening in the salamander during regeneration,” says Tanaka. The next step, researchers say, is to put these genes back in lab rodents. Getting humans to regrow an amputated arm is still a long way off, but researchers suspect that this intermediate step could happen within the next few years. “Once you translate a finding from a salamander or a fish to a mouse,” Godwin says, “you've got a better chance of translating it to humans. Perhaps that intermediate step in salamanders, lizards or fish will prove extraneous as researchers find mammals that are capable of the same sort of regeneration. Working in mammals would also circumvent the logistical problems that come with translating findings from distantly related species to humans. Ken Muneoka, a regeneration biologist at Texas A&M University in College Station has been making this argument since the 1980s. Humans are very different from other creatures, Muneoka says. Whereas a salamander limb is mostly cartilage, a human limb contains a lot of bone. So any regenerative response in the mammal must first account for how to deal with big chunks of exposed bone. “That is very specific to the mammal,” Muneoka says. Some mammals do seem to have sorted out at least part of the secret to regeneration, however. Consider the story of the African spiny mouse. In 2009, Ashley Seifert, a newly minted developmental biologist, spent the summer in Kenya. An acquaintance who was familiar with the country had told Seifert about a local rodent that could lose — and regrow — huge chunks of skin. Intrigued, Seifert set up some traps and captured several spiny mice (Acomys), which are abundant in the rocky outcroppings that pockmark the savannah. He quickly discovered that even just handling these rodents caused their skin to tear. Initially, the skin-healing process looked similar to that of other rodents, but after about 20 days, rather than the typical hairless scar, the spiny mice started to regrow hair follicles. In fact, the skin never scarred at all. “When we conducted the initial experiments in the field, we watched the animals heal over time and regenerate the tissues,” says Seifert, now at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. In a process known as autotomy, these rodents seem to be casting off body parts to evade a predator — the same sort of self-preservation method seen in lizards and salamanders. Seifert had found a mammal that seemed to have turned its regenerative switch for skin back on2. Seifert discovered that the mice could also repair holes in their ear — a classic body part in which to study wound healing — including regenerating skin, hair, muscle and even cartilage. His research (along with Muneoka's) suggests that the mice regenerate by first developing a structure that bears a strong resemblance to the blastema seen in salamanders and other regenerating vertebrates. This supports the idea that regeneration in mammals such as the spiny mice evolved in the same manner as regeneration in salamanders. Seifert's finding raised the enticing possibility that there may be other mammals that have abilities like the African spiny mouse. “There's around 5,300 mammal species on Earth right now,” Seifert says. “Less than 0.2% have ever been surveyed for regenerative abilities. Regenerating lost cartilage or appendages in humans is still decades or more away, but various lines of research suggest that turning those ancient regenerative switches back on in humans may come sooner. Perhaps the most exciting clues for doing this comes from Muneoka's work in rats — specifically their digit tips. It's been known for at least half a century that when a child severs a finger above the top-most joint, that the fingertip (bone, flesh, nail and all) will typically grow back. This ability seems to become weaker with age, although teenagers and adults have also been known to grow back digit tips. Nobody knows for sure why this happens, but some suspect that the nail creates an environment that is conducive to regeneration or that mammals evolved the ability to regenerate in this region because the digits are crucial to limb use and survival. Whatever the reason, Muneoka wants to know how it happens. Using mice, who display a similar phenomenon, Muneoka has shown that the gene Msx1 controls a signalling protein known as Bmp. Remove either Msx1 or Bmp and mice lose the ability to repair their digit tips. He has also found that adding Bmp stimulates partial regeneration of digits severed below the first joint3. “We have shown that you can enhance the regenerative properties of mammals,” Muneoka says. For Muneoka, that is proof of concept that regenerative capabilities can also be enhanced in humans. Initially, he suspects, the process will work better in children than in adults and will be limited to digits rather than entire limbs. “I believe that with adequate funding, human-finger regeneration in children will be possible within 20 years,” he says. We may never catch up with the salamanders, but at least we're off the starting blocks.


SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitbit, Inc. (NYSE:FIT), the leader in the connected health and fitness market, announced the addition of new customers including New York Life, Pitney Bowes, SAP, Sharp Healthcare and partners that will offer Fitbit activity trackers and programs to employees across a variety of industries. Fitbit continues to build corporate wellness programs that prioritize increasing employee engagement, improving health outcomes and lowering healthcare costs. Data from ABI Research suggests that corporate wellness programs that include wearable devices increase participation from an average of 20 percent without wearables to 60 percent or higher with wearables, with some employers reporting participation rates above 90 percent1. According to a 2016 report by IBISWorld, companies are seeking partners that can keep up with the latest trends in software and technology.2 “Employers continue to look to consumer-oriented technology and services to develop wellness programs that can empower people to take charge of their health and fitness,” said Amy McDonough, Vice President and General Manager of Fitbit Group Health. “Fitbit’s corporate wellness offering is built around the understanding that better, people-oriented technology enables stronger results using wearable devices that consumers love.” Customer wins spanning across industries including healthcare, financial services, consumer goods, higher education, technology and insurance highlight the continued investment organizations are making in the health and wellbeing of their workforce. Companies including Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC), New York Life, Pitney Bowes, SAP, Sharp Healthcare and Teach for America will now be working with Fitbit Group Health to develop programs tailored to the needs of their unique employee populations. “With a large workforce across a variety of job functions and locations we needed a wellness solution that would be effective for a diverse population,” said, Megan Spurling, Manager of Employee Wellness at Sharp Healthcare. “The engagement of the Fitbit brand across consumers was a big factor in selecting Fitbit as our wellness partner to help ensure greater success of our initiatives in this area.” Knowing that one size does not fit all in health and fitness, Fitbit designs devices and programs to integrate seamlessly into people’s daily lives and activities. Fitbit data suggests that users with friends on the Fitbit platform take an average of 11 percent more steps than users without a friend on the platform and employer wellness customers are taking advantage of this trend to engage beyond just the employee. Many Fitbit customers utilize friends and family discounts as a part of their wellness program, including Pitney Bowes, Emory University and Emory Healthcare and the University of Kentucky. SAP, the leader in business applications, launched their program by offering a subsidized Fitbit for their employees and additional discounted devices to friends and family. Due to the popularity of the 2016 program, Fitbit will expand access to SAP global employees in 2017. Pitney Bowes is taking a similar approach, offering subsidized devices for 10,000 employees and their spouses and domestic partners in the U.S. and discounts to the other employees worldwide. Those that participate will have the added convenience of automatically syncing their fitness and nutrition data while participating in company-provided wellness programs, open to employees and family members. “We know that staying healthy and moving more throughout the work day can be challenging,” said Andrew Gold, Vice President of Total Rewards at Pitney Bowes. “By offering Fitbit to our employees, we’re helping to motivate people at Pitney Bowes to take healthy actions while having fun with their family, friends and co-workers.” Fitbit has also announced a strategic partnership with leading wellness provider Virgin Pulse, expanding access to Fitbit’s technology and services to their customers. Fitbit and Virgin Pulse launched a strategic partnership, in which the companies will offer preferred pricing on Fitbit trackers and collaborate to develop unique user experiences for the more than 2,200 Virgin Pulse employer customers around the world. Fitbit Group Health corporate wellness offering includes access to Fitbit’s suite of award winning trackers, custom e-commerce storefronts, seamless distribution, engaging wellness challenges and comprehensive tracking and reporting. Fitbit Group Health corporate wellness solutions are available direct to employer or in partnership with other corporate wellness partners. For more information about Fitbit Group Health’s corporate wellness offering, visit www.fitbit.com/group-health. Fitbit helps people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration and guidance to reach their goals. As the leader in the connected health and fitness category, Fitbit designs products and experiences that track everyday health and fitness. Fitbit’s diverse line of award-winning products includes Fitbit Surge®, Fitbit Blaze™, Fitbit Charge 2™, Fitbit Charge HR™, Alta™, Fitbit Charge™, Fitbit Flex 2™, Fitbit Flex®, Fitbit One® and Fitbit Zip® activity trackers, as well as the Aria® Wi-Fi Smart Scale. Fitbit products are carried in 54,000 retail stores and in 65 countries around the globe. Fitbit Group Health uses the power of the Fitbit activity trackers, software, and services to deliver innovative solutions for corporate wellness, weight management, insurance and clinical research. Fitbit and the Fitbit logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fitbit, Inc. in the US and other countries. Additional Fitbit trademarks can be found at www.fitbit.com/legal/trademark-list. Third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 2 Citation: IBISWorld Industry Report OD4621 Corporate Wellness Services in the US, February 2016 http://static.politico.com/3e/68/b29a1ff04e7d8bc7c8231352ffc5/ibis-study-on-corporate-wellness-programs.pdf


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

Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that Kerry B. Harvey, former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, has joined the firm’s Lexington office as a Member. “I’m thrilled to join Dickinson Wright’s Government Investigations and SEC Enforcement practice and expanding its presence into Kentucky, regionally and nationally,” said Kerry B. Harvey. “The firm’s strong commitment to helping corporations in investigations and proactive counseling is apparent from the strong bench of legal talent the firm has in place and continues to build throughout the U.S. I look forward to bringing my expertise in health care and securities to help round out the counseling, investigations defense and litigation services we deliver to our clients.” “We are honored and excited that Kerry Harvey will be joining the firm’s Lexington office as a member of our rapidly growing Government Investigations and SEC Enforcement Practice,” said Jacob Frenkel, leader of the Practice Group. “Healthcare and securities continue to be high enforcement priorities for the government, and Kerry’s expertise and prominence will add considerable depth and tremendous value to the services that we provide to our clients. Kerry also will be a strong addition to our Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance, corporate monitorship and trustee practices.” Mr. Harvey served as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky from 2010 into 2017. He served as the Department of Justice’s Chief Federal Law Enforcement Officer in Kentucky’s 67 easternmost counties and was responsible for achieving landmark criminal convictions and civil recoveries for fraudulent healthcare practices, prosecuting significant public corruption cases, and prosecuting large-scale drug trafficking organizations. Mr. Harvey’s national responsibilities and significant efforts at DOJ included serving on the National Heroin Task Force; serving three years on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC), select appointees by the Attorney General as advisors to the Attorney General and as the voice for United States Attorneys nationwide; serving as Co-Chairman of the AGAC’s Healthcare Fraud Working Group; and establishing the highly successful U.S. Attorney’s Heroin Education Action Team, an initiative to increase public awareness of the opioid epidemic. Prior to his arrival at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Harvey served as General Counsel for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services in Frankfort, Kentucky (“Cabinet”). At the Cabinet, he led a team of 35 lawyers with responsibilities that included health care fraud and Medicaid reimbursement litigation, certificate of need issues, and public health. Mr. Harvey served as the Acting Inspector General for the Cabinet where he led efforts to prevent and detect fraud in various programs that the Cabinet administered. Mr. Harvey is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association. He received his B.S. from Murray State University and his J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law. About Dickinson Wright PLLC Dickinson Wright PLLC is a general practice business law firm with more than 450 attorneys among more than 40 practice areas and 16 industry groups. Headquartered in Detroit and founded in 1878, the firm has seventeen offices, including six in Michigan (Detroit, Troy, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw) and ten other domestic offices in Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville and Music Row, Tenn.; Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Washington, D.C. The firm’s Canadian office is located in Toronto. Dickinson Wright offers our clients a distinctive combination of superb client service, exceptional quality, value for fees, industry expertise and business acumen. As one of the few law firms with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, Dickinson Wright has built state-of-the-art, independently-verified risk management controls and security processes for our commercial transactions. Dickinson Wright lawyers are known for delivering commercially-oriented advice on sophisticated transactions and have a remarkable record of wins in high-stakes litigation. Dickinson Wright lawyers are regularly cited for their expertise and experience by Chambers, Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and other leading independent law firm evaluating organizations.


News Article | April 4, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

Buckle up, roller coaster enthusiasts! The amusement park Six Flags has joined forces with Samsung to bump up the thrill factor of rides with virtual-reality roller coasters that are set to be the first of their kind in North America. Virtual reality (VR) is already changing how people experience museum exhibits and conduct medical training, and now roller coasters that blend physical sensations with digital worlds can be added to the list. Park-goers will be able to experience these new rides at six different Six Flags locations, with another opening up next Friday (Apr 9) at Six Flags New England in Agawam, Massachusetts, and two more at Six Flags The Great Escape in Lake George, New York, and La Ronde in Montreal, Canada, later this spring. "If you like coasters at all, it's going to be absolutely mind-blowing to ride this thing," said Sam Rhodes, Six Flags' corporate director of design. "It turns grownups into little kids again. It's absolutely amazing." [Photos: Virtual Reality Puts Adults in a Child's World] Although the rides won't be entirely new attractions, they will be outfitted with Samsung Gear VR headsets that have been adapted specifically for safe and hygienic use on the coasters. Users will still physically be on the roller coaster as they experience either a "Superman virtual reality" or a "New Revolution virtual reality," Rhodes said. In the Superman coaster, riders will take a tour of the comic-book city Metropolis and encounter Lex Luthor, Rhodes said. In the New Revolution coaster ride, riders will take part in an interactive battle against futuristic aliens. Combining the virtual-reality experience with the physical sensations of the roller coaster will increase the thrill factor up to 10 times, Rhodes told Live Science. And psychologists agree that the innovative VR roller coasters will probably achieve this effect by activating certain areas of a person's brain more than a typical roller coaster or virtual-reality experience alone would. "Basically, you're taking an already novel, exciting event and putting on top of it another exciting, novel event so you get an additive effect," said Michael Bardo, a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, who has studied sensation-seeking behavior. New and exciting events reinforce limbic reward circuits in the brain, said Bardo, just like food, sex and some drugs. These experiences trigger the release of a feel-good chemical called dopamine, and this, combined with the adrenaline from twists and flips on the roller coaster, gives people the feeling of excitement or fear, he added. Generally, seeking such novel experiences is biologically advantageous. People who had new experiences and went out in search for food or better places to live had higher chances of survival, Bardo told Live Science. But people are usually able to tell the difference between a virtual experience and a novel real-life experience, according to Mayank Mehta, a neurophysicist at the University of California, Los Angeles. In lab experiments on rats, he found that the brain does not form a mental map of virtual surroundings the way it does in real-world settings. Nearly 60 percent of the specialized "GPS cells" in the brain that create mental maps shut down when in a virtual setting, he said. "If you are in virtual reality — no matter how compelling it is — you know that it is virtual and it's not real," Mehta said. "It's like when you're in an IMAX theater, you somehow know that it's not real because your neurons are able to tell the difference." [VR Headset Mega Guide: Features and Release Dates] When making a map of space, the brain takes into account smells, sounds, body motion and other aspects of the environment, in addition to visual information. This is why virtual-reality technology makes some users feel nauseous. Inconsistent signals from the eyes and the rest of the body, especially regarding whether a virtual reality user is moving or not, disturb the brain and cause what scientists call "cybersickness," said Stefano Triberti, a psychologist at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, who studies how people mentally process being in a virtual space. "In the case of the roller coaster, this inconsistency will be less strong because riders will be moving," Triberti said, adding that "there will more information coming from the environment that says we are moving in tune with the virtual experience … there will be wind in our faces, variations in gravity, etcetera." As long as the virtual-reality experience and the twists of the roller coaster are in sync, riders will feel the physical forces and lean into the loops, without feeling nauseous. Riders may actually feel even less nauseous than they might on any other roller coaster, said Rhodes, because they would be so engrossed in the virtual experience, they won't even notice the track. And if the ride stops midway for some reason, the visuals will also stop to maintain the synchronization, he added. In this way, the VR version of an amusement park ride will have a unique feel to it, almost like being in a video game, said Rhodes. It will be completely immersive, letting riders interact and shoot at aliens by touching a button on the side of the headset, for example. And each ride will be unique, Rhodes said. Users can look straight ahead, down or side-to-side and discover new scenery. In fact, each time they ride the roller coaster might be a slightly different virtual experience, he said, so those riding in the front are no longer the only ones with a good view. "We are just scratching the surface with virtual reality technology," Rhodes said. "This is the beginning of major changes in all aspects of the theme park industry. At Six Flags, innovation is in our DNA, we're always looking at the next big thing, and as we like to say, this really changes everything." Beyond Gaming: 10 Other Fascinating Uses for Virtual-Reality Tech 10 Things You Didn't Know About the Brain Science Fact or Fiction? The Plausibility of 10 Sci-Fi Concepts Copyright 2016 LiveScience, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Yang F.,University of Kentucky | Li J.C.M.,University of Rochester
Materials Science and Engineering R: Reports | Year: 2013

Indentation test using a cylindrical indenter with a flat end is now known as impression test. The advantage is its capability to reach a steady state for creep test at constant load and it is possible to compare with the conventional tensile or compression tests. The test is simple and all the temperature and strain rate dependences can be obtained locally from one sample avoiding the sample to sample variations. It became very popular in the last decade. The literature is reviewed here. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Li G.-M.,University of Kentucky | Li G.-M.,Tsinghua University
Cancer Research | Year: 2013

DNA mismatch repair (MMR) maintains genome stability primarily by correcting replication-associated mismatches. Defects in MMR lead to several human cancers characterized by frequent alterations in simple repetitive DNA sequences, a phenomenon called microsatellite instability (MSI). In most MSI-positive cancers, genetic or epigenetic changes that alter the function or expression of an essential MMR protein have been identified. However, in a subset of MSI-positive cancers, epigenetic or genetic changes have not been found in known MMR genes, such that the molecular basis of the MMR defect in these cells remains unknown. A possible answer to this puzzle emerged recently when it was discovered that H3K36me3, a well-studied posttranslational histone modification or histone mark, plays a role in regulating humanMMRin vivo. In this review, potential roles for this histone mark to modulate genome stability and cancer susceptibility in human cells are discussed. © 2013 American Association for Cancer Research.


Li F.,University of Kentucky | Mao G.,University of Kentucky | Tong D.,Wuhan University | Tong D.,Tsinghua University | And 5 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2013

DNA mismatch repair (MMR) ensures replication fidelity by correcting mismatches generated during DNA replication. Although human MMR has been reconstituted in vitro, how MMR occurs in vivo is unknown. Here, we show that an epigenetic histone mark, H3K36me3, is required in vivo to recruit the mismatch recognition protein hMutSα (hMSH2-hMSH6) onto chromatin through direct interactions with the hMSH6 PWWP domain. The abundance of H3K36me3 in G1 and early S phases ensures that hMutSα is enriched on chromatin before mispairs are introduced during DNA replication. Cells lacking the H3K36 trimethyltransferase SETD2 display microsatellite instability (MSI) and an elevated spontaneous mutation frequency, characteristic of MMR-deficient cells. This work reveals that a histone mark regulates MMR in human cells and explains the long-standing puzzle of MSI-positive cancer cells that lack detectable mutations in known MMR genes. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Guo F.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | He D.,University of Utah | Zhang W.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Walton R.G.,University of Kentucky
Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Year: 2012

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to quantify the trends in blood pressure (BP), and the prevalence, awareness, management, and control of hypertension in U.S. adults (<20 years of age) from 1999 to 2010, and to assess the efficacy of current clinical measures in diagnosing and adequately treating hypertensive patients. Background: Hypertension is a major independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Recent data indicate a decreasing trend in hypertension prevalence, along with improvements in hypertension awareness, management, and control. Methods: The study used regression models to assess the trends in hypertension prevalence, awareness, management, and control from 1999 to 2010 among 28,995 male and female adults with BP measurements from a nationally representative sample of the noninstitutionalized U.S. population (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey [NHANES] 1999 to 2010), with special attention given to 5,764 participants in NHANES 2009 to 2010. Results: In 2009 to 2010, the prevalence of hypertension was 30.5% among men and 28.5% among women. The hypertension awareness rate was 69.7% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 62.0% to 77.4%) among men and 80.7% (95% CI: 74.5% to 86.8%) among women. The hypertension control rate was 40.3% (95% CI: 33.7% to 46.9%) for men and 56.3% (95% CI: 49.2% to 63.3%) for women. From 1999 to 2010, the prevalence of hypertension remained stable. Although hypertension awareness, management, and control improved, the overall rates remained poor (74.0% for awareness, 71.6% for management, 46.5% for control, and 64.4% for control in management); worse still, no improvement was shown from 2007 to 2010. Conclusions: From 1999 to 2010, prevalence of hypertension remained stable. Hypertension awareness, management, and control were improved, but remained poor; nevertheless, there has been no improvement since 2007. © 2012 American College of Cardiology Foundation.


Winners of the 2017 EurekAlert! Fellowships for International Science Reporters say the opportunity to attend the world's largest general scientific meeting and network with reporters and scientists offers validation for their hard work while strengthening their resolve to communicate science to the public. The Fellowship program, now in its 13th year, funds four early-career science reporters from emerging regions to attend the AAAS Annual Meeting. The 2017 meeting, themed "Serving Society Through Science Policy," will be held in Boston, MA Feb. 16-20. A total of 23 applications from China and India topped last year's record, with candidates newer to science journalism careers than previous years. "One of the main goals of the EurekAlert! Fellowships is to encourage science reporters at the dawn of their careers, and to help them build a network of mentors, peers, and contacts in the journalism and scientific communities," said Brian Lin, Director of Editorial Content Strategy at EurekAlert!. "The number of applications have improved steadily and many past Fellows are now leaders in science journalism in their countries." Disha Shetty, a health reporter with the Daily News and Analysis (DNA) newspaper, based in Mumbai, is only one year into a full-time job as a health beat reporter. She has reported on tuberculosis in rural India with the help of the REACH National Media Fellowship. She strives for solution-based journalism to "tell my readers the small but concrete things they can do to help conserve our planet at a time when global warming is at its peak," Shetty said. "I believe that [the AAAS Annual Meeting] will be a great learning opportunity for an early-career journalist like me to interact with such a diverse gathering including journalists from across the globe." Tabassum Barnagarwala has worked with daily newspaper Indian Express for the past three years. Like Shetty, Barnagarwala covers health news but says the theme of the 2017 Annual Meeting is close to her heart. She has been a keen observer of "the micro and macro levels of governmental policies and the obstacles in their implementation" in Mumbai. This is the third year the Fellowship program has featured India. The 2017 Fellows were selected by an independent panel of judges, including Malathy Iyer, Senior Editor with The Times of India. "Winners of the EurekAlert! Fellowships from India will gain immensely from attending the Boston conference as they will get to meet, listen and interact with science leaders," she said. The two Chinese judges agreed that this year's applicants, with an average length-of-service of 2.5 years, showed "outstanding performance in science news reporting," said TAI Zixue, an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky. "I am impressed by their solid grasp of timely and important issues on the frontlines of science and technology at both the domestic and global levels, and their acute understanding of the relevance to everyday life," he added. ZENG Ding has been reporting for Phoenix Weekly, a popular Chinese current affairs magazine, since 2013. In addition to winning an international journalism contest, he earned a series of awards for an in-depth report on Chinese herbal medicine. "Since I do in-depth reporting, what attracts me the most [about the Annual Meeting] are sessions on medical sciences and public health," Zeng said. Winning this Fellowship "offers me the opportunity to listen and have face-to-face chats with the best scientists from all over the world." HUANG Tianle is the second winner in as many years from Chinese science news website Guokr.com. He is excited about the science communication seminars at the Meeting. "Now I have the opportunity to learn how the world's best science communicators do their job," he said. "I'd love to humbly learn from them, push myself to the next level and encourage young people to make their own [career] decision and prove themselves right." Both Huang and Zeng have a background in science, which may have contributed to their reporting. "They are producing high-quality science news stories with sound and accurate scientific information," said Joy Ma, Editorial Content Manager at EurekAlert! Chinese, adding that many Chinese applicants submitted entries with "easily accessible and relatable writing styles providing in-depth analysis and perspectives." Established in 2004 with a seed grant from the William T. Golden Endowment Fund for Program Innovation and sponsored by EurekAlert!, the AAAS-operated science-news service, the EurekAlert! Fellowships for International Science Reporters support early-career science reporters from emerging economies by providing them with opportunities to cover the latest research and network with peers from around the world at AAAS Annual Meetings. Applicants must have five years or less of professional science journalism experience, meet EurekAlert!'s longstanding reporter-registrant eligibility criteria, and submit a complete application including published writing samples, a letter of recommendation, and an original essay. Past fellows have represented the Middle East, Africa, Central and South America, and China. For more information about the 2017 Fellowship winners or to find their meeting coverage, visit: http://www. . Previous Fellowship winners from India and China were announced here: 2016, 2015. has been a health reporter with the Indian Express newspaper for three years. She also covers society, women and children, and the environment. Memorable assignments include stories about malnutrition, mental illness, tuberculosis, AIDS, and multi-layered issues plaguing the slums and rural populations. Intrigued by the issues and identities of the varied social strata in rural areas, she loves to read and travel to better understand these populations. She comes from Indore and currently lives in Mumbai, where she has closely observed the way government policies function and the obstacles faced in their implementation. is a science reporter at Guokr.com, a Beijing-based science news website. Raised in a family where both of his parents were athletes, he showed interest in various sports at a very young age. Captivated by the smoothness of human movement, he not only trained and competed in different sports, but also became curious about the biological nature of the body. Later, he majored in biotechnology and earned a Bachelor of Science at Sun Yat-sen University. In 2013, he joined Guokr to become a science journalist, mainly focusing on research or discoveries in biology. During the first three years of his career, he has interviewed hundreds of scientists about their work and opinions. In addition to writing about research breakthroughs, he also experiments with live broadcasting or making short videos. , a Mumbai-based Senior Correspondent with the daily newspaper DNA, is passionate about health reporting. Although this is her first year working as a full-time reporter, she previously worked in various part-time writing and editing roles with World Wide Media and Times Group. Her diverse background in print, broadcast, and digital media has allowed her to better understand storytelling - an indispensable skill in today's competitive media landscape. She holds a Bachelor of Mass Media degree from Mumbai University and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai. She is also the recipient of a REACH National Media Fellowship to cover TB in rural India. has been working as a senior reporter in the Chinese news magazine Phoenix Weekly since 2013. He has covered a wide range of stories about health, the environment and other science topics. He is a winner of the 2016 Global Health Reporting Contest, hosted by International Center for Journalists in Washington, DC. His in-depth report about the Chinese Herbal Medicine- Induced Liver Injury Investigation and the Forgotten Leprosy Generation won a series of awards in national journalism contests. Prior to his current position, he worked for Chinese science news website Guokr.com. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Environment Science and Technology from Shanghai Jiaotong University. Malathy Iyer is a senior editor (health) with The Times of India, Mumbai, with over 20 years of experience. When not chasing the big outbreaks of bird flu and swine flu or tracking the emergence of total drug-resistant tuberculosis, she focuses on issues of urban health care systems and women and children with special needs. T. V. Padma reports on science from India. She coordinated freelance contributions from the region and liaised with key organizations that partnered with SciDev.Net activities. She holds a post-graduate degree in science from the University of Delhi, India, has worked as a science correspondent with the Press Trust of India, and ran development communication projects for Panos South Asia. She also writes for Nature Medicine and has contributed to New Scientist and Inter Press Service. TAI Zixue joined the media arts and studies faculty at the University of Kentucky in 2007. He teaches courses in multimedia and interactive game development, global communication, telecommunications policy and regulation, and other courses examining the interplay of new media and society. Previously, he taught at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) and Shanghai International Studies University (SISU). His research interests focus on global communication with a special emphasis on the transformation of Chinese media in the new millennium. His research has appeared in journals such as International Communication Gazette, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, New Media & Society, Journal of Communication. He is the author of The Internet in China: Cyberspace and Civil Society (Routledge, 2006). Prof. Tai holds a doctorate in mass communication from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, a Master of Software Systems from the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), and an MA from Shanghai International Studies University. XIONG Lei is a senior journalist, author, and translator based in China. Formerly Executive Director of China Features, a syndicate with Xinhua News Agency providing text and photo essays about China to media clients around the world, she has been teaching journalism as a guest professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University, Tsinghua University, and Renmin University of China since her retirement in 2006. Xiong has co-authored and translated a number of publications, including Portraits of Ordinary Chinese (Foreign Language Press, 1992), The Last Paradise (China Intercontinental Press, 2008), China Ink: Changing Face of Chinese Journalism (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008), and China Insight (Environmental Science Press, 2009). She also serves as a media consultant with the Global Environmental Institute, a Beijing-based Chinese non-profit and non-governmental think tank. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science as well as Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances, Science Immunology, and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS. See http://www. . Founded by AAAS in 1996, EurekAlert! is an editorially independent, online science news service. Thousands of reporters around the globe use EurekAlert! to access news and resources from the world's top research organizations. For free access to EurekAlert!, visit http://www. .


News Article | April 19, 2016
Site: phys.org

"But the situation isn't hopeless," says Scott Hoffman Black, executive director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, in Portland, Oregon. "Anybody—gardeners or butterfly lovers—can make an oasis in their landscape for these important animals. It doesn't matter if you have a tiny lot or a farmyard. A little effort can help a lot." Besides their beauty, butterflies and moths play a significant role in the pollination of flowering plants, 80 percent of which rely on animals—mostly insects—to move their pollen from plant to plant, the Xerces Society says. Butterflies and moths also serve as an important food source for other animals. Yet in the United States alone, at least five butterfly species have gone extinct since 1950; an additional 25 are listed as endangered nationwide, and four are listed as threatened, according to Xerces in its new guide, "Gardening for Butterflies" (Timber Press, 2016). Federal protection is being sought for the monarch butterfly population, which has plunged 90 percent in North America in less than 20 years. "During the same period, it is estimated that these once-common, iconic orange and black butterflies may have lost more than 165 million acres of habitat—an area about the size of Texas—including nearly a third of their summer breeding grounds," the Center for Biological Diversity says. Just as significant has been the near elimination in farm fields of milkweed, the exclusive food of monarch caterpillars. Donald Lewis, a professor and extension entomologist with Iowa State University, cites a 2012 study that documented an 81 percent decline in milkweeds in agricultural fields from 1999 to 2010. "The cure for butterfly and pollinator preservation, conservation and improvement is to create biodiversity, which, of course, is at odds with most farming, urban sprawl and commercial development," Lewis said. "But it is our goal." Nurture, enrich and diversify your home habitat, entomologists say. Planting pollinator gardens that emphasize nectar plants that bloom year-round for bees, wasps and other wildlife is a good first step. Butterfly gardens take that a stage further by adding host plants suitable for hungry caterpillars. "Since butterfly larvae are picky eaters, it takes a variety of food plants," Lewis said. Butterfly gardens should be located where they'll get at least six hours of sun per day. They should contain at least four annual, biennial or perennial nectar plant species, and at least 10 milkweed plants of two or more types. Ironically, beware the invasive butterfly bush, which has been listed as a noxious weed in several states. And think twice about the mass release of butterflies. "Xerces is taking a stand that we should not be moving or releasing butterflies for such things as weddings, out of a concern for possible diseases," Black said. "We have a sense that the same issues that are happening with bees are happening with butterflies." More information: For more about creating butterfly gardens, see this University of Kentucky fact sheet: entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef006


News Article | June 2, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

You think writing proofs for algebra during high school was hard? Think again. A trio of brilliant mathematicians just solved a decade-old puzzle and consequently produced the world's largest mathematical proof — a text file that is a whopping 200 terabytes in size. How big is it? A single terabyte is so huge that it can hold about 337,920 copies of Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace," which is one of the longest and thickest novels ever written. What's more, the mathematical proof's size is actually equivalent to the entire digitized text archive kept at the United States Library of Congress. The proof also easily smashed the previous record for the world's largest math proof, which was at 13 gigabytes. So how did the trio of scientists accomplish this feat? Researchers Marijn Heule of University of Texas, Oliver Kullmann of Swansea University and Victor Marek of University of Kentucky created an outline and programmed a supercomputer to grind through trillions of color combination possibilities to solve the Boolean Pythagorean Triples problem. The problem, which has puzzled mathematicians since the 1980s, is about Pythagoras' famous theorem related to the length of the sides of a triangle: a2 + b2 = c2. Certain sets of numbers can satisfy the theorem with whole integers. One example: 32 + 42 = 52. But what if all integers had to pick a color: red or blue? And so the Boolean Pythagorean Triples problem asks: is it possible to color each positive integer either blue or red such that no set of integers a, b and c were all the same color? To solve this puzzle, Heule, Kullmann and Marek applied the paradigm known as Cube-and-Conquer — a hybrid of the SAT method for difficult problems. The paradigm uses both CDCL solvers and look-ahead techniques. Before programming the proof into the supercomputer, the trio also did math on their own by using several techniques to pare down the number of possibilities to just 1 trillion. Then 800 processors at the University of Texas ran for two days to crunch its way through to an answer. After completing its work and spitting out a 200 TB file, the proof revealed that yes, it was possible to color the integers in multiple ways but only up to 7,824. After this point, it was not possible anymore. The trio verified their proof through another supercomputer. Although the team has found an answer to the puzzling proof, it did give birth to more questions: why is there a cut-off point at 7,825? Why is the first stretch possible? But in the meantime, here is another interesting question: did the trio of scientists receive an award for determining the proof? Yes, they did. Ronald Graham, the mathematician who proposed the Boolean Pythagorean Triples problem in the 1980s, had posed a challenge that whoever solved the problem would get a $100 reward. Graham made good on his promise and handed over the prize money to the research team. The team's findings are featured in the Cornell University online library. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | March 11, 2016
Site: www.materialstoday.com

A new one atom-thick material could upstage the wonder material graphene and advance computing technology, say the scientists who discovered it. Reported in Physical Review B, the new two-dimensional (2D) material is made up of silicon, boron and nitrogen, which are all light, inexpensive and abundant elements, and is extremely stable, a property many other graphene alternatives lack. "We used simulations to see if the bonds would break or disintegrate – it didn't happen," said Madhu Menon, a physicist in the Center for Computational Sciences at the University of Kentucky, who helped discover the material. "We heated the material up to 1000°C and it still didn't break." Menon discovered that material in collaboration with scientists from Daimler in Germany and the Institute for Electronic Structure and Laser (IESL) in Greece. Using state-of-the-art theoretical computations, Menon and his collaborators demonstrated that silicon, boron and nitrogen can be combined to produce a one atom-thick material with properties that can be fine-tuned for applications beyond the abilities of graphene. The bulk of these theoretical computations were performed on computers at the Center for Computational Sciences. While graphene is touted as being the world's strongest material with many unique properties, it has one downside: it isn't a semiconductor. The search for 2D materials with semiconducting properties has led researchers to a new class of three-layer materials called transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs). Most TMDCs are semiconductors and can be made into digital processors that are more efficient than those made with silicon. However, TMDCs are much bulkier than graphene and made of substances that are not necessarily abundant or inexpensive. Searching for new 2D materials made from substances that are light, abundant, inexpensive and semiconducting, Menon and his colleagues studied different combinations of elements from the first and second row of the Periodic Table. Although there are many ways to combine silicon, boron and nitrogen to form planar structures, the team’s computations revealed that only one specific arrangement of these elements resulted in a stable structure. This arrangement follows the same hexagonal pattern as graphene, but that is where the similarity ends. The three elements forming the new material all have different sizes; the bonds connecting the atoms are also different. As a result, the sides of the hexagons formed by these atoms are unequal, unlike in graphene. The new material is metallic, but can easily be made semiconducting by attaching other elements on top of the silicon atoms. The presence of silicon also offers the exciting possibility of a seamless integration with current silicon-based computing technology, allowing the industry to slowly move away from silicon instead of replacing it entirely. What is more, attaching other elements to the 2D material not only creates the electronic band gap that confers semiconducting properties, but can also selectively change the band gap values – a key advantage over graphene for solar energy conversion and electronics applications. "We know that silicon-based technology is reaching its limit because we are putting more and more components together and making electronic processors more and more compact," Menon said. "But we know that this cannot go on indefinitely; we need smarter materials." Other graphene-like materials have been proposed but lack the strength of the material discovered by Menon and his team. Silicene, for example, a 2D version of silicon, does not have a flat surface and eventually forms a 3D surface. Other materials are highly unstable, only lasting for a few hours at most. Menon and his team are now working in close collaboration with a team led by Mahendra Sunkara in the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research at the University of Louisville to create this material in the lab. The Conn Center team has already collaborated with Menon on a number of new materials systems, testing his theory with experiments for several new solar materials. "We are very anxious for this to be made in the lab," Menon said. "The ultimate test of any theory is experimental verification, so the sooner the better!" Some of the proposed properties of this new 2D material, such as the ability to form various types of nanotubes, are discussed in the paper but Menon expects more to emerge with further study. "This discovery opens a new chapter in material science by offering new opportunities for researchers to explore functional flexibility and new properties for new applications," he said. "We can expect some surprises." This story is adapted from material from the University of Kentucky, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier. Link to original source.


News Article | November 17, 2016
Site: www.huffingtonpost.com

There is no "best university" to attend if one is interested in becoming an astronaut. Just looking at the current corps of astronauts, we can see that ninety-six different universities/colleges/ins titutions of learning are represented. Being an astronaut is a second career. So, if you're trying to determine what university to attend, you should attend one that will set you up well for your first career, whatever that might be. The two schools most represented in the current astronaut corps are the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Both institutions are represented by eight degrees in the current astronaut corps. Those two institutions are well represented because about half of NASA's astronauts come from the military services. But, and this is a big and important but, most of the current NASA astronauts that have come from the military services did not attend either of those two institutions. The quality of education doesn't vary that much among accredited universities. Send three identical engineering majors to M.I.T., Stanford, and Texas A&M, and they will come out the other end in four or five years with just about the same level of engineering skills. Where school choice makes a difference is networking and perceptions. If you want to get into a particular law firm, going to the same university as the partners of that firm creates a networking connection and can increase your chances. I have never observed such networking playing a significant role in hiring at NASA. Where that networking can make a difference at NASA is that having contacts at an organization can give one an advantage in knowing about open positions. In that case, if you wanted to have that connection to the Johnson Space Center, you would select either Texas A&M or the University of Texas. Those two schools are very well represented at JSC. Looking through the list of represented schools [1], we should not mistake correlation for causation. We see that M.I.T. and Stanford are well represented by the astronaut corps at seven each. But we shouldn't make the assumption that means that going to those two schools increases your chances. Other considerations contribute to that number. Those schools may appeal to people that want to be astronauts. If those who wish to be astronauts think that going to M.I.T. might help them, then they will be more likely to attend M.I.T., and thus the number of astronaut candidate applications from M.I.T. will be inflated. There isn't a smarter astronaut than Story Musgrave. He isn't included in the counts for the current astronaut corps because he is retired, but he has degrees from Syracuse University, the University of California at Los Angeles, Marietta College, Columbia University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Houston. He didn't need any particular school to fly on the Space Shuttle six times. [1] Robert Frost's answer to Is it necessary to graduate from MIT or another "high level" institution if you'd like to be an astronaut or work at NASA?


News Article | November 30, 2016
Site: www.businesswire.com

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Valmie has recently returned from visiting the University of Kentucky to discuss collaborating with students and faculty members on portions of its upcoming unmanned aerial systems (UAS) projects


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

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Long John Silver’s today announced strategic additions to the corporate marketing team. Katie Rooprai has been promoted to Vice President of Brand Marketing. Stephanie Mattingly has joined as Vice President of Media and Promotions and Chris Fuller has been named Senior Manager of Merchandising and Menuboards. “These moves reflect the strengthening of our Long John Silver’s business which enable us to invest in areas of the business that will drive future growth,” said James O’Reilly, Chief Executive Officer. “We’ve made great progress over the past 18 months and expanding our marketing talent will help us continue our growth.” Rooprai joined LJS in Dec. 2016 and has made a strong impact on the brand and its future development. Rooprai has extensive experience in brand management serving in marketing at 3M Corporation and as Brand Manager at both Kentucky Fried Chicken and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group. She holds a Master’s degree from Northwestern University in Integrated Marketing Communications. Mattingly joins LJS from YUM! Brands’ KFC where she most recently served as Director of National Media and Partnerships. Mattingly spent 12 years at YUM! where she started as a Field Marketing analyst and served as Director of Field Marketing for KFC. Mattingly’s experience also includes Brown & Williamson Tobacco and MaximumASP. Mattingly graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. Chris Fuller joins LJS as Senior Manager of Merchandising and Menuboards. Fuller has more than 25 years’ experience with a long track record of positively impacting merchandising execution and franchisee profitability. His experience includes MODsocket, a marketing agency for small businesses; YUM! Brands’ KFC; and Scoppechio. About Long John Silver’s Long John Silver’s is a classic American brand founded in 1969, and stands today as the nation’s largest quick-service seafood chain with nearly 1,000 franchised restaurants nation-wide. Long John Silver’s is famous for its pure, wild-caught Alaskan whitefish hand-dipped in their signature batter and lightly fried to golden perfection. Learn more at www.ljsilvers.com or join the conversation via social media on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.


Johnson A.M.,North Carolina A&T State University | Lederer A.L.,University of Kentucky
Information and Management | Year: 2010

Mutual understanding between the CEO and CIO is thought to facilitate the alignment of an organization's IS with its business strategy, and thereby enhance the contribution of the IS to business performance. A survey of 202 pairs of CEOs and CIOs was taken to investigate the relationships between them. Mutual understanding was measured as the role of IS in the organization, using the perspectives of both executives. Strategic alignment was measured as the fit between the CEO's assessment of eight STROBE dimensions and the CIO's assessment of the analogous STROEPIS dimensions; both the CEO and CIO evaluated IS contribution. Mutual understanding of the role of IT led to seven alignment dimensions whereas six alignment dimensions led to IS contributions. Our study extended the theory of IT strategic alignment and provided direction for CEOs and CIOs interested in improving the IS contribution of their organization. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Seifert A.W.,University of Kentucky | Maden M.,University of Florida
International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology | Year: 2014

Regeneration biology has experienced a renaissance as clinicians, scientists, and engineers have combined forces to drive the field of regenerative medicine. Studies investigating the mechanisms that regulate wound healing in adult mammals have led to a good understanding of the stereotypical processes that lead to scarring. Despite comparative studies of fetal wound healing in which no scar is produced, the fact remains that insights from this work have failed to produce therapies that can regenerate adult human skin. In this review, we analyze past and contemporary accounts of wound healing in a variety of vertebrates, namely, fish, amphibians, and mammals, in order to demonstrate how examples of skin regeneration in adult organisms can impact traditional wound-healing research. When considered together, these studies suggest that inflammation and reepithelialization are necessary events preceding both scarring and regeneration. However, the extent to which these processes may direct one outcome over another is likely weaker than currently accepted. In contrast, the extent to which newly deposited extracellular matrix in the wound bed can be remodeled into new skin, and the intrinsic ability of new epidermis to regenerate appendages, appears to underlie the divergence between scar-free healing and the persistence of a scar. We discuss several ideas that may offer areas of overlap between researchers using these different model organisms and which may be of benefit to the ultimate goal of scar-free human wound healing. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Jarrett S.G.,University of Kentucky | Boulton M.E.,University of Florida
Molecular Aspects of Medicine | Year: 2012

The retina resides in an environment that is primed for the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and resultant oxidative damage. The retina is one of the highest oxygen-consuming tissues in the human body. The highest oxygen levels are found in the choroid, but this falls dramatically across the outermost retina, creating a large gradient of oxygen towards the retina and inner segments of the photoreceptors which contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids. This micro-environment together with abundant photosensitizers, visible light exposure and a high energy demand supports a highly oxidative milieu. However, oxidative damage is normally minimized by the presence of a range of antioxidant and efficient repair systems. Unfortunately, as we age oxidative damage increases, antioxidant capacity decreases and the efficiency of reparative systems become impaired. The result is retinal dysfunction and cell loss leading to visual impairment. It appears that these age-related oxidative changes are a hallmark of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) which, in combination with hereditary susceptibility and other retinal modifiers, can progress to the pathology and visual morbidity associated with advanced AMD. This review reassesses the consequences of oxidative stress in AMD and strategies for preventing or reversing oxidative damage in retinal tissues. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Upadhyay S.,State University of Rio de Janeiro | Das D.,University of Kentucky
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We analyze the quantum ABJM theory on N=1 superspace in different gauges. We study the Batalin-Vilkovisky (BV) formulation for this model. By developing field/antifield dependent BRST transformation we establish connection between the two different solutions of the quantum master equation within the BV formulation. © 2014 The Authors.


Elshahawi S.I.,University of Kentucky | Shaaban K.A.,University of Kentucky | Kharel M.K.,University of Maryland Eastern Shore | Thorson J.S.,University of Kentucky
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2015

A systematic analysis of all naturally-occurring glycosylated bacterial secondary metabolites reported in the scientific literature up through early 2013 is presented. This comprehensive analysis of 15 940 bacterial natural products revealed 3426 glycosides containing 344 distinct appended carbohydrates and highlights a range of unique opportunities for future biosynthetic study and glycodiversification efforts. © The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Marczinski C.A.,Northern Kentucky University | Fillmore M.T.,University of Kentucky
Nutrition Reviews | Year: 2014

Energy drinks are popular beverages that typically include high levels of caffeine and other ingredients such as taurine, or caffeine-containing herbs, such as guarana. While energy drinks are often consumed alone, they are also frequently used as mixers for alcoholic beverages. This review summarizes what is known about the scope of use of alcohol mixed with energy drinks, the risks associated with such mixtures, and the objective laboratory data examining how the effects of their consumption differ from consuming alcohol alone. The weight of the evidence reveals that consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks is riskier than consuming alcohol alone and constitutes a public health concern. Consumption of these mixed beverages is frequent, especially in young and underage drinkers, and compared with alcohol alone, their use is associated with elevated rates of binge drinking, impaired driving, risky sexual behavior, and risk of alcohol dependence. Laboratory research (human and animal) has demonstrated that consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks leads to altered subjective states including decreased perceived intoxication, enhanced stimulation, and increased desire to drink/increased drinking compared to consuming alcohol alone. Possible underlying mechanisms explaining these observations are highlighted in this review. © 2014 International Life Sciences Institute.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 292.84K | Year: 2013

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): It is well established that aging and many chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart failure, are associated with significant losses in skeletal muscle mass and strength in humans. There is agreement across the musclebiology community that important morphological characteristics of muscle fibers, such as fiber area, the number and position of myonuclei, cellular infiltration and fibrosis are critical factors that determine the health and function of the muscle. However, at this time, quantification of muscle characteristics from standard histological and immunohistological techniques is still a manual or, at best, a semi-automatic process. This process is labor intensive and can be prone to errors, leading to high inter-observer variability. On the other hand, when muscle characteristics are calculated by computer-aided image analysis, data acquisition times decrease and objectivity improves significantly. The objective of this Phase I STTR project is to build a fully automatic, intelligent, and high throughput image acquisition and analysis software for quantitative muscle morphological analysis on digitized muscle cross-sections. We propose to utilize the most recent technical advances in machine learning and biomedicalimage analysis. This includes a newly developed deformable model and mean-shift based seed detection algorithm for better segmentation accuracy; an asymmetric online boosting based machine learning algorithm which allows the software to learn from errorsand adjust its segmentation strategies adaptively; and a data parallelization schema using the graphic processing unit (GPU) to handle the computational bottleneck for extremely large scale image, such as whole slide scanned specimens. We believe that thissoftware, equipped with the most advanced technical innovations, will be commercially attractive for the skeletal muscle research community including basic scientists, clinician scientists, and the pharmaceutical industry. The specific aim are: 1) Develop, implement, and validate an automatic biological image analysis software package for skeletal muscle tissue; 2) Develop a novel online updated intelligent artificial intelligence unit to enable the software to learn from errors; 3) Build a novel high performance computing unit to enable fast and high throughput automatic image analysis, which is capable of processing whole slide scanned muscle specimens. The analysis approach proposed will provide more consistent, accurate, and objective quantification ofskeletal muscle morphological properties and the time for data analysis will be reduced by over a factor of 100 for standalone version and 2000 for parallel version. The long-term goal of Cytoinformatics, LLC for the Phase II stage is to apply the softwareto analyze histology/pathology from human muscle biopsy samples and extension of the software to other biological tissues, such as adipose tissue. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Important features of muscle fibers, such as fiber area, the number and position of myonuclei, cellular infiltration and fibrosis are critical factors that determine the health of the muscle. However quantification of muscle features from digitized images is still a manual or, at best, a semi-automaticprocess. The objective of this Phase I STTR project is to build software using the most recent technical advances in machine learning and biomedical image analyses to significantly move the skeletal muscle basic and clinical research fields ahead.


News Article | December 15, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

E-cigarette vapour does not damage DNA, even at doses 28 times that of equivalent smoke exposure. Scientists at British American Tobacco used lab-based cellular tests to examine the impact of cigarette smoke and Vype e-cigarette vapour on human lung cells. The most serious kind of DNA damage is double-strand break, which effectively means that both strands of the DNA molecule have been broken. This is a possible precursor to cancer and potentially lethal to the cell. 'We have been able to show that there is significant DNA damage in human lung cells exposed to smoke, but that this is not case with e-cigarette vapour,' explains Dr James Murphy, Head of Risk Substantiation at British American Tobacco. 'These findings add to evidence on the likely reduced risks of vaping, compared to smoking,' he said. The research is published in Toxicology Letters. Cellular DNA can become damaged when exposed to toxicants, like those in cigarette smoke for example. DNA double-strand break (DSB) in which both strands of the DNA molecule are broken, is the most serious type of DNA damage. The cell attempts to repair the DNA damage by modifying the protein or histone around which the DNA is wrapped. The changes observed in this histone can be used as an indicator of the level of DSB. These changes can be detected using a well-established test called a γH2AX assay. This test was used to compare the impact of the 3R4F* reference cigarette and Vype ePen and Vype eStick (commercially available e-cigarettes) on human lung cells. This test was used in combination with an exposure system (Vitrocell VC) that allows lung cells to be exposed to aerosol in the lab in a way that mimics exposure in the body when consumers inhale. This combination of tests allowed for the assessment of the whole aerosol, be it smoke or vapour. Previous studies focused on only the particulate fraction of smoke. The results show that cigarette smoke induced significant DNA damage in human lung cells, in a dose dependent manner - that is, the higher the dose, the more DNA damage was induced. E-cigarette vapour produced no affect, even when the dose used was 28 times higher than the equivalent smoke exposure. The results confirm that cigarette smoke is genotoxic (causes genetic damage) and, at higher doses, cytotoxic (can cause cell death). In contrast, e-cigarette vapour is neither genotoxic nor cytotoxic, even at extremely high doses. 'We know that we can be confident in our results because we have shown that e-cigarette aerosol droplets are effectively delivered to cell surfaces in lab-based biological tests,' explains Murphy. Many in the public health community believe e-cigarettes offer great potential for reducing the public health impact of smoking. Public Health England, an executive body of the UK Department of Health, recently published a report saying that the current expert estimate is that using e-cigarettes is around 95% safer than smoking cigarettes, although more research is needed. The Royal College of Physicians have said that the public can be reassured that e-cigarettes are much safer then smoking and that they should be widely promoted as an alternative to cigarettes. *3R4F is a routinely used reference cigarette developed by the University of Kentucky to ensure consistency in laboratory testing of cigarettes


News Article | December 12, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Food stamp participants who participated in a supplemental nutrition education program were able to improve their food security by 25 percent, according to a study by Purdue University. "Food assistance is very important and this shows that nutrition education is an effective part of improving food security as the lessons focused on practical ways to stretch food dollars while eating nutritiously," said Heather Eicher-Miller, an assistant professor of nutrition science. "In Indiana, Snap Ed is making a significant impact, and it is amazing that an education program that is shared with just one person in a household has the power to change how an entire family is eating for one year. What these families learn can last longer than the food assistance they receive." These findings are published in The Journal of Nutrition. During 2013, 19.5 percent of U. S. households with children experienced food insecurity at some time during the year, and children can suffer from psychological, behavioral and physical problems if they do not consume enough food. The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, serves millions of low-income individuals and families. SNAP is a part of the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service. SNAP-Ed programs can vary from state to state. The direct education provided through SNAP-Ed programs in Indiana are hands on, and all lessons combine maximizing the food budget while focusing on nutritional components, such as consuming lean meats and vegetables and fruits. One lesson includes visiting a grocery story to compare prices while studying items' nutritional labels. These lessons are provided through local Purdue Extension offices. In this randomized controlled study, 575 individuals from low-income Indiana households, each with at least one child, participated in the first four Indiana SNAP-Ed curriculum lessons. The lessons were taught by 41 SNAP-Ed educators from 38 Indiana counties. The individuals were interviewed before they started the education program and a year later. "The fact that what they learned made a difference months later is remarkable," said Eicher-Miller, who also is director of Indiana's Emergency Food Resource Network. "This educational program is voluntary for SNAP participants. We may not see such a large increase in food security over time if the program was required for the population it serves." This research was supported by a grant from the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research through funding by the USDA, Food and Nutrition Service.


News Article | December 7, 2016
Site: www.npr.org

President-elect Donald Trump intends to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, announcing his decision in a statement Thursday. As attorney general, Pruitt has made no secret of his disdain for the EPA. His official biography calls him "a leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda." He has repeatedly challenged the agency's rules in court, and he has even sued the EPA for an allegedly cozy "sue and settle" relationship with environmentalists. One profile noted that Pruitt would sue the federal government "every chance he can get." Pruitt, who met with Trump Thursday morning at Trump Tower in New York, has been an ardent defender of fossil fuels and the coal industry. The New York Times has reported that one letter to the EPA from Pruitt was ghostwritten by lawyers for Devon Energy, an Oklahoma oil and gas company. He spent eight years in Oklahoma's Senate before being elected state attorney general in 2010. In that role, he set up a "Federalism Unit" aimed at ferreting out and combating what he viewed as federal overreach. Conservative columnist George F. Will has called him "one of the Obama administration's most tenacious tormentors," explaining how Pruitt had been fighting against the Affordable Care Act as well as the administration's changes to immigration policy. "The American people are tired of seeing billions of dollars drained from our economy due to unnecessary EPA regulations, and I intend to run this agency in a way that fosters both responsible protection of the environment and freedom for American businesses," Pruitt said in a statement Friday. In that statement, Trump said the EPA has pursued "an out-of-control anti-energy agenda that has destroyed millions of jobs," and that Pruitt "will reverse this trend and restore the EPA's essential mission of keeping our air and our water clean and safe." Pruitt grew up in Lexington, Ky., and won a baseball scholarship to the University of Kentucky. He earned his bachelor's degree in communications and political science at Georgetown College and then a law degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law. He worked in private practice as a lawyer and co-owned a Minor League Baseball team called the Oklahoma City RedHawks. In an interview with the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, Pruitt described himself as "a big fan of beef" and said his favorite drink was coffee. The Sierra Club released a statement that called Pruitt "unfit" to lead the EPA. "Having Scott Pruitt in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is like putting an arsonist in charge of fighting fires," it read in part. "He is a climate science denier who, as Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma, regularly conspired with the fossil fuel industry to attack EPA regulations."


News Article | December 7, 2016
Site: www.npr.org

President-elect Donald Trump intends to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, announcing his decision in a statement Thursday. As attorney general, Pruitt has made no secret of his disdain for the EPA. His official biography calls him "a leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda." He has repeatedly challenged the agency's rules in court, and he has even sued the EPA for an allegedly cozy "sue and settle" relationship with environmentalists. One profile noted that Pruitt would sue the federal government "every chance he can get." Pruitt, who met with Trump Thursday morning at Trump Tower in New York, has been an ardent defender of fossil fuels and the coal industry. The New York Times has reported that one letter to the EPA from Pruitt was ghostwritten by lawyers for Devon Energy, an Oklahoma oil and gas company. He spent eight years in Oklahoma's Senate before being elected state attorney general in 2010. In that role, he set up a "Federalism Unit" aimed at ferreting out and combating what he viewed as federal overreach. Conservative columnist George F. Will has called him "one of the Obama administration's most tenacious tormentors," explaining how Pruitt had been fighting against the Affordable Care Act as well as the administration's changes to immigration policy. "The American people are tired of seeing billions of dollars drained from our economy due to unnecessary EPA regulations, and I intend to run this agency in a way that fosters both responsible protection of the environment and freedom for American businesses," Pruitt said in a statement Friday. In that statement, Trump said the EPA has pursued "an out-of-control anti-energy agenda that has destroyed millions of jobs," and that Pruitt "will reverse this trend and restore the EPA's essential mission of keeping our air and our water clean and safe." Pruitt grew up in Lexington, Ky., and won a baseball scholarship to the University of Kentucky. He earned his bachelor's degree in communications and political science at Georgetown College and then a law degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law. He worked in private practice as a lawyer and co-owned a Minor League Baseball team called the Oklahoma City RedHawks. In an interview with the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, Pruitt described himself as "a big fan of beef" and said his favorite drink was coffee. The Sierra Club released a statement that called Pruitt "unfit" to lead the EPA. "Having Scott Pruitt in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is like putting an arsonist in charge of fighting fires," it read in part. "He is a climate science denier who, as Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma, regularly conspired with the fossil fuel industry to attack EPA regulations."


NEW YORK, NY, November 09, 2016-- The Kentucky Mesothelioma Victims Center says, "We specialize in making certain people who live in Kentucky and have recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma get direct access to the nation's best possible lawyers because the more skilled and experienced the mesothelioma attorney-the better the compensation. We are especially passionate about making certain a US Navy Veteran with mesothelioma in Kentucky gets to the front of the line when it comes to the nation's best lawyers because we believe they deserve no less."Before you hire a lawyer to assist with a mesothelioma compensation claim in Kentucky please call us anytime 800-714-0303 so at a minimum you know exactly what specific lawyers you should be talking to." http://Kentucky.MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com Aside from assisting US Navy Veterans the Kentucky Mesothelioma Victims Center is extremely focused on providing very honest advice to a family whose loved one has recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma. This advice is not just limited to making certain the person with mesothelioma is talking to the nation's top lawyers who will obtain better compensation for their client.The Center also specializes in seeing to it that a diagnosed person in Kentucky gets invaluable advice designed to make certain the get the best treatment options possible, as well as a customized report designed to assist the family with issues they need to be up to speed on with respect to mesothelioma. For more information, a diagnosed person with mesothelioma in Kentucky or their family members are urged to contact the Kentucky Mesothelioma Victims Center anytime at 800-714-0303.The Kentucky Mesothelioma Victims Center wants to emphasize their statewide initiative is available to any diagnosed victim in Kentucky including communities such as Lexington, Meads, Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Owensboro, or Covington, Kentucky. http://Kentucky.MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com For the best possible mesothelioma treatment options in Kentucky the Kentucky Mesothelioma Victims Center strongly recommends the following two heath care facilities with the offer to help a diagnosed victim, or their family get to the right physicians at each hospital:* The University of Louisville Health Sciences Center: http://louisville.edu/hsc/research * The University of Kentucky's Markey Center in Lexington:The average age for a diagnosed victim of mesothelioma is 72 years old. This year between 2500, and 3000 US citizens will be diagnosed with mesothelioma.Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is attributable to exposure to asbestos. High risk work groups for exposure to asbestos in Kentucky include Veterans of the US Navy, power plant workers, oil refinery workers, factory workers, plumbers, electricians, miners, auto mechanics, machinists, and construction workers.The states indicated with the highest incidence of mesothelioma include Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Louisiana, Washington, and Oregon. However, based on the calls the Mesothelioma Victims Center receives a diagnosed victim of mesothelioma could live in any state including Kentucky.The Kentucky Mesothelioma Victims Center says, "If you call us at 800-714-0303, we will see to it that you have instant access to the nation's most skilled mesothelioma attorneys, who consistently get the best possible financial compensation results for their clients in Kentucky. http://Kentucky.MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.24-7pressrelease.com

BEREA, KY, February 16, 2017-- Irene H. Lamb has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.Deeply committed to the medical community, Ms. Lamb is noted for her involvement with medical research at a time when that was uncommon for women. She is credited with helping to establish the first coronary care center in the United States, among many other professional accomplishments. In recognition of her contributions to medicine and science, Ms. Lamb has been featured in a wide range of honors publications, including Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in the South and Southwest, Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, and Who's Who in the World. In addition, she was selected for inclusion in the 32nd and 33rd editions of Who's Who in Finance and Industry, as well as the 4th and 5th editions of Who's Who in American Nursing.A Registered Nurse residing in Kentucky, Ms. Lamb began a medical career upon receiving a diploma in nursing from the Kentucky Baptist Hospital. She had frequently attended Berea College working towards a biology degree and completed additional training at California State University in Los Angeles. During this time, Ms. Lamb assisted the University of Southern California and Los Angeles County Medical Center as a staff nurse and researcher. She has held various additional roles throughout the course of her career, including charge nurse and head nurse of acute medicine in a wide range of departments and medical centers, such as the medical intensive care unit, surgical intensive care unit and emergency room. In 1969, Ms. Lamb became the nurse manager of the clinical research center at the University of Southern California and Los Angeles County Medical Center. She remained in this position for five years before joining the Stanford University School of Medicine as a senior research nurse in the field of cardiology. In 1989, Ms. Lamb rose to the rank of director of clinical research with the San Diego Cardiac Center.Ms. Lamb has held a keen interest in stroke research since the turn of the century. From 1997 to 2002, she served as the senior of clinical research and manager of the stroke program with the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, located in Lexington. In addition, she was a member of the board of directors with the Kentucky Stroke Association from 1998 to 2000. An accomplished author, Ms. Lamb has contributed articles to professional journals and chapters to medical books.About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis now publishes many Who's Who titles, including Who's Who in America , Who's Who in the World , Who's Who in American Law , Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare , Who's Who in Science and Engineering , and Who's Who in Asia . Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at www.marquiswhoswho.com

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