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The United States faces an organ donor shortage. More than 100,000 people are on the national transplant waiting list, but due to unavailability of suitable organs, nearly two dozen of them die every day. Results of a new experiment, however, could pave way for solutions that can eventually help alleviate the shortage of donated organs. Researchers from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts have successfully converted a spinach leaf into a tiny beating human heart muscle. The experiment, which was described in a study to be published in the May 2017 issue of the journal Biomaterials, involved swapping the plant cells of the leaf for human ones, essentially transforming the plant veins into a blood vessel network. Although it was only a proof-of-concept work, researchers said that their study could serve as a foundation for stitching spinach leaves veins to human blood vessels. The experiment may pave way for breakthroughs that can be useful for those who have damaged heart tissues that are no longer contracting, something that may happen after a person suffers from heart attack. The study could potentially lead to biomedical solutions that can help repair damaged organs. Researchers said they envision implanting a graft into a damaged heart tissue. The human tissue made of spinach leaves may help restore blood flow to areas of the heart that have been damaged by trauma, disease, and infection. The plant-made tissue may work like a sort of patch that gets surgically implanted into a person's heart. "These data demonstrate the potential of decellularized plants as scaffolds for tissue engineering, which could ultimately provide a cost-efficient, 'green' technology for regenerating large volume vascularized tissue mass," researchers wrote in their study. Researchers, though, still have to overcome a number of challenges. For one, they need to make sure that plant scaffolds such as the one that they created would not be rejected once already inside the body of the human host. The leaves of the spinach are also delicate, so researchers need to make stronger hybrids of the heart spinach. The researchers also acknowledged that at the moment, it is unclear how plant vasculature can be integrated to those of humans and whether or not there would be an immune response. Despite this, the researchers believe that the scaffold they developed can help treat patients, and while there are still a lot more work needed to make this possible, the results are so far promising. "To be able to just take something as simple as a spinach leaf, which is an abundant plant, and actually turn that into a tissue that has the potential for blood to flow through it, is really very very exciting, and we hope it's going to be a significant advancement in the field," said study researcher Glenn Gaudette from the WPI. Besides spinach, researchers may also use other plants such as broccoli and cauliflower, which have three-dimensional structure comparable to those of the lungs. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | April 24, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

(Worcester Polytechnic Institute) When the standard malaria medications failed to help 18 critically ill patients, the attending physician in a Congo clinic acted under the 'compassionate use' doctrine and prescribed a not-yet-approved malaria therapy made only from the dried leaves of the Artemisia annua plant. In just five days, all 18 people fully recovered. This small but stunningly successful trial is detailed in a new paper in Phytomedicine by lead author Pamela Weathers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

After a busy school day and at the end of a grueling week, the last thing most students would want to do is spend three hours working out high-level math problems. But on Friday, April 28th, just as they had done all year, six students from Lexington Christian Academy (LCA) piled into a van bound for Canton High School. There, they joined students from 40 other schools for the 45th annual New England Invitational Math Competition. Simply being invited to the tournament was the culmination of many months of hard work for the fledgling team from LCA, which joined the Massachusetts Math League (MML) as the newest team in Division Six earlier this year. From the first divisional meet in October, it was clear that the students would be facing an uphill climb. The team found itself grouped with perennial powerhouse schools like Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Canton High School, and Lexington High School. “I was amazed at the level of talent from the other schools in our division. They earned perfect scores on so many individual rounds, and sometimes even the team round!” exclaimed sophomore Tim Zhou (Lexington, MA), who also serves as Captain of the Math Team. Tim rallied student support throughout the 2015–2016 school year in order to get a math team formed, funded, and recognized as an official student club group. The team consistently placed in fifth out of seven teams during regular season Meets against the large, veteran public schools in its home division. However, as they continued to press onwards, the young team from LCA eventually finished 8th overall out of the 42 schools in the MML and secured a spot in the State Meet as the highest-scoring “Small” sized institution. They were invited to the State Meet in Shrewsbury on April 3rd to compete against other similarly sized, but unfamiliar schools from the Greater Boston Math League, Western Massachusetts Math League, and more. “The grouping of schools based on enrollment size was a revelation to me,” remarked coach Max Xu. “I saw the State and New England tournaments as our chance to step out from under the long shadows cast by our extraordinary neighbors in MML. Compared to us they seemed simply massive, with student bodies numbering in the thousands and legendary coaches with decades of experience under their belts.” During the State Meet, LCA ultimately placed 4th in the “Small” School Division, earning a ticket to the New England Invitational Math Tournament. This marked the first time in the MML’s 45 year history that a school from Massachusetts made it to the New England Tournament during its first year of competition. The stage was set. On that sweltering Friday afternoon, sixty students from ten other “Small” schools arrived, some from as far as five hours away. As the first six individual rounds unfolded, LCA found itself neck-and-neck with the Advanced Math & Science Academy Charter School (AMSA) from Marlborough, tied for first place and just ahead of veteran schools like Buckingham Browne & Nichols, the Massachusetts Academy of Math & Science at WPI, and the Maine School of Science & Mathematics (MSSM). MML Contest Director, Richard Olson remarked, “What the Lexington Christian Academy Math Team has accomplished this past year speaks volumes about the excellence of the mathematics curriculum at LCA, the commitment of the teachers who instructed these students in their classes, the talent and drive of all the mathletes who competed, and the leadership of their coach!” After the final concluding team round and a dazzling challenge solution submission from AMSA, Lexington Christian Academy ultimately placed 2nd behind AMSA, edging out MSSM to take the runner-up spot. The students headed home exhausted but not quite satisfied with their second-place finish. However, with time left in the school year and the American Regional Math League competition in State College, Pennsylvania looming ahead in June, there’s still plenty of math to come. Lexington Christian Academy is an independent college preparatory school that exists to educate young men and women in the arts and sciences in the context of a complete commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Worcester, Mass. - When the standard malaria medications failed to help 18 critically ill patients, the attending physician in a Congo clinic acted under the "compassionate use" doctrine and prescribed a not-yet-approved malaria therapy made only from the dried leaves of the Artemisia annua plant. In just five days, all 18 people fully recovered. This small but stunningly successful trial offers hope to address the growing problem of drug-resistant malaria. Details of the cases are documented in the paper "Artemisia annua dried leaf tablets treated malaria resistant to ACT and i.v. artesunate: case reports" by an international team lead by Pamela Weathers, Ph.D., professor of biology and biotechnology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), who has pioneered the use of dried leaves of Artemisia annua (DLA) as a malaria therapy. "To our knowledge, this is the first report of dried-leaf Artemisia annua controlling ACT-resistant malaria in humans," the authors of the Phytomedicine paper note, adding that more comprehensive clinical trials on patients with drug-resistant malaria are warranted. "Successful treatment of all 18 ACT-resistant cases suggests that DLA should be rapidly incorporated into the antimalarial regimen for Africa," they added, "and possibly wherever else ACT resistance has emerged." The report documents the experiences of 18 patients in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo who showed symptoms of malaria and were originally treated with the recommended medication: artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), which blends artemisinin, a chemical extract from Artemisia annua, with one or more other drugs that attack the malaria parasite in different ways. The 18 patients, ranging in age from 14 months to 60 years, did not respond to the standard ACT treatment, and all lapsed into severe malaria, defined by symptoms that can include loss of consciousness, respiratory distress, convulsions, and pulmonary edema. One patient, a five-year-old child, became comatose. All were then treated with intravenously administered artesunate, the frontline medication for severe malaria, but again they showed no improvement. As a last resort, doctors turned to dried-leaf Artemisia (DLA), a therapy developed and extensively studied by Weathers and her team at WPI. After five days of treatment with tablets made from only the dried and powered leaves of Artemisia (which has been prepared and analyzed using methods developed by Weathers and postdoctoral fellow Melissa Towler), all 18 patients fully recovered. Laboratory tests showed they had no parasites remaining in their blood. (Weathers noted more than 100 other drug-resistant patients also have been successfully treated with DLA tablets.) "These 18 patients were dying," Weathers said. "So to see 100 percent recover, even the child who had lapsed into a coma, was just amazing. It's a small study, but the results are powerful." According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 212 million people contracted malaria in 2015 and some 429,000 died, with young children and pregnant women being particularly vulnerable. Caused by a mosquito-borne parasite, the illness is reported in nearly 100 countries and threatens nearly half of the world's population. ACT, the current recommended therapy, is expensive to produce and is in short supply in areas hit hardest by the disease. In addition, while the combination therapy is designed to be less prone to the drug resistance that has rendered previous antimalarial agents ineffective, increasingly the malaria parasite is showing signs of resistance to ACT, particularly in Southeast Asia. Weathers began her research on artemisinin and Artemesia annua (also known as sweet wormwood) more than 25 years ago. In recent years, she has turned her attention to the use of DLA as an alternative to conventional antimalarial drugs. Noting that Artemisia annua, which is classified as a generally regarded as safe (GRAS) herb, has been consumed by humans and used as an herbal therapy for thousands of years, often in the form of a tea, she became intrigued by the potential for using the dried plant, rather than just a chemical extract, as a malaria treatment. A study she published in Photochemistry Reviews in 2011 was the first to demonstrate that dried leaves of the Artemisia annua plant delivers 40 times more artemisinin to the blood than does the drug based on the chemical extract of the plant. In a paper published in PLOS ONE the following year, Weathers and her team showed that not only does DLA have antimalarial properties, it is more effective in knocking out the parasite and reduced the level of parasite infection more completely in mice. In a 2015 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the WPI researchers, with colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, showed that dried Artemisia leaves cured rodents infected with malaria strains that were known to be resistant to artemisinin. And, in an experiment that accelerated the evolution of the malaria parasite by passing it through up to 49 generations of mice, the parasite showed no signs of resistance to DLA. Weathers says the superior performance of DLA in comparison to ACT, as well as its ability to kill drug-resistant parasites and avoid the resistance trap, itself, is likely due to the synergistic effects of a complex array of phytochemicals contained in the plant's leaves, several of which are also known to have antimalarial properties and others of which may act both to enhance the absorption of artemisinin into the bloodstream and bolster its effectiveness against malaria. In effect, the dried leaves constitute a robust natural combination therapy, one whose benefits far surpass those of ACT and other combination drugs. "We have done a lot of work to understand the biochemistry of these compounds, which include a number of flavonoids and terpenes, so we can better understand the role they play in the pharmacological activity of the dried leaves," Weathers said. "The more we learn, the more excited we become about the potential for DLA to be the medication of choice for combatting malaria worldwide. Artemisia annua is known to be efficacious against a range of other diseases, including other tropical maladies and certain cancers, so in our lab we are already at work investigating the effectiveness of DLA with other diseases." Another advantage of DLA over conventional malaria treatments is its low cost and the relative simplicity of its manufacture, Weathers said. While the processes for manufacturing ACT is costlier and requires a higher degree of expertise, producing DLA tablets can be accomplished with simpler equipment and a modest amount of training. Growing Artemisia annua and producing and testing the tablets, Weathers noted, are ideal local business that can provide jobs in impoverished areas and greatly expand access to antimalarial therapy. In fact, she has already established a supply chain in Africa that includes growing and harvesting high-producing cultivars in East Africa, along with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) processing operations in Uganda where the leaves are dried, pulverized, and homogenized, where the powder is compacted into tablets, and where the tablets are tested to verify their dosage. This supply chain helped produce the tablets used to treat the 18 patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo. "This simple technology can be owned, operated, and distributed by Africans for Africans," Weathers said.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: www.chromatographytechniques.com

Worcester, Mass. - When the standard malaria medications failed to help 18 critically ill patients, the attending physician in a Congo clinic acted under the "compassionate use" doctrine and prescribed a not-yet-approved malaria therapy made only from the dried leaves of the Artemisia annua plant. In just five days, all 18 people fully recovered. This small but stunningly successful trial offers hope to address the growing problem of drug-resistant malaria. Details of the cases are documented in the paper "Artemisia annua dried leaf tablets treated malaria resistant to ACT and i.v. artesunate: case reports" by an international team lead by Pamela Weathers, Ph.D., professor of biology and biotechnology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), who has pioneered the use of dried leaves of Artemisia annua (DLA) as a malaria therapy. "To our knowledge, this is the first report of dried-leaf Artemisia annua controlling ACT-resistant malaria in humans," the authors of the Phytomedicine paper note, adding that more comprehensive clinical trials on patients with drug-resistant malaria are warranted. "Successful treatment of all 18 ACT-resistant cases suggests that DLA should be rapidly incorporated into the antimalarial regimen for Africa," they added, "and possibly wherever else ACT resistance has emerged." The report documents the experiences of 18 patients in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo who showed symptoms of malaria and were originally treated with the recommended medication: artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), which blends artemisinin, a chemical extract from Artemisia annua, with one or more other drugs that attack the malaria parasite in different ways. The 18 patients, ranging in age from 14 months to 60 years, did not respond to the standard ACT treatment, and all lapsed into severe malaria, defined by symptoms that can include loss of consciousness, respiratory distress, convulsions, and pulmonary edema. One patient, a five-year-old child, became comatose. All were then treated with intravenously administered artesunate, the frontline medication for severe malaria, but again they showed no improvement. As a last resort, doctors turned to dried-leaf Artemisia (DLA), a therapy developed and extensively studied by Weathers and her team at WPI. After five days of treatment with tablets made from only the dried and powered leaves of Artemisia (which has been prepared and analyzed using methods developed by Weathers and postdoctoral fellow Melissa Towler), all 18 patients fully recovered. Laboratory tests showed they had no parasites remaining in their blood. (Weathers noted more than 100 other drug-resistant patients also have been successfully treated with DLA tablets.) "These 18 patients were dying," Weathers said. "So to see 100 percent recover, even the child who had lapsed into a coma, was just amazing. It's a small study, but the results are powerful." According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 212 million people contracted malaria in 2015 and some 429,000 died, with young children and pregnant women being particularly vulnerable. Caused by a mosquito-borne parasite, the illness is reported in nearly 100 countries and threatens nearly half of the world's population. ACT, the current recommended therapy, is expensive to produce and is in short supply in areas hit hardest by the disease. In addition, while the combination therapy is designed to be less prone to the drug resistance that has rendered previous antimalarial agents ineffective, increasingly the malaria parasite is showing signs of resistance to ACT, particularly in Southeast Asia. Weathers began her research on artemisinin and Artemesia annua (also known as sweet wormwood) more than 25 years ago. In recent years, she has turned her attention to the use of DLA as an alternative to conventional antimalarial drugs. Noting that Artemisia annua, which is classified as a generally regarded as safe (GRAS) herb, has been consumed by humans and used as an herbal therapy for thousands of years, often in the form of a tea, she became intrigued by the potential for using the dried plant, rather than just a chemical extract, as a malaria treatment. A study she published in Photochemistry Reviews in 2011 was the first to demonstrate that dried leaves of the Artemisia annua plant delivers 40 times more artemisinin to the blood than does the drug based on the chemical extract of the plant. In a paper published in PLOS ONE the following year, Weathers and her team showed that not only does DLA have antimalarial properties, it is more effective in knocking out the parasite and reduced the level of parasite infection more completely in mice. In a 2015 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the WPI researchers, with colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, showed that dried Artemisia leaves cured rodents infected with malaria strains that were known to be resistant to artemisinin. And, in an experiment that accelerated the evolution of the malaria parasite by passing it through up to 49 generations of mice, the parasite showed no signs of resistance to DLA. Weathers says the superior performance of DLA in comparison to ACT, as well as its ability to kill drug-resistant parasites and avoid the resistance trap, itself, is likely due to the synergistic effects of a complex array of phytochemicals contained in the plant's leaves, several of which are also known to have antimalarial properties and others of which may act both to enhance the absorption of artemisinin into the bloodstream and bolster its effectiveness against malaria. In effect, the dried leaves constitute a robust natural combination therapy, one whose benefits far surpass those of ACT and other combination drugs. "We have done a lot of work to understand the biochemistry of these compounds, which include a number of flavonoids and terpenes, so we can better understand the role they play in the pharmacological activity of the dried leaves," Weathers said. "The more we learn, the more excited we become about the potential for DLA to be the medication of choice for combatting malaria worldwide. Artemisia annua is known to be efficacious against a range of other diseases, including other tropical maladies and certain cancers, so in our lab we are already at work investigating the effectiveness of DLA with other diseases." Another advantage of DLA over conventional malaria treatments is its low cost and the relative simplicity of its manufacture, Weathers said. While the processes for manufacturing ACT is costlier and requires a higher degree of expertise, producing DLA tablets can be accomplished with simpler equipment and a modest amount of training. Growing Artemisia annua and producing and testing the tablets, Weathers noted, are ideal local business that can provide jobs in impoverished areas and greatly expand access to antimalarial therapy. In fact, she has already established a supply chain in Africa that includes growing and harvesting high-producing cultivars in East Africa, along with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) processing operations in Uganda where the leaves are dried, pulverized, and homogenized, where the powder is compacted into tablets, and where the tablets are tested to verify their dosage. This supply chain helped produce the tablets used to treat the 18 patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo. "This simple technology can be owned, operated, and distributed by Africans for Africans," Weathers said.


— In the last several years, global market of sterilization trays developed stable, with CAGR of 6.26%. In 2016, Global Market Size of sterilization trays is nearly 1282.11 K USD; the actual sale is about 2574.7 K Unit. The global average price of sterilization trays is stable from 2012 to 2016. With the situation of global economy, prices will be in slowly decreasing trend in the following five years. The classification of sterilization trays includes stainless steel trays, plastic trays, and others, and the proportion of stainless steel trays in 2016 is about 63.52%, and the proportion is in increase trend from 2012 to 2017. Sterilization trays are widely used in hospital, clinic, laboratory and other medical institutes. The most proportion of sterilization trays is hospital and in 2016 with 56.74% market share. Companies profiled in this report are Medline, Placon, Terumo, Keir Surgical, Solvay, PST Corp, Aesculap, Pyxidis, Summit Medical, Ethicon, Key Surgical, Volk Optical, Aygun, WPI, Sklar and more. Analysis by Product Types, with production, revenue, price, market share and growth rate of each type, can be divided into • Stainless Steel Trays • Plastic Trays • Others Analysis by Applications, this report focuses on consumption, market share and growth rate of Sterilization Trays in each application, can be divided into • Hospital • Clinic • Laboratory • Other Table of Contents: 1 Sterilization Trays Market Overview 2 Global Sterilization Trays Market Competition by Manufacturers 3 Global Sterilization Trays Sales (K Units), Revenue (K USD) by Regions (2012-2017) 4 Global Sterilization Trays Sales, Revenue, Price Trend by Types 5 Global Sterilization Trays Production, Revenue (Value), Price Trend by Types 6 Global Sterilization Trays Market Analysis by Applications 7 Global Sterilization Trays Manufacturers Profiles/Analysis 8 Sterilization Trays Manufacturing Cost Analysis 9 Industrial Chain, Sourcing Strategy and Downstream Buyers 10 Marketing Strategy Analysis, Distributors/Traders 11 Market Effect Factors Analysis 12 Global Sterilization Trays Market Forecast (2017-2022) 13 Research Findings and Conclusion Inquire more about this report at: https://www.themarketreports.com/report/ask-your-query/484088 For more information, please visit https://www.themarketreports.com/report/global-sterilization-trays-market-research-report-2017


The paper, "'Hummingbird' floral traits interact synergistically to discourage visitation by bumble bee foragers," demonstrates that traits of so-called "hummingbird flowers" work together to confuse bees and cost them precious time as they move from flower to flower. This extra cost leads most bees to seek nectar rewards from floral alternatives that they can more easily exploit, thus enabling the plants to more effectively attract more efficient hummingbird pollinators. Most hummingbird-pollinated flowers evolved from bee-pollinated ancestors, according to lead author Robert J. Gegear, assistant professor of biology and biotechnology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). While the "bee" floral variants tend to be upright and have blue or purple coloration, the "bird" variants have a horizontal orientation and red or orange coloration. Also, bee flowers typically contain small amounts of concentrated nectar, while bird flowers have larger amounts of dilute nectar. While it has long been thought that the characteristics of bird flowers operate independently to make it difficult for bees to access their nectar (or in the case of the red coloration, to even see the flowers), Gegear's research shows that, in fact, the traits interact synergistically to encourage bees to look elsewhere for nectar rewards. In the laboratory, Gegear and his students observed the behavior of foraging bees using arrays of paper flowers that mimicked the blooms of Mimulus lewisii (purple monkey flower), which is pollinated primarily by bumblebees, and a related species, Mimulus cardinalis (scarlet monkey flower), which is pollinated primarily by hummingbirds. They tested three characteristics—color, orientation, and nectar reward—in various combinations. They found that bees readily visited upright flowers, regardless of their color, as well as lavender flowers, regardless of their orientation. However, when red flowers were placed in the horizontal orientation and lavender flowers were placed in a vertical orientation—mimicking the natural flowers of Mimulus cardinalis and Mimulus lewisii—visits by foraging bumblebees dropped dramatically. Similar effects were observed when red coloration and dilute nectar were combined, showing that floral display and reward traits also interact to discourage bee visitation. Bumblebees, like most pollinators, are not genetically programmed to visit only particular flowers, Gegear says. They are generalists that seek to maximize their rate of reward intake. But the ideal pollinator, from the plant's perspective, is one that adopts a specialist foraging strategy, since that will help assure that each plant receives only pollen from its own species. By combining particular floral characteristics, plants manipulate pollinators to become specialists by making generalization a less economically attractive option. Gegear says his study shows that at least two floral characteristics had to change for the bird flower Mimulus cardinalis to evolve from the bee flower Mimulus lewisii, and that those changes served to discourage bees. To learn why bees avoid the bird flowers, Gegear set up a different experiment in his lab. He first had bees forage on arrays of paper flowers, all of which were of the same color and orientation. Every flower contained a sugar reward. During these runs each bee learned to associate every color and orientation combination with a reward. Next, the same bees foraged on mixed arrays in which one color-orientation combination contained nectar and the other combinations contained distilled water. Gegear and his students watched to see how long it took the bees to learn which flowers were worth visiting. Once they were able to make the right choice 80 percent of the time, they observed the next 20 flower visits, noting the time interval between flower visits and the number of times the bees visited non-rewarding flowers. They found that it was much more difficult for bees to learn and effectively locate bird-trait combinations than bee-trait combinations, a response that was not predicted based on the response observed when each trait was presented in isolation. "These data suggests that the reason bee-to-bird evolutionary transitions are often accompanied by a floral shift to classic 'bird' trait complexes is because bees have a particularly difficult time combining red with other sensory traits, including nectar rewards," he says. "It takes them longer to learn to seek out these combinations, and once they learn them, it takes them longer to recognize these flowers. Thus, bees avoid bird flowers in mixed floral environments because it makes economic sense for them to do so. When you put all this together, you find that 'bird flowers' are really 'anti-bee flowers' that function by exploiting specific sensory and cognitive limitations." Gegear says the study offers a new perspective on prevailing theories about how plants evolve to manipulate their animal pollinators. "From an ecological perspective, an ideal pollinator is one that always forages on flowers of the same type so pollen is transferred effectively. In reality, pollinators are generalists and they should simply forage randomly. So the big question has been, how do plants get the pollinators to do what they want? "The answer lies in floral complexity. Each plant has a flower made up of a unique combination of sensory and structural traits that pollinators must learn and remember in order to effectively locate nectar rewards. However, pollinators are limited in their ability to manage information on more than one unique combination at a time, making generalization a costly foraging strategy. In the case of the two species of Mimulus, the costs associated with bird combinations are much greater than the costs associated with bee combinations, so bees avoid them to increase their foraging efficiency." Explore further: Bees use colour-coding to collect pollen and nectar More information: Robert J. Gegear et al, "Hummingbird" floral traits interact synergistically to discourage visitation by bumble bee foragers, Ecology (2017). DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1661


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

RacingJunk.com, the world's largest online motorsports marketplace, is glad to announce a partnership with the National Tractor Pullers Association (NTPA). RacingJunk.com will become the official classifieds of NTPA, which will support greater awareness and attendance of NTPA events while extending RacingJunk.com’s reach to competitors and fans who can benefit from its services. The flagship website of Motorhead Media, Racingjunk.com is a “one-stop shop” for anyone looking to buy, sell, trade or interact with people throughout the automotive and racing and performance communities. With more than 850,000 registered members and 28,000 classified ads, the website generates over two million visits every month. Established in 1969 by representatives from eight states, the NTPA is the sport’s oldest and most respected truck and tractor pulling sanctioning organization. The NTPA is managed by World Pulling International (WPI), an independently owned entity, and governed by a board of directors. Headquartered in Worthington, Ohio, the NTPA provides rules and regulations and the infrastructures required for organizations throughout the country to arrange truck and tractor pulls. “We are thrilled to work with RacingJunk.com,” said a representative from the NTPA. “We want all motorsports fans to see what the NTPA is about, and if you love motorsports then you will be interested in Racing Junk. Fans will witness massive amounts of horsepower at an NTPA event, from 4000+ HP Diesel Pro Stock tractors to Modified Tractors with five supercharged hemis.” Jim Sweener, Director of Sales for RacingJunk, said, "We’re thrilled about our partnership with the NTPA. RacingJunk.com’s dedicated truck and tractor pulling section is one of the most popular up-and-coming sections on our site, and we’re certain our community of fans and enthusiasts will appreciate the chance to see the great events the NTPA helps organize." To learn about the NTPA, visit their website at NTPAPull.com. For more information on RacingJunk.com, go to http://www.racingjunk.com.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Osaka University and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Otsuka) signed a comprehensive collaboration agreement for advanced research in immunology between the Osaka University Immunology Frontier Research Center (IFReC) and Otsuka. This agreement allows researchers at IFReC to focus on original basic research areas and, with Otsuka, to develop innovative new treatments therefore contributing back to society with the results of their advanced immunology research. IFReC was selected for the World Premier International Research Center (WPI) Initiative Program initiated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in 2007 and launched at Osaka University in October of the same year as a research center in immunology. Led by Director Shizuo Akira, an eminent immunologist, IFReC brings together around 170 of the world's leading investigators in the fields of immunology, live imaging and bioinformatics from Japan and across the world to conduct innovative immunological research. The center provides an international environment coupled with excellent research facilities, making it possible to pursue leading-edge research. IFReC researchers publish in internationally renowned academic journals to high acclaim including the award of several prestigious international prizes. Guided by our corporate philosophy, Otsuka-people creating new products for better health worldwide, Otsuka is committed to improving the health and well-being of patients and consumers through "treating diseases" and "promoting daily health". As a total healthcare company, Otsuka continues to focus on creating creative and innovative products. In order to address unmet needs in medicine, we focus our research on central nervous system disorders and oncology, and also develop treatments in cardiovascular, infectious, ophthalmological, and dermatological disease fields. According to the agreement, Otsuka will have access to information regarding results of independent basic research projects at IFReC. Although Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., which signed a prior agreement has the right of first refusal on joint research projects and intellectual property. Otsuka can discuss future joint research with IFReC, and receive disclosure about future patent rights in immunology from Osaka University. As part of this agreement, Otsuka will contribute to the research activity expenses of IFReC for a period of 10 years.


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

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) hopes to give hand-wrist prostheses the ability to move more naturally by enabling a hand and wrist to work simultaneously—known as two degrees of freedom—using electrical impulses generated by remnant muscles in the forearm. With traditional prostheses, only one element—either the hand or the wrist—can be in motion at any one time. In part, the research is aimed at providing better prosthesis options for returning soldiers with amputations of the hand and wrist who have found it either difficult or impossible to perform a wide range of daily tasks with current one-degree-of-freedom hand-wrist prostheses. The research is being done by co-principal investigators Edward Clancy and Xinming Huang, both professors of electrical and computer engineering at WPI. Their work is funded by a two-year subaward of $712,812 from Liberating Technologies Inc. (LTI) of Holliston, Mass., a leading supplier of upper-limb prosthetic devices for adults and children. The National Institutes of Health has given LTI a $1.4 million grant to help solve these problems. The researchers say their goal is to make it possible for hand-wrist prostheses to more closely duplicate the natural synchronized action of the human hand and wrist. When reaching for a glass of water, for example, the wrist turns to align the hand while fingers spread to encircle the glass. For an upper-limb amputee using existing prostheses, that simple action is far more cumbersome. Watch a video here. Clancy, director of WPI’s Laboratory for Sensory and Physiologic Signal Processing, is responsible for system design and developing advanced control algorithms for device operation, while Huang works on instrumentation and signal processing. They are conducting the research at both WPI and LTI. The work is currently focused on how to translate signals picked up from muscle activity in the forearm into appropriate movements of the hand and wrist prostheses. They began by collecting data from 64 or more electrodes, but recognizing that a device with that many inputs could be burdensome or impractical, they are attempting to achieve the same effect with as few as four electrodes while also improving functionality. “We want to be able to control two degrees of freedom while making instrumentation that is really tiny and easy to apply,” Clancy said. The researchers are also developing new algorithms and methods to help select the optimal locations for the four electrodes. Those algorithms will be embedded into a microprocessor within a prototype prosthesis. The next step will be to develop a more convenient and robust multielectrode clinical prosthesis fitting system that will determine the optimal electrode locations and convert muscle activity into the movement of motors in the prosthesis hand and wrist components. They will also seek to wirelessly connect the electrodes using embedded low-power integrated circuits and rechargeable batteries. The outcome of this research will provide more functional, convenient, and robust prosthesis options for patients with upper limb amputation injuries. Clancy said potential users include those born without hands and individuals who have had traumatic amputations as result of gunshot wounds or car accidents. He also said there has been growing research to support returning war veterans with amputations. “While this field is relatively small, there has been an increased research effort in recent years, particularly in response to providing better prosthesis options for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with upper limb amputation injuries,” he said. Todd Farrell, director of research for LTI, said the research has promise. “This research is really exciting,” said Farrell. “If the technology is proved out, it would be a substantial improvement over the current state of the art. It would improve the speed and ease for amputees to perform a number of tasks.” Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI is one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. WPI's talented faculty work with students on interdisciplinary research that seeks solutions to important and socially relevant problems in fields as diverse as the life sciences and bioengineering, energy, information security, materials processing, and robotics. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university's innovative Global Projects Program. There are more than 40 WPI project centers throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.

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