HILT announces fall Spark Grant awards

first_imgHILT awarded six Spark Grants of $5,000 – $15,000 this fall. Awardees will:Develop new methods for hands-on teaching. Matthew Hersch (FAS) will develop experiential learning opportunities for students in history of technology courses including in-class demonstration and simulation.Expand a pilot “writing oasis” program for graduate students. Nancy Khalil (FAS) will expand “Graduate Writing Oasis,” a successful pilot to provide dedicated time and collaboration in dissertation writing.Evaluate the teaching and assessing of critical thinking. Margaret Hayes (HMS-BIDMC), Suzanne Cooper (HKS), Richard Schwartzstein (HMS), Amy Sullivan (HMS), and William Wisser (HGSE) will conduct a mixed methods study analyzing the teaching and learning of critical thinking skills at Harvard—the differences in approaches across Schools, and faculty and student perceptions of critical thinking instruction and assessment.Form a free statistical help service for all Harvard students. Emily Slade (SPH) aims to bridge the gap between statistics courses and student’s ability to implement concepts in their own work with a student-run consulting service.Increase student pathways in STEM. Katherine Penner (FAS) will implement a large-scale version of a successful pilot “book club” aimed at lower level math students to create an environment to practice and experiment with advanced concepts.Study the writing process through revision history. Daniel Seaton, Selen Turkay, and Andrew Ang (VPAL Research) will analyze revision patterns in student writing, how those relate to activities within specific passages of a written text, and how revision-history analytics can play a role in supporting writing. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Assumptions of how antibiotics work may be incorrect

first_imgBacterial infections are the No. 1 cause of death in hospital patients in the U.S., and antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise, causing tens of thousands of deaths every year. Understanding exactly how antibiotics work, or don’t, is crucial for developing alternative treatment strategies, both to target new “superbugs” and to make existing drugs more effective against their targets.Using synthetic biology techniques, a team of researchers at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University has discovered that bacteria respond to antibiotics very differently — exactly opposite, in fact — inside the body than on a petri dish, suggesting that some of our current assumptions about antibiotics may be incorrect.“The image most clinicians have is that antibiotics work by killing actively dividing bacteria, and nondividing bacteria are the ones that resist treatment and cause infections to persist. I wanted to know whether that’s actually true — does the proportion of dividing bacteria change over the course of an infection, and how do antibiotics impact that?” said Laura Certain, a clinical fellow at the Wyss Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital, the first author of the study.Colonies of engineered E. coli bacteria that were actively dividing at the time ATC was added turn blue when grown on a medium containing lactose, while those that were not dividing when ATC was added remain white. Credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University“Synthetic biology is widely used to engineer bacteria so that they produce useful products or diagnose diseases, and we used that same approach to create a microbiology tool that can tell us how bacteria are behaving in the body,” she said.The research is published in the Aug. 31 issue of Cell Host & Microbe.Certain and her colleagues used a genetically engineered strain of E. coli that was created in the lab of Wyss core faculty member Pamela Silver a few years ago. The bacteria have a genetic “toggle switch” encoded into their DNA that changes from the “off” to the “on” position when the bacteria are exposed to a chemical called anhydrotetracycline (ATC). When the switch is turned on, a genetic change happens that allows the bacteria to digest the sugar lactose, which bacteria whose switches remain off cannot do. The key to this system is that the toggle switch can only be flipped if the bacteria are actively dividing when ATC is added; nondividing bacteria’s switches will stay off, even when ATC is present. Thus, the toggle switch offers a snapshot in time that can indicate whether bacteria were active or dormant at the moment of ATC exposure.Bacterial studies are often carried out in vitro, but infections happen in the complex environment of living bodies, which are quite different from a petri dish. To evaluate their bacteria in vivo, the researchers implanted a small plastic rod into the legs of mice and inoculated their engineered bacterial strain into the legs to imitate the chronic bacterial infections that commonly arise in humans when medical devices and artificial joints are implanted. They then injected the mice with ATC at different times throughout the course of the infection to flip the toggle switch in any dividing bacterial cells to the “on” position.When they extracted bacteria from the mice and grew them on a special lactose-containing medium, they found that all the bacteria were actively dividing for the first 24 hours, but by the fourth day that fraction dropped to about half and remained constant for the rest of the infection, indicating that the number of bacteria being killed by the body was balanced by new bacteria being created via cell division. This result differed from the in vitro response, in which all the bacteria stopped dividing once they reached the carrying capacity of their environment.Next, the scientists tested the bacteria’s response to antibiotics in vivo by allowing the infection to progress for two weeks, then injecting the mice with the antibiotic levofloxacin. When they analyzed the extracted bacteria, they found that while the total amount of bacteria in the mice decreased, the proportion of the surviving bacteria that were actively dividing actually increased. This outcome was in direct opposition to antibiotics observed in vitro, which killed more dividing cells than nondividing cells. The researchers screened the bacterial colonies for antibiotic resistance, and did not find any evidence that the bacteria had evolved to better withstand the killing effects of the levofloxacin, confirming that the antibiotic was still effective.“There are several possible reasons why we saw a higher proportion of dividing bacteria in the presence of an antibiotic,” said Certain. “We find it most likely that dormant cells are switching into an active state in order to ‘fill the gaps’ that arise when antibiotics reduce the overall bacterial population. If bacteria continue to actively divide throughout an infection, as our study suggests, they should be susceptible to antibiotics.”Indeed, the researchers were able to cure the infection with a higher dose of the antibiotic, indicating that, contrary to conventional assumptions about bacterial infections, there is no fixed population of dormant, antibiotic-tolerant cells in this chronic infection model.“If an antibiotic isn’t working, we should focus on finding ways to deliver more of it to the infection site or identifying other tolerance mechanisms that might be at play, rather than assuming that a bastion of nondividing bacteria is the culprit,” said corresponding author and Wyss core faculty member Jim Collins, who is also the Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering & Science and a professor of biological engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.For additional information, visit the Wyss Institute website.This study was supported by the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and the Wyss Institute at Harvard University.last_img read more

South Korean brokerage firm Korea Investment & Securities to stop all coal business

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Korea Herald:South Korean brokerage firm Korea Investment & Securities has decided to stop its investments in coal, in line with the Moon Jae-in administration’s “Green New Deal” initiative, one of the key pillars of the so-called “Korean New Deal” economic stimulus package.“We will stop investing in coal from now on. To fulfill our social responsibility as a firm, we’ll strengthen ESG — environmental, social and governance — investments instead,” a KIS official said. “It is to follow the Paris Agreement to lower global carbon emissions as well as participate in the government’s Green New Deal policy.”Last year, the brokerage firm made a total of 800 billion won ($671.3 million) worth of ESG investments, including 200 billion won worth investments in renewable energy. The accumulated amount came to nearly 15 percent of its equity, according to KIS.Meanwhile, KIS plans to disclose its latest ESG investing results through the firm’s biennial report on corporate sustainability management. The upcoming report is slated to be published in September.[Jie Ye-eun]More: Korea Investment & Securities to divest coal assets South Korean brokerage firm Korea Investment & Securities to stop all coal businesslast_img read more

How does reduced branch traffic affect credit union business services?

first_imgLet’s face it – member traffic in and out of our physical, brick-and-mortar branch facilities isn’t what it used to be. Far from the heyday of most members conducting business regularly in one or more credit union branch offices, we now live in a digital express age in which members spend a great deal more time in drive-thrus and on smartphones and tablets they ever will in your physical locations.This is problematic for credit unions in that for many of them, branch traffic was a primary source of information and leads for cross-selling additional business services. When members were frequently came into branch facilities, they were more likely to engage with credit union staff about their business lives, challenges and needs. Credit union professionals could then use that information to correlate member needs with credit union products and services, thus tailoring situation-specific solutions for members.This means credit union professionals must find new ways of securing leads for promoting business lending and business services. While there are many ways to think outside the box and do this without the benefit of additional branch traffic, below are three ways credit union professionals can consider.Detective work. Even though members may not be in our branches with a physical presence like they used to, they still leave a digital footprint. Those tasked with promoting lending and business services can review things like scanned copies of checks and other documents. In doing so, they could discover if a member was depositing checks from another credit union or making loan payments to another credit union (or other competitor). Armed with this information, they could then try to engage the member and bring that lost business in-house.Vehicle inspections. Credit union professionals could regularly scan their parking lots and drive -thru lines for vehicles wrapped professionally. Using business names, telephone numbers and website addresses from these vehicles, they could then reach out to business owners (whether they are credit union members or not) and attempt to gain those business accounts.Building relationships. At the end of the day, it’s still all about building relationships. This is a forte credit unions have worked well with for decades. Building relationships isn’t rocket science – it still includes relatively simple concepts like asking open-ended questions, being more proactive and assertive in promoting credit union products and services and simply not being scared to ask members for their business. Credit union professionals must come to regard themselves not so much as salespeople but as solutions providers for the members that come to them for help.It’s true — a rapidly growing percentage of members prefer to interact with their credit unions digitally, through computers, smart phones and tablets. While this comes at a price to traditional in-branch traffic, it also offers its own set of solutions to help deal with the change in the challenge. Credit union professionals that see this usage shift as an opportunity for growth instead of a harbinger of doom are more likely to realize success in this digital age. 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Lisa Dent Ms. Dent joined MBL in July 2012 as a Risk Assessment Manager. She has worked in various roles at MBL which include Implementation Specialist and Training and Development Administrator. Prior … Web: www.mblllc.com Detailslast_img read more

12 travel agents from Belgium and the Netherlands touring Slavonia

first_imgThe CNTB office for Belgium and the Netherlands, in cooperation with the national airline Croatia Airlines and the tourist boards of Vukovar-Srijem and Osijek-Baranja counties, is organizing a study trip for 18 travel agents from the Benelux area from 22 to 12 October.The travel program includes a tour of Slavonia and Baranja, more precisely Vukovar-Srijem and Osijek-Baranja counties.The study trip is entirely dedicated to touring continental Croatia and introducing agents to its rich tourist and eno and gastronomic offer, according to the CNTB, and during their stay the agents will visit Graberje Ivaničko, Vinkovci, Vukovar, Ilok, Osijek, Bizovačke Toplice, Zmajevac. , Batina, Kneževe Vinograde, Đakovo, PP Kopački rit and other places in these two counties, and during their stay they will spend the night in indigenous accommodation facilities and try dyeing zucchini, combing horses, weaving gold embroidery and cooking traditional Slavonian dishes.As part of this study trip, tasting of famous Slavonian wines is also planned, as well as sailing on the Danube and Bosut, cycling and horseback riding. Agents will also participate in a wine and art evening to be held at the Osijek Fortress. Agents participating in this study trip specialize in outdoor vacations, cultural tours, bird watching, rural tourism, active and family vacations.last_img read more

Basin Pocket character home has plenty of space for a large family

first_imgOne of the bathrooms at 94 Blackall St, Basin Pocket.Helene Shephard, from First National Real Estate Action Realty Ipswich, said the home was originally built in 1945.She said beautiful ceiling heights had been maintained along with some of the original features prior to the expansion. “This is a magical home, with loads of space and one that would work really well for a large family,” she said.Set on a 750sq m block, the two-level home has an in-ground swimming pool and a shed.The property is being sold for $619,000, The property at 94 Blackall St, Basin Pocket is on a large block. 94 Blackall St, Basin Pocket.When it comes to character, this Ipswich home has plenty of it.With a downstairs extension, the four-bedroom, two-bathroom property, at 94 Blackall St, Basin Pocket, has been expanded in all directions, with space-savvy design tricks.center_img More from newsDigital inspection tool proves a property boon for REA website3 Apr 2020The Camira homestead where kids roamed free28 May 201994 Blackall St, Basin Pocket.last_img read more

UPDATE: Heavy rainfall affects Layou as officials work to address flooding issue

first_imgLocalNews UPDATE: Heavy rainfall affects Layou as officials work to address flooding issue by: – September 28, 2011 Layou flooding this morningThe heavy rainfall associated with the passage of Tropical Storm Ophelia has caused flooding in the Layou area restricting the easy flow of traffic.Earlier this year in July, the Matthieu Dam collapsed, overflowed its banks and caused a major disaster in the Layou area including extensive damage to a bridge, houses, businesses, livestock and agricultural farms.The residents of Layou are still reeling from the effects of this damage however they may suffer another setback as a result of the flooding this morning.One driver told Dominica Vibes News ‘only high vehicles can access the area, plus the rain is making it very difficult and as the rain continues it will become increasingly difficult. I have a four wheel truck so I could pass but there are several drivers with cars who have to park on the side and wait.’Disaster Coordinator Mr Nathaniel Issac informed Dominica Vibes News that they are aware of the situation and a team from Public Works is on site clearing the area.“Mr. Kendall Johnson the Chief Technical Officer in the Ministry of Public Works is on site, there are also two excavators on assisting in clearing the area so that traffic can flow through. They are experiencing some challenges with the weather which is expected to clear up to allow them to better be able to clear the area.”Here are a few photographs of the scene: [nggallery id=71]In related news, the Parliamentary Representative of the Layou Constituency explained that due to the heavy rainfall last evening the Layou River flooded and interfered with the flow of traffic.“We experienced significant amount of rainfall last evening and the Layou River again overflowed certain areas of its bank and for some time it made the movement of traffic impassable. That has been due to the fact that several of the river walls that existed they have collapsed since the Matthieu Dam overflowed and once the river collects a significant volume of water, the water will then be diverted on the road. That is something that has happened again due to the heavy rainfall last evening, there are also some areas where we had a few landslides,” he said.Mr Darroux is therefore calling on residents, motorist and anyone traversing the area to be cautious.“The Ministry of National Security has erected several signs in the area to draw person’s attention to the need to tread with caution. We have identified the area as a flood prone zone and persons with low lying vehicles especially cars will find it difficult to get through the water. Even persons on foot, they should be cautions because there are some areas which may not be sturdy enough,” he said.Mr Darroux further explained that the Ministry of Public Works is engaged in clearing the affected area as the heavy rainfall also caused landslides and to monitor the volume of water on the road.“I’ve been advised that the Ministry of Public Works they are engaging some of the heavy equipment operators in the area to clear the slides. They are also monitoring the volume of water on the road especially at the old gas station in Hillsborough, this has proven to be a thorn in the flesh but we continue to work diligently to ensure that we can at least get some of the water off the road as quickly as possible.According to Darroux the major issue is the dredging of the river so that it can return to its normal state.“The river bed has been elevated and so the constant flow of water unto the road, so the major issue here has to do with the actual getting rid of the sand from the river which will be the dredging process and when that has been done we will be able to get the river back to a state of normalcy.”Mr Darroux said ‘it’s a situation that calls for constant monitoring but we will continue to see how we can address the challenges and help alleviate the plight of those affected.’Dominica Vibes News 48 Views   one commentlast_img read more

Dominican man fined $80.00 for using threatening language

first_imgCourt gavel. Photo credit: lazytechguys.comA Grand Bay man has been fined $80.00 for saying “they should bomb that hospital” at the Grand Bay Hospital when he appeared before Magistrate Ossie Lewis on Monday.Thirty-eight years old Ian Winston of Mabouche, Grand Bay pleaded guilty to the charge of using threatening language at the Grand Bay Hospital in the presence of a medical officer.Based on the facts presented to the Court by Police Prosecutor Inspector Claude Weekes, the Defendant visited the Grand Bay Hospital on Friday 6th January, 2012 about 10 am seeking medical attention for an injury he sustained on his left hand, while Dr Cleona Peter, the District Medical Office for the Grand Bay area was attending to a patient. Although there were other patients waiting to be attended to the Defendant began verbally abusing the doctor whilst standing outside close to her office window. Dr. Peters cautioned the Defendant about his behavior and he said, “Best they bomb that hospital” which frightened her. She made a report at the Grand Bay Police Station which Constable Francis of the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force responded to.Constable Francis met the Defendant and questioned him about his statement and he replied, “I really use the word bomb but I did not mean it”. Attorney at Law Mr. Wayne Norde who pleaded on behalf of the Defendant told the Court that his thirty-six years old client is “a young man in his prime” who is involved in the construction industry as a rubber.He further explained that his client went to the hospital for assistance with a serious wound and had to wait for a long period of time for assistance from the doctor.According to Norde; “several other patients who came in after his client were treated before him while he suffered”. Norde told the Magistrate that his client’s utterance should be viewed as one out of frustration and pain as his “flesh was hanging out” and although the word bomb was used he did not mean it. He asked Magistrate Lewis to give his client a very strong warning but that he should consider favorably imposing a small fine on him.Magistrate Ossie Lewis in rendering his decision, told the Defendant that he had considered his guilty plea, the plea in mitigation made on his behalf by his attorney and the fact that his has record has been clear for the last 19 years. Winston was ordered to pay a fine of $80.00 on or before the 15th of February, 2012 or in default he will spend ten days in prison. Dominica Vibes News Share 27 Views   one comment Share Sharing is caring!center_img Share Tweet LocalNews Dominican man fined $80.00 for using threatening language by: – January 9, 2012last_img read more

150 Bacolod relocatees may lose land titles

first_imgBACOLOD City – The Bacolod HousingAuthority (BHA) will cancel land titles awarded to at least 150 beneficiariesof the government’s socialized housing program at the city’s Relocation Site inBarangay Vista Alegre. The applicants, mostly from Barangays 12, Bata, Taculing, and Villamonte, were affected by demolitions from city development projects and road clearing. “We conducted an inventory, evaluation and confirmation of the report as part of the process for the cancellation,” Parrenas said. According to BHA head Ma. Victoria Parrenas, these housing recipients violated the City Ordinance No. 269, or the ordinance defining the policies governing the relocation and resettlement projects of Bacolod. They have either illegally sold or rented out the housing units and/or lots awarded to them, she explained. by the original beneficiaries through sale or lease; and declare as nulland void the transactions with the original beneficiaries as provided by law. Earlier this month, the Bacolod City Sangguniang Panlungsod requested the BHA and Bacolod City Water District organize a “one-stop shop” in order to expedite water service connection applications for residents of the Abada Escay relocation site. She also said that by next month, there will be an awarding for approximately 37 newly-qualified applicants to acquire lots at the relocation site in Barangay Vista Alegre. Parrenas added that they will conducta thorough investigation to identify the housing units that have been disposed City Councilor Carlos Jose Lopez added, the Central Negros Electric Cooperative Inc. was asked to prioritize electrical service to the pumping stations serving the relocation site./PNlast_img read more

Robin doesn’t need a rest – Ferguson

first_imgManchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has no intention of giving Robin van Persie a rest – and urged him to follow his own father’s advice to break his goal drought. He went on: “He’s a strong lad with a great physique. It’s disappointing he wasn’t awarded the goal at Sunderland – I can understand that because it took a wicked deflection. But the shot was fantastic – it was hit with such venom that it’s not surprising it took a deflection. His ability to manoeuvre his position at that point was excellent.” In previous years, Ferguson has found himself answering questions about Rooney’s lack of goals, before the Merseysider exploded again. As a former striker himself, the Scot is uniquely placed to offer advice in times of such strife. And, while he retains a firm belief Van Persie will turn his present situation around, he always remembers the wise words his dad came out with. “My dad always used to say ‘make sure you batter the ball – don’t tap it or try and side-foot it into the net’,” Ferguson said. “That’s what I always tell strikers too. If the goalkeeper saves it, you can say ‘what a great save’. But if you try to side-foot it and the keeper catches it easily you get criticised. “The goals will come. All strikers have little dry spells. You have to get through that period and not lose your faith and belief in yourself.” The Holland striker has now gone nine games without scoring, and managed just one in his last 12 appearances for the Old Trafford outfit. Not even finding the net for his country recently has triggered an upturn in his club fortunes, with the effort he hoped to be awarded at Sunderland last weekend being credited as a Titus Bramble own goal. With Wayne Rooney set to return from a groin strain, it seemed the time might be right for Van Persie to be given a brief rest, but Ferguson said: “Robin doesn’t need a rest, that’s for sure.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more