A section of the AIDS virus’ protein envelope once considered an improbable target for a vaccine now appears to be one of the most promising, new research by Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists indicates.The section, a twisting strand of protein known as the V3 loop, is an attractive vaccine target because immune system antibodies aimed at the loop may offer protection against multiple genetic subtypes of HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS. This is a key prerequisite of any AIDS vaccine because the viruses mutate rapidly and by now comprise millions of different strains that are grouped into different genetic subtypes, or “clades.” The researchers’ findings are published online in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS One.In the study, investigators injected a monoclonal antibody — a preparation of millions of identical antibodies that fight viral infection — into Asian monkeys known as macaques. The antibody came from a person infected with a specific clade of HIV-1. The macaques were then exposed to virus of a different clade. Investigators knew the antibody would latch onto a portion of the virus’ V3 loop, potentially barring the virus from invading nearby cells, but they didn’t know whether it would prevent infection from a separate subtype of the virus.The results were striking: All of the treated monkeys were protected from infection by the monkey form of HIV-1, known as SHIV. Monkeys exposed to the virus without receiving the monoclonal antibody, by contrast, became heavily infected.“This is the first time a monoclonal antibody made against an AIDS virus of one clade has provided complete protection against an AIDS virus of a different clade in animal models,” said the study’s senior author, Ruth Ruprecht of Dana-Farber and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). “Previous studies have shown that such neutralizing antibodies can protect macaques from infection within one clade; but as more clades of the AIDS virus evolve, it has been unclear whether such antibodies could shield across different clades and prevent infection. Now we have an answer.”AIDS vaccines need to be broadly effective, Ruprecht said, offering protection from a range of HIV-1 subtypes anywhere in the world. It is particularly important for such vaccines to shield against clade C, which accounts for almost 60 percent of worldwide AIDS cases and predominates in sub-Saharan Africa, India, and China. In many parts of the world, clade C has combined with clade B, but retains a clade C protein envelope. Ruprecht and her colleagues have showed that the antibody against the V3 loop prevented infection by a clade C virus.The antibody treatment technique used in the study is unlikely to confer long-term protection against HIV-1 because the infected antibodies do not remain active in the body for very long. The value of the study is that it demonstrates that antibodies directed against the V3 loop of one clade of HIV-1 can create an immune system shield against another clade.To translate this discovery into a vaccine, researchers need to devise a way to focus the body’s immune system responses to the small portion of the V3 loop that is shared by viruses of different clades. The immune system could then generate its own protective antibodies against the virus. One way of accomplishing this may be to create small molecules that represent this special region inside the V3 loop so the immune system can recognize and attack it.The study’s findings represent something of a vindication for the V3 loop as an immune system target, Ruprecht remarked. While scientists have long known that V3 can spark an immune system response to HIV-1, the loop was thought to be a clever “decoy:” the body would produce antibodies that home in on V3, but these would be unable to block infection by slightly different versions of the AIDS virus. The V3 loop has long been known to mutate very rapidly. Viruses with slightly altered protein envelopes would then begin the infection process. The study has shown that a special region of V3 is a prime target, after all.The study’s co-lead authors are Dana-Farber’s Jennifer Watkins, a research fellow in medicine at HMS, and Nagadenahalli Siddappa, an instructor in medicine at HMS.The study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery, and the Center for AIDS Research Immunology Core.
It was a lecture delivered with cornet and clarinet, trombone and tuba, standup bass and bass drum.Wynton Marsalis and an all-star ensemble gave a capacity crowd at Sanders Theatre a musical history of the roots of jazz in New Orleans on Thursday night, raising Memorial Hall’s ornate roof with the transitional sounds of Dixieland.The presentation, “New Orleans: The Birth of Jazz,” concluded a series of six lecture performances at Harvard by the acclaimed managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Marsalis’ lecture series, sponsored by the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost, launched in April 2011.The rousing finale to the series brought down the house. Cornetist Marsalis and company — Lucien Barbarin on trombone, Jonathan Batiste on piano, Troy Davis on drums, Vince Giordano on tuba and bass, Victor Goines on reeds, Ricky Gordon on percussion, Marcus Printup on cornet, Don Vappie on banjo and guitar, and Michael White on clarinet — transported the hall to Bourbon Street.“For Wynton tonight, the focus is on his native city,” said Harvard President Drew Faust in her introductory remarks. “And it’s also a kind of coming home. We can only hope that through the six marvelous evenings he has shared with us, he’s come to regard Harvard as a home away from home. We can imagine no higher honor.”Marsalis and his band were welcomed with a standing ovation from the audience of more than 1,000, the younger members of whom held up signs that spelled out “Harvard Loves Wynton.” The band then galloped through its opening number.Then Marsalis was off on a virtuoso ride of his own through New Orleans jazz history, his turns of phrase as evocative as the music.“New Orleans is a city of contradictions,” he said. “It was founded by the French, who were looking for gold but ended up finding crawfish. They struggled with the swamp, mosquitoes, yellow fever, fires, everything. Eventually, they gave it away to Spain, who did the best they could with it for nearly 40 years. But they ended up giving the still-French city back to France, who very quickly pawned it off to America for next to nothing.“What kind of way is that to treat a city that was called the ‘Paris of the South,’ the northernmost capital of the Caribbean, the meeting place of North and South America, the home of the spirit of Africa in America, and the birthplace of soul? It is the jewel no European nation wanted, and America unsuccessfully tried to tarnish.”Marsalis described the heinous institution of slavery under the French and Spanish colonial powers and the rise of a mixed-race caste, the Creoles. He told of how the French allowed slaves to congregate on the Sabbath in an area called Congo Square, where blacks played drums and danced — “the only place in America that would allow for an open expression of Africanness.” The Spanish, he added, not only allowed slaves to play their own music but to purchase their own freedom, privileges not afforded slaves in English-speaking America.Thus the city acquired by the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase had a unique culture not easily broken, he said. “The city was a French, Senegambian, Spanish, Canadian, Choctaw, Cuban, Congolese, Caribbean gumbo of sensibilities,” he said, “that had been allowed to soak in Mississippi runoff and stew in tropical heat and humidity.“We are the most parade-y people on Earth,” he said of New Orleans residents. French Catholics had loved music for holy-day celebrations, he said. “The people in New Orleans one-upped them and started to invent holidays and reasons to dance in the park. It was a place where men sang on the docks, fiddlers fiddled, people sold vegetables singing in the streets, socialites had parlor parties featuring the latest Parisian music and fashion, and slaves played African-derived music in the open for anyone within earshot.“New Orleans was unknown. And it was unthinkable anywhere else. It was unknowable. You couldn’t conceive that a place like that could actually be in the United States. Actually, you couldn’t conceive that there would be something like that anywhere in the world.”Ironically, the purchase of Louisiana by the one nation dedicated to democratic freedoms began an erosion of rights for blacks and Creoles that would not be reversed — save for the 12 years of Reconstruction following the Civil War — until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, he said.It was during a period of increasing repression for blacks and Creoles that African-American bandleader Charles “Buddy” Bolden, born in 1877, pioneered the musical form for which he became known as the “First Man of Jazz.”Bolden was a hard-drinking cornetist who grew up in an age when “brass bands ruled the streets,” who “played in places of repute, and also in tough places for rough people,” his band battling others for popular supremacy in New Orleans. Of Bolden, people said: “On those old slow blues, that boy could make women jump right out of a window … He just had a moan in his cornet that went right through you, just like you were in church or something.”Bolden, who grew up in the poorer part of the city, “created much of his musical alchemy through the sound and feeling of the blues,” the musical art form brought by dispossessed rural blacks to New Orleans, Marsalis said.The blues, he said, are heard in Negro spirituals, in the cries of vendors selling their wares, in the “sweet Creole ditties sung to you as a child,” in the ritualistic chants of Mardi Gras, and in the call and response at church on Sundays. “The blues goes right to the core of the human condition. It attaches itself to loss and rubs that loss away by making you feel it: loss of love, loss of health, loss of innocence, loss of life, loss of trust, loss of freedom, loss of hope. More than one of those losses touches every one of us. That’s why the blues is such a powerful tool for translating across cultures. The blues knows. No matter how bad things are, the blues will set you straight.”Jazz arose at the end of the 1800s during a time of vanishing civil liberties in New Orleans, when Jim Crow segregation was being instituted and reinforced, with mixed-race Creoles officially being designated blacks by legislative decree, and Congo Square being renamed for a Confederate general. The message, said Marsalis, was: “This is the South, not France.”In the face of this tremendous effort to keep African-Americans in their place, jazz was an “unapologetic counterstatement,” Marsalis said. “America may have thought it would be easy to turn New Orleans into a typical 19th-century Southern town. Some mistake … That Afro-Franco culture could not just be legislated away. The desire for freedom was ingrained in all classes of this populace. The ending of slavery and the death of the promise of Reconstruction created a reaffirmation of freedom in the form of music. And that music would be called jazz.”This “music of freedom” was concocted of “low-down refinement, voodoo-ized religion, Creole-ized Africanism, Italian passion, Spanish fire, and American insouciance, all cooked up in this muddy, wild, funky, below-sea-level bowl of stubborn swamp,” Marsalis said. “It was all sitting there waiting for a chef, and that chef came straight from the neighborhood. His name was Buddy Bolden, and he showed ’em all how to play.”
The 2017 Annual Report of the Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility (CCSR), a subcommittee of the President and Fellows, is now available on the Shareholder Responsibility Committees’ website.The report provides a detailed description of the CCSR’s actions on shareholder proposals regarding issues of social responsibility that came to vote during the 2017 spring proxy voting season (the period between March and June when most publicly traded corporations hold annual meetings). This year, the committees considered 44 proposals dealing with issues of social responsibility that were addressed to corporations whose securities were owned directly by Harvard. Issues raised through the proxy process this year included corporate political contributions and lobbying; executive compensation; labor standards; health care product safety; human rights; equal employment; defense and security issues; and corporate environmental reporting and practices on issues including greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy targets, and pesticides.New topics addressed in 2017 included indigenous people’s rights in the context of project financing and the use of criminal background checks in hiring.The CCSR receives advice from the Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility, a 12-member committee made up of Harvard faculty, students, and alumni.
By: Kate Landis, Deputy Digital Director BLOG: Watch the Wolf Administration’s Facebook Town Hall on PA’s Opioid Crisis June 21, 2016 Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Substance Use Disorder, The Blog, Videos Yesterday, Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas, Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine, Health Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy, and Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Gary Tennis held a Facebook Town Hall on Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic.Facebook users across Pennsylvania asked questions about what the Wolf Administration is doing to improve treatment programs, where the funding will come from to fight Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic, and how we can overcome the stigma attached to addiction.If you missed the live stream on the governor’s Facebook page, watch this recording of the Facebook Town Hall below — and find out more about what the Wolf Administration is doing to combat Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic.
Non-regulated rental property in the Netherlands requires considerable investment in particular, he said.Also during the conference, Nortbert Bol, managing director at Grontmij Capital Consultants, argued that there was room for Dutch institutional investors to increase their infrastructure allocations.He pointed out that, worldwide, the target allocation of “mainly large investors” was 5%, while this figure was just 3% in the Netherlands.He suggested smaller pension funds could also invest in infrastructure as a diversifier and overcome potential barriers, such as a lack of expertise, through co-operation.He said he expected demand for sustainable-energy infrastructure investments to grow, “as this would generate proper returns whilst contributing to the social goal of fighting climate change”.Responding to Bol’s presentation, Loek Sibbing, chief executive at the new Dutch Investment Institution (NLII), suggested political risk for investments in infrastructure projects could be mitigated by concluding “clear long-term agreements” with the government.He said institutional investors had already committed approximately 50% of the required assets to the NLII’s recently launched investment funds for subordinated loans for small and medium-sized companies (ALF) and for corporate loans (BLF), before any actual loan had been placed.The loans – to be distributed through banks – are expected to return 450 and 275 basis points in excess of the swap rate, respectively, according to the NLII.Sibbing also indicated that the NLII was currently assessing 40 projects, including sustainable housing, thermal grids and schools, on their suitability to be placed together in €500m investment funds.The NLII was established last year with the aim of attracting pension funds to invest in the local economy by linking supply and demand. Care property as an asset class is to become as significant as the office and retail real estate sectors in the Netherlands, according to Dick van Hal, chief executive at the €6.7bn property investor Bouwinvest. Speaking at the recent annual conference of IPE sister publication PensioenPro, van Hal said demand for high-quality real estate in the care sector far outstripped supply, and that there were still relatively few investors active in the market.Previously, Bouwinvest – property investor for BpfBouw, the €53bn pension fund for the Dutch building sector – indicated that care property had “enormous” growth potential and said it had received a €300m investment mandate from BpfBouw.Van Hal also noted that the market for rental residential property was becoming “very hot” on the back of a “race to catch up after the serious slowdown of building activity during the financial crisis”.
According to Shoreline, Pacifico Energy can now fast and accurately model, assess and optimize bottom fixed and floating offshore wind farms business case scenarios. The solution is said to take into regard strategy development, logistics, weather downtime, availability, cost, utilization, power production, and much more. The Japanese Pacifico Energy has selected Shoreline’s construction and O&M design simulation solution for early phase modeling of offshore wind farms. Shoreline provides cloud-based integrated simulation and data analytics solutions for the design, as well as the execution phase covering construction and O&M resource management. “We are very excited to work with Shoreline. The extremely user-friendly cloud-based Construction and O&M Design platform will help us evaluate possible construction and O&M scenarios as well as evaluate the fabrication, transportation and installation strategies,” Pacifico Energy stated.
Stuff.co.nz 13 January 2014Conservatives party leader Colin Craig has as good as confirmed a change to the anti-smacking law will be a bottom line if his party finds itself in a position to prop up the Government.Craig also admitted to smacking his child on occasion, in an interview with RadioLive this morning.“I occasionally do it right now. Like two thirds of other parents in New Zealand, I am not putting the good raising of a child behind a silly law.”Craig acknowledged he was breaking the law, but he still expected to get votes.“They [parents] like me, know this law is a stupid law and it’s not doing anything curb the abuse of children in this country.”Craig said he was not calling it a bottom-line at this stage because the election had not yet happened and he was not in a position to call the shots.But if he found himself in that position come election time, it would “absolutely” be on the table for review.http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9603791/Smacking-law-is-stupid-Colin-Craig
NewsHub 5 October 2018Family First Comment: “Education, promoted as the only strategy by the industry, is not a cost-effective, or even effective, solution.” We could have told them that. In fact we did – during the submission process in 2012. But John Key’s government grovelled to the alcohol industry. Time to strengthen the law to protect families and communities from alcohol abuse.Law changes aimed at preventing alcohol harm aren’t working, a new study suggests.Researchers at the University of Otago interviewed patients at Christchurch Hospital’s emergency department in 2013 and 2017, to see if the “harm caused by the excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol” was being “minimised”, as according to the wording of the Sale and Supply of Liquor Act 2012.They found no change in the number of people being hurt as a direct result of recent alcohol intoxication – around one admission in 14.The only significant change was in purchasing habits – in 2013 only 41.7 percent had bought their booze at a liquor store – that increased to 56.1 percent in 2017; and while two-thirds had bought their drinks at any off-licence in 2013, by 2017 that had gone up to 79.1 percent.“Most of the people had bought the alcohol they drank from off-licence locations, like liquor stores and supermarkets. In most cases they had actually had their last drink in a private location.”Most patients’ last drink before ending up in the emergency department was consumed at a private location, not a bar. It is generally much cheaper to buy alcohol at an off-licence than at a licenced venue.Around a quarter of patients under the influence of alcohol had drunk 15 or more standard drinks. Eighteen percent had consumed at least 20.Patients ranged in age from 14 to 87.READ MORE: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/lifestyle/2018/10/alcohol-law-changes-ineffective-at-reducing-harm-study.htmlStay-at-home drinkers outnumber pub-goers at EDStuff co.nz 5 October 2018 It’s a familiar stereotype: the partygoer who heads into town, gets drunk, comes a cropper and ends up in an emergency department as an entirely avoidable health statistic.It happens every weekend across the country and is considered an unnecessary drain on the system.It is, but it turns out the stay-at-home version of that problem drinker may be an even bigger issue.Researchers at the University of Otago studied alcohol-related attendances at Christchurch Hospital emergency department (ED) for a three-week period in 2013 and again last year and found most people had taken their last drink at home: just under 70 per cent in both cases.Only 26 per cent of patients in the 2013 study had drunk most recently at a pub or club, and that dropped to 20 per cent in 2017.READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/107601912/chch-hospital-ed-crowded-by-three-times-as-many-stayathome-drinkers-as-pubgoersAlcohol to have mandatory warning labels after move backed by transtasman health ministersStuff co.nz 11 October 2018 Warning labels advising pregnant women about the dangers of drinking alcohol will become mandatory in New Zealand and Australia, answering the pleas of health professionals.Members of the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation met in Adelaide on Thursday to vote whether alcohol manufacturers would be forced to put warnings on their products stating that it was dangerous to drink while pregnant.New Zealand Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor announced the labels would become mandatory.“While the alcohol industry has been voluntarily including warnings on some products for the past six years there is no consistency in the type, colour, size and design, reducing the effectiveness of the message,” O’Connor said.READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/107758390/alcohol-to-have-mandatory-warning-labels-after-move-backed-by-new-zealand-and-australian-health-ministersKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.
Authorities in Ripley County seized nearly a pound of marijuana and arrested a man after a traffic stop Wednesday night.An ISP Officer pulled over Stephen Huntington, 29, of Holton, on U.S. 50 near the Versailles State Park for a traffic violation around 11:35 p.m.During the traffic stop, police say the officer became suspicious after smelling an odor of marijuana coming from Huntington’s 1997 Hyundai.A search of the vehicle revealed just under a pound of marijuana located on the floorboard, according to police.Huntington was booked into the Ripley County Jail under suspicion of marijuana possession with the intent to distribute, a class D felony.“This incident is a good example of how simple traffic violations can result in much more serious charges,” reported ISP Sgt. Noel Houze in a public news release.
Normally at the Kentucky Derby you get the exception rather than the rule. This has not been the case for the past 3 derbys. This year the top 4 horses were the actual top 4 picks by the bettors when the race started. Nyquist, at 2-1 odds was the winner. This undefeated 3-year old was ridden by Jockey Gutierre, trained by Doug O’Neill, and owned by J Paul Reddam. Exaggerated finished second 1 1/4 lengths back and Gun Runner finished 3rd. He was 4 1/2 lengths behind the winner. My pick would have been Gun Runner to Show.This was the second largest crowd in attendance on a day in which the rain held off for the big race. Now we will have to wait and see if we have another Triple Crown winner this year.