Researchers at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) studying mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) — a cell type useful in treating immune-related diseases — have uncovered a way to enhance and prolong the cells’ therapeutic effects in a preclinical model of Type 1 diabetes.The research team, led by Harvard Medical School (HMS) Professor Robert Sackstein of BWH’s Departments of Dermatology and of Medicine and HMS Associate Professor Reza Abdi of BWH’s Department of Medicine and Transplantation Research Center, reports its results this week in the journal Stem Cells.In Type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune cells obliterate pancreatic islets, where insulin is produced. MSCs are a type of adult stem cell with potent immune-suppressing and anti-inflammatory effects. In preclinical trials using diabetic-prone mice (non-obese diabetic mice), researchers had previously found that intravenous administration of MSCs could dampen pancreatic injury by reducing the levels of sugar in the mice’s bloodstreams without insulin administration, but these effects were modest and temporary.Sackstein and his team hypothesized that if more MSCs could be forced to populate inside the pancreatic islets, more islets could be spared from immune destruction, yielding a more complete reversal of diabetes.MSCs normally lack a key cell surface adhesion molecule called HCELL, which mediates the homing of cells in the bloodstream to sites of tissue inflammation. The injection of MSCs directly into pancreatic islets is not feasible because the pancreas is fragile and releases highly toxic enzymes when manipulated. To get intravenously administered MSCs to the sites of the immune attack, the research team engineered the HCELL homing molecule to steer them toward the inflamed pancreatic islets.The team found that administering HCELL-bearing MSCs into diabetic mice caused the MSCs to lodge in the islets. The result was durable normalization of blood sugar levels, eliminating the need for insulin administration — a sustained reversal of diabetesSackstein, co-corresponding author of the study, concluded that while further studies of the effects of MSCs are warranted, the preclinical study represents an important step in the potential use of mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of Type 1 diabetes and other immune-related diseases.
“Brain organoids can reproducibly make a large number of cell types that normally populate the endogenous brain. Although these neurons can extend axons and wire within circuits, at the moment, their connectivity is not organized like that of the actual brain,” Arlotta said. “By guiding axons of specific neurons to pre-defined targets, we would have an opportunity to engineer new connectivity, exactly as present in the intact organism. This is important for many reasons, not the least the possibility of understanding how diseases affect specific neurons and their networks to inform therapeutic progress.”This study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the National Institutes of Health, the Harvard Center for Biological Imaging, and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Harvard University researchers have developed an engineering technique to precisely control the direction that neurons grow their axons, cable-like structures that allow nerve cells to connect with each other. In a zebrafish model, researchers used the approach to correct defective neural connections and restore the neuron’s ability to cause muscle contractions.The findings, published in the journal Developmental Cell, represent a key step toward repairing nervous system damage in patients. They may also enable scientists to create more accurate models of the brain in a lab dish, by instructing the formation of precise neuronal connections resembling those of the actual brain.“The process of establishing connections between neurons mostly occurs during embryonic development, especially in mammals like us. After that point, if these connections are severed in situations such as spinal cord injury, the neurons typically do not regrow their connections, losing functionality. It would be a great achievement to be able to overcome these difficulties,” said Paola Arlotta, the Golub Family Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. “This study is a proof of principle that shows the potential of a noninvasive strategy to direct neuron growth.”Forming connectionsA neuron’s axon is a projection that emanates from the cell body and connects to other cells, often located a great distance away. In the developing embryo, a complex set of signals guide a specialized structure at the tip of the axon, called the growth cone, to its precise target to wire the nervous system.,“Nature has come up with this beautiful symphony of molecular signaling that allows a tissue as incredibly complex as the brain to wire appropriately. We’re learning more and more about how this happens, but we don’t yet have the ability to direct all these intricate processes,” said James Harris, a graduate student in the Arlotta lab and lead author of the study. “Instead, we created an extremely precise tool that allows us to override the molecular signals within the body and guide axonal growth, according to our own designs.”By controlling axonal growth directly, this strategy avoids disrupting critical biological signaling molecules or introducing chemicals that might alter the delicate developmental environment, which could potentially cause unintended consequences on neighboring cells. To make sure the tool was highly specific, the researchers took an engineering approach to the problem.A noninvasive engineering approachTo control axon growth, the researchers introduced a fusion protein into specific neurons that combined the functionality of two different proteins. The first protein is normally expressed in developing axons, and controls the machinery responsible for axonal outgrowth. The second protein is originally found in plants and helps them to sense light.“Much in the way that plants grow toward the sun, we engineered the axons so they grow toward our targeted illumination,” Harris said.When the researchers shone a specific type of light near the neurons, the axons grew toward the noninvasive stimulus.,The researchers tested the approach in a zebrafish model, in collaboration with the Leonard Zon lab. They were able to not only make the neurons grow in a specific chosen direction, but also make the neurons grow across repulsive developmental barriers that normally restrict axons to a very narrow body location.“There are specific molecules that are expressed in these developmental barriers that help guide axons correctly during normal development. Interestingly, many of these molecules are also present in damaged tissue and act as barriers to axonal regeneration in mammals,” Harris said. “In this particular context of a developing zebrafish embryo, our approach had the power to overcome these inhibitory signaling molecules.”The researchers also studied a zebrafish model with genetic mutations that prevented axons from growing correctly. Their illumination approach successfully rescued this defect by guiding axons to their targets. The guided axons were able to cause muscle contractions in the zebrafish, demonstrating that the repaired connections were functional.Applying the technologyAlthough applying this technology to repairing injured connections in patients will require substantial additional work, this study is a promising step in this important direction. More immediately, the new technique can help scientists create more accurate models of the brain.“We are really interested in using this technology to wire more specific connections within human brain organoids,” Arlotta said.Made from human stem cells, organoids replicate important features of the developing nervous system in a lab dish. In a first, researchers use base editing to correct recessive genetic deafness and restore partial hearing Related New technology helps dissect how it ignores or acts on information Getting the brain’s attention A promise to a friend Up close and personal with neuronal networks
Student senate convened Wednesday night for Diversity and Inclusion training with Rachel Wallace, the Diversity Council representative to the Student Union, and assistant Africana studies professor Maria McKenna.McKenna said diversity is especially important at Notre Dame. “Diversity gets thrown around a lot, and many think it just means race, but I want you guys to think about it more broadly,” McKenna said. “We want you guys to keep talking about this — we’re not just here to preach at you; we’re trying to start a conversation. Notre Dame has never been as diverse as it is in this moment.”Wallace said it was important to pay attention to implicit biases — subtle, unconscious judgments. “I feel like a lot of times people judge me unfairly, and sometimes, I judge people unfairly,” she said. “And it’s definitely a real thing that we deal with with implicit biases, and it’s very much an issue at Notre Dame.”Microaggressions have also become more important to pay attention to at Notre Dame, Wallace said. “Microaggressions are things that look harmless on the surface, but actually can be hurtful or based off an unfair assumption,” she said. In addition to listening to other’s perspectives, Wallace said it was important to validate other’s experiences. “[It’s saying], ‘you’re allowed to feel that way’ … and that really just goes a long way,” she said. “It’s ok to say the wrong thing, but when that happens, it’s important to recognize that as well.”McKenna said that, as student leaders, everyone in the student senate has a responsibility to make Notre Dame feel like home while not impeding difficult conversations. “When Ann Coulter was here a couple years ago, everyone was up in arms, including me, but not for a second did I want her uninvited, because we do want to keep this conversation going, even when it’s hard,” McKenna said. “We want you all to stand up and be able to say, you know, that’s not okay to say, and here’s why. Keep an open mind about where you have that conversation and how you keep that conversation going.”In addition to diversity training, student body president Corey Robinson opened the floor to questions about and critiques of the new SafeBouND program, formerly known as O’SNAP. “We’re getting back to the basics here,” Robinson said. “We’re trying to reduce the number of [SafeBouND] requests so the people that actually need to use the program can use the program.” Senate parliamentarian Monica Montgomery said that, according to a number of studies run last year, the former O’SNAP program was not used for the right reasons. “There would be people that would wait upwards of an hour to get a ride, which we think really is unfortunate because they really did need that ride,” Montgomery said. “The system really was overused and abused.”Tags: Diversity and Inclusion, diversity council, SafeBouND, student senate
Star Files Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 31, 2016 King Charles III Long may he reign over Broadway! The previously rumored Great White Way transfer of London’s King Charles III, which won Best New Play at the 2015 Oliviers, will begin previews October 10 at the Music Box Theatre. Opening night is set for November 1. Tim Pigott-Smith, who played the titular role in London, will lead the production under the direction of Rupert Goold.In the future history play by Mike Bartlett, the Queen is dead, and after a lifetime of waiting, Prince Charles ascends the throne. The controversial play explores the people underneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of our democracy and the conscience of Britain’s most famous family.The show had a successful run at London’s Almeida Theatre in the spring of 2014 before transferring to the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre, where it concluded its run on January 31. The cast of the latter production also included Oliver Chris, Richard Goulding, Nyasha Hatendi, Adam James, Margot Leicester, Tom Robertson, Nicholas Rowe, Tafline Steen, Lydia Wilson, Beautiful’s Katie Brayben and Miles Richardson.The Music Box currently plays host to The Heidi Chronicles, and the Audra McDonald-led Shuffle Along will begin performances there on March 14, 2016. View Comments Related Shows Tim Pigott-Smith
By Dialogo June 28, 2012 The international anti-drug conference held in Peru on June 25 and 26 concluded with the signing of the Lima Declaration, in which delegations from 61 countries in attendance committed themselves to increasing their efforts through an integrated strategy against drug trafficking. The delegations “recognize the need to intensify efforts (…) on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem,” according to the text signed following two days of deliberations behind closed doors. The delegations insisted that the drug problem “must be addressed in a multilateral, regional and bilateral framework, through concrete, comprehensive and effective evidence-based measures, to significantly reduce both the demand for and the supply of illicit drugs, under the principle of common and shared responsibility.” In their debates, the participants acknowledged “some progress” at the local, regional, and international levels, but still expressed their concern about “negative global trends in illicit cultivation, production, manufacture, trafficking and distribution, and abuse of drugs.” The United States was represented at the meeting by Office of National Drug Control Policy director Gil Kerlikowske and top State Department anti-drug official William Brownfield. “We’re always reviewing our policies, and precisely at this conference, the delegates are expressing and contributing their ideas in order to be able to improve,” Kerlikowske said upon being asked whether his country was engaging in self-criticism in relation to the drug policy it promotes. The delegations agreed, in addition, on the “urgent need to respond to the serious challenges posed by the increasing links between drug trafficking, corruption and other forms of transnational organized crime, including trafficking in humans, trafficking in firearms, cybercrime and, in some cases, terrorism and money-laundering.” The 61 delegations also agreed to exchange information and best practices in the area of effective programs, recognizing that the cooperation that may be needed in this area should be strengthened. The meeting was organized by the National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (Devida), a government agency, and the Peruvian Foreign Ministry.
People LOVE stories. We crave stories. Without them, we wouldn’t have movies or music. I can’t remember any conference I’ve been to where the keynote speaker didn’t tell a story to keep the audience engaged. People as me all the time “how do I make my marketing successful?” One large ingredient is finding the stories. Erin Brokovich, Remember the Titans, Pursuit of Happyness, The Blind Side…these are all movies built around a story. Remember the Titans isn’t a football movie. It is a movie about how a high school football team overcame racial prejudice and changed an entire town in the process. A Beautiful Mind is not about a man who won the Nobel Prize. It is about a math prodigy who learned to live with mental illness in order to keep his family and his career.There are stories happening EVERY DAY in your credit union. We see them as auto loans, home mortgages, checking accounts, and other services. But, to our members, they are getting the minivan for their family road trips, their dream homes, and we are helping them on that path by providing them affordable banking services with our own personal touch.Want your marketing to stand out? Find the stories in your credit union.Your members have stories to tell. Our recent collaboration with Andy Janning was all about magnifying the stories of an urban credit union in Indiana by photographing its members and hearing how the credit union has helped them through the years. It was the most powerful project to date in my career and I am excited to see this project continue to unfold and catch fire. I say this all the time, but I believe that credit unions have THE best brand story of any industry ANYWHERE. Why? Because we do what the big banks do, but we do it with heart and soul with our members at the forefront of every decision we make. And we do it because we care. We aren’t in it for the money. If we get good as an industry about providing a platform for our members to tell their stories about how their credit union has specifically made a difference in their lives, and people like those people see those stories, they will identify with those stories. They will share those stories. They will tell their own stories. That is what good marketing is all about. 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Amanda Thomas Amanda is founder and president of TwoScore, a firm that channels her passion for the credit union mission and people to help credit unions under $100 million in assets reach … Web: www.twoscore.com Details
Green, spiky and with a strong, sweet smell, the bulky jackfruit has morphed from a backyard nuisance in India’s south coast into the meat-substitute darling of vegans and vegetarians in the West.Part of the South Asia’s diet for centuries, jackfruit was so abundant that tons of it went to waste every year.But now India, the world’s biggest producer of jackfruit, is capitalizing on its growing popularity as a “superfood” meat alternative — touted by chefs from San Francisco to London and Delhi for its pork-like texture when unripe. “The jackfruit tacos have been a hit at each and every location. The jackfruit cutlet — every table orders it, it’s one of my favorites!”James Joseph quit his job as a director at Microsoft after spotting Western interest in jackfruit “gaining momentum as a vegan alternative to meat”. “There are a lot of enquiries from abroad… At the international level, the interest in jackfruit has grown manifold,” Varghese Tharakkan tells AFP from his orchard in Kerala’s Thrissur district.The fruit, which weighs five kilograms on average, has a waxy yellow flesh when ripe and is eaten fresh, or used to make cakes, juices, ice creams and crisps. When unripe, it is added to curries or fried, minced and sautéed. In the West, shredded jackfruit has become a popular alternative to pulled pork and is even used as a pizza topping.”People love it,” Anu Bhambri, who owns a chain of restaurants in the US and India, explains. Jack of all fruits The COVID-19 crisis, Joseph says, has created two spikes in consumer interest. “Coronavirus caused a fear for chicken and people switched to tender jackfruit. In Kerala, lockdown caused a surge in demand for mature green jackfruit and seeds due to shortage of vegetables due to border restrictions,” he explains. Global interest in veganism was already soaring pre-pandemic, buoyed by movements such as Meat Free Mondays and Veganuary, and with it the business of “alternative meats”.Concerns about health and the environment — a 2019 UN report suggested adopting more of a plant-based diet could help mitigate climate change — mean consumers are turning to brands such as Impossible and Beyond Meat for plant-based replications of chicken, beef, and pork. But they are also using substitutes long popular in Asia such as soy-based tofu and tempeh, and wheat derivative seitan, as well as jackfruit.This boom has meant more and more jackfruit orchards have sprung up in the coastal state.”You get a hard bite like meat — that’s what is gaining popularity and like meat it absorbs the spices,” comments Joseph.His firm sells jackfruit flour which can be mixed with or used as an alternative to wheat and rice flour to make anything from burger patties to local classics such as idli.Joseph worked with Sydney University’s Glycemic Index Research Service to establish any health benefits. “When we did a nutritional analysis, we found jackfruit as a meal is better than rice and roti [bread] for an average person who wants to control his blood sugar,” he adds. India has one of the highest diabetes rates in the world and is expected to hit around 100 million cases by 2030, according to a study by The Lancet. ‘Secrets of success’As global warming wreaks havoc on agriculture, food researchers say jackfruit could emerge as a nutritious staple crop as it is drought-resistant and requires little maintenance.Tharakkan has not looked back since he switched from growing rubber to jackfruit on his land, and has a variety that he can cultivate year-round. “When I cut down my rubber trees everyone thought I had gone crazy. But the same people now come and ask me the secret of my success,” he smiles. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala alone, demand for jackfruit is now 100 metric tons every day during the peak season yielding a turnover of $19.8 million a year, says economics professor S. Rajendran of the Gandhigram Rural Institute.But there is rising competition from countries such as Bangladesh and Thailand.Jackfruit’s newfound international fame is a massive turnaround for a plant that while used in local dishes, has long been viewed as a poor man’s fruit.Each tree can yield as 150-250 fruits a season. In Kerala, where it is believed to have originated, deriving its name from local word “chakka”, Tharakkan recalls it was not unusual to see notices in private gardens asking people to take away the fruit for free because they were so plentiful, they would simply rot and attract flies. And while India’s jackfruit growers — like the wider agriculture sector — have been hit as the nationwide coronavirus lockdown causes a shortage of labor and transport, international demand shows no sign of slowing. Sujan Sarkar, the Palo Alto-based executive chef of Bhambri’s restaurants, believes even meat-eaters are becoming jackfruit converts.He adds: “It’s not only vegetarians or vegans, even the meat-eaters, they just love it.” Topics :
Group CEO Galvin said views of USS had been “pulled to and fro by the 2017 valuation and commentators with polarised agendas”.“At various points we were accused of being reckless for taking too much risk in our investment strategy, or of being recklessly prudent for our plans to invest more in ‘safer bonds’,” he added.Objective observers, argued Galvin, would find neither of these statements to be true, just as they would with regard to accusations the scheme was “creating ‘smokescreens’ to hide bigger funding problems” or “manufacturing” deficits.Compared with many other private pension schemes, USS was “an excellent pension plan” and “doing a good job in difficult circumstances”, he said.The figuresUSS’ funding deficit fell from £12.6bn (€14.1bn) to £12.1bn as at 31 March, on a monitoring basis using 2014 valuation assumptions. The scheme has not yet completed its 2017 valuation due to the disagreement between universities and members. The ongoing 2017 valuation has reported a £7.5bn deficit (89% funded).Its assets grew by £3.9bn to reach a total £64.4bn, the vast majority of which are assets in the DB section (£63.6bn).Investments supporting the DB section of the scheme gained 6.2% over the year under review and 10.6% per annum over five years, which amounted to an outperformance of 1.4% and 0.8%, respectively.The DB fund also outperformed UK government bonds by £5.6bn over five years to the end of March.USS also highlighted its performance on value for money, noting that an independent assessment found it was able to achieve its five-year investment performance at a cost £61m less than that incurred by comparable pension funds in the latest 12-month period assessed.Investment in internal investment capabilities, which was partly behind a £2.1m increase in staff wages, helped reduce overall investment costs, as a proportion of assets under management, to 31bps, 16bps lower than in 2013/4, according to the scheme. The chief executive of the UK’s largest pension scheme – the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) – has expressed alarm at the “confusion, concern and distrust” generated among its members as a result of commentary about the scheme’s funding position.Commenting on USS’ annual report and accounts for 2017, Bill Galvin said that “whatever the contributions of others might have been in that outcome, we clearly failed to communicate simply enough, convincingly enough, or from a basis of sufficient trust, to make the key messages clear”.USS would therefore review its process for the scheme’s valuation with employers, in particular “the early discussions regarding their risk appetite and capacity,” he said.The 2017 valuation of USS led to the scheme proposing to close its defined benefit (DB) section to future accrual, which in turn led to strike action across UK universities and heated debate about the scheme’s approach to the valuation.
LifestyleRelationships Snooping into your lover’s privacy by: – December 30, 2011 Sharing is caring! 99 Views one comment Share Share Tweet As exciting as the beginning of a relationship is, it’s also fraught with insecurity, which leads to all manner of upsetting behavior: jealous tirades, playing games, being clingy. All because you don’t know exactly what the other party is thinking or feeling — and no one wants to sound desperate by coming out and demanding: “Exactly what are you thinking or feeling?”That’s where snooping comes in. The lure of looking at something private…I admit it: I’ve stooped to snooping on boyfriends on many occasions. Most recently, it was the guy’s personal journals, which he’d conveniently left in an unlocked trunk (how cute, he trusted me). We’d been long-distance dating for awhile and I’d just flown in to see him, but I still wasn’t sure how seriously he took our relationship. I’ll just read this and then I’ll know exactly what’s going on, I thought. That’s the problem. You will know exactly what’s going on. And you might not like it. As I flipped through each notebook, scanning for my name — and, of course, any girl’s name — there was one that popped up again and again. Mia said this. Mia and I did that. Which would be fine if my name were Mia. But no: Mia was the friend of a friend he traveled with in Germany over the summer. Just a friend. Nothing going on there. But Mia got a lot of ink. Where’s my name? Scan, scan, scan. There it is. Carrie is coming to visit next week. Wonder how that will go. That’s it? By the time he returned home from work, I was curled up in a chair, mute with hurt and disappointment. And the worst part was, I couldn’t let it out. I wanted to rage at him. Why not just hook up with Mia and get it over with? Why are you leading me on like this? But all that really would tell him was this: I just read your diary, and I’m not happy with what I found. Yeah, that would go over great. Soon after my diary recon turned up an alarming lack of attachment to me, I extricated myself from the relationship. Spying into his private musings, I reasoned, had no doubt saved me a lot of time, energy and eventual heartbreak… or had my surreptitious behavior blown any chance I may have had of making things work? How common is the urge to spy on your partner?As abominable as many people may find my behavior, I’m hardly the only person who’s ever tried to navigate the dark jungle of a relationship by combing through diaries, scrutinizing credit card statements, or scrolling through cell phone messages. According to a Match.com poll of over 1,000 people, 1 in 10 of us snoop on our significant others regularly; an additional 27 percent said they would if there were reason to be suspicious. And technologies such as email, IM chat logs and text messaging have given us even more clues. Geri, for one, regularly checked her boyfriend Jake’s cell phone history to see whom he’d been calling while he was out of town.“At 11 p.m. each night, before he’d go out alone, he would make a call to a different girl,” she says. “Names I had never heard of before, so I knew they weren’t his friends.” The last straw was when she spotted a series of text messages between Jake and his ex-girlfriend, Rachel — and in one of them, he confessed how much he missed her. Jake, when confronted, swore Geri was reading too much into the message, putting Geri in a position where she almost regrets snooping in the first place. “What’s the point of looking? I’m not going to break up with him over a text message,” she says. “And now this has just created a wedge between us. He’s creeped out.” Deciphering the ill-gotten intelUnfortunately, many people who snoop find themselves in a “snooping limbo” of sorts: They know something’s up but aren’t certain what they know, if anything. Anne, who was poking around online and found that her boyfriend Bob’s page on a social networking site was linked to his ex-girlfriend’s, knows this truth all too well. She now checks both pages obsessively to see when both of them have last logged in, trying to suss out if the twosome were trading messages via the site before hooking up in secret. And, like all snoopers, she doesn’t want to rat herself out by confessing to her snooping behavior. “He might stop doing what he’s doing or find other ways of doing it, and then I’ll never know for sure if he’s doing anything at all,” she explains. What’s the moral these sordid stories have to offer? For starters, I’m not here to tell you not to take a peek at your honey’s private stuff, because that would be hypocritical. It may be distasteful to be a snoop, but perhaps there’s some benefit to it; after all, who knows how long I would have pursued my long-distance boyfriend without reading his diary? But I can also tell you that unless you see exactly what you want to see, snooping only inflames your already-heightened insecurities and will perhaps destroy a budding relationship that needs trust to get off the ground. And while some spying types might argue with me, looking through a date’s emails is not quite the same as looking into his or her heart. That’s one fortress that can never be broken into; it can only be given away. YAHOO Dating Tips and Advice Share
BATESVILLE, Ind. — Anne Wilson, the Batesville Community Education Foundation recently announced, a second donation, worth more than $227,000, has been made to the Foundation according to the stipulations set forth in the will of James E. Fritsch.According to Wilson, the donation will assist Batesville students in furthering their studies.James E. Fritsch of Batesville, passed away in 2012, after working for 30 years as an engineer with General Electric.