Addiction support discussed at the Community Couch Conversation

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – It was an evening full of emotion, compassion and understanding on Thursday at the Lido for the FSJ Community Couch Conversation.Collaboratively hosted by Healthy FSJ and the Fort  St. John Community Action Team, the Opioid Dialogues was co-hosted by Julianne Kucheran and Edwina Nearhood.Mayor Lori Ackerman gave an emotional dedication to the event in honour of those who are affected by drug addictions. Ackerman lost her brother to substance use. Afterwards, personal stories of addiction were shared by those who have been touched by drugs and addiction.Each guest stated that there is no shame in addictions and that it can happen to anyone no matter your background.In a statement from Healthy FSJ, the goal of Community Couch Conversation is to foster a supportive evening, where the community comes together to learn, listen and think about how we can be there for one another to build a healthy and resilient community in the face of the opioid crisis. Six health professionals, who specialize in drug use and addictions were part of the opioid panel.The main message conveyed by the panel is that community support is key when dealing with addictions.“Those who suffer from addictions within Fort St. John are a part of your family and that the community must come together and work as one”, said Amanda Trotter executive director for the Women’s Resource Society.The panel agreed that more resources need to be made available for substance users in Fort St. John.“There is a disparity for those who receive help and treatment. The poor suffer. You’re very lucky if you are able to afford it”, said Connie Greyeyes of the Nenan Dane zaa Deh Zona Family Services Society.The panel concluded that there is more work to be done and the discussions must continue.last_img read more

Centre lets FMled ministerial panel fix CPSE sale price timing

first_imgNew Delhi: To fast-track strategic sale of CPSEs, the Cabinet Thursday allowed the Alternative Mechanism to decide on the timing, price and quantum of shares of a state-run company to be put on the block for outright sale.”The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA ) has approved delegation of the following Alternative Mechanism in all the cases of strategic disinvestment of CPSEs where CCEA has given ‘in-principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment,” an official statement said. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe Alternative Mechanism (AM) on strategic disinvestment was set up in 2017 and consists of the finance minister, the road transport and highways minister and the minister representing respective administrative department. So far, the AM has decided on the terms and conditions of the sale from the stage of inviting of expressions of interest (EoIs) till inviting of financial bid. With Thursday’s decision, the panel has been permitted to take decisions on final pricing of the transaction, quantum of shares to be sold and the selection of strategic partner or buyer. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs”This will facilitate quick decision-making and obviate the need for multiple instances of approval by CCEA for the same CPSE,” the statement said after the Cabinet meeting, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As many as 35 central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) have already been lined up for strategic sale. The companies that have been shortlisted for strategic sale include Pawan Hans, Air India, Air India subsidiary AIATSL, Dredging Corporation of India, BEML, Scooters India, Bharat Pumps Compressors, and Bhadrawati, Salem and Durgapur units of steel major SAIL. The other CPSEs for which approvals are in place for outright sale include Hindustan Fluorocarbon, Hindustan Newsprint, HLL Life Care, Central Electronics, Bridge & Roof India, Nagarnar Steel plant of NMDC and units of Cement Corporation of India and ITDC.last_img read more

PU Chitra wins 1500m gold Dutee clinches 200m bronze

first_imgDoha: P U Chitra defended her 1500m title to give India its third gold medal while Ajay Kumar Saroj and Dutee Chand won a silver and a bronze in men’s 1500m and women’s 200m respectively on the fourth and final day of the Asian Athletics Championships here on Wednesday. Chitra overtook Bahraini runner Tigest Gashaw just a few metres before the finishing line to win the race in 4 minute 14.56 seconds at the Khalifa Stadium. This was India’s third gold of the championships after Gomathi Marimuthu (women’s 800m) and Tejinder Pal Singh Toor (men’s shot put) won a yellow metal each on the second day on Monday. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhGashaw clocked 4:14.81 for the silver while another Bahraini Mutile Winfred Yavi took the bronze in 4:16.18. “Got a little nervous towards the end being next to Bahraini runner (Gashaw Tigest). She beat me to third place in Asian Games. “I had to really push hard in the end,” said the 23-year-old Chitra who had won a bronze in the Jakarta Asian Games. Chitra had won gold in the 2017 edition in Bhubaneswar in 4:17.92. Her male counterpart, Saroj clocked a season best time of 3 minute 43.18 seconds to clinch a silver behind Bahrain’s Abraham Kipchirchir Rotich who clocked 3:42.85. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterDutee, who had finished a disappointing fifth in the 100m final on Tuesday after smashing national record twice, clocked 23.24 seconds to win the bronze in the women’s 200m. After falling behind in the first 100m, she covered a lot of ground in the final 100m stretch and got past three competitors at the finish line. Salwa Naser of Bahrain expectedly took the gold in 22.74 while Olga Safronova of Kazakhstan was second in 22.87. The 23-year-old Dutee, who had won a 200m silver in the Jakarta Asian Games, still missed the World Championships qualifying mark of 23.02. She has a personal best of 23.00. “I am really very happy. I missed a medal in 100m & relay. I put too much effort in 100m, was not sure of medal in 200m. Just did my best & I am happy,” Dutee said. In the women’s discus throw, Navjeet Kaur (57.47m) and Kamalpreet Kaur (55.59m) came up with disappointing shows to finish fourth and fifth respectively.last_img read more

Pogba believes United has rediscovered itself

first_imgManchester United footballer Paul Pogba believes that his team is back to the place they belong, thanks to interim coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.After Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager of Manchester United, the board of directors appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as interim coach.And with him, the Red Devils have won their six matches played so far.This is why footballer Paul Pogba believes his team is returning to the place they belong, thanks to Solskjaer.“The way we are playing we have more possession of the ball. We know more where to attack and where to go. We have more of a pattern of play and more of a structure,” Pogba told Sky Sports News.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“That makes it easier for everyone. So I would not say it is only myself. Yes, I have scored a few goals and had a few assists but it is all the team [that deserves credit].”“It was great for us. It was great to show we are coming back and getting closer to the top,” Pogba said. “We needed points and we showed that we could beat a big team,” he added.“I wouldn’t say [we had] luck because you create your own luck. David did his job and I thank him for that.”“I think the team performance was great. We played against a good team. You cannot say they are not a good team because they have top players,” Pogba commented.“It was a great game and it was a good victory for us.”last_img read more

Warnock Rondon was the difference today

first_imgCardiff City manager Neil Warnock believes the quality of Newcastle United striker Salomon Rondon was the difference as his side lost 3-0 at St James Park.Cardiff City succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle United on Saturday. Fabian Schar scored a brace and Ayoze Perez grabbed the third goal in stoppage time to condemn Cardiff to their third defeat in four games.Despite not finding the back of the net, Salomon Rondon played a crucial part to Newcastle’s win, including providing an assist for Perez’s goal.Warnock has been an admirer of Rondon and had admitted wanting to sign him in the summer, but ultimately failed as he moved to Newcastle instead.“I thought Rondon was the difference today. He led the line really well,” Warnock told Sky Sports.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“I didn’t think it was a 3-0 game. I couldn’t see them breaking through until the first goal which was poor from our point of view.“We started the second half well and were dangerous and then conceded the second that killed us. We didn’t have anything drop for us and they were better than us in the final third.“Nine of the lads that played today were in the Championship last year. While we are disappointed it is not the end of the world. We looked a half decent side. I didn’t think in the last third we did enough.“There was some great defending but we could have picked a better pass out at times in the second half.”last_img read more

RODNEY ADAMS TO ASK FOR POLICE JOB BACK

first_img TCI Police reach out to Bahamas hurricane victims Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 19 Nov 2014 – The highest thanks for his vindication from charges of unethical behavior as a police officer goes to God; that was the final wording in a Press Release issued by very likely, soon to be reinstated Deputy Commissioner of Police Rodney Adams. Adams said he was always confident that his innocence would have been proven… I quote him now: “Now that this matter has run its course and has been resolved by the court, I will be officially advising HE the Governor’s Office and the Commissioner of Police that I am available to continue my duties as a police officer.” Adams, who has been on the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force since 1984 explained: “I do so out of a sense of commitment and duty to my country and to the many young officers of the Police Service who seek a role model to aspire to.” Naturally, Mr Adams was also thankful to his family. He had been charged by the Integrity Commission with five counts of breaching the ordinance; three charges were dropped, one the jury was instructed to return a not guilty verdict on and the final was deliberated for three hours before a not guilty was delivered late day Monday November 17. Attorney in the matter was Ariel Misick. Bishop says peace & prosperity is everybody’s responsibility at Law Enforcers Church Service Gov’t Looking To Provide Tablet Computers For Police Force Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:ariel misick, deputy commissioner, police force, rodney adams Recommended for youlast_img read more

Hon Dr Michael Darville Minister for Grand Bahama Press Remarks

first_img Grand Bahama Set to Return to Normal After Hurricane Irma Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppOn December 24th, 2015 Mr. Kevin Tomlinson, the Founder and Director of the Grand Bahama Youth Choir, while performing at Memories Resort, was abruptly asked to leave the resort property by the General Manager, Mr. Gabriel Varella.Memories Resort is on the island of Grand Bahama. The resort has a total work force of Four Hundred and Sixty-Five (465) employees, in addition to approximately One Hundred and Fifty (150) employees who are not directly employed by the resort, but provide Housekeeping and Services via an Outsource Contract.Following that incident, we received a number of reports via print and electronic media, alleging abusive and disrespectful treatment of employees by Mr. Gabriel Varela.As a result of these allegations, my Ministry issued a press statement advising that the Government of The Bahamas would initiate an investigation to ascertain merits of the allegations and take the appropriate action. A team from the Department of Labour flew to Freeport to lodge an investigation into these alleged matters. The labour report has been concluded, and we are in possession of it, and currently reviewing the contents.We are also in talks with executives in the Corporate Office of Memories Resort, and we will meet shortly after the New Year, and issue a statement on the way forward.In my initial statement, I underscored the fact that I, as Minister for Grand Bahama, and by extension this Government, take claims of this nature very seriously. We remain resolute in our commitment to fight for Bahamians. We are servants of the public, and our commitment to our people remains steadfast. Recommended for you Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan on Grand Bahama Island Reopens Grand Bahama International Airport Will Reopen Today Related Items:dr. michael darville, grand bahamalast_img read more

New report highlights overtime staffing issues facing SD FireRescue

first_img KUSI Newsroom New report highlights overtime, staffing issues facing SD Fire-Rescue Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: February 13, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI)- An independent audit highlights how much San Diego Fire-Rescue is spending on overtime for its firefighters.Joining KUSI to discuss those overtime and staffing issues facing his department is Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell.For more information on the audit: https://bit.ly/2DyGYdZ center_img KUSI Newsroom, Updated: 6:33 PM February 13, 2019last_img read more

Defense Spending Bill Advances in House

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The House Appropriations Committee approved a $579 billion defense spending bill on Tuesday after rejecting a Democratic attempt to overturn the measure’s use of DOD’s war account to get around the Budget Control Act spending caps.An amendment offered by Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) would have moved $38 billion placed in DOD’s overseas contingency operations account (OCO) to its base budget. The GOP added those funds to the president’s fiscal 2016 budget request for the war account, boosting it to $88 billion.“The overseas contingency fund has exploded beyond any reasonable measure of what a contingency fund should be,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).Republicans argued, however, that in the absence of a new budget deal relaxing the caps, resorting to the OCO account is the only way to boost funding for the Pentagon while following the law, reported the Hill.“I wish with all my being that we could lift sequestration to some degree,” Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said.“Until the powers that be — White House, leadership in the House and Senate — until those three entities come together and reach some accommodation, some understanding, we’re bound by the Budget Control Act. I wish it were otherwise,” Rogers said.Visclosky’s amendment was rejected by the committee in a 21-30 party-line vote.The underlying FY 2016 defense spending bill would provide a 2.3 percent pay raise for service members instead of the1.3 percent increase recommended by the president. The measure also provides funding to keep the A-10 Warthog in service in opposition to an Air Force plan to retire the ground support aircraft.last_img read more

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Wilmingtons Jackie Champoux Named To Deans List At Sacred Heart University

first_imgFAIRFIELD, CT – Jackie Champoux, of Wilmington, was named to the Dean’s List of Sacred Heart University for the Fall 2018 semester.About Sacred Heart UniversitySacred Heart University, the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, offers more than 70 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its main campus in Fairfield, Conn., and satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland. More than 8,000 students attend the University’s five colleges: Arts & Sciences; Health Professions; Nursing; the Jack Welch College of Business; and the Isabelle Farrington College of Education. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its guides Best 379 Colleges – 2015 Edition, “Best in the Northeast” and Best 296 Business Schools – 2015 Edition. U.S.News & World Report ranks SHU among the best master’s universities in the North in its annual “America’s Best Colleges” publication. SHU fields 32 division I athletic teams and has an award-winning program of community service.(NOTE: The above announcement is from Sacred Heart University.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Ferreira & Knibbs Named To Dean’s List At QuinnipiacIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 3 Wilmington Students Named To Dean’s List At MCPHSIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Wilmington’s Adam Riekstins Named To Dean’s List At Belmont UniversityIn “Education”last_img read more

WHS GIRLS TENNIS Wildcats Fall To Burlington But Beat Wakefield

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The WHS Girls Varsity Tennis Team were defeated by Burlington High, 4-1, on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at Wilmington High School.Wilmington senior Emily Hill was defeated by Madison Metzdorf, 7-6, 6-3.Wilmington junior Carolyn Roney was defeated by Liz Gillespie, 7-5, 6-2.Wilmington senior Lia Kourkoutas defeated Tess Alorevaya, 6-4, 6-0.Wilmington senior Jessica D’Arco and sophomore Lauren D’Arco were defeated by Nih Seererom and Kadey Pustizzi, 6-1, 6-0.Wilmington sophomore Jessica Murray and sophomore Johanna Robinson were defeated by Annabel Willey and Neha Panke, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1.The WHS Girls Varsity Tennis Team defeated Wakefield High, 4-1, on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at Wilmington High School.Wilmington senior Emily Hill defeated Erica Pecjo, 6-0, 6-1.Wilmington junior Carolyn Roney defeated Hannah Guay, 6-3, 6-2.Wilmington senior Lia Kourkoutas defeated Kelly Kouriahn, 6-0, 6-0.Wilmington senior Jessica D’Arco and sophomore Lauren D’Arco defeated by Ellie Koutrosis and Marina Gover, 6-2, 6-1.Wilmington sophomore Jessica Murray and sophomore Vidni Shah were defeated, 6-4, 6-0.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWHS GIRLS TENNIS: Wildcats Defeat Stoneham & Wakefield On Back-To-Back DaysIn “Sports”WHS GIRLS TENNIS: Wildcats Win Third Matchup In Three DaysIn “Sports”WHS GIRLS TENNIS: Wilmington Defeats Arlington High, Qualifies For State TournamentIn “Sports”last_img read more

Nissan Terranos RearEnd Design Revealed in Official Sketch

first_imgJapanese auto maker Nissan on Saturday showed off the rear-end design of the upcoming Terrano compact SUV, hinting at the launch of the vehicle.The new crossover, christened Terrano, is based on the Renault Duster. Nissan had earlier revealed the front design of the car in another picture. The rear styling of the Terrano looks different from the Duster. The reflector is placed on the lower bumper and the tail lamps are seen split with half the tail lights placed on the backdoor.”I am delighted to reveal both the name and the very first image of what will be a very important model for Nissan,” said President and CEO of Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd, Kenichiro Yomura adding further. “You can see from the sketch that Terrano has a bold and distinctive design that I am confident will appeal to our growing customer base in India, as will its driving performance and range of other features that will be revealed at a later date.”The front grille and headlights of the vehicle also sported new looks. According to reports, not much will be changed in terms of the interiors of the vehicle. Nissan’s upcoming SUV is likely to be positioned above the Duster. It is expected to use the same Duster engine and will likely be launched in September. The Terrano SUV is considered to be a strong contender to the newly launched Ford EcoSport.last_img read more

Cartoonist and food blogger Nikhil Pai commits suicide

first_imgNikhil PaifacebookA 28-year-old cartoonist and food blogger committed suicide by consuming poison at his residence in Mangaluru on Saturday (April 14).Nikhil Pai, a popular food blogger and one of the founders of Three Hungry Men, a food blog, ended his life at his house in Malemar-Derebail area in Mangaluru.The reason behind him talking this extreme step is yet to be ascertained. Although, it is alleged that some personal issues had taken a toll on him and this triggered him to end his life.His mortal remains were taken to AJ Hospital in Mangaluru for the autopsy. The Kavoor police have registered a case on his death. He is survived by his wife, mother and sister. His father died two years back.An amateur cartoonist, Nikhil rose to fame after the initiation of his food blog along with his friends Rajat Rao and Colin Vernon D’Souza. The trio used to hold several food-related events and used to review restaurants all around the nation. They were quite famous among the youths in Mangaluru.Nikhil had taken over the family business after the death of his father. He was managing the petrol bunk owned by his father at Baikampady.last_img read more

US to pursue targeted sanctions on Myanmar

first_imgRex W Tillerson US secretary of state Rex W Tillerson has said the United States will pursue accountability through US law, including possible targeted sanctions on Myanmar, if the situation does not improve in Rakhine State, reports UNB.”Those responsible for these atrocities must be held accountable. The United States continues to support a credible, independent investigation to further determine all facts on the ground to aid in these processes of accountability,” he said in a press statement shared by the US Department of State on Wednesday.He said they support the Burmese government’s commitment to create the conditions necessary for all refugees and internally displaced people to return to their homes safely and voluntarily, and welcome recent exchanges between the governments of Burma and Bangladesh on repatriation.”Support by Burma’s military for these government efforts is crucial. This is a difficult and complex situation. Many stakeholders must work together to ensure progress,” he said.The US Secretary of State said they have supported constructive action on the Rakhine crisis at the UN Security Council and in the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee.He visited Naypyidaw on 15 November where he met separately State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.”I reaffirmed the United States’ strong commitment to Burma’s successful democratic transition as the elected government strives to implement reforms, bring peace and reconciliation to the nation, and resolve a devastating crisis in Rakhine State,” he said.The US Secretary of State said their first priority is to relieve the intolerable suffering faced by so many.In response to the dire situation, he announced last week an additional $47 million in humanitarian assistance for those affected by the Rakhine State crisis, bringing the total amount spent in response to this crisis to more than $87 million since August of this year.He said Myanmar’s response to this crisis is vital to determining the success of its transition to a more democratic society.”As I said in Naypyidaw, the key test of any democracy is how it treats its most vulnerable and marginalised populations, such as the ethnic Rohingya and other minority populations,” said the US Secretary of State said.He mentioned that Myanmar’s government and security forces must respect the human rights of all persons within its borders, and hold accountable those who fail to do so.”I reiterate the United States’ condemnation of 25 August attacks on security forces by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). Yet no provocation can justify the horrendous atrocities that have ensued,” reads the statement.These abuses by some among the Burmese military, security forces, and local vigilantes have caused tremendous suffering and forced hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children to flee their homes in Burma to seek refuge in Bangladesh, it reads.”After a careful and thorough analysis of available facts, it is clear that the situation in northern Rakhine state constitutes ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya,” said the US Secretary of State.last_img read more

Indulge in mangoflavoured delicacies this summer

first_imgSummer heat is becoming unbearable with every year but the only sweet recollection we associate this season with, is mangoes. The pulpy, sweet and flavourful king of fruits keeps us happy irrespective of the killer heat waves. To relish certain innovative dishes and a selection of mango-inspired dishes, one can head to The Spice Route at The Imperial in the national Capital. The collection menu created by Chef Veena Arora is all set to raise the bar for Mango lovers this season. As summer is the time to drool over mangoes and the excitement becomes extraordinary when they rule South East Asian palate.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The various dishes made using this most sought-after fruit has been relished over two decades with Chef Veena’s Summer Collection Menu. This year’s menu features Chef’s selections and creations inspired from the regions of Kerala, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. Under the umbrella cuisine of The Spice Route, the menu promises to steal hearts with traditional specialties put together with ripe or raw mangoes, complemented with Chef’s specials. For instance Amba Isso Temperadu is the Sri Lankan style Prawns stir fried with curry powder and slivers of raw mango. Alleppy Fish Curry is made with Sole fillet and raw mango in a Kerala style curry. Kaeng Phed Phol-La-Mai is made with ripe mangoes and assorted fruits, cooked in Thai Red Curry, is truly exclusive as it is made only with fruits and takes its inspiration from Thai Duck curry.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixChef Veena has delicately balanced spices with mango in all her offerings. The old favourites have been retained in the menu like Ga Xao Hot Dieu, which is a stir-fried Chicken with fresh Mangoes and Cashew nuts made in  Vietnamese style. Yum Mamuang is the Chef’s special as it is basically a signature salad of fresh grated green mango tossed in spicy and tangy Thai dressing.Chef Veena Arora, Chef De Cuisine, The Spice Route says, “Summer Collection menu has been close to my heart since the time The Spice Route opened doors, and invokes timelessness for me, each time I start planning it. Inspired by fashion fraternity, the menu is whipped up to dish out something unique for the patrons from the landmark kitchen of this world famous restaurant. The interesting raw and ripe mango based South-East Asian recipes are refreshing like the advent of summer ought to be and a celebration of the season, of course.  “Most of them are my own creations, wonderfully complemented by rice, chicken, prawns, sole fish, veggies and exotic spices. People in Thailand love their food with fruits and that’s why the complete menu revolves around mango, the favourite summer fruit. “Whether it is Sri Lankan prawns or the Thai Red curry with fruits, my creations this year will truly raise the satisfaction quotient for mango seekers. I have somehow tried to keep the fruit central to the palate, layering and balancing it with other flavours.”last_img read more

No exercise for 6 years can trigger heart failure risk

first_imgToo busy or lazy to exercise? Men and women take note. Living without physical activity for six years during their middle age could be at an increased risk of suffering heart failure, researchers have warned. The findings, described in the journal Circulation, suggest that consistently participating in the recommended 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each week, such as brisk walking or biking, in middle age can reduce the heart failure risk by 31 per cent. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhile it is known that people who are more physically active have lower risks of heart failure than those who are less active, but little is known about the impact of changes in exercise levels over time on heart failure risk.”Going from no exercise to recommended activity levels over six years in middle age may reduce heart failure risk by 23 per cent,” said Chiadi Ndumele, Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, US. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveFor the study, the team included 11,351 participants, with an average age 60, monitored annually for an average of 19 years.According to the American Heart Association, the “recommended” amount is at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous intensity or at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise. Heart failure risk decreased by about 12 per cent in the participants who increased their physical activity category from poor to intermediate or recommended, or from intermediate to recommended, compared with those with consistently poor or intermediate activity ratings. Conversely, heart failure risk increased by 18 per cent in the participants who reported decreased physical activity from visit one to visit three, compared with those with consistently recommended or intermediate activity levels.Unlike heart attack, in which heart muscle dies, heart failure is marked by a long-term, chronic inability of the heart to pump enough blood, or pump it hard enough, to bring needed oxygen to the body. The leading cause of hospitalisations in those over 65, the disorder’s risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and a family history.last_img read more

Why Xavier Mufraggi cant wait for agents to start selling Club Med

first_imgWhy Xavier Mufraggi can’t wait for agents to start selling Club Med Le Massif This story originally ran in the November 9th, 2017 issue of Travelweek magazine. To get Travelweek delivered to your agency for free, subscribe here. TORONTO — For travel agents, who generate a solid majority of Club Med’s bookings, according to Club Med North America’s President and CEO, Xavier Mufraggi, the new $120 million Club Med Le Massif in Charlevoix, Quebec will be a boon to anyone looking to break into the ski market, or to maximize their earnings on existing ski clientele.The arrival of the Quebec resort will be a shot in the arm for Canada’s ski industry too, where growth has been relatively flat for several years.Just like at its beach resorts, Club Med, the all-inclusive pioneer, includes everything in its ski vacations in one commissionable price, from flights and accommodation to ski passes, transfers and even lessons.Club Med already has more than 20 all-inclusive mountain hotels and resorts, dominated by its Alps product in France, Italy and Switzerland and shored up with additional ski properties in Japan and China. Already Club Med’s ski resort room count exceeds 6,000 rooms. And that’s before the construction of the Quebec property, which will bring in another 300 rooms, including 4-Trident Club and Deluxe-level rooms with a 5-Trident luxury space. Shovels will be in the ground next year and the resort is expected to open by the end of 2020, says Mufraggi.Worldwide, between its beach and ski resorts, Club Med now operates more than 70 resorts. More than 40,000 Canadians stay at a Club Med resort every year, and most book through travel agents.Why Charlevoix, and why now? Club Med has had its eye on Canada for many years and was just waiting for the right opportunity, says Mufraggi.“One-third of our capacity is ski,” he said in an interview with Travelweek. “Our very first Club Med opened in 1950. Our first ski resort opened in 1957. We’ve been in the ski business for a very long time.”It turns out last week’s Club Med Le Massif announcement was one of many to come, and the company is very much focused on North America. Says Mufraggi: “We plan to open one to two ski resorts per year for the next few years. North America accounts for 22% of ski business worldwide. And we have zero ski resorts in North America. It didn’t make sense.”The Quebec ski resort, although a first in Canada for Club Med, represents a return to the North American ski market for the company, following on the heels of properties including Club Med Crested Butte in Colorado which was taken over by new owners in 2006.In searching for the right destination for its first ski resort in Canada, Club Med had its priorities: “We wanted great snow quality, we wanted a major airport nearby, and we wanted a place that wasn’t too well known yet.”More news:  Apply now for AQSC’s agent cruise ratesClub Med, the all-inclusive trailblazer, likes to be the first in destinations too. Back in the early 1970s, Cancun, Mexico was just a blueprint on the drawing board. When the development was completed in 1974, Club Med was one of the first major hotel companies to hit the strip, opening Club Med Yucatan in 1976 (and the rest is history).The Quebec property is being positioned as a year-round resort, just about, open 300 or so days a year. “It’s one hour from Quebec City. It’s 40 minutes from some of the best whale-watching in the country. It’s not just a ski resort. It’s a Quebec experience resort.”Mufraggi adds that ski clients, especially the younger generation, want a mountain experience that may or may not include a whole lot of actual skiing, as it turns out. “They want to ski. But the reality is that they ski only about two hours a day” on ski holidays, he says. The European ski scene excels at extending the après-ski vibe around the clock and that’s something the Quebec development will be looking to emulate.Club Med’s sales out of the Canadian market, to all of its resorts worldwide, are up 40% over the past five years. Not only that, but the company’s ski business out of Canada (to its Alps resorts) is up 50% so far in 2017. “Our top three sellers out of Canada are first, Punta Cana, then Cancun, and then ski,” says Mufraggi.One of the biggest changes in the Canadian market is the growth in corporate and MICE bookings to Club Med resorts. “Our corporate and MICE business out of Canada has tripled in the last six years,” he says.Mufraggi says he expects the new Quebec resort will draw a 75:25 ratio of leisure guests to corporate guests, with a mix of 60% North Americans in the winter (and 40% international), and the reverse in the summer.Selling Club Med is an extremely attractive and valuable proposition for travel agents, he adds. “The loyalty [of Club Med clients] is extremely high,” he says. “Get them once and you get them forever.”Senior travel consultant Debbie Stellinga with The Travel Agent Next Door says Club Med Le Massif will interest her ski clients, saying that while ski vacations are a small percentage of her bookings, she’s seeing more interest year-over-year for destination ski trips. Price will be a big factor though. “I like the concept of the all-inclusive ski vacation and so do my clients,” says Stellinga. “Skiers tend to prep their own meals. Club Med takes the hassle out of prepping meals … no grocery shopping required. I think an all-inclusive resort in Quebec is a brilliant idea, however, I am interested to see if it will be priced right.”More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backClub Med’s value proposition, besides the all-inclusive angle, includes the fact that guests ages 4 and younger are free, says Mufraggi. That’s true for its ski resorts as well as its beach resorts. “It’s an extremely attractive and valuable product and market for travel agents,” he says, adding the loyalty of Club Med clients is “extremely high. Get them once and you get them forever.”Merit Travel is also reporting a consistent year-over-year increase in its ski sales. Club Med Le Massif will bring a new and fresh concept to this market, says Allison Patriquin, Manager, Product Development and Marketing for Merit Golf & Ski Vacations. “This is a first for Canada. The ski all-inclusive is unknown here.”Canadians are travelling in their country like never before for a variety of reasons, says Patriquin. There’s the dollar, of course, plus safety, friendliness, “amazing powder mountains and exquisite resorts,” she says.Paul Marner, Merit’s Director, New Business Development, says Club Med’s strong brand identity and reputation for value will enhance this destination already recognized “for snow galore”.Paul Pinchbeck, President & CEO of the Canadian Ski Council, says Club Med Le Massif is a promising development for the Canadian ski industry, which counts some 18.4 million skier visits annually (only 4 million of those are international). After several years of flat growth, the Canadian ski scene has rebounded strongly, bouncing back from a few years of snow droughts.Club Med Le Massif will help energize the domestic product, says Pinchbeck. “We’re seeing a generation of skiers who demand more sophistication from their ski experience. And anything that elevates the Canadian ski experience to the world is a positive.”This story originally ran in the November 9th, 2017 issue of Travelweek magazine. To get Travelweek delivered to your agency for free, subscribe here. About Latest Posts Kathryn FolliottEditor at TravelweekKathryn is Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 1995. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Hong Kong, Jerusalem, the Swiss Alps and the Galapagos Islands among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Kathryn Folliott (see all) “They need to go where the bucks are”: Agents on ACTA partnership – April 18, 2019 As the cost of doing business climbs, host agencies, retail groups say they have options – April 4, 2019 As of 2021 Europe-bound clients will need to apply online for a visa waiver and pay a fee – April 3, 2019 Tags: Club Med, Feature Story, Quebec, Ski Resorts Posted by Kathryn Folliott Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, November 17, 2017 last_img read more

July 27 1999 Paradox Director Ron Anastasia and D

first_imgJuly 27, 1999Paradox Director Ron Anastasia and Dr. Chris King from New Zealand exchange ideasin the Paradox Lab. Photos by: Doctress Neutopialast_img

Last month a group of Australian scientists publi

first_imgLast month, a group of Australian scientists published a warning to the citizens of the country and of the world who collectively gobble up some $34 billion annually of its agricultural exports. The warning concerned the safety of a new type of wheat. As Australia’s number-one export, a $6-billion annual industry, and the most-consumed grain locally, wheat is of the utmost importance to the country. A serious safety risk from wheat – a mad wheat disease of sorts – would have disastrous effects for the country and for its customers. Which is why the alarm bells are being rung over a new variety of wheat being ushered toward production by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) of Australia. In a sense, the crop is little different than the wide variety of modern genetically modified foods. A sequence of the plant’s genes has been turned off to change the wheat’s natural behavior a bit, to make it more commercially viable (hardier, higher yielding, slower decaying, etc.). Franken-Wheat? What’s really different this time – and what has Professor Jack Heinemann of the University of Canterbury, NZ, and Associate Professor Judy Carman, a biochemist at Flinders University in Australia, holding press conferences to garner attention to the subject – is the technique employed to effectuate the genetic change. It doesn’t modify the genes of the wheat plants in question; instead, a specialized gene blocker interferes with the natural action of the genes. The process at issue, dubbed RNA interference or RNAi for short, has been a hotbed of research activity ever since the Nobel Prize-winning 1997 research paper that described the process. It is one of a number of so-called “antisense” technologies that help suppress natural genetic expression and provide a mechanism for suppressing undesirable genetic behaviors. RNAi’s appeal is simple: it can potentially provide a temporary, reversible off switch for genes. Unlike most other genetic modification techniques, it doesn’t require making permanent changes to the underlying genome of the target. Instead, specialized siRNAs – chemical DNA blockers based on the same mechanism our own bodies use to temporarily turn genes on and off as needed – are delivered into the target organism and act to block the messages cells use to express a particular gene. When those messages meet with their chemical opposites, they turn inert. And when all of the siRNA is used up, the effect wears off. The new wheat is in early-stage field trials (i.e., it’s been planted to grow somewhere, but has not yet been tested for human consumption), part of a multi-year process on its way to potential approval and not unlike the rigorous process many drugs go through. The researchers responsible are using RNAi to turn down the production of glycogen. They are targeting the production of the wheat branching enzyme which, if suppressed, would result in a much lower starch level for the wheat. The result would be a grain with a lower glycemic index – i.e., healthier wheat. This is a noble goal. However, Professors Heinemann and Carman warn, there’s a risk that the gene silencing done to these plants might make its way into humans and wreak havoc on our bodies. In their press conference and subsequent papers, they describe the possibility that the siRNA molecules – which are pretty hardy little chemicals and not easily gotten rid of – could wind up interacting with our RNA. If their theories prove true, the results might be as bad as mimicking glycogen storage disease IV, a super-rare genetic disorder which almost always leads to early childhood death. “Franken-Wheat Causes Massive Deaths from Liver Failure!” Now that is potentially headline-grabbing stuff. Unfortunately, much of it is mere speculation at this point, albeit rooted in scientific expertise on the subject. What they’ve produced is a series of opinion papers – not scientific research nor empirical data to prove that what they suspect might happen, actually does. They point to the possibilities that could happen if a number of criteria are met: If the siRNAs remain in the wheat in transferrable form, in large quantities, when the grain makes it to your plate. And… If the siRNA molecules interfere with the somewhat different but largely similar human branching enzyme as well. Then the result might be symptoms similar to such a condition, on some scale or another, anywhere from completely unnoticeable to highly impactful. They further postulate that if the same effect is seen in animals, it could result in devastating ecological impact. Dead bugs and dead wild animals. Luckily for us, as potential consumers of these foods, all of these are easily testable theories. And this is precisely the type of data the lengthy approval process is meant to look at. Opinion papers like this – while not to be confused with conclusions resulting from solid research – are a critically important part of the scientific process, challenging researchers to provide hard data on areas that other experts suspect could be overlooked. Professors Carman and Heinemann provide a very important public good in challenging the strength of the due-diligence process for RNAi’s use in agriculture, an incomplete subject we continue to discover more about every day. However, we’ll have to wait until the data come back on this particular experiment – among thousands of similar ones being conducted at government labs, universities, and in the research facilities of commercial agribusinesses like Monsanto and Cargill – to know if this wheat variety would in fact result in a dietary apocalypse. That’s a notion many anti-genetically modified organism (GMO) pundits seem to have latched onto following the press conference the professors held. But if the history of modern agriculture can teach us anything, it’s that far more aggressive forms of GMO foods appear to have had a huge net positive effect on the global economy and our lives. Not only have they not killed us, in many ways GMO foods have been responsible for the massive increases in public health and quality of life around the world. The Roots of the GMO Food Debate The debate over genetically modified (GM) food is a heated one. Few contest that we are working in somewhat murky waters when it comes to genetically modified anything, human or plant alike. At issue, really, is the question of whether we are prepared to use the technologies we’ve discovered. In other words, are we the equivalent of a herd of monkeys armed with bazookas, unable to comprehend the sheer destructive power we possess yet perfectly capable of pulling the trigger? Or do we simply face the same type of daunting intellectual challenge as those who discovered fire, electricity, or even penicillin, at a time when the tools to fully understand how they worked had not yet been conceived of? In all of those cases, we were able to probe, study, and learn the mysteries of these incredible discoveries over time. Sure, there were certainly costly mistakes along the way. But we were also able to make great use of them to advance civilization long before we fully understood how they worked at a scientific level. Much is the same in the study and practical use of GM foods. While the fundamentals of DNA have been well understood for decades, we are still in the process of uncovering many of the inner workings of what is arguably the single most advanced form of programming humans have ever encountered. It is still very much a rapidly evolving science to this day. For example, in the 1990s, an idea known simply as “gene therapy” – really a generalized term for a host of new-at-the-time experimental techniques that share the simple characteristic of permanently modifying the genetic make-up of an organism – was all the rage in medical study. Two decades on, it’s hardly ever spoken of. That’s because the great majority of attempted disease therapies from genetic modification failed, with many resulting in terrible side effects and even death for the patients who underwent the treatments. Its use in the early days, of course, was limited almost exclusively to some of the world’s most debilitating, genetically rooted diseases. Still – whether in their zeal to use a fledgling tool to cure a dreadful malady or in selfish, hurried desire to be recognized among the pioneers of what they thought would be the very future of medicine – doctors chose to move forward at a dangerous pace with gene therapy. In one famous case, and somewhat typical of the times, University of Pennsylvania physicians enrolled a sick 18-year-old boy with a liver mutation into a trial for a gene therapy that was known to have resulted in the deaths of some of the monkeys it had just been tested on. The treatment resulted in the young man’s death a few days later, and the lengthy investigation that followed resulted in serious accusations of what can only be called “cowboy medicine.” Not one of science’s prouder moments, to be sure. But could GM foods be following the same dangerous path? After all, the first GM foods made their way to market during the same time period. The 1980s saw large-scale genetic-science research and experimentation from agricultural companies, producing everything from antibiotic-resistant tobacco to pesticide-hardy corn. After much debate and study, in 1994 the FDA gave approval to the first GM food to be sold in the United States: the ironically named Flavr Savr tomato, with its delayed ripening genes which made it an ideal candidate for sitting for days or weeks on grocery store shelves. Ever since, there has been a seeming rush of modified foods into the marketplace. Modern GM foods include soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, sugar beets, and a number of squash and greens varieties, as well as products made from them. One of the most prevalent modifications is to make plants glyphosate-resistant, or in common terms, “Roundup Ready.” This yields varieties that are able to stand up to much heavier doses of the herbicide Roundup, which is used to keep weeds and other pest plants from damaging large monoculture fields, thereby reducing costs and lowering risks. In total it is estimated that modern GM crops have grown to become a $12 billion annual business since their commercialization in 1994, according to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA). Over 15 million farms around the world are reported to have grown GM crops, and their popularity increases every year. They’ve brought huge improvements in shelf life, pathogen and other stress resistance, and even added nutritional benefits. For instance, yellow rice – which was the first approved crop with an entirely new genetic pathway added artificially – provides beta-carotene to a large population of people around the world who otherwise struggle to find enough in their diets. However, the race for horticulturalists to the genetic table in the past few decades – what could be described accurately as the transgenic generation of research – has by no means been our first experiment with the genetic manipulation of food. In fact, if anything, it is a more deliberate, well studied, and careful advance than those that came before it. A VERY Brief History of Genetically Modified Food Some proponents of GMO foods are quick to point out that humans have been modifying foods at the genetic level since the dawn of agriculture itself. We crossbreed plants with each other to produce hybrids (can I interest you in a boysenberry?). And of course, we select our crops for breeding from those with the most desirable traits, effectively encouraging genetic mutations that would have otherwise resulted in natural failure, if not helped along by human hands. Corn as we know it, for example, would never have survived in nature without our help in breeding it. Using that as a justification for genetic meddling, however, is like saying we know that NASCAR drivers don’t need seatbelts because kids have been building soapbox racers without them for years. Nature, had the mix not been near ideal to begin with, would have prevented such crossbreeding. Despite Hollywood’s desires, one can’t simply crossbreed a human and a fly, or even a bee and a mosquito, for that matter – their genetics are too different to naturally mix. And even if it did somehow occur, if it did not make for a hardier result, then natural selection would have quickly kicked in. No, I am talking about real, scientific genetic mucking – the kind we imagined would result in the destruction of the world from giant killer tomatoes or man-eating cockroaches in our B-grade science-fiction films. Radiation mutants. Enterprising agrarians have been blasting plants with radiation of all sorts ever since we started messing around with atomic science at the dawn of the 20th century. In the 1920s, just when Einstein and Fermi were getting in their grooves, Dr. Lewis Stadler at the University of Missouri was busy blasting barley seeds with X-rays – research that would usher in a frenzy of mutation breeding to follow. With the advent of nuclear technology from the war effort, X-rays expanded into atomic radiation, with the use of gamma rays leading the pack. The United States even actively encouraged the practice for decades, through a program dubbed “Atoms for Peace” that proliferated nuclear technology throughout various parts of the private sector in a hope that it would improve the lives of many. And it did. Today, thousands of agricultural varieties we take for granted – including, according to a 2007 New York Times feature on the practice, “rice, wheat, barley, pears, peas, cotton, peppermint, sunflowers, peanuts, grapefruit, sesame, bananas, cassava and sorghum” – are a direct result of mutation breeding. They would not be classified as GM foods, in the sense that we did not use modern transgenic techniques to make them, but they are genetically altered nonetheless, to the same or greater degree than most modern GMO strains. Unlike modern GM foods – which are often closely protected by patents and armies of lawyers to ensure the inventing companies reap maximum profits from their use – the overwhelming majority of the original generations of radiation-mutated plant varieties came out of academic and government sponsored research, and thus were provided free and clear for farmers to use without restriction. With the chemical revolution of the mid-20th century, radiation-based mutations were followed by the use of chemical agents like the methyl sulfate family of mutagens. And after that, the crudest forms of organic genetic manipulation came into use, such as the uses of transposons, highly repetitive strands of DNA discovered in 1948 that can be used like biological duct tape to cover whole sections the genome. These modified crops stood up better to pests, lessened famines, reduced reliance on pesticides, and most of all enabled farmers to increase their effective yields. Coupled with the development of commercial machinery like tractors and harvesters, the rise of mutagenic breeding resulted in an agricultural revolution of a magnitude few truly appreciate. In the late 1800s, the overwhelming majority of global populations lived in rural areas, and most people spent their lives in agrarian pursuits. From subsistence farmers to small commercial operations, the majority of the population of every country, the US included, was employed in agriculture. Today, less than 2% of the American population (legal and illegal combined) works in farming of any kind. Yet we have more than enough food to feed all of our people, and a surplus to export to more densely populated nations like China and India. The result is that a sizable percentage of the world’s plant crops today – the ones on top of which much of the modern-era GMO experiments are done – are already genetic mutants. Hence the slippery slope that serves as the foundation of the resistance from regulators over the labeling of GM food products. Where do you draw the line on what to label? And frankly, how do you even know for sure, following the Wild-West days of blasting everything that could grow with some form or another of radiation, what plants are truly virgin DNA? The world’s public is largely unaware that many of the foods they eat today – far more than those targeted by anti-GMO protestors and labeling advocates – are genetically modified. Yet we don’t seem to be dying off in large numbers, like the anti-RNAi researchers project will happen. In fact, global lifespans have increased dramatically across the board in the last century. The Rise of Careful The science of GM food has advanced considerably since the dark ages of the 1920s. Previous versions of mutation breeding were akin to trying to fix a pair of eyeglasses with a sledgehammer – messy and imprecise, with rare positive results. And the outputs of those experiments were often foisted upon a public without any knowledge or understanding of what they were consuming. Modern-day GM foods are produced with a much more precise toolset, which means less unintended collateral damage. Of course it also opens up a veritable Pandora’s box of new possibilities (glow-in-the-dark corn, anyone?) and with it a whole host of potential new risks. Like any sufficiently powerful technology, such as the radiation and harsh chemicals used in prior generations of mutation breeding, without careful control over its use, the results can be devastating. This fact is only outweighed by the massive improvements over the prior, messier generation of techniques. And thus, regulatory regimes from the FDA to CSIRO to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) are taking increasing steps to ensure that GM foods are thoroughly tested long before they come to market. In many ways, the tests are far more rigorous than those that prescription drugs undergo, as the target population is not sick and in need of urgent care, and for which side effects can be tolerated. This is why a great many of the proposed GM foods of the last 20 years, including the controversial “suicide seeds” meant to protect the intellectual property of the large GM seed producers like Monsanto (which bought out Calgene, the inventor of that Flavr Savr tomato, and is now the 800-lb. gorilla of the GM food business), were never allowed to market. Still, with the 15 years from 1996 to 2011 seeing a 96-fold increase in the amount of land dedicated to growing GM crops and the incalculable success of the generations of pre-transgenic mutants before them, scientists and corporations are still in a mad sprint to find the next billion-dollar GM blockbuster. In doing so they are seeking tools that make the discovery of such breakthroughs faster and more reliable. With RNAi, they may just have found one such tool. If it holds true to its laboratory promises, its benefits will be obvious from all sides. Unlike previous generations of GMO, RNAi-treated crops do not need to be permanently modified. This means that mutations which outlive their usefulness, like resistance to a plague which is eradicated, do not need to live on forever. This allows companies to be more responsive, and potentially provides a big relief to consumers concerned about the implications of eating foods with permanent genetic modifications. The simple science of creating RNAi molecules is also attractive to people who develop these new agricultural products, as once a messenger RNA is identified, there is a precise formula to tell you exactly how to shut it off, potentially saving millions or even billions of dollars that would be spent in the research lab trying to figure out exactly how to affect a particular genetic process. And with the temporary nature of the technique, both the farmers and the Monsantos of the world can breathe easily over the huge intellectual-property questions of how to deal with genetically altered seeds. Not to mention the questions of natural spread of strains between farms who might not want GMO crops in their midst. Instead of needing to engineer in complex genetic functions to ensure progeny don’t pass down enhancements for free and that black markets in GMO seeds don’t flourish, the economic equation becomes as simple as fertilizer: use it or don’t. While RNAi is not a panacea for GMO scientists – it serves as an off switch, but cannot add new traits nor even turn on dormant ones – the dawn of antisense techniques is likely to mean an even further acceleration of the science of genetic meddling in agriculture. Its tools are more precise even than many of the most recent permanent genetic-modification methods. And the temporary nature of the technique – the ability to apply it selectively as needed versus breeding it directly into plants which may not benefit from the change decades on – is sure to please farmers, and maybe even consumers as well. That is, unless the scientists in Australia are proven correct, and the siRNAs used in experiments today make their way into humans and affect the same genetic functions in us as they do in the plants. The science behind their assertions still needs a great deal of testing. Much of their assertion defies the basic understanding of how siRNA molecules are delivered – an incredibly difficult and delicate process that has been the subject of hundreds of millions of dollars of research thus far, and still remains, thanks to our incredible immune systems, a daunting challenge in front of one of the most promising forms of medicine (and now of farming too). Still, their perspective is important food for thought… and likely fuel for much more debate to come. After all, even if you must label your products as containing GMO-derived ingredients, does that apply if you just treated an otherwise normal plant with a temporary, consumable, genetic on or off switch? In theory, the plant which ends up on your plate is once again genetically no different than the one which would have been on your plate had no siRNAs been used during its formative stages. One thing is sure: the GMO food train left the station nearly a century ago and is now a very big business that will continue to grow and to innovate, using RNAi and other techniques to come. The Casey Extraordinary Technology team has been tracking the leading lights of the RNAi medical industry for some time. Recently, one of our small biotech upstarts struck a potentially massive, exclusive deal with an agricultural giant to seed its own RNAi research program. Success could mean billions for both firms. If you’d like to know what company we believe will profit most from the next generation of GM food development, subscribe to CET. Bits & Bytes Last Chance for RIM? (CNN Money) Few companies have been written off as frequently as Research in Motion, whose Blackberry was once state of the art and which now finds itself fighting for its life. Its stock just soared 9% merely because it said release of the new Blackberry 10 is still on schedule for early next year. Whether the 10 will be able to put a dent into the Apple/Android monolith remains to be seen, but for RIM it could be the last, best hope. Giant Media Merger (LA Times) What do you get when you mate Han Solo with Minnie Mouse? We’re about to find out – fiscally, if not physically – with Tuesday’s announcement that Disney is acquiring Lucasfilm for a cool $4 billion. Disney is projecting it’ll get its money back within three years, while George is, well, retiring – as he is now well able to do. Google Settles Final AdWords Dispute (Ars Technica) Several companies have taken Google to court over AdWords, saying Google shouldn’t be allowed to key advertisements to their names, which are protected trademarks. The last and one of the most persistent has been Rosetta Stone, a language-software maker that sued Google in 2009, but lost in federal court. However, its case was revived on appeal, and yesterday it finally was settled on confidential terms. How Easy Is a Tablet to Use? (TechCrunch) Pretty damn easy, as it turns out. In a remarkable experiment, OLPC (One Laptop per Child) researchers in Ethiopia handed a Motorola Xoom tablet to each of a group of illiterate village children aged four to eight. Click the link to learn the amazing results.last_img read more

Leaders can have many different styles — just comp

first_imgLeaders can have many different styles — just compare President Donald Trump to Malala Yousafzai to your boss or the coach of your kid’s soccer team.But a study published Thursday suggests that people who end up in leadership roles of various sorts all share one key trait: Leaders make decisions for a group in the same way that they make decisions for themselves. They don’t change their decision-making behavior, even when other people’s welfare is at stake.That may come as a bit of surprise, given that most lists of key leadership qualities focus on things like charisma and communication skills.”Previous research has mostly focused on these kinds of either personality characteristics of a leader, or situations where individuals are likely to lead,” says Micah Edelson, a neuroscientist at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. “But we don’t know much about the cognitive or neurobiological process that is happening when you are choosing to lead or follow — when you’re faced with this choice to lead or follow.”He notes that the decisions of leaders can affect the lives of many others. “It’s not always that easy to make such a choice, and it’s something that could be even a little bit aversive to you, to make a choice that impacts other people,” says Edelson. “And there are some people that seem to be able to do it; some people don’t. So we were interested in looking at that.”He and his colleagues had volunteers come to the lab, and gave them questionnaires that are widely used to predict whether someone is likely to be in a position of leadership. They also collected information about people’s real-world leadership experience, such as what rank they’d achieved in the military (which is compulsory for men in Switzerland) or in the popular Swiss Scouts organization.Then they put the participants into small groups and had them play a series of games in which individuals had to make choices about whether to take a risky action to get a reward.”These are choices about uncertain gambles that have some probability of success and potential gains and losses,” Edelson explains.The player could choose to either make the choice alone, or defer the decision to a majority vote.The games were played under two conditions: Sometimes the decision affected only the individual player’s winnings and other times the decision affected what the entire group received.What the researchers found is that people in general tended to avoid taking responsibility for what happens to others; deferral rates were the highest when decisions affected other people’s pocketbooks.But the people who changed their decision-making behavior the least were the ones who generally served as leaders in the real-world and scored high on leadership questionnaires. Unlike others, they did not require more certainty before being ready to personally make a decision that would affect the whole group.”On average, people tend to increase the certainty threshold when the choices affect the entire group. But higher-scoring leaders just keep their thresholds almost constant,” says Edelson, who says preliminary work using MRI brain scanning supports the idea that leaders and followers differ in how their brains process information about gains, losses, and risk in the context of thinking about others.Other neuroscientists say the work, published in the journal Science, is fascinating.”It seems a very reasonable finding,” says Tali Sharot, a cognitive neuroscientist at University College London. “It works with our intuition, but in the same way it’s not something that you’d necessarily think about that distinguishes leadership.”Sharot cautions that it’s not clear whether this decision-making behavior is what led people to their leadership position, or if they’ve developed it as a result of real-world leadership experience.And this study doesn’t say anything about who ends up being a “good” leader, either.But Sharot says the researchers have identified something about leadership that can hold true regardless of a leader’s style.”You can have authoritarian leaders who like to have the ultimate control,” she says. “You can have democratic leaders who want to lead according to the will of the people. You have leaders who are risk-takers, leaders who are risk-adverse and conservative and so on.”But what’s really interesting about this work, she says, is that these different types of leaders’ decision-making behavior stays the same regardless of whether the outcome affects only themselves or other people. “What this paper shows is that all these types of individuals, all these types of leaders, have something in common.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more