Detecting pathogens

first_imgFunded by USDA grantIowa State and Clemson scientists will work with Walcott on thefour-year project. The U.S. Department of Agriculture NationalResearch Initiative’s Animal and Plant Biosecurity Program willfund it with a $900,000 grant.”Seeds for our country’s food crops are produced around the worldin various countries, including Thailand and China,” Walcottsaid. “Then they’re shipped and sold in the United States. Hardlabor is still heavily involved (in seed production), so thereare always risks of introducing exotic pests.”The current methods used to screen seeds for fungi, bacteria andviruses can take weeks. The researchers’ goal is to develop aquicker, more accurate and precise testing method. New method will be quick, effective”As an example, one of the currently employed tests requires thatseeds be planted and grown out to determine if a pathogen ispresent,” Walcott said. “This is time-consuming. Andunfortunately, this test is expensive to conduct. And there’s arisk of failure, depending on the level of seed infestation.”With current methods, he said, it could take weeks to develop atechnique to detect a new pathogen suspected to be intentionallyintroduced into the nation’s seed supply.”If it were a case of bioterrorism, we’d need to know as soon aspossible,” he said. “We have a lot of techniques available now,but the methods are neither effective nor reliable.”Scientists now use up to five tests to detect differentpathogens, he said. A goal of this project is to develop one testthat would be used to detect all seed pathogens. Just like fishingThe beads are coated with single-stranded DNA, which hybridizesor binds specifically to the pathogen’s DNA. The scientistsrecover the beads with a magnet, then amplify the DNA bypolymerase chain reaction.”It’s like fishing, but we use mirror-image DNA instead of nightcrawlers as bait,” Walcott said. “This method is highly sensitiveand efficient and can work for a wide range of seeds andpathogens. Most important, the turnaround time is just a day.”As a starting point, the research team is focusing on twowatermelon diseases that Georgia growers fight: bacterial fruitblotch and gummy stem blight. The next phase will includedetecting diseases of tomato, onion, wheat, corn and soybean.”Once we have the system going, we will have the capability todetect more seedborne pathogens,” Walcott said. “If a new onethat’s not in our database is introduced by terrorists or MotherNature, it will just take a couple of days to add it to thesystem.” Uses DNA and RNA technologyThe new detection method will rely on both DNA and RNA to findout whether pathogens are present.”Plants have DNA just like we do, but some viruses have onlyRNA,” Walcott said. “The plan is to use a technique calledmagnetic capture hybridization to capture and detect the presenceof pathogen DNA/RNA in a seed sample.”DNA and RNA are the molecules that encode an organism’sphysiological characteristics. These codes include sequencesunique to the organism.”By relying on specific DNA or RNA sequences, highly specific andsensitive detection assays can be developed,” Walcott said. “Assuch, this approach is highly applicable for the detection of lowlevels of pathogens in seeds.”To apply this technique, scientists crush a sample of seeds andmix crude nucleic acids from the seed extract with magnetic,polystyrene beads. By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaUsing DNA technology, University of Georgia scientists areworking to develop a quicker, easier way to detect pathogens onplant seeds.”We started this project in light of our nation’s concern overbiosecurity in agriculture,” said Ron Walcott, a plantpathologist with the UGA College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.”Our goal is to develop a system that can detect pathogens inseeds,” Walcott said, “whether they were put there intentionallyor unintentionally during the seed production process.”last_img read more

Precision Ag Award

first_imgA University of Georgia scientist’s dedication to educating Georgia farmers about the benefits of precision agriculture has garnered him international recognition.Wes Porter, a UGA Cooperative Extension precision agriculture and irrigation specialist, will receive the Educator/Researcher Award from the PrecisionAg Institute at the InfoAg Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, on Tuesday, July 23.The PrecisionAg Institute is an advocacy and research organization dedicated to improving the understanding and adoption of technology in agriculture. That has been Porter’s mission ever since he arrived on the UGA Tifton campus in January 2014.Precision agriculture, specifically irrigation management and machinery systems, is the main focus of Porter’s Extension work. Since more water regulations have been implemented to help farmers conserve one of Georgia’s most valuable natural resources, producers can enhance their operations through the use of precision agriculture.Porter has researched strategies like soil moisture sensors, online scheduling tools and smartphone applications to offer producers multiple options to cut costs and help their farming operations remain sustainable. Porter has also worked with planter settings, data management, yield monitors, and other precision ag tools to help farmers become more effective and efficient.“Applying technology to agriculture helps us do a better job managing our inputs, all the way from prepping our land until we harvest the crops,” said Porter, who has worked in precision agriculture since his undergraduate studies at Clemson University.Precision agriculture practices include variable rate irrigation, a technique that adjusts the amount of irrigation water being applied on a farmer’s crops; and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which allow farmers or researchers to take overhead photos of their crops to make decisions on when to irrigate or apply fertilizer.“(Precision agriculture) can be anything from GPS to robotics to UAVs to machine-controlled systems. There are a lot of different technologies that fit under the umbrella that is precision agriculture,” he said.Although Georgia farmers have adopted certain levels of precision agriculture, Porter says the university needs to continue educating farmers on their importance and impact.After the awards are presented on July 23, recipients will be asked to participate in a panel discussion on trends in precision agriculture.“Wesley’s resume in both education and research demonstrates a deep commitment to helping producers and agronomists understand and adopt best practices,” said Paul Schrimpf, manager of the PrecisionAg Awards of Excellence program for the PrecisionAg Institute. “His activity and leadership in many prominent ag organizations and willingness to share his knowledge with universities across the country is also impressive and among the key reasons he was selected by our judges to receive the 2019 Educator/Researcher Award.”last_img read more

The Third Way: The fintech advantage of credit unions

first_img 67SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Fintech has taken the tech and financial service industries by storm, and is considered by many experts as the next wave of disruption, changing how financial services are provided and consumed.Fintech is simply defined as the application of technology to financial services. Essentially, a form of disruptive innovation, just like great disruptive forces of the last 20 years that impacted the media and telecom industries – now applied to financial services.Disruptive innovation in the financial technology vertical has two focus points: Adapting to changing consumer behavior and creating efficiency for all stakeholders. The more effective and adaptable the disruption, the more consumers depart from current technology. In return, those departing consumers create a new market, eroding the old business model.This is not a new concept: Western Union disrupted money transfer services in the 1870s and Visa/MasterCard disrupted payment networks in the 1950s. However, with the increasing speed of technology change, disruption in the Fintech sector has seen a significant uptick in growth, driven by the Internet and the mobile revolution. continue reading »last_img read more

4 ways email will drive growth for your credit union – if you use the right tools

first_imgMark Twain famously said reports of his death were greatly exaggerated. If email marketing were a person, it could say the same thing. Like fashionistas who change their minds about what is this year’s “new black,” marketing predictions about the health of email marketing fluctuate from “it’s almost dead” to “it’s still useful” to “it’s alive and well.” In truth, rather than disappearing, email marketing continues to be an invaluable tactic in your marketing toolkit – and its usage is growing. Consider this: The 2017 Inbox Report found that 89% of adults use email at least once a day. The Radicati Group reported in 2015 there were more than 4.35 billion email accounts, and projected an increase to 5.59 billion by 2019. And MarketingSherpa reports that 72% of consumers say email is their preferred communication channel with companies they do business with.Does your credit union realize the full benefit from email marketing? Numerous studies report its healthy ROI potential, including VentureBeat’s Insight study, which reported an ROI of $38 for every $1 email marketers spend. When SmartInsights asked companies to name the top 10 marketing tactics that achieved the highest return, email marketing topped the list at 67%, followed by online marketing at 38%. It makes sense; the cost of an email marketing campaign is relatively low, expenses don’t increase when adding recipients, and well-designed campaigns are highly effective. Now, it’s your turn to do email marketing right.Design Targeted, Personalized CampaignsMost credit unions use email for marketing, at least to some extent. However, if you’re just sending blasts touting the benefits of a particular offer, your efforts won’t be as effective as they might. An integrated approach that builds on previous behavior, responses to other campaigns, that is targeted to the member’s specific circumstances, or is triggered by a demonstrated interest, like a search for rates on car loans, will prove much more successful.At Doxim, our most successful clients have found targeted, personalized email marketing effective in many ways, including the 4 we will tell you more about right now.   Improving the Member ExperienceConnecting to members and strengthening relationships helps drive success. A study from CEB analysts found that highly satisfied customers buy twice as many products as those who have “average” relationships. Not only do satisfied members generate more revenue, but, as Bain & Company reports,  it costs seven times more to acquirea new client than it does to sell to an existing one. It pays to keep members happy and on the membership rolls. Enhance member experience by showing members your credit union is paying attention – to them and to their individual, unique needs.An email marketing platform can simplify sending newsletters with money-management tips, information about scams, or the benefits of new products and services. To build a truly authentic relationship with your members, use everything you know about them and craft personalized campaigns. Send trigger-based emails with birthday greetings or congratulations when a member pays off her car loan and may be ready to upgrade. Personalized messages, like this example from Keys Federal Credit Union, offer appeal on an emotional level.A BAI study (“Quest for Deposits: The Ninety-Day Window of Opportunity“) found that 75% of all cross-selling takes place in the first few months after the new customer acquisition. Consider the results of an email campaign used by InFirst FCU ($170 million in assets, Alexandria, VA.) for member onboarding. The credit union’s campaign included a series of seven emails to new members during their first 60 days with InFirst. The first email welcomed the member to the credit union and described services, locations, and rates. Follow-up emails outlined banking options, locations, ATM locator apps, types of loans available and other account information. The results are impressive:        18% of members added at least one new product or service        Deposit accounts grew by 24% and average balances increased by more than $400        The number of loan accounts grew by 190%.The emails were simple and to the point, but they were designed to build a progressively more engaging relationship with the members: Cut Loan Delinquency RatesNo one enjoys making collection calls, and one of Doxim’s client credit unions wanted to use emails to replace or minimize the need for performing this costly and unpleasant task. The email platform delivered delinquency notice messages to members’ inboxes five days after the due date (instead of the traditional 15 days). The result? Within one week after sending 673 emails, the credit union received 423 payments!   Generate Cross-Sell and Upsell OpportunitiesA robust email marketing platform can use the information a credit union already has to generate targeted, effective marketing messages. Analyzing product ownership can help identify members who might be interested in additional products. For instance, if a car loan is about to mature, it’s a good time to send a new offer – especially if current rates are better.Email messages can be changed to reflect a member’s circumstances. For example, if she has a HELOC, an offer customized to available credit could include appropriate improvement suggestions or vacation ideas. That way, members with a higher amount available receive suggestions for a down payment on a vacation home, while those with smaller amounts are told about home renovations or vacations.Here’s one final example of how a target email campaign can get quick results. A Doxim client wanted to increase adoption of its new credit card. After sending personalized email offers to a targeted group of members, the credit union received $283K in credit card balance transfer requests in just one month.Reap the RewardsEmail marketing is a low cost, highly effective way to boost sales and connect with your members. But the effectiveness of email marketing means today’s consumer receives dozens of offers every day. For yours to grab attention, the campaigns must be relevant to members’ felt needs.An advanced email marketing platform, designed specifically to meet the needs of financial institutions’ marketers, can simplify the process of  delivering automated multi-step, trigger-based campaigns that reach members in a way that will get their attention. Add the right tools and processes to your own CU marketing know-how, and you’ll have a winning combination to increase both revenue and member engagement. 58SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Olga Zakharenkava Olga Zakharenkava is the VP, Demand Marketing at Doxim, a leading provider of cloud-based customer engagement solutions for credit unions and wealth management firms. Find out more at Web: Detailscenter_img   Boost Sales and Streamline OperationsKeep your credit union on members’ minds by paying attention to their needs and interests. Emails triggered by transactions can help. If an auto loan is pre-approved, send an invitation to a car-buying seminar. If a member didn’t finish filling out a loan application, send an email reminder so he can click to go the place where he left off. Or, if he finished filling out the form but hasn’t provided all the necessary documents yet, send an email showing what’s still needed and include an easy link to upload missing information.last_img read more

Fed should increase account transfer limit under Reg D

first_img continue reading » The Federal Reserve Board should look at opportunities to increase the Regulation D transfer limit beyond the current six per month, CUNA wrote to the Federal Reserve Monday. The Fed sought comments on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking regarding Regulation D and CUNA used the opportunity to advance its advocacy on increasing the transfer limit.A section of Regulation D establishes the limit of six transfers per month from a consumer’s savings or money market account when made by various “convenient” methods, such as an electronic or online transfer. After the sixth withdrawal or transfer consumers may only access their funds through an ATM or branch visit.“We believe such threshold is arbitrary, antiquated, and unnecessary,” the letter reads. “At the very minimum, the Board should increase the transfer limit to at least 25 transactions per month… [W]e believe it is long overdue for the Board to update this limit that has its roots in the early 1980s.” ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Saudi oil supply hits record as price war rages

first_imgSaudi Arabia boosted crude oil supply to record levels Wednesday, with state giant Aramco offering 18.8 million barrels on a single day despite a global supply glut as a price war rages with Russia.Aramco’s announcement comes after a deal to limit crude output between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers, including Russia, expired on Tuesday.The move comes despite pressure from Washington, with US President Donald Trump offering on Tuesday to help resolve the price war between Moscow and Riyadh that has sent crude prices plummeting to 18-year lows. On Monday, Saudi Arabia said it would increase exports further to a record 10.6 million barrels per day from May, deepening a glut on world markets.The kingdom, the world’s top oil exporter, had already announced a sharp production increase for April.Saudi Arabia had been exporting around 7.0 million barrels per day under an output reduction agreement among a 24-member producer alliance known as OPEC+, which included Russia.OPEC+ failed to reach an agreement on further production cuts to shore up sagging prices as the coronavirus battered the global economy last month.Trump on Tuesday said he had spoken with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman by phone with the aim of halting the slide.Analysts say Riyadh is engaged in a deliberate long-term strategy to capture greater market share by pressuring its high-cost rivals.The price war has hit shale oil producers in the US, with Trump saying the production dispute threatened “thousands and thousands” of jobs.In a letter last week to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a group of US senators accused Saudi Arabia and Russia of waging “economic warfare against the United States”.Topics : “As the world demands economic stability, Aramco remains committed to supplying the world with energy,” the oil giant said in a statement.”The company is breaking records to supply 15 tankers loading more than 18.8 million barrels of oil,” it added.Aramco also released aerial footage of multiple oil tankers being loaded at sea.The threat of a global recession triggered by the coronavirus pandemic had already hammered prices when Riyadh pledged last month to raise exports after a production-cut agreement among top producers flopped.last_img read more

Classic Queenslander in Toowong boasts charming colonial features and panoramic vistas

first_img40 Gregory St, Toowong.COMBINING inner-city proximity with suburban tranquillity, this Queenslander named Leumeah delivers an enviable lifestyle.Colonial features such as polished cypress-pine floors and stained-glass windows blend seamlessly with modern luxuries, including automated gates and airconditioning. The ground-floor entry to the home at 40 Gregory Tce, Toowong, is preceded by a bougainvillea-laced arbour and a wraparound patio with space for lounge seatingA well-lit office and a bedroom with built-in wardrobes sit either side of a wide hallway. Both rooms have bay windows and open out to the patio through french doors. The nearby laundry also has its own dedicated slice of patio for drying, and there is a powder room. 40 Gregory St, Toowong.The main bedroom is a retreat with its city views, bay window, walk-in wardrobe and ensuite. The other two bedrooms come with built-in wardrobes and share a well-appointed bathroom with a claw-foot shower bath.A wraparound veranda offers stunning city skyline views and a serene setting in which to relax or entertain.The oversized two-car garage offers extra room for establishing a workshop or storing belongings. An automated irrigation system connected to two rainwater tanks makes maintaining the back yard easy.Agent Andrew Degn said Leumeah’s fusion of original heritage features with contemporary hues and finishes created a rare tapestry of discerning comfort and style. BS 40 Gregory St, Toowong.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor8 hours agoThe hallway eventually meets the property’s social hub, an open-plan lounge and dining room highlighted by ornate hanging candle lights and leadlight windows.The adjacent kitchen has a galley-style design with wooden finishes and stainless steel appliances.Outdoor living takes place on a covered timber patio. Ceiling fans, ample room for dining and a serving window from the kitchen make this an ideal entertaining space. It looks out over a sprawling back yard.Wooden stairs with a traditional balustrade lead up to the first floor, where a study nook and additional living room provide informal family spaces.last_img read more

Bicyclist injured in Franklin County mishap

first_imgFranklin County, In. — A Saturday afternoon crash at the intersection of Horseshoe Bend Road and Franklin Road injured a bicyclist according to a report from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.At 12:12 p.m. a car driven by William Davidson, 44, of Brookville, was southbound on Horseshoe Bend Road attempting to turn onto Franklin Road. Davidson was unable to see 44-year old William Mears, also of Brookville, on a bicyle and struck him. The collision threw Mears from the bike.Mears was transported by private vehicle to a local hospital with leg and hip injuries.last_img read more

Extra patrols planned through 2018

first_imgVersailles, In. — AAA is predicting more than 107 million Americans, the most on record, will be traveling over this Christmas and New Year’s Holiday period, with the majority traveling by automobile. What this means for Hoosiers is more traffic on the highways. To help ensure the safety of all motorists, the Indiana State Police will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., or Combined Accident Reduction Effort, from December 21st through January 3rd.Operation C.A.R.E. is a federally funded program that allows additional troopers to patrol Hoosier roadways looking for drivers that are driving aggressively or impaired. Please help do your part to make this Christmas-New Year’s Holiday travel period safe by observing the following safety rules.When planning to travel, make sure you are well rested, as a fatigued driver is a dangerous driver.Increase your following distance; remember the two-second rule.Watch for slowed or stopped traffic when approaching construction zonesLeave a car length between you and the vehicle in front of you in stopped traffic. Watch approaching traffic in your mirror and be prepared to take evasive action.Decrease your speed according to traffic and road conditionsBeware of bridges, overpasses and intersections where ice tends to form first during cold inclement weather.Don’t use cruise control on slick roads.Make sure everyone in your vehicle is properly restrained, including making sure Child Safety Seats are properly anchored and that children stay securely fastened in them.DON’T BE DISTRACTED-Pull over and stop to use electronic devices.DON’T DRIVE IMPAIRED-Have a designated driver.MOVE OVER and SLOW DOWN for emergency and highway service vehicles.According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, safety belt use is the most effective strategy a person can employ to prevent death and minimize injury resulting from traffic collisions. Motorists are encouraged to report aggressive or suspected impaired drivers by calling 911. Give a vehicle description, location, and direction of travel. Never follow an impaired driver.last_img read more

Omeruo hopeful Leganes can survive La Liga relegation battle

first_img Loading… La Liga will restart on June 11, almost three months after sporting activities in Spain were suspended due to the coronavirus which broke out in March. Leganes find themselves struggling against relegation as they are placed 19th in the league table with 23 points after 27 matches. Ahead of their first game on Saturday, Omeruo believes Javier Aguirre’s side can still maintain their top-flight status in the absence of their fans. “We are playing without our fans at home so we must be more focused, but I think it could work in our favour, I hope it does,” the Nigeria international told the club website. “Our chances are more or less the same. We have to grab it, we have the opportunity to avoid relegation and we are working hard to achieve it. “I think right now is better to follow the instructions of La Liga because it is still risky. We love our fans and we love them at Butarque but right now safety is more important. We will try to give them the best results while they watch from home.” The 26-year-old revealed an area Leganes are working to correct ahead of their return to action. Promoted ContentCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?13 kids at weddings who just don’t give a hoot8 Ways Drones Will Automate Our Future7 Of The Wealthiest Universities In The World9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Tattoo5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way9 Most Epic Movie Robots We’ve Ever SeenWhat Is The Fastest Way To Get 1 Million Followers On Instagram?Birds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them Leganes centre-back Kenneth Omeruo has urged his teammates to be more focused when they host Real Valladolid in an empty Estadio Municipal de Butarque on Saturday. “Set pieces are difficult because sometimes you make a little mistake or your teammate doesn’t cover a player and you get scored or sometimes you may miss a player but nothing happens, so we have been unlucky before with set pieces. We are working hard to correct that,” he added. La Liga clubs resumed training sessions a few weeks ago after clubs conducted coronavirus tests for their staff and players. Prior to the return, Omeruo explained how he coped with his family during the lockdown period in Spain. “It has been difficult especially for my wife that could not go out,” he said. “I usually go out mostly to get groceries and then get back home. It has been difficult because nobody expected such a thing to happen, but I am happy with the way it is being managed in Spain. “A lot of people have followed the curfew and stayed at home and everything has been done. I am happy to be back doing what we love, playing football.” read also:Omeruo dreams premier league return “It isn’t possible not to love Ronaldo unless you are jealous. He is humble and I am happy for the success he had today. “I saw him work to become the best and I am Portuguese, so he makes me proud.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more