View comments Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago LATEST STORIES Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Five-time major champion Maria Sharapova of Russia will play her first Grand Slam event since serving a 15-month doping suspension after receiving a wildcard Tuesday into the US Open.The move by the US Tennis Association (USTA) comes after Sharapova, ranked 148th this week, was rejected for a wildcard spot into the French Open and missed Wimbledon with a thigh injury.ADVERTISEMENT PH bags silver medal in men’s sepak takraw Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Read Next SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief “I’m sure this is a great moment for her to have an opportunity to be back to a place where she has done so well,” ninth-ranked Venus Williams said.World number six dismissed any notion it would be wrong to give Sharapova a wildcard, saying, “Either way it’s not a controversy. I don’t have a problem with that.”Sharapova has withdrawn from US Open warm-up tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati the past two weeks after suffering a left forearm injury at Stanford.In her first US match since March 2015, Sharapova defeated American Jennifer Brady 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 at Stanford.But in the triumph, Sharapova suffered the forearm injury that has sidelined her since, even after arriving in Cincinnati hopeful of playing as a wildcard in the final major tuneup before the US Open.“Following the doctor’s advice on-site, as a precaution for the US Open, I am unfortunately withdrawing from the tournament with the left forearm injury I sustained in Stanford,” Sharapova said. Sharapova tested positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open and was suspended by the International Tennis Federation, a ban that ended in April.Since then, Sharapova has needed wildcards to get into tournaments, drawing criticism from some fellow professionals.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Her suspension under the terms of the tennis anti-doping program was completed and therefore was not one of the factors weighed in our wildcard selection process,” the USTA said in a statement.“Consistent with past practice, a wildcard was provided to a past US champion who needed the wildcard for entry into the main draw. Previous US Open champions who have received US Open main draw wildcards include Martina Hingis, Lleyton Hewitt, Kim Clijsters and Juan Martin del Potro.” WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Former world number one Sharapova won the 2006 US Open as well as Wimbledon in 2014, the 2008 Australian Open and the 2012 and 2014 French Opens.Sharapova will also speak to youth about the benefits of the anti-doping program and the need for players to be vigilant about the banned substance list, something she admitted not doing when she did not catch meldonium being added to the ban list in 2016.“Additionally, Sharapova has volunteered to speak to young tennis players at the USTA national campus about the importance of the tennis anti-doping program and the personal responsibility each player has to comply with the program’s requirements,” the USTA said.Sharapova has shaken off criticism from rival players about wildcards and the French Open snub, tweeting after being denied a spot at Roland Garros, “If this is what it takes to rise up again, then I am in it all the way, everyday. No words, games or actions will ever stop me from reaching my own dreams. And I have many.”Players in Cincinnati for this week’s WTA event welcomed Sharapova back into Grand Slam tennis.ADVERTISEMENT
Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses PH chinlone squad catches eye of gold-medal coach Ronda Rousey stands in the cage after Amanda Nunes forced a stoppage in the first round of their women’s bantamweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 207, Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, in Las Vegas. APAlthough her last two matches ended in brutal knockout losses, Ronda Rousey remains one of the catalysts in catapulting women’s MMA (mixed martial arts) into the mainstream.But as far as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White is concerned, Rousey may never step foot on the octagon again—this time, for good.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games SPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutFurthermore, Rousey is the only ranked UFC fighter to have not gone through USADA’s (United States Anti-Doping Agency) mandated testing in 2017, after being tested on nine occasions last year.Rousey’s first career setback came at UFC 193 in 2015, when she was on the receiving end of a brutal head kick from Holly Holm. She returned a year later but suffered the same fate against current UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Flags of SEA Games countries raised at Athletes Village “I think she’s going to retire,” White candidly spoke of Rousey to Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim. ”She hasn’t announced that. She hasn’t said that to me, but it’s what I believe.”The former Olympian judoka’s recent actions certainly point to an early retirement from the sport—refusing to answer any MMA-related questions from the media and instead focusing on TV and movie appearances.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch run WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES MOST READ Man sworn in as lawyer by judge who sentenced him to prison as a teen 20 years ago SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:31Duterte had wanted Albayalde to take terminal leave — Go00:54Gordon: Albayalde may still face charges even after retirement01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games At 30 years old, Rousey might still have plenty of fight left in the tank but has remained mum about her future in fighting.She also got recently engaged to fellow UFC fighter Travis Browne and has continued pursuing an acting career. Khristian Ibarrola. /ra View comments UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension
Login/Register With: Twitter Facebook Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Suicide Squad benefits Ontario’s economy to the tune of $80M and 4707 jobs!!The Motion Picture Association of Canada reports on the impact of the filming of Suicide Squad in Toronto last year. “During the 98 days of filming, and 168 days of pre and post shoot work, the production created 4,707 jobs, spending well over $80 million in Ontario.” Advertisement Eleanor McMahon, Ontario’s Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sport, said “I am thrilled that blockbuster films such as Suicide Squad are choosing to film in Ontario, reinforcing our province’s reputation as a world class hub for film and TV production.” “Our government is a proud supporter of the creative industries and I am glad to see that this important sector is thriving.”“Productions like Suicide Squad are not only an opportunity to showcase Ontario’s talented cast and crew, but also support thousands of local businesses who play a significant role behind the scenes,” said Wendy Noss, President, Motion Picture Association-Canada. “With Suicide Squad spending over $80 million in the province, it is easy to understand why the film and television industry is a critical part of Ontario’s economy.”Beyond the acting roles, stunts and background performances provided by ACTRA Toronto members, economic inputs included: over $12.5 million on all rentals, including truck and car rentals; more than $4.2 million on lumber and construction supplies; close to $2 million on catering, bakery goods, and other food items; over $2.6 million on location fees; and more than $785,000 on local wardrobe and dry cleaning services.ACTRA Toronto President, David Sparrow said “We a re proud to see Toronto and all of Ontario growing as a trusted creative service provider in front of, behind and after the camera. These cleaner, greener, skilled jobs are an important part of the province’s economic future.”Read more here… ow.ly/awx8302XnHM
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A Canadian oil and gas company says it’s working to reassure regulators that they can resume safe operations, two months after a massive oil spill at one of their offshore oil production sites.Work at the site of Husky Energy’s SeaRose production vessel has been halted since an estimated 250,000 litres of oil spilled into the ocean on Nov. 16 at the White Rose oilfield, about 350 kilometres off the coast of St. John’s, N.L.In a release on Friday, Husky says the company could begin flushing and leak testing of the central drill centre as early as this weekend, weather depending.Husky says it’s working with the coast guard, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, and other bodies to finalize a plan to recover the platform’s flowline connector and plug the flowline.The company submitted a preliminary report to the board in December, saying the initial release of oil occurred over 20 minutes when crews were troubleshooting a drop in flowline pressure, and a retest led to a second release lasting about 15 minutes.The spill, considered the largest in Newfoundland and Labrador’s history, has renewed calls for the government to take a fresh look at how the province regulates the offshore industry.The Canadian Press
Experts suggest in the time of an emergency using a cell phone would be more productive for than a traditional phone, as cell phones provide your location information.E-Comm 911 provided the following information on their website about VoIP calls.Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)If you are using a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service, there are a few things you should know:VoIP calls to 9-1-1 do not go directly to 9-1-1 centres. If you dial 9-1-1 from a VoIP phone, your call will go to a third-party call centre and an operator will re-direct your call to the appropriate 9-1-1 centre.VoIP phones do not provide location information. It is crucial that your location information is up to date with your VoIP service provider as the operator may assume that you are at the last registered address if you are not able to speak during a 9-1-1 call.To read more from Ecomm CLICK HERE To read more about VoIP CLICK HERE Saluk said she could hear the original 911 operator while they searched for the correct fire dispatch. “Trying to find the right department/person for me to talk to I could hear them, the people he (911 operator) was connecting too, and it was “Hi, I am Operator ‘whatever’, There is a fire in Fort St. John, I am looking for the dispatch” then the reply would be “You have reached the wrong place try this number” again, you have reached the wrong place, so this number. (Saluk implies this is the course several times as 911 Operator tries to connect) “They were shuffling around like nobody had any idea who I was actually supposed to be talking to.”“It was absolutely heartbreaking because if you are in an emergency and you call 911 you might not get the help you need in the time you need it,” said SalukAfter some investigation with E-Comm, the company hired by the Peace River Regional District to answer 911 calls, it turned out the call was never routed to E-Comm in Vancouver. Since Saluk called from her office and her office used a VoIP phone system, the call was sent to a third party service provider.E-Comm explained because VoIP is digital, the exact location of the call is unknown and isn’t routed to the proper dispatch. The other problem that arises with emergency calls being placed on a VoIP line is that the call is directed to a third party that transfers the call which is where Saluk’s phone delay took place.VoIP is an acronym for Voice Over Internet Protocol, which is a phone service that uses the internet, rather than a traditional provider like Telus.It is important to know if you are using a VoIP phone service as this can affect an Emergency call. Unless you have been told, it is hard to tell by picking up the receiver of the phone if the connection is through the internet or a landline. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – January 8th, Veronica Saluk called 911 for help and ended up waiting for close to 9 minutes to be transferred to the correct 911 dispatch centre all because her office used a VoIP phone system.As the City Centre Trailer Park was engulfed in smoke, Veronica Saluk made a call to 911 from her office phone after her co-worker directed her that a building across the parking lot was on fire.Saluk looked out the window and immediately called 911 “He (the operator) tells me to stay on the line, and he would put me through to the right dispatch.” Saluk said she was then on hold for nine minutes. “You could actually see flames by the time I got through to a FSJ dispatch person; it was already in flames.”
Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday strongly condemned the violence “perpetrated” by the BJP in Kolkata on Tuesday. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief alleged that after desperately trying to destabilise the West Bengal government through the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax Department, the BJP was now resorting to direct violence which shows its true colours. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework “Vandalising the statue of a great reformer like Sri Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar is an indication of the pseudo-nationalism practiced by the BJP. This incident underlines the need for all the opposition parties to stand united against the destructive tactics of Amit Shah-led BJP,” Naidu tweeted. The TDP leader, in his tweets in Telugu, alleged that Amit Shah during his rally in Kolkata used vandals to create violence. He said in the past people of the country saw how Narendra Modi used Amit Shah to create hatred among people in Gujarat. He said in West Bengal where BJP has no strength, the party is trying to create disturbances targeting a senior woman leader like Mamata Banerjee and maligning her government.
Share (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez MonsivaisSupreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 20, 2017, for his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.1. SUPREME COURT NOMINEE FACING DAYLONG QUESTIONINGSenate Democrats are determined to press Neil Gorsuch on everything from abortion and guns to his independence from Trump.2. WHAT TRUMP IS AIMING TO DOThe U.S. president is trying to rally support for a revised version of the health care overhaul by taking his case directly to Capitol Hill.3. US MOVES TO BOLSTER AIRLINE SECURITYThe temporary move would prohibit passengers on certain flights originating in eight other mainly Arab countries from packing most electronics in carry-on luggage, but regional airlines appear unaware.4. IRISH REBEL TURNED POLITICIAN DIESMartin McGuinness, the Irish Republican Army commander who led his underground paramilitary movement toward reconciliation with Britain, is dead at 66.5. WHO IS SAYING ‘SORRY’Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s ousted president, apologized to the people as she underwent questioning by prosecutors over a corruption scandal.6. ‘BREAD WAR’ BREWING IN VENEZUELACaracas’ socialist government is seizing bakeries in the latest effort to combat long food lines.7. HOW ONE CITY IS TACKLING BLIGHT EPIDEMICIn historic Memphis, an effort is underway to reclaim the landscape of abandoned houses and trash-strewn vacant lots.8. HAMAS AIMS TO IMPROVE INTERNATIONAL IMAGEThe Islamic militant group drafts a new political program to project a more pragmatic image, hoping this will improve ties with Egypt and help it get off Western terrorism lists.9. FOX NEWS CHANNEL PULLS NAPOLITANO FROM AIRThe cable news network had disavowed legal analyst Andrew Napolitano’s on-air claim that British intelligence officials helped Obama spy on Trump.10. ‘IF YOU CAN PLAY, GO OUT THERE AND PLAY’Injured Miami Heat star Chris Bosh tells AP he has a simple perspective when it comes to the rest-or-play debate that is prompting the NBA to enact changes.
Vancouver 23:45 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday AC51 Vancouver 06:40 Days of Week In addition, Air Canada has confirmed it will launch flights:From Montreal to São Paulo, Brazil, the only non-stop flights between the two cities. This new route to São Paulo will commence on 11 December 2019 and operate three return trips weekly from Montreal until 27 March 2020.Between Toronto and Quito. The new route, to be operated three times weekly on a seasonal basis by Air Canada Rouge, will be the first non-stop service to Ecuador from Canada when it begins 8 December 2019.From Toronto to Honolulu utilising Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft from 14 December 2019 on a thrice-weekly basis until 26 Apri, 2020.Go back to the enewsletter Arrives Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday AC52 Auckland 14:40 Departs Auckland 11:05 + 2 days Go back to the enewsletterAir Canada is adding new non-stop, seasonal flights between Auckland and Vancouver, Canada. Air Canada’s flights to Vancouver will operate four times weekly aboard the carrier’s state-of-the-art flagship Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft, beginning 14 December 2019 until the end of March 2020 (subject to obtaining the necessary government approvals).Air Canada has also finalised a Memorandum of Understanding with Star Alliance partner, Air New Zealand, to pursue expanding its current alliance arrangement to strategically cooperate in the form of a Joint Venture. The agreement is subject to Air Canada and Air New Zealand making the necessary filings, obtaining competition and other regulatory approvals and finalising documentation. A deeper, more integrated partnership will provide greater customer choice, comprehensive benefits and an expanded trans-Pacific network.Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Lucie Guillemette said flights have been timed to provide a “multitude of non-stop destinations throughout North America, including New York-Newark”.“Our Dreamliners, featuring our Signature Service together with the seamless connections through in-transit pre-clearance facilities and competitive elapsed travel times, position Air Canada and YVR as a preferred trans-Pacific option for travel.”Air Canada Boeing 787-8 Signature ClassJohn MacLeod, Vice President, Global Sales and Alliances at Air Canada said the airlines was keen to deepen the relationship with Air New Zealand, “optimising our far-reaching trans-Pacific network cooperation, offering our customers a choice of more flights, connections and travel opportunities”.Air Canada’s proposed flight schedule is as follows:Flight
Broadcast management software provider SintecMedia has acquired cable industry business solutions specialist Argo Systems.The deal brings together Israel-based SintecMedia’s OnAir broadcast management solution for media companies and its line of related products with Argo Systems’ management solutions designed for pay TV channels and multichannel video distributors. This is SintecMedia’s second acquisition in the North American market, complementing its recent purchase of StorerTV.“SintecMedia’s acquisition of Argo Systems will further augment our local activities in the North American cable television and MSO markets,” said SintecMedia CEO Amotz Yarden. “Its team and suite of products have gained the respect of every television executive in the industry. Argo Systems will increase SintecMedia’s footprint and capabilities, boost our US presence in terms of local support including software engineers, technicians as well as other professionals and delivery resources that will enable us to supply a greater array of broadcast and digital media solutions.”
Netherlands-based mobile-focused TV platform Mobile2Morrow has added a bouquet of Turkish pay TV channels to its line-up.The 26 Turkish channels available on the M2M TV platform include news, sports, documentaries, music, films and series-oriented channels.The line-up includes TRT Cocuk, TV8 Int, TRT 1 Avrupa, ATV Avrupa, TGRT, Sky360 and A Spor. The bouquet is available alongside the M2M TV basic subscription for €9.99 per month.The platform has launched an introductory offering whereby subscribers can try M2M TV Basic and the Turkish package the first month for €4. The normal price of the M2M TV basic service is €5.99, with the first month available free of charge.The M2M TV service is available via the web and as an app for iOS and Android devices as well as via Apple TV, Amazon Fire sticks and its own-branded Android TV boxes, which the company says support 4K content.Other channels on the basic tier include DW, France 24, GoTo Luxe.TV, HVN 2, RT and Current Time. Additional channels can be purchased on an à la carte basis for €0.15 each.M2M TV launched in the spring of last year, with a strategy of aggregating channels aimed at migrant audiences globally and a target of reaching between 250,000 and 300,000 subscribers by the end of last year.
The TV ecosystem is a very powerful one. A “traditional” platform that attracts mass audiences, TV has evolved to complement marketers’ digital strategies, becoming a major driver of online response.TV’s power to drive search, for instance, is unlike any other medium. Close to 80% of viewers use second-screen devices while watching TV, leading to huge spikes in search activity for brands in the minutes following their spot. Due to this synergy, marketers are increasingly synchronising TV and paid search campaigns to gain top rankings in the valuable minutes after a spot airs – when audience engagement is high and intent-to-buy is strong. In fact, a major diet brand and a global auto manufacturer saw a 19% and 43% uplift in engagement, respectively, by taking advantage of the connected ecosystem between TV and search.With a rise in new ad formats, how can TV’s increasingly creative approaches to the standard 30-second ads help marketers reach the holy grail of search response?Searching for responseNetworks are always looking for ways to create more ad inventory, and advertisers are exploring new opportunities to get in front of viewers that consume media in increasingly fragmented ways. Enter six-second ads, which are shaking up live-event advertising. And sponsorship arrangements are seeing new light, just look at Superdrug’s deal with ITV’s Love Island.Let’s take a deeper dive into the opportunities for marketers and how they may or may not promote search:Six-second ads: These “mini-ads” debuted during the 2017 Fox Teen Choice Awards, with the hope of targeting a younger audience more receptive to shorter, digital-like ads. Similar to the five-second, end-cap sponsorships that are popular in the UK, these ads are power-packed, offering a non-intrusive way to communicate with large, engaged audiences (there’s no opportunity to leave the room or skip ahead!) Well-established advertisers are gravitating toward shorter ads, as they look for cost-effective means of growing reach. That being said, these shorter formats are not ideal for brands wanting to sell a story or lifestyle, as there’s no time to communicate. But a 6-second ad can be used as a powerful call-to-action tool alongside a standard-length ad campaign.Long-form ads: Shortened TV ads aren’t the only strategy gaining traction – lengthening them is proving to be effective too. Long-form ads take a creative approach to storytelling allowing brands to create awareness via short, film-like pieces. For example, Samsung broadcast a three-minute ad that focused solely on a hypnotic washing machine cycle, and response to the John Lewis Partnership’s Bohemian Rhasd=didy Bohemian Rhapsody continued for a full hour after the first airing. The storytelling element helps to initiate response activity meaning the audience is more likely to search for further information or a way to interact digitally with the brand. Sponsorships: Programmes like The Great British Bake Off, Love Island and The X Factor are leading examples of programmes attracting brand investment through sponsorship. Viewers of sponsored shows are twice as likely to recommend featured brands as non-viewers. For Love Island, Superdrug saw a 900% rise in searches last year as a result of its sponsorship. Meanwhile, The Great British Bake Off introduced super spots, giving marketers the flexibility to approach viewers creatively. Sponsorships elevate brand recall when paired with a prolonged TV series, but also increase the opportunities to invoke a response action. Love Island paired with fashion sponsor Missguided – who used its sponsorship slots to demonstrate how to purchase the contestant’s outfits via its app, another step in the customer journey which complements search.Live TV: Providing a unique opportunity to create a direct, real-time connection with viewers, the raw and unpolished nature of live campaigns help to maintain viewer attention and increase social media activity. Increasingly, the film industry is also leveraging these spots. To promote The Greatest Showman, the cast performed live during a FOX ad break to drive excitement around the movie and encourage viewers into cinemas. Social activity is the key here, with links and particularly hashtags driving search activity among viewers.Switching up the formatTV is a powerful tool for marketers, with the average UK adult watching almost four hours a day. But the dynamics of traditional advertising have shifted, and marketers must keep pace to capitalise on the power of “traditional” media (TV) and response platforms (digital).It’s about understanding the ad formats available and how to use them to drive response, and then considering what is most effective for your campaign. This will vary by brand, by campaign and even in-flight during a campaign – depending on set KPIs.It’s important to note that alternatives to “standard” 30-second spots are still in their infancy. While we tend to think things change quickly, in reality, that’s not how it works. We will, however, see more brands gravitate toward six-second ads and other innovative formats in the coming years as they adopt complementary media strategies that utilise TV and search.Hew Bruce-Gardyne is co-founder of TVSquared.
Good day… And a Marvelous Monday to you! 2 of 3 from the 1st place Reds, wasn’t too shabby, sure would have loved to see a sweep. The long winning streak still hasn’t materialized for my beloved Cardinals, but winning 2 of 3, is better than losing 2 of 3! The tropical storm / hurricane in the Gulf is causing some havoc. Please be safe there.Speaking of winning streaks. it seems the currencies and metals are taking a page from the Cardinals book on winning. The Currencies and metals have been in this “win the day for two days, and then lose the 3rd day”. trading pattern. But like I said above, winning 2 of 3 is better than losing 2 of 3! Try as they might, the currencies & metals failed in their attempt to rally on Friday. So, that must mean they’ll bounce back today. Hmmm, not so fast! That’s the last thing anyone ever wants to do, is to trade on they feel is a set in stone trading pattern! Usually, these things come back to bite you in the you know what!But that doesn’t stop me from watching them or tracking them. I really just want to see the markets trade on fundamentals once again, and leave the Risk On and Risk Off by the side of the road, and peel out leaving swaying tire tracks on the road, and waving good bye to the Risk On, Risk Off trading days in the rear view mirror! Now, wouldn’t it be nice to live together, no wait! It would be nice to see that happen, not the Beach Boys version!The Isaac storm in the Gulf is playing havoc with the price of Oil. There was a little reported story too from Venezuela, where an oil refinery exploded, killing 39 people. The price of Oil, which had dropped on Friday morning, shot back up by $2 overnight. Sure, the supply risk going on right now, my be short-term, but that doesn’t stop the rise in the price of Oil. and in turn gasoline at the pump, and this is where consumers complain about the price they have to pay.The Big news from the weekend (other than Isaac) was the long awaited meeting of Eurozone leaders with the Greek Prime Minister, Samaras. There was a real breakdown in the “company line” this past weekend, when an official in the German Chancellor’s (Merkel) coalition, called for Greece to exit the euro. Merkel was quick to react, telling her party that “Everybody should weigh their words very carefully. The Greek Gov’t under Prime Minister, Samaras, is undertaking serious efforts to reduce its debt.”I would say that by listening to that “talk” from Merkel, that there’s no question that she wants Greece to remain in the euro-club. So, apparently, Samaras either showed real progress with debt cutting, or he pulled the wool over Merkel, Hollande, and anyone else that was able to see what he had accomplished. Remember, Hollande, is the President of France. And has basically been sent to the back of the class. Remember how Merkel and former French President, Sarkozy, were always together on this crisis? But now it seems it’s just Merkel that’s carrying the euro-flag.Here’s a statement from Greek Prime Minister, Samaras, that he made right after Merkel had taken here stance. “Such toxic statements, from wherever they come, can only do damage. Is there any businessman who will make an investment in euros to get it back in drachmas? The recovery of the economy is of critical importance if we are to achieve our goals.”So. Merkel and Samaras are singing from the same song sheet. German Business Confidence as measured by the think tank IFO, slid more this month, marking 4 consecutive months of sliding, thus indicating that German Business leaders are feeling the weight of the debt crisis too. the measure of executive’s expectations component, fell to 94.2, the lowest level since June of 2009. (the previous month’s figure was 95.5)But. having said all that, which would lead one to believe the euro would be getting sold, the euro is actually well underpinned above 1.25. the single unit reached 1.25 last week, and has made a couple of probes into the 1.25 handle, reaching 1.2530 overnight, but currency trades around 1.2525. With Eurozone officials making statements that should damage the euro, and with economic data from the largest economy in the Eurozone (Germany) really showing cracks, the euro has been quite resilient. And whenever I talk about the euro when I’m on the road, I always make a point to say. With all these bad things in the Eurozone, but yet the euro remains above the dollar. What does that say about the dollar?In the “old days” of just a few years ago. When the euro rallied it gave the rest of the currencies the opportunity to rally VS the dollar too. The last 3 weeks I’ve given you the data from the futures contracts on the number of long dollar positions, falling…And I’m seeing some data that shows the net bets that the dollar will DROP against eight major peers Increased to 131,512 contracts last week. Compare that to the 311,000 contracts on June 5th that bet on an Advance for the dollar. That’s the biggest reversal on record, folks. So, I can’t wait to see the rest of the data tonight!The best performer overnight has been the Swedish krona! The krona reached the strongest level against the dollar, since April. Ulrich Leuchtmann, head currency strategist at Commerzbank AG, said, “People will try to diversify away from the dollar into currencies that have strong fundamentals like the Australian dollar and the Scandinavian currencies.”I agree with what this guy had to say. The Aussie dollar (A$) really tripped and stumbled around last week, losing not only the $1.05 and $1.04 handles. This morning, I’ve watched the A$ rebound from $1.0370 back to $1.04, so maybe that sell off last week was a lot of profit taking. Unfortunately, for the A$, the selling was so strong that it pushed the A$ below its 200 – day moving average. There’s not much in the way of economic data or speeches by Australian leaders this week, So the A$ will be left to trade on its own merits.I love the stories that hit the newswires. Take for instance this morning, there’s a headline that says that “Dollar loses Hedge Fund Bulls as Risk Drops Among G-10 Nations”. And then there’s one a few lines down that says, “Australian dollar touches month-low on Global Growth Concerns” So, which one is it? Are there Global Growth Concerns? If so, then why has “Risk dropped”? Look. You have to be careful when reading stuff on the markets, because there’s always two sides to a market. That’s why you should just read the Pfennig! HA!This week the Fed Heads and Economists, and Analysts from all over will meet for their annual boondoggle at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. ( I grew up on Wyoming street, in South St. Louis, so I like typing: Wyoming) . I’ve told you about how a couple of years ago, Big Ben Bernanke used his speech at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to announce the 2nd round of Quantitative Easing. And the markets would sure love to see history repeat itself this week. But, given the disappointment that the Fed Heads have laid at the feet of the markets for months now, I would say that more disappointment is on the way.So. Friday, I was in my office reading, and researching things I was needing for an article, when I came across a story on MarkeWatch.com about why the stock market isn’t pricing in the “fiscal cliff”. Interesting take. Basically it said, what I’ve already told you. That Congress is already working on delaying the 2nd part of the components of the “fiscal cliff”. Remember the $1.2 Trillion in discretionary spending cuts (over 20 years, whoopee!) that were supposed to be “automatic” on Jan 1, 2013, as part of the debt ceiling negotiations last summer? Well. lawmakers are NOT going to let those go through, in my opinion.And, regarding the 1st part of the “fiscal cliff” which is the end of the Bush tax cuts, I would almost think that the lawmakers will attempt to extend them for at least 6 months to a year.But, if the lawmakers can’t get either of these two things delayed/ postponed, then we are destined to hit the “fiscal cliff”. And it won’t be pretty folks. But that’s the thing, we have to all realize and accept. The deficit spending, and debt accumulation in this country has been out of control for years now. To begin to correct it, there will be pain. To really correct it, there will be lots of pain. So, let’s stop kicking the can down the road. If the ending is all the same, then why don’t we start, right here, right now?My friends over at the 5-Minute Forecast, quoted me on Friday, which always puts a smile on my face. But it reminded me of something I talked about when it first came out, but not since. and that is the Little Book of the Shrinking Dollar. Here’s the 5. “Chuck consulted closely with Addison on The Little Book of the Shrinking Dollar — packed with 47 ways to protect your purchasing power as the politicians keep their distance from Door 2.”I saw some analysis on the Emerging Markets the other day, which is very timely given our new MarketSafe Emerging Markets CD. The overall gist of the analysis was the Net Emerging Markets Exposure was Picking Up. Here’s a snippet, “Over the last three months, the countries showing the most significant increase in cash exposure were Brazil and Turkey.” Another note from the analysis was that Emerging Markets Net exposure remains slightly “underweight”, which means that it’s still very early here.Then There Was This. I read this over at King World. Citi Analyst, Tom Fitzpatrick had this to say about Gold, Silver and Oil. “”We remain bullish on the gold price. Most importantly, this is a bullish gold view, not a gold/dollar view. So while the gold/dollar chart now looks strong, and momentum is picking up, we believe gold will outperform all paper currencies in the developed world. This is because there is so much money printing taking place, particularly in the West.In fact, gold may perform 20% to 25% better against the euro VS the dollar. It is also worth noting that gold is only 3% off the all-time highs in euro terms. Silver has also held nicely above the $27 level, and very recently we have seen silver begin to outperform gold. The silver chart looks very bullish. We believe that silver will continue to outperform gold in this breakout move. The entire backdrop from 1973 to 1975 is very interesting. At that time we saw the downturn in the equity market, the economy, and housing, along with the surge in the oil price and corresponding move higher in soft commodities. We saw a settling down until 1978/1979, then we got that second surge, which ultimately yielded the stagflationary dynamic in the U.S.We replicated a lot of that in the 2007 and 2008 time period. Now we are seeing a surge in soft commodities once again, and that’s exactly what happened back in 1978/1979 time period. So we’re convinced there is more upside to come. We expect new all-time highs in Brent Crude. We believe we will see a surge to the $160 level on Brent, and if we replicate the move in 2007/2008, that would target $190 for Brent. “Chuck again. it’s important to always remember that it’s just one person’s opinion. But, I have a picture on my desk of my friend, the Mogambo Guru, and the words on the picture say: “What would the Mogambo buy?” Gold, Silver and Oil, moron. OK. I did NOT call anyone a moron, it’s just the way the Mogambo gets his point across!To recap. the currencies & metals could not complete the sweep winning 2 of 3 days last week VS the dollar. But they appear to be ready to win again today. But, don’t bet on trading patterns remaining in place too long! Germany’s IFO slid further this month, showing that Germany is feeling the weight of the debt crisis too. German Chancellor, Merkel, stood by Greek Prime Minister, Samaras this past weekend. Either Greece has done a good job of cutting debt, or they have pulled the wool over the Eurozone leaders’ eyes.Currencies today 8/27/12. American Style: A$ $1.04, kiwi .8110, C$ $1.01, euro 1.2525, sterling 1.5815, Swiss $ 1.0430, . European Style: rand 8.3915, krone 5.82, SEK 6.5725, forint 221.70, zloty 3.2557, koruna 19.8325, RUB 31.81, yen 78.70, sing 1.2510, HKD 7.7560, INR 55.68, China 6.3567, pesos 13.19, BRL 2.0255, Dollar Index 81.54, Oil $97.06, 10-year 1.66%, Silver $30.83, and Gold. $1,670.10That’s it for today. A big Congratulations and way to go to Alex, who did his first triathlon yesterday. He never trained for it, he just entered and had the best swimming time. He was pretty tired when he got home though. Oh, to be a strong young man again! Thanks to Jerry and neighbor Chris for helping me with a project in the backyard yesterday. I guess the tropical storm Isaac will become a Hurricane today. I sure hope everyone is safe in Florida. I worry about my nephew, Charlie, that is a oil rig diver in the gulf. I sure hope he’s on terra firma right now. And I had my pre-op testing done on Friday. I look forward to a day, when you only have to answer questions one time, and every doctor or nurse, could look them up on a database. Oh well.. time to go. Mike’s here! I hope you have a Marvelous Monday!Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 www.everbank.com
OUR Meet the Tourists series continues with numbers six to ten.6. Matthew Costello – Full Back from Orrell St James and St Peters Catholic High SchoolHe is sponsored by Expressions of BeautyPrevious Number 6’s:2004 – Ashley Elsley (Hensingham)2006 – Matthew Clarke (Pilkington Recs)2009 – Liam Fishwick (Bold Miners)2011 – Mike Fields (Bold Miners)2013 – Jonah Cunningham (Blackbrook)7. Joshua Eaves – Hooker from Haresfinch Hawks & Clock Face Miners, and St Augustines of Canterbury Catholic High SchoolHe is sponsored by Simon Ross Painting and DecoratingPrevious Number 7’s:2004 – Chris Frodsham (Blackbrook)2006 – Scott Clarke (Thatto Heath Crusaders)2009 – Carl Forster (Thatto Heath Crusaders)2011 – Lewis Foster (Thatto Heath Crusaders and Portico Vine)2013 – Oliver Davies (Orrell St James)8. Alex Eckley – Second Row/Prop from Pilkington Recs and Rainford High Technology CollegeHe is sponsored by IED Installations Limited, Dave Hill Supertrucks, Paul Little Roofing Services, Pilkington Recs and C & S Tyres Earthmover & Industrial TyresPrevious Number 8’s:2004 – Scott Holland (Blackbrook)2006 – Tom Colborn (Blackbrook)2009 – Jack Franics (Saddleworth Rangers)2011 – Matthew Fozard (West Bank Bears)2013 – David Eccleston (Blackbrook)9. Danny Edwards – Second Row from Thatto Heath and The Sutton AcademyHe is sponsored by Pinder and Sims, Cottams Tiles, Roscoe Tyres, Terraclean, Dimension Data Network Services and The Bull and DogPrevious Number 9’s:2004 – Dave Lowe (Pilkington Recs)2006 – Tom Connick (Pilkington Recs)2009 – Tom Fry (Halton Farnworth Hornets)2011 – Lewis Galbraith (Oldham St Anne’s & Saddleworth Rangers)2013 – Lewis Fairhurst (Hindley)10. Robert Fairclough – Scrum Half from Blackbrook and Hope AcademyHe is sponsored by Tisdalls Electrical Ltd, Sun Centre World Ltd and BritplasPrevious Number 10’s:2004 – Nick Manchester (Pilkington Recs)2006 – Jamie Dickinson (Thatto Heath Crusaders)2009 – Josh Greaves (Pilkington Recs)2011 – Jordan Heaton (Ince Rosebridge)2013 – Matty Fleming (Bold Miners)
Source:https://wyss.harvard.edu/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 6 2018As medical science has come to understand that the human body is controlled on the molecular level by various proteins, hormones, drugs, and other substances, technologies have developed to detect levels of these molecules in order to monitor health and diagnose disease. However, many of these molecules are so small that they cannot be detected by the most widely available analysis techniques, leaving questions about crucial substances like amino acids, sugars, and lipids largely unanswered.Now, scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have created a new type of immuno-assay that is capable of detecting small molecules with 50-fold greater sensitivity than conventional detection methods, and can be easily integrated into existing diagnostic platforms. The research is described in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.”The enhanced analytical sensitivity of our assay enables measurements of small molecules at extremely low concentrations, and opens a window into biological phenomena that were previously unreachable,” said senior author David Walt, Ph.D., a Core Faculty member of the Wyss Institute who is also the Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Professor of Pathology at BWH, as well as an HHMI Professor.The new approach is based on a type of analysis called a competitive immunoassay, in which a known quantity of a labeled molecule of interest and a sample with an unknown quantity of the molecule are both added to an array of antibodies to which they bind. The labeled and unlabeled molecules then “compete” for the same antibody binding sites. By analyzing the amount of the labeled molecule of interest that is bound to the antibodies compared to the total number of available antibody sites, it is possible to conclude that the remaining sites are bound by the unlabeled molecule from the sample, allowing the concentration of that molecule to be determined.The researchers created two types of competitive immunoassays that used slightly different methods to capture small molecules of interest, based on the Simoa system from Quanterix™. The first method uses magnetic microbeads coated with the target molecule as the competitor, while the second method attaches the target molecule to the enzyme beta-galactosidase, which then binds to the magnetic beads to form the competitor complex. After the bead/antibody mixtures are allowed to mix with a sample containing an unknown amount of the target molecule, the beads are rinsed to remove any unbound molecules and then added to a Simoa disc containing thousands of microwells, each of which can hold one bead bound to one target molecule. A reaction then takes place that makes any well containing a bead with the labeled target molecule fluoresce. The fewer number of fluorescent wells, the fewer labeled target molecules are bound to the beads, and thus the greater the concentration of the unlabeled target molecule present in the sample.Related StoriesOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryTwo small molecules that are important for normal human body function were analyzed: cortisol and PGE2. Cortisol is widely used to evaluate the function of the adrenal, pituitary, and hypothalamus glands, while PGE2 is a hormone-like prostaglandin molecule that influences inflammation, fertility, and immune function. The new competitive methods were able to detect their targets with up to 50 times greater sensitivity than a conventional ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), within about an hour.”Our plan is to use this method in diagnostics for improved detection of hormones in blood samples,” said first author Xu Wang, Ph.D., a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at BWH and the Wyss Institute. “We are working to try to commercialize this technology for the rapid detection of small molecules for a variety of clinical and environmental applications.””The Walt team continues to push the envelope in the field of diagnostics with this advance. By sensing molecules previously undetectable within an hour, they open entirely new approaches to diagnostics and clinical monitoring that should greatly improve human health. It’s precisely the type of translational innovation we hope to enable and empower at the Wyss Institute,” said the Wyss Institute’s Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at HMS and the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as Professor of Bioengineering at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 10 2019Study identifies key step in spread of drug resistance, opportunity for interventionSpotless surfaces in hospitals can hide bacteria that rarely cause problems for healthy people but pose a serious threat to people with weakened immune systems. Acinetobacter baumannii causes life-threatening lung and bloodstream infections in hospitalized people. Such infections are among the most difficult to treat because these bacteria have evolved to withstand most antibiotics.Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have figured out a key step in the transmission of antibiotic resistance from one Acinetobacter bacterium to another, insight that sheds light on how antibiotic resistance spreads through a hospital or community.The findings, published online Jan. 9 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, open up a new strategy to safeguard our ability to treat bacterial infections with antibiotics. The research indicates that the effectiveness of current antibiotics may be somewhat preserved by curtailing the spread of antibiotic-resistance genes.”The problem of superbugs that are resistant to all antibiotics is bigger than just Acinetobacter,” said senior author Mario Feldman, PhD, an associate professor of molecular microbiology. “What are we going to do when antibiotics don’t work anymore? We can look for new antibiotics, but bacteria will always find a way to develop resistance again. We have to stop resistance from spreading, too.”Acinetobacter strains carry the genetic blueprints for drug resistance on small loops of DNA called plasmids that come in two sizes. Big plasmids, which are prone to accumulating ever more antibiotic-resistance genes, carry the genetic instructions to build a needle-like appendage to insert copies of themselves into nearby bacteria. Small plasmids, which contain resistance genes against a single but important group of antibiotics known as carbapenems, lack their own distribution tools so they invade new bacteria by tagging along with the large plasmids.”Plasmids want to take over the world,” Feldman said. “Plasmids are selfish genetic elements that just want to procreate as much as possible, and they co-opt bacteria to do that. That is scary for us because the plasmids are very efficient at collecting antibiotic resistance. So as they reproduce and infect more bacteria, they spread drug resistance.”Related StoriesPlant foods may transmit antibiotic-resistant superbugs to humansFinger-prick blood test could help prevent unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for patients with COPDWearable sensors show how antibiotic-resistant bacteria spread through hospital wardsThe plasmids’ reproductive strategy requires close contact between two bacteria. But that raises a question: How do two bacteria ever get near enough to transmit plasmids to each other? Most Acinetobacter guard against strangers with a system that injects lethal proteins into any unrelated bacteria that approach too closely, thus reducing the changes of spreading antibiotic-resistance genes.Feldman, along with first author and postdoctoral fellow Gisela Di Venanzio, PhD, and colleagues, mutated the plasmids to find out how they get around such bacterial defenses. Their work was supported in part by Washington University’s Faculty Diversity Scholars Program, which encourages recruitment of underrepresented minority scientists. Feldman and Di Venanzio are both from Argentina.The researchers found that plasmids disable bacteria’s self-defense systems so that plasmids can inject copies of themselves into neighboring bacteria, conferring drug resistance on the unwitting bacterial neighbors. By forcing the bacteria in which they reside to lay down their weapons, the plasmid ensures that nearby bacteria aren’t killed before the plasmids can infect them. The researchers found that mutating plasmids so they could not interfere with the bacteria’s defenses - or mutating the bacteria so the defenses could not be lowered – prevented plasmids from spreading.These findings provide a novel opening to interrupt the spread of drug resistance, the researchers said. The genes involved have been identified. Now researchers have to find compounds that prevent plasmids from disrupting bacterial-defense systems.”If we found an inhibitor, we could clean hospital surfaces with it and prevent the dissemination of drug resistance,” Feldman said. “This is an out-of-the-box idea, but it’s what we need. If we just find new antibiotics, the bacteria will just become resistant again. We need to find therapies that don’t kill the bacteria but prevent it from becoming drug-resistant, so we can continue using our antibiotics into the future.”Source: https://medicine.wustl.edu/news/new-strategy-may-curtail-spread-of-antibiotic-resistance/
Mar 13 2019At the upcoming USCAP 2019 conference in Maryland, March 18-20, Huron Digital Pathology will debut its new ‘Scan Index Search’ platform, which connects pathologists, researchers and educators with the expertise of their colleagues to help speed up diagnosis and accelerate disease research. Source:http://www.hurondigitalpathology.com/huron-digital-pathology-connects-pathologists-researchers-and-educators-to-the-expertise-of-their-colleagues-with-new-scan-index-search-platform/ Reference ArchitectureHuron has co-developed a reference architecture for pathology in collaboration with Dell EMC, which enables its Scan Index Search Solution. Related StoriesHuron earns ISO 13485 certification for quality management systemRedesign of TissueScope™ technology by Huron Digital Pathology results in processing the most difficult slides with speedHuron announces collaboration with UPMC and abstract presentation at Pathology Informatics SummitAt the USCAP 2019 conference, Huron will showcase the three main components of its Scan Index Search platform for pathology: Scan. The company is debuting a new 400-slide capacity scanner, TissueScope iQ. In addition to standard slides, the scanner accommodates up to 200 double-wide slides. Each of the scanner’s five standard or double-wide cartridges can be mixed and matched for greater scanning flexibility. TissueScope iQ features industry-first, real-time, native slide indexing. As slides are digitized, the intelligent scanner indexes the images, representing each slide as a series of compact and easily-searchable barcodes. Native indexing on the scanner will enable valuable, real-world applications for quality control and laboratory automation. Index. Huron has developed a scanner-agnostic and IT-friendly method for indexing large archives of whole slide images so they can be quickly and easily searched. The technique is designed to batch-index existing digital slide archives and index new slides as they are added to the archive. The digital slides can either originate from Huron scanners, where they are indexed natively, or from third party scanners. Search. Huron offers an easy-to-use search tool that pathologists, researchers and educators can use to retrieve images that are anatomically similar to the biopsy samples they are reviewing. After highlighting a region of interest on a digital slide, the search engine returns images with similar content along with the corresponding diagnoses. This search capability can be deployed within a single institution or across multiple networks. Every year, pathologists collectively diagnose millions of cases, using their expertise to review biopsy slides and generate knowledge-rich, pathology reports. By embedding intelligence into Huron’s scanning hardware and combining it with our image search engine, we believe we can transform how pathologists, researchers and educators around the world capture and share knowledge. Image search is a fundamental capability that can make ‘virtual peer review’ a reality, providing access to the knowledge of multiple experts, virtually, through their pathology reports. Equally significant, image search can establish a reliable framework for building computational consensus, which will have a great and lasting benefit to the practice of pathology and society in general.”Patrick Myles, CEO of Huron Digital Pathology
Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 16 2019N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a naturally occurring molecule that replenishes one of the body’s antioxidants and now shows potential benefit as part of a standard course of treatment for patients with Parkinson’s disease, according to a study published in the journal, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics. The study found improvements in dopamine levels, the primary neurotransmitter that is specifically decreased in Parkinson’s disease, as well as improvements in clinical evaluations of the patients’ mental and physical abilities. The study was performed by the Department of Integrative Medicine and Nutritional Sciences, as well as the Departments of Neurology and Radiology, at Thomas Jefferson University.Current treatments for Parkinson’s disease are generally limited to temporarily replacing dopamine in the brain along with medications designed to slow the progression of the disease. The destruction of dopamine nerve cells in Parkinson’s disease appears to result in large part due to oxidative stress which lowers levels of glutathione, a chemical produced by the brain to counteract oxidative stress. NAC is an oral supplement, and also comes in an intravenous form that is used to protect the liver in acetaminophen overdose. Several initial studies have shown that NAC administration increases glutathione levels in the brain, but it has not been tested whether such an effect would augment dopamine levels as neurons recover function. The current study, published in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics tested this by tracking dopamine re-uptake via brain scans. This study is an important step in understanding how N-acetylcysteine might work as a potentially new avenue for managing Parkinson’s patients. The NAC appears to enable dopamine neurons to recover some of their function.”Senior author Daniel Monti, MD, Chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine and Nutritional Sciences and Director of the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Thomas Jefferson University Related StoriesEAF2000 advances complex charged molecule studiesImmune checkpoint molecule protects against future development of cancerDiscovery could lead to new drugs for pain conditionsThis study advanced earlier findings that NAC may increase dopamine function in patients with Parkinson’s disease. In the study, 42 patients with Parkinson’s disease continued their current treatment and were placed into two groups – the first group received a combination of oral and intravenous (IV) NAC for three months (in addition to their current treatment program); and the second group, the control patients, received only their standard-of-care Parkinson’s treatment for three months. Those patients in the active group received 50mg/kg NAC intravenously once per week and 500mg NAC orally 2x per day on the non IV days.Patients were evaluated clinically using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), which assesses a variety of symptoms including both cognitive and motor function. Patients also underwent brain scanning using DaTscan SPECT imaging which measures the amount of dopamine transporter in the basal ganglia, the area most affected by the Parkinson’s disease process. This test was used to determine the level of neuronal recovery. Patients were evaluated initially and after three months of either receiving the NAC or standard of care therapy.Compared to controls, the patients receiving NAC had improvements of 4-9% in dopamine transporter binding and also showed improvements in their UPDRS score of about 14%.”This is an exciting study that suggests a natural molecule such as NAC can help improve dopamine function and symptoms in Parkinson’s patients,” said corresponding author and neuro-imaging expert Andrew Newberg, M.D., Professor and Director of Research at the Department of Integrative Medicine and Nutritional Sciences. The investigators hope that this research will open up new avenues of treatment for Parkinson’s disease patients. Source:Thomas Jefferson UniversityJournal reference:Monti, D.A. et al. (2019) N-Acetyl Cysteine Is Associated With Dopaminergic Improvement in Parkinson’s Disease, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics. doi.org/10.1002/cpt.1548.
But supersonic speeds bring a slew of design challenges. For one thing, unsteady air-flow patterns can generate aircraft panel-damaging shock waves. Engineers must put safety first, but they also want to keep structures as light as possible to maintain energy efficiency that cuts fuel costs.Researchers hope to understand what causes these erratic flows by modeling strategies for preventing or eliminating them. “It was not possible until the last few years to really simulate this kind of unsteadiness because we lacked the computing power,” says Jonathan Poggie, an associate professor with Purdue University’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics.But with support from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) INCITE program (Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment), Poggie and his Air Force Research Laboratory collaborators have tackled these turbulent systems. Their INCITE allocation includes 200 million processor hours on the Mira IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer at Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, a DOE Office of Science user facility.As an airplane wing moves through the atmosphere, gases flow around it. When air movement is smooth around the plane’s contours, it’s called attached flow. Drag is low, Poggie notes, and the craft is easy to control.But aircraft can undergo separated flow, particularly at supersonic speeds. This happens when air moving along the surface detaches and forms a vortex, a complicated, unsteady three-dimensional flow pattern. These fluctuations sometimes occur at a low frequency that can resonate with aircraft panels. Supersonic speeds can generate shock waves that repeatedly hammer an airplane’s structure. “There’s a very serious problem when you get this type of separation in that it causes incredible flow fluctuations,” Poggie says.The problem isn’t unique to the fastest military jets. Supersonic flow can form around even a commercial jet, such as a 747 flying at 85 percent of the speed of sound. “We’d like to be able to predict that, control it and improve the situation on airplanes,” Poggie says. Explore further A simulation of supersonic turbulent flow on a ramp. Sharp lines show shock waves; irregular, smudged boundaries represent turbulent flow. Credit: Jonathan Poggie, Purdue University. Citation: Engineers turn to Argonne’s Mira supercomputer to study supersonic turbulence (2018, June 25) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-argonne-mira-supercomputer-supersonic-turbulence.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The view from inside supersonic combustion Like other fluid-dynamics problems, separation unsteadiness presents big computational challenges. Tiny turbulent eddies might measure fractions of a millimeter and last only thousandths of a second while aircraft-size flow structures – up to 10 meters – might last a second or more. “To fully capture turbulence,” Poggie says, “we need to capture both scales.”As the proportions increase, computational intensity also grows. Calculating turbulence on a lab bench might require only a desktop computer. Move up to a 747, Poggie says, and it was impossible until recently to resolve all the scales.With their INCITE allotment, Poggie and his team initially modeled a classic separation case, using a ramp-like structure with a moderate incline and an area resembling a wing flap. The simulation offered a comparison to wind tunnel experiments that test flows around an airplane wing.To tackle the problem, the team first had to optimize algorithms to efficiently handle large quantities of information in parallel on multiple processors. “We were dealing with terabytes of data rather than gigabytes,” Poggie says.With the new code, graduate student Kevin Porter could examine flow as the separation bubble moved. The simulations revealed patterns that occur just before separation. The low-frequency unsteadiness – with features about the same size as the aircraft – was connected to incoming flow-related events. We now have a clue as to why low frequency unsteadiness occurs, Poggie says. That knowledge could allow them to control the behavior.But they realized that the simplified ramp also was misleading, even in tests. A wind tunnel has sides, Poggie notes, and vortices form in the corners. Researchers had wondered if those vortices were important; they do appear to be.Such a vortex can slow the flow, even to subsonic speeds. Crossing that critical threshold alters sound-wave movement. At supersonic speeds, sound waves flow downstream only, but subsonic sound can travel upstream or downstream. That situation also creates disturbances and unsteadiness in the flow.Researchers have developed two models of how turbulence interacts with separation unsteadiness, Poggie says. In one scenario the flow itself can be an oscillator, excited by fluctuations that grow. In another scenario, the flow amplifies constant incoming fluctuations but can’t oscillate on its own. “It turns out that in the last few years we’ve found that there’s a combination of those two effects,” Poggie says.Their work is now teasing out when each individual situation is important, which will be critical for controlling these disturbances. For amplifiers, adding disturbances would only make the situation worse, Poggie says. But with oscillators, they could incorporate actuators or actuator arrays to counteract the flows that excite the disturbance.The group plans to also model the separation flows around a more complex shape: a fin that mimics an airplane’s tail, he says. “A fin calculation will give us a contrasting flow that will have a subtly different behavior.” Provided by US Department of Energy Aviation’s frontier is supersonic. The military is seeking ever-faster aircraft, planes that can fly five times the speed of sound. Fifteen years after the Concorde’s last transatlantic flight, Japan Airlines and the Virgin Group are investing in jets that could slash overseas travel time by more than half.
In 1993, Cope released the Bach-inspired Bach by Design album using EMI. EMI’s music has mostly been appreciated on technical instead of artistic merit. At that point, it seemed AI music functioned best with predictable parameters, like the predominantly rules-based music format of Bach’s fugues. Because of Cope’s pioneering experiments, AI has had success producing fugues that can pass as human-created, but that could partly be explained by a lack of familiarity with Bach’s music by those who are tasked with identifying the human vs. computer creator. Kyrie Kristmanson talking about her collaboration, ‘In the House of Poetry,’ with Skygge. Similarly, the eeriness of “In the House of Poetry” is undeniable, and enhanced by the ethereal voice of Kyrie Kristmanson. Flow-Machines took the familiar and translated it into something on the edges of the uncanny. Yet, at the same time, it is catchy. Skygge says they specialize in earworms —songs that stick in your head, becoming undeniably familiar, in spite of their initial unfamiliarity. A new era of music productionAs AI-collaborated pop music becomes more commonplace, it will challenge us as producers and listeners. The question will become much less about whether AI will take the jobs of musicians but more about how, or if, our tastes will evolve as quickly as the production technologies develop. Technologies such as Auto-Tune challenged many people’s definitions of authenticity and humanity in music. Debates surrounding computational creativity, including AI music, take this a step further to challenge the assumption that creativity and music are something inherently “human.” AI will create a new era of music production, or at the very least, new musical styles. Skygge co-producer Carré said: “At the beginning, a lot of people were afraid that the pianist and the drummers will be replaced, but it never happens this way…It’s humans that find the ways to use [tech] to make interesting things.” We live in a culture of storytelling, not just in the lyrics and music, but also through the artists themselves. The production of these stories may change, but our engagement with them will not. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Bach style choral by EMI, created by David Cope. AI produced musicSkygge was not the first to produce AI pop music. Dadabots (led by producer Zack Zukowski and technologist CJ Carr), released an album for the heavy metal band, Krallice, last year. The result, Coditany of Timeness, was the first neural-network-created heavy metal album. AI music has existed in classical music styles for much longer. For example, researcher and musician David Cope explored algorithmic composition in the 1980s with the creation of his Experiments in Musical Intelligence (EMI) program. Others have been exploring using AI to “compose Bach” since 1958. Explore further Citation: AI’s first pop album ushers in a new musical era (2018, October 3) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-ai-album-ushers-musical-era.html ‘Earworm melodies with strange aspects’ – what happens when AI makes music A promotional photo for the release of Skygge’s first album ‘Hello World.’ Credit: Jean Francois Robert, CC BY-SA Last December, the world ushered in a new era of popular music: human and artificial intelligence (AI) collaboration. Flow Machines for ‘Hello World’ by Skygge. But Skygge is the first pop music collaboration between human and AI producers. Challenges exist when using AI technologies to create both classical and pop music styles. The mainstream familiarity of pop music, however, means that it is more difficult to “fool” listeners. The success of most pop artists relies not only on their musical talents but also their ability to craft stories and make connections with their listeners on a personal level. Listeners become invested in the storytelling, and the extra musical elements that make pop music “pop.” Statistical models generally lack these features, even though the music itself is created from preexisting, human-created works.’Hello World’For Hello World, each contributing Skygge artist and producer interpreted the Hans Christian Andersen fable within a chosen genre and worked in conjunction with the AI technology. Skygge was funded by a European Research Council grant to explore AI in pop music production. To do so, they used Sony’s Flow-Machines tools. Musical eras are often defined by their dominant modes of production—analog, electronic, digital—each bringing about new styles and ways of listening. This era is marked by the release of the first AI-human collaborated album, Hello World, by the music collaborative Skygge. Skygge, led by composer and producer Benoît Carré and musician and tech researcher François Pachet, translates to “shadow” in Danish and was inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen story of the same name. We now know that algorithms can learn human bias, but can they also create highly creative and emotionally engaging music? Although AI algorithms lack back stories and a creative process—the very things that often draw us into a piece of pop music —they make up for it with their ability to generate the unfamiliar and novel. Instead of finding inspiration in the social and musical experiences of one person’s life, AI draws on the outputs of thousands of lives. AI interprets these outputs as data, and can offer new melodies, instrumentations and other musical elements, based on statistical probabilities in a data-set. Provided by The Conversation Skygge featuring Kiesza, ‘Hello Shadow’ Instead of using neural networks, as done in Google DeepMind’s Deep Dream Generator, Flow Machines uses a probability equation, known as Markov chains to create catchy tracks. Neural networks require a substantial amount of information to produce an outcome, while Markov chains have the advantage of being able to produce statistical models from much smaller databases. Based on the information imputed and based on previously recorded music, Flow-Machines suggests melodies, accompaniments and instrumentation. Producers can accept, reject and alter these suggestions to create their AI-human collaboration. ‘Different than anything I’ve ever heard’Using AI as a pop music collaborator has the potential to push the boundaries of familiarity into new territories. Novelty is often what shifts a song from being merely popular to genre-defining. The unfamiliar is easy to find on Skygge. Pop-singer Kiesza, one of the contributors to Hello World, created the melody for her track “Hello Shadow” using Flow-Machines. Kiesza said: “This melody sounded different from anything that I’d actually ever heard…I loved it from the beginning….Even though it’s still really haunting…it’s still really catchy.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.