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Potential diabetes treatment advances

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first_imgResearchers at MIT’s David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, in collaboration with scientists at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) and several other institutions, have developed an implantable device that in mice shielded insulin-producing beta cells from immune system attack for six months — a substantial proportion of life span.This bioengineering work by professors Daniel G. Anderson and Robert S. Langer brings the promise of a possible cure for type 1 diabetes within striking distance of phase 1 clinical trials, providing a way to implant in diabetics insulin-producing beta cells developed from stem cells in the laboratory of HSCI co-director Doug Melton.“This report is an important step forward, in an animal model, because it shows that there may be a way to overcome one of the major hurdles that have stood in the way of a cure for type 1 diabetes,” said Melton, Harvard’s Xander University Professor and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. “Now, thanks to the outstanding work of Dan Anderson and Bob Langer at MIT, Gordon Weir at the Joslin Diabetes Center and HSCI, and Dale Greiner at the University of Massachusetts, and our other essential collaborators, we have stem cell-derived beta cells that can provide insulin in a device that appears capable of protecting them from immune attack.”The work was published online Monday in papers in two journals, Nature Medicine and Nature Biotechnology. Anderson said that he and his colleagues report in the latter paper that when implanted without cells in primates, the new device proved to be “biocompatible for six or eight months, without provoking an inflammatory response” or any other ill effect.“We are excited by this new technology and are working hard to advance it to the clinic,” said Anderson, the Samuel A. Goldblith Professor of Applied Biology at MIT. “These papers represent seven or eight years of work” at MIT, he said, adding that “we started working with Doug a few years ago when he began producing beta cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESC).”“We are excited by this new technology and are working hard to advance it to the clinic,” said Daniel Anderson, the Samuel A. Goldblith Professor of Applied Biology at MIT.The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which along with The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust supported the MIT research, estimates that up to 3 million Americans suffer from type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system kills off the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Daily injections of insulin are the primary treatment, but are only partially successful in regulating patients’ metabolism.When beta cells are functioning normally, they are part of an exquisitely fine-tuned system, providing precisely the amount of insulin the body needs. Injections cannot come close to mimicking the body’s own insulin-production system, however, and as a result patients can develop complications ranging from blindness to heart disease to loss of limbs. Type 1 diabetes causes or contributes to hundreds of thousands of deaths annually.It is believed that if implanted beta cells could be shielded from immune attack, and would respond to the body’s own signals for insulin, they would be likely to eliminate most, or even all, the complications of the disease, and would, in effect, serve as a cure.Some patients with type 2 diabetes, which has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and around the globe, also become insulin dependent, and might benefit from the implantation of stem cell-derived beta cells.last_img read more

Chelsea’s player wage bill has overtaken both Manchester clubs

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first_imgChelsea have returned to the top of at least one Premier League table after annual figures revealed they have overtaken both Manchester clubs in terms of salaries paid to players. Press Association The 2014-15 figures, which have been made available on Companies House, show that Chelsea are the biggest payers in the top flight once more after losing that position to Manchester City in the 2011-12 season. The club, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, reported a total wage bill for last season rose to £215.6milion, up £25million. center_img The salary bill for their leading rivals last season saw Manchester United’s at £203million, Manchester City’s at £193.5million and Arsenal paying out £192.2million on wages. Both Manchester clubs reported a drop in overall wages last season. Chelsea announced in November the club had made a net loss of £23.1million on turnover of £314.3million – down £5.1million – but said they were well within the boundaries for complying with UEFA’s financial fair play regulations. The full annual figures reveal however that the club made a £42million profit on players trading, through selling Romelu Lukaku, Andre Schurrle and Ryan Bertrand – and despite bringing in Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa. In the 2013-14 season Chelsea made a £65million profit in player trading. The accounts also show that Abramovich injected funding to Chelsea via the club’s parent company to the tune of £46.7million last season, and £57.1million the previous year. The accounts state: “However.. part of the debt has been converted into equity during the year via the allotment of ordinary shares.” last_img read more

€10,000 to be won in Donegal Enterprise Awards

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first_imgA total prize fund of €10,000 and a chance to compete in the national finals is up for grabs for Donegal businesses in this year’s Donegal Enterprise Awards, and entries to the competition are now open.The competition is open to all business sectors in Donegal that employ less than 50 full-time staff with awards in eight separate categories this year.Awards will be presented for Best Established Business (over 18 months trading) with a runner-up in that category as well. There will also be a winner and runner-up in the Best Start-Up Award, while awards will also be presented for Best Donegal Export Enterprise, Best Donegal Enterprise Innovation and also for Food Coast and Creative Coast categories.Businesses who enter must have been in receipt of direct Local Enterprise Office supports under one or more of the following interventions: Grant aid; Mentoring Programme; Trading Online Voucher Scheme; Participation on LEO Training Programmes; MicroFinance Ireland Scheme.Previous competitors have insisted that it’s not just the prize fund – but the positive spin-off from being short-listed that has really paid dividends for their businesses – and Head of Enterprise in Donegal, Michael Tunney, says he hopes businesses in the county will get their entries in before the deadline on Monday 11th November.“We have really simplified the process and I would urge businesses in the county to take the opportunity to let people know that they can and do have successful businesses, right here in Donegal. “As a county, our economy is dominated by small and micro-businesses. The contribution of these businesses and these awards can highlight the important role they play in providing employment and contributing to the sustainability of their local communities,” Mr Tunney said.Explaining that the Donegal Business Awards are part of the National Enterprise Awards scheme, Mr Tunney maintained they would celebrate the achievements and recognise the success stories of small business owners.“The Donegal Enterprise Awards celebrate the diversity and strength of the small business community in Donegal and the role they play in our local community.“The awards have been the highlight of the business calendar in Donegal for over 20 years and we’re hoping that businesses operating in the county will have faith in themselves to put their best foot forward to enter the competition”  Mr. Tunney added.To enter, applicants must submit a soft copy of a simple application form and a recent set of financial statements before the closing date of 12pm on Monday 11th November Forms are available to download from www.localenterprise.ie/donegal and completed applications should be e.mailed to [email protected] before 12 noon on Monday 11th November 2019.Hard copies of applications can be delivered to the Local Enterprise Office Donegal, Donegal County Council, Enterprise Fund Business Centre, Ballyraine, Letterkenny by the closing date and time.For more information call the Local Enterprise Office 074-9160735 or visit the Local Enterprise website www.localenterprise.ie/donegal€10,000 to be won in Donegal Enterprise Awards was last modified: October 30th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Crawford’s Gold Glove streak snapped at three, Posey edged out

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first_imgClick HERE if you’re unable to view the gallery on your mobile device.SAN FRANCISCO–Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford is widely regarded as one of the best defensive players in all of baseball.But for the first time since 2014, Crawford did not receive the honor of being named the best defender at his position.The 2018 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winners were announced Sunday and neither Crawford nor teammate and fellow Gold Glove finalist Buster Posey took home any hardware. Arizona …last_img read more

New Subscription Service Tightens Apple’s Control Over Content

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first_imgTags:#Apple#NYT#web audrey watters Yesterday’s launch of The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s iPad-only newspaper, marked the introduction of Apple’s new subscription model – a way for publishers to offer renewable subscriptions to their app-based content. And while Apple is heralding the move as a way for publishers to get more customers, some are uneasy about the company’s efforts to channel all billing and delivery through its iTunes marketplace.The concern comes, in part, as a response to news on Tuesday that Apple had rejected Sony’s e-reader app as it allowed users to buy as well as read books from the Sony Reader store. That rejection caused immediate speculation (verging on panic) that this would have huge ramifications for other apps that do something similar – namely, the Amazon Kindle app, the Netflix app, the Barnes & Noble Nook app, and so on.Apple responded to the outcry, saying that “nothing had changed” in its Terms of Service. But whether it’s the spirit or the letter of the law, clearly things have, if only with the introduction of this new subscription offering.The Wall Street Journal reports that publishers have been notified that by March 31, “newspaper and magazine apps that don’t take payments through the iTunes store will be rejected.”Apple traditionally takes a 30% cut from developers’ app sales, but it’s not known what the company’s share of subscription revenues would be. For its part, Apple contends that by managing the billing, it will help publishers sell more content. Indeed, many publishers have long lobbied for Apple to add the subscription feature as it will improve delivery over the current system, which until now has forced users to buy a new app for each new “issue.” And as sales of digital magazines have been less than stellar, a better billing and delivery system may not be a bad thing.That is, of course, unless you’re a publisher who’s built your business model on selling digital content through your own website, rather than via the iTunes store. Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Governor-General Reads Proclamation to Launch JCCF 75th Anniversary

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first_img Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has praised the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force (JCCF) for its sustained contribution to national development over the organisation’s 75 years of existence. “Our nation is cognisant of the tremendous contribution that the JCCF has made in the continued development of model citizens who are ready to take their place in society and contribute positively to the development of our country,” he said. Story Highlights The Governor-General was speaking following the reading of a Proclamation at King’s House on Thursday (November 1), to launch the JCCF’s year-long 75th anniversary celebrations, which will run from November 1, 2018 to November 1, 2019. Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has praised the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force (JCCF) for its sustained contribution to national development over the organisation’s 75 years of existence.“Our nation is cognizant of the tremendous contribution that the JCCF has made in the continued development of model citizens who are ready to take their place in society and contribute positively to the development of our country,” he said.The Governor-General was speaking following the reading of a Proclamation at King’s House on Thursday (November 1), to launch the JCCF’s year-long 75th anniversary celebrations, which will run from November 1, 2018 to November 1, 2019.The Governor-General noted that the JCCF has recognised its pivotal role as an avenue for young persons of secondary-school age to “develop the spirit of citizenship, competence and leadership, and life skills to instill in our young people the idea of service to their fellow cadets, community, school, firm and country”.He urged Jamaicans to celebrate and embrace the organisation’s objectives during the celebrations.“The JCCF must be recognised and supported, as it holds a membership of over 3,000 young persons currently being trained in leadership, music, engineering, aeronautics, first aid, land and sea navigation, with an effort to assist Jamaicans to achieve their true potential and to aid in the development of this nation,” the Governor-General implored.Chief of Defense Staff, Jamaica Defense Force (JDF), Major General Rocky Meade, who also spoke at the brief ceremony, expressed similar sentiments.“The challenges facing Jamaica today require every citizen and organisation to play their role to ensure sustainability; and the JCCF is to be commended for continuing to prepare our young people with life lessons necessary to become productive members of society and future leaders,” he said.Activities marking the milestone celebrations include a Proclamation run throughout the year in 12 parishes where the decree will be read in churches.Additionally, 75th-anniversary medals will be presented to persons who have served in the JCCF for several years.The first medal was awarded to Colonel Woodburn Miller during Thursday’s Proclamation ceremony.last_img read more

No Team Can Beat the Draft

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Fluctuations happen all the time around the red line, which represents a smoothed average value for each pick slot based on the typical NFL performance of players drafted there. Players routinely play better — and worse — than these long-term averages. But teams can’t regularly predict which prospects will outperform or underperform relative to where they were drafted.If teams showed any consistency in their ability to out-draft the market, it would show up in these deviations. But, as Chase Stuart of FootballPerspective.com has also found, there’s practically no correlation6The correlation I found in team year-to-year aggregate draft performance (so total value, not on a per-pick basis) was 0.06; on a per-pick basis that correlation was 0.02. between a team’s picking performance from one draft to the next.Perhaps limiting ourselves to the team level isn’t quite the best way to look at draft returns. After all, this is as much (or more) a question of the predictive powers of individual decision-makers, and teams can churn through those folks rather quickly. We wouldn’t want to hold it against one general manager that his predecessor made poor selections.Luckily, Pro-Football-Reference.com keeps an executives database,7Much of which I personally hand-entered. which allows us to isolate the draft decisions of individual general managers. This means we can perform the same test at the GM level as well — and, once again, there’s virtually no relationship8A correlation coefficient of 0.03. between how well a GM drafts, relative to average, from one year to the next.Even if we look at executives’ drafts in three-year segments — which is, by definition, conditional on a GM retaining his job for six seasons (an eternity in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world of the NFL) — the relationship between drafting performance from one three-year span and the next is weak9A correlation of 0.24. at best.While some veteran general managers were able to sustain positive returns above average over six or more years, even theirs were not unqualified success stories. Along with former Green Bay Packers GM Ron Wolf, ex-San Diego Chargers GM A.J. Smith and ex-Indianapolis Colts GM Bill Polian were the three best drafting executives in our data set on a per-pick basis.10Minimum six years as an NFL GM. But as Pro-Football-Reference’s Stuart notes, despite Smith and Polian’s track records, both were fired from their posts after a series of poor drafts.In fact, Polian and Smith merely might have been examples of what’s called the “Wyatt Earp Effect.” It’s named for 19th-century gunslinger, whose fame came from the seeming improbability of an individual surviving countless consecutive gunfights. Any feat seems improbable in hindsight from the perspective of the people involved, but given the volume of gunfights in the Old West, the odds were actually pretty high that someone would make it through a large number of battles unscathed, simply by chance alone.Likewise, even over a half-decade or more, some GMs would appear to beat average by chance alone. But as we saw with Polian and Smith, eventually that luck runs out.All of this means that the NFL draft’s mechanism for sorting players is largely an efficient system, in the sense that none of its individual actors have the ability to “beat the market” in the long run. Some do see short-term deviations from the mean, but those prove unsustainable over larger samples. The implication is that much of what each team gets from its draft picks — the very entryway to the league for almost every NFL player — is determined by pure chance.This doesn’t have to be a knock on the NFL’s talent evaluators. The author Michael Mauboussin has written about what he calls the “Paradox of Skill,” a counterintuitive theory that states that as the aggregate skill level of a market’s participants increases, the proportion of outcomes attributable to luck also increases. Put another way, the smaller the variation in skill between competitors, the more opportunity for randomness to be a differentiating factor. By this reading, NFL general managers are the victims of their own obsessive pre-draft preparations — their skill level has increased so much that only the effects of chance remain.But there’s another interpretation. Cade Massey and Richard Thaler’s seminal paper (PDF), “The Loser’s Curse,” argues that NFL decision-makers shouldn’t be so quick to attribute the apparent efficiency of the draft market to an abundance of picking skill. To do so is hubris.As Massey and Thaler point out, the more that teams study players and gather information about them, the more assured they become in their ability to differentiate among prospects of roughly the same talent level. This leads to overconfidence, and the tendency to make what they call “non-regressive predictions” — forecasts that don’t appropriately account for the uncertainty in projecting college players’ performance in the NFL — about the future value of potential draftees.This isn’t hard to show empirically, either. After examining 1,078 draft-pick swaps between 1983 and 2008, Massey and Thaler found that teams’ behavior when trading picks corresponds incredibly well to the famous draft-value chart popularized by former Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson.Like our earlier draft-pick value curve, Johnson’s table of draft values — or, as it’s called in NFL circles, “The Chart” — provides estimates for the relative worth of each pick. Although it’s been 15 years since Johnson last coached in the NFL, teams still rely on his chart as a guideline in the hopes of extracting equal (or better) value out of trades. It also gives us great insight into the overconfidence phenomenon Massey and Thaler wrote about. Here’s the Johnson chart, recalibrated to the same scale as Approximate Value.While the empirical chart reflects the inherent uncertainty of draft-day success (even for high picks), and tails off gradually as the draft progresses, Johnson’s chart assigns extremely large value to high picks, and slopes downward sharply after the top 10 to 20 picks — implying that the drop-off in talent between a high first-rounder and any other pick is immense.If The Chart is an accurate gauge of how teams value each draft slot, then NFL decision-makers place an incredible premium on high draft picks. But the huge disparity between the observed performance of each pick and its apparent market value supports Massey and Thaler’s hypothesis that teams are not being realistic about their own ability to differentiate among prospects.They should be. Research by TheBigLead’s Jason Lisk (then writing for Pro-Football-Reference) shows that teams with top-five picks in the draft correctly identify the player who goes on to have the best career only 10.3 percent of the time, a success rate that only gets worse as things progress deeper into the draft.11The success rate is only about 5 percent on first-round picks outside the top 10. So a team that believes it could somehow beat the market if only it controlled its own fate can end up doing more harm than good if it trades away lower picks to move up in the draft. This is especially the case if a team uses Johnson’s unrealistically optimistic chart as justification for such behavior.Similarly, Massey and Thaler point out that even if estimates of a player’s potential fluctuate around his true value in an unbiased way, the team whose evaluation is off by the most on the high side will fall victim to the “Winner’s Curse” — and draft the player at a much higher pick than he merits.These cognitive biases are working against most if not all teams, and their presence suggests that there is room to improve the drafting process, even if no team has historically demonstrated an ability to out-predict the crowd over a long period of time.Keep that in mind when you watch the draft Thursday, Friday and Saturday. While the odds are that your team won’t be able to use the proceedings as a springboard to a series of highly successful future drafts, there’s always the hope that it can improve its chances with a more rational process. And if that fails — hey, there’s always luck.Correction (May 8, 2:45 p.m.): An earlier version of this story misstated the number of picks in the NFL draft as 224. The number is in fact 256 when including the 32 compensatory picks. During this week’s NFL draft, 32 team executives will select 256 prospects in the most-hyped, most-scrutinized event of its kind. Whatever happens will make or break talent-evaluation careers, and help plot the course of each franchise over the next decade or more. And it all revolves around what is essentially a very public set of predictions.Like traders bidding for commodities and speculating on their relative worth, each pick a team makes is essentially a statement about how it expects a player’s career to turn out. Overvalue the commodity (i.e., draft a guy too early) and you end up with a bust; undervalue it and risk another team walking away with a prized prospect. Because of all of the effort and examination being poured into these predictions, the draft is a robust market that, in the aggregate, does a good job of sorting prospects from top to bottom.1The success of someone like Tom Brady, a sixth-round pick who beat the odds to have a Hall of Fame career, is the exception that proves the rule. Part of the appreciation of Brady is the tacit acknowledgement that finding such a successful player late in the draft is exceedingly rare. Yet despite so many people trying to “beat the market,” no single actor can do it consistently. Abnormal returns are likely due to luck, not skill. But that hasn’t stopped NFL executives from behaving with the confidence of traders.The efficient-market hypothesis states that — with certain caveats — markets are informationally efficient. Since any one investor theoretically operates with the same set of information as any other,2In the absence of “inside” knowledge, of course. the EMH claims that no individual can consistently achieve risk-adjusted returns in excess of the market-wide average. This conclusion, most notably proposed by University of Chicago professor Eugene Fama in the 1960s, isn’t perfect (it can’t explain speculative bubbles, for instance), but it’s a testament to the power of an ideal market.The NFL’s draft market differs slightly from the financial markets Fama analyzed. There are legal opportunities for teams to gather inside knowledge through prospect workouts and interviews, which a buyer can’t do with stocks.3Although, like financial markets, the draft does include behind-the-scenes intelligence-gathering about players’ backgrounds — the equivalent of a stock analyst writing a research report. But a large proportion of the information teams use to make their picks — tape of prospects’ college games, their college statistics, biometric data from the pre-draft combine — is available to every team. Teams, of course, differ in how they interpret this data, which is why not everybody wants the same players. That’s where teams’ scouting and, increasingly, quantitative analysis departments come in.If certain teams had superior talent-evaluation abilities then we’d expect them to achieve a greater return on their draft picks than the average team, after adjusting for where the picks were made in the draft. But if the NFL Draft follows the same general guidelines financial markets do (at least, according to the efficient-market hypothesis), there wouldn’t be much of a relationship between a team or an executive’s drafting performance4Relative to average. across multiple years’ worth of drafts.We can test this empirically. Remember when we said the NFL draft does a good job of sorting prospects? We know this because there’s a strong relationship between the performance of a player and where he was picked in the draft.5A few necessary caveats: Approximate Value is by no means a definitive measure of player value in a sport as dynamic as football. (Although, in the aggregate, groups of players who have higher AVs are better than groups with lower AVs.) Also, it’s unclear how much of the relationship between pick and performance is due to teams giving more opportunities to higher picks, possibly even to “justify” the selection. (And keeping in mind that teams have extremely strong incentives to play their best players, and that it’s unlikely a coach or executive who deliberately gives snaps to inferior players would remain employed very long.) read more

Penton Sells Three Magazines

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Baltimores Waller Gallery Focuses on Black and Brown Artists

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Horn Ok Please

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first_imgFor A few artists one medium of art isn’t enough.  They use various visual mediums to express themselves. One such artist is Puja Bahri who in her on-going exhibition Blow Horn, exhibits not only paintings but documentaries, photographs and multimedia installations.In her documentaries, she has recorded her experiences as a young woman, disguised as a man travelling in a truck on the national highways.Each of her paintings represent a rich tapestry of images and ideas inspired by her encounters during exploratory photographic voyages. Some show the struggles of people at busy intersections, on city streets or at bus stop waiting endlessly or at work. Her multi media sculptures are modeled through photographic intervention and installed with built-in video manipulation of recordings of street sounds and voices. Sounds interesting? Not to be missed we say! WHERE: Chawla Art Gallery WHEN: 1-30 Seplast_img read more