Beneficial black flies?

first_imgBlack flies vector river blindness while drinking their blood meal. A threat in sub-Saharan Africa, river blindness is a parasitic disease caused by a nematode infection. It’s not caused by nematodes themselves. A symbiont that the nematode releases when it dies triggers an inflammatory response that causes changes in the skin and chronic inflammation. Eventually, the symbionts migrate through the eyes, causing the cornea and lens to cloud and leave infected people blind. This discovery made the protein attractive as a potential drug target, possibly one to treat patients recovering from heart attacks. “In order to feed on blood, these insects have to contend with our natural defense agents against blood loss—like clotting,” he said. “Many insects use salivary injections packed with proteins to inhibit the enzymes in our bodies from reacting the way they normally would to injury.” In order for insects to earn a blood meal, they have to override the human body’s battery of defenses. Most of these insects have anticoagulants to fight off clotting, inhibitors to stop clumping of platelets and vasodilators to speed up blood flow at the bite site. “As it turns out, there are also a lot of things in saliva that modulate the immune response like inflammatory responses and downstream immune responses,” he said. “We are not rearing black fly vectors; they are not being infected with the parasite that causes river blindness; and there is no risk to the public,” he said. “These salivary factors change the environment for the parasite so it’s conceivable that knowing about this protein would allow us to target it in some way, maybe by vaccinating against it, and that would likely make it less favorable for the transmission of river blindness,” he said. What they are doing is learning more about how the disease is transmitted and how to possibly stop it. Black flies drink blood and spread disease such as river blindness—creating misery with their presence. A University of Georgia study, however, proves that the pesky insects can be useful. “Inflammation is a major source of tissue damage associated with vascular injuries,” he said. “The idea of a single factor that could both inhibit clotting and inhibit damaging inflammation responses at the same time is pretty novel and interesting.” These enzymes are able to kill bacteria, and they help drive the inflammatory response. Don Champagne, an entomology professor with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, discovered a way to use the black fly’s blood-sucking tactics for medical advancement. The results of his research were published in the journal PLoS One. “We were able to show that the salivary protein targets Xa and is a good inhibitor of clotting,” he said about his recent research. “But, it is an even better inhibitor of some enzymes involved in very early immune response—elastase and cathepsin G.” “We were expecting these to be anticoagulants, that wasn’t a surprise,” he said. “But, we were surprised to learn that the protein affected all of these other responses.” Studying black flies is easier at UGA than anywhere else, because UGA has the only black fly colony in the world. The flies in the lab aren’t the same ones who transmit the debilitating river blindness disease, but the unique resource enables important research about the transmission of river blindness. “A lot of blood feeders also vector diseases,” Champagne said. “When they are playing all of these tricks on the host in order for them to get a good blood meal, they change the conditions at the point where these pathogens go into the skin. Those changes often favor the pathogen. In an environment where normal wounding responses and defenses are inhibited, the pathogen can go in and say ‘oh, look at that—the door is wide open.” A few years ago, Champagne worked on a study transcribing the messenger RNA that codes for proteins found in the salivary secretions of the black fly. He found two proteins that looked like they could hinder clotting. Champagne determined that one of these inhibits the clotting cascade by blocking factor Xa. Clotting factors exist in the blood in an inactive state, waiting to be called into action. Because these factors work like dominos, if factor X fails to be turned on (converted to Xa) the rest of the responses stay inactivate.last_img read more

Conifers Under Pressure

first_imgAlthough Georgia has received rainfall over the past few weeks, most of the state is still in a drought. The rain has improved the situation, but whether the rainfall will continue is uncertain.Many plants have sustained damage and died as a result of the continued dry conditions in the fall. Much of the state received little or no rain from early August until December. The damage caused by long periods without rain can take months or years to develop. To complicate matters, Georgia has had a couple of abnormally wet years that have caused some root damage, making plants even more susceptible to a lack of water.Several coniferous plants are turning brown and dying. Leyland cypress trees, which are frequently planted too close together, are suffering from a fungal canker disease that is worsened by dry conditions. Symptoms start with individual branches dying, and on many trees, multiple branches begin to die, which causes the whole tree to perish. There are no fungicides available to treat the problem. Only pruning dead branches and applying water to affected trees can improve the likelihood of survival.Many Japanese cryptomeria and arborvitae trees, which grow up to 30 feet in height and have an attractive pyramidal shape, are suffering from the prolonged dry spell too. These trees die from the top down. When planted in rows, one tree may start suffering before others, leading many to speculate that the cause is a disease. Japanese cryptomeria trees are sensitive to soil water, and too much or too little can cause them to deteriorate.Pine trees can be seen dying or beginning to do so. The dry conditions have impacted them, leading to their decline. Those around rocky outcrops, such as Stone Mountain and Arabia Mountain in DeKalb County, Georgia, have the added stress of being in shallow soil and in the presence of exposed rock that enhances the stress of heat and drought.One of the most destructive insects of pines is the pine beetle. Healthy trees can repel the pest, but those that are under stress are less able to do so. Pine beetles are attracted to trees in distress. They bore into a distressed tree and begin tunneling. The insects do not feed on the wood, but instead infest the trees with a fungus that provides a food source.Once a tree becomes infested, nothing can be done other than removing it. Nearby trees can be sprayed with an insecticide that offers some level of protection, but that is no guarantee the pine beetle won’t spread. Homeowners do not have access to the specialized equipment and pesticides that tree care companies are licensed to apply. For help finding a tree care company, refer to the Georgia Arborist Association’s website at other species of landscape plants are also sustaining damage. The damage may take some time to become apparent, even if we do receive adequate amounts of rain. Applications of supplemental water may help. These plants should be watered once or twice a week, and long enough for deep penetration of the soil into the plant’s root zone. Avoid watering that only penetrates the upper inch or so of the ground as this encourages roots not to grow deep, which makes them more vulnerable to dry conditions.last_img read more

Governor Douglas to lead Vermont business delegation to Asia

first_imgRepublic of Korea (#7)Total Vermont exports to the Republic of Korea in 2008—$149 million—down 43 percent between 2007-2008Top 5 categories of VT product exported to the Republic of Korea:1. Electrical machinery & parts;2. Industrial machinery, incl. computers;3. Paper & Paperboard & Articles;4. Optics/Photonics, medical devices;5. Aircraft, Spacecraft and Parts Thereof Governor Jim Douglas announced he will lead a delegation of Vermont business leaders seeking investors for their companies, especially through the EB-5 program, on a mission to Asia in October, which will include stops in South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program gives preferential consideration for permanent resident visas to immigrants who make qualified investments in a new commercial enterprise that will create at least 10 full-time jobs.  In most areas of Vermont the required investment is only $500,000 – half the standard $1 million required in most other areas of the country.“Vermont’s economy has benefited tremendously from the investments made in our businesses through the EB-5 program,” Governor Douglas said. “This trip will allow us to showcase the opportunities for investors here in Vermont, as well as to promote general trade with these countries.”Two highly successful EB-5 projects, expansions at the Jay Peak and Sugarbush ski resorts, are expected to generate over $100 million dollars of investment in the state and create more than 1,500 Vermont jobs.“I’m looking forward to traveling with the Governor Douglas because the State of Vermont’s support is critical to establishing the credibility of this program,” said Bill Stenger, president of Jay Peak, who recently testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington. “I think we’ve only scratched the surface in terms of the potential investment that can come to Vermont as the result of this program,” Stenger added. Senator Patrick Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, has championed the EB-5 program in Washington, playing an important role in its success in Vermont.  He is pushing to make the EB-5 program permanent.“As Vermont’s economy emerges from this recession, having access to capital will be critical,” said Chris Barbieri, Director of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce’s Asia Division. “Investments from Asia can help our companies expand and add jobs.”The trip, tentatively scheduled for October 21 through November 1, will be co-hosted by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.  The itinerary is still being finalized.The three destinations are among the top 10 trade partners for Vermont.  Hong Kong was second only to Canada, with total Vermont exports to Hong Kong in 2008 of $369 million, up 7 percent from 2007.  Taiwan was sixth with $158 million in Vermont exports.  The Republic of Korea was Vermont’s seventh-largest trading partner with $149 million in exports.“We believe there is a significant potential to encourage investors in South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong to make a commitment to Vermont’s businesses,” Governor Douglas said.  “We are inviting any Vermont company looking for investors in a job-creation project to join us on this mission,” Douglas added.Interested parties can contact James Candido at the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development at (802) 828-3637 or sends e-mail).Vermont 2008 Exports To Mission DestinationsHong Kong (#2)Total Vermont exports to Hong Kong in 2008—$369 million—up 7 percent between 2007-2008Top 5 categories of product exported to Hong Kong:1. Electrical machinery & parts;2. Industrial machinery, incl. computers;3. Optics/Photonics, medical devices;4. Wood and Articles of Wood5. Precious metals, jewelryTaiwan (#6 )Total Vermont exports to Taiwan in 2008—$158 million—down 20 percent between 2007-2008Top 5 categories of VT product exported to Taiwan:1. Electrical machinery & parts;2. Industrial machinery, incl. computers;3. Optics/Photonics, medical devices;4. Plastics And Articles Thereof;5. Vehicles, Except Railway Or Tramway, And Partslast_img read more

SDG takes spec option at Bishopsgate

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Thames Valley occupiers demand flexible leasing

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AP Pension expands alternatives team as real estate deals pile up

first_img“We are involved in construction projects worth more than €250m, and the possible pipeline is of the same size.”Most of this current real estate investment is in the residential sector, located mainly in Copenhagen and Aarhus.“The key focus for the alternative strategy is to be close to the investment,” Dal Thomsen said.“With the current activity, and the future plan, we simply need more hands.”AP Pension said its strategy was to increase its investments in alternative investments – credit, real assets, private equities and opportunistic investments – over the coming year.In the job advertisement, the fund said it believed that, to implement this strategy successfully, it needed to be an active owner of these investments.For this reason, it said, it wants to increase resources in this area.AP Pension has also taken on a new CIO in the last few months.Ralf Magnussen was appointed by the pension fund at the beginning of September to become CIO, replacing Erik Hallarth, who had been hired by PFA Pension to become its chief portfolio manager.Magnussen came to AP Pension from Lægernes Pensionskasse, the Danish doctors’ pension fund. Denmark’s AP Pension, the DKK103bn (€13.8bn) mutually owned pensions provider, is expanding its investment team for alternatives to meet greater staffing needs for its current property investment activity, as well as future plans.The pension fund is searching for someone to fill the newly created role of senior portfolio manager for alternatives.Peter Olsson, previously AP Pension’s head of property investments, has now been promoted to the position of managing director of the pension fund’s property unit, AP Ejendomme, the pension fund said.Søren Dal Thomsen, chief executive of AP Pension, told IPE: “At AP Ejendomme, there are now a lot of projects either running or about to run, and therefore we need more hands.last_img read more

Clubs ‘tremble’ when Real, Barca come calling, says Guardiola

first_img Loading… Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says clubs “tremble” when Real Madrid or Barcelona come calling after Raheem Sterling created a stir by expressing his admiration for Real.Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Real Madrid and Barcelona are giants of the gameThe 25-year-old England international, who is under contract at the Etihad until 2023, described the 13-time European champions as a “fantastic club” in an interview with Madrid-based sports daily AS.The forward was photographed with a City shirt on one shoulder and a Madrid shirt on the other.City and Real meet in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at the Bernabeu Stadium next week, so the timing of Sterling’s interview has raised eyebrows.Sterling is one of City’s key assets and his future could be up in the air if the club fail in their appeal against a two-year ban from European competitions for breaching UEFA’s financial fair play rules.Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling Guardiola said Real and Barca, the club he used to play for and manage, were true giants of the European game.“All the clubs have to know that when Real Madrid or Barcelona knock on the door the other clubs must tremble,” he said on Friday. “They will be in a little bit of trouble.“Barcelona and Real Madrid are maybe the strongest and most powerful teams in terms of their history and how good they are. That is normal and I understand completely.”But the City manager is not concerned about Sterling’s head being turned.The player, who is recovering from a hamstring injury and is unlikely to feature in Saturday’s Premier League match at Leicester, has emerged as one of Guardiola’s key players during his four seasons in charge in Manchester.– Sterling ‘one of the best’ –“You just see the commitment from Raheem every single day when he arrives,” he said.“His commitment is there in every game, offensively and defensively, so he’s one of the best players in the world and it’s normal that big clubs see his desire for the team.“I don’t know if Madrid or Barcelona call his agent, but I don’t have any doubts about his commitment from the first day to the last day that Raheem and other ones have had and will have until the end.”Guardiola, whose second-placed side are 22 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool, has also reaffirmed his own desire to remain at City.“I’m working with exceptional players especially, and I have the feeling that they follow us 100 percent,” he said.“I know how it’s not easy working with us and with me, but I’m happy. When I move on it’s always because I am thinking I can be happier than the place that I was before. That is the only reason.”Despite a potential two years without Champions League football, Guardiola said he was content in Manchester and would talk to owner Khaldoon Al Mubarak about extending his contract, which runs out after next season.Read Also: Platini considers return to football after ban“I feel I am with a club where we have incredible owners and a good relationship,” said the Catalan.“I think it will not be a problem to understand both sides if we decide to stay three more years, or stay in the time we are together.“With Khaldoon, we are going to talk at the end of the season or in the middle of next season and we will see.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Promoted Content7 Universities In The World Where Education Costs Too Much23 Marvel Heroes Reimagined By CaricaturistContemplate Life At These 10 Stargazing Locations5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A DroneTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The World11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table Top5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksThe Highest Paid Football Players In The WorldWe’re Getting More Game Of Thrones: Enter House Of The Dragon!These TV Characters Proved That Any 2 People Can Bury The Hatchetlast_img read more

October 24, 2018 Police Blotter

first_imgOctober 24, 2018 Police Blotter102418 Decatur County Fire Report102418 Decatur County EMS Report102418 Decatur County Jail Report102418 Decatur County Law Report102418 Batesville Police Blotterlast_img

Pochettino salutes Eriksen impact

first_imgTottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino hailed Christian Eriksen’s “big, big potential” after the Dane’s late winner sealed a 2-1 victory against Sunderland. “It was a quick action, maybe the referee was focusing on another part of the game, sometimes it happens to me. “It was difficult though because it was 2-1 and it could have decided the game. Maybe I can be in a different mood about it now.” Pochettino added: “Jan is upset because he does not have many opportunities to score and the action was like that of a striker. “It is difficult to understand why, but we are all human and we can all make mistakes.” Tottenham have earned 10 points this season with goals in the 88th minute or later and Pochettino believes those returns are down to his players’ fitness and never-say-die mentality. “Our fitness is very good,” Pochettino said. “The club believes that is very important – the sports science and medical staff have done a great job so far. “And also our mentality. In football you always need to believe. You need to be strong in your mind and you have to always believe it is possible to win the game.” Eriksen’s decisive contribution ensured an unhappy return to White Hart Lane for Defoe, who had previously scored on each of his club debuts. Defoe struggled to make an impact against his former club before being substituted in the 74th minute, although the 32-year-old could have won a penalty when he tumbled over Vertonghen’s planted leg in the first half. “He started brightly, he was sharp,” Sunderland manager Gus Poyet said. “If he got the penalty and he scores we’re talking about a great debut. “The referee, though, didn’t see what everybody else saw clearly. “He was looking for his chance and I played him a bit longer than expected. “He will get better and better and when he gets that first chance he will put the ball in the back of the net. “It was a good start and a great place for him to start playing for us.” Sunderland remain 16th in the table, one point above 18th-placed Hull, who play West Ham on Sunday. “When the winning goal is so late, it hurts,” Poyet added. “But it is part of football, you have to be good until the last minute, not the 88th or the 89th.” It was the 22-year-old’s eighth goal in the Barclays Premier League this season. “I am happy for Christian,” Pochettino said. “He is still young, but he has big, big potential. He improves every day. I am happy for his performance. “His contribution is clear. I am happy because he is a very good guy, a good professional and a great player.” Tottenham, who climbed to fifth, should have had a third goal in injury-time, but Vertonghen’s effort was wrongly ruled out for offside. Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon had gone up for a corner and, as Tottenham broke with speed, Vertonghen was still in his own half when the ball was played to him. “I think the referee and the linesman were a little bit confused about the rule,” Pochettino said. “When the pass went to Jan, it was before he had got into the opponents’ half. Press Association Jan Vertonghen’s deflected shot gave the hosts a third-minute lead, but the visitors equalised through Sebastian Larsson’s superb free-kick, won by former Spurs man Jermain Defoe on his Black Cats debut. Larsson’s strike looked to have earned the Black Cats a valuable point, but Eriksen added a late twist when his placed shot from edge of the area went in off a post with two minutes remaining. last_img read more

Stephen Robinson wants Motherwell to match Northern Ireland’s feel-good factor

first_img Press Association Stephen Robinson believes he can help Motherwell prosper this season by sharing the secrets of Northern Ireland’s success. Robinson admits New Douglas Park has not been a happy hunting ground for him so far and he is looking for a big improvement. He said: “In my time here so far, the most disappointing game was probably the one away to Hamilton last year. “We took a lot of fans with us and we didn’t perform as well as we know we can do in the second half. “We know how important it is to the fans and to the players. “We’ve had them watched and we know what kind of team they are. They are a big, physical, strong team – and we aim to match them.” And Robinson feels Motherwell could benefit from picking up a few tips and hints from his own national team. He said: “We have a real structure to how we play with Michael O’Neill and we are very good defensively. “We don’t give a lot of goals away and we are very organised. We’ve got pace up front and we hit people on the break at times. “Definitely, I think a lot of things can be learned from that. “We are sitting top of the group so there are definitely a lot of good things we can take into what’s happening here. “There is a feel-good factor with Northern Ireland at the moment and, when you have that around you, things seem to happen for you. “People work harder, they want to be involved, and that’s what we are trying to create here at Motherwell, too.” Next up for Motherwell is Saturday’s visit to local rivals Hamilton. He has had a campaign of mixed fortunes so far in his dual roles as assistant boss at Fir Park and first-team coach with his country. While Northern Ireland are riding high at the top of their Euro 2016 qualifying group, Well have yet to really hit their stride in the Ladbrokes Premiership this term. last_img read more