Invasive plants could become even more prevalent and destructive as climate change continues, according to a new analysis of data stretching back more than 150 years.Writing in the journal PLoS ONE, the Harvard University scientists who conducted the study say that nonnative plants, and especially invasive species, appear to thrive during times of climate change because they’re better able to adjust the timing of annual activities such as flowering and fruiting.“These results demonstrate for the first time that climate change likely plays a direct role in promoting nonnative species’ success,” says author Charles C. Davis, assistant professor in Harvard’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. “Secondly, they highlight the importance of flowering time as a trait that may facilitate the success of nonnative species. This kind of information could be very useful for predicting the success of future invaders.”Davis and his colleagues analyzed a data set that began with Henry David Thoreau’s cataloging of plants around Walden Pond in the 1850s, when the famed naturalist kept meticulous notes documenting natural history, plant species occurrences, and flowering times. Since then, the mean annual temperature around Concord, Mass., has increased by 2.4 degrees Celsius, or 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit, causing some plants to shift their flowering time by as much as three weeks in response to ever-earlier spring thaws.“We set out to use this data set to examine which plants have been the beneficiaries of climate change,” Davis says. “Our research suggests quite decisively that nonnative and invasive species have been the climate change winners. Climate change will lead to an as-yet-unknown shuffling of species, and it appears that invasive species will become more dominant.”Davis and colleagues compared a plethora of plant traits — everything from height at maturity to flower diameter to seed weight — against species’ response to more than a century and a half of climate change. Alone among all these traits, plants that have fared well share a common phenology, a suite of traits related to the timing of seasonal events such as flowering, leaf growth, germination, and migration.By contrast, many plants with a less flexible flowering schedule — and thus prone to flowering at suboptimal times — have declined in population, in many cases to the point of local extinction.The current work builds on a 2008 paper by Davis and colleagues that showed that some of the plant families hit hardest by climate change at Walden Pond include beloved species like lilies, orchids, violets, roses, and dogwoods. The scientists also reported that some 27 percent of all species Thoreau recorded from 1851 to 1858 are now locally extinct, and another 36 percent are so sparse that extinction may be imminent.“Invasive species can be intensely destructive to biodiversity, ecosystem function, agriculture, and human health,” Davis says. “In the United States alone the estimated annual cost of invasive species exceeds $120 billion. Our results could help in developing predictive models to assess the threat of future invasive species, which may become greatly exacerbated in the face of continued climate change.”Davis’ co-authors on the PLoS ONE paper are Charles G. Willis of Harvard and Duke University, Brad R. Ruhfel and Jonathan B. Losos of Harvard, Richard B. Primack of Boston University, and Abraham J. Miller-Rushing of the USA National Phenology Network and the Wildlife Society. Their work was supported by Harvard University.
When humans have parasites, the organisms live in our bodies, co-opt our resources, and cause disease. However, it turns out that parasites themselves can have their own co-habitants.Researchers from Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University have found that the pathogenicity of the sexually transmitted protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis — the cause of trichomoniasis — is fueled by a viral invader. Trichomoniasis infections are more common than all bacterial sexually transmitted diseases (STD) combined. Annually, trichomoniasis affects nearly 250 million people, typically as vaginitis in women and urethritis in men.“Trichomoniasis is associated with devastating consequences for women due to inflammation and related risks of reproductive disease,” said Raina Fichorova, leader of the research team as well as associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Our future goal is to determine how the viral symbiont and its inflammatory ‘halo’ affect the risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight.”“This is only one of two incidences that we know of for which the pathogenicity of a protozoan virus has been characterized,” said Max Nibert, Harvard Medical School professor of microbiology and immunology and co-author of the paper. “When found together, the result is an increase in virulence of the protozoan parasite to the human host, leading to exacerbated disease.”This study, which was initiated by a Harvard Catalyst Pilot Grant, will be published online in Public Library of Science (PLoS) One.Rather than invading human cells, Trichomonas vaginalis attaches to their surface and feeds on them, sometimes remaining asymptomatic for a period of time. The virus, called Trichomonasvirus, infects the protozoan and increases its pathogenic power by fueling virus-specific inflammatory responses.Moreover, carrying the protozoan parasite predisposes women to acquire sexually transmitted viruses, particularly HIV and human papillomavirus, or HPV, both of which can lead to serious diseases such as AIDS and cervical cancer, respectively. Fichorova and Nibert have recently obtained funding from the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research to find out if the virus itself is directly responsible for increased HIV risk.According to Nibert, the virus-parasite symbiosis is the norm rather than the exception with this particular protozoan. Upwards of 80 percent of Trichomonas vaginalis isolates carry the virus. “Unlike flu viruses, for example, this virus can’t spread by jumping out of the cell into another one,” said Nibert, who has pioneered molecular biology work on double-stranded RNA viruses, a category that includes Trichomonasvirus. “It just spreads between cells when they divide or mate.”According to the researchers, it is this double-stranded nature of the viral genome that contributes to increased virulence of the protozoan parasite. “The double-stranded RNA seems important to the signaling process,” added Nibert.Currently, trichomoniasis is treated with the antibiotic metronidazole. But this treatment is only effective on the protozoan. “When the medication is used, the dying or stressed protozoa release unharmed virions, which then signal to the human cells,” explained Fichorova. As a result, the symptoms are aggravated, and this in turn might increase the danger trichomoniasis poses to pregnant women and their children.“Ahead is more research to better understand the viral cycle and structural features that might be vulnerable to drugs, which will lead to opening new doors for better treatment of trichomoniasis and related diseases,” said Fichorova. “Our complementary expertise, interdisciplinary team efforts, and strong collaboration is the key to our future success.”Nibert added that basic research on Trichomonas vaginalis is not nearly as supported as he thinks it should be. “It is unfortunate that a human pathogen of such worldwide significance has been neglected to such a degree,” he said.The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, a Harvard Catalyst Pilot Grant, the Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center, and the National Center for Research Resources.
Some lessons feel like a root canal, and that’s just fine A jubilant crowd celebrated a victory in a soccer stadium in Huye, Rwanda, this past fall. The fanfare wasn’t for a soccer match, but rather for the commencement ceremony at the University of Rwanda — including its first-ever graduating class of dentists.With a population of more than 12 million people and fewer than 40 registered dentists to serve them, adding 10 new graduates with bachelor’s degrees in dental surgery was a milestone for the future of the nation’s oral health.Since 2011, Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) has been a leading partner in the effort to launch the new dental school and bachelor of dental surgery degree program at the University of Rwanda.Donna Hackley, HSDM instructor in oral health policy and epidemiology, was in the crowd beaming with pride as the 10 newly minted Rwandan dentists marched past her to receive their degrees. Hackley had spent the past five years working with colleagues in Rwanda to see the achievement.“It is an incredible blessing to be part of this historic moment in Rwanda. It is some of the most challenging, enjoyable, and rewarding work I’ve ever done,” Hackley said.What it took to get there began 7½ years ago with an initiative started by Partners In Health (PIH), the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), and the Rwandan ministries of health and education. Together, the entities launched the Rwanda Human Resources for Health (HRH) Program — a program to advance medical education and improve health care delivery systems in the country.,“Given the connection of oral health to overall health, the rise of noncommunicable diseases, and the potential for preventive care to mitigate disease, it was critical that dentistry be included in the program,” said Jane Barrow, HSDM associate dean for global and community health.Barrow urged representatives from HRH to include a dental school in their plans for a world-class education system for health professionals. An extensive planning process began with representatives from HSDM, the Rwandan ministries, the dental therapy program at the Kigali Health Institute, CHAI, PIH, and the University of Maryland with the goal of launching Rwanda’s first dental school and dental surgery program.Brittany Seymour, assistant professor of oral health policy and epidemiology, accompanied Barrow on the initial HRH team visit to help make the case for a dental surgery program to the Rwandan ministers of health and education.“We were thrilled to see dentistry included in this groundbreaking project,” Seymour said. “Being the first of anything is difficult, and we faced unique challenges starting the program from scratch, but this signified a transformative moment in global health: a movement toward contextually relevant approaches and ownership, long-term sustainability, and capacity-building for oral health education and delivery systems within the Rwandan national health system.”A team of faculty and alumni served on site in Rwanda as faculty mentors and teachers, working with local colleagues to build the educational infrastructure from the ground up.“We were very fortunate to have a dedicated team of Rwandan, HSDM, and University of Maryland faculty who brought a wide range of experience and expertise to the project and who were able to contribute in all aspects, from curriculum design and mentoring to research and community outreach,” Barrow said.Brian Swann, assistant professor of oral health policy and epidemiology, was one of the early volunteers who served six months in Rwanda.“I wanted be in the first wave of volunteers in order to better appreciate the culture of the people we were to serve,” Swann said. “Cultural sensitivity is vital. Together both teams had to learn how to best communicate in a way that was accurate. I also wanted people to know that we were in this program to stay and that we believed they had capacity to sustain their program.”,In the fall of 2013, the new school welcomed its inaugural class into the five-year dental surgery degree program. The students spent their first two years of training with their medical school classmates at the University of Rwanda’s School of Medicine in Huye before beginning dental training in the capital city of Kigali. They were steadfast in their desire to learn. The inaugural class adopted the nickname “The Pioneerz” and became close friends.“Some of the students had never experienced a dental visit and did not know any dentists,” Hackley said. “This was not only a new school and program, but totally new territory for them, so they truly are pioneers. They were faithful and resilient throughout the program. I’m incredibly proud of all they have achieved.”The learning curve went both ways, and faculty found they often had to keep up with the eager students.“The passion for education and desire to gain knowledge among the Rwandese students is unmatched. As a faculty member, I involved myself with the students beyond the classroom to accommodate their thirst for knowledge. As a teacher, there is nothing more joyful than being surrounded by the knowledge-seeking eager students, and Rwandese students gave me enormous joy,” said Mohammed Razzaque, visiting professor of oral health policy and epidemiology.Important work was also done outside the classroom to better understand Rwanda’s oral health needs. Last year, Hackley worked with colleagues in Rwanda and at Tufts School of Dental Medicine to plan and conduct the nation’s first oral health survey. The study found a substantial burden of oral diseases and conditions, with pediatric and adult populations having many unmet dental caries and periodontal treatment needs — underscoring the importance of greater access to dental care and the need for the new school. The results will inform workforce and delivery system planning, allow for oral health monitoring, and build research capacity.“In rural areas we need more care. People outside of town suffer a lot because of lack of care,” said Julienne Murererehe, assistant lecturer at the University of Rwanda. “Graduation is a very big achievement not only for the students and faculty, but for the whole country. It’s important for the development of oral health services in Rwanda.”HRH funding will provide ongoing support for the program for the next six years. HSDM faculty will continue to assist with curriculum delivery and provide technical and strategic support as the school shifts to its new campus.“It was hard work,” acknowledged University of Rwanda School of Dentistry Dean Chrispinus Mumena. “We have done our best and worked together with team spirit, to reach farther than any one of us could reach alone. I am very proud of our graduating students. I am also very pleased with the collaborations between our faculty and the HRH Rwanda program.”The Pioneerz have fulfilled their own dreams of becoming the first homegrown dentists prepared to serve their nation.“I’m very excited and happy for today’s graduation, it is the day I have waited for, for a long time,” said graduate Joseph Nshimiyimana. “We are going to do our best to achieve more for our country.”,Related Harvard dental students’ hands-on learning helps fill gaps in care
By Sharron HannonUniversity of GeorgiaJosef M. Broder, a faculty member and administrator in theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences for 28 years, has been named associate dean of thecollege effective Aug. 15.Incoming CAES Dean Jay Scott Angle, who will assume his own newposition on that date, made the announcement. Angle comes to UGAfrom the University of Maryland College of Agriculture andNatural Resources. He succeeds Gale A. Buchanan, who stepped downas dean last Dec. 31 and retired from UGA on April 30. Broderserved as interim dean while a national search was conducted.”Joe Broder is exceptionally responsive to the needs of studentsand has also been instrumental in building new academic programsfor the college,” Angle said. “I am delighted that he has agreedto join the college’s administrative team in this position.”Arnett C. Mace Jr., UGA senior vice president for academicaffairs and provost, praised the appointment.”Joe Broder is recognized campus-wide as a leader and a strongspokesperson for the enhancement of educational programs of theUniversity of Georgia,” he said. “I have the utmost respect forJoe and his ability to provide effective leadership for theCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, as well asthe university. He is one of the most capable faculty membersI’ve had the opportunity to work with at UGA.”Broder is a professor of agricultural and applied economics andholds the title of University Professor, which recognizes facultymembers for making a significant impact on the university.He has won many awards for teaching excellence, including UGA’sprestigious Meigs Professorship. He chairs UGA’s Teaching Academyand was a member of the Task Force on General Education andStudent Learning that spent the past year examining undergraduatelearning at UGA.Broder received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economicsfrom UGA in 1971 and joined the college faculty in 1977 afterearning master’s and doctoral degrees from Michigan StateUniversity.(Sharron Hannon is director of public relations for academicaffairs with the University of Georgia.)
According to a University of Georgia poultry specialist, if chickens eat a bit of charcoal it helps lower the amount of ammonia in their manure, which can lead to happier, healthier and more environmentally friendly chickens.Casey Ritz, a UGA Cooperative Extension poultry scientist, has been researching charcoal as an additive to poultry bedding to control ammonia levels in chicken houses for the past four years. It was working, but he thought charcoal might be able to do more from inside the chicken.“Our question was, ‘if we feed it to chickens, could we stop ammonia production before it hits the ground?’” he said. High levels of ammonia in litter can affect a chicken’s growth and performance.One group of chickens was given feed with charcoal added. Another group received normal feed without charcoal. Ritz and his colleagues then took the chicken manure and incubated it. They found a significant drop in the amount of ammonia in the manure of the chickens fed the charcoal compared to the chickens who ate regular feed, he said.The researchers were initially worried that the chickens might not eat feed with charcoal in it. Chicken feed is usually light brown. The charcoal turns it black. Fortunately, the color didn’t bother the chickens. And, thanks to the charcoal’s affect on manure color, the researchers knew without a doubt which chickens had charcoal in their diets.Charcoal is very porous, making it an excellent natural filter. It has no nutritional value for chickens, so it would only be filler in their feed. The scientists now want to see how much charcoal needs to be added to a chicken’s diet in order to be effective.“We want to have the biggest bang for the buck with added char,” Ritz said. Right now, he thinks that number is between 1 percent and 2 percent of poultry feed. He’ll conduct experiments in the next few months to figure final formulation. Better fertilizerChickens produce ammonia through their manure, also called litter. The nitrogen in the feed they eat is converted into uric acid in their intestines. When charcoal is used in the feed, the bacteria in the manure convert the uric acid into ammonium, not ammonia. This makes the litter less odorous or harmful, and can make it a better nitrogen fertilizer for crops, too.“Chicken litter is a great fertilizer,” Ritz said. “But if we can enhance it a little bit, we’d make it even better. Chicken litter, from a volume standpoint, is only about 3 percent nitrogen. If we could enhance it a couple of percentage points, it would be a big deal.”Air qualityAmmonia dissipates quickly into the air. The human nose detects ammonia between 5 and 50 parts per million. “We can’t even get 5 parts per million very far outside of a chicken house,” he said. In other words, unless someone is standing inside a poultry house, it isn’t the ammonia that sinks; it’s other odors. Ammonia is not on the list of the Environmental Protection Agency’s six top air pollutants. But lowering it can help overall air quality. “When it really comes down to it, we need to stop ammonia before it’s made instead of trying to mitigate it after it is emitted,” Ritz said. “I think this is one of the strategies that has a good chance of success.”Next stepsNext, Ritz and his colleagues want to make the charcoal feed additive affordable for poultry producers and find companies that will produce and sell it as a poultry additive. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture must approve the use of charcoal as a commercial poultry feed additive. The charcoal is already approved for human consumption, he said.
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The Tourist Board of Central Istria, which also presented its own new visual identity and slogan, announced a public call for nominating events for the award of grants from the program “Grants for events” in 2018.The grants are intended for events that raise the quality of the tourist offer of central Istria, contribute to the growth of the number of guests and increase consumption, especially in the pre- and post-season period, and promote central Istria as an interesting tourist destination.Support funds will be approved for the organization and implementation of: 1. cultural and entertainment events, 2. sports events, 3. environmental events, 4. other events. When selecting events, TZSI points out that the importance of tourism in central Istria and its promotion will be important, especially: the importance of the event to contribute to the enrichment of the tourist offer and extend the tourist season in central Istria, funds, promotion of the event, media coverage of the event, economic and other effects of the event.Otherwise, until 31 December 2017 in the area of TZSI, which includes the area of nine local governments (City of Pazin and the municipalities of Lupoglav, Cerovlje, Gračišće, Karojba, Pićan, Sveti Lovreč, Sveti Petar u Šumi and Tinjan), or one fifth of the Istrian County and is the only tourist board in the area in Istria, there were slightly more than 34.109 tourists and 266.124 overnight stays, which is an increase of 22% in arrivals and 23% in overnight stays compared to the previous year.The deadline for submitting a candidacy to the tourist board is 05. February 2018. years, and you can see all the conditions hereRelated news:NEW VISUAL IDENTITY OF CENTRAL ISTRIA TOURIST BOARD PRESENTEDCENTRAL ISTRIA TOURIST BOARDS MAKE JOINT BICYCLE MAPS
Private equity investment in Southeast Asia declined to US$12 billion last year after reaching a record high of $14 billion in 2017, with COVID-19 posing a risk to investment this year, a global consulting firm says.According to “Southeast Asia Private Equity Report” published by Bain & Company, last year’s private equity investment in Southeast Asia was driven by the internet and technology sector, which represented over 60 percent of all deals, especially in Indonesia.However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the global recession in 2020 will challenge private equity investment this year as investors look for ways to protect their investments and reemerge stronger after the crisis, the report said. “In preparation for this period, general partners are looking at the global financial crisis as an indicator of what to expect moving forward,” said Bain & Company partner Usman Akhtar.“During the global financial crisis, the number of funds raised in Asia Pacific countries flat-lined and were significantly smaller,” Akhtar said. “While investors are likely to remain committed to private equity during this crisis, fundraising will slow.”The report said that before COVID-19, investors regarded Southeast Asia as a challenging environment for private equity with high multiples and a lack of deal opportunities in Thailand and the Philippines.“With the current pandemic, we expect a sustained impact on the PE industry throughout the year with more companies looking for financing given the cash flow situation.”Investment recovery will depend on how long it takes to “reopen the economy” as well as what social-distancing measures are still in force, Bain said.Bain expects deal making to slow in the near term. However, the record amount of dry powder in the market will continue to serve as the driving force for ongoing investment.“Returns for private equity will likely decline sharply in short term, but new deals could have potentially good returns,” the report said. “With public markets volatile and corporates holding onto cash, private equity is well positioned to be the buyer of any asset that comes up for sale.”Topics :
‘£50m for Wan-Bissaka is a lot of money and we feel that Kieran is a far more experienced and rounded full-back at this juncture in his career.‘He’s an asset for us and we do have a value for the player and we rate the player very highly.‘So disrespectful is the wrong word but we’re certainly not going to be pushed over in any negotiations, and we’re in a very strong position with regard to a number of our assets in the team.’ Arsenal have failed with two bids for Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney (Picture: Getty)Celtic manager Neil Lennon has argued that Kieran Tierney should be worth more than Aaron Wan-Bissaka following Arsenal’s failed £25million offer for the full-back.Unai Emery, who reportedly has a measly £45m budget to spend on reinforcements, has prioritised a move for a left-back and has identified Tierney as his first-choice target.The Gunners failed with an opening £15m offer for Tierney last month and their second bid of £25m was also rejected by Celtic, with the Scottish champions driving a hard bargain 22-year-old Scotland international.Manchester United shelled out £50m on Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 21, earlier this summer and Lennon believes Tierney is ‘a far more experienced and rounded full-back’ at this stage of his career.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘We can’t do anything about what clubs do in England,’ Lennon said. Advertisement Arsenal target Kieran Tierney should cost more than Aaron Wan-Bissaka, says Celtic boss Neil Lennon Advertisement Manchester United spent £50m on Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Picture: Getty)Lennon stressed that Arsenal and Celtic were still some way from reaching an agreement for Tierney with less than a month remaining of the transfer window.‘The club’s valuation of Kieran has not been met and until then we don’t have a discussion to make,’ he said.Asked whether he expects Celtic to receive a third offer for Tierney, Lennon replied: ‘I don’t know what Arsenal’s financial state is.‘I know what ours is and we are quite comfortable with the situation at the moment.‘There has been a second bid, the bid has been rejected and it’s as you were.’ Manchester United spent £50m on Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Picture: Getty)Former Arsenal and Celtic star Charlie Nicholas believes Tierney would be a welcome addition to Unai Emery’s squad.‘I thought Kieran Tierney would want to stay at Celtic,’ Nicholas told Sky Sports.‘He’s a die-hard Celtic fan, they’ve got eight in a row wrapped up, they want to go and do nine, and I thought if Kieran really wanted it, if he does nine then he’ll want to do 10 and get in the history books.‘But the stories I’m hearing here in Glasgow is that he might be keen to move on to the bigger league. That’s really what it’s about, a bigger league‘Will it make him a better player? Probably. There is a question mark about his defensive frailties. But then again, he would be an improvement for Arsenal – there’s no doubt in my mind about that.’More: FootballBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar SolskjaerNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesNicholas added: ‘He’s power. He’s got a lot of power. The greatest Celtic full-back I ever came across was Danny McGrain and he’s the closest we’ve ever had to him.‘Danny could play right-back and left-back, but Kieran is just one-footed, his left foot. He’s got real power, real pace going forward.‘And of course in Glasgow, in Scotland, in the SPFL, that’s domination. His final ball could be a bit better, but I think it has improved.’MORE: Atletico Madrid enter the race to sign Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen Comment Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 16 Jul 2019 2:35 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link846Shares
I would guess only the old timers that read this blog remember this name. Gary Thompson grew up in Roland, Iowa, a town the size of Oldenburg. This name came to mind when Sally and I drove through Roland on our last trip to visit our daughter’s family. Roland is very close to where Sally’s aunt and uncle lived, so that is why we were in this area.When Thompson played basketball he was known as the “Roland Rocket”. He was a 5’10” guard at Iowa State. He was a senior in 1956-57. Gary was the first player to score 1,000 points for a career, 40 points in one game, and become a first-team All-American. He was the Player of the Year in the Big 7. Today it is the Big 12. That year he beat out Wilt Chamberlain for the honor.Gary later went on to play for the Philips Oil basketball team which was very common in that era. In 2006 he retired after a 34-year career in broadcasting.