Pathogens’ Defense

first_imgWhen humans get sick, our immune systems kick into high gear. To help guard against disease, people are increasingly turning to antimicrobial agents — from soaps to wipes to hand sanitizers — to help kill germs. However, scientists have found that some strains of Salmonella pathogens have developed strategies to evade damage.In work published in the January 2019 issue of the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, University of Georgia bacteriologist Govind Dev Kumar found that, when stressed, Salmonella cells formed filaments, or giant cells.These uncharacteristically long cells of Salmonella form in response to antimicrobials. Regular bacterial cells of Salmonella are usually 2 to 4 microns long (a micron is a millionth of a meter). These filament cells can be hundreds of times longer.“At first, we thought we were seeing a strand of fabric that somehow got under the microscope,” said Dev Kumar of the long strands.To understand how these filaments helped Salmonella survive in the presence of antimicrobials, Dev Kumar, and his colleagues, Dumitru Macarisin of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, Maryland, and Shirley Milcallef of the Center for Food Safety and Security Systems at the University of Maryland, used microscopy and fluorescence.“We magnify the cells many times and make them glow like a firefly,” said Dev Kumar, who joined the faculty at the Center for Food Safety (CFS) on the UGA Griffin campus in Griffin, Georgia, in September.The team specifically studied Salmonella Newport, a strain that can be traced back to the pathogen outbreaks in fresh tomatoes a few years ago, as well as outbreaks in beef products, he said.“Salmonella Newport is very diverse; it’s found in lots of environments in water, sediments and food,” Kumar said.The researchers found that when exposed to pelargonic acid — a compound naturally found in several fruit and vegetables — Salmonella Newport readily formed filaments to protect itself. The scientists realized that the filaments were made up of many tiny cells attached to each other, resulting in a “strength in numbers” strategy against antimicrobials.For the next step in this research, Dev Kumar will work with UGA CFS scientist Kevin Mis Solval to try to figure out why some sanitizers fail to kill harmful bacteria like Salmonella.“I have a full understanding of how sanitizers work,” Dev Kumar said. “Now I have to look for loopholes and develop better microbials.”In recent foodborne illness outbreaks traced back to fresh tomatoes, researchers found the acid in the tomatoes helped protect the pathogen, Kumar said. He and Mis Sloval plan to use similar fatty acids to deactivate pathogens.A native of India, Kumar says infectious diseases were a regular part of his life as a child. This led him to choose a career finding ways to “reduce the burden of foodborne disease,” said Kumar, who earned both his master’s degree and doctoral degree in food science at Virginia Tech.He completed his postdoctoral work at the University of Arizona where he focused his work on leafy green vegetables as vehicles for Salmonella. Next, he joined the University of Maryland where he studied the effect of sanitizers on foodborne pathogens. He conducted the Salmonella filaments study while he was a postdoctoral associate at the University of Maryland Department of Plant Science.To read the entire publication, “Salmonella enterica Filamentation Induced by Pelargonic Acid Is a Transient Morphotype,” go to https://aem.asm.org/content/85/2/e02191-18.last_img read more

We must stand up against hate, division

first_imgAnyone who was not sickened by the flying of the Nazi flag should be reminded over 50 million people died in World War II. Around 6 million Jews died in concentration camps and another 6 million to 8 million people died because of their race or color. If you aren’t appalled at this symbol of hate, seek help.More concerning is that our current president uses the same strategies that gave rise to Hitler: hate, division and criticism of the press. His constant lies and the apathy of the current Republican Party to remove this man from power who was elected on the politics of fear hate and change brings me great concern.So let us remember “The road to Auschwitz was built by hate, but paved with indifference.” Don’t believe it couldn’t happen here. Let us not idly stand by and watch the politics of hate destroy us.You may have voted for change, but instead you have been given hate and division. I implore all those to rethink your position and to stand against the politics of hate and party-before- country before a quote of indifference is written about us.Scott BrysonScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Recently I went and watched the “Diary of Anne Frank” presented by the Scotia Glenville Drama Club. It was an amazing performance and I can say I was moved and saddened by this play.For me it also sparked a quote I remember from years past: “The road to Auschwitz was built by hate, but paved with indifference,” by Ian Kershaw.last_img read more

Schmidt: Squad not decided yet

first_img “Obviously the guys who are involved this week get a chance at a higher level and therefore that’s an advantage over the players who play for their provinces this and next weekend. “But I’ve no doubt the level will be pretty high in those inter-provincials anyway.” Assistant coach Richie Murphy did not suggest that either Herring or Reid would be returning when confirming on Tuesday that both had left Ireland’s camp. Head coach Schmidt has been at pains to keep his training squad as wide as possible however, and moved to clarify the situation around World Cup selection calls. Ireland must name their final 31-man World Cup squad on August 31, just days before their final warm-up match against England at Twickenham on September 5. Schmidt plans to hold lengthy selection meetings next week, given Ireland are not in Test action next weekend. “We haven’t really whittled the squad down,” said Schmidt. “We’re just trying to get game-time for everyone at the moment. “This will give us a pause post the Scotland match to get the coaches together, and instead of whittling down we’ll be counting up ways to 31. “That will make some very hard decisions that will no doubt take some time, and if we can get to 31 then extend that to 36 we’ll have a better idea. “And you’ll have a better idea when we probably pick the squad to play Wales the following week b ecause the day after that we’ve got to make further decisions.” Schmidt hopes Andrew Trimble’s foot sprain will not end his World Cup hopes, expecting the Ulster wing to be fit to face Wales on Saturday, August 29. Ireland’s Kiwi boss said tighthead prop Marty Moore was “probably” ready for action this weekend, but the coaches decided not to take any risks. “Marty was probably fit to play but probably didn’t fit too well with us,” said Schmidt. “He may play next week in the Leinster-Ulster game.” Press Association Schmidt is adamant all three players have not been jettisoned entirely from his World Cup plans but, to all intents and purposes, barring injury they all look surplus to requirements. “Technically they’re not here but they haven’t left the squad,” said Schmidt of Herring, Reid and Marmion. “I’m still in contact with them. “I know that Noel (Reid) is preparing to play next weekend, against Rob Herring in the Leinster-Ulster clash. “And Kieran Marmion is down to play off the bench against Castres this weekend, and again it’s because we need players to be match-fit. “If we can’t provide all the games for them then next Friday and Saturday gives us a really good window.” Ireland host Scotland in Dublin on Saturday, with flanker Jack Conan making his Test debut and Sean O’Brien captaining the side from number eight. Some seven starters will be battling hard for their World Cup futures this weekend, but Schmidt continues to keep his squad, and everyone else, guessing. “We knew that those guys weren’t going to be involved in this week but it doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be involved in the Welsh week,” said Schmidt. Rob Herring and Noel Reid left Ireland’s training camp earlier this week, and will feature in the Ulster-Leinster pre-season clash on Friday, August 21. Scrum-half Kieran Marmion has now been released too, to appear in Connacht’s pre-season battle against Castres this Friday night. Ireland coach Joe Schmidt insists he has not yet made any hard and fast cuts to his World Cup training squad, despite discarding three players this week.last_img read more

Framed Walls and Air Barrier Membranes for a Pretty Good House

first_imgStephen Sheehy is the author of a construction blog documenting the process of building a Pretty Good House in rural Maine. GBA has been publishing a serialized and slightly condensed version of Sheehy’s reports. The first installment was published June 15. Establishing and protecting the air barriersNovember and December have been rainy, snowy, cold, and wet. Still, things have progressed. The house will have two distinct air barriers. This is essential, since a great deal of heat can get wasted if air flows through the building envelope. Modern houses are as airtight as possible. Ventilation is provided by mechanical means. (More on that later.)[In this double stud wall design, there is a 5-in. space between inner and outer framed walls. The 2×4 studs in both walls are 24 in. on center. The cavities in the outer wall, and the space between the two stud walls, are insulated with dense-pack cellulose. Cavities in the inner wall are insulated with fiberglass batts.]On the outside, the sheathing seams are taped so that the sheathing layer acts as an air barrier. The house was covered in housewrap, carefully taped as well. We left off the bottom two feet or so of sheathing so the crew could tape the interior membrane to the top of the foundation.While it was open, Jeremy, our electrician, ran wiring for exterior lights and receptacles from the outside. This minimizes the need to penetrate the air barrier created by the taped sheathing. In Image #3 (below) you can see the exterior stud wall and the green tape that attaches the white interior membrane to the concrete slab.The membrane is the second air barrier. It is designed to block air flow, but will permit water vapor to pass through. If any moisture gets inside the framing, it can dry by passing through the membrane to the interior or it can pass through the sheathing.Here’s a photo of the membrane from the inside (see Image #4, below). Note that we will be able to run wires for interior lights, receptacles, and pipes for sinks, showers, etc. without penetrating the air barrier. The fewer penetrations, the better, since every penetration needs to be carefully taped.Still, some penetrations are unavoidable. We’ll need to run vents to the outside for the ventilation system, wires and pipes for the heat pumps we’ll be using for heat, and so on. We also will need to carefully cut lots of holes so the insulating subcontractor can blow cellulose insulation into the cavity between the outside frame and the inside frame. Those holes will all be taped after the insulation is blown in.Once all of the rough wiring and plumbing are installed, more insulation will fill the space between the membrane and the interior finish drywall. Here is a link to Part 5 of this blog series: Windows and Floors at a Pretty Good House in Maine. BY STEPHEN SHEEHY Pretty Good, Not So Big Maine HouseSite Work Begins for a Pretty Good House in MaineAt a Pretty Good House in Maine, Siding and Septic Now that we have some walls, we can get an idea of what the house will look like from the inside. Adding the roof trusses, and a descent into winterThe trusses went in on Halloween. The following Sunday we had eight inches of snow accompanied by 50 mph wind gusts. I guess the guys did a good job bracing the structure, because it didn’t budge.The next step was to sheathe the building, and that’s almost done.Tom’s crew will also frame and sheathe the room for the hot tub and the porch on the south side. Both rooms are outside the conditioned space, but will be insulated and have pretty good (double-glazed) windows.center_img RELATED ARTICLES Construction blog: The Potwine Passivhaus in AmherstConstruction blog: Kicking the Tires on a Passivhaus ProjectThe Pretty Good HouseThe Pretty Good House, Part 2Martin’s Pretty Good House ManifestoGreen Building for Beginners Not much going on while we waited for the roof trusses to be fabricated. Once the trusses were on schedule to arrive, Tom’s crew started framing. Then, just as the framing started, we had a week of heavy rain that pushed everything back. The delay was more than just a week, since the crane that was scheduled to lift the trusses had to be rescheduled.While it rained, the Intus windows arrived from Lithuania. Tom and crew unloaded them and we’ll store them in the barn until we’re ready for them to be installed. They are extremely heavy and were very well packed for the trip across the Atlantic.This week, with the rain finally over, we’re back in action. The exterior house walls are all framed. There are four different truss designs for the roof: one for the garage, one for the steep roof sections (8/12 pitch) and two for the section over the living/dining areas (3/12 pitch.)The walls need to be perfectly straight and perfectly plumb (vertical) so the trusses fit, along with everything else.Typically, braces are attached by nailing wood to the subfloor and then attaching bracing to the walls. Since the floor is 4,000 psi concrete, it is difficult to attach bracing to it. The guys used their imagination and considerable experience to figure out how to brace the walls without putting any holes in the concrete. Framing the porch, and on goes the roofWhile we waited for the roofing sub to install the standing-seam roof, Tom’s crew framed the porch that runs almost the entire length of the front (north) of the house. Originally, we had planned a simple framed roof, but we discussed it and decided to do a post-and-beam style porch roof, with exposed pine boards as the sheathing under the roof.We used hemlock beams milled locally. As I’ve pointed out, a Pretty Good House should use local materials if possible. We specified 7×7 beams, planed smooth. The 2×6 decking was also obtained locally. The ceiling in the tub roof is the same 2×6 decking. Even though the room isn’t heated, we’ll insulate the walls and Tom’s crew placed 2 inches of foam insulation on top of the 2×6 decking.After the porch was done, the roofer arrived to install the standing-seam steel roof. The steel comes on a big roll and each piece is individually cut to fit. The roofer brought a big crew, so it took less than three days to finish. Fortunately, the bit of snow that fell during the installation could be swept off easily. Each seam is folded over to make a tight seal, using a special tool that runs along the seam, folding as it goes.Next up is window installation and concrete floor polishing. Let’s hope the weather cooperates. This is Part 4 of a blog series describing the construction of Stephen Sheehy’s house in Maine. The first installment was titled Pretty Good, Not So Big Maine House.last_img read more

CwcColumbus Merger Finalized Strong Regional Telecommunications Provider Emerges

first_img C&W BUSINESS WINS 2015 TOP FORTINET PARTNER AWARDS Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Columbus Business Solutions, part of Cable & Wireless Communications, recognized in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for its Disaster Recovery as a Service solution Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppMarch 31, 2015: Cable and Wireless Communications, Plc (CWC) announced today that it has completed its US$1.85bn acquisition of 100% of the equity of Columbus International Inc.Commenting on the completion of the transaction, Chief Executive Officer, Phil Bentley, said: “This is a transformational deal for Cable & Wireless Communications. Columbus Communications is an outstanding business; not only do we add significant fibre optic submarine backhaul and terrestrial broadband and TV capability to our leading mobile and legacy copper networks in the Caribbean, but our complementary B2B divisions can now offer geographical focus and a wider product offering in the faster-growing Latin American markets.“We expect the operating synergies to be significant; together, the new merged company creates the opportunity to invest more, grow faster, and provide an improved customer experience and, most importantly, a development opportunity for our people that either company could never have achieved on their own.“There has been an extensive and professional regulatory review, with appropriate remedies. We are pleased we now have the necessary Government support to conclude this important transaction and to start making the financial commitments required to deliver an outstanding customer experience and to enhance the telecommunications infrastructure and economic development of the communities we serve.”Bentley noted that as part of the integration process, the Company “is undertaking a full review of all the brands we currently operate under, including the Flow and LIME brands as well as the business and wholesale brands,” but added that “no decision has yet been made.”Commenting on the merger process and next steps, Bentley said, “Most of the markets we operate in have approved our integration plans and therefore today we can start to release some of the US$1.5bn investment monies we have set aside to provide our customers with an unrivalled telecommunications experience, improving coverage, reliability, products and speeds, and providing a welcome boost to both jobs and the economy in the countries in which we operate. In a small number of markets where we have yet to receive all the necessary approvals required, we cannot commence our integration and investment plans; we will therefore continue to support the local regulatory due process until we have the green light to move forward in those markets.” Related Items:cable & wireless, colombus, phil bentley Cable and Wireless and Wikimedia Foundation Sign Partnership Deal Mobile Phone Customers can now browse Wikipedia at no extra costlast_img read more

Govt outlines 8 million costs for overseas medical care

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 15 May 2015 – Government has spent nearly $8 million dollars on overseas medical care for islanders despite having the two TCI Hospitals. The Premier, Hon Dr Rufus Ewing in responding to a Parliamentary question on Tuesday said there were 942 referral cases and some $623,000 was spent on keeping these clients while they attended doctors abroad. Where there was need for clients to be airlifted, the cost was put at just over $2 million and it cost TCIG over $5.1 million to answer medical claims costs. These global encounter figures, as labeled by the Premier are for the period April 1 2014 to February 2015. It is expected for the people to next hear the facilities used, costs spent per facility and how many clients visited each medical facility.last_img read more

Microsoft Security Industry Must Be Neutral Digital Switzerland

first_imgFebruary 16, 2017 The security industry must declare itself a neutral party in cyber attacks between nation states, Microsoft President Brad Smith said here at the RSA Conference.”Even in an age of rising nationalism, we need to become a trusted and neutral digital Switzerland,” Smith told the audience, making an oblique reference to the rise of nationalist political movements in the U.S. and Europe.”As a global tech sector, we need to come together and sign our own pledge in conjunction with the world’s states,” said Smith. “We will protect customers, focus on defense, collaborate with each other and we will provide patches to all customers everywhere regardless of the attacks they face, and we will do our part to address the world’s needs.”We will not aid in attacking customers anywhere,” he added.Smith also urged attendees to call on governments to adopt a treaty or pledge that would enshrine the rights and safety of civilians during a cyber attack. Civilian infrastructure, including civilian governmental systems, should be off limits, he said, pointing to the 1949 Geneva Convention, which outlines how nations must treat civilians in times of war.A new convention on cyber attacks from nation states must focus on preventing attacks against civilians in times of peace. He pointed to the U.S. and China, which under the Obama administration — to cool rising tensions between the two countries — agreed to not partake in certain behaviors as part of cyber operations. President Trump should do the same with Russia, Smith said.This point is clearly a nod to the allegations that Russian intelligence elements hacked computers owned by the Democratic National Committee and used the information, along with misinformation, to undermine the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Smith also said governments should agree not to stockpile vulnerabilities that could be used in attacks.Lastly, Smith called for the creation of a new group to monitor cyber-attack activity. “What the world needs is a new independent organization, like IAEA,” he said, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The organization Smith outlined would provide an impartial assessment of cyber attacks and identify nation-state attackers, which would give its judgement greater authority on the world stage.Smith’s concern is rooted in the rapid expansion of cyber attacks, both in scope and severity. “We’ve seen cyber attacks move from enthusiast to financial thieves to nations around the world,” said Smith. Taking strong positions on issues of national interest is nothing new for Smith, who last year used his keynote presentation to call on the security industry to stand with Apple in its case against the FBI.As warfare moves into cyberspace, Smith observed that this creates new problems not seen in other theaters of conflict, like oceans or airspace. For one thing, cyberspace exists everywhere, between computers, servers and phones carried by just about every living human being. Cyberspace is also, Smith pointed out, privately owned.”When it comes to these attacks, we are the plane of battle and the world’s first responders instead of nation state attacks being met by other nation states, they are being met by us,” Smith told RSA attendees, most of which are members of the security industry.Smith described the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, allegedly carried out by North Korea in response to the film The Interview, as a major turning point in cyber attacks from nation states. It was, he said, not about attacking a government but rather, “attacking a private company over freedom of expression over, as it turned out, not a very popular movie.”Smith also highlighted the importance of the immigrant community in the technology industry, a reference to President Trump’s controversial travel ban targeted at seven majority Muslim countries.In recent years, the RSA Conference has become if not political, then at least more policy focused. Previous speakers have included, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, embattled FBI director James Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who used her time at the conference to defend the DOJ’s position that Apple should grant investigators access to an iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters. Enroll Now for Free 4 min read This story originally appeared on PCMag Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.last_img read more