Oxford pioneers vision treatment

first_imgA pioneering trial led by Oxford University has delivered a potential new treatment for a type of blindness which was previously thought to be incurable. The trial was to cure the genetic disease choroideremia, which affects up to 1,500 people in Britain and 100,000 people worldwide. If the trial is successful, it may have significant consequences for neuroscience and for many other eye diseases as the virus employed could be used in future to create cures for genetic brain disorders. Choroideremia is commonly detected in childhood, and leads to blindness, usually by the late forties. It is caused by a faulty gene REP1, which triggers the death of light-sensing cells in the retina called photoreceptors. The disease only affects males. Jonathan Wyatt, a former barrister from Bristol, is the only patient to have undergone the trial so far. He will not recover his sight, but the procedure should stop his vision deteriorating any further- he would otherwise become totally blind in a few years. If the surgery is effective, the doctors aim to perform the same treatment on his right eye. They also plan to do surgery on twelve other patients.The treatment was developed by Professor Robert MacLaren at Oxford University, and Professor Miguel Seabra of Imperial College.Professor Seabra remarked that “the ability to offer a gene replacement treatment for these patients was the final objective of 20 years of intense research in my laboratory. This is a moment of fulfilment for us and a dream come true for all choroideremia patients.’”Professor MacLaren, who also undertook the surgery, admitted that the outcome was “unpredictable” considering the possibility of removing all the remaining sight in Mr Wyatt’s eye. Mr Wyatt commented, “I assessed the risks and decided they were worth taking, both for me and for all the other people who have the problem.”Professor MacLaren informed Cherwell “To say I’m very excited would be an understatement. I am also relieved. Relieved because we delivered the treatment without causing any harm, and relieved because we have proved that viral vectors can work.” MacLaren also told us of the pleasure of being able to convert his lab results into a working treatment.The blindness charity Fight for Sight responded to news of trial that they were “absolutely delighted with the news that a clinical trial for choroideremia is underway.”One medic, Imogen Welding, a first year at Corpus commended the research saying, “I think it’s really exciting that this kind of advance in technology can help people who otherwise can’t be treated.”However, Jen Todd, a first year Balliol medic, had some tempering advice commenting, “It is really important, but we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. Restoring someone’s sight will be much harder than just stopping the vision deteriorating.” Âlast_img read more

AAAS announces 15 Harvard fellows

first_imgThe American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today (Jan. 11) named 15 Harvard faculty members AAAS Fellows.The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of fellow if nominated by the steering group of their respective sections, by three fellows, or by the association’s CEO. Each steering group then reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and forwards a final list to the AAAS Council, which votes on the final aggregate list.Harvard faculty named AAAS Fellows for 2011 follow:Frederick W. Alt, Harvard Medical School, for distinguished contributions to the field of genome stability, particularly for elucidating the mechanisms of immunoglobin gene rearrangement and nonhomologous end joining in mammalian cells.Barry R. Bloom, Harvard School of Public Health, for his many contributions to and leadership in the areas of infectious diseases, vaccines, and global health.Lewis Cantley, Harvard Medical School, for distinguished contributions to the field of signal transduction and control of cell growth.Nicholas A. Christakis, Harvard Medical School, for foundational research on the relationship between social networks and health, applying network science and mathematical models to understand health dynamics in longitudinally evolving networks.R. John Collier, Harvard Medical School, for distinguished contributions to our understanding of how bacteria cause disease, particularly for elucidating the structures and actions of bacterial toxins.William Friedman (nominated for the fellowship while a professor at the University of Colorado), Arnold Arboretum, for important contributions to the study of angiosperm evolutionary development biology.Vadim Gladyshev, Harvard Medical School, for distinguished contributions to the fields of redox regulation, signaling, and the biochemistry, bioinformatics, and biology of the trace element selenium.Michael E. Greenberg, Harvard Medical School, for the study of activity dependent processes whose dysfunction can lead to the development of diseases of cognitive function.Roberto Kolter, Harvard Medical School, for distinguished contributions to understanding the genetics of and signaling in bacterial stationary phase and biofilm production.Bjorn R. Olsen, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, for distinguished research contributions to cell, matrix, and developmental biology and to dental academics through innovative leadership at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.Stuart H. Orkin, Harvard Medical School, for distinguished contributions to the understanding of the development and function of the blood system, particularly the mechanistic basis of lineage selection and hemoglobin switching.Hongkun Park, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, for his distinguished contributions to nanoscience, particularly for pioneering work in single-molecule transistors and nanodevices, and the exploration of their utility in electronics, optoplasmonics, and biology.Charles N. Serhan, Harvard Medical School, for distinguished contributions to medical sciences (pathology), with the identification of novel mechanisms in resolution of inflammation via structural elucidation of endogenous anti-inflammatory-pro-resolving chemical mediators.Yang Shi, Harvard Medical School, for seminal contributions to the field of epigenetics by identifying the first histone demethylase, thus disproving the long-held view that histone methylation is irreversible.Cornelis P. Terhorst, Harvard Medical School, for distinguished contributions to the characterization of the CD3/T cell receptor complex, SLAM molecules, and highly innovative studies on X-linked lymphoproliferative and inflammatory bowel diseases.For more information.last_img read more

Legal with Leah: Motor Vehicle Sales Tax

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest There is nothing like the feeling of driving off the dealership lot in a brand new or new to you vehicle. Very few things can take that feeling away, but nothing could take that smile off your face like the tax bill on that car, truck or SUV.On this Legal with Leah, Ty Higgins, Ohio Farm Bureau Director of Media Relations and Leah Curtis, Ohio Farm Bureau policy counsel discuss what the ag sales tax exemption covers and what it doesn’t.Listen to Legal with Leah, a podcast featuring Ohio Farm Bureau’s Policy Counsel Leah Curtis discussing topics impacting farmers and landowners.TranscriptTy Higgins: Leah I know that you and Joe covered that ag does have an exemption on sales tax, but the question then becomes does the tax break apply for motor vehicles and trailer purchases as well. The answer?Leah Curtis: Well generally it doesn’t apply to motor vehicles in particular. So keep in mind that the sales tax exemption is based on the use of the item, not who you are. So a lot of people think of it as the ‘farmer sales tax exemption.’ It’s actually the farm sales tax exemption. So for things like equipment that you are going to use in the actual production of an agricultural product like tractors and planters and combines, those things are clearly exempt from sales tax.Motor vehicles, however, the tax department’s official line is that those are registered for use on the highway. And so they are mainly used for transport not for production. And so they are generally not exempt from sales tax.Ty Higgins:  Are there exceptions to the rule?Leah Curtis: There are a couple exceptions. The one very specific one is if you have basically a spray truck that has a PTO-powered tank and it’s used for things like fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide. That is a vehicle that clearly has only the purpose to be used in production. And so if it is that type of vehicle it is exempt from sales tax. If there is not a PTO though, then the sprayer unit is exempt, the truck is not. And so the dealer would likely separate those two charges out so that there is only sales tax paid on the vehicle portion.Leah Curtis: The other exemption is a pretty obscure one we don’t see it used very often or actually happen very often, but it’s vehicles or trailers that are primarily used to prevent illness to livestock such as for quarantine, transporting sick animals. If that is their sole purpose and that is their only purpose then that could be exempt from sales tax.Now it’s a very difficult test and we don’t normally see people actually able to take advantage of that but there is some precedent for that. There’s also an exemption that’s very specific to eggs. Vehicles that are only used by egg producers to ship eggs from the farm to market under refrigerated conditions, those are specifically not subject to the sales tax.Ty Higgins: Used to be growing up that if we were gonna buy something for the farm, we would just go up the road a piece or two and stay pretty close to our local economy. But now you see sites like Craigslist and Facebook. There are all kinds of marketplace pages on there to to buy things of this nature and a lot of times those sales now will be made across state lines. What does that mean for taxes on on that purchase?Leah Curtis: So if it’s a Craigslist or a Facebook sale, it’s probably going to be treated similar to one inside the state would be where you probably wouldn’t pay sales tax on it. If you are buying from a typical dealer though outside the state and say maybe that state does have a sales tax exemption, once you bring it back into Ohio and you go to title it or license it, it’s very possible the tax department may send you a notice saying, ‘Hey you owe what’s called ‘use tax’ on this vehicle or trailer.’ Use tax is kind of the corollary to sales tax. If you buy it here you pay sales; you buy it someplace else you pay use.So we’ve had some people have that happen. They bought it in Wisconsin and it was exempt they thought so they didn’t pay sales tax, brought it in here they got a note from the tax department that says, ‘Hey we’re aware that you have this trailer that had no tax paid on it. And so now you owe use tax.’ So it’s just something to keep in mind when you are looking outside of state for those kind of new trailers or at a dealership or it’s an official seller that would have a sales or use tax obligation.Ty Higgins: This has been Legal with Leah. That’s Leah Curtis. She’s policy counsel with Ohio Farm Bureau. Thanks for listening. I’m Ty Higgins. We’ll see you down the road.last_img read more

Ludhiana’s royal weddings

first_imgAs the plump Punjabi weddings get fatter, Ludhiana is increasingly becoming a witness to the hottest wedding action. Known for being the largest manufacturer of hosiery goods and bicycles, the ‘Manchester of India’ is fast becoming Punjab’s ‘Wedding Capital.’ There is a certain charm about the Ludhiana weddings. In fact,,As the plump Punjabi weddings get fatter, Ludhiana is increasingly becoming a witness to the hottest wedding action. Known for being the largest manufacturer of hosiery goods and bicycles, the ‘Manchester of India’ is fast becoming Punjab’s ‘Wedding Capital.’ There is a certain charm about the Ludhiana weddings. In fact, a typical Ludhiana wedding, is a spectacle that would dim the extravagance of the Pushkar Fair. A wedding in Ludhiana is not about a couple getting married. That, to my mind, is the least cared-for part. Of course, there are fathers and uncles, aunts and cousins, sisters and brothers and all the hustle and bustle. Vats of food are cooked, many discussions held, voices raised and perhaps a few things stolen. But the real fun is in the manner in which the whole event is planned.That,in itself, involves all of society and if it’s a really powerful wedding, then it may well involve re-writing a political party’s manifesto.Ludhiana weddings make the Olympics look like kindergarten stuff. The food counters can feed all of Nigeria, there is more liquor served than Vijay Mallya can produce and a thousand fragrances fill the air. And never mind about the bride and groom (This, despite them being the stars of the show!) As Ludhiana weddings become more elaborate and move beyond traditions, it’s the wedding planners who are becoming the most sought after breed. After all, they orchestrate dreams and make fairy tales come alive. The long affairs commence with elaborate and expensive wedding cards designed by top wedding planners of the country, which in turn are attached to branded gifts and single malts before being distributed (If you are not one of the relatives or friends invited, then be assured of a heart burn). This is just the warm up.Right from solitaire rings costing Rs 1.5 lakh each to Tag Heuer watches and BMW cars-these super expensive status symbols are given as gifts by opulencecrazy Punjabi parents to close relatives of the groom at the time of ‘Milni’-a traditional ceremony when the groom’s extended family is introduced to the bride’s relatives. The showing off during Milni caught the imagination after the marriage in a leading bicycle manufacturing family saw friends and relatives gifted with monogrammed silver plates in custom-made boxes. Gone are the days when people were happy if the groom got a Maruti hatchback.Today, even before the horoscopes are matched, you can see families poring over auto magazines and brochures to decide on the latest models and the interiors of their choice. Even brides at these weddings are a sharp contrast to the coy and demure young ladies of yore who sported a dramatic but typical pancake, kajal and bright red lipstick. Today, they are bolder and know exactly how they want to turn out on the big day. Whether it’s going au naturel or trying out a sensual J-Lo inspired glow, they are ready to shed lakhs for that perfect look. Amidst an ocean of frenzy, a bride is the lone isle of calm, provided she has everything her way- a perfect ring, a great outfit, the best guest list and the most enviable honeymoon getaway package. From the trousseau to the bridal finery, the brides these days literally design their way to the altar where they are joined by the prince of their dreams. From theme-based interiors to fairy-tale settings, decor in Ludhiana weddings will give Bollywood film sets a run of their money. And of course, having film stars in these weddings is another status symbol. One can catch them gyrating to the latest numbers. Malaika Arora Khan, Katrina Kaif, Raveena Tandon and Bipasha Basu are regulars. They come for a price, but then, money is not a problem in Ludhiana. No wonder Ludhiana flaunts some of the best marriage halls in the country. So what if the city lacks a single decent book store? And why not? After all, aren’t weddings far more entertaining than leafing through the pages of a potboiler?advertisementlast_img read more

Kaya punishes Green Archers

first_imgMOST READ Seychelles’ Baldwin leads Ironman field With the disappointing exit in the AFC Cup still fresh on its mind, Kaya-Iloilo vented its fury on newcomer Green Archers United, 4-0, on Saturday night at the start of the 2019 Philippines Football League at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.Ghanaian striker Jordan Mintah came away with a first half hat trick before Jayson Panhay found the back of the net early in the second half as Kaya delivered a strong statement with an emphatic opening day victory.ADVERTISEMENT ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war LATEST STORIES Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Kaya next faces Stallion Laguna in Biñan on Wednesday.Bedic said the strong start should be a warning shot to two-time defending champion Ceres Negros, which was slated to play Stallion late Saturday.“For two seasons they’ve been the champions of the league,” said Bedic, referring to Ceres. “But we’re here—Kaya. I think we’re capable of beating them. We just need the right motivation and the support of the people, especially if we get a chance to play in Iloilo.”ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport View comments “We’re coming from a loss in the AFC Cup, and now this is the start of a new league and what I hope will be the start of a new winning streak for Kaya,” Kaya skipper Jovin Bedic said.Kaya coach Noel Marcaida felt his squad could have done more to change its fortunes in the AFC Cup two weeks ago when it suffered a group stage exit after a 0-2 defeat to Home United in Singapore.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsResponding to Marcaida’s challenge, Kaya forcefully came out of the blocks, scoring within the first two minutes.The pattern of dominance was established from there as Mintah grabbed his second in the 18th minute off a mistake from GAU goalkeeper Bandeken Fong.last_img read more

New Film Highlights Prince Charles Work With Education And Young People

first_imgIn this new video, HRH The Prince of Wales talks about his charitable work with education and young people.Video: Prince Charles and Education and Young People“One of the most important aspects of people’s lives I have been concerned with for very nearly 40 years is the encouragement and empowering of young people,” said Prince Charles. “I have always been fascinated by the meaning of the word “educate.” It does not mean to teach or train. It comes from the Latin “educere” and it means “to lead or draw out.”“This is an important principle and one that could be better acknowledged than it is, not least because, in my view, it is the key that unlocks so much potential. We all have immense capacity for imagination and innovation and it is this that I have sought to tap.“I must say, I have struggled at times to find as many ways as possible to help those young people who do not have the best start in life to overcome the barriers they face and to mine that fathomless human capacity for innovation.“Many young people lack confidence. They often suffer low self-esteem and I find that these are the biggest blocks of all. That is why so much of my work in this area has been dedicated to giving young people, especially those excluded by their circumstances from the mainstream, a strong sense of self-worth and a confidence in their ability so that they, rather than others, can put their lives on track.“It is my belief that a sense of self-worth and dignity form the bedrock of a cohesive, prosperous and supportive society. That is why I believe everyone should have the chance to contribute to the common good through their own endeavour.“Perhaps one of the better known initiatives in this field has been my Prince’s Trust, of which I am immensely proud. Through the efforts of a wonderful team of people at my Trust we have now enabled over 700,000 young people to find their way in life or to start their own businesses, many of which are now, themselves, employing many young people.“This film explores the work of the Trust, with examples from training programmes that are up and running at Dumfries House, in Ayrshire, along with my other charities that are working with young people on educational projects.“It explains the work of my Foundation for Children and the Arts, which gives children experience of a “wide range of arts activities, not just once, but on long term programmes so that they forge a firm bond with the arts organisations they are introduced to.“It also explores why I felt the need to establish my School of Traditional Arts which teaches and preserves those crafts and skills of the world’s sacred traditions that I felt were in grave danger of being forgotten and lost.“So, too, my Drawing School, which teaches the important arts of observing and drawing – something, I fear, which has been neglected in our education system.“And let us not forget those who are doing all of the educating – the teachers! This film also explores the work of my Teaching Institute which I set up to re-inspire in teachers a love of their subjects, simply to remind them why they first got into teaching. As you will see, my Prince’s Teaching Institute runs a range of programmes for teachers, both in and out of school.”last_img read more

Dravidian language family 4500 years old

first_imgThe Dravidian language family, consisting of 80 varieties spoken by nearly 220 million people across southern and central India, originated about 4,500 years ago, a study has found. This estimate is based on new linguistic analyses by an international team, including researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany, and the Wildlife Institute of India in Dehradun.The researchers used data collected first-hand from native speakers representing all previously reported Dravidian subgroups. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThese findings, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, match well with earlier linguistic and archaeological studies.South Asia, reaching from Afghanistan in the west and Bangladesh in the east, is home to at least six hundred languages belonging to six large language families, including Dravidian, Indo-European, and Sino-Tibetan.The Dravidian language family, consisting of about 80 language varieties (both languages and dialects) is today spoken by about 220 million people, mostly in southern and central India, and surrounding countries. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIts four largest languages, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu have literary traditions spanning centuries, of which Tamil reaches back the furthest, researchers said.Along with Sanskrit, Tamil is one of the world’s classical languages, but unlike Sanskrit, there is continuity between its classical and modern forms documented in inscriptions, poems, and secular and religious texts and songs, they said.”The study of the Dravidian languages is crucial for understanding prehistory in Eurasia, as they played a significant role in influencing other language groups,” said Annemarie Verkerk of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. Neither the geographical origin of the Dravidian language nor its exact dispersal through time is known with certainty.The consensus of the research community is that the Dravidians are natives of the Indian subcontinent and were present prior to the arrival of the Indo-Aryans (Indo-European speakers) in India around 3,500 years ago.Researchers said that it is likely that the Dravidian languages were much more widespread to the west in the past than they are today.In order to examine questions about when and where the Dravidian languages developed, they made a detailed investigation of the historical relationships of 20 Dravidian varieties.Study author Vishnupriya Kolipakam of the Wildlife Institute of India collected contemporary first-hand data from native speakers of a diverse sample of Dravidian languages, representing all the previously reported subgroups of Dravidian.The researchers used advanced statistical methods to infer the age and subgrouping of the Dravidian language family at about 4,000-4,500 years old.This estimate, while in line with suggestions from previous linguistic studies, is a more robust result because it was found consistently in the majority of the different statistical models of evolution tested in this study.This age also matches well with inferences from archaeology, which have previously placed the diversification of Dravidian into North, Central, and South branches at exactly this age, coinciding with the beginnings of cultural developments evident in the archaeological record.last_img read more

Verizon chooses Amazon Web ServicesAWS as its preferred cloud provider

first_imgVerizon Communications Inc. recently announced that it is migrating about 1000 of its business-critical applications and database back-end systems to the popular cloud provider, Amazon Web Services ( AWS). Verizon had bought Terramark, a cloud and service provider, in 2011 as part of its public and private cloud strategy. This strategy included building its own cloud that offered infrastructure-as-a-service to its customers. AWS has stayed ahead of competition, where it offered added services to its customers. On the other hand, Verizon could not stay in the race for longer as it was usurped by Microsoft and Google. Due to this, two years ago, in 2016, Verizon closed down its public cloud offering and then sold off its cloud and managed hosting service assets to IBM and also sold a number of data centres to Equinix. Verizon had first started working with AWS in 2015 and has many business and consumer applications already running in the cloud. The current migrations to AWS is part of Verizon’s corporate-wide initiative, which is, to increase agility and reduce costs through the use of cloud computing. Some benefits of this migration include: With the help of AWS, Verizon will enable it to access more comprehensive set of cloud capabilities. This will ensure that its developers are able to invent on behalf of its customers. Verizon has built AWS-specific training facilities where its employees can quickly update themselves on the AWS technologies and learn how to innovate with speed and at scale. AWS enables Verizon to quickly deliver the best, most efficient customer experiences. Verizon also aims to make the public cloud a core part of its digital transformation, upgrading its database management approach to replace its proprietary solutions with Amazon Aurora To know more about AWS and Verizon’s partnership, read the AWS blog post. Read Next Linux Foundation launches the Acumos Al Project to make AI accessible Analyzing CloudTrail Logs using Amazon Elasticsearch How to create your own AWS CloudTraillast_img read more