Faust sets out University position on divestment

first_imgAfter careful review and lengthy discussion on campus, Harvard President Drew Faust issued a statement making clear that she and the Harvard Corporation do not consider proposals to divest the University’s endowment of holdings related to fossil fuels to be “warranted or wise.” She also cautioned against any impulse to use the endowment as a political tool and said there are more effective ways to address the threat of climate change. Read the full statement here.last_img

Patients’ cells provide possible treatment for blood disorder

first_img Imaging captures how blood stem cells take root Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital’s Stem Cell Research Program were able, for the first time, to use patients’ own cells to create cells similar to those in bone marrow, and then use them to identify potential treatments for a blood disorder. The work was published today by Science Translational Medicine.The team derived the so-called blood progenitor cells from two patients with Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA), a rare, severe blood disorder in which the bone marrow cannot make enough oxygen-carrying red blood cells. The researchers first converted some of the patients’ skin cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. They then got the iPS cells to make blood progenitor cells, which they loaded into a high-throughput drug screening system. Testing a library of 1,440 chemicals, the team found several that showed promise in a dish. One compound, SMER28, was able to get live mice and zebrafish to start churning out red blood cells.The study marks an important advance in the stem cell field. Induced pluripotent stem cells, which are theoretically capable of making virtually any cell type, were first created in the lab in 2006 from skin cells treated with genetic reprogramming factors. Specialized cells generated by iPS cells have been used to look for drugs for a variety of diseases — except for blood disorders, because of technical problems in getting iPS cells to make blood cells. Related Step-by-step observations will help scientists enhance bone-marrow transplants Sergei Doulatov, co-first author on the paper with Linda Vo and Elizabeth Macari, said the cells “have been hard to instruct when it comes to making blood. This is the first time iPS cells have been used to identify a drug to treat a blood disorder.”DBA currently is treated with steroids, but these drugs help only about half of patients, and some of them eventually stop responding. When steroids fail, patients must receive lifelong blood transfusions and quality of life for many patients is poor. The researchers believe SMER28 or a similar compound might offer another option.“It is very satisfying as physician scientists to find new potential treatments for rare blood diseases such as Diamond-Blackfan anemia,” said Leonard Zon, director of Boston Children’s Stem Cell Research Program and co-corresponding author on the paper with George Q. Daley, “This work illustrates a wonderful triumph,” said Daley, associate director of the Stem Cell Research Program and also dean of Harvard Medical School.Making red blood cellsAs in DBA itself, the patient-derived blood progenitor cells, studied in a dish, failed to generate the precursors of red blood cells, known as erythroid cells. The same was true when the cells were transplanted into mice. But the chemical screen got several “hits”: In wells loaded with these chemicals, erythroid cells began appearing.Because of its especially strong effect, SMER28 was put through additional testing. When used to treat the marrow in zebrafish and mouse models of DBA, the animals made erythroid progenitor cells that in turn made red blood cells, reversing or stabilizing anemia. The same was true in cells from DBA patients transplanted into mice. The higher the dose of SMER28, the more red blood cells were produced, and no ill effects were found. (Formal toxicity studies have not yet been conducted.)Circumventing a roadblockPrevious researchers have tried for years to isolate blood stem cells from patients. They have sometimes succeeded, but the cells are very rare and cannot create enough copies of themselves to be useful for research. Attempts to get iPS cells to make blood stem cells have also failed.The Boston Children’s researchers were able to circumvent these problems by instead transforming iPS cells into blood progenitor cells using a combination of five reprogramming factors. Blood progenitor cells share many properties with blood stem cells and are readily multiplied in a dish.“Drug screens are usually done in duplicate, in tens of thousands of wells, so you need a lot of cells,” said Doulatov, who now heads a lab at the University of Washington. “Although blood progenitor cells aren’t bona fide stem cells, they are multipotent and they made red cells just fine.”SMER28 has been tested preclinically for some neurodegenerative diseases. It activates a so-called autophagy pathway that recycles damaged cellular components. In DBA, SMER28 appears to turn on autophagy in erythroid progenitors. Doulatov plans to further explore how this interferes with red blood cell production.last_img read more

Ex-Nassau Police Commander’s Sentence Stayed Pending New Appeal

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A judge granted an ex-Nassau County police commander’s request to postpone serving his jail sentence for a misconduct conviction while New York State’s highest court decides if it will hear his appeal.Leslie Stein, an associate judge at the state Court of Appeals in Albany, granted Monday the stay of execution of a 60-day jail term that William Flanagan, a former deputy Nassau police commissioner, was sentenced to after he was convicted of misconduct and conspiracy two years ago.“Stay is granted only pending this court’s determination” of whether it will hear Flanagan’s attorneys argue why they think the court should overturn his conviction, the judge wrote in her order. The conviction was upheld two weeks ago by the state Supreme Court Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department.Prosecutors have said that Flanagan helped quash the case against Zachary Parker, of Merrick, who stole thousands of dollars worth of electronics from his alma mater, John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore, shortly before he graduated in 2009 while he interned with the Nassau police Ambulance Bureau. The burglar’s father, Gary, was volunteering for the nonprofit Nassau County Police Department Foundation when he asked Flanagan for help with the case.Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas had opposed the request to stay Flanagan’s sentence. The appellate division in Brooklyn first stayed the execution of his sentence pending the first round of appeals.Flangan’s attorney, Donna Aldea, head of the Appellate Practice Group for Garden City-based Barket Marion Epstein & Kearon, LLP, said that she is confident that the Court of Appeals will overturn the conviction. Her argument is that he didn’t receive a fair trial due to prosecutorial misconduct, prejudicial statements and insufficient evidence.Singas’ office stands by the conviction. A panel of four judges in the appellate division wrote in their decision upholding the conviction that any errors prosecutors made were mitigated by “overwhelming evidence of the defendant’s guilt.”Two other ex-police commanders—John Hunter, the retired Deputy Chief of Patrol, and Det. Sgt. Alan Sharpe—both pleaded guilty to misconduct and were sentenced to probation in connection with the case, which stemmed from a Press expose into police favoritism for the nonprofit’s donors. Zachary Parker pleaded guilty to burglary and was sentenced to prison after violating his probation. He has since been released.last_img read more

MS-13 Gangster Charged in Brentwood Teen’s Murder, Feds Say

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A reputed MS-13 gang member has been arrested for allegedly killing an Brentwood High School student whose body was found in 2016, federal authorities told the Press.Jerlin “Sonic” Villalta, 21, an El Salvadorian immigrant who lives in Brentwood, was charged with the murder of 18-year-old Jose Pena, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.Members of the FBI Long Island Gang Task Force arrested Villalta, who pleaded not guilty at his arraignment before Judge Joseph Bianco. The suspect was ordered held without bail.The story was first reported by the New York Daily News, which said Villalta was picked up at a federal immigration office on Long Island.Pena was the sixth victim of MS-13 found slain in Brentwood in a violent five-week span in the fall of 2016 that started with the double murder of two other Brentwood High School students, Nisa Mickens, 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16, whose parents were guests at President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address last week.MS-13 has also been blamed for a quadruple murder in Central Islip last year, among dozens of other slayings locally.last_img read more

Scott Rechler: Regularly Recalibrate Reality

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York As president and CEO of Uniondale-based RXR Realty, Long Island’s largest commercial landlord, Scott Rechler has rare insights into local real estate market. We recently caught up with him to get his thoughts on his latest development, the importance of thinking regionally, how to keep up with the fast pace of information and why his  homemade pizza dough is the best. Here are excerpts of our conversation:Long Island Press: You have a few projects in the planning and development phase. Which one are you most excited about?Scott Rechler: The one that I’m most excited about is what we’re doing in Glen Cove with Garvies Point. It is going to be so transformative to the Glen Cove community in taking what was a blighted, abandoned site and really making it an asset for opening up the waterfront to the community at large.LIP: What is your vision for the company?SR: Our focus is really understanding our customers and community that live in the New York Metropolitan region. As the economy changes and demographics change and the needs of our customers change, what we do is create real estate products that ultimately enhance the quality of life and serve our customers and communities. Really having a good understanding of our customers and community is what drives our vision and our strategy.LIP: How about your vision for The Hub, the area in central Nassau that includes Nassau Coliseum, Museum Row and several colleges and major commercial buildings?SR: Obviously, we own a lot of property around The Hub and I think having it developed as a mixed-use community with office and entertainment and housing would be a very big positive for that whole downtown Nassau County. I’m disappointed it’s taken so long to get something going there and I’m hopeful now with the new county executive, Laura Curran, it gets accelerated.LIP: How do you juggle your real estate business with your roles at the MTA and the Regional Plan Association?SR: Part of it is going back to our strategy, which is very much regionally focused and being an active member of our community. There’s a consistent element of those activities and RXR’s activities that overlap in terms of understanding the community and trying to make the community a better place for people to live and work.LIP: How do you think the new federal State and Local Tax deduction cap will impact LI?SR: It’s not a good thing. We already live in a high-cost-of-living community. To the extent that we have higher taxes that add more weight to a branch of something that already has a lot of weight on it. Although I think that people who live in the New York Metropolitan region recognize they have a higher cost of living and they live here for the quality of life, for the job opportunities, for the cultural opportunities. I don’t think we’re going to see a large migration from it, but I think that we’d be better off without having additional costs.LIP: How did growing up on Long Island shape your worldview?SR: I grew up in Port Washington and spent a lot of time in downtown Glen Cove because my grandparents lived there, so I spent the summers there. I think growing up, a recognition of the importance of community was always key for me. To have a vested interest in maintaining its vibrancy and competitiveness. Being someone who has always traveled around to the city and the region, understanding that Long Island and New York City and New Jersey and Westchester, while they’re independent, they’re inexplicably linked in the sense that the successes of each are critical for the region as a whole. Having that regional lens from a young age honed my focus.LIP: Do you have any sayings?SR: Every six months I put a new saying by my office door of what I want people to be  focused on and what I want to be focused on. Right now, it’s ‘regularly recalibrate reality.’ Because we’re living in a world that’s changing so quickly that what was true today, may not be true tomorrow and it may not be true yesterday. My view is you have to regularly recalibrate what that reality is and shift gears as appropriate.LIP: What would readers be surprised to learn about you?SR: I love to cook. I don’t know if people know that about that me. I studied cooking in Italy. I pride myself on my homemade pizza dough and pizzas.last_img read more

Credit unions motivate employees with engagement technology

first_img 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Incorporating gamification concepts into your credit union’s training and evaluation processes improves employees’ productivity, profitability, and interaction, says Patrick McElhenie, director of CUNA Mutual Group’s Lender Development Program.“Today’s millennial workforce has grown up with online gaming and real-time interaction via mobile devices,” he says. “Bringing technology into the workplace to improve participation levels translates to better employee recruitment and retention, and ultimately, creating better connections with members.”Gamification’s profile has risen dramatically in recent years as the job market improves and employee engagement continues to lag. McElhenie offered a remedy to that challenge Tuesday when he teamed with gameFI’s Matt Davis to present “Credit Union Gamification: Why the Future of Work Is Fun” at CUNA Mutual Group’s Discovery Conference.“According to Gallup, only 34% of the American workforce feels engaged at their job,” McElhenie says. “The three key elements of gamification technology—feedback, focus and fun—are the same elements credit unions need to reshape their culture and improve engagement.” continue reading »last_img read more

3 Strategies to consider when onboarding millennial members

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Produced by Securian Financial You’ve been focused on essential business operations and taking care of urgent member needs. But, it’s still important to set your sights on creating memorable, valuable experiences for your new members. Taking time to review your member onboarding strategy is a great place to start – and doing so will remain key to the long-term growth of your credit union.Consider a Millennial Onboarding Strategy When it comes to your members, you know a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for everyone. By taking a segmented approach to your onboarding strategy, you can ensure you’re providing the necessary financial guidance to meet individual member needs – especially those of millennials.You know the pandemic hit millennials hard; however, this generation is known for their resilience. According to Deloitte1, their resilience – and their financial prudence, is likely what has helped them weather the pandemic storm. This post is currently collecting data…center_img This is placeholder text continue reading »last_img read more

Lamar Jackson: Baltimore Ravens quarterback says defences are calling out the team’s plays | NFL News

first_imgThe Baltimore Ravens have scored 20-plus points for 31-straight games entering their Week 10 matchup versus the New England Patriots – live on Sky Sports NFL, 1.20am, Monday morning – and are still averaging an NFL-best 170.1 rushing yards per game Last Updated: 12/11/20 12:53pm – Advertisement – Reigning MVP Lamar Jackson saw his pass intercepted as the Steelers ran in to take the lead against the Ravens “I knew when that play started they were coming back to that because they ran the same play on the first half, and I didn’t drop deep enough,” Highsmith said at the time, via ESPN. “So I learned from that play and just dropped deeper; the ball just fell into my hands.”At 6-2, Baltimore remain primed for a postseason bid despite the offense perhaps not being as potent as it was a year ago.Watch the Baltimore Ravens at the New England Patriots, live on Sky Sports NFL from 1.20am on Monday morning. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are 6-2 on the season despite defences seemingly catching up to their offence
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are 6-2 on the season despite defences seemingly catching up to their offence

Colliers International: Tourism remains the most active investment sector

first_imgTourism is still our most active sector, and investors are most interested in investing in coastal areas, and in the two largest cities, Split and Zagreb. According to the latest research and analysis of the Croatian investment and real estate market by the consulting company Colliers International, the total volume of transactions in the commercial real estate market reached about 810 million EUR, which is twice as much as in 2017, all as a result of positive investor sentiment and attractive returns. Investors focus on the retail and HTL sectors, but the number of projects under construction in most sectors is still significantly smaller than in the pre-crisis period, which has the greatest impact on prices in the housing sector. HTL most active sector However, the analysis emphasizes that numerous factors threaten the competitiveness of Croatian tourism and hinder further investment potential. Thus, the main obstacles include the level of VAT (one of the highest rates in the Mediterranean), the high rate of total wage contributions, the lack of skilled labor, bureaucracy and the increase in tourist taxes.center_img While on the one hand there is a lack of foreign investment, the leading domestic HTL players in Croatia (Adris, Valamar, Plava Laguna) have continued to make large investments to improve their quality and competitiveness. Regardless of the lack of quality real estate for sale, in 2019 it is expected to continue transactions in commercial real estate, mostly in the HTL sector, as well as to strengthen the share of office real estate in the total value of transactions. ATTACHMENT: Colliers International, / Research and analysis of the Croatian investment and real estate market (H2 2018 market overview & 2019 forecasts)last_img read more

Paradise Waters property comes with a vining garden that captures skyline views

first_img15 Seafarer Court, Paradise Waters.FRED Merritt made Paradise Waters his home six years ago after falling in love with the Gold Coast during his almost decade of organising the American flyover jets for Indy 300.Merritt and his wife Robyn split their time between Sydney and a beachside unit all through those high-octane glory days, before seriously considering a permanent relocation to 15 Seafarer Court.15 Seafarer Court, Paradise Waters.“It was the only place I wanted to go,” Merritt said. “We came from Double Bay where everyone is in a hurry but up here, it’s always so pleasant and tranquil.”The couple spends a portion of most days on the terrace, overlooking the waterway and Main Beach high-rises beyond.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North8 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago15 Seafarer Court, Paradise Waters.“I have my papers delivered of a morning and I sit out there, watching the tide,” Merritt said. “It’s just perfect and we’re facing northeast so it’s lovely. We’ll have trouble finding something to replace it.”The has almost too much space now for the Merritts with six bedrooms and five bathrooms.“We don’t really need that much room but we’ll be staying in Paradise Waters.”The property has a solar-heated pool and spa, as well as a jetty and ramp.15 Seafarer Court, Paradise Waters.Inside is a large kitchen, shared living rooms, an office, den, workshop and wine cellar.A recreation space, which could double as a billiard room, currently holds Merrett’s collection of airplane memorabilia.“It’s like a bunker that room, you can make plenty of sound and nobody would know.”last_img read more