USA Draws The Group Of Death In 2015 Womens World Cup

The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Draw that concluded Saturday was the first ever to feature 24 teams; previous World Cups had only 16. Eight countries will make their debut, possibly paving the way for new talent to make a splash, and four champions will return stronger and more experienced. Here’s how the draw shook out, followed by our initial reactions to each group:Group A: Canada, China, Netherlands, New ZealandGroup A has the second-highest combined FIFA points score, 7522, and is likely to be exceptionally difficult to advance from. It’s led by host nation Canada (currently ranked eighth), and even the lowest-ranked team in the group, New Zealand, has an aggressive style of play that’s proved to be tough for Brazil and other strong squads. The young, technical Chinese team features standout forward Yang Li (nicknamed “Young Sun Wen,” after China’s all-time leading scorer), and the 15th-ranked Netherlands is making its World Cup debut after beating the higher-ranked Italy to qualify.Group B: Germany, Norway, Thailand, Ivory Coast Second-ranked Germany leads Group B. The Germans, having won back-to-back World Cups in 2003 and 2007, are regimented and unaccustomed to losing, as well as notorious for playing their best soccer at the World Cup. Norway clinched a World Cup title in 1995 but has yet to do it again. The Norweigans’ style of play is very direct (meaning they don’t focus on possession), but look for Olympique Lyon standout Ada Hegerberg to hold the ball up top. The Europeans should cruise through to the next stage — Thailand and Ivory Coast are relatively inexperienced and making their first World Cup appearances.Group C: Japan, Switzerland, Ecuador, CameroonSimilar to Group B, Group C features two top-ranked teams and two much weaker opponents — Cameroon and Ecuador — with Ecuador barely qualifying by beating Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 last week. The 2011 champions, Japan, are currently ranked third and play a highly technical style of soccer; the crafty midfielder Aya Miyama allows Japan to connect beautifully between the back and front lines. Switzerland is an exciting addition to the World Cup — the newcomers can compete against the strongest European teams. Swiss Ramona Bachmann has been likened to Marta and is nominated for the 2014 player of the year in Sweden’s Damallsvenskan, one of the top women’s leagues in the world.Group D: USA, Australia, Sweden, NigeriaThis group is being called the Group of Death — it has the highest total of combined FIFA points, 7786, and includes three teams in the top 10 FIFA rankings. The No. 1-ranked U.S. will again face Sweden in group play; the Swedes defeated the Americans 2-1 in the 2011 World Cup, and this time Sweden will be led by former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage. Australia is an athletic team that could give the U.S. and Sweden tough games, especially with explosive forward Lisa De Vanna leading the offense. And Nigeria should not be overlooked. Its young, talented team includes Asisat Oshoala, the winner of the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Adidas Golden Ball.Group E: Brazil, South Korea, Spain, Costa RicaSixth-ranked Brazil hasn’t looked as strong as it once did, losing 2-0 to France last month in a friendly, but it’s the strongest team in the rather weak Group E. First-timers Spain are led by forward Vero Boquete, a 2014 FIFA women’s player of the year nominee, and could match up well against Brazil — both teams are creative and patient. And South Korea is technical and organized, which could cause problems for the often disorganized Brazilians. But don’t count out Costa Rica, which placed second in the CONCACAF qualifiers (but was handedly defeated by the U.S. in the final). Some of its players, including Shirley Cruz Traña (who plays for the French club Paris Saint-Germain), have moments of brilliance.Group F: France, England, Mexico, ColombiaFoes France and England will face off in Group F, the third-strongest group based on combined FIFA points. France is a not-so-dark horse for 2015; it’s technical, physical and fast, and its players alternate between direct and possession-style play almost seamlessly. Élodie Thomis, Louisa Nécib and Eugénie Le Sommer are some of the top women’s players in the world. Meanwhile, the seventh-ranked England will be looking for retribution — France knocked out England in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinals. CONCACAF and CONMEBOL teams Mexico and Colombia will be hoping for a point against England and France, but lately Mexico has looked unfit and disorganized from the team that beat the U.S. in 2010. read more

Ohio State baseball downs Eastern Michigan 81

Redshirt-junior 1st baseman and pitcher Josh Dezse (left) tags the runner during a game against Eastern Michigan April 8 at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU won, 8-1.Credit: James Grega Jr. / Lantern reporterOne of the most important things a team has to do to succeed is win the games they are supposed to win.The Ohio State baseball team has done that all season long, and Tuesday was no exception in its game against Eastern Michigan.OSU (19-13, 2-7) won its ninth straight non-conference game against EMU (10-19, 1-8) defeating the Eagles, 8-1. While the win was good for the team, coach Greg Beals said after two straight weekend sweeps losing against Indiana and Nebraska, he would still like to see his team play at a higher level.“I told the guys afterwards that I don’t think we played a whole lot better than we played over the weekend, we got more hits but you’re playing a Tuesday mid-week game, you’re going to get more hits than against a weekend rotation pitcher,” Beals said.The Buckeyes’ starting pitcher freshman Zach Farmer threw 7.0 innings, only allowing two hits and one run and tallying three strikeouts. The win gives Farmer a team-best fifth win of the season.“I just settled down and threw what I knew I had, I went through my mechanics slowly and I just threw fastballs in there for strikes,” Farmer said. “Everything was really on point today.”Although Farmer’s game isn’t perfect, Beals said he is pleased with the progression of his young pitcher.“He’s one of the best left-handed pitchers in the state of Ohio and that’s why we brought him here and we were fortunate to get him here,” Beals said. “He continues to develop, he still needs to work on controlling the running game, he still needs to work on just being a little more efficient, but other than that his stuff is dominating.”A leadoff triple by redshirt-sophomore utility infielder Nick Sergakis initiated a massive third inning to get the Buckeyes’ offense going. OSU produced five runs in the inning, including an RBI single by junior outfielder Pat Porter to score Sergakis.The offense did not let up in the next inning, scoring two more in the fourth after a two-run RBI single to right-field by redshirt-sophomore infielder Ryan Leffel, bringing the score to 7-1 in OSU’s favor.Porter, who had an impressive diving catch in right field in the ninth inning to accompany his three hits and one RBI at the plate, said he felt good about his performance against EMU.“I’m starting to finally get comfortable, I felt real comfortable tonight I just have to keep grinding it out,” Porter said. “My swings felt good all year, really it’s just seeing the ball up, taking advantage of mistakes and I did that really well tonight.”Beals said  Porter’s effort showed – diving for the ball is exactly what he wants to see from each of his players.“I don’t care how many hits he got, I’ll take that catch in the ninth innings of a seven-run game because that tells me how he’s playing, that tells me where he’s at— he’s locked in and he’s playing the game,” Beals said.After Leffel’s single, both teams’ bats got quiet – neither team would post a run until sophomore first baseman Zach Ratcliff hit an RBI single to give the Buckeyes their final run of the night.Freshman pitcher Curtiss Irving entered the game in relief of Farmer in the eighth, throwing two scoreless innings with one hit and three strikeouts.The Buckeyes are scheduled to return to action Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. against Dayton at Bill Davis Stadium. read more

Texas Hispanic Groups Sue Trump Administration Over Census Citizenship Question

first_imgMarjorie Kamys CoteraAt a press conference at the Texas Capitol, state Rep. César Blanco, D-El Paso, addresses the decision taken by the Trump Administration to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.The Mexican American Legislative Caucus and the Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus are suing the Trump administration in hopes of blocking the addition of a citizenship question to the once-a-decade census of every person living in the United States.In a lawsuit filed Thursday in a Maryland-based federal court, the Texas-based groups allege that the addition of the controversial question is unconstitutional because it will lead to a disproportionate undercount of Latino and Asian residents, non-citizens and their family members.That undercount would endanger billions of dollars tied to social services funding and deprive those individuals of equal representation in the U.S. House and during the redrawing of political boundaries that follows each census count, the plaintiffs allege.The lawsuit against the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Commerce comes about two months after the Bureau announced it would add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census questionnaire. Since then, demographers, local officials and community organizers have been sounding the alarm about the role the question would play in depressing response rates among Texas immigrants and their families.Massive both in size and population, Texas has long been a hard-to-count state because of the millions of Texans who fall into the categories of people who pose the biggest challenges for the headcount — immigrants, college students, and children younger than 5 years old, to name a few.The lawsuit was filed on behalf of more than a dozen plaintiffs — including several Texas-based nonprofits that advocate for Latino residents and legislative Latino caucuses out of Arizona, Maryland and California — who say they are seeking to  “preserve the integrity” of the census count.The Trump administration’s “inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 decennial Census is arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with law,” the plaintiffs wrote in their filing. They specifically allege that the inclusion of the citizenship question violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause because it is “motivated by racial animus” toward Latinos, Asians, non-citizens and immigrants. They also argue that the court should act to prevent the undercount that would result from the addition of the question, which would amount to a violation of the Enumerations and Apportionment Clauses.In announcing the addition of the citizenship question back in March, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross indicated the citizenship-related data was necessary for “more effective enforcement” of the federal Voting Rights Act.Those working toward an accurate count said they were already working from behind even before the Trump administration announced it would add the citizenship question to the questionnaire. They said they were bracing for challenges both practical — Hurricane Harvey displacement, internet accessibility and fewer funds with which to knock on doors — and political — namely anti-immigrant rhetoric and fears that people would be too afraid to respond to a government questionnaire — that would make Texas even tougher to count.An accurate census is critical to the state. It is used to determine how many representatives Texas is entitled to elect to Congress. And the Texas Legislature and local governments rely on the data to redraw corresponding political boundaries.The census also serves as a roadmap for the distribution of billions of federal dollars to the state and local communities, including funding for low-income housing, medical assistance and transportation projects.As they embark on preparations for the 2020 count, local officials have also stepped into the legal fight over the citizenship question in court. Earlier this month, three border counties — El Paso, Hidalgo and Cameron — joined a coalition of more than 30 states, cities and counties that has also sued to block the inclusion of the citizenship question. Meanwhile, the state’s Republican attorney general, Ken Paxton, has made clear he has no intention of fighting the question. In an op-ed published in March, Paxton chalked up concerns about the citizenship question as “partisan uproar” that is not “being driven by the facts.” The Census Bureau is still waiting for congressional approval of the 2020 questionnaire that includes the citizenship question. The bureau has not asked all households about citizenship since the 1950 census, though it does ask about citizenship as part of annual surveys that only cover a sample of U.S. residents. Sharelast_img read more

Rep VanderWall Proposal to lower auto insurance rates step in right direction

first_img Categories: News,VanderWall News 26Sep Rep. VanderWall: Proposal to lower auto insurance rates step in right direction State Rep. Curt VanderWall today attended the announcement of a bipartisan coalition to reform Michigan’s broken auto no-fault insurance system and dramatically cut costs for drivers.VanderWall is reviewing legislation introduced today that will lower the cost of auto insurance in Michigan – which now has the highest rates in the nation – by offering motorists more coverage options, fighting fraud and reining in medical costs.“Everywhere I go in northern Michigan, people tell me the same thing – auto insurance costs far too much. We lead the nation in auto insurance costs, and that’s the sort of thing you don’t want to be No. 1 in,” said VanderWall, of Ludington. “We’ve heard these concerns loud and clear, and we’re committed to doing something about it. This proposal is a first step as we work toward lower insurance costs for drivers in Michigan.”Michigan’s average full coverage auto insurance premium cost – nearly $2,400 per year – is more than $1,000 above the national average and twice as high as those in neighboring states.The new bipartisan plan continues benefits for Michiganders already receiving lifetime health care after a catastrophic traffic accident. The plan also gives motorists the option to continue to buy unlimited personal injury protection coverage, or buy more affordable alternative coverage plans.The legislation:Provides a guaranteed rate reduction for drivers who choose certain coverage plans alternative to the unlimited plan;Gives individuals the choice on the extent of PIP coverage as part of their auto insurance. Choice levels include $250,000, $500,000 or unlimited;Allows seniors age 62 or older with lifetime health care benefits the option to opt out of PIP coverage to avoid the current double taxation;Establishes fee schedules and attendant care limits to lower medical costs related to auto injuries;Helps the state ensure insurance companies are complying with state law, and creates a fraud authority to address fraudulent claims;Provides a state review of the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) to make sure motorists are not overpaying for insurance; andAddresses attorney fee costs and unfounded lawsuits while eliminating attorney conflict of interests with medical providers.VanderWall is vice chair of the House Insurance Committee, which will take up the legislation for further review.#####last_img read more

Freesat the UK free to air satellite TV provider

first_imgFreesat, the UK free to air satellite TV provider, has announced that David Thomas has joined the company as its new head of product. Thomas has a varied background and extensive experience in the communications and broadcast sector, having held positions with companies like Sky, Cellcast, Endemol and Atlas Mobile.He joins Freesat from fintech start-up Novastone Media where he was also head of product. Prior to Novastone, Thomas worked as a consultant at mobile web development specialist, Atlas Mobile, as well as working as a product lead at Sky.Commenting on his appointment, Thomas said: “As a longstanding Freesat customer, I’m excited to be joining the business at such an important time in the company’s journey. There is huge potential for growth in the product offering, as well as many ways in which we can further enhance user experience around existing features. I’ve been extremely impressed by the team.”Alistair Thom, managing director at Freesat, added, “David’s appointment is key in this crucial year for Freesat. His diverse experience is invaluable as we look to connect with both new and existing customers in a number of innovative and exciting ways.”last_img read more

Touch and Go

first_img Add to Queue This story appears in the June 2010 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand May 17, 2010 Touch-based technology isn’t just for the iPhone and iPad. –shares Magazine Contributor Next Article 2 min read Jonathan Blum Touch, and Go Apple’s iPhone and iPad are not the only things that work with a touch of the finger. Touch-based technology is finding its way into everything from laptops to printers to once-forgettable desktop PCs–some of which fill critical niches for the smaller enterprise.Take the Acer Aspire Z5600, a 23-inch all-in-one touch-enabled desktop PC.The unit packs a hefty 2.33GHz processor, as much as 8GB of RAM and a full terabyte (1000GB) of storage in a single silver enclosure. Reminiscent of the Apple iMac in appearance, the Aspire Z5600’s functions can be operated with either a traditional keyboard and mouse or your–or your customer’s–fingers.That opens the box to myriad business possibilities: For example, the PC, which retails for $999, could be set up as a low-cost informational kiosk in retail shops or offices. John Karabian, a product manager at Acer, said touch-enabled desktops are being used as data entry points where customers can order food or view high-end cosmetics options at a retail store.And for all of its marketing prowess, Apple is far from being today’s top end of touch: Windows 7 has touch technology built into its core operating system, and third-party software vendors are lining up to offer value-added tools for touch.”The iPad and Apple are only the beginning,” says Francois Jenneau, sales and business development director for Stantum, a European multitouch display application developer. “Customers now want to touch their data. There is no going back.” Technology Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

USPS to Deliver 7 Days a Week During Holiday Season in Fight

first_imgDelivery Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. USPS to Deliver 7 Days a Week During Holiday Season in Fight With FedEx, UPS –shares Phil Wahba Next Article This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine 2 min read Add to Queue The United States Postal Service said on Thursday it would offer delivery seven days a week in major cities at the height of the holiday season, even on Christmas Day, as it looks to compete with FedEx and United Parcel Service for its share of the increase in package volume caused by the surge in e-commerce.The National Retail Federation’s Shop.org last month forecast e-commerce sales would rise as much as 11% this holiday season. UPS has doubled the number of seasonal hires this year to handle the expected jump in package volume, seeking to avoid last Christmas’ debacle when it was overwhelmed by an unpredictably large number of packages right before Christmas and couldn’t deliver thousands of them in time for the big day. FedEx has similarly ramped up hiring.USPS will delivery packages every day, including Sundays, beginning Nov. 17 through Christmas Day and is expecting the number of packages it handles to range between 450 million and 470 million packages, up 12% over last year’s holiday season..“That’s crunch time for us,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement. “E-commerce package business continues to be a big player now more than ever.”FedEx and UPS have each announced price hikes going into effect at the end of December, and UPS last month told Reuters it may charge retailers a premium for last minute deliveries. But USPS said it lowered some of its prices for businesses and frequent shippers.The Postal Service’s expanded delivery to compete with the large package shipping companies comes as USPS tries to stanch enormous losses: in the quarter of ended June 30, 2014 alone, the service lost $2 billion, its 21st money-losing quarter of the last 23 periods. November 6, 2014 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now »last_img read more

Business Travelers Dont Be Lured by the Siren Song of Free WiFi

first_img Carolyn Sun Weekly Tips Roundup Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Looking to work stronger, smarter and faster? Our Tips Roundups from around the web can give you the boost you need.Zipcar is getting a makeover — finally. To stay competitive in the sharing economy, Zipcar has announced that certain cars will be allotted with more flexible rules, such as allowing one-way trips, indefinite reservation extensions and changes to the final destination in the midst of traveling, says The Verge.  Travel hacks for saving money. Changing your country setting when booking online and booking a roundtrip ticket on two different airlines are just a few hacks for saving when booking airline tickets, according to Tech Insider.Do you know where your wi-fi is coming from? Cybersecurity company Avast Software tested how eager travellers at the Barcelona airport would be for free wi-fi during the Mobile World Congress. Turns out they’ll trust most networks leaving some data vulnerable as some providers aren’t what they seem. The lessons Avast learned can benefit any entrepreneur on the go, as Refinery29 reports. Business Travelers: Don’t Be Lured by the Siren Song of Free Wi-Fi –shares Image credit: Luis Llerena | StockSnap.io Add to Queue Next Article 1 min read February 26, 2016 Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

Teespring and Twitch Announce New Partnership

first_imgTeespring and Twitch Announce New Partnership MTS Staff WriterJune 18, 2019, 8:03 pmJune 18, 2019 Chris LamontagneMarketing TechnologyNewsPartnershipTeespringTwitch Previous ArticleDocuSign Demonstrates Industry’s Next Must-Have Cloud at Momentum 2019Next ArticleAvaamo Collaborates with Automation Anywhere to Offer Conversational AI to RPA Customers Teespring, the global platform that allows independent creators to design and sell their own creations, is announcing its new partnership with Twitch, the world’s largest streaming platform for gamers. The new partnership signals the next step in Teespring’s journey to establish themselves as leaders in ‘creator merchandise’; not only does the service allow creators to monetize their channels, it encourages their fanbase to subscribe to their Twitch stream with the promise of access to exclusive “subscriber-only” merch, something that has not previously been possible.In a fast-growing era of shoppable content, audiences can now browse and buy products without ever having to leave Twitch’s stream page. The Twitch and Teespring partnership is a significant move that will also give users the chance to check out directly from the integrated extension. With 15 million daily active viewers, the growth of Twitch has seen the platform move from a predominantly gaming streaming service, to expanded lifestyle topics for content-hungry Gen Z followers. This partnership empowers creators to connect with subscribers through exclusive merch, while furthering their personal brands and businesses.Marketing Technology News: Oracle Collaborates with Top Oracle PartnerNetwork Platinum Level Members to Rethink Customer Data Platform MarketOver 100,000 creators trust Teespring to monetize their content, and with over 18,000 streamers already signed up to the platform, Twitch users are now joining this revolution. The new platform enables users to design and sell products with the added option of making merch available exclusively for subscribers for the first time, encouraging new viewers to become followers of a user’s stream and ultimately rewarding loyal fans with exclusive creator content. Animated in-stream alerts also give users the chance to engage and acknowledge each time someone supports their channel. These alerts are built in and optimised, enhancing the users’ experience further than has previously been possible. Teespring has created the most comprehensive commerce eco-system on the market, and continues to drive change in how creators and customers alike embrace social commerce. The function is following in the significantly successful footsteps of the YouTube partnership and the introduction of the world’s first merch shelf in 2018; the function boasts 30% more click throughs than all other traffic sources, with US creators Lucas the Spider and Phil DeFranco reporting an increase in daily unit sales of 69.9% and 87.5% respectively. The Twitch partnership now taps further into the huge Gen Z market; with 71% of teens’ typical entertainment consumption is streaming, and one-third viewed from a mobile device, the market continues to offer significant potential.Marketing Technology News: Databricks Accelerates APJ Expansion Following $250 Million Funding RoundChris Lamontagne, CEO at Teespring says: “We are always seeking ways in which to bring more opportunities for creators to connect with their followers through industry firsts that keep up with the fast-paced demands of the incredibly influential Gen Z market. Content creators are bringing more and more innovation to the playing field, and we’re working continuously to introduce newer and simpler ways for this young generation to build their brands and deliver for their fans. Twitch is the perfect addition to our partnership eco-system in achieving this goal and we’re thrilled to bring another first to the social commerce market.”Launching on 18th June 2019, the Teespring and Twitch extension will be available to all Twitch users.Marketing Technology News: Blis Expands Into the Netherlands With First Hirelast_img read more

Moderate exercise in the evening does not have negative effect on sleep

Source:https://www.ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/eth-news/news/2018/12/physical-activity-in-the-evening-does-not-cause-sleep-problems.html Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 14 2018Even among sleep researchers, it is a widely held belief that sleep quality can be improved by avoiding exercise in the evening. However, as researchers from the Institute of Human Movement Sciences and Sport at ETH Zurich have demonstrated, it is not generally true.The scientists combed through the literature on the subject and analysed all 23 studies that met their quality requirements. They concluded that doing exercise in the four hours before going to bed does not have a negative effect on sleep. “If doing sport in the evening has any effect on sleep quality at all, it’s rather a positive effect, albeit only a mild one,” says Christina Spengler, head of the Exercise Physiology Lab at ETH Zurich.By combining the data from the different studies, the researchers showed that in the night after study participants had done some sport in the evening, they spent 21.2 percent of their sleeping time in deep sleep. Following an evening without exercise, the average figure was 19.9 percent. While the difference is small, it is statistically significant. Deep sleep phases are especially important for physical recovery.Intensive training late in the evening: an exception to the ruleVigorous training within an hour before bedtime is an exception to the rule. According to this analysis, it is the only type of evening exercise that may have a negative effect on sleep. “However, this preliminary observation is based on just one study,” Spengler says.”As a rule of thumb, vigorous training is defined as training in which a person is unable to talk. Moderate training is physical activity of an intensity high enough that a person would no longer be able to sing, but they could speak,” Spengler says. One example of vigorous training is the kind of high-intensity interval training that competitive athletes often perform. In many cases, though, a longer endurance run or a longer ride on a racing bike would fall into the moderate training category.Related StoriesUnpleasant experiences could be countered with a good night’s REM sleepI’m a CPAP dropout: Why many lose sleep over apnea treatmentSleep makes synapses ready for new learningAs the analysis showed, it took study participants who completed an intensive training session shortly before bedtime longer to fall asleep. The study also provided insight into why this is the case: the test subjects were not able to recover sufficiently in the hour before they went to bed. Their hearts were still beating more than 20 beats per minute faster than their resting heart rate.Possible sleep problems are no excuseAccording to the official recommendations of sport physicians, people should do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Many may ask themselves: should I exercise in the evening if I didn’t have time during the day, or will that have a negative effect on my sleep? “People can do exercise in the evening without hesitation. The data shows that moderate exercise in the evening is no problem at all,” says Jan Stutz, a doctoral student in Spengler’s research group and lead author of the analysis, which was published in the journal Sports Medicine. Moderate exercise did not cause sleep problems in any of the studies examined, not even when the training session ended just 30 minutes before bedtime. “However, vigorous training or competitions should be scheduled earlier in the day, if possible,” Stutz says.Stutz and Spengler point out that they examined average values over the course of their analysis, which made only general statements possible. “Not everyone reacts to exercise in the same way, and people should keep listening to their bodies. If they notice they are having problems falling asleep after doing sport, they should try to work out a little earlier,” Stutz says.”It is well known that doing exercise during the day improves sleep quality,” Spengler says, adding: “Now we have shown that, at the very least, exercising in the evening doesn’t have a negative effect.” read more

Researchers synthesize artificial cells to detect histamine

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 3 2019Baking a cake from scratch is a task deemed difficult for many. Constructing an artificial cell-like system from scratch, well that’s another story.”Synthesizing cells from scratch is of fundamental importance to understand what life is,” said Prof. Yohei Yokobayashi, leader of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) Nucleic Acid Chemistry and Engineering Unit.Scientists around the world are beginning to create simple artificial cells that conduct some basic biological functions and that contain small strands of DNA or RNA. However, getting these snippets of genetic material to express their encoded proteins in response to precise signals has been a challenge.Now, Yokobayashi and other researchers from OIST and Osaka University have found a way to make artificial cells interact with a wide range of chemicals. They developed a riboswitch – a gene switch that senses chemical signals – that can respond to histamine, a chemical compound that is naturally produced in the body. In the presence of this chemical, the riboswitch turns on a gene inside the artificial cells. Such a system, could one day be used as a new way of administering medicine, said Yokobayashi, a corresponding author on a recent study in Journal of the American Chemical Society, which describes the approach.”We want the cells to release drugs based on their detection of histamine,” Yokobayashi said. “The ultimate goal is to have cells in your gut use histamine as a signal to release the appropriate amount of drug to treat a condition.”Signal selectionThe scientists chose histamine as the chemical signal for their artificial cells because it is an important biological compound in the immune system. If you feel an itch, histamine is the likely culprit. It is also released by the body during allergic reactions and helps defend against foreign pathogens by spurring inflammation.To detect histamine, they created a molecule called an RNA aptamer. RNA aptamers are small segments of RNA building blocks that can be engineered to act as binding agents to specific target molecules. It took Yokobayashi and his colleagues, former OIST postdocs Dr. Mohammed Dwidar and Dr. Shungo Kobori and OIST PhD student Charles Whitaker, two years to create an aptamer that targeted histamine.Related StoriesNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationNext, the team developed a so-called riboswitch that would turn this signal detection into action – specifically, translating a gene to produce a protein. Normally, cells produce proteins when templates made of messenger RNA (mRNA) bind to cellular structures called ribosomes. Here, the scientists used the histamine aptamer to design a riboswitch that alters the shape of the mRNA upon binding histamine. In the absence of histamine, the shape of the mRNA prevents the ribosome from binding, and no protein is produced. Histamine-bound mRNA, however, allows ribosome to bind and synthesize proteins.”We demonstrated that riboswitches can be used to make artificial cells respond to desired chemical compounds and signals,” Yokobayashi said.The next step resulted from a collaboration with senior author Prof. Tomoaki Matsuura and graduate student Yusuke Seike of the Department of Biotechnology at Osaka University. Matsuura and Seike put the cell-free riboswitch created by Yokobayashi’s team into lipid vesicles to create artificial cells. The Osaka team attached the riboswitch to a gene expressing a fluorescent protein, so that when the riboswitch was activated by histamine, the system glowed. Then, they controlled another protein by the riboswitch – one that makes nanometer-scale pores on the cell membrane. When the aptamer sensed histamine, a fluorescent compound encapsulated in the vesicles was released out of the cells through the pores, modeling how the system would release a drug.The scientists also created a ‘kill switch’, which instructs the cell to self-destruct – creating a control for the technology.The technology is in the early stages of development. The next step is to make the artificial cells more sensitive to a smaller amount of histamine. Medical use may be in the distant future, but the potential exists, the scientists say. Source:Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate UniversityJournal reference:Dwidar, M. et al. (2019) Programmable Artificial Cells Using Histamine-Responsive Synthetic Riboswitch. Journal of the American Chemical Society. doi.org/10.1021/jacs.9b03300 .last_img read more

France adopts pioneering tax on tech giants after US threat

first_img Related News “Each of us is seeing the emergence of economic giants with monopolistic attributes and who not only want to control a maximum amount of data and make money with this data, but also go further than that by, in the absence of rules, escaping taxes and putting into place instruments that could, tomorrow, become a sovereign currency,” Le Maire said.  The French Finance Ministry has estimated that the tax would raise about €500mil (RM2.31bil) annually at first — but predicted fast growth.  The tech industry is warning that consumers could pay more. US companies affected included Airbnb and Uber as well as those from China and Europe.  The bill aims to stop multinationals from avoiding taxes by setting up headquarters in low-tax EU countries. Currently, the companies pay nearly no tax in countries where they have large sales like France.  France failed to persuade EU partners to impose a Europe-wide tax on tech giants, but is now pushing for an international deal with the 34 countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.  “The Internet industry is a great American export, supporting millions of jobs and businesses of all sizes. Global tax rules should be updated for the digital age — and there is a process to do so underway at the OECD — but discriminatory taxes against US firms are not the right approach,” said Jordan Haas of the Internet Association, an industry trade group whose members include Facebook, Google and Uber.  Another US trade group, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, also said the French proposal discriminated against American companies.  The US investigation got bipartisan support from the top members of the Senate Finance Committee. In a joint statement, Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa, committee chairman, and Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon said: “The digital services tax that France and other European countries are pursuing is clearly protectionist and unfairly targets American companies in a way that will cost US jobs and harm American workers.”  Also on Thursday, Britain moved ahead with similar plans as the government published draft legislation for a “digital services tax”. Starting in April, search engines, social media platforms and online marketplaces that “derive value from UK users” will be subject to a new 2% tax.  Small companies and unprofitable startups will also be spared in the British proposals. The levy will apply to companies with more than £500mil (RM2.57bil) in revenue, if more than £25mil (RM128.95mil) comes from British users.  The tax is temporary and would be replaced by a global deal, which Britain has also been pushing for through the OECD and the Group of 20 major economies. – AP World 10 Jul 2019 France will end healthcare refunds for homeopathic drugs PARIS: France adopted a pioneering tax on Internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook on July 11, despite US threats of new tariffs on French imports.  The final vote in favour of the tax in the French Senate came hours after the Trump administration announced an investigation into the tax under the provision used last year to probe China’s technology policies, which led to tariffs on US$250bil (RM1.02tril) worth of Chinese imports.  “Between allies, we can, and we should, solve our differences without using threats,” Bruno Le Maire said. “France is a sovereign country. It will make its own sovereign decisions on fiscal measures.”  The tax amounts to a 3% annual levy on the French revenues of digital companies with yearly global sales worth more than €750mil (RM3.47bil) and French revenue exceeding €25mil (RM115.89mil). The tax primarily targets those that use consumer data to sell online advertising.  France has adopted a pioneering tax on Internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook despite threats from the US. Le Maire said allies needed to settle differences “without using threats”. — AP World 11 Jul 2019 France doesn’t see Gulf situation spiralling out of control – army chief World 08 Jul 2019 France urges Iran to drop plan to enrich uranium above agreed limit Related News {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more