Monkey malaria parasite poses increasing risks to humans

first_imgA new study has shed light on why a monkey malaria parasite that typically caused only mild infection in humans is now beginning to cause severe disease and death—and how it has the potential to become a dangerous human-to-human pathogen. In a multidisciplinary study using experimental and modeling approaches, researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) showed that while the parasite usually prefers only young red blood cells, it can adapt over time to invade both younger and older cells—thus greatly increasing its virulence.The study appeared March 27, 2013 online in Nature Communications. Senior authors were Manoj Duraisingh, associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases, and Caroline Buckee, assistant professor of epidemiology at HSPH.“We are excited to be able to culture this parasite for the first time in human red blood cells, but also to explore the population-level implications with mathematical models,” said Duraisingh. “This study identifies a likely mechanism for virulence evolution of a recent human parasite.”The study is the first to provide a mechanistic explanation of the virulence of Plasmodium knowlesi, a macaque malaria parasite. This parasite usually proliferates poorly in human blood because it prefers only the youngest of red blood cells. (Red blood cells live for three months in the bloodstream.) Read Full Storylast_img read more

Not in short supply: Blame for EU’s rusty vaccine rollout

first_imgAPELDOORN, Netherlands (AP) — The 27-nation EU is coming under criticism for the slow rollout of its vaccination campaign. The bloc, a collection of many of the richest countries in the world, is not faring well in comparison to countries like Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. While Israel has given at least one shot of a two-dose vaccine to over 40% of its population and that figure in Britain is 10%, the EU total stands at just over 2%. Onerous regulations and paperwork in some countries and poor planning in others have contributed to the delay, as did a more deliberate authorization process for the shots.last_img

Colombia extradites FARC rebel to U.S.

first_img Colombia on February 9 extradited a FARC rebel to the United States wanted in connection to the kidnapping of three Americans who were freed in 2008 after five years in captivity. Alexander Beltran, 35, was handed over to agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Colombian police said. The United States sought his extradition in December 2010 after charging him with multiple homicides and terrorism, and the Colombian Supreme Court approved the transfer last month. Beltran, also known under the alias Rodrigo Pirinolo, is also accused of involvement in the abduction and captivity of the three American employees of a security firm, who were kidnapped in 2003. They were freed in the 2008 operation that also saw the high profile release of former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, a dual French-Colombian national who had been kept in captivity in the jungle for six years. The rebel group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) officially renounced abduction of civilians late last month, but still holds ten members of Colombian security forces, though it has pledged to release them soon. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos says he will open a direct dialogue with the FARC only when all hostages are released and the group vows to cease “terrorist” actions. He also wants the FARC to stop recruiting children. By Dialogo March 13, 2012last_img read more

Biden, leading in Pennsylvania, nears victory in the state and the election.

first_imgPHILADELPHIA — Joseph R. Biden Jr. took the lead over President Trump in Pennsylvania on Friday morning as Democrats grew increasingly confident that he would win the state and with it the presidency: The state’s 20 electoral votes would put Mr. Biden, who has 253 electoral votes, past the 270-vote threshold for victory.By Friday evening, after more votes were counted from Philadelphia and other counties that have supported Mr. Biden, he led Mr. Trump by more than 19,500 votes.- Advertisement – “We can also tell you that it may take several days to complete the reporting of that,” Ms. Deeley added.On Thursday, Kathy Boockvar, the Pennsylvania secretary of state, told CNN that the “overwhelming majority” of the state’s remaining votes would be counted by Friday. Pennsylvania Democratic officials have said their analysis of the uncounted votes gave them confidence that Mr. Biden would win the state by a substantial margin.- Advertisement – Mr. Biden had steadily erased Mr. Trump’s early lead in the state — at one point, the president led by half a million votes — as ballots, mostly absentee and mail-in votes, were counted over the past few days. Most of the remaining uncounted votes in the state are in Democratic-leaning areas.At a news conference on Friday afternoon, Philadelphia elections officials said that they had about 40,000 ballots left to count in the city. Mr. Trump has baselessly insisted that post-Election Day tallies showing Mr. Biden leading in battleground states, including Pennsylvania, were the result of fraud, and has vowed to challenge them in court. His campaign showed no sign of an imminent concession Friday morning. “The false projection of Joe Biden as the winner is based on results in four states that are far from final,” a lawyer for the Trump campaign said in a statement.Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia dismissed those accusations on Friday.“While some including the President continue to spew baseless claims of fraud, claims for which his team has not produced one iota of evidence, what we have seen here in Philadelphia is democracy, pure and simple,” Mr. Kenney said.Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the Biden campaign, said that if Mr. Biden won the election and Mr. Trump refused to concede, “The United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.” “We believe when the votes are counted, it’s pretty clear that Joe Biden’s going to be president of the United States, because he’s going to win Pennsylvania,” said State Senator Sharif Street, the vice chair of the state Democratic Party, on Thursday. The remaining ballots “generally fall into one of three categories: those that require a review, provisionals and U.S. military overseas ballots,” said Lisa Deeley, one of the city commissioners in Philadelphia in charge of elections. “I would estimate there’s approximately 40,000 remaining to be counted.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

The County of Istria has sent a public invitation to mark the World Tourism Day in Istria

first_imgThe Department therefore invites all legal and natural persons, ie providers of tourist and tourism-related services operating in the Istrian County, to get involved, in order to make the tourist offer more accessible to all citizens and visitors of Istria. After the successful implementation of the initiative to open the tourist year and start tourism in Istria, which in extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic managed to attract over 100 attractions and 5.000 visitors throughout Istria in two days, the Administrative Department of Tourism of Istria marking World Tourism Day. The celebration of the World Tourism Day is scheduled for September 26 and 27 (Saturday and Sunday) in the entire Istria County. Among all applications received, those that fit into development priorities will be selected, especially those that operate in accordance with the principles of sustainable and responsible development, and which contribute to raising quality and extending the tourist season, creating experiences, employment and balanced development of Istrian tourism. World Tourism Day is celebrated on September 27, the day when the Statute of the UNWTO (UN World Tourism Organization) was adopted in 1970, which represents a kind of turning point in the history of tourism in the world. This year’s motto under which the day is celebrated is “Tourism & Rural development.” Find out more HERElast_img read more

No licenses needed to import medical equipment, protective gear until June: Trade Ministry

first_imgThe Trade Ministry has issued a regulation to temporarily scrap all requirements for importing protective gear and medical equipment to reverse the shortages of such items used to treat COVID-19 patients and prevent further spread.The ministry said in statement on Tuesday that importers would no longer need surveyors reports (LS) from the originating countries or ports and would meet no port entry restrictions until June 30. Shipment would now only need a bill of loading.”We hope that the issuance of the Trade Ministry regulation can accelerate the entry of medical tools needed during the COVID-19 pandemic so that the availability of tools is fulfilled and there are no shortages,” Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto said.As the only few requirements for such products have been scrapped through the new regulation, licensing is no longer needed to import them. The regulation applies to face masks, medical attire, gloves and various pieces of medical equipment.The ministry’s effort is intended to help Indonesia’s health workers, doctors and nurses who have been treating COVID-19 cases since mid-February despite many of them having inadequate protection. The Indonesian Medical Association (IDI) announced over the weekend that five doctors had died of the illness, in addition to a nurse who died of COVID-19 on March 12.Meanwhile, fears over the coronavirus’ spread has caused face mask prices to skyrocket as uncontrolled buying and hoarding have resulted in scarcity. Manufacturers have also been allegedly caught inflating prices by stockpiling supplies.The regulation follows a recent presidential decree that compels the government to ease imports of products needed to handle COVID-19 cases.The ministry previously banned exporting face masks, hand sanitizer, protective medical gear and raw materials used for health products through Trade Ministry Regulation No. 23/2020 to ensure a sufficient domestic supply.”The availability of affordable medical devices and personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic is believed to be able to support the government’s efforts to break the chain of virus spread,” the minister concluded.IDI chairman Ilham Oetama Marsis said in a statement sent to The Jakarta Post on Thursday that temporarily removing import licensing requirements was needed in the current emergency. However, he said if “we fail [to handle COVID-19] with conservative policies, there are no other choices than executing a lockdown”. Under such conditions, Indonesia has to prepare enough isolation rooms, medical equipment and secondary medications. Major business players are split over the idea of a lockdown to slow the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19, but seem to support President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s push to limit face-to-face interactions by having people work, study and worship from home.The number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia quadrupled within a week, jumping from 172 positive diagnoses on March 17 to 790 on Wednesday. The number of deaths was 58, with the disease spreading to at least 24 of the country’s 34 provinces.Topics :last_img read more

German coronavirus smartphone tracing app goes live

first_imgTopics : Germany sought to mobilize the public on Tuesday to download a new smartphone app that seeks to help break the chain of coronavirus infections, one of several such apps in Europe that governments hope will revive travel and tourism.The new Covid-Warn-App, which became available for download for Apple and Android phones overnight, uses Bluetooth short-range radio to monitor close contacts between people and issue a warning should one of them test positive.”Everyone who downloads the app, and everyone who encourages friends to do so, is making a difference,” Health Minister Jens Spahn told ZDF public television ahead of a launch event in Berlin. Germany follows European countries like Italy, Poland and Switzerland in launching an app based on technology from Apple and Alphabet’s Google that protects privacy by storing Bluetooth logs securely on devices.The project nearly went off the rails in April as Berlin abandoned an initial approach that stored data on a central server – which privacy experts said could allow people’s relationships to be spied on.Still, public enthusiasm for the app is moderate – last week’s Politbarometer opinion poll for ZDF found that 42% of people would download it and 46% would not, while 8% didn’t have a smartphone.Millions of downloads will be needed to increase the chance of both people in a risk event having the app, but officials have backed away from earlier aspirations to reach as much as 60% of the population.Downloading the Covid-Warn-App was easy enough on an iPhone on Tuesday morning, although some people may be deterred by the need to upgrade first to the latest version of the iOS operating system.last_img read more

Who could resist this house with this gorgeous dog helping selling it

first_img56 Tarm St, Wavell Heights. Picture: realestate.com.auThe six-bedroom Hamptons style home is listed through Tristan Rowland of Place — Aspley.The main bedroom has a large walk-in-robe. The ensuite has a large vanity with Caesarstone benchtops, two recessed basins and matt black tapware.A palatial home at 2739 Moggill Rd, Pinjarra Hills has made the most popular list again this week. The five-bedroom Italian villa style home is three levels and has an internal lift. 21 Uplands Drive, Parkwood, Picture: realestate.com.auMore from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investorless than 1 hour agoThe home has a lot going for it, aside from the cute pooch who currently lives thereThe Queenslander has an open plan living area and a double sided open fire place. There are wrap around verandas and the main bedroom has a private terrace.There is also self-contained guest accommodation downstairs. The property has a swimming pool and gazebo.No cute dog in the photos of this one, but 56 Tarm St, Wavell Heights was the second most popular real estate listing this week. 79 Leicester St, Coorparoo. Picture: realestate.com.auOn the lower level is a fully self-contained area with a separate street entrance. On the upper level are three-metre high ceilings, VJ walls and timber picture rails. The home is listed through Jose Peralta of Ray White — Carina.Rounding out the top five most views home this week is a five-bedroom home at 22 Ben St, Chermside West listed for offers of more than $1,100,000. 21 Uplands Drive, Parkwood, Picture: realestate.com.auThe five-bedroom home is listed for auction through Lisa Halpin of Savills Gold Coast on October 29. Who could resist this property with a pooch like this to greet you. 21 Uplands Drive, Parkwood. Picture: realestate.com.auWHO could resist this house with this gorgeous dog helping sell it?The house at 21 Uplands Drive, Parkwood was the most viewed property on realestate.com.au in Queensland this week.center_img 21 Uplands Drive, Parkwood, Picture: realestate.com.au 2739 Moggill Rd, Pinjarra Hills. Picture: realestate.com.auIt has detailed wall lighting, dark timber, parquetry flooring, high ceilings, wide hallways and traditional furnishings and is listed through Emil Juresicof NGU Real Estate.The next most viewed home on realestate.com.au this week was 79 Leicester St, Coorparoo. The three-bedroom 1925 character home is listed for $620,000 — $670,000. 22 Ben St, Chermside West. Picture: realestate.com.auThe home is o a 1012sq m block of land which is high enough to capture ocean views toward Moreton Island and Stradbroke Island. It is listed through Tristan Rowland of Place — Aspley.last_img read more

Interview: ATP boss on NOW: Pensions sale and future plans

first_imgDenmark’s huge statutory pension fund ATP has confirmed it has no intention of setting up any other foreign pensions businesses in the foreseeable future, after announcing the sale of its ill-fated UK subsidiary NOW: Pensions last week.However, draft legislation is being discussed in Denmark that could see the DKK785bn (€105bn) pension provider’s incoming contributions rise by up to 40% in a decade’s time, interim CEO Bo Foged told IPE.Foged – who has been in charge at ATP since Christian Hyldahl quit in November – declined to quantify the loss ATP incurred through NOW: Pensions, which it agreed to sell to Anglo-Dutch consultancy and fiduciary manager Cardano.The venture capital investment was part of ATP’s investment portfolio, the DKK92bn section earmarked for potential bonuses for members of the ATP Lifelong Pension. Foged said the loss on the UK pensions venture could not be seen as an isolated case, because it had to be reckoned alongside the many other private equity investments made by the pension fund. “From our point of view, it has become more complicated to run a pension fund these days”Bo Foged, acting CEO, ATP“Some of them outperform, others performed as planned and others performed below benchmark – and this is one of the bad performers, and we’ve been honest about that,” he said.The interim CEO said ATP would not consider making a similar investment in the near future.“It’s not part of our current strategic focus to go abroad and run a pension fund. We’re more focused on our home market,” he said.Strategy shiftThe Danish pension fund began to focus strategically on simplifying and consolidating two years ago when former chief executive Hyldahl took over, Foged said.“From our point of view, it has become more complicated to run a pension fund these days,” he explained. “First of all, we have been going into alternative investments, which are more complicated than investing in, say, listed bonds or equities.“Secondly, ESG [environmental, social and corporate governance investing] has become much more important, so we are having to do more screening on more ESG factors.“This all drives complexity so we have had to ask ourselves what to stop doing, and we have identified this investment [NOW: Pensions] as one of these things.”Big and getting biggerHowever, while ATP’s activities are contracting geographically, domestically it could see a considerable expansion in the long term as a result of a plan currently before parliament.Whereas ATP’s main scheme – the ATP Lifelong Pension – takes in mandatory contributions from working people in Denmark, draft legislation is currently in motion to create a pension scheme for people who receive social welfare benefits.The new scheme is slated for introduction in 2020, beginning with 0.3% contributions from welfare benefits, and rising to contributions of 3.3% in 2030.ATP has estimated the new scheme would bring inflows amounting to around 40% of the deposits it currently receives, Foged said.However, whether the new scheme would actually come into existence was uncertain, he added, as the proposal had to go through multiple consultation phases, and changes in the political landscape were possible in the meantime.last_img read more

C-Job and Glosten in New Partnership Agreement

first_imgTwo naval architecture firms, Glosten and C-Job Naval Architects, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create more value for their clients.The executives from the two firms met at Glosten’s newly opened East Coast office to sign the MOU defining the firms’ shared goals and objectives.Basjan Faber, CEO of C-Job, said: “We’ve been looking to expand our operations and follow our American Dream. We’re excited to have found a partner in Glosten, well-known in the American Maritime industry, who share the same vision and values as C-Job. We look forward to what our joint future will bring.”This multinational partnership will deliver optimized technical teams with increased value across a wide range of ship designs including research vessels, offshore energy service vessels, and dredging vessels.“This is an important step in formalizing what has already been a fruitful relationship over the past several months,” said Glosten president Morgan Fanberg, PE. “It is encouraging to see the work we can accomplish together. We look forward to offering these complementary skills to our industry partners around the globe.”C-Job’s track record in the offshore wind market, combined with Glosten’s experience in US ocean renewables, will bring added value to the offshore wind market.The companies’ combined track record and suite of services are complementary, focusing on areas such as naval architecture, marine engineering, structural engineering, electrical engineering, marine construction design, sustainable propulsion, numerical modelling, interior design, detail/production design, noise control engineering, and construction supervision.last_img read more