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first_imgNanoparticles with microbial properties have proven effective in fighting bacteria; however, some may cause health risks to humans such as damage to the lungs. But now, researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have developed a technique for making nanoparticles safer by suspending them in water.These droplets — called nanobombs by Philip Demokritou, associate professor of aerosol physics and director of the Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology, and colleagues — reduced concentrations of a mycobacterium similar to the one that causes tuberculosis by more than 50%, according to a paper published March 13, 2014 in Nanomedicine.“It’s all about reducing the risk of transmission,” Demokritou told The Economist in a June 7, 2014 article. “There is not any technology out there to completely eliminate bacteria, but if you can you reduce rates by a half, that has huge implications for preventive policies.”The researchers also found that mice exposed to the nanobombs at six times the concentration used for attacking bacteria showed no signs of lung damage. Demokritou hypothesizes that the nanobombs are neutralized by the fluid lining of the mice’s’ lungs. Read Full Storylast_img read more

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden appears to be boosting his goal for coronavirus vaccinations in his first 100 days in office, suggesting the nation could soon be vaccinating 1.5 million Americans on average per day. Biden made the comments Monday as talks with Congress over a $1.9 trillion stimulus package showed few signs of progress. He signaled his increasing bullishness on the pace of vaccinations after signing an executive order to boost government purchases from U.S. manufacturers. It was among a flurry of moves by Biden during his first full week to publicly show he’s taking swift action to heal an ailing economy.last_img read more

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Federal authorities are reportedly investigating New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and his son, Adam—shocking news that has sparked a separate probe in Nassau County, officials said.The New York Times reported Wednesday that Manhattan federal prosecutors have subpoenaed witnesses, including fellow elected officials from Long Island, to testify before a grand jury regarding Adam Skelos’ business dealings with a company that won a lucrative Nassau County contract. As a result, Nassau prosecutors have also begun looking into county contracts. A spokesman for Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said that he and the county are not targets of the federal probe, but are cooperating with investigators.“I have and will continue to cooperate with any inquiry,” Sen. Skelos said in a statement Thursday. In January, the senator had blasted an NBC New York story for reporting that he was under investigation when, he claimed, he had not been contacted by law enforcement. Christopher Conniff, an attorney for his son, did not return a call for comment.The news comes three months after New York State Assemb. Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) pleaded not guilty to charges that he allegedly used his influence to pad his own pockets during his two-decade tenure as the Assembly Speaker. Skelos, who is equally as powerful in Albany, is part of the “Three Men In The Room” that negotiates the state’s legislative agenda with the Assembly speaker and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.Declining to comment were representatives for the FBI and Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Asked if any other elected official was under investigation when Silver was arrested, Bharara had replied, “Stay tuned.”Now the focus is on Nassau.“One focal point has been Adam Skelos’s hiring by an Arizona company, AbTech Industries, as well as a storm-water treatment contract that AbTech was awarded by Nassau County…even though the company was not the low bidder,” the Times reported, citing anonymous sources. “Investigators are seeking to determine whether Senator Skelos exerted any influence in matters involving AbTech. They are also examining whether his son’s hiring as a consultant was part of a scheme in which the senator, in exchange, would take official action that would benefit AbTech or another company, Glenwood Management, a politically influential real estate developer that has had ties to AbTech.”That line of inquiry has sparked a separate review by Nassau prosecutors.“Today’s news about AbTech Industries is troubling,” Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, a Democrat, said in a statement Thursday. “My Public Corruption Bureau will conduct a comprehensive review of Nassau County contracting practices.”When asked to confirm reports that Mangano was among those asked to testify before the grand jury—according to the Times, they included some of Skelos’ other fellow Republican state senators from LI—a spokesman for the county executive touted the transparency of Nassau government.“Nassau County has the most transparent process known to government,” said Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin in a statement. “The County has been cooperating with law enforcement officials who have requested information relating to contracts that were awarded under an open, competitive and transparent procurement process.“The County Executive and the County have been notified that they are not targets of the investigation,” Nevin continued, “and will continue to assist law enforcement officials in the event they require additional information regarding the methodology of this public procurement process and the specifics of how the award determination was made.”last_img read more

first_img 21SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Believe it or not, but color plays a very important role in how your brand can be perceived by the public. This visually obvious and subtle application has major impacts on the reflection and recognition of your brand. Color can attract attention, change mood and create a lasting recognition in consumers’ minds. For example, when you think of red, you think of Target. Yellow is associated with McDonald’s. Blue is for BYM Agency. OK, maybe that last one is just us, but still, you get the idea. When looking at color options for your brand, it’s important to understand why color matters.A study of the world’s top 100 brands, as determined by brand value, analyzed each brand’s logo and discovered that 33% of those companies use blue, 29% use red, 28% use black or gray, and 13% use yellow. Why those colors? What are they saying about the brand each logo is associated with? Let’s analyze it.Red creates a passionate and intuitive response. It’s a color that actually increases your heart rate, causes you to breathe heavier and activates the pituitary gland. When you look at red, you might be feeling these emotions: aggression, energy, provocativeness, passion and power. continue reading »last_img read more

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion President Trump and the NRA both seem to agree that we should arm our teachers to protect our students from another mass shooting. To see if the NRA is serious about the value of this idea, all we need do is look at their annual meeting to see if they allow concealed and open carry in this convention. They don’t.Arming teachers is a very dangerous idea on many counts, as it would be to allow NRA members to carry weapons at their convention. Yet, if teachers were used as part-time, armed protection, this would further the NRA’s main objective of increasing gun sales for all the manufacturers it represents.STEPHEN ANDERSONCharltonMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsPolice: Schenectady woman tried to take car in Clifton Park hours after arrest, release in prior the…EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

first_imgTopics : While many Saudis have rallied around their leaders on social media, others posted pictures of late King Abdullah under the hashtag “livelihood”, recalling a time of high oil prices and state largesse.Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shook up the conservative kingdom in 2016 with an ambitious vision to wean the economy off oil income, create a thriving private sector and generate millions of jobs in new industries and mega projects.‘Double shock’But low oil prices and the coronavirus have battered the finances of the world’s largest oil exporter at a time when state spending remains its economic engine and large foreign capital inflows have proven elusive. Unemployment among Saudis stands at 12%.Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said the measures, including cuts to state operating and capital expenditure, were “painful but necessary”.While Saudi bonds rallied as investors saw the measures as a sign Riyadh was ready to take tough steps to contain the deficit, business owners are bracing for more pain.”Is this the right time? It is a disaster and now a double shock, the coronavirus impact was severe and now we guarantee business is down for a longer time,” said a businessman in the construction sector.Saudi Arabia’s decision was likely based on the fact that the private sector still plays a marginal role, analysts said.”The farce of a strong Saudi private sector is put aside. There may be growth over the longer term, but the state was always going to guide that process,” said Karen Young, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.The state encouraged Saudis to buy shares in oil giant Aramco when it went public last year. But since March they have been trading below the IPO price, frustrating many.”We have to support the government of course but I wish they made it (measures) gradual,” said Fatima, a 24-year-old Saudi saleswoman.”It was great to spend some extra money on cinemas, gym and dining and save for concerts, but now one has to be careful where to spend money,” she said on activities only recently made available under social reforms in the conservative kingdom.‘Suppressed anger’As Saudis feel the pinch, the prince may see his support base weaken and rumblings of discontent grow, though unrest is unlikely, one diplomat said.Prince Mohammed has cracked down on dissent by detaining clerics, activists and intellectuals, as well as members of the royal family and Saudi elite as he consolidated power.”The problem is these measures touch citizens … everyone’s salary got cut by 10%,” said the diplomat, adding that the posting of King Abdullah’s picture was a “negative indication”.”Nothing will happen on the street, it will be suppressed anger,” the diplomat said, noting that the hashtag “we will heed you in good times and bad” launched after the measures were announced did not gather steam as usually happens.The government’s media office did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.The economy is expected to shrink 2.3% this year versus 0.3% growth in 2019, according to the International Monetary Fund. Central bank foreign exchange reserves fell in March at their fastest rate in 20 years as the kingdom recorded a $9 billion budget deficit in the first quarter.Dubai-based economist Nasser Saidi said any additional revenues from the VAT hike would be negligible and the move will likely sharpen the recession.”It would add an unnecessary shock to the system at a time when businesses are struggling to stay afloat, households are experiencing lower incomes and expatriates without jobs are returning home,” he said.  Saudi Arabia’s austerity drive will squeeze a private sector vital to its plan to diversify away from oil and may cost its powerful crown prince some prestige as citizens see their spending power shrink.Several businessmen and economists said the tripling of value added tax (VAT) and suspension of a cost of living allowance for state employees could deepen a downturn in the Arab world’s largest economy and delay job creation.The changes are set to ripple through most areas of business life, already struggling with weak demand due to a coronavirus lockdown, and weigh on living standards of ordinary Saudis.center_img “I don’t understand how this will help the private sector that is already hit by low demand,” said a Saudi retailer, who requested anonymity to speak freely.”People are already holding on to their cash and no one is spending at all.”He said if business remains weak by the end of the year “I will have no other way than cutting jobs to minimize the cost”.Authorities had until now avoided steps affecting citizens directly, acutely aware that Saudis’ ability to tolerate such measures is vital in a country without elections and where political legitimacy rests partly on distribution of oil wealth.last_img read more

first_imgCOVID-19 task force head of expert staff Wiku Adisasmito has said that Tangerang city, Depok city, Bekasi city and Bekasi regency have the highest risk of COVID-19 transmission in Greater Jakarta based on a recent increase in cases.”We’ve made a map of the risk of COVID-19 transmission based on public health criteria by the WHO,” Wiku said in an online press conference on Tuesday.“In Greater Jakarta, we can see that there are areas that have moderate risk and high risk. The areas that have high risk are Tangerang city, Depok city, Bekasi city and Bekasi regency,” he added. Wiku said that according to the map, Jakarta was at moderate risk because the province had shown a 17.6 percent decline in weekly new cases. Read also: Jokowi visits mall in Bekasi ahead of reopening with ‘new normal’ protocols”However, when people who participated in mudik  [exodus] return to Jakarta, the capital could see a second wave,” he added.Wiku said the mapping was based on epidemiology, the health system and public health surveillance. “The epidemiology indicator consisted of transmission rates, fatality rates, the number of patients under surveillance [PDP] and people under monitoring [ODP],” he said.The health system indicator is measured by the hospital facilities, the availability of beds and the quantity of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers.Read also: Concerns mount over reopening of offices, malls as Indonesia steps into ‘new normal’Public health surveillance refers to the local health system’s ability to test, monitor and trace the contacts of residents.Wiku said the COVID-19 task force had mapped the risk of COVID-19 transmission in all affected regions of the country on a mobile application called Bersatu Lawan Covid (BLC), which is accessible to the public.”The WHO advises every country to map the transmission risk based on public health criteria to determine whether a region is ready to resume normal social and economic activity. […] It can also be used as a guideline for each region to determine whether they need to implement or loosen large-scale social restrictions [PSBB],” he said. (nal)Topics :last_img read more

first_img“We were not part of the coordination.”Jordan and Egypt are the only Arab countries to hold official relations with Israel, but Gulf Arab nations like the UAE have been warming to the Jewish state recently amid shared concerns over Iran.While a May 19 Etihad flight carrying Palestinian aid from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv was unmarked, Tuesday was the first time an Etihad aircraft landed in Israel bearing its logo, a source with knowledge of the flight told AFP.The UAE’s aid flights come as Israel prepares to move forward with annexing West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley. Topics : The Palestinian Authority refused Wednesday a planeload of medical supplies from the United Arab Emirates to help fight coronavirus since it was coordinated with Israel rather than with them.The Etihad Airways flight, which landed in Israel on Tuesday, was the second airborne delivery of humanitarian cargo by the UAE that the Palestinians say they have turned down in a month.”We refuse to receive it because it was coordinated directly between Israel and them [the UAE],” Palestinian civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh told AFP.center_img A peace plan announced by US President Donald Trump in January gave the green light for such annexations.Analysts say Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes Arab states normalizing ties with Israel will push the Palestinians to reach a peace deal.But “there should be no normalization before the end of the Israeli occupation,” Al-Sheikh told AFP.last_img read more

first_imgCompanies and workers in the Dutch hairdressing industry have called on the regulator to relax pension-liability discounting rules for pension funds with relatively young participants.In a letter to Parliament, social partners for Kappers, the hairdressers’ pension fund, claimed the lowering of the ultimate forward rate (UFR) last summer had a disproportionate effect on so-called “green schemes”. They said the reduction of the UFR from 4.2% to 3.3% caused Kappers’s coverage ratio to fall by 7.6 percentage points.By comparison, funding at other Dutch schemes fell by just 3 percentage points on average, they said. They added that they expected this difference to increase to 12% by the year 2025.Willem Kruithof of union CNV Vakmensen said: “We should be allowed to apply a fixed UFR or a fixed discount rate.”Kruithof argued that pension funds with younger populations would have more time than older schemes to recover from economic “headwinds”.“The supervisor and politicians base their policy too much on averages – the impact on specific categories can be very different,” he said.“It is impossible to explain to participants, aged between 18 and 31, that their contribution is to increase while their pension rights will fall – following a postponed indexation, for example.”Katinka Boekhorst, policy adviser at employer organisation ANKO, agreed that young pension funds were disproportionally affected.René Lahoye, employers chairman at Kappers, said the current rules would hit pensioners in particular, “as they are facing a long period without inflation compensation”.He added: “It would be reasonable to offer this group the chance to receive indexation through a slightly higher discount rate.”As of the end of October, the pension fund’s coverage ratio stood at 97.4%.The scheme, however, has ruled out a rights cut in 2016, following the rules of the new financial assessment framework (nFTK). In 2013 and 2014, it had to apply rights discounts of 7% and 2.8%, respectively, to improve its financial position.last_img read more

first_imgJackson recently completed works on a £1.3 million flood defense scheme in Cleethorpes aimed to protect hundreds of homes and businesses on behalf of the North East Lincolnshire Council.Work to replace the existing timber groyne started on Monday, April 24th 2017. The old groyne was replaced with a Y shaped groyne, made from rocks, which is the most effective shape for the tidal movements around the area, and is the most cost efficient in terms of long-term maintenance.According to the North East Lincolnshire Council, nearly 13,000 tonnes of rock was delivered from Norway to complete the new groyne, with the rock sizes being up to 4 tonnes in weight.The remaining groynes between Wonderland and the Pier will also be partially refurbished as part of this project with new timbers installed to prolong the groynes’ residual life.last_img read more