1 Mar

Bone loss study takes flight

first_imgAstronauts lose a significant amount of bone mass during space travel and with long-duration flights there is concern that this bone loss could lead to an increased risk of fractures. When the final mission of NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle program is launched on Friday (July 8), an animal experiment to test a novel therapy to increase bone mass will be on board.Led by a consortium of scientists from Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Amgen Inc., UCB, BioServe Space Technologies, and the University of North Carolina, and funded by NASA’s Ames Research Center, the research will not only address a serious problem that affects astronauts who spend weeks and months in a low-gravity environment, but may also yield novel insights into the prevention and treatment of skeletal fragility among patients on Earth who are less active due to aging or illness.“Mechanical loading is required to maintain musculoskeletal health,” explained co-principal investigator Mary Bouxsein, a scientist in BIDMC’s Center for Advanced Orthopaedic Studies and assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School.“On Earth, our bones experience mechanical forces from being pushed and pulled by muscles that work against gravity to keep us upright and moving around, as well as from the impact of our body weight against the ground,” she said. “These forces are much lower in microgravity environments and, as a result, the rate of bone loss among astronauts is about 10 times greater than that seen in postmenopausal women. So, while this research is designed to better understand and prevent skeletal fragility among astronauts, it may also tell us a great deal about the future potential of this novel therapy to improve bone strength here on Earth, in both older persons and in individuals with reduced physical activity due to various clinical conditions, such as stroke, spinal cord injury, or cerebral palsy.”NASA’s Commercial Biomedical Test Module (CBTM-3) experiment will examine whether the use of an antibody that blocks the action of the protein sclerostin can lead to gains in bone mass and thereby prevent skeletal deterioration. (The sclerostin molecule is a potent inhibitor of bone formation that is produced by osteocytes, bone cells that form a “nervelike” network that enable the skeleton to “feel” and respond to mechanical strain.)“This proof-of-principle study will enhance our understanding of the science behind the sclerostin antibody and arm us with important research to support potential future therapeutic applications in both astronauts and patients suffering from bone loss,” said Amgen Scientific Executive Director Chris Paszty.Thirty mice will be flown in space, with half of the animals given a preflight injection of the sclerostin antibody and the remaining mice receiving a placebo. After the flight lands (following 12 days in space), various aspects of the structure, composition, strength, and cell and molecular nature of the bones from the flight and ground-based control mice will be analyzed.“When the mice come back from space, we hope to learn what the effects of microgravity are on the skeleton and on the muscle,” explained Bouxsein. “We also want to find out if this new type of therapy will be able to counteract those profound effects and actually promote bone gain in a microgravity environment.“One in two women and one in five men over age 50 will suffer a fracture resulting from osteoporosis [and bone loss] during their remaining lifetime,” she added. “These fractures have profound personal and societal consequences. With the increasing age of the population there is urgent need to develop bone-building therapies to prevent this type of potentially debilitating injury.”last_img read more

20 Dec

Six Basque Separatists Accused of FARC Ties

first_imgBy Dialogo March 09, 2011 A Spanish judge ordered the prosecution of six Basque separatists, including two former ETA leaders, for allegedly collaborating with the Colombian rebel group FARC. National Court Judge Eloy Velasco, who has been investigating the suspected ties between the two outlawed organisations since last year, said Basque separatists had trained both members of ETA and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in the Venezuelan jungle. Francisco Javier Lopez Pena, a former ETA leader who was arrested in France in 2008, and Mikel Carrera Sarobe, the group’s most senior commander who was detained in France in 2010, are among the six accused on 7 March of collaborating with FARC. Velasco has already issued a series of arrest warrants in March last year for suspected ETA members living in Venezuela over their alleged links to FARC, including Arturo Cubillas, who was given a senior post in the agriculture ministry by the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2005. Spain has requested his extradition. But Cubillas, as well as being a Spanish national, has also obtained Venezuelan citizenship, which the country’s attorney general has said precludes his extradition. The case has sparked tensions between Madrid and Caracas. On 7 March, Velasco additionally accused Cubillas of being the leader of ETA in the Americas. He also ordered four other ETA members to be prosecuted on charges of “belonging to a terrorist organisation” or “possession of explosives” in relation to their alleged ties to FARC. Documents pointing to ETA-FARC ties were seized from the Colombian rebel group following a military raid last September in which the group’s leader, Jorge Briceno, was killed. In his ruling last year, Velasco had charged that the ties between ETA and FARC had benefited from “Venezuelan government cooperation.” ETA is blamed for the deaths of 829 people in its four-decade campaign of bombings and shootings to force the creation of a Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France. The FARC is the oldest and largest leftist group in Colombia with an estimated 8,000 combatants.last_img read more

18 Dec

What is a SIEM and does my credit union need one?

first_img 34SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kirk Drake Kirk Drake is founder and CEO of Ongoing Operations, LLC, a rapidly growing CUSO that provides complete business continuity and technology solutions. With its recent acquisition of Cloudworks, Ongoing Operations … Web: www.ongoingoperations.com Details With the ever increasing threat of a cyber security issue impacting your credit union and the ever increasing regulation – SIEM (Security Incident Event Management) is a real opportunity for credit unions to elevate their cyber security program. Over the past 20 years I have watched credit unions deploy a patchwork of cyber security tools with varying degrees of success.  Some credit unions are good at budgeting for the tools, some for the labor, but very few successfully sustain the ongoing care, feeding and investment that a robust cyber security program requires. In many cases, Ongoing Operations is hearing from its clients that they are spending over 85% of their IT resources just on keeping up with basic operating needs.Cyber security advancement and hacking is derived from an endless game of cat and mouse that requires the modern credit union to be nimble, sophisticated and most importantly aware.  SIEM is a critical part of this system.  In most credit unions (if they have implemented 80% of the NCUA requirements), there is a never ending feed of data from disparate sources.  SPAM filters, web filters, Anti-Virus, Firewall logs, and Intrusion Detection systems are just a few. Generally we find credit unions have about 15-20 sources of information that they need to determine the current cyber security status of their environment. Given that most would be hard pressed to give even a 90% accurate count of their devices (pcs, smart phones, printers, etc.) on any given day – it seems like even being aware an attack is going on is unlikely.SIEM aggregates all of this information into one data feed. Logs, inventory, event information, and even login activity is all aggregated together and then pattern recognition can be applied.  A well deployed credit union SIEM allows the organization to recognize typical hacker behaviors such as multiple login attempts from multiple workstations or employees accessing unusual files. Of course there are infinite ways and many attack vectors that can be used to exploit almost any credit union. Hence, early detection and recognition is absolutely essential to know that something shady is going on. Without a SIEM, the credit union would spend countless hours scouring log files trying to correlate things. Imagine your accounting department looking in 10 different General Ledgers trying to detect a check kiting incident. It would be almost impossible – yet somehow we expect that from our IT departments or CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers). SIEM offers the promise of 24/7 eyes watching, waiting, and looking for unusual activity so that it can be A) Detected and B) Stopped before significant damage occurs.Implementing SIEM for your Credit Union today should be a top priority for budgeting and insuring that you are adequately protecting your members’ data and your credit union’s reputation. Learn more about how Ongoing Operations can help your credit union by contacting us at [email protected] or visiting www.ongoingoperations.com.last_img read more

18 Dec

Ernie Els enters World Golf Hall of Fame

first_img“I was so pleased to hear the news that Ernie has been selected to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame,” he said. “Ernie certainly deserves this recognition, as he epitomises a ‘world’ golfer. AutismApart from his excellence as a golfer and the opportunities he has created for youngsters through his foundation, Els is also striving to make a difference in the lives of people who have autism, or who are affected by it. “I spent several happy years at Ernie’s foundation and whenever I wanted help since I have been out on Tour, Ernie has happily given it. I could not have found a better role model.” Long before he turned professional, Els began making his mark and his name first sprung to prominence in 1984 when he won the 1984 Junior World Golf Championship in San Diego by beating home town golfer Phil Mickelson in the final. It has indeed been a long journey. ‘A great inspiration’Schwartzel said: “Ernie has been a great inspiration and friend to me for years. He is always happy to give his time and expertise, and I have been the grateful beneficiary of his generosity.” He topped the European Tour’s Order of Merit in 2003 and 2004. He has also won the World Matchplay Championship a record seven times. Gary Player is tied with Seve Ballesteros for the second most wins, with five. Els Center for ExcellenceEls, along with his wife Liezl, has established the Els Center for Excellence which, it is planned, will combine the Renaissance Learning Center with a research facility. It is a $30-million project and the couple has committed $6-million of their own money to it. 11 May 2011 Oosthuizen told Helen Ross on the PGA Tour website: “If it weren’t for Ernie Es, I would not be where I am today. It’s as simple as that. ImpactHis impact, however, extends beyond his achievements on the course. South African golf is going through a purple patch at present, with Charl Schwartzel the current Masters champion and Louis Oosthuizen the British Open champion. Both of them were members of Els’ junior golf foundation, now known as the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation. To top things off, mention must be made of Els as a successful golf course designer, with top class layouts in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and southern Africa. It is not only the younger generation of South African golfers that appreciates what Els has done. Gary Player, too, was full of praise for him.center_img Success around the worldEls has won 15 times on the PGA Tour, 21 times on the European Tour, 18 times on South Africa’s Sunshine Tour, and recorded eight other wins besides. He has also played in the Presidents Cup six times, represented South Africa in the Dunhill Cup in nine consecutive years, and in the World Cup five times. “He is a credit to the game and an ambassador for the sport. Ernie has been a wonderful friend over the years and I am very fond of him and his family.” South African great Ernie Els was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Monday. He joins the legendary Gary Player, who entered the Hall in 1974. In 2009, he hosted the first annual Els for Autism charity golf event, which featured many PGA Tour and Champions Tour players. That year, he raised $725 000 for the Renaissance Learning Center, a non-profit school for autistic children, near his residence in West Palm Beach, Florida. They include, among others, the Savannah course at Mission Hills in China, the re-design of Wentworth in England, The Durrat al Bahrain in Bahrain, The Els Club in Dubai, Hoakalei in Hawaii, and Oubaai in South Africa. The other members of the 2011 Hall of Fame class were Jock Hutchison, Doug Ford, Jumbo Ozaki, Frank Chirkinian, and former US president George Bush. His son Ben is autistic and Els has used his profile to raise money for charities devoted to the condition, whilst also establishing the Els for Autism Foundation. The pace of fund raising at the charity golf event has been maintained, and after it was recently held for a third time the money raised by it had topped $2.2-million. Nicknamed “The Big Easy” because of his wonderful swing, Els was elected in his first year on the ballot. That’s not surprising as he has won 62 titles so far in his career, including two US Opens and one British Open title. Much like Player, he has enjoyed success around the world. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

18 Dec

Harvest just around the corner

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Jeff Duling, Putnam CountyWe’re at least two weeks away yet for harvesting anything unless it gets hot again.The tile lines are dry and in between the plants are stunted and green. There are some fields in the area that are pretty even that may come off this week. I know I do not have any ready yet.I checked some corn and the moisture is anywhere from 26% to 27% on the tile line. Then in between the plants are green and little and I don’t know what we are going to do. It will be interesting. I have hydraulic deck plates but we may have to run all of the tile lines first and readjust. There will be some different shenanigans going on to get ready for this harvest.We are finishing our last ditching job. We are done with tile until beans and corn are off and then we have another 140 acres to do this fall.We got nine-tenths to an inch with this last rain. The town of Delphos got 6 to 7.5 inches of rain and were flooded out again. Hancock County didn’t get too much.The rain had to help some of the beans.The cover crops are coming up. I have some rye to plant this week. With the manure I thought it might get too tall this winter so I wanted to wait a bit to plant that.I think harvest could go fast once it gets started because only half the trucks will be going up and down the road, but then we have all of these green plants still out there. I don’t know what to expect.For the rest of this week’s reports, click here.last_img read more

17 Dec

Tips for conserving the soil while boosting profits at CTC

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The currently grim corn and soybean economic situation, paired with increasing environmental scrutiny of farms, is putting many farms in a tight spot for maintaining profitability. The popular Conservation Tillage Conference in Ada kicked off today with the goal of providing tips for farms to bolster profitability while improving the land and water for the future.“There’s a preponderance of evidence that shows we’re in a time of extreme weather and every scientist that looks at this says we’re going to be here awhile,” said Barry Fisher, USDA-NRCS soil scientist, keynote speaker at Wednesday morning’s general session.Barry Fisher, soil scientist for USDA-NRCS, was the keynote speaker at the CTC opening session on Wednesday.Fisher defined soil health as the capacity of a soil to function as a vital, living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans, and noted it as a way to challenge the change in weather situations down the road. Fisher focused on the importance of thinking of soil as a living thing outlining four major principles for soil health:Minimize disturbanceMaximize soil coverMaximize biodiversityProvide continuous living roots“You put all these things together and that’s how you’re going to begin maximizing soil health,” Fisher said. “Soil health is not a thing you order on amazon.com.“It’s a journey and a state of mind where you’re continually adapting your management.”Fisher continued to stress the importance of improving aggregate stability. A major point that affects many other areas, he said. He highlighted several steps in the downward spiral of soil degradation:Intensive tillage, insufficient added residues, low diversity, no surface cover results in soil organic matter decreases, erosion, and compacted subsoilAggregates break downSurface becomes compacted, crust formsInfiltration decreases, erosion increases, yield consistency declinesMore ponding and persistent wetness, but less water storageThe 2016 CTC hosted an impressive crowd.With regard to the eventual downward results, “If we take it far enough, hunger and starving sets in,” Fisher said.“We led farmers to believe that farmers with flat soil didn’t have erosion loss,” he said. “What is your tolerable soil loss? It better be zero.“When in doubt, we tend to plow. I would like to suggest that at some point we change our mindset and change to mimicking what Mother Nature would do. When in doubt, plant. You’re going to fix more of these situations with biological systems than anything you can do management wise.”Fisher identified the key aspects of putting a conservation management package together incorporating multiple areas of soil improvement. They include quality no-till, adapted nutrient management, prescribed cover crops (to best compliment the previous two points), diverse crop rotation, new technology and integrated weed and pest management.“This is not your father’s no-till system that we’re talking about,” he said. “When we put this sort of a system together, the value of the whole should far exceed the sum of its parts.Fisher also said farmers need to think of soil health as economic development. He highlighted the amount of nutrients just 1% of organic matter contains. Each 1% contains 10,000 pounds of C, 1,000 pounds of N, 100 pounds of P, and 100 pounds of S. He noted that as soil health regenerates, farmers will see increases in crop yield and a decrease in risk along the way.Matt VanTillburg of Mercer County was named the Ohio CCA of the Year. Ohio CCA Chair Cecilia Lokai-Minnich presented the award.Also at the opening session, Matt VanTillburg of Mercer County was recognized as the Ohio Certified Crop Advisor of the Year. VanTillburg is heavily involved in community organizations, multiple boards, and continued investment in the industry.As farmers prepare for spring planting, much of their planning will focus on where and how to cut costs for 2016 without cutting net income, said Randall Reeder, a retired Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer and an organizer of the annual Conservation Tillage Conference offered today and tomorrow by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.“Many growers are tightening their belts because of tight budgets, low prices and not much money in the bank,” he said. “For a few years grain farmers were making good money. But in 2015 grain prices fell sharply, with 2016 prices looking to stay low.”CTC offers numerous presentations designed to help growers learn where to tighten and where to cut back while ensuring they have healthy soils, healthy water, and, hopefully, a healthy bank account, Reeder said.The program includes a “Corn University” and “Soybean School” that will be offered during the annual conference, he said.Topics to be discussed during the Corn University today include:Corn Yield Forecasting.New Molecular Methods For Insect Control.Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium Management Highlights for Corn.Taking A Second Look At Hybrid Performance and Technology.Crop-Effective and Environment-Responsible Nutrient Placement in Strip-Till and No-Till Corn.Topics to be discussed during the Soybean School tomorrow include:Ohio Soybean Limitation Survey ResultsManaging Weeds in SoybeansFertility ManagementManaging Soybean InsectsThe Future of Soybean BreedingTop 10 ways to improve yield, without breaking the bank.The Corn University and Soybean School are just two of a total of eight concurrent sessions during the conference. More than 900 participants are expected to attend the event, organized by OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, with assistance from USDA and SWCDs.The conference offers the latest research, insight, tips and techniques on precision fertility, cover crops and manure, water management, technology and equipment, nutrient management, and advanced cover crops. It features some 60 presenters, including 25 CFAES researchers and Extension educators, as well as farmers and industry representatives.Certified Crop Adviser continuing education credits are available, with an emphasis on soil and water and nutrient management hours.Topics presented during the two cover crop sessions include:Understanding the Legal Aspects of Manure Application.On-farm Experiences with Cover Crops and Manure.Enhancing Soil Mycorrhizal Fungus to retain nutrients.Improving Soil Carbon for Healthier Soils.Sustainable Agriculture programs (from Campbell’s Soup Co.).The CTC conference is at the McIntosh Center of Ohio Northern University in Ada. The full schedule and registration information can be found at ctc.osu.edu. Walk-in registration is $80 for one day. Other conference sponsors include: Ohio Corn Marketing Program, Ohio Soybean Council, Farm Science Review, John Deere, Ag Credit, Seed Consultants, and the Ohio No-Till Council.last_img read more