Catch and release

first_imgA research team at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has developed a novel device that may one day have broad therapeutic and diagnostic uses in the detection and capture of rare cell types, such as cancer cells, fetal cells, viruses, and bacteria. The device is inspired by the long, elegant appendages of sea creatures such as jellyfish and sea cucumbers.The study will be published online on Nov. 12 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The device, a microchip, is inspired by a jellyfish’s long, sticky tentacles that are used to capture minuscule food flowing in the water. The researchers designed a chip that uses a 3-D DNA network made up of long DNA strands with repetitive sequences that — like the jellyfish tentacles — can detect, bind, and capture certain molecules.The researchers, led by senior study author Harvard Medical School Associate Professor of Medicine Jeffrey Karp, of the Division of Biomedical Engineering in the Department of Medicine at BWH, and co-author Rohit Karnik, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, created the chip using a microfluidic surface and methods that lets them not only to rapidly replicate long DNA strands with multiple targeting sites that can bind to cancer cells but also to customize critical characteristics, such as DNA length and sequence, which allowed them to target various cell types.In this study, Karp and his team tested the chip using a DNA sequence that had a specific affinity to a cell-surface protein found abundantly in human cancer cells.The researchers engineered the device to efficiently capture a higher quantity of cancer cells from whole blood patient samples at much higher flow rates compared with other methods that use shorter DNA strands or antibodies.“The chip we have developed is highly sensitive. From just a tiny amount of blood, the chip can detect and capture the small population of cancer cells responsible for cancer relapse,” said first study author Weian Zhao, a postdoctoral fellow from the Karp lab who is now on the faculty at the University of California, Irvine.In addition to being used for blood-based cancers, the device may find application to isolate cells that break away from solid tumors and travel through the bloodstream.“What most people don’t realize is that it is the metastasis that kills, not the primary tumor,” said Karp. “Our device has the potential to catch these cells in the act with its ‘tentacles’ before they may seed a new tumor in a distant organ.”Moreover, unlike other methods, the device was able to maintain a high purity of the captured cells that could easily be released and cultured in the laboratory.“One of the greatest challenges in the treatment of cancer patients is to know which drug to prescribe,” said Karp. “By isolating circulating tumor cells before and after the first round of chemotherapy is given, we can determine the biology behind why certain cells are resistant to chemotherapy. We can also use the isolated cells to screen drugs for personalized treatments that could boost effectiveness and hopefully prevent cancer relapse.”The primary support for this research was from the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization postdoctoral fellowship and the National Institutes of Health.last_img read more

Stitching together the stars

first_img Star analysts of Harvard College Observatory struck Dava Sobel as book-worthy history The works on view evoke the process of careful, precise repetition and pattern recognition required in Leavitt’s observations of space. They also ask viewers to consider questions, said Von Mertens, such as “What meaning is held in a single life?” and “What meaning is held in a single action, and what meaning is built with the repetition of that action?”“This exhibition is built on many units of measurement: the length of a single stitch, the density of lead in a 2H or 3H pencil, the distance a beam of light travels in a year, the brightness of a single star, the span of a life lived,” notes Von Mertens in the show’s catalog. “Each unit alone holds something: the echo of its making, the marking of time, the beauty of its specificity. Each unit accumulated gains something; with repetition, form takes shape, and shape takes meaning.”Other works in the show include her earlier “Shape/View” series, a number of similar cosmic panels inspired by our galaxy’s supercluster, as well as a pencil drawing of two glass plates featuring the Orion Nebula, a cloud of gas and dust in the Milky Way where Leavitt once searched for pulsating stars.For some, quilting may seem an unusual avenue for artistic expression, but Von Mertens was hooked the minute she fashioned her first patchwork quilt out of old Salvation Army dresses. “I think a lot of people make one quilt in their lives and think ‘that was enough of that,’” said the artist. “I was completely taken with the process. There was this richness to the context, but also the materials themselves that I responded to so immediately that I just knew from that point forward that I wanted quilts to be how I worked.”The idea to focus on the night sky came to her several years ago as she considered what it meant to hang her quilts for viewers, she said, and as she realized the wall “wasn’t [only] paintings’ terrain, it was about the act of looking.”“And what is the most quintessential form of looking? … To me it was stargazing.” Light years ahead Henrietta Swan Leavitt’s research at Harvard College Observatory led to two of the most important discoveries in astrophysics Guardians of the sky When flooding threatened 100-plus years of astronomical data, fast action was the only option Related Her countless hours at Harvard mapping the stars are central to understanding the universe. Though she didn’t live to see the far-reaching implications of her work, a new Radcliffe exhibit shows how her efforts helped unlock mysteries of the cosmos.Radcliffe graduate Henrietta Leavitt was one of the more than 80 women who worked at the Harvard Observatory from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s carefully analyzing a record of the heavens on glass-plate negatives, a collection that includes more than 500,000 celestial moments and is considered the oldest and most comprehensive archive of the night sky.But Leavitt died in 1921, before others used her observations of Cepheid variable stars (those whose brightness pulses at regular intervals), ­and her key discovery of the relationship between a Cepheid star’s luminosity and how frequently it pulses, to make a range of key discoveries about our galaxy. Her work enabled other astronomers to measure the distance to the stars and determine the shape of the Milky Way. American astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble built on her findings, proving the existence of galaxies beyond our own and showing that the universe was expanding.Leavitt’s research became the first rung “on the distance ladder to the stars,” said artist Anna Von Mertens, whose needle and thread honors the “Harvard Computer’s” life and work in the show “Measure,” on view at Byerly Hall through Jan. 19.In a diptych on the walls of the Johnson-Kulukundis Family Gallery, Von Mertens’ series of meticulous white and gray hand-sewn stitches on a black background­ — mapped out with help from star calculation software — depict the stars fading from the skies above Lancaster, Pa., on the morning Leavitt was born, July 4, 1868, and the stars returning to view over Cambridge, Mass., on the day she died, Dec. 12, 1921.,Story is key to the artist’s flow, and Leavitt’s life and career fueled the creative process. “If there isn’t some story and if there isn’t some idea that is with me along that path, I don’t get as engaged in the materials,” said Von Mertens. “But if I have that story, it feels like I am almost embedding that story into the material and then allowing that object to carry the story forward.”Upon being asked to create the exhibition, Von Mertens, whose work relies on careful research, turned to Harvard’s galleries and archives for inspiration. The Schlesinger Library’s collections moved her to consider the voices of “these women that were not heard.” At the Harvard Observatory, Leavitt’s story stood out. “She was obviously so gifted and sharp, and she obviously saw things so uniquely, but there was really no vehicle for her voice,” said Von Mertens. 150 years later, her star is still risinglast_img read more

Law clinic pushes against regulation rollback

first_imgJason Bell ’21 spent Earth Day helping fight the Trump administration’s efforts to replace the Clean Power Plan — an Obama-era scheme that sets limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants — with the new Affordable Clean Energy rule, which relaxes those restrictions. A student in Harvard Law School’s Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic, Bell is drafting a brief on behalf of a group of economists, climate scientists, and the Union of Concerned Scientists to bolster arguments in a related case, American Lung Association v. EPA.“Our purpose is to educate the court about some of the issues that might not be covered in the main briefs,” Bell said. In particular, he said, the current Environmental Protection Agency is reversing its own positions on the urgency of climate change.“In 2009, they released a document saying that greenhouse gases are a harmful pollutant that must be restricted under the Clean Air Act, and that climate change is a threat to human health and welfare. So, once you’ve said that 10 years ago, how do you say that it isn’t a threat now?” said Bell. “What our brief is saying is that there’s no way to escape that trap. If the EPA’s plan is to do nothing, they at least have to explain why doing nothing is a rational policy choice, given the impacts that are likely to occur.”Bell’s work is one of the many examples of how students, faculty and staff in the clinic are busy pushing back against the current administration’s attempts to undo environmental regulations approved under former President Barack Obama ’91.“Our work is crucial and overwhelmingly resource-draining. Every day we awake to a new attack on public health and the environment,” said Clinical Professor Wendy Jacobs J.D. ’81, who directs the clinic. Deputy Director and Lecturer on Law Shaun Goho J.D. ’01 added: “Since the earliest days of the Trump administration, the EPA started rolling back environmental rules that were put in place during the Obama era. That’s been a large part of our work ever since.”The clinic has devoted significant effort to advocating on behalf of scientists and public health experts whose work has been undermined and stifled by the Trump administration’s EPA, Goho says. Whenever a new regulation is proposed, there is an opportunity for public comment. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Hurricane Maria: ‘Attracting Capital to Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Is More Critical Than Ever’

first_imgHurricane Maria: ‘Attracting Capital to Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Is More Critical Than Ever’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Washington Post:Hurricane Maria has dealt a new blow to Puerto Rico’s bankrupt electric company — knocking out power for the entire island and imposing costly repair burdens on a utility that was already struggling with more than $9 billion in debt, poor service and sky-high rates.And that means more hardship for local residents and businesses, whose electric rates are already more than twice the national average.Even before it was hit by Irma and now Maria, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority said it needed more than $4 billion to overhaul its outdated power plants and reduce its heavy reliance on imported oil. The company filed, in effect, for bankruptcy July 2.Now, with Maria toppling transmission lines and 100 percent of Puerto Ricans without electricity, PREPA faces millions of dollars more for hurricane repairs.The utility’s struggles are a key part of the commonwealth’s struggles to restructure about $74 billion in debts, overhaul its economy and stem the outflow of Puerto Rican citizens to the U.S. mainland.“PREPA and electricity here have always been critical to economic recovery,” said Natalie Jaresko, a veteran banker, former finance minister in Ukraine and adviser to the Puerto Rican government. “What the hurricane is proving is that that infrastructure is fragile. It makes attracting capital to PREPA more critical than ever.”More: Hurricane Maria has dealt a heavy blow to Puerto Rico’s bankrupt utility and fragile electric gridlast_img read more

Romance in the Backcountry: Tips and Tricks

first_imgBen and I have lived in a van for seven months now. Purposeful romance is usually last on the list of things we make time for, right after vacuuming our carpet and cleaning the bugs off the front bumper. Living in a van can really put a damper on the romance. Ben doesn’t fit lengthwise in the van, so he sleeps diagonally and I sleep in a corner. We go days, sometimes weeks, without a real shower. We have so many cuts and bruises and bug bites that shaving would be laughable. But somehow we still wake up each morning and say “I love you.”This did not come easily. We’ve had super low moments, where Ben has hiked in one direction, and I in the other. But for the most part, we’ve become a well-oiled machine, able to predict movements before they happen. I plug his phone in before he reaches for the cord, he sets my slippers below the bed before I lift my head from the pillow. We share romance in a different way when living in such close quarters, and in the backcountry. Here are a few suggestions for van living and backcountry hiking to help you and your sig-other adjust more quickly than we did!Bagged wine, boxed wine, doesn’t matter, just bring it.Whether you’re hiking 15 miles to your camp spot, or you are parked on the side of the road after a long drive, DO NOT forgo wine. It is essential and COMPLETELY worth packing in on long backpacks or taking up space in your tiny van. If you don’t have a half-drunken bag of wine laying around right before you set off on your trip, consider buying these. They pack down once you drink them, and are the perfect serving size at the end of a long hike day. While you’re at it, don’t forget dessert.ProTip: Bears LOVE wine. Almost more than I do. Don’t forget to pack your empty wine carriers in a smell proof bags or bear bin.Zip your sleeping bags together, just don’t forget to wear long pajamas.This applies to sleeping in the van, and also in the backcountry. A lot of brands make compatible gender specific bags, meaning the men’s zips along the left and the woman’s on the right.  You can completely unzip them individually and then zip them back together so you have one huge sleeping bag to cuddle in. This is great for me because I am the perma-big spoon. With the bags zipped together, we can cuddle all night! Make sure to strap your sleeping mats together so there’s no cold hard spot between the two sleeping bags.  You MUST wear long pajamas, nothing kills romance faster than sticking to the person you’re sleeping next to. Whether you’re in a van and five days out from your last shower, or a zipped together sleeping bag after a sweaty uphill slog, cover your gross, unshowered skin, and cuddle away.Pro Tip: On extra cold nights in the backcountry, make sure the area of the sleeping bag between your heads is closed so no heat can escape through space between.Skinny dip to get the hot spots.If you have the ability to get in a large body of water, DO IT! It saves you from being a sticky mess and having to wear long pajamas at night (see above). When you’re backpacking, it might be the most refreshing thing you can do. All you really need to clean is the ‘hot spots.’ Everything else is icing on the cake, and completely unnecessary. When you’re van’ing, try a solar shower if a large body of water is inaccessible or too crowded. If water isn’t available, wilderness wipes are the next best thing. And remember- hot spots!Pro Tip: There is no good way to travel with a full solar shower. Put it inside and it will absolutely spill. Leave it on a trailer or secured to the top of your van and SOMETHING will puncture it. Take it from the five solar shower fatalities we’ve had, a full solar shower is a dangerous thing.But seriously, kind words.This is the cheapest, and most effective way, to keep the romance alive when living in a van or hiking with your honey in the backcountry. There is no trick here, simply expressing your love and reminding each other you appreciate the small things they’re doing (carrying the wine so I don’t have to, and then letting me drink more than my fair share- you’re the best Ben)!  You can try yelling encouragement to each other when you’re halfway up a mountain pass. Kind words can go a REALLY long way, especially when your pack feels like it’s getting heavier even though you’ve already consumed the chocolate you stashed in there just in case. Those are the times when it is most important. Especially because the chocolate is gone.Pro Tip: Kind words obviously help for us, but people communicate love in totally different ways, check out the five love languages if you haven’t already. Maybe your sweetheart would feel the romance most if you secretly stashed some chocolate for them and pulled it out at the right exact moment on that uphill climb. Okay– that works for me too.There are a few items that make romance in the backcountry a little easier. Check out this list from Elevation Outdoors for some more ideas!Ben and I finish our tour in one month and we can’t believe it’s coming to an end. We will have no idea what to do with a shower every day, food in a fridge, and sleeping in the same spot every night. If anyone has tips on how to do romance in a stationary house, we would love to hear them, because we have certainly forgotten how.If you like the gear we’re reppin’, or what we’re wearing, check out some of the sponsors that make this tour possible: La Sportiva, Crazy Creek, National Geographic, RovR Products, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, LifeStraw, and Lowe Alpine.last_img read more

Al-Baghdadi Profile

first_imgBy Ken Bredemeier / Voice of America October 31, 2019 For Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the high point of his life may have come in 2014, when he stood in a flowing black robe before worshippers in a mosque in Mosul, the northern Iraqi city the Islamic State had captured, and declared that he was the caliph, the political and religious leader of the global Muslim community.Other Muslim leaders rejected his claims, but his caliphate eventually covered as much as 40 percent of Iraq and a wide swath of northern Syria. It drew in thousands of foreign fighters to the Islamic State cause against Western and Middle Eastern allies in the region.In its self-declared capital of Raqqa, Syria, the Islamic State for a time administered its caliphate like a state, with a brutal, uncompromising system of Islamic justice, while it collected taxes and doled out public services.But Baghdadi, with a $25 million bounty on his head since 2016, was nowhere to be seen in public, save for an 18-minute video that was released last April.There were numerous reports over the last several years that he had been killed or seriously wounded in an array of U.S. and allied attacks throughout Iraq and northern Syria as the caliphate gradually collapsed. In June 2017, the Iraqi government declared it had recaptured Mosul from the Islamic State, and six months later declared complete victory in Iraq. By last March, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces announced the liberation of Baghuz, the last Islamic State-held territory in Syria.Baghdadi resurfaced in audio tapes, often referencing recent events to prove he was alive. Otherwise, he hid, employing an array of techniques to avoid surveillance of his whereabouts. He did not use mobile phones, often moved from one safe house to another and shunned travel in convoys that might draw attention from allied forces in the region.But the U.S. hunt for him went on, culminating in the October 26 U.S. Special Forces raid in Syria in which Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest, killing himself and three children as the American commandos cornered him in a tunnel with no outlet.U.S. President Donald Trump announced the raid and Baghdadi’s death in a White House address and news conference, telling the world that Baghdadi’s demise came as he was “whimpering, crying and screaming all the way.” Within 15 minutes, in a field test, the U.S. said his DNA was confirmed.Baghdadi was born Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Al-Badri in 1971 in the Iraqi city of Samarra. He was the son of a Quranic teacher.He studied Quranic recitation at Saddam University for Islamic Studies in Baghdad and joined the Muslim Brotherhood, a pan-Arab movement based on establishing states buttressed by Islamic law that some governments have banned.News accounts and books have traced his radicalization back to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq to topple Iraqi strong man Saddam Hussein. Baghdadi joined Sunni militias to fight the U.S. occupation. He was jailed at Camp Bucca in 2004.“Many of the 24,000 inmates at Bucca were Sunni Arabs who had served in Saddam’s military and intelligence services,” said a 2015 report by the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington D.C. “When Saddam fell, so did they, a consequence of the American purge of the Baathists and the new ascendency of Iraq’s long-oppressed Shiite majority. If they weren’t jihadists when they arrived, many of them were by the time they left.”“Baghdadi would turn out to be the most explosive of those flames,” it said, “a man responsible for much of the conflagration that would engulf the region less than a decade later.”When Baghdadi was released, he had a means for reconnecting with his fellow prisoners: they had written each others’ phone numbers in the elastic of their underwear.He established ties with al-Qaida in Iraq but many of the Bucca inmates would go on to become leading figures in an offshoot, the Islamic State in Iraq, and Baghdadi became its head in 2010 when leaders of the group were killed in an air strike.A year later, he expanded the group into Syria as it seized more and more territory, including Raqqa and eventually Mosul in 2014, where he gave his only televised speech in the city’s Grand Mosque. He spoke to Islamic State supporters in 2015, 2016 and 2017 in audio messages.His final audio admonition to Islamic State adherents was in September 2019.last_img read more

Petrachi confirms interest in Man Utd defender

first_img Promoted ContentThe Highest Paid Football Players In The World2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearNothing Compares To Stargazing Places Around The World10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoTop 10 Most Populated Cities In The World5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopThe Models Of Paintings Whom The Artists Were Madly In Love With6 Incredibly Strange Facts About HurricanesTop Tastiest Foods From All Over The WorldA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic BombsWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth? Loading… Roma sporting director, Gianluca Petrachi, has admitted that they would like to buy Manchester United defender, Chris Smalling on-loan out-rightly. So impressed is he by the 30-year-old, he hopes Smalling will choose to make his move to Italy a permanent one in the summer. “There is a chance,” Petrachi told the Daily Mail. “The player will choose what to do. If he really wishes, we will be happy to have him with us permanently. “We are very happy with Smalling and he knows it. “With Manchester United, the relationship is excellent, we have an excellent feeling with the club.”Advertisement Petrachi added: “He loves Rome and the Italian lifestyle. “I think it’s obvious how it sounds: it’s finally peaceful. Smalling finds himself very well in Rome, lives well and has returned to great levels. “He follows an Italian course to improve his grasp of the language. This made me very happy because it shows that the boy is intelligent. Read Also:West Ham bid for Roma midfielder Steven Nzonzi “Technically he is very strong. I think it is fundamental for a sporting director to understand how some players can do well. I thought this move could work and I’m happy that the results prove me right.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

‘Shabu,’ firearm seized in buy-bust

first_imgBACOLOD City – Five sachets of suspected shabu valued at around P6,800 were seized in a buy-bust operation in Barangay 1, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. The 34-year-old resident Rogelio Mag-aso Jr. yielded the suspected illegal drugs, a police report showed. Mag-aso was nabbed after he sold suspected shabu to an undercover cop for P500 around 9 a.m. on July 14, it added. The suspect was detained in the custodial facility of the San Carlos City police station, facing charges./PN When frisked, Mag-aso also yielded a .45-caliber pistol loaded with four live bullets.last_img read more

Neymar returns to Paris for UCL, cup finals

first_imgRelatedPosts Neymar bags two-match ban Neymar risks seven-game ban, Gonzalez 10 Neymar, four others sent off as Marseille grab rare win at PSG Neymar has returned to Paris after three months in Brazil ahead of Paris Saint-Germain’s planned return to training on June 22.PSG were crowned French champions for the third successive season after the Ligue 1 campaign was cut short, but they are looking to prepare for two domestic cup finals and the potential return of the Champions League. Thomas Tuchel’s side qualified for the quarter-finals after beating Borussia Dortmund 3-2 on aggregate, with their 2-0 home victory on March 11 being one of the last top-level games played in Europe before lockdown.Neymar went home to Brazil four days after that game as lockdown restrictions were introduced in France.Now he has followed advice from PSG to return to France before June 15 in order to avoid a potential two-week quarantine.European countries could review their conditions for entering the country from that date.It has been widely reported that Brazil has now passed the United Kingdom to record the second-highest coronavirus death toll in the world, and arrivals from badly-hit countries are likely to face stricter restrictions if policy changes are made in France. PSG have a number of South American players in their ranks, many of whom returned home when lockdown began.Edinson Cavani, Keylor Navas and captain Thiago Silva are all expected to return to France before Tuesday, with Marquinhos having already done so.Despite the disappointment of the league campaign being curtailed, PSG are still hopeful of securing a historic quadruple this season.They are set to face Saint-Etienne in the Coupe de France final, as well as playing Lyon in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue.Neither match has a confirmed date at this point. Meanwhile, plans are still being put together to try and finish the Champions League.PSG qualified for the quarter-finals alongside RB Leipzig, Atletico Madrid and Atalanta.The remaining last-16 ties between Real Madrid and Manchester City, Chelsea and Bayern Munich, Lyon and Juventus as well as Napoli and Barcelona are all yet to be completed.Tags: Borussia DortmundLockdownNeymarParis St. GermainThomas Tuchellast_img read more

Man shoots at store employee after being asked to wear a mask

first_imgA Pennsylvania man has been arrested after he reportedly fired his gun at an employee of a cigar shop after the employee asked him to wear a face mask.The incident occurred Friday at  Cigars international in Bethlehem Township.Authorities say 35-year-old Adam Michael Zaborowski entered the shop while not wearing a mask and was told by employees that he could either put on a mask or use their curbside service.Zaborowski then reportedly “became irate, grabbed two cigars from a shelf and exited without paying,” according to sources.A store employee then followed Zaborokwski to his car to retrieve the merchandise when Zaborokwski fired his gun once in the air and then fired two shots at the employee.Thankfully the employee and a patron that was standing behind the employee were not injured in the shooting.Zaborokwski then fled the scene in his blue Dodge Dakota. He was then taken into custody the following day after engaging in a shootout with Pennsylvania State Police and Slatington Borough Police.According to the report, Zaborokwski has been hospitalized with undisclosed injuries. He is facing charges of attempted criminal homicide.last_img read more