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Opening the door for scientific leaps

first_img Star Family Challenge supports cutting-edge research projects Inquiring minds rewarded Related Funding the futurecenter_img Star Family Challenge backs big ideas in language, health, and astronomy Research administration services at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences last week named nine Harvard researchers as the 2019 winners of the Star-Friedman Challenge for Promising Scientific Research.The Harvard researchers selected for awards were Benjamin de Bivort, James Crall, Jennifer Hoffman, Noel Michele Holbrook, David Keith, Boris Kozinsky, Samuel Myers, Ann Pearson, and Joost Vlassak.The award provides seed money for high-risk, high-reward research that is unlikely to be funded through traditional grant programs in the physical, life, and social sciences because it is seen as too novel or risky.“It’s important to do something that provides the opportunity to do more, to think differently, to take risks, [and] to do innovations that aren’t right at the edge of ongoing normal science, but that open the door for a bigger potential leap,” said Lawrence Bobo, the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences and dean of social science, at the award ceremony for the fund in University Hall. “That, I think, is the inspiration and the beauty and the success of the Star-Friedman Challenge.”The researchers are working on four projects, which range from making one of the world’s smallest flying machines to opening a new lane of research in the study of climate change to developing groundbreaking technology that conducts electricity with 100 percent efficiency to an investigation into how environmental change affects bees.“The kind of projects that are selected are chosen because of their tremendous opportunity, not because they look like anything that’s been done before,” said Randy Buckner, a professor of psychology and neuroscience in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Medical School and chairman of the faculty review committee that selects the projects. “In celebrating the winners today and hearing about their proposals, we’re telling our students —we’re telling our community —that we value innovation.”The Challenge was created in 2013 by the Star family with a $10 million gift at the suggestion of James A. Star ’83. It was formerly known as the Star Family Challenge for Promising Scientific Research and awarded funds to researchers from FAS and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS).This year, with support from a $10 million gift from Josh Friedman ’76, M.B.A. ’80, J.D. ’82, and Beth Friedman, the Challenge expanded to include faculty at both Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and changed its name to the Star-Friedman Challenge.,As part of the ceremony, the researchers made short presentations about their work.De Bivort, the Thomas D. Cabot Associate Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (FAS); Holbrook, Charles Bullard Professor of Forestry and professor of organismic and evolutionary biology (FAS); Myers, principal research scientist for the Planetary Health Alliance (Harvard Chan School); and Crall, Rockefeller Foundation Planetary Health Alliance Fellow in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (FAS) are working on a project that will adapt tools from behavioral neuroscience and machine learning to study how environmental changes, like increased concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide, are affecting bees and their pollination of key food crops. The project could help design technology to support bees and other insects in their pollination.Jennifer Hoffman, professor of physics and applied physics (FAS), and Boris Kozinsky, associate professor of computational materials science (SEAS), are searching for a way to create room-temperature superconductivity — a technology that conducts electricity without releasing heat. Superconductors could help reduce energy loss in electric power generation, transmission, and storage, helping decrease global carbon dioxide emissions and slow climate change. Currently, there are no known materials that superconduct at ambient temperature and pressure.David Keith, the Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics (SEAS) and professor of public policy (HKS), and Joost Vlassak, Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Materials Engineering (SEAS), are hoping to build a nano-size self-levitating device, based on the principles of photophoresis — the phenomenon that causes dust and other small particles to float. If successful, these devices could create a new class of microscale atmospheric sensors.Ann Pearson, the Murray and Martha Ross Professor of Environmental Sciences (FAS), hopes to use an organism known as the Thaumarchaeota and the chemical signals it leaves in marine sediments to shed light on a topic essential to climate research: the relationship between Earth’s temperature and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The ice-core records that have shown higher carbon dioxide levels correlating to a warmer Earth are limited to the age of Earth’s oldest ice cores, which are only about a million years old — a tiny fraction of the Earth’s history. Pearson and her lab hope her approach with the Thaumarchaeota will allow them to go further back.Also, as part of the ceremony, past winner Paola Arlotta, Golub Family Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at FAS, shared an update on her 2015 project exploring the development of human cerebral organoids grown from stem cells taken from a human skin sample.last_img read more

New York, Vermont Bi-State Intercity Passenger Rail Study meeting December 13,14

first_imgA draft report has been released on extending passenger rail service from the capital region of New York into southwestern Vermont. Several proposals on what could cost up to $200 million are outlined in a report that will be described in public meetings in New York and Vermont on December 14 and 15.The most elaborate of the proposals (see cost chart and maps below) has a full loop that would extend service all the way from Albany to Rutland and going through North Bennington on the way up and Saratoga Springs on the way back down. Other options include a simple up and back with terminus in alternatively Manchester or Rutland, in what would essentially be a parallel service to the existing Ethan Allen Express. Alternatively, the Ethan Allen could simply be moved from a predominantly New York service to a predominantly Vermont service. Of course, the first proposal in the report is to do nothing.  The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), in cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), are working together to identify and establish intercity passenger rail service to parts of southwestern Vermont and eastern central New York, and have scheduled a round of public meetings to gather input on the Phase I Evaluation of Alternatives Report. The Report identifies challenges and opportunities for a number of different routing alternatives, and the capital costs needed to implement passenger rail service. The Report can viewed at http://www.ny-vt-passengerrail.org/documents.html(link is external) Public meetings will be held on: §  Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 7PM at the Bennington Fire Station, located at 130 River Street, Bennington, VT 05201; and§  Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 7PM at the Mechanicville Senior Citizen Center, located at 178 North Main Street, Mechanicville, NY 12118; and Public involvement is essential for the development and implementation of this planning study. These meetings are the third in a series of four rounds of public meetings that will be held in both Vermont and New York over the course of the study to gather public input on intercity passenger rail service options. The desired outcome of this study is to develop a preferred transportation alternative that will continue forward into design and construction.  When the preferred alternative is identified, the study will proceed with the following major steps:§    Complete Federal environmental documentation and reviews;§    Develop preliminary engineering materials; and§    Develop an implementation plan to identify the management approach and financial plan for the proposed service. The study is scheduled to be completed by summer 2012. The project study area, which is generally located between Albany/Rensselaer, NY and Rutland, VT, includes Bennington and Rutland Counties in Vermont, and Rensselaer, Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties in New York. Passenger rail is a vital and integrated component of both the Vermont and New York multimodal transportation systems; both states have developed state rail plans to provide a strategic policy framework for maintaining and enhancing their respective rail systems. The public is encouraged to attend and provided input to the study team.  Those unable to attend may provide comments to:Costa Pappis, VTrans, (802) 828-5790, costa.pappis@state.vt.us(link sends e-mail)Tim Conway, NYSDOT, (518) 485-9234, tconway@dot.state.ny.us(link sends e-mail) In addition, the public can provide input using the project website comment form.  This form and information about the study can be found on the project website at: http://www.ny-vt-(link is external) passengerrail.org/NYSDOT 12.1.2011last_img read more

Breaks Interstate Park

first_imgKnown as the “Grand Canyon of the South,” the scenic centerpiece of Breaks Interstate Park is the steep gorge that’s cut by the Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River. It’s not easy to reach the deepest gorge this side of the Mississippi River. There’s only one entrance, which is on the Virginia side of the 4,600-acre park off Route 80.History BreakThe park gets its name from the way the quarter-mile-deep, five-mile-long canyon literally provides a “break” in the sandstone of Pine Mountain. Daniel Boone is credited with discovering the area in the late 1700s, but apparently the rugged terrain and an abundance of copperheads was too much for the explorer, and he was eager to leave.Raft the Russell ForkDespite all of the attention that’s given to other regional rivers, the Russell Fork is actually considered the most difficult commercially rafted river on the East Coast. It’s a wild, class V+ ride of big drops, including the infamous El Horrendo, through tight chutes over vicious undercut rocks.Hit the TrailsBreaks has 15 miles of trails, including a number of short spur trails to the park’s many scenic overlooks. Catch some of the park’s diverse rock formations on the Geological Trail. If you’re looking to cover some distance, backpack the Pine Mountain Trail, a new long trail still in development that will eventually connect the park to the Cumberland Gap. Hikers can tackle a 44-mile completed stretch of the Pine Mountain Trail that connects the Birch Knob and Highland sections.last_img read more

The real Ronson

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

This simple Hendra Queenslanders has been transformed into a resort-style modern home

first_imgThe kitchen has Caesarstone benchtops.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home2 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor8 hours agoIt was then that the rear decks were added and the pool was upgraded from a kidney-shaped pool to a 25m lap pool and heated gas spa.Ms Pearse said the home had been perfect for entertaining, with its multiple living areas and space, and they had held many parties there over the years, including a garden wedding.She finds herself most often drawn to the theatre room, particularly to watch a movie on a Friday night, but her favourite place would be sitting on the back deck overlooking the pool.The home has polished floorboards and a fireplace while the kitchen has Caesarstone benchtops and Miele appliances. The home has its own movie theatre. DETAILS 5 bed, four bath, four carAuction: Saturday March 4, NoonAgent: Ray White Ascot KEY FEATURES Swimming pool and spaAlarm systemAirconditioningRenovated with original featuresEco-friendly featuresWater tank Ms Pearse loves relaxing on the decks of the home. Off the kitchen is a formal dining area and another family living area.The home is spread over two levels and has a 1000-bottle wine cellar. It is built over two land titles, which span 1221sq m.Of the five bedrooms in the home, two have ensuites.Ms Pearse said an extra two-car garage on the separate block was the perfect space for those with extra cars, or was a suitable area for a games room or teenagers’ retreat. The home has beautiful timber floors.The first renovation was done during the first year of ownership and, during the past 15 years, it has been given a more modern, contemporary look.This included adding a gym, an eight-seat theatre, bigger rooms, extra bathrooms, a fireplace and bigger decks.There was also the addition of a 25m lap pool and spa.“I knew back then that Hendra was an upcoming area with its close proximity to the city and airport,’’ Ms Pearse said.center_img The home has new decks.“It has evolved over the years, with many local cafes and restaurants opening – all in walking distance.’’Another thing that really attracted her to the property initially was the large grassy backyard, which was fully fenced.At 1221sq m, Ms Pearse said the block was perfect for a family with children, as it was big enough to kick a football around, play a game of cricket or have a dog.The last major renovation was a few years ago, during which time the whole downstairs area was demolished and rebuilt to suit a growing family. The Queenslander has been transformed into a modern home.It has been through some major renovations since she moved in 15 years ago, but Esme Pearse still remembers what initially attracted her to her Hendra home at 84 Woodville St.“The house had a great feel to it with its high ceilings and character. When we purchased it originally it was a traditional Queenslander inside, with plush carpet, wallpaper, chandeliers,’’ she said.last_img read more

Its what’s inside that counts for these cheap homes

first_imgStraight out of a magazine- 2/9 Elm Court, Labrador. Picture: realestate.com.auIn Labrador, a three-bedroom townhouse at 2/9 Elm Court oozes magazine style with timber flooring, stone benchtops and an island breakfast bar but the bathroom is the real showstopper. Subway tiles, freestanding basins and a dual shower with matt black fixtures. Style and sophistication go hand-in-hand at 2/9 Elm Court, Labrador. Picture: realestate.com.auTHEY are modern, stylish and they won’t break the bank. Here are three newly renovated Gold Coast properties under $400,000. But there’s a catch — only the interior has had an uplift. More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North5 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago2/9 Elm Court, Labrador from the outside. Picture: realestate.com.auBut the home is barely recognisable from the outside. It’s on the market at offers over $399,000.Further north in Paradise Point, a renovated single level duplex offers a modern and stylish lifestyle. 1/7 Eurimbula Court, Paradise Point. Picture: realestate.com.auIt has a price tag of $415,000.And in Miami, a two-bedroom duplex in over 50s complex Miami Village has been tastefully renovated.The property at 128/170 Bardon Ave has a new kitchen and new paint. It’s on the market at $329,000.center_img 1/7 Eurimbula Court, Paradise Point has been extensively renovated. Picture: realestate.com.auThe two-bedder at 1/7 Eurimbula Court has a kitchen with a contrasting mosaic tile splash back as well as steel appliances and a large workbench.The resort-style ceiling fan and pendant light are just some of the stylish decor items included in the sale. 128/170 Bardon Ave, Miami is described as a “cut above the rest”. Picture: realestate.com.aulast_img read more

Diabetes fuels heart failure risk

first_img Share Heart failure occurs when the heart fails to pump blood around the body as it shouldPeople with diabetes are up to 65% more likely to have heart failure, an analysis has found.The National Diabetes Audit looked at data on almost two million people and also found increased risk of other complications, and premature death.The charity Diabetes UK, said people were “dying before their time”.Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said progress was being made, but there was “unacceptable variation in diabetes care”.Heart damageThe audit, in its eighth year, covered about 85% of people in England with diabetes, and about 54% of those in Wales.The researchers compared the rates of a range of complications among people with diabetes with those seen in the the same sized group in the general population.In 2010-11, 45,000 people with the condition had heart failure – where the heart does not pump blood as effectively as it should, when the expected number would have been 27,300.The most common reason for heart failure is that the muscle has been damaged, for example, after a heart attack.Heart attacks were 48% more likely – 14,500 people with diabetes suffered this complication in 2010-11 – when 9,800 of such cases would have been expected.And people with diabetes were also at a significantly increased risk of need an amputation of the foot or leg.All the complications studied are recognised as being linked to diabetes and therefore more likely to occur in people with the condition.But the researchers say better preventative care would reduce cases.‘Scope for improvement’Dr Bob Young, of the National Diabetes Information Service who led work on the audit, said: “If everyone achieved the treatment targets that are laid down by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), none of the complications would be inevitable.“There is substantial scope for improvement.”The audit also estimated people with diabetes have a 40% higher risk of death than the general population 65,700 deaths compared with an expected 47,000. Dr Young added: “Much can be done to reduce these risks if all health care sectors work together with people who have diabetes.”Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “We hope this report spurs the NHS into action to improve the current situation where fewer than half of people with diabetes meet the recommended cholesterol levels and a significant minority are not even having it measured.”Prof Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “It’s essential that, firstly, everyone with diabetes is identified and, secondly, they receive appropriate treatment and advice to help them avoid cardiovascular complications.“Still more important is the need to prevent diabetes from occurring in the first place by tackling the increasing levels of obesity in our society, particularly in our children.”Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “People with diabetes should be able to expect excellent care from the NHS and they will get it more consistently in future. “I know there has been progress, but there is still unacceptable variation and we are determined to put that right.”He said the new GP contract would include new measures to help GPs manage the care of people with diabetes better and that local authorities would be given ring-fenced budgets to target problems like obesity which can lead to Type 2 diabetes.BBC News Share Share HealthLifestyle Diabetes fuels heart failure risk by: – December 11, 2012center_img 12 Views   no discussions Tweet Sharing is caring!last_img read more

Lady Wildcats Linksters Defeat Lady Knights

first_imgThe Lady Cats traveled to take on the South Dearborn Knights. They shot a team score of 183 and took home the win. Junior, Maggie Brack, was Medallist with a score of 42.“To say the course was tough tonight is an understatement! It’s very hilly and the greens had just been aerated. It was an important round for us tonight because this is where our Conference tournament will be played in a couple of weeks.”  Wildcats Coach Marisa Mears.The Cats will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to New Palestine to participate in their invite.FC Scoring. Maggie Brack-42, Abby Orschell-46, Gracie Graf-45, Camryn Brewer-51, Ashlan Hill-55.last_img read more

Jones switches line in run to Tri-City checkers

first_imgNate Jones was the IMCA Modified winner on season championship night at Tri-City Motor Speed­way. (Photo by Steve Marsh)By Roger WilliamsAUBURN, Mich. (Aug. 17) – Nate Jones won the Main Street Seed and Supply IMCA Modified feature and unofficial track championship Friday at Tri-City Motor Speedway.A single point separated Jones and Matt Szecsodi going into the evening and their competition included A.J. Ward, looking to collect his 100th career IMCA feature win.The pair of title contenders started mid-pack and Will Small took control early before Jones, using the bottom groove, took the top spot on lap five. He continued to run the bottom groove while a hard-charging Ward found speed in the top line.Ward tracked down Jones and was poised to steal the lead before the caution flag flew. On the restart, Jones decided to run the high side. The move allowed Jones to pull away from Ward and to his seventh feature win of the 2018 season. The win, along with Szecsodi’s finish of fourth, gave Jones the unofficial season title.last_img read more

Caution causes school to close due to chickenpox

first_imgVersailles, IN— An area school has chosen to close due to four students reporting they have chickenpox, or varicella.  Exercising an abundance of caution to keep students and staff healthy, St. Nicholas Catholic School designated today an e-Learning day.According to Ripley County Health Department Administrator, Dr. David J. Welsh per the Indiana Communicable Disease Rule, an outbreak of varicella is defined as five or more cases if the cases are under 13 years old or three or more cases if the cases are 13 years old or older. The cases must reside in at least two separate households. In suspected outbreaks, lab confirmation of as many cases as possible is preferred but not required. This has not been declared an outbreak according to Dr. Welsh, but just the school being abundantly cautious. Dr. Welsh stated that in this instance, there are no similarities found with age, classroom, or family for those that have been infected. And one child is already reportedly healed from the sickness.  Chickenpox spreads easily, mainly when a person touches or breathes in the virus particles that come from chickenpox.  It can also spread through tiny droplets that get into the air when someone who has chickenpox breathes or talks, for example. Chickenpox can spread up to 2 days before the infected person gets a rash until all the blisters have formed scabs.Chickenpox usually causes the following symptoms:An itchy rash of blistersFeverHeadacheFeeling tiredSymptoms usually last about a week. In some cases, chickenpox can cause serious problems. Chickenpox is usually mild in children, but the itching can be very uncomfortable. Children who get chickenpox can miss about a week of school or child care.In some cases, chickenpox can cause serious problems, such as:Skin infectionsDehydration (loss of body fluids)Pneumonia (an infection in the lungs)Encephalitis (swelling of the brain)Complications from chickenpox can be serious and can occur in any person who develops chickenpox, although they are more common in healthy babies, adults, and people with weakened immune systems. About 9 out of 10 children who get 2 doses of the vaccine will be completely protected from chickenpox.People with chickenpox must remain excluded from school, daycare, work or other public settings until all of the chickenpox lesions have crusted or if they do not have vesicular lesions until no new lesions appear in a 24-hour period.Dr. Welsh stated that the Ripley County Health Department will continue to monitor this situation.According to the Indiana State Board of Health records, only 87% of all kids 6-12 in Ripley and Decatur County had either a record of chickenpox or having received the vaccination. That is equal to the State total reported in 2017-2018.   Franklin County reported 86% of kids.last_img read more