Krill-copepod interactions at South Georgia, Antarctica, II. Euphausia superba as a major control on copepod abundance

Posted On May 9 2021 by

first_imgEuphausia superba (hereafter ‘krill’) and copepods are major zooplankton taxa in the Southern Ocean, but there is little information on how they interact. This paper investigates their coincidence across a wide range of temporal and spatial scales to examine whether copepod distribution is related to that of krill. During 2 summers of high krill abundance near South Georgia (1996 and 1997) copepod abundance was <40% of that during an abnormally low krill year (1994). No such depletion was found north of the Polar Front, where krill were rare. Analysis of 2 mesoscale data sets showed that krill, rather than food or environmental factors, were most strongly implicated in copepod distribution. An area of persistently high krill abundance just north of South Georgia was characterised by exceptionally few copepods. Fine-scale relationships between patches of krill and copepods were studied with a Longhurst Hardy Plankton Recorder. Within krill swarms copepod abundance was low, but more dispersed krill associated with high concentrations of copepods. Copepods also appeared to live deeper and to make more extensive vertical migrations when krill were present. The inverse relationship between krill and copepod abundances thus occurred repeatedly and across a wide range of scales. The facts that krill swarms are mobile and were unrelated to hydrography further suggest that the inverse relationship was caused by krill. This could arise from competitive exclusion, direct predation or both. Evidence for competition is that South Georgia copepods rely on high phytoplankton biomass for recruitment and krill can remove this. Predation is suggested by the fact that crustaceans were found in krill guts in this region during both summer and winter. During the 1996 summer, experimentally derived predation rates on copepods, combined with krill biomass values, suggested a significant impact on small copepods. Therefore we suggest that copepod numbers can be controlled by a combination of competition and predation by krill.last_img read more


Panthers quarterback Cam Newton broke a world record for catches

Posted On May 8 2021 by

first_imgSeptember 4, 2019 /Sports News – National Panthers quarterback Cam Newton broke a world record for catches Cam just breaking Guinness World Records with YouTube star @MrBeastYT … NBD https://t.co/5F3LVMfBUs— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 3, 2019With 51 complete catches, Newton added his name to the top of the title list, which has been previously held by Odell Beckham Jr., Drew Brees, Jarvis Landry and Kirk Cousins.The Panthers shared the news along with the video on Twitter Tuesday to celebrate the world record set in July.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. Written by FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPhil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton just set a new world record for the most one-handed catches in under 60 seconds.The NFL star swapped out his No. 1 jersey for head-to-toe white athletic apparel and stepped onto the field at Bank of America Stadium in an attempt to break a series of Guinness World Records titles.Newton, 30, is entering his ninth professional season and has long claimed he has “the best hands in the NFL” — but now, he has a more official claim to it. Beau Lundlast_img read more


Total-Adani JV to seek approval to open retail fuel stations in India

Posted On May 7 2021 by

first_img Total’s filling station in Wetherby, West Yorkshire in the UK. (Credit: Betty Longbottom/Wikipedia) A joint venture (JV) of Indian natural gas distribution company Adani Gas and French oil major Total is reportedly planning to seek approval from the Indian government to open retail fuel stations across the country.The move comes on the heels of the relaxation announced by the government on the rules for launching fuel stations in the country.Adani Gas chief executive Suresh Manglani was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Definitely we will take full benefit of the expertise and strength of Total.”Suresh added that a licence under the new liberal ‘fuel retailing rules’ will be applied by Total Adani Fuels Marketing in the near future.India aims to increase gas share in its energy mix to 15% by 2030Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to increase gas share in the country’s energy mix from current 6.2% to 15% by 2030.As the country ended controls on regular gasoline prices, India has become a profitable market for global oil giants.In India, fuel demand is expected to increase in the coming years as the government aims to drive the country’s economy to $5tn of gross domestic production by 2025 from $2.9tn in 2019.Last year, Total has agreed to acquire a 37.4% stake in Adani Gas to create one of the largest integrated gas utilities in India.In February 2020,  Total signed a deal to acquire 50% stake in Adani Group’s solar assets for $500m.As part of the deal, both the companies will form a 50:50 joint venture (JV), where Adani Green Energy (AGEL) will transfer its 2GW solar assets to the JV. The latest move comes after the government relaxed the rules for opening fuel stations in the countrylast_img read more


HOBOKEN BRIEFS

Posted On May 2 2021 by

first_imgCounty worker files lawsuit against Hoboken McDonald’s, alleging discriminationAccording to news reports, Hoboken resident Quan Dunlap, 47, has filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s alleging the Hoboken staff discriminated against him because he was African American. Dunlap said he had stopped at the McDonald’s on Third and Washington streets after getting off work at the county’s Department of Public Works. He said that he was allegedly told he would only be served if he didn’t stay to eat at the restaurant.After getting his food, he told the worker he wanted to speak to a supervisor he said he was told he could only stay to eat for 20 minutes because they were “getting complaints from regular customers about people like me,” according to the lawsuit.The suit, filed in Hudson County Superior Court by Dunlap’s attorney, Louis Zayas, seeks a jury trial, punitive and compensatory damages, attorney fees and other relief as deemed by the court.Hoboken McDonald’s did not answer four calls and an email for comment. Guttenberg resident arrested after altercation with Hoboken Parking Utility employeeGuttenberg resident Francisco Rabelo, 32, was arrested on Aug. 31 at 10:55 p.m. after allegedly assaulting a Hoboken Parking Utility employee, according to a press release from the Hoboken Police Department.He was charged with aggravated assault, criminal mischief, and resisting arrest.According to the release, Officers Jason Montalvo and Giovanni Cruzado were sent to the area of First and Bloomfield streets on the report of an assault on a parking utility employee.Officers arrived to find the victim following Rabelo, whom the officers ordered to stop. The victim told officers he was speaking with Rabelo when he allegedly became irate and knocked the victim’s cellphone to the ground, damaging it. As the officers began to speak with Rabelo he allegedly became aggressive and began to scream at them before allegedly striking Montalvo in the arm as the officer tried to distance himself. A struggle ensued and Rabelo allegedly began to resist the officers’ attempt to place him under arrest.He was eventually subdued and transported to headquarters for processing.Due to his behavior, he was transported to the Hoboken University Medical Center for treatment and evaluation.A warrant complaint was generated and he was transported to the Hudson County Rehabilitation Center after being treated at the hospital.Calling all volunteersHoboken Grace Community Church will host its seventh annual 1Day event on Saturday, Sept. 29 beginning at 9:30 a.m. This year, hundreds are expected to take part in making Hoboken better through a day devoted to community service.“1Day helps build relationships with people in our community,” said Outreach Director James Sproule. “Whether people are longtime residents or newcomers, 1Day gets people working together to improve the community. Together, we can plant new gardens, paint railings, clean up garbage, and help the local non-profits, who do such great work in town. This is a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors, so invite your friends.”At 9:30 a.m., volunteers will come together at 301 Garden St. and then spread throughout Hoboken to spend a few hours working on projects. Volunteers will work in small groups to help local organizations, such as the Hoboken Shelter, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Hoboken Housing Authority to clean, paint, organize and more. There will also be projects that take place at many of the city’s parks and playgrounds.At 1 p.m. after the completion of the projects, the volunteers will come back together for an after-party to celebrate what was accomplished.To participate in 1Day, sign up at www.1DayHoboken.com or meet Sept. 29, at 9:30 a.m., at 301 Garden St. County contract with ICE to be terminated – eventuallyAlthough the details have to be worked out, an agreement between the Hudson County Board of Freeholders and religious leaders who are suing them should lead to the termination of the county contract to house immigration detainees at the county jail and end the lawsuit challenging the validity of the contract. The approximately 800 detainees are there while waiting hearings on alleged immigration issues. There are also approximately 400 criminals in the jail.Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise announced on Friday that the county would initiate a “Path to Exit” from its contract to hold detainees for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).The detainees are awaiting hearings on alleged violations of federal immigration laws.Religious leaders from Jersey City and elsewhere filed suit against the county in Superior Court in late August, claiming the county violated the state’s Open Public Meetings Act when the freeholders voted in July to approve the 10-year contract.The freeholders had originally announced they would delay the vote, then suddenly reversed themselves and put the measure up for a vote without allowing members of the public and immigrant advocates time to comment. Many activists demanded that the county use an opt-out clause to void the contract.The “Path to Exit” would have the freeholders void the 10-year then vote on a new contract that would phase out the detainee program over a two-year period, with the goal of having no detainees housed in the jail by the end of 2020.The jail was built to house about 2,000 criminal inmates. Bail reform and other programs have caused the criminal jail population to fall to about 400. The contract with ICE, at $120 per day per detainee, had partly been used to offset the reduction of prisoners at the jail because the facility remains fully staffed. The deal was expected to provide an estimated $35 million a year to the county.Correctional officers unions and others have raised concerns about doing away with the ICE contract because it would likely lead to significant layoffs.To compensate for the loss of the detainee population, the county will seek to make agreements with other entities, such as the New Jersey Department of Corrections to house state prisoners in Hudson County instead of immigrants. By seeking agreements to house other prisoners, the county might be able to maintain the current work force.Freeholder Bill O’Dea warned the county that it may have to reduce staff in the future anyway, because there is a trend away from incarceration and towards providing other means of detaining prisoners such as house arrest and electronic monitoring.The freeholders anticipate voting on a resolution at their Sept. 13 meeting that would prohibit ICE detainees to be housed at the jail beyond 2020 “without freeholder consent.”The plan will also direct additional funds from the contract to be spent on services for ICE detainees during this transition period. Presently, free Legal Services are provided to all detainees for their civil detention cases.The amount, and into what areas those dollars will go, will be worked out in future meetings with the administration, members of the freeholder board and advocates for the detainees. A survey of detainees conducted by advocates may be authorized as part of the plan.“Just a month ago, I did not see a path that would allow us to move forward on a path to exit,” said County Executive DeGise. “I’m pleased that after what I have heard from state and federal leaders, I believe we have a consensus on how Hudson County can exit the contract in a responsible manner.”Freeholder Board Chairman Anthony Vainieri, who attended all of the discussions with County staff and the advocates, welcomed the Path to Exit plan.“Over the last month the county executive, my fellow freeholders, state and federal leaders and local advocates for detainees have worked constructively to make this exit plan possible, and I am proud of the work that has been done to arrive at this point,” said Vainieri. “I will urge my colleagues to support this plan because it represents a humane, reasonable approach.”One of the most prominent elected officials critical of the county’s contract with ICE, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, welcomed the announcement from the county executive today.“With this action, the county executive and the freeholders have begun the work of dealing with this issue in keeping with our values, while dealing with the difficult realities of governing at the local level, and I applaud that,” said Mayor Bhalla.Making healthcare service accessible in a safe environmentHoboken University Medical Center and Hudson Pride Center hosted their Every Woman Wellness Event last month to make health care services accessible to an underserved community and also make those services available in a safe environment.“We wanted to reduce barriers and create an inclusive and affirming environment so that LGBTQ people felt safe in a space where they are getting healthcare,” Chief Medical Officer Meika Roberson said.Mayor Ravi Bhalla said the event was vital to the health of this specific community.Besides hosting the overall fair, CarePoint Health sponsored a table where participants could have their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels checked. Attendees were also able to have wellness examinations in a private-room setting, as well as participate in stress-relieving yoga or meditation in a group setting.Ten other agencies or companies were also present at tables in the hospital’s lobby, offering women’s health-related information or services. Those groups included Massage Envy, Damien Fertility Partners, the Hudson Pride Center, Gilead Sciences Inc., Shaka Bowl, Nurturing Life Acupuncture & Wellness, East Coast Advance Plastic Surgery LLC, Hoboken Women’s Wellness, the Schweiger Dermatology Group and Om.Life Wellness Spa.The fair was held in tandem with the inaugural Hoboken Pride Week and in observance of Hudson Pride Month. The week kicked off with a flag raising ceremony and Bhalla receiving Hudson Pride’s Evolution Award, the first time it has been presented to an elected official.According to a press release from CarePoint Health there are at least 9 million people in the United States that are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, according to the American Cancer Society. Research confirms that the LGBTQ community has a disproportionate burden of cancer and distinctive risk factors, and that they face additional barriers to accessing healthcare.last_img read more


A radical archive arrives at Harvard

Posted On Mar 1 2021 by

first_imgFor almost 60 years Angela Davis has been for many an iconic face of feminism and counterculture activism in America.Now her life in letters and images will be housed at Harvard.Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library has acquired Davis’ archive, a trove of documents, letters, papers, photos, and more that trace her evolution as an activist, author, educator, and scholar. The papers were secured with support from Harvard’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research.“My papers reflect 50 years of involvement in activist and scholarly collaborations seeking to expand the reach of justice in the world,” Davis said in a statement. “I am very happy that at the Schlesinger Library they will join those of June Jordan, Patricia Williams, Pat Parker, and so many other women who have been advocates of social transformation.”A French print in support of Davis declares “Save Angela!” Photo courtesy of the Schlesinger LibraryJane Kamensky, Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Director of the Schlesinger Library, sees the collection yielding “prize-winning books for decades as people reckon with this legacy and put [Davis] in conversation with other collections here and elsewhere.”When looking for new material, Kamensky said the library seeks collections “that will change the way that fields know what they know,” adding that she expects the Davis archive to inspire and inform scholars across a range of disciplines.Henry Louis Gates Jr. said that he’s followed Davis’ life and work ever since spotting a “Free Angela” poster on the wall at his Yale dorm. Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor, has worked to increase the archival presence of African-Americans who have made major contributions to U.S. society, politics, and culture. He called the Davis papers “a marvelous coup for Harvard.”“She’s of enormous importance to the history of political thought and political activism of left-wing or progressive politics and the history of race and gender in the United States since the mid-’60s,” said Gates, who directs the Hutchins Center. “No one has a more important role, and now scholars will be able to study the arc of her thinking, the way it evolved and its depth, by having access to her papers.”The acquisition is in keeping with the library’s efforts to ensure its collections represent a broad range of life experiences. In 2013 and 2014 an internal committee developed a diverse wish list, “and a foundational thinker and activist like Angela Davis was very naturally at the top,” said Kamensky.Kenvi Phillips, hired as the library’s first curator for race and ethnicity in 2016, met with Davis in Oakland last year to collect the papers with help from two archivists. Together they packed 151 boxes of material gathered from a storage site, an office, and Davis’ home.,The collection includes a painting done for Davis by a death-row inmate in California, and a manuscript of her autobiography with edits by her friend Toni Morrison. There are numerous photos of the young Davis, including a shot of her posing with Fidel Castro. Reels of tape from her radio show “Angela Speaks” are also part of the archive, as is material related to her arrest in connection with the 1970 shooting of a superior court judge by an acquaintance who used guns registered in Davis’ name.The arrest drew international attention. That interest is reflected in some of the Radcliffe materials, such as hundreds of letters that poured in for Davis while she awaited trial, and the flowers in paper, felt, and cloth that were part “A Million Roses for Angela,” organized by German supporters. Davis was acquitted of all charges in June 1972.According to Kamensky, the number of Harvard scholars studying the problem of mass incarceration was of special interest to Davis, who visited campus in the fall of 2016 while considering the Schlesinger as a possible home for her archive. The papers include items connected to her work on mass incarceration and prison abolition, such as notes and documents related to Critical Resistance, the grass-roots organization she co-founded in 1997 whose mission is to “end the prison-industrial complex.”“We haven’t had a kind of central formation for that work, and I think the collection can play a kind of catalyzing role,” said Kamensky.One Harvard scholar long interested in such topics is Elizabeth Hinton, an assistant professor of history and of African and African American studies who in 2016 published “From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America.”“Angela Davis has always been a pivotal figure in terms of the development of criminal justice reform activism,” said Hinton, who expects to use some of the Davis material in class.,“That will make history come alive for generations of students and hopefully inspire them to pursue social justice goals even after they leave Harvard’s campus.”The arrival of the collection reminded Hinton of reading Davis’ autobiography when she was a high school senior, which “really illuminated a lot of issues and opened my eyes to the conditions that exist in American prisons and just inspired me to want to make important social justice contributions to society.”Over the next year archivists will sort, document, and digitize some of the material in preparation for a series of events in 2019, including an exhibition and a Radcliffe conference featuring Davis that will focus on family, gender, and issues around incarceration.While Kamensky acknowledged that Davis remains a controversial figure to many, she said that the activist’s life represents a core of the radical tradition in which “people with big ideas move the conversation by drawing fire. And she has taken that role as a lightning-rod thinker from a really tender age.“By pursuing her papers Schlesinger is not asking the researchers to agree with her,” added Kamensky. “Archives do not prescribe a party line … [but] to tell histories true we need to see a full spectrum.”last_img read more


Saint Mary’s introduces new summer study abroad program in Jamaica

Posted On Jan 26 2021 by

first_imgSaint Mary’s is offering a new destination for summer study abroad programs this summer: Jamaica.“We’ve been wanting to get a summer study abroad program in Jamaica for three years,” Aaron Bremyer, the director of the Saint Mary’s Writing Center and the Jamaica study abroad program, said.The program was originally supposed to begin in the summer of 2016, Bremyer said, but the outbreak of Zika Virus posed risks that ultimately led to its postponement.The three-week program is to be held at the University of the West Indies at Mona, located in northern Kingston, he said. From mid-June to early July, Bremyer said, participants will live with students at the University in apartments on campus.“It’s a beautiful campus that offers a lot of opportunities for our students to really integrate with students from Jamaica and all over the Caribbean,” he said.Bremyer said the program centers around a class called Travel Writing in Jamaica, to be taught by English professor and co-director of the Jamaica study abroad program Dionne Bremyer, Aaron Bremyer’s wife. The course meets requirements for the English Writing major as well as general education requirements within the Sophia Program.“The travel writing course is trying to look at the difference between tourism and traveling,” Mr. Bremyer said.Through day trips and weekend trips, he said, students will be exposed to various parts of the island that emphasize the distinction between experiencing the actual culture of Jamaica and experiencing the tourism industry.“A traveler is a person who is integrated into the society rather than intruding on the local culture,” Mr. Bremyer said. “We’re excited about moving away from that tourist-centric idea of the Caribbean as a vacation destination rather than a place where millions upon millions of people live.”Coming from a Jamaican family, Mrs. Bremyer said during a presentation about program Wednesday night that she looks forward to the opportunity to share this cultural experience with students.Mr. Bremyer said he is excited for students to become acquainted with the true culture of Jamaica after hearing stereotypes.“The idea people have of Jamaica isn’t quite the reality of Jamaica,” Mr. Bremyer said. “We wanted to design a program that introduces people to a more authentic Jamaica than most Americans know.”Many Americans have knowledge of the resorts and other tourism aspects of the island nation, Mr. Bremyer said, but there are many other important parts of society there.“The service industry is absolutely essential to the island,” he said, “But it doesn’t present the true history of the island and the people there.”Because this program is meant to take place during the summer, Mr. Bremyer said he and Mrs. Bremyer hope to make it possible for more students to study abroad, as some have schedules that are not always flexible enough for a semester-long program.“Our goal in setting it up was to offer a program to students — many of whom couldn’t study abroad because of class schedules or obligations at the college — that could fit other schedules and be less expensive than some of the other programs,” he said.The Travel Writing in Jamaica program is open to Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross students.Applications for the program are due March 1. Student may contact Aaron or Dionne Bremyer for more details about the program and applying.Tags: Jamaica, Saint Mary’s study abroad, study abroad, summer study abroadlast_img read more


Jessie Mueller & Sara Bareilles Serve Up a Slice of Waitress

Posted On Jan 18 2021 by

first_img Sara Bareilles Star Files View Comments Jessie Mueller and the cast of ‘Waitress’ Waitress Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 5, 2020 Related Shows Tony winner Jessie Mueller, Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles and the cast of Waitress brought some sugar, butter and flour to the 30 Rockefeller Plaza on May 2 as they offered The Today Show a taste of two numbers from the scrumptious new musical. Take a look as Mueller and her co-stars (including Kimiko Glenn and Keala Settle) perform a bookend of snippets from the opening number “What’s Inside” and finale “Opening Up.” Check it out below, then see what’s inside the filling over at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Jessie Muellerlast_img read more


Southern Cross 2018 Increases Interoperability

Posted On Dec 20 2020 by

first_imgBy Juan Delgado/Diálogo November 20, 2018 In early October, Argentine and Chilean service members conducted annual Exercise Southern Cross 2018, of the Southern Cross Joint and Combined Peace Force—the force comprises elements of both countries’ three military branches. Exercise Southern Cross 2018 took place at the Chilean Army War Academy’s (ACAGUE, in Spanish) Tactical Operational Training Center (CEOTAC, in Spanish) in Santiago, October 1st-5th. The objective of the exercise was to increase combined interoperability and improve officers’ planning and management skills. The tabletop exercise also helped strengthen bonds of friendship between the neighboring countries. “This kind of exercise is very important,” said Navy Rear Admiral Alejandro Miguel García Sobral, chief of Operations of the Argentine Armed Forces’ Operational Command. “This is where service members develop doctrines and, most importantly, mutual awareness. They also practice tasks and procedures that will be carried out when the Southern Cross Peace Force is deployed.” Fictitious scenario A total of 100 elements, 72 units of the Chilean Armed Forces and 28 from Argentina, gathered at CEOTAC for a peacekeeping simulation exercise in a realistic environment. In the fictitious scenario, participants organized the deployment of the Southern Cross Peace Force in a fictitious country shaken by violent acts that jeopardized the peace and security of the population. Faced with this situation, the United Nations (UN) Security Council issued a resolution to stabilize the territory through a Blue Helmets-led peacekeeping operation that would restore order. The scenarios enabled participants to plan, lead troops, and adopt resolutions based on UN guidelines. “It’s a binational initiative that comes from the highest level,” said Rear Adm. García. “The armed forces were involved in an excellent initiative, where the three branches come together and make a force available to the UN to reinforce, help, or maintain world peace.” To conduct the exercise, CEOTAC made available its Emergency Situation Management and Training Simulation System (SIGEN, in Spanish). The high-technology tool facilitated information management, collaborative decision-making, and response optimization through role-playing. SIGEN also enabled the evaluation of participants’ levels of expertise, allowing them to learn from their achievements and mistakes to improve force performance in the future. “This way, we can collaborate so that both countries are better prepared to deploy at the UN’s request,” said Chilean Army Colonel Arturo Gallardo, head of CEOTAC. At the UN’s disposal The Southern Cross Joint and Combined Peace Force goes back to 2006, when the governments of Argentina and Chile signed an agreement to create the Combined Joint Chiefs of Staff and form a binational force that would be at the UN’s disposal. In 2011, Argentina and Chile officially made the joint and combined force available to the UN before then-UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon. The force consists of two infantry battalions including army and marine elements from both countries, as well as a logistics support unit. It also has a naval component with two ships and an air component with eight aircraft. Every year, members of the armed forces of both countries carry out tabletop and practical exercises to maintain their skills. Argentina and Chile take turns hosting the exercises. “I must say, I’ve seen a notable improvement and increase in training in the joint-combined aspect [of the force],” said Navy Vice Admiral Rodrigo Álvarez Aguirre, deputy commander of the Chilean Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Undoubtedly, there are many things left to do, but we’ve always been on the right track, which speaks highly of us all.” A serious job For participants, the exercise was a success. According to Army Major General Carlos Pérez Aquino, operational commander of the Argentine Armed Forces’ Joint Chiefs of Staff, the demanding nature of SIGEN and its various tasks demonstrated the professionalism of Argentine and Chilean service members. “We achieved a good outcome and did a serious job,” Maj. Gen. Pérez concluded. “These exercises help peacekeeping operations, to have better knowledge. I’ve had the opportunity to follow the evolution of Southern Cross closely, and you can see the interoperability and how military interaction progresses.”last_img read more


THE PANDEMIC VACCINE PUZZLE Part 1: Flu research: a legacy of neglect

Posted On Nov 18 2020 by

first_img Those appropriations have gone to fund a wide array of pandemic-preparation tasks, from improving state and local planning to supporting antiviral research (see Bibliography: Trust for America’s Health 2007). Strictly within the vaccine realm, funds have been divided among research, production, and purchase of existing vaccines for the national stockpile. As of May 2007, Congress had given the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) $5.6 billion for pandemic preparedness; HHS has allocated $3.2 billion of that to expanding vaccine capacity. So far the agency has committed $1.5 billion of those funds, including $1 billion for research into alternative production methods such as cell culture, $147 million for research on low-dose vaccines, and $133 million for retrofitting existing plants to improve manufacturing capacity (see Bibliography: HHS 2007; Trust for America’s Health 2007). US leads other countriesLate though the United States may have been in funding vaccine research, it nonetheless outshines other countries. “Government officials in the five Western European countries where influenza vaccine production facilities are located . . . have provided virtually no public funding to support H5N1 vaccine trials,” David Fedson, MD, wrote this summer in the Journal of Public Health Policy. “Germany is the sole exception, providing modest support for a trial of one company’s vaccine” (see Bibliography: Fedson and Dunnill 2007: Commentary). Fedson is a retired academic and vaccine-industry executive who has published critical analyses of pandemic-vaccine planning in a number of journals. Echoing that report, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s technical advisory groups on human H5N1 vaccines warned in August that 10 essential research questions must be answered before a vaccine can be achieved. The questions’ very basic nature—How much antigen should a vaccine contain? How many doses should be given? How long does vaccine protection last?—suggest how far flu-vaccine science has yet to go (see Bibliography: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control 2007: Technical report). Oct 25, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – It has been 10 years since the H5N1 strain of avian influenza first grabbed international attention by causing the death of a Hong Kong 3-year-old, the novel virus’s first known human casualty (see Bibliography: CDC 1997). In the decade since, the virus has torn across the globe, causing 332 known human illnesses and 204 deaths in 12 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the deaths or preventive slaughter of hundreds of millions of birds. Despite recent encouraging news from several clinical trials, the scientific—and financial and political—hurdles to producing a widely deployable vaccine remain dauntingly high. As the WHO admitted in its Global Pandemic Influenza Action Plan, published last year, “At the present time, if an influenza pandemic were to occur, the potential vaccine supply would fall several billion doses short of the amount needed to provide protection to the global population” (see Bibliography: WHO 2006). As a public health threat, flu had faded from federal, commercial, and thus public attention. A 1985 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, “New Vaccine Development” (updated in 2000 as “Vaccines for the 21st Century”) urged fresh focus on flu-vaccine research but, coming as concern over AIDS began to crest, attracted no additional investment to flu (see Bibliography: IOM 1985, IOM 2000). Consumption of seasonal flu vaccine was relatively low: Americans received 54.9 million doses in 1995, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and an additional 16.6 million were returned unused to manufacturers (see Bibliography: Santoli 2007). Lacking a strong public appetite for seasonal flu vaccine, and thus a reliable market, flu-vaccine manufacturers saw no reason to improve on the cumbersome egg-based production technology that had been used since the 1950s. Gaps in the knowledge baseRecent assessments by US and European experts have conceded that flu research still lags. A blue-ribbon panel convened last year by the NIAID recommended in a June 2007 report that “eight specific aspects of influenza research in which there are substantial gaps in knowledge” receive immediate attention. The areas included clinical and immune responses to flu, flu epidemiology, animal models for flu research, antivirals, diagnostic assays, and, notably, vaccines, of which the group said: “Development of improved influenza vaccines is a key priority for the control of both seasonal and pandemic influenza” (see Bibliography: NIH 2007). “Influenza has not been treated with the degree of medical attention that the disease warrants,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), warned in a 2006 commentary (see Bibliography: Fauci 2006). “There is not an adequate baseline of preparedness in the United States to deal with the potential of pandemic influenza.” “We are finally starting to do the right thing, because money is being put in,” Poland said, “but we are late. We are really playing catch-up” (see Bibliography: Poland 2007). The pandemic vaccine puzzle Part 1: Flu research: a legacy of neglectPart 2: Vaccine production capacity falls far shortPart 3: H5N1 poses major immunologic challengesPart 4: The promise and problems of adjuvantsPart 5: What role for prepandemic vaccination?Part 6: Looking to novel vaccine technologiesPart 7: Time for a vaccine ‘Manhattan Project’?Bibliography But after almost a decade of research, a safe, effective, affordable, and abundant vaccine against H5N1 flu remains disappointingly out of reach. The search for a human avian-flu vaccine that could be developed and delivered in time to short-circuit a pandemic has been dogged by multiple obstacles across many sectors. They include patchy scientific knowledge, sparse government funding, thin manufacturing and packaging capability, and restrictive regulatory structures—along with the wily immunology of the H5N1 virus itself. A chronic low priorityThe search for a pandemic vaccine was hobbled from the start by the relatively low priority placed on influenza research before the 1997 Hong Kong outbreak. Almost 80 years had passed since the 1918 pandemic, an outbreak that was globally traumatic but was largely, and strangely, overlooked by historians of the period (see Bibliography: Crosby 1989). For most, “pandemic” would have evoked not the estimated 100 million dead of 1918 but the approximately 1 million worldwide deaths in 1968-69, the mildest pandemic since modern records began—or the failed pandemic alarm sounded in 1976 after swine flu cases were discovered in Fort Dix, N.J., and the rash of adverse events triggered by the emergency vaccination campaign that followed. For the two years since federal money began flowing, scientific and public health groups have begged the administration to allocate more. In November 2005, May 2006, and again in April and June 2007, the Working Group on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness—an umbrella organization for 15 medical and science societies—unsuccessfully urged members of Congress to increase funding for the whole panoply of pandemic preparation, including vaccine research and development (see Bibliography: Working Group for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness 2005, 2006, 2007). Funding: A starvation diet The historical low profile of flu research translated into a chronic lack of investment. For most of the past decade, as well as many years before that, the field was starved for money. In 2001—after the 1997 outbreak, but before H5N1 began its global spread—the NIH’s entire flu-research budget was $20.6 million, with $14.9 million of that in NIAID activities (see Bibliography: NIAID 2007). Funding stayed stagnant until the White House issued the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza in November 2005 and called for $7.1 billion to be appropriated for flu. As of February, when the fiscal year 2007 budget was finalized, $5.3 billion had been appropriated overall, and NIH’s flu research budget had been raised to $222 million (see Bibliography: NIH 2007). Editor’s note: This is the first in a seven-part series investigating the prospects for development of vaccines to head off the threat of an influenza pandemic posed by the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The series puts advances in vaccine technology in perspective by illuminating the formidable barriers to producing an effective and widely usable vaccine in a short time frame. “The political inertia is surprising, particularly as politicians, if and when a pandemic eventuates, will be asked why, despite repeated warnings, they did not take appropriate action in time,” Lars Haaheim of the University of Bergen said in a stinging May article in Influenza and Other Respiratory Diseases. “With very few exceptions, the academia, research establishments and vaccine industry [have] had to settle for meagre and sometimes no public support at all” (see Bibliography: Haaheim 2007). There is widespread fear in the research community that the money is simply not enough. In that time, avian flu and the potential human pandemic it could cause have waxed and waned in public attention. Scientific attention to the H5N1 threat, though, has never wavered. Much of that attention has focused on finding a vaccine against H5N1, “the single most important public health tool for decreasing the morbidity, mortality and economic effects of pandemic influenza,” according to Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, Minn. (see Bibliography: Poland 2006).last_img read more


Gerindra politician resigns from House in pursuit of Jakarta deputy governor spot

Posted On Oct 19 2020 by

first_imgGerindra Party executive Riza Patria has resigned from his seat as a member of the House of Representatives as he hopes to become the deputy governor of Jakarta.”I have submitted my resignation letter. The House leadership [should] issue a statement about my resignation soon,” Riza said on Friday as quoted by kompas.com.He did not specify when he delivered the letter, saying only that it had been received “a few days ago”. Riza said he would soon submit the required documents to complete his application as a Jakarta deputy governor candidate. “I have already prepared the administrative requirements. God’s willing, I will deliver [the application documents] to Governor Anies Baswedan on Monday,” he said. The deputy governor position has been vacant for more than a year since Sandiaga Uno stepped down from the post in August 2018 to run for vice president alongside Prabowo Subianto in last year’s presidential election.As the political parties endorsing Governor Anies Baswedan and former deputy governor Sandiaga in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election, both the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and Gerindra are entitled to nominate candidates for the deputy governor position.To replace Sandiaga, the Jakarta City Council will hold a plenary session on March 23, during which councillors will choose between Riza and PKS politician Nurmansyah Lubis. Prior to the session, both candidates will present their vision and mission for the capital as well as their work plans to the council. (dpk)Topics :last_img read more