CDC funds work on rapid tests for avian flu

first_imgDec 4, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded four contracts worth $11.4 million in an effort to develop a 30-minute test for H5N1 avian influenza.The CDC said it awarded the funds to spur development of tests that doctors and field epidemiologists could use to test patients for both H5N1 and other flu viruses. Currently, testing for H5N1 in the United States must be done in 1 of about 100 designated laboratories and takes from 4 to 24 hours, depending on shipping time, the CDC said.Last month the World Health Organization (WHO) listed a rapid diagnostic test as one of the top priorities in avian and pandemic flu research. The CDC said it hopes a rapid test can be ready and licensed within 2 to 3 years.”The creation of a point-of-care test to rapidly detect human cases of H5N1 avian influenza would be a major step forward in our ability to protect public health,” Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said in a news release.The four companies, their tests, and the contract amounts are as follows:Cepheid, Sunnyvale, Calif.—GeneXPert Flu assay, $2.4 millionIquum, Marlborough, Mass.—LIAT, Lab-in-a-Tube, $3.8 millionMesoScale, Gaithersburg, Md.—Multi-Array Detection, $706,241Nanogen, San Diego—a novel point-of-care immunoassay system, $4.5 millionOver the next year, the companies will work to develop tests that can detect flu viruses and distinguish seasonal strains from H5N1 within 30 minutes, the CDC said. Existing rapid tests can tell only if a patient has a seasonal influenza A or B virus.CDC spokeswoman Christine Pearson told CIDRAP News the contracts are intended to fund the first two of five development phases.The goal for the first two phases is to produce a prototype test that can be evaluated by the CDC, said Dr. Ruben Donis, chief of the molecular virology and vaccines branch in the CDC’s influenza division. He said the agency will fund further development only if the prototype has “acceptable performance characteristics.”In a news release, Nanogen said that if the CDC funds all five development phases, the company would receive a total of about $12.5 million over the next 2 to 3 years.The four companies were chosen from 13 applicants, the CDC said. Selection criteria included the technical specifications of the test, experience in developing diagnostic tools, staff expertise, and access to labs with sufficient security to handle H5N1 viruses.The agency also promised to provide funds for a repository of influenza reagents and other materials to help in development of the tests.See also:Dec 4 CDC news release read more

Lothian may ‘subsume’ transport scheme amid merger considerations

first_imgThe strategy shift would also establish a distinct fixed income asset class, targeting an exposure of 22% by 2021, rather than the estimated 10% of fixed income assets held within alternatives, as at present.The consideration to merge comes after Lothian Pension Fund successfully implemented a second, standalone investment strategy for certain employers sponsoring the fund.The report said the unitisation strategy allowed for a 100% exposure to index-linked Gilts, while its current strategy would be employed for the remainder of the scheme’s employees.It added that there was scope to increase the number of different strategies managed by Lothian.“The unitisation functionality could help with implementation of the new investment strategy for the Lothian Buses Pension Fund, as it allows more flexible allocation of investments,” the report adds.“It would also bring other efficiencies such as accounting, actuarial valuations and investment manager arrangements.”Dunn’s report added that the merger should happen at the “most appropriate timing” but that further consultation with stakeholders – such as Lothian Buses – was needed before it progressed.The changes would have no affect on a third pension fund managed by Edinburgh Council.The local authority is also responsible for the management of the £155m Scottish Homes Pension Fund, sponsored by the devolved Scottish government.English and Welsh local authority funds have been discussing mergers over the last few years as part of the UK government’s desire to increase scale in the LGPS sector, but the Scottish LGPS remains exempt.The plans were eventually dropped in favour of the creation of asset pools, of which between seven and eight are now emerging following talks within the sector. Lothian Pension Fund may soon merge with a smaller scheme for transport workers, in plans being considered by the City of Edinburgh Council.The council is responsible for the management of two local government pension schemes (LGPS) – the £4.4bn (€6bn) Lothian Pension Fund and the £386m Lothian Buses Pension Fund – but it has allowed both to remain standalone funds.In a report prepared for the respective funds’ most recent pensions committee, the council’s acting director of resources Hugh Dunn said the buses fund was established as a sub-fund of the larger LGPS, with a clause within the regulation allowing for it to be “subsumed” into Lothian Pension Fund.Dunn said the option of merging with the larger fund had been “highlighted and explored” as part of an ongoing review of the transport scheme’s investment strategy, which proposed that it gradually reduce its equity allocation in favour of bonds, while lengthening the exposure of its fixed income portfolio.last_img read more

Nova Innovation in second WES contract win for subsea electrical connector

first_img Nova’s new wet-mate connector will enable subsea electrical connections to be made quickly and cost-effectively in a wide range of sea conditions. It builds on Nova’s existing connector, used in all three of Nova’s turbines in the Shetland Tidal Array, which has proven 100% reliable through tens of thousands of operating hours. Nova’s MECmate product, a connector linking subsea cables and/or devices, is tailored to meet the demanding requirements of the marine energy environment. Tidal energy company Nova Innovation has received a second contract with Wave Energy Scotland (WES) to deliver its subsea electrical connector. The technology was among three others that secured WES funding of £1.4 million aimed to cut wave power costs. Tim Hurst, managing director of WES said, “Connecting and disconnecting devices quickly and remotely will increase safety in offshore operations, and the wider potential for these technologies is significant across offshore and subsea applications.” center_img Nova Innovation engineering director Gary Connor said, “We are delighted to work with Wave Energy Scotland to deliver a subsea electrical connector to be used by clients in marine energy, floating offshore wind, oil & gas, and aquaculture. “As a marine energy developer ourselves, we know the critical importance and value of having a robust and cost-effective solution for the maritime economy.” This contract award follows the successful delivery by Nova of its previous project with WES.last_img read more

Barbados records rise in syphilis among pregnant women

first_imgHealthLifestyleNewsRegional Barbados records rise in syphilis among pregnant women by: – August 16, 2018 145 Views   no discussions Tweet Share Sharecenter_img (Photo: CMC)BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The Ministry of Health and Wellness in Barbados on Wednesday expressed concern about the high rates of syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection (STI), being seen among pregnant women in that country.Anton Best, senior medical officer of health with responsibility for the HIV/STI Programme, revealed that while the national outbreak, which was previously reported, was mainly seen in men, the ministry was now seeing an abnormally high rate of syphilis in pregnant women and, by extension, an increase in the number of babies born at risk for congenital syphilis.Statistics show a rise from the average one or two cases a year of syphilis in pregnant women to 17 in 2016.According to the ministry official, preliminary analyses from 2017 show a similarly high rate.Dr Best said that effective prevention and detection of congenital syphilis depended on the identification of the STI in pregnant women. He noted that the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ guidelines made it clear that all pregnant women should be offered a screening test for syphilis at booking and at 28 weeks’ gestation.Congenital syphilis is a potentially severe, disabling and often life-threatening infection seen in infants. The syphilis bacterium is transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy and/or delivery, and this could cause severe illness in babies including premature birth, low birth weight, birth defects, blindness and hearing loss. It could also lead to stillbirth and infant death.Best stressed the importance of testing, pointing out that if a pregnant mother was identified as being infected with syphilis, treatment could effectively prevent congenital syphilis from developing in the foetus.“The foetus is at risk of contracting syphilis when the mother is in the early stages of infection, but the disease can be passed at any point during pregnancy, even during delivery, if the child has not already contracted it,” he explained.“To prevent congenital syphilis, it is imperative that all pregnant women be screened for syphilis during pregnancy. And for those that are found to have syphilis, prompt therapy with penicillin should be administered.”Best advised all sexually active persons in Barbados to get annual sexual health checks including screening for syphilis, HIV and other STIs. All persons diagnosed with syphilis should be treated and monitored in accordance with the current guidelines from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, he added. Sharing is caring! Sharelast_img read more

Tourism ministry challenged to develop water sports

first_img Sharing is caring! 87 Views   no discussions Tweet Share Parliamentary Representative for the St. Joseph Constituency, Hon. Kelver DarrouxParliamentary representative of the St. Joseph constituency Kelvar Darroux has issued a challenge to the ministry of tourism to make a greater effort at developing water sports on the island, particularly in his constituency.Mr. Darroux, who addressed a mini trade show which was organized by the Dominica Community Tourism Association in Mero at the weekend, noted that the development of water sports will help in providing fun activities and opportunities for the tourist.According to him, this is one “new initiative” which can be developed with a view to enticing more visitors to Dominica.“One of the initiatives that I am proposing to you is that of water sport and I believe here on the beach in Mero. We can look at putting a program in place that can encourage tourist to take part in water sports, whatever it may be; it may be waterskiing, it may be kayaking”. View of Mero Beach. Photo credit: travelblog.orgDarroux said this is just one of the many areas which could assist in providing more activities for the visitors.“This is one of the things that I believe that we have to build upon to ensure that we have greater numbers of tourist coming to our shores, because we have to provide the opportunities, we have to provide the tourist with the services that they require so that when they come to our shores they can enjoy themselves”.He also proposed that a “Fish Night” on the Mero Beach could be another way of attracting more locals and at the same time generate revenue for the community.“I believe Mero would be the perfect location for that [fish night] and this is something that I would support to ensure that we have a greater number of locals coming to the beach on a weekend. We can have a fish night here in Mero and have some nice music, invite a reggae band and we will have persons coming to parade the beach and spending money and bringing greater economic benefits here in the community of Mero”.He also explained that the “Fish Night” could take the form of a similar event which is held in St. Lucia every Friday night, highlighting that there needs to be “greater use of the beach”.Dominica Vibes Newscenter_img Share Share LocalNews Tourism ministry challenged to develop water sports by: – May 29, 2012last_img read more

Update: Man Utd ‘almost ready’ to take a chance on Osimhen

first_img Loading… Promoted ContentNothing Compares To Stargazing Places Around The WorldEverything You Need To Know About Asteroid ArmageddonBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market ValueBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemFantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread Art8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?8 Most Beautiful Chinese WomenTop Tastiest Foods From All Over The World7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The Universe This resolved Osimhen’s hesitation at accepting Napoli, so intensive negotiations with Lille found a breakthrough earlier this week, with medicals expected on Thursday or Friday. However, the change of agent created a whole new set of problems, as it’s reported in CalcioNapoli24, Sky Sport Italia, La Gazzetta dello Sport, Tuttosport and others that D’Avila has promised a massive improvement on the salary negotiated by the previous representative, pledging to get him €5m net plus add-ons. Napoli, on the other hand, have already signed off on the contract worth €3.5-4m net plus circa €2m in performance-related bonuses and do not intend to change it now. CalcioNapoli24 even claim that Osimhen’s agent has asked around various Premier League clubs, including Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, to see if they would be interested in entering a bidding war. Il Mattino newspaper points specifically to Manchester United as trying to ‘tempt’ Osimhen’s new agent. read also:Osimhen’s agent asks for more time as Spurs re-activate bid with Man Utd, Liverpool Napoli are increasingly irritated, but still trying to get the deal completed at the figures they had already agreed with the player. Considering this €80m deal would make him the most expensive player in Napoli’s history, they are looking elsewhere, with Real Madrid prepared to let Luka Jovic go out on loan. However, if he were to leave Madrid, then Milan would be his preferred destination. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 center_img Following the sudden break-up in the transfer negotiations between  Napoli and  Victor Osimhen’s new agent, Manchester United have stepped in to make contact for wantaway Nigeria and Lille striker. Serie A giants Napoli were believed to be on the verge of signing him after agreeing a £46million fee with Lille. Yet journalist Ciro Venerato claims that United have not given up the race to land Osimhen just yet. He told CalcioNapoli24: “A few hours ago Manchester United phoned Osimhen’s new agent to find out if he had signed with Napoli. “If an offer from United comes, there would not be many possibilities because they have an economic power superior to that of Napoli.” Osimhen has quickly emerged as one of Europe’s top prospects following a breakout season in France. Napoli had refused to increase the salary already agreed with Osimhen’s previous agent, as the €80m transfer from Lille is back in doubt again. This is one of those sagas that could go on for most of the summer, as it has already dragged on for weeks. First Osimhen was unconvinced by the move and felt under pressure from his agent, who had negotiated an excellent commission package for himself. The Nigerian striker then sacked his representative and brought in a new intermediary, named in the Italian media as William D’Avila.last_img read more

Van Gaal targets instant success

first_img “I will certainly go for a drink with him,” Van Gaal said. “I’ve often done it before. We are like each other, I always put more pressure on myself than other people do.” Youngster Adnan Januzaj, whose emergence was one of the most positive aspects of Moyes’ ill-fated reign, is looking forward to working with the new manager. The 19-year-old said: “He is an excellent coach, who has won a lot of prizes. I think United are facing a bright future.” One of Van Gaal’s first jobs has been to appoint Ryan Giggs as his assistant. The long-serving Giggs, 40, has ended his glittering 24-season playing career to take up the opportunity. Januzaj said: “Giggs is very important to us. He gets a lot of respect and also helps me constantly.” United are still to clarify the future of two of Moyes’ backroom staff in coach Phil Neville and goalkeeping coach Chris Woods. It is also unclear whether Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, who came into the first-team coaching set-up during Giggs’ recent four-match spell as interim manager, will still have prominent roles. Butt had previously been working in the club’s youth structure while Scholes, who retired as a player a year ago, was brought in by Giggs. The current Holland national boss has signed a three-year deal to take charge at Old Trafford after this summer’s World Cup. The 62-year-old has a proven track record of success having won league crowns with Ajax, Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich. Now his task is to restore confidence at United, after a disappointing season in which they finished seventh, and reclaim the Barclays Premier League title. Asked what his objectives were, Van Gaal said on Dutch TV: “That they are back as soon as possible at spot number one, (that) they (fans) will think they are champions of England again within a year. “Spain saw me succeed in my first year and in Germany as well. In England, it must also be possible. “But there can only be one champion. I would be proud if it works right away.” Van Gaal may now be switching his immediate attention to the World Cup in Brazil but he has reportedly already handed United a list of transfer targets. The Dutchman, however, also has a fine reputation for bringing through youngsters and he intends to give youth its chance again at United. “You do not only do it with stars, but also with youth players,” said Van Gaal, who will succeed the sacked David Moyes. Van Gaal intends to meet with former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who has remained at Old Trafford as a director since retiring a year ago. New Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has set his sights on winning the title in his first season. Press Associationlast_img read more

Back-to-back wins for Clan

first_img Sheffield Steelers and Cardiff Devils kept the pressure on the Clan with victories of their own and both sit three points adrift of Braehead. Michael Forney scored his league-leading 34th goal of the season and Cullen Eddy scored the overtime winner as the Steelers won 5-4 in Belfast. Doug Clarkson scored the game-winner as the Devils saw off Fife Flyers 3-1. Edinburgh Capitals beat Hull 5-4 on penalty shots to draw level with the Stingrays on 39 points in the battle for the final play-off spot, although the Scottish side have played three more games. Ben Arnt got the crucial goal to lead Coventry Blaze to a 2-1 win over Nottingham Panthers at the SkyDome Arena. The Clan, who were crowned Gardiner Conference champions on Saturday evening following a 3-0 triumph, scored through Derek Roehl, Lee Esders, Matt Keith, Matt Haywood and Leigh Salters. Goaltender Kyle Jones turned away 18 shots on his way to a ninth blanking of the season and now has a shutout streak of 152 minutes and 57 seconds. Braehead Clan made it back-to-back shutout victories over Dundee Stars as they maintained their position at the top of the Elite League standings with a 5-0 win.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Germany qualify for World Cup with easy win over Northern Ireland

first_imgBELFAST, Ireland (Reuters) – Germany qualified for the World Cup in style yesterday when superb early strikes from Sebastian Rudy and Sandro Wagner set them on the way to a 3-1 win in Northern Ireland that maintained their perfect record in Group C.Rudy fired a remarkable out-swinging shot from long-range past Michael McGovern after two minutes and Wagner scored with another emphatic effort in the 21st as the world champions clocked up their ninth successive win to move on to 27 points.Joshua Kimmich added a third in the 86th minute as the hosts’ run of five successive wins was brought to an abrupt halt. Josh Maggenis scored a consolation in stoppage-time.Northern Ireland have 19 points from nine games and had already made sure of a two-top finish before the match. However, they are still not certain of finishing as one of the eight best runners-up up in the nine European groups.The group winners qualify directly for Russia along with four winners of the playoffs which involve the eight best runners-up.“I‘m satisfied. We scored an early goal and then controlled the game, like we wanted to,” said Germany coach Joachim Loew, whose side have scored 38 goals and conceded three in qualifying.Northern Ireland had won their first four home games in the group without conceding a goal but that record was quickly ended by Rudy’s thumping effort.The hosts, backed by a boisterous crowd, were repeatedly exposed and McGovern made a superb save at point-blank range to keep out a Sandro Wagner header three minutes later.Wagner headed against the post from Kimmich’s pinpoint cross before being rewarded with Germany’s second goal, collecting Thomas Mueller’s pass with his back to goal before turning and firing a left-foot shot past a shell-shocked McGovern.Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was tested once in the first half when he dived at the feet of Corry Evans after he got free in the area.“This was a bonus game for us, it could have gone to 4-0 or 5-0 but we kept our goal difference in a healthy state,” said Northern Ireland coach Michael O‘Neill. “It could easily have been obliterated.”The hosts put Germany under more pressure in the second half and the best chance to Conor Washington who clipped the bar from an excellent position.Kimmich fired the third for Germany, although they were denied a clean sheet by Maggenis’s goal, which left the home crowd celebrating as if their team had won.last_img read more

Q&A with Josh Walfish of The Daily Northwestern

first_imgSyracuse opens its season Saturday against Northwestern, a team that features an explosive dual-threat quarterback and a defense looking to improve from a disappointing 2011 season. The Daily Orange spoke to Josh Walfish of the The Daily Northwestern at Northwestern University to get a better look at what to expect from the Wildcats:The D.O.: What needs to happen for the Northwestern defense to improve from last season’s disappointing performance?Walfish: The key for Northwestern’s defense this season will be the front seven. They are the most experienced unit on the team and will need to lead by example. A poor pass rush last season left a shaky secondary out to dry and the whole defense suffered. In its upset over Nebraska last season, Northwestern’s defensive front seven probably had its best game, limiting how much damage the potent Cornhuskers running game was able to inflict. If the front seven come to play, the Northwestern defense will make tremendous strides.The D.O.: How much of an upgrade does Dean Lowry bring to the defensive line?Walfish: Dean Lowry has certainly been impressive this fall to earn a spot on the two-deep as a true freshman. However, his biggest asset may be he adds depth to a defensive line that did not have that luxury last season. The other backup defensive end, redshirt freshman Deonte Gibson, came back from a knee injury and really impressed people in the spring which gives the Wildcats some capable fresh legs to rush the quarterback on third downs.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe D.O.: How much does Kain Colter elevate Northwestern’s spread offense? Also, how does he compare to Dan Persa?Walfish: Kain Colter’s athleticism makes him one of the most dangerous quarterbacks to ever run the spread at Northwestern. His ability to make plays with his feet is superior to that of Dan Persa. The only thing Colter does not do better than Persa is arm strength and accuracy because he is still building it back up from shoulder surgery in high school. His strength has improved since last season and he is not all that inaccurate, although it is tough to follow in the footsteps of the most accurate passer in NCAA history. Nonetheless, Colter allows offensive coordinator Mick McCall to really use more wrinkles to his offense he couldn’t use with Persa at the helm.The D.O.: Does Northwestern look like a team prepared to make any strides in the Big Ten?Walfish: Although we may not see it this year, Northwestern has stepped up in recruiting and might have the most talented team in the last 10 years. Getting players like Ifeadi Odenigbo to come play in Evanston builds a solid foundation for the Wildcats to take a run at a Big Ten title in the next couple of years. If Pat Fitzgerald can continue to recruit good talent to Northwestern, he could put the dark ages of the 1970s way in the rear view mirror and make this team a perennial bowl participant.The D.O.: What’s going to be the biggest key for Northwestern to get to a bowl game and finally win one this season?Walfish: If Northwestern wants to win a bowl game this season, they will need to put together a full 60 minutes. It struggled to do that last season outside of the game against Nebraska and it cost them at least three wins. No surprise the play of the defense, especially an inexperienced secondary,  will also be a key to winning a bowl game.– Compiled by Chris Iseman, asst. sports editor, Comments Related Stories Cover 2: Syracuse defense focused on limiting dual-threat Colter Published on August 30, 2012 at 2:56 amcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more