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Three Harvard faculty members net MacArthur fellowships

first_imgThree biologists — one current and two future faculty members at Harvard — have won MacArthur Foundation “genius” grants, $500,000 no-strings-attached awards intended to encourage creativity, originality, and innovation in a broad array of fields.The winners are Assistant Professor of Neurobiology Rachel Wilson at Harvard Medical School,  Susan Mango, now at the University of Utah, and Kristen Bomblies, currently at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, in Tubingen, Germany. Mango will be a professor in the department of molecular and cellular biology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; and Bomblies will be an assistant professor in the department of organismic and evolutionary biology, both beginning July 1, 2009.“It’s a big shock. Unlike all the other grants and awards, you don’t apply for this one,” Wilson said. “As a scientist, you’re trained to think about a project then about how to fund it. It feels very backward to have people give you money and say, ‘Now, go figure out what to do with it.’”Wilson and Mango are among 25 recipients announced today by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which began the MacArthur Fellows Program in 1981 as its first grant-making initiative. Over the years, awards have gone out to 781 people, ranging in age from 18 to 82.“The MacArthur Fellows Program celebrates extraordinarily creative individuals who inspire new heights in human achievement,” said MacArthur Foundation President Jonathan Fanton. “With their boldness, courage, and uncommon energy, this new group of fellows, men and women of all ages in diverse fields, exemplifies the boundless nature of the human mind and spirit.”The MacArthur Fellows Program accepts no applications. Instead, nominations are submitted in a secretive process that culminates in the surprise announcement to fellows.Both Mango and Wilson are Harvard graduates, with Mango earning her bachelor’s degree in 1983 and Wilson in 1996.Wilson, who received her doctorate from the University of California, San Francisco, in 2001, conducted her early research on how neurons and certain neurotransmitters function in the formation of long-term memory. Her current focus is on how nerve cells function to detect odors in one’s sense of smell. The MacArthur Foundation said her work opens new avenues for exploring the broader issue of how neural circuits are organized to sense the environment around us.Wilson heard about the award just over a week ago, as she, her husband, and her parents were preparing to take a few days away in a lighthouse keeper’s former home near Provincetown, Mass. The award, she said, was a complete surprise. Though she’s had some time to digest the news since then, Wilson still hasn’t decided how to make use of the fellowship award, though she pointed out that even without money, the publicity that accompanies it would help recruit fellows and students to her lab.“It’s a great way to attract people to your lab. The money is nothing if you don’t have good people,” Wilson said.Mango, who received a doctorate from Princeton University in 1990, uses approaches from the fields of genetics, genomics, ecology, and embryology to examine the question of how complex organs form. Mango conducts much of her work on nematode worms, focusing on how the creature’s pharynx forms. Though much attention has been paid to how specific tissues form, Mango focuses on how those tissues interact and create a single functioning organ. She has identified a gene, pha-4, as crucial to the coordinated development of the worm’s pharynx.Jeremy Bloxham, dean of science in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, in speaking about Mango’s appointment to the Harvard faculty, said recently that Mango is a leader in the field of organogenesis. He called her research “groundbreaking” and said it “opened alternative ways of thinking” about development.Kirsten Bomblies is currently finishing her post-doctoral fellowship at the Max Planck.  She works on the molecular genetics of development and pathogen resistance in Arabidopsis and other plants.last_img read more

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Pennsylvania Communities Create Ambulance Share Agreement

first_imgWNEP– Four communities in the Wilkes-Barre area are joining together to provide what they hope will be better ambulance service.Officials said this new agreement will cut down response time. Residents said it’s about time communities started working together.Ken Vanderheggen knows in an emergency seconds count. His wife is a heart patient. That’s why he’s excited to hear that his hometown, Hanover Township, has joined three others in a new mutual aid agreement.“I know if I call 911 she will get an ambulance no matter what. That’s important to me for her to have an ambulance,” said Vanderheggen.Ambulance crews from Hanover Township, Plains Township, Wilkes-Barre, and Kingston, will all help each other answer calls during busy times.“Partnership is what we need for emergency response. We’ve seen that since post 9/11 and we are just working towards that goal toward the future,” said Wilkes-Barre Fire Chief Jay Delaney.“We do around 3,000 calls a year. They (Wilkes-Barre Ambulance) do double what we do so we will be coming here more than they are coming to us but it’s great to know that if we are unavailable they will come over to us too,” said Kingston-Forty Fort Fire Chief Frank Guido.“Now we have units that will arrive quicker. They know where they are going and have their outlined areas and the response time will be greatly improved,” said David Parsnik, the executive director of the Luzerne County 9-1-1.“It’s about time we worked together. We can get some stuff done at least. It’s real good she’ll get the help she needs and if anything happens to me I’ll get help. That’s important,” added Vanderheggen.The new agreement took effect Friday morning.Copyright © 2011, WNEP-TVlast_img read more

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Brazilians Promote Good News ‘Day of Light’ March 9

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreOn March 9th, if you see a newpaper or magazine with any good news published, buy it. This is The Day of Light, a day that asks people to stop and choose their attitude, making there needs to be more positivity in the media.Created in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Day of Light began as a conversation among a group of DJs, videographers, advertisers and journalists who noticed that the public gets hit too often with negative news. The way out, they decided, was to regain power over the news by actively influencing the stories that shape the lives of those who read them. So, on March 9th, you are invited to stop, step out of your roles of spectators and only buy newspapers and magazines that display at least one positive story on the cover.“Bad things do happen, and they do have to be brought to people’s attention,” says Fabio K. Guimarães, who ignited the idea. “But there is also good news, which can inspire people and generate positive initiatives. We intend to make people aware of the fact that good news attracts good things and to propose more balance to the media.”The initiative is supported by Cláudio Lins, Eduardo Moscovis, Natália Lage, Ingrid Guimarães and other well-known local TV personalities.The Day of Light is not, however, just a day to read good news. On the same day (March 9th), at 11 a.m., a group will leave from Posto 6, in Copacabana beach, and walk as far as Leme – in a collective act to raise awareness for the cause.The organizers are inviting others to do the same, wherever they are. Watch the video below. (If you speak Portuguese, choose that option on YouTube, since it has more nuance in the original.)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

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O’Brien to speak for graduates

first_imgSenior Michael J. O’Brien has been named valedictorian of the 2012 Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during the May 20 Commencement ceremony, the University announced in a press release Friday. O’Brien, a political science major and philosophy minor from St. Charles, Ill., will graduate with a 4.0 grade point average and will also be awarded an International Business Certificate from the Mendoza College of Business. O’Brien is editor-in-chief of “Beyond Politics: Undergraduate Journal of Politics,” and serves as president of the Notre Dame College Democrats and vice president of service for Notre Dame Circle K. He is also a fellow in Notre Dame’s National Security Program and has participated in small-group discussions with national security scholars and experts. Under the direction of political science professor Sebastian Rosato, O’Brien developed an original theory on the influence of the structure of unipolar international systems on the foreign policy behavior of the unipolar state. He has also researched religious freedom, regime composition and Islamic political movements in Muslim-majority countries. This summer, O’Brien and Rosato will co-author an article on the durability of U.S. primacy, which will be published by the Nobel Institute in Norway and an American journal of international relations. A finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship and the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, O’Brien will enter the University of Chicago Law School this far on a full-tuition merit scholarship. Senior Ashley K. Logsdon, a double major in biological science and theology from Pickerington, Ohio, will give the Commencement invocation. She will graduate with a 3.99 grade point average.last_img read more

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GRC hosts Ally Week

first_imgThis week, the Gender Relations Center (GRC), along with co-sponsors Campus Ministry, Multicultural Student Programs and Services and PrismND, is sponsoring Ally Week.Maureen McKenney, the GRC’s assistant director for LGBTQ student concerns, said Ally Week is a weeklong series of events that aim to focus on members of the Notre Dame community and create a campus that is welcoming to all, regardless of difference.“Within the Notre Dame community, allies help create a safe and inclusive campus community where all may flourish and feel welcome,” McKenney said. “[It is] one in which the human dignity of each person is valued through people being knowledgeable of resources, supportive of all students, and a willingness to dialogue across difference.”Ally Week kicked off Monday with Frank Warren from Post Secret speaking at Jordan Hall of Science. Other scheduled events during the week include Ally Training, a service project, an Ally Dinner and a T-shirt giveaway.“I am really looking forward to the ‘What Does It Mean to Be an Ally’ dinner and presentation,” McKenney said. “It is a chance for members of our own community to share with others some personal reflection on what life as an ally looks like, and why allies play an important part in creating a safe, welcome and inclusive campus community for all of our students.”McKenney said the idea of Ally Week has been culminating for over a year, and the logistics for this week’s events were finalized at the beginning of this semester.“As a Catholic community, all of us are called to be friends and allies of one another and to be intentional about how we work to create a campus that feels like home for all of our students,” McKenney said. “Not to mention, we have set up a fun, exciting, educational and inspiring week of events lined up, so hopefully students will enjoy themselves while learning a little along the way.”McKenney said that she hopes that students will attend some if not all of the events and leave with a better understanding of how to help others and become more welcoming to others. She said she hopes these students use their newfound understanding and apply it specifically to Notre Dame’s community to create a more inclusive environment.“Helping to create a campus that values the human dignity and inclusion of all people is something that we hope everyone within the Notre Dame community can support and take part in,” McKenney said.For more information about events and times, visit the grc.nd.edu/eventsTags: Ally Week, GRC, PrismNDlast_img read more

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Student Diversity Board hosts Mosaic Dinner

first_imgIn assembling individual small pieces of brightly-colored glass, stones, shells, beads and ceramic tiles, an artist creates a mosaic, or a beautiful image that can only be appreciated once all the materials are glued together.  On Wednesday, the Saint Mary’s Student Diversity Board brought individuals from the campus community together in a similar fashion, through its annual Mosaic Dinner. This dinner allows participants to join a conversation about and celebration of diversity and inclusion on the college campus.Junior Jazmin Herrera, the vice president of Student Diversity Board, said this event encapsulates the board’s mission to promote diversity and educate others about inclusive practices. The definition of diversity is multifaceted and always changing, Herrera said, and the Mosaic dinner gives the Saint Mary’s community an opportunity to explore race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion and other identifiers that make the college a more diverse place.“I think it’s really important for students to come just so they know who their allies are and also to know that they fit into this definition and that they contribute to the celebration and education on campus,” Herrera said.Junior Guadalupe Gonzalez, vice president of strategic affairs, said the dinner unites the Saint Mary’s community by giving voice to diverse individuals, and allowing participants to recognize the beauty in shared and unique differences.“Even the name itself, Mosaic, it’s an artwork,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a coming together in a collage of different people, different pieces, different stories, different lived experiences. … This is why [the Mosaic dinner] is really important, because that’s the main goal … and you don’t see any other event like that.”In past years, the Mosaic dinner has instead been held as a casual mixer including crafts and games, Herrera said.“This year, we decided to host a dinner because it’s more intimate,” she said. “Basically, it’s just an opportunity for faculty, students and different student leaders of clubs that celebrate and promote diversity and inclusivity on campus to mingle and get to know each other.”Gonzalez said the board made the decision to reintroduce Mosaic dinners because of the previous lack of response from the student body.“What we’re trying to do is go back to the roots of it, back to making it into a dinner, making it … more important and less casual. Good food, good people, good discussions,” Gonzalez said. “Our mission with this dinner is just to truly bring awareness and help people connect with others. It’s like a networking event where we all know what we’re here for, and we’re trying to become advocates for all.”This year, Mary Burke, the chair of the Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees, presented a keynote address explaining how the new administration under Interim President Nancy Nekvasil will further promote the mission of Student Diversity Board.Before the dinner, Herrera said she hoped the address would help students become more familiar with Burke and her role at Saint Mary’s.“She will be speaking on how diversity and inclusion fit into the board’s priorities and also on how she is an ally on campus,” Herrera said.Tags: Diversity, mosaic dinner, Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees, Student Diversity Boardlast_img read more

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first_imgThe Catlike Mixino has been one of our favorite go to helmets since we finished up a test of it last summer. With Colombian Nairo Quintana, having just won the third Grand Tour of the season over the weekend at the Vuelta a España, Movistar team sponsor Catlike is celebrating by offering a special limited edition of the helmet he rode to victory. Matching his GC-winning red jersey, the red Mixino will also come with a signed poster commemorating the win. Check out the details for pricing and availability after the break… The Mixino is Catlike’s top road helmet, and is raced both on the road and mountain. It is very well ventilated with 23 front-facing and another 16 rear-facing openings. Sitting high up on the head and with deep channels, it does a pretty good job of keeping air flowing across your head, even in the hottest weather.The limited edition all-red Mixino, is the same helmet worn by Nairo Quintana and his team in the Vuelta. Catlike already offers the Mixino in a Movistar Team replica blue and green, plus an all-white version that also worked well for their combination classification position as well. (Quintana took that title too, but his lieutenant got to wear the white jersey while Quintana donned the red one.) If you want the one like Alejandro Valverde was wearing, you’ll probably have to win your own national championship first.In fact Catlike had to put together a lot of special helmets for Movistar at this Vuelta. Alejandro Valverde wore a green helmet as leader of the points classification for a big part of the race, and a white helmet as the combined classification leader. Even young rider Rubén Fernández took the lead and its red helmet, holding the general classification for a stage. Meanwhile, before taking the overall, Nairo Quintana also led the blue polka dotted mountain classification through some stages. Luckily for Catlike, they make the helmets nearby to the Vuelta in Yecla, Spain, so custom turnaround was pretty fast.So now to commemorate the win, Catlike is making the red Vuelta leader’s helmet available to consumers in limited numbers. For just 180€ (which from our quick glance seems a lower price than the regular helmet typically retails for) you can get the all-red Mixino through your local Catlike distributor. And in addition to the limited edition helmet, Catlike will include a signed poster by 2016 Vuelta a España winner Nairo Quintana, and his key team members. The helmet will be available in limited quantities until October 10, or while supplies last.Catlike.eslast_img read more

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first_imgBy James Manning Smith Futuresource ConsultingThe video gaming industry has risen to new heights in 2020, with prevailing market conditions stimulating consumer demand and console lifecycles coming together to create an environment of opportunity. According to Futuresource research, by the end of this year the gaming software market will be worth U.S. $154 billion, and gaming hardware will end the year at U.S. $15 billion, with 51 million consoles shipped.There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has had a positive impact on the gaming industry. Households in lockdown have gravitated to gaming as an immersive and escapist form of entertainment, an ideal antidote to a troubling situation. As a result, not only have existing gamers been able to spend more time gaming, others have rediscovered gaming, and some people have engaged with gaming for the first time.As well as the upward pressure applied by COVID-19, 2020 also marks the arrival of next generation games consoles, with both Sony and Microsoft tipped for launches in Q4. What’s more, both will offer an all-digital version, devoid of a disc drive, spurring further digitalization of gaming content access. Nintendo is also expected to have a strong year due to less competition from Sony and Microsoft in the first three quarters, as consumers eagerly await the PS5 and Xbox Series X. In addition, there has been a strong response to the latest must-have title “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” and its timely launch at the beginning of the pandemic. The title has found success through its appeal across demographics, appealing to young gamers and families, as well as the franchise’s nostalgic older fanbase, offering the perfect escape from a difficult year.Beyond the consoles, mobile gaming has maintained its position as the fastest growing segment of gaming software spend, predominantly due to rapid growth in emerging regions. This year, mobile gaming will account for 50% of total gaming software spend, bolstered by idle thumbs throughout periods of social distancing, and is forecast to increase its share to 52% by 2024 due to its popularity and accessibility in emerging markets.See related  Apple Moves to Secure Greater Slice of the Smart Speaker PieWith rising interest in gaming comes an increase in accessory purchases. Headsets have seen a notable boost, with Futuresource forecasts pointing to a market value of U.S. $1.7 billion by the end of 2020, and 37 million units shipped. With friends and relatives being forced apart due to social distancing measures, multiplayer games such as Fortnite, PUBG and CoD: Warzone have all seen a boost in popularity, not least due to the ability to play with friends online. But it’s not all about play; gaming headsets have also benefitted from an increase in remote working. With education office headsets in short supply, consumers and businesses alike have purchased gaming headsets for use in teleconferencing.Traditional audio brands are also entering the gaming headset market. With the gaming industry increasingly focused on providing a high-quality audio experience, traditional headphones manufacturers can leverage their expertise and brand to gain a slice of the lucrative market. Although some entrants lack the specialist gaming knowledge and branding to compete with market leaders such as Logitech, HyperX, Turtle Beach and Razer, we expect this segment to become much more competitive as the future unfolds, with the promise of large margins on gaming branded products spurring further interest in the market.Moving forward, our research reveals a longer-term trend towards feature-laden, premium-priced gaming headsets. With rising demand for wireless connectivity, detachable microphones and surround sound or spatial audio rendering, traditional gaming headphones will be a thing of the past. Following the proliferation of True Wireless in the traditional headphones market, we are also beginning to see True Wireless penetrate the gaming headset segment as well. Despite current issues surrounding latency and Bluetooth connectivity, rigorous innovation programs and a new Bluetooth protocol (Bluetooth LE) are expected to mitigate the problem. This will open the floodgates for a new era of gaming-specific True Wireless ear buds, as well as traditional audio brands incorporating gaming optimizations or gaming modes into their standard ear buds.last_img read more

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Bill would amend CFPB info requests

first_imgby. Nicholas BallasySen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) has introduced the Community Financial Protection Act, which would provide credit unions and community banks relief from financial regulations enacted after the financial crisis.The bill would reform the way the CFPB requests information from financial institutions with less than $10 billion in assets by requiring the CFPB to gather publicly available information or obtain information from existing banking regulators. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Nudged to the Produce Aisle by a Look in the Mirror

first_imgThe New York Times: Samuel Pulido walked into his local grocery store on a sweltering day, greeted by cool air and the fantasy-world ambience of the modern supermarket.Soft music drifted. Neon-bright colors turned his head this way and that. “WOW!!!” gasped the posters hanging from entranceway racks, heralding the sugary drinks, wavy chips and Berry Colossal Crunch being thrust his way.Then he looked down at his grocery cart and felt quite a different tug. Inside the front of the buggy, hooked onto its red steel frame, was a mirror. It stretched nearly a foot across, and as Mr. Pulido gripped the cart a little more tightly, it filled with the reflection of his startled face.…“I think what they’re doing is very innovative and clever,” said Michael R. Lowe, a Drexel University psychology professor and longtime researcher on weight control. “If you put up some cues that remind people of their weight or healthy eating, without hitting them over the head, they will go and choose healthier items. The mirror might do that, but the question will be, ‘What kind of memory association will their body elicit?’ And that is hard to know beforehand. For those who are overweight, it might elicit the sense of, ‘Oh, I need to lose weight.’ Or, ‘I don’t like to see myself because I’m so big,’ which might lead to choosing healthier food.”Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

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