Categories: World Trade Tags: capital controls, Capital Flow, China, Protectionism, Russia The International Unit of Account » QUESTION: Controls v ProtectionismIf capital controls would be such destructive measure, then China already has in place what one would consider Capital Controls and if they were to lift their control a lot of money will leave China – why is that not destructive: as you mention that the centre of finance will move east to China.BHLANSWER: Sorry, I suppose I was not detailed enough. Capital controls are destructive when they are imposed to prevent foreign capital from leaving. They are a red flag that warns nobody else will invest. In the case of China and Russia, when that airtight policy was imposed upon their own people, then it retarded economic growth.The bulk of Bitcoin traffic was used to get capital out of China. We see a lot of Chinese buyers around the world, even in real estate.China is trying to gradually move toward an open market. When capital is free to flow in and out, then China will be ready to displace the USA as the financial capital of the world. Had the United States imposed capital controls after the war, then both China and Europe would still be in an economic dark age. « Polarization of the World in Trade & Taxes is Destroying Western Economies
by, Michael C. Patterson, ChangingAging ContributorTweetShareShareEmail0 Shares Michael C. PattersonAARP has just released an important survey on brain health. One conclusion from the survey is no surprise and hasn’t changed since I ran the Staying Sharp program from 2004-2009: people believe that brain health is a critical component in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. One thing that has changed, however is that more younger people are concerned about the health of their brains and feel the need to do something to keep their brain’s sharp. Great! General awareness of the problem of cognitive decline with age has grown, and people are also more aware, in broad terms, of the type of lifestyle changes needed to protect brains and to make them more resilient.The survey reveals an enduring problem, however; few of the survey respondents actually make the required behavior changes that are needed to protect their brains. We know what to do, but don’t do it!In the wake of this study, AARP has revived their Staying Sharp initiative, a move that we applaud. For a fee of $21, what we will call Staying Sharp 2.0 (SS 2.0) promises to provide: a) access to online brain training exercises; b) an eNewletter that provides “access to up-to-date research and insights around brain health;” and c) web-based videos with science-based tips about how to “support brain health in a holistic way.”Between 2004 and 2009 I ran SS 1.1, which expanded the initial SS 1.0 program developed by Shelley Buckingham (now at AARP Oregon). These initial versions of Staying Sharp partnered with the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and featured moderated public discussions with top neuroscientists who addressed three core questions: 1) what do we need to know about the brain to have a meaningful discussion about brain health; 2) why do some brains become diseased as we age; and 3) what can we do to prevent our brains from becoming diseased? These SS Forums were very popular and attracted sold-out audiences from 1,000 to 2,000 people. People were clearly eager to hear and absorb current information about brain health from highly trusted sources.After the demise of Staying Sharp 1.1, Roger Anunsen (a consultant for SS1.1) and I founded MINDRAMP Consulting and, during the six-year period between SS 1.1 and the just-announced SS 2.0, we have continued to work diligently to advance the field of brain health. While we can no longer use the Staying Sharp name, we have arrived at what we can confidently call Brain Health 3.0. BH 3.0 goes beyond the program that Staying Sharp 2.0 appears to be offering in a number of significant ways that we will explore in more depth in subsequent blog posts.AARP’s (SS2.0) will raise awareness of lifestyle approaches to preventing cognitive decline, which is great. It will also, we hope, become a reliable repository for relevant research. We hope that new research is reported with sufficient contextual background. If all that is provided are tips and factoids, the new information may just confuse and frustrate subscribers.Access to online brain training exercises is okay, but causes us some concern. It will be a shame if subscribers feel they have covered their brain health bases by playing some online games. The truth is that much more is needed. As AARP itself recognizes, brain health requires a holistic approach. “AARP Staying Sharp isn’t just about brain exercises,” says Lynn Mento, VP of Membership at AARP, “but about promoting healthier living as a holistic way to support brain heath, by keeping fit, learning more by challenging your brain, managing your stress, eating right, and connecting with others.”Our ideas on Brain Health 3.0 are explored in detail in a new eBook called Strong Brains, Sharp Minds that is available through smashwords.com, and in a new workbook about to be published called The RAMP: The MINDRAMP Guide to Designing Your Own Brain Health Strategy. In subsequent blogs here, and on our website at www.mindramp.org, we will highlight the key developments that, we feel, move the brain health field forward in significant ways.Related PostsBeyond Brain Health AwarenessBeyond awareness, we need to develop comprehensive, personalized brain health strategies that gradually modify our behaviors, replacing risky behaviors and habits with ones that protect and strengthen the brain.We Need to Connect Medical and Social Care for SeniorsEighty-give percent of physicians say that unmet social needs lead to worse health outcomes, according to a new survey sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. But only 20 percent are confident in their ability to help patients and their families meet those needs. Talk about good news and bad…We Need Better Ways to Train and Support Family CaregiversLast week, I wrote about an important new survey of family caregivers that shows nearly half are performing work that is often done by nurses, such as managing medications, caring for wounds, and operating medical equipment. The report, by AARP and United Hospital Fund, sheds important light on the often unrecognized role…TweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: AARP Brain Health Mindramp
May 15 2018Every day, a school bus drops off as many as 45 children at a community eye clinic on Chicago’s South Side. Many of them are referred to the clinic after failing vision screenings at their public schools.Clinicians and students from the Illinois College of Optometry give the children comprehensive eye exams, which feature refraction tests to determine a correct prescription for eyeglasses and dilation of their pupils to examine their eyes, including the optic nerve and retina.No family pays out-of-pocket for the exam. The program bills insurance if the children have coverage, but about a third are uninsured. Operated in partnership with Chicago public schools, the program annually serves up to 7,000 children from birth through high school.”Many of the kids we’re serving fall through the cracks,” said Dr. Sandra Block, a professor of optometry at the Illinois College of Optometry and medical director of the school-based vision clinics program. Many are low-income Hispanic and African-American children whose parents may not speak English or are immigrants who are not in the country legally.Falling through the cracks is not an uncommon problem when it comes to vision care. According to a 2016 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, as many as 16 million people in the United States have undiagnosed or uncorrected “refractive” errors that could be fixed with eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. And while insurance coverage for eye exams and corrective lenses clearly has improved, significant gaps remain.The national academies’ report noted that impaired vision affects how people experience their world, including normal communication and social activities, independence and mobility. Not seeing clearly can hamper children’s academic achievement, social development and long-term health.But when people must choose, vision care may lose out to more pressing medical concerns, said Block, who was on the committee that developed the report.”Vision issues are not life-threatening,” she said. “People get through their day knowing they can’t see as well as they’d like.”Insurance can make regular eye exams, glasses and treatment for medical problems such as cataracts more accessible and affordable. But comprehensive vision coverage is often achieved only through a patchwork of plans.The Medicare program that provides coverage for millions of Americans age 65 and older doesn’t include routine eye exams, refraction testing or eyeglasses. Some tests are covered if you’re at high risk for a condition such as glaucoma, for example. And if you develop a vision-related medical condition such as cataracts, the program will cover your medical care.But if you’re just a normal 70-year-old and you want to get your eyes examined, the program won’t cover it, said Dr. David Glasser, an ophthalmologist in Columbia, Md., who is a clinical spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. If you make an appointment because you’re experiencing troubling symptoms and get measured for eyeglasses while there, you’ll likely be charged anywhere from about $30 to $75, Glasser said.Related StoriesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryTen-fold rise in tongue-tie surgery for newborns ‘without any real strong data’Why Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenThere are a few exceptions. Medicare will pay for one pair of glasses or contact lenses following cataract surgery, for example. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer vision care.Many commercial health insurance plans also exclude routine vision care from their coverage. Employers may offer workers a separate vision plan to fill in the gaps.VSP Vision Care provides vision care plans to 60,000 employers and other clients, said Kate Renwick-Espinosa, the organization’s president. A typical plan provides coverage for a comprehensive eye exam once a year and an allowance toward standard eyeglasses or contact lenses, sometimes with a copayment. Also, individuals seeking plans make up a growing part of their business, she said.Vision coverage for kids improved under the Affordable Care Act. The law requires most plans sold on the individual and small-group market to offer vision benefits for children younger than 19. That generally means that those plans cover a comprehensive eye exam, including refraction, every year, as well as a pair of glasses or contact lenses.But since pediatric eye exams aren’t considered preventive care that must be covered without charging people anything out-of-pocket under the ACA, they’re subject to copays and the deductible.Medicaid programs for low-income people also typically cover vision benefits for children and sometimes for adults as well, said Dr. Christopher Quinn, president of the American Optometric Association, a professional group.But coverage alone isn’t enough. To bring down the number of people with undiagnosed or uncorrected vision, education is key to helping people understand the importance of eye health in maintaining good vision. Just as important, it can also reduce the impact of chronic conditions such as diabetes, the national academies’ report found.”All health care providers need to at least ask vision questions when providing primary care,” said Block.KHN’s coverage of children’s health care issues is supported in part by the Heising-Simons Foundation. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
May 31 2018A MILabs VECTor5PET/SPECT/OI/CT system has been installed at the Chair of Pharmaceutical Radiochemistry on the TUM Campus in Garching. Under the direction of Prof. Hans-Jurgen Wester, this institute has established a broad and internationally renowned radiopharmaceutical research program, consisting of fundamental tracer development, innovative radiolabeling strategies, and the preclinical and clinical assessment of new tracers. With the addition of MILabs’ latest Omni-tomography system, the TUM expects to further enhance its already excellent infrastructure for conducting cutting-edge research in the field of molecular imaging and theranostics. Related StoriesUT Dallas adds MILabs Hybrid OI/CT system to its innovative medical imaging solutionsCUIMC selects MILabs for upgrades to its molecular imaging capabilitiesQueen Mary University of London’s BCI boosts radionuclide imaging capabilities with MILabs VECTor technology“We have been waiting for a long time for a system like the MILabs VECTor-OI-CT that offers the capabilities to support all aspects of our various research projects on multimodal theranostics tracer technology,” said Prof. H.J. Wester, Chair of Pharmaceutical Radiochemistry. “As evidenced by recent developments, such as PSMA-inhibitors, CXCR4-ligands, multimodal intraoperative probes, plus the renaissance of 99mTc-tracers or the new radiohybrid technology, modern tracer development has become more and more multidimensional. Therefore, with high-resolution PET, SPECT and OI, combined with CT, we can address research topics for all modalities, over the entire translational research spectrum, from tracer selection and evaluation to clinical research support by the investigation of surgical specimen. In addition, the MILabs VECTor system will help us to speed up our industrial collaborations.”Prof. Beekman, CEO/CSO of MILabs adds: We are gratified that this internationally renowned center of Pharmaceutical Radiochemistry has selected our integrated multimodality platform to further expand its preclinical and translational imaging capabilities. We see it as a major recognition of the unique value that our system can bring to advance the field of diagnostic and theranostic molecular imaging.” The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of Europe’s top universities. It is committed to excellence in research and teaching, interdisciplinary education and the active promotion of promising young scientists. The university also forges strong links with companies and scientific institutions across the world. TUM was one of the first universities in Germany to be named a University of Excellence. Moreover, TUM regularly ranks among the best European universities in international rankings.MILabs B.V. provides high-end molecular imaging solutions for biomedical and pharmaceutical research. These systems contribute worldwide to the development of new diagnostic solutions and therapies for diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiac and neurodegenerative diseases. Source:https://www.milabs.com/technical-university-munich-installs-milabs-pet-spect-optical-ct-for-translational-imaging/
Source:https://liu.se/en Jun 13 2018The waste-disposal system in a cell can spread harmful protein aggregates between neurons in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers at Linköping University, Sweden. The spread can be reduced in experiments in cultivated cells. The discovery, published in the prestigious scientific journal Acta Neuropathologica, may help the development of new diagnostic methods, and may eventually lead to new drugs that can stop or reduce the progression of disease.The waste-management system of the cell appears to play an important role in the spread of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain. A new study has focused on small membrane-covered droplets known as “exosomes”. It was long believed that the main task of exosomes was to help the cell to get rid of waste products. In simple terms, they were thought of as the cell’s rubbish bags. However, our understanding of exosomes has increased, and we now know that cells throughout the body use exosomes to transmit information. It’s now known that the exosomes can contain both proteins and genetic material, which other cells can absorb.The Linköping researchers have shown in the new study that exosomes can also transport toxic aggregates of the protein amyloid beta, and in this way spread the disease to new neurons. Aggregated amyloid beta is one of the main findings in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the other being aggregates of the protein tau. As time passes, they form ever-increasing deposits in the brain, which coincides with the death of nerve cells. The cognitive functions of a person with Alzheimer’s disease gradually deteriorate as new parts of the brain are affected.”The spread of the disease follows the way in which parts of the brain are anatomically connected. It seems reasonable to assume that the disease is spread through the connections in the brain, and there has long been speculation about how this spread takes place at the cellular level,” says Martin Hallbeck, associate professor in the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine at Linköping University and senior consultant of clinical pathology at Linköping University Hospital.Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryIn a collaboration with researchers at Uppsala University, he and his co-workers have investigated exosomes in brain tissue from deceased persons. The research team at Linköping University found more amyloid beta in exosomes from brains affected by Alzheimer’s disease than in healthy controls. Furthermore, the researchers purified exosomes from the brains from people with Alzheimer’s disease, and investigated whether they could be absorbed by cells cultured in the laboratory.”Interestingly, exosomes from patients were absorbed by cultured neurons, and subsequently passed on to new cells. The cells that absorbed exosomes that contained amyloid beta became diseased,” says Martin Hallbeck.The researchers treated the cultured neurons with various substances that prevent exosomes from being formed, released, or absorbed by other cells. They were able to reduce the spread of the aggregated amyloid beta between cells by disrupting the mechanism in these ways. The methods used in these laboratory experiments are not yet suitable for treating patients, but the discovery is important in principle.”Our study demonstrates that it is possible to influence this pathway, and possibly develop drugs that could prevent the spreading. The findings also open up the possibility of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease in new ways, by measuring the exosomes,” says Martin Hallbeck.
Jul 10 2018Cuts from a sharp knife or a piece of glass are very common. They often occur while people are preparing food, washing dishes or even crafting. All it takes is a slip of the knife or a dish breaking, and suddenly there’s blood. However, while these types of cuts are startling, most can be safety treated at home, according to dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology.”The most important thing to do is to gently wash the cut to prevent an infection,” said board-certified dermatologist Laura K. Ferris, MD, PhD, FAAD, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “Beyond that, most minor cuts and scrapes stop bleeding and heal quickly with a few simple steps.”Related StoriesHealthy blood vessels could help stave off cognitive declineDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustDon’t ignore diastolic blood pressure values, say researchersTo treat a minor cut, Dr. Ferris recommends the following tips: Wash your hands with soap and water. Wash the cut to prevent infection. Use cool or lukewarm water and a mild soap or cleanser to gently remove dirt or debris. Stop the bleeding. Apply pressure to the cut using a clean washcloth or gauze. Maintain pressure for one to two minutes or until the bleeding stops. Apply petroleum jelly. This will help keep the wound moist for faster healing. Make sure you apply it continuously until the cut heals. To help prevent the spread of dirt and bacteria, consider using petroleum jelly from a tube instead of a jar. Do not apply topical antibiotics. Cover the cut with a sterile bandage. This will help protect the cut and prevent it from reopening. Change the bandage daily, and keep the cut covered until it heals. Consider taking over-the-counter pain medication. Acetaminophen can help relieve painful cuts. Make sure your tetanus vaccination is up to date if your cut is from a dirty or rusty object. If you aren’t sure, contact your primary care doctor. “Most minor cuts heal in one week or less; however, if your cut is longer than three-fourths of an inch, more than a quarter inch deep, or won’t stop bleeding, seek immediate medical attention,” said Dr. Ferris. “As your cut heals, if you notice any signs of an infection, such as pus or increased redness, swelling or pain, call your primary care doctor or a board-certified dermatologist.”These tips are demonstrated in “How to Treat Minor Cuts,” a video posted to the AAD website and YouTube channel. This video is part of the AAD’s “Video of the Month” series, which offers tips people can use to properly care for their skin, hair and nails. A new video in the series posts to the AAD website and YouTube channel each month. Source:https://www.aad.org/media/news-releases/how-to-treat-minor-cuts
Source:https://www.acep.org/ Aug 21 2018Nearly six percent of urinary tract infections analyzed by a California emergency department were caused by drug-resistant bacteria in a one-year study period, according to new research in Annals of Emergency Medicine. The bacteria were resistant to most of the commonly used antibiotics. And, in many cases, patients had no identifiable risk for this kind of infection, the study found.”The rise of drug-resistant infections is worrisome,” said Bradley W. Frazee, MD, attending physician, Alameda Health System Highland Hospital and lead study author. “What’s new is that in many of these resistant urinary tract infections, it may simply be impossible to identify which patients are at risk. Addressing the causes of antibiotic resistance, and developing novel drugs, is imperative. A society without working antibiotics would be like returning to preindustrial times, when a small injury or infection could easily become life-threatening.”Related StoriesFinger-prick blood test could help prevent unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for patients with COPDInterdisciplinary approach reduces the use of broad spectrum antibioticsAntibiotic susceptibility pattern of Enterobacteriaceae found in GhanaThe authors urge some immediate changes to clinical practice such as wider use of urine culture tests and a more reliable follow-up system for patients who turn out to have a resistant bug; improving emergency physician awareness of their hospital’s antibiogram (a chart showing whether certain antibiotics work against certain bacteria); adherence to treatment guidelines and knowing which antibiotics to avoid in certain circumstances.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that currently 23,000 Americans die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections.The bacteria analyzed in this study were mostly E coli, that were resistant to cephalosporin antibiotics. Historically, such resistant bacteria were found in hospital-based infections. But, the authors note that they have been infecting more people outside of the hospital, particularly those with urinary tract infections. More than two in five (44%) of the infections analyzed were community-based (contracted outside of the hospital), the highest proportion reported in the United States to date.
Martin Lopez-Garcia Scientists uncover the secret behind shimmering seaweed CAMBRIDGE, U.K.—At low tide, the brown seaweed filling tide pools along the coasts of Cornwall and Devon counties in the United Kingdom does not look like much. But when the tidewaters rise to cover it, this “rainbow wrack” shimmers in dazzling blues and greens (above). Now, scientists have discovered just how the seaweed gets its shimmer.By looking at frozen samples under an electron microscope, scientists were able to zero in on nanostructures in the alga’s cells that are about 1000 times smaller than a human hair is thick. They found that Cystoseira tamariscifolia produces the blue and green colors in its cells by packing tiny spheres of oil closely together in a regular way, they reported here at the Living Light conference and in a paper in Science Advances this week. The structure resembles that of tightly packed silica spheres in opal, which diffract light and produce the gemstone’s coveted color.But the function of these opallike photonic crystals is still not clear. One clue: Under intense light, the ordered structure goes into a disordered state and the colors quickly fade. But when dark conditions return, so do the colors. That might help the plant deal with low-light conditions, say the scientists. In high tide, when less light reaches the alga, the crystals may capture some of the sunlight and pass it on to the surrounding chloroplasts for photosynthesis. By Kai KupferschmidtApr. 13, 2018 , 2:00 PM
A$AP Rocky Being In A Swedish Prison Will Not Stop Her From Going To The Country That Showed Her ‘So Much Love’ Now a video of the “kiss” has been released, see below:Trump’s team has denied all allegations.If you were wondering why Johnson even joined the campaign of a sexist, racist and accused sexual predator, her logic was that she “thought Trump’s business acumen would help poor Black residents in her home state. She said she was feeling disillusioned by President Barack Obama, for whom she voted in 2008 and 2012.”However, in May 2017, nearly a year after she claimed she was assaulted by Trump, Johnson had flattering words to say about him during a radio interview in Alabama.“He is more incredible in person than I think you would even think as you see him on TV… He’s just the nicest guy,” she said at the time. “He treats everyone as if they are a part of his family.”She allegedly was expecting to be given a job as “second-in-command” at the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon.Her lawyer explained this quote by saying she was locked into a nondisclosure agreement at the time and was “saying what she thought Trump and his supporters wanted.” Jesse Jackson Demands ‘Justice Now’ At EJ Bradford’s Moving Funeral Ceremony Alva Johnson is a Black former aide for the 2016 Donald Trump election campaign. She filed a lawsuit against him in February, accusing Trump of sexual harassment and underpaying women. Now, a video has surfaced of the alleged sexual harassment.Johnson’s lawsuit claimed Trump kissed her without consent Back in February, she said on MSNBC that she “felt reduced to just another object” of Trump’s “unwanted sexual attention” and advances.“I was just kinda frozen. I didn’t know how to process it,” she explained to Chris Hayes at the time. “I knew it was inappropriate because I worked in human resources. So I knew that it was completely inappropriate,” Johnson continued. “It was gross and creepy. Like I could sometimes still see those lips.” Alva Johnson , Donald Trump , Omarosa Manigault-Newman , Sexual Harassment Meghan McCain Whines That She Can’t Attack llhan Omar Because Trump Is Too Racist Gov. Cuomo Slams Mayor Bill De Blasio For The Eric Garner Case But He Also Failed The Family According to VICE, Johnson’s lawyer claims the video “corroborates exactly what Alva says.” Trump lawyer argues, “In watching the Video, the only conclusion a reasonable person could reach is that the exchange was an innocent moment between a dedicated campaign staffer and the candidate for whom she was working.”Oh, Omarosa Manigault Newman has also joined the lawsuit. After 15 years of working for Donald Trump, defending his racism and telling America to “bow down,” the scorned former White House staffer has now claimed she wasn’t paid fairly.SEE ALSO:All The Ways Cops Are Still Trying To Cover Up Laquan McDonald’s ExecutionOutrageous! Figurines Of White Cherub Crushing Head Of Black Angel Removed From Dollar StoreMeet Jogger Joe, The Man Who Took Racist Cue From BBQ Becky In Tossing Homeless Man’s Clothes More By NewsOne Staff
By New York Times |Washington | Published: May 25, 2019 10:54:22 am P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies On Friday, the president said he hoped that Barr would look at Britain: “We’re going to find out what happened and why it happened.” Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Advertising The wiretap application partly relied on Democratic-funded opposition research compiled into a dossier by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who was also an FBI informant. Former officials have long maintained that the dossier was not used to open the investigation in July 2016.Why do we still care?Because the story involves an attack on an American election by a foreign adversary, presidential authority, the national security bureaucracy and other levers of power, and because Trump persists in accusing the government officials who investigated him and his campaign of an illegal witch hunt — or as he said on Friday, the “greatest hoax probably in the history our country.”No longer constrained by the Mueller investigation, Trump appears determined to find ways to prove his accusations that the American intelligence community acted inappropriately.Trump’s allies and other skeptics have also suggested that the Russia investigation actually began earlier than FBI officials have said, suggesting that the bureau and foreign partners were plotting to take down Trump, rather than opening an inquiry based on facts. The Australian diplomat meeting with Papadopoulos was “paper cover for an investigation of the Trump campaign that was already underway,” Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor and contributing editor, wrote in National Review, a conservative magazine.In his report, Mueller reaffirmed that the FBI had opened the Russia investigation after receiving the information about Papadopoulos from the Australian government on July 26, 2016.What is Barr doing?The attorney general has echoed the president’s concerns about spying on Trump’s campaign. Barr recently assigned John H. Durham, the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut, to examine the origins of the Russia investigation in a review that the attorney general is overseeing.Barr also wants to know what the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies were doing in 2016 and what they knew about Russia’s effort to sabotage the election. The CIA director, Gina Haspel, was the agency’s station chief in London in 2016 when Australian officials passed Papadopoulos’s information about Russia’s email hacking to the United States and when Halper arranged his meeting with Papadopoulos. It is not clear what Haspel knew about the operation, but a person familiar with the events said that the British intelligence service MI-5 was made aware of FBI activities in London. Advertising P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies William Barr also wants to know what the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies were doing in 2016 and what they knew about Russia’s effort to sabotage the election. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)Written by Adam Goldman Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Best Of Express Top News More Explained President Donald Trump has given Attorney General William Barr extraordinary powers to declassify intelligence secrets as part of his review into how the 2016 Trump campaign’s ties to Russia were investigated. That means Barr could make documents or information from the CIA or the FBI public over their intense objections, setting up a possible confrontation between the law enforcement and intelligence communities.As the president tries to find evidence that he was the target of a political witch hunt, former and current intelligence officials are worried about the exposure of secret sources and sensitive methods. “This was an attempted takedown of the president of the United States,” Trump said Friday.Here is what we know about the origins of the investigation.Why did the FBI investigate? Mueller’s investigators concluded that they did not have enough evidence to make a case that the men conspired with Russia’s election interference campaign. Investigators “did not find evidence likely to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that campaign officials such as Manafort, Papadopoulos and Page acted as agents of the Russian government — or at its direction, control or request — during the relevant time period,” they wrote.What about claims of FBI spying?Trump and his allies have focused their attention on the FBI’s use of an informant who met with Page and Papadopoulos to better understand the extent of their possible contacts with Russians. The informant, Stefan Halper, an American academic who taught at Cambridge University in Britain, met with the men while they were still Trump campaign advisers. Page visited Halper’s house in Virginia in August 2016, and Halper arranged a meeting with Papadopoulos the next month in London.The FBI director, Christopher Wray, has said he was unaware of any illegal surveillance and has refused to call agents’ work “spying.”In October 2016, more than two months after the investigation was opened, FBI agents and federal prosecutors obtained approval from a federal judge to wiretap Page. Trump’s allies have pointed to the warrant as major evidence that law enforcement officials were abusing their authority. In July 2016, WikiLeaks released Democratic emails stolen by Russian military intelligence officers and posted thousands of internal Democratic National Committee documents revealing information about the Clinton campaign. That same month, the FBI learned that a Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, had told an Australian diplomat that he was told that the Russians had stolen Democratic emails before they were made public. FBI agents traveled to London to interview the diplomat and his assistant.Those interviews, along with information about Russian hacking, were used to open the FBI’s investigation into whether any Trump associate had conspired with the Russian government. On Friday, Trump said he hoped that Barr would scrutinize the roles of the Australian and British governments in the opening of the FBI’s Russia investigation. Both countries work closely with the FBI and the CIA.Who was under investigation?As part of the early Russia inquiry, the FBI investigated four Trump associates: Papadopoulos; Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman; Michael Flynn, the president’s first national security adviser; and Carter Page, another campaign foreign policy adviser.The FBI focused on the men because of their Russian contacts. Flynn and Papadopoulos later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI as part of the inquiry. Manafort was also convicted of tax fraud and other charges brought by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who took over the investigation in May 2017. Manafort also and pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Taking stock of monsoon rain Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off Advertising Post Comment(s)
By AP |Minneapolis | Published: June 30, 2019 8:08:48 am Leaders also voted to expel Collison’s First Covenant Church, a founding member of the 134-year-old denomination.Collison, who became a pastor at First Covenant in downtown Minneapolis in 2009, told the Star Tribune he was “not surprised” but “saddened” after he was voted out.“I feel grounded in the path we have chosen. I feel grateful for the pastors and churches who stood up for us. I feel compassion to those caught in the middle,” Collison said. 1 Comment(s) Gay couple got married on July 2, calls it a ‘happy coincidence’ In this Friday, June 21, 2019 photo, Rev. Dan Collison gestures inside First Covenant Church where he is the lead pastor in Minneapolis. (Source: David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)Leaders of the Evangelical Covenant Church voted to defrock a Minneapolis pastor and expel his church for permitting gay marriage. The Rev. Dan Collison had his credentials removed by a 77% vote at the Evangelical Covenant Church’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, on Friday night. The ECC says First Covenant is free to keep operating as a church and can keep its church building. First Covenant says Collison will continue serving as lead pastor.A First Covenant staff member officiated at an off-site wedding of two women from the church worship band in 2014. It also put out a “love all” statement that said it welcomes members of the LGBTQ community to participate in the church, including serving in leadership roles. It also says it offers pastoral care, including weddings, “to all in our congregation without regard for ability, race, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation”.ECC leaders also voted Friday night to remove another pastor, Rev. Steve Armfield, a retired Michigan minister who officiated his son’s same-sex wedding in Minneapolis. Armfield also was accused of violating the denomination’s same-sex marriage ban.Leaders had recommended that Collison, Armfield and First Covenant be forced out because they violated Evangelical Covenant Church policies on human sexuality, specifically “celibacy in singleness and faithfulness in heterosexual marriage”. Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Recognising private property, gay marriage, Cuba aims to build socialism instead of communism Related News Advertising Advertising Best Of Express Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Taiwan still divided on gay marriage, says Tsai Ing-wen “The ECC is mindful of the complexity, the sensitivity and the pain that matters of human sexuality can bring,” said Michelle Sanchez, an ECC executive minister. “We talk about the desire for both freedom and responsibility as a denomination. Those two things were coming into tension in this case.”First Covenant Church was founded by Swedish immigrants in 1874. For decades it was one of ECC’s largest churches nationally, until membership declines began in the 1970s. Today, the denomination has about 875 churches with 280,000 members nationally. It is headquartered in Chicago.“I hope this historic church someday changes its mind and then returns to our family,” ECC President John Wenrich said in a statement.Armfield, an ECC pastor for 47 years, also was suspended in 2017. He had served an ECC church in Red Wing, Minnesota, in the 1970s before moving to Michigan. He officiated his son Matthew Armfield’s wedding in 2017.“It is so unbelievably upsetting to see my father, Dan, and my fellow members of First Covenant experience the hate, deceit and actions that go against the teachings of love and inclusion that Jesus Christ preached,” said Matthew Armfield, who attends First Covenant.
Hassan Rouhani says Iran ready to talk to US if sanctions lifted Related News Advertising Advertising By Reuters |Brussels | Published: July 15, 2019 12:25:28 pm Rouhani on Sunday reiterated Tehran’s stance that it would be ready to negotiate if the U.S. lifted sanctions and returned to the nuclear deal.European foreign ministers will seek to flesh out how to convince Iran and the United States to reduce tensions and initiate a dialogue when they meet in Brussels on Monday amid fears that the 2015 nuclear deal is close to collapse. US-Iranian tensions have worsened since U.S. President Donald Trump decided last year to abandon the nuclear deal under which Iran agreed to curtail its atomic programme in return for relief from economic sanctions crippling its economy. Rouhani on Sunday reiterated Tehran’s stance that it would be ready to negotiate if the U.S. lifted sanctions and returned to the nuclear deal. Trump has shown no sign of backing down for now. Despite discussing Iran with Macron, Trump said last week he would push on with more sanctions.In New York, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday pointed the finger at the Europeans. “There is a serious difference between doing something and announcing your willingness,” Iranian state TV quoted him as saying.The European are still trying to put its Instex trade mechanism in place with Iran, but the Iranian mirror entity has yet to be established and should it go ahead would initially only deal in products such as pharmaceuticals and foods, which are not subject to U.S. sanctions.Diplomats have that in any case they fear U.S. blowback, while Iranian officials have repeatedly said Instex must include oil sales or provide substantial credit facilities for it to be beneficial.“The deal is on the brink. The message on Monday will be to show EU unity, but make it clear to Iran that it needs to come back into line,” said a European diplomat. “For now nothing is reversible so we have more room for diplomacy.” In reaction to the re-imposition of tough U.S. sanctions, which have notably targeted Iran’s main oil revenue stream, Tehran has scaled back on some of its nuclear commitments under the deal, leading the European parties to the pact, France, Britain and Germany, to warn it about not fully complying with the terms.The three powers, who are party to the deal alongside Russia and China, have sought to defuse the tensions, which culminated in a plan for U.S. air strikes on Iran last month that Trump called off at the last minute.French President Emmanuel Macron dispatched his top diplomat to Tehran last week to offer suggestions on how to freeze the current status quo to gain some time and had said he wanted to review the diplomatic progress by July 15. “We told President (Hassan) Rouhani what the parameters of a pause could be and we’re waiting for a response from the Iranians, but their point of departure is relatively far because they are demanding the immediate lifting of sanctions,” said a French presidential official. UK says seized Iranian oil tanker could be released Post Comment(s) British leaks say Donald Trump axed Iran deal to spite Obama
By New York Times |Hong Kong | Published: July 14, 2019 8:25:51 am Advertising Several thousand demonstrators gathered in the streets of a Hong Kong border town Saturday to protest against mainland Chinese traders, the latest effort by local activists to ride the momentum of recent mass protests in the city.What began as a peaceful protest Saturday in Sheung Shui, an area of Hong Kong close to the border with mainland China, devolved into clashes between demonstrators armed with umbrellas and police wielding batons, pepper spray and shields.Several protesters were seen being treated for injuries at the scene. Advertising Top News NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home Karnataka: Supreme Court to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Police officers arrest a protester in Hong Kong. (AP/File)Written by Amy Qin and Ezra Cheung In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief The march in Sheung Shui was the latest in a series of demonstrations that have plunged the former British colony into its biggest political crisis since it was returned to Chinese rule in 1997. Opposition to a contentious bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China has drawn hundreds of thousands of protesters into the streets.This week, Carrie Lam, the city’s embattled leader, said the controversial bill was “dead,” but she has declined to formally withdraw it. Demonstrators say Lam’s steadfast refusal to completely retract the bill in the face of widespread opposition has undermined public trust in her leadership, fueling growing calls for her resignation. In recent weeks, protesters have also broadened their demands to include a call for greater democratic reforms in the city.Many of the protesters were residents angry with the vast numbers of “parallel traders” who come across the border from the mainland to buy items like baby formula and diapers for resale at a markup in China to evade import taxes. Local residents say the retail boom has pushed up commercial rents and forced businesses aimed at residents to relocate or close.In recent weeks, some protesters have voiced concerns that the movement’s growing demands could impact their ability to channel public support and sustain momentum. But on Saturday, several residents said the disparate demands were in fact related to a single issue.“People say it’s a different issue, one is a local problem, the other is citywide, but the root of it is rather the same,” said Gary Law, 32, who grew up in Sheung Shui. “It’s mostly about China.” Post Comment(s)
Romanova Natali | ShutterstockIn the brain, nerve cells maintain interaction with other neurons through the expression of certain proteins on their membranes. However, surface proteins that stay on the membrane for too long can disrupt the connections between synapses.As reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Mary Hatten and colleague Hourinaz Behesti have shown that a protein called ASTN2 is involved in moving proteins away from the neuronal membrane in a timely manner. They also suggest that mutations in ASTN2 may lead to neurodevelopmental disorders.Hetten had previously shown that ASTN2 serves as “trafficker” that moves receptors along during cell migration in early development. However, other studies have suggested that the protein is expressed in the cerebellum of the adult brain and when Behesti joined Hetten’s lab, she suggested that the protein might also be important later in life.Hetten and Behesti found that the protein mainly exists in the parts of neurons that move proteins around. They also identified molecules that bind to ASTN2. Some of these binding proteins are involved in the formation of synapses and in the trafficking of proteins.The researchers report that increasing ASTN2 expression in the neurons, led to a decrease in the level of binding partners, indicating that ASTN2 binds to these proteins and then moves them from the membrane so they can be degraded inside the cell. They also showed that neurons with increased ASTN2 produced stronger synapses and they suspect that lower levels of the protein may result in the formation of weaker synapses. By Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Sep 24 2018A study by researchers at Rockefeller University has shown that defects in a brain protein may underlie a number of neurodevelopmental disorders. Our data suggest that people who have mutations in ASTN2 make less of the protein, which leads to slower or weaker synapses,”Hourinaz Behesti Related StoriesScientists discover hundreds of protein-pairs through coevolution studyLight at last: why do more women develop Alzheimer’s disease?Study provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingThe team suggests that insufficient ASTN2 causes proteins to gather on the cell surface and disrupt connections and communication between neurons.”Synapses aren’t static. They need to respond in real time to dynamic stimuli; and one of the ways they do this is by changing their surface protein expression,” says Behesti.The study supports other research suggesting that disrupted expression of neuronal proteins may be at the root of neurodevelopmental disorders such as learning disabilities and autism. It also suggests that the cerebellum may be worth studying further to understand such conditions.”People are just beginning to realize that the cerebellum isn’t just there to control movement and motor learning. It has much more complex roles in cognition and language,” says Hatten.Source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-09/ru-sop092118.php
Not everyone agrees that the IVAS contract is for a weapons system.”From what is known of the contract, there is nothing inherently ‘weaponized’ about the intended HoloLens usage, although tangentially it could be leveraged in that way,” said Eric Abbruzzese, senior analyst with ABI Research, a technology advisory company headquartered in Oyster Bay, New York.”The initial publicly available info framing it from a soldier-safety standpoint goes a long way to distancing the contract from a weapons related area,” he told TechNewsWorld.The contract isn’t as far removed from Microsoft’s current business as the W4G group has contended, Abbruzzese also noted.”It’s too early to say how exactly the company’s plans may shift going forward, but for this specific project I don’t believe it is far from existing engagements,” he said.The U.S. military has been using Xbox controllers for some of their systems for years, and it also uses Windows-based systems, Abbruzzese pointed out.”For Windows, there can be a comfortable distance from weaponry, but HoloLens may veer too close,” he said.While there isn’t anything confirmed to suggest a weaponized HoloLens system, considering the vague public details about the contract, it could be expanded in that direction, Abbruzzese said. While Nadella pledged to listen to employees, it seems doubtful Microsoft will be backing out of the HoloLens deal.”The group of protesting employees is small, at least at present,” Abbruzzese observed. “The only way a notable impact happens is when there’s a much larger and more significant employee response, such as a strike or protest on a large scale.”The composition of the protest groups matters, too, noted Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, a technology advisory firm in Hayward, California.”Frankly, the opinions of key executives and senior engineers are likely to outweigh clerical staff and knowledge workers,” he told TechNewsWorld.Employee activism can be somewhat dangerous for a high-tech company, though, according to Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, an advisory services firm in Bend, Oregon.”Policy should typically be set at the top of the company, not at the bottom,” he told TechNewsWorld.The employees also may be unschooled about today’s high-tech business landscape.”There is no a single U.S. tech company that doesn’t sell into the military or aerospace in one form or another, especially when you get down to software and hardware,” said Jim McGregor, principal analyst in the Phoenix, Arizona, offices of Tirias Research, a high-tech research and advisory firm.”Any new technology is likely to be used by governments,” he told TechNewsWorld. “It’s natural.”King found some irony in the protest.”I have to say there’s more than a little irony when complaints are coming from employees of a firm that has long made tens of millions of dollars annually from military simulation games,” he said.”Not to put too fine a point on it, but it’s worth asking who was complaining as games like Halo, Gears of War and Sniper Fury were rising to prominence?” King asked. Listening but Not Backing Down Workers 4 Good Winning a Better ProcessThe protesting Microsoft employees may not be able to reverse the IVAS agreement, but they may change how their company looks at these kinds of agreements in the future.”The biggest change that could result from this is a more objective and transparent approach to military contracts that could veer into aggressive/weaponized usage,” Abbruzzese said.”Engaging with employees before the contract is signed and allowing employees a choice in their involvement going forward may become a requirement if protests continue to grow,” he continued. “We saw an initial promise for this already, so a baked-in option for employees may be coming.”Even if Microsoft changes how it handles military contracts, those contracts will remain attractive to tech companies.”Working with military agencies and entities is something most IT vendors do willingly or even enthusiastically due to the size and length of contractual agreements,” King said.”If the aim of those efforts is improving the overall efficiency or effectiveness of a fighting organization,” he continued, “trying to parse the morality of a weapons system contract over deploying tens of thousands of desktop PCs and workstations becomes a rhetorical exercise.” Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman unveils HoloLens 2 at MWC Barcelona. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Monday defended the company’s US$479 million contract with the U.S. military — a commitment that some Microsoft employees strongly opposed.While pledging to engage with employees and consider Microsoft’s role as a corporate citizen, Nadella said the company would not withhold technology from institutions in democracies elected to preserve the freedoms of their citizens. He made the remarks in an exclusive interview with CNN Business at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks onstage at MWC Barcelona. Weapon or Not? Nadella’s defense of the military contract came days after a group of Microsoft employees, calling themselves “Workers 4 Good,” protested the deal through a letter published on Twitter.”We are a global coalition of Microsoft workers, and we refuse to create technology for warfare and oppression,” the group noted.”We are alarmed that Microsoft is working to provide weapons technology to the U.S. Military, helping one country’s government ‘increase lethality’ using tools we built,” the letter states. “We did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used.”While the group acknowledged that Microsoft previously has licensed technology to the military, the company never before crossed the line into weapons development, it maintained.”With this contract it does. The application of HoloLens within the IVAS system is designed to help people kill,” the letter states. “It will be deployed on the battlefield, and works by turning warfare into a simulated ‘video game,’ further distancing soldiers from the grim states of war and the reality of bloodshed.”In its letter, the group demanded Microsoft cancel the IVAS contract, cease developing weapons technologies, create an acceptable-use policy barring the company’s technology from being used in weapons systems, and appoint an ethics review board to enforce and validate compliance with the no-weapons policy. John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Microsoft was awarded the nearly half-million dollar contract last fall for an “Integrated Visual Augmentation System” using HoloLens technology. HoloLens is used in augmented reality glasses that allow viewers to see the real world overlaid with live information graphics.The contract calls for more than 100,000 of the systems to be delivered to the military to provide its forces with “increased lethality, mobility and situational awareness” in combat.Some HoloLens headsets already have been delivered to the Israeli military, where they’re used to help commanders visualize combat situations and to enable field medics to communicate with physicians, according to CNN.
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 1 20184TECH Inc., a leader in the field of transcatheter tricuspid valve repair, initiated its U.S. Early Feasibility Study, following receipt of approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with the successful first two implantations of the TriCinch™ Coil System at Piedmont Heart Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia, by Dr. Christopher Meduri, Dr. Vivek Rajagopal and Dr. Mani Vannan. The study will evaluate the TriCinch Coil System in 15 patients across seven centers in the U.S.”We are pleased to be the first center in the U.S. to implant the TriCinch Coil System,” said Dr. Christopher Meduri. “Both procedures went smoothly, and the device was easy to implant. Having a technology like the TriCinch Coil System in our structural heart toolkit allows us to treat a wide range of patients suffering from tricuspid regurgitation, who are at high risk for open heart surgery, in a safe and simple manner.”Related StoriesTeam approach to care increases likelihood of surviving refractory cardiogenic shockStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesThe 4TECH TriCinch Coil System is a simple percutaneous direct annuloplasty device designed to reduce tricuspid regurgitation by means of tricuspid valve (TV) remodeling via a unique nitinol coil anchor that is tensioned by a nitinol stent in the inferior vena cava (IVC).”This is a major milestone for 4TECH, and I am excited with the progress the team has made,” said Tom Fleming, 4TECH CEO. “The TriCinch Coil System is designed to simply target the underlying pathology of annular dilatation. With this device, we are committed to helping patients who have very limited treatment options.””Through our experience and in collaboration with key physicians, we have built a robust clinical program to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the device,” said Keith D. Dawkins, MD, 4TECH CMO. “I am encouraged by our momentum, and I am confident that we will provide physicians with a novel solution that will benefit patients suffering from TR.”The device is being evaluated worldwide with a CE-Trial that has enrollment in both Australia and Europe. Source:http://4techtricuspid.com/
Source:https://news.psu.edu/story/561151/2019/02/27/research/custom-made-proteins-may-help-create-antibodies-fight-hiv Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 27 2019A new way to create proteins that can sneak through HIV’s protective coating may be a step toward understanding the key components needed for developing a vaccine for the virus, according to researchers.Using computational modeling, a team of researchers led by Penn State designed and created proteins that mimicked different surface features of HIV. After being immunized with the proteins, rabbits developed antibodies that were able to bind with the virus.”We were able to show that by using our designed proteins, the blood was able to spontaneously generate antibodies that can inhibit the infection of HIV in cellular models,” said Cheng Zhu, a postdoctoral fellow at Penn State College of Medicine. “When we incubated the HIV virus, its infectivity was dramatically reduced by the rabbits’ blood.”Zhu added that the study — published today (Feb. 27) in Nature Communications — provides a novel way to design proteins for vaccines.”The proteins — or immunogens — we developed aren’t a finished product, but we were able to show evidence that it’s possible to do,” Zhu said. “Moreover, it’s also very exciting that we were able to create a new method to tailor make proteins, which could open the door for developing vaccines for other infections, as well.”Although millions of people are living with HIV across the globe, creating a vaccine for the virus has alluded researchers. Vaccines work by teaching the immune system where on a virus an antibody can attach before neutralizing it. To create a vaccine, researchers first have to identify this spot.Nikolay Dokholyan, G. Thomas Passananti Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pharmacology at Penn State, explained that developing a vaccine for HIV is difficult because the virus constantly mutates.”Even if we develop an antibody for a particular strain of the virus, that antibody may not even notice the next strain of the virus,” Dokholyan said. “In order to develop broadly neutralizing antibodies — antibodies that neutralize multiple strains of a virus — we need to find something that remains constant on the virus for those antibodies to latch onto.”According to Dokholyan, HIV uses a coating of carbohydrates to protect a protein on its surface called Env. While this protein could be a potential target for vaccines, the carbohydrate coating makes it difficult or impossible for antibodies to access and neutralize it.Related StoriesTwo new studies develop algorithms to identify patients at risk of acquiring HIVNovel method can help clinicians identify individuals most in need of PrEPPrevalence of anal cancer precursors is higher in women living with HIV than previously reportedBut sometimes, holes naturally appear in this coating, exposing the Env protein to potential antibodies. Zhu said he and the other researchers wanted to find a way to target these holes.”The idea would be to do molecular surgery to copy sections of the virus’s surface and paste them onto different, benign proteins, so they would look but not act like the Env protein,” Zhu said. “Hopefully, this would allow the immune system to recognize the virus and create antibodies to neutralize it in the future.”The researchers used computational models to design proteins that would mimic the conserved protein surface of different strains of HIV to be used in the vaccine. Dokholyan said that while usually proteins are engineered by changing one amino acid at a time, they wanted to try a different approach.”Instead of changing one amino acid at a time, it’s a large surface of the HIV strain that is cut and then plugged onto a different protein,” Dokholyan said. “It’s an important milestone be able to do these major molecular surgeries, and it’s very exciting that the strategy worked with a very high accuracy.”After creating immunogens that used the new, HIV-mimicking proteins, the researchers immunized the rabbits and drew blood samples once a month. After analyzing the samples, the researchers found that the blood contained antibodies that were able to bind onto HIV.The researchers said that while the findings are promising, there is still more work to be done.”It’s important that we were able to generate an immune response to HIV and show that it’s possible as a proof of concept,” Dokholyan said. “But, we still need to improve the antibodies’ neutralization abilities and other aspects before it can become a viable vaccine.”Dokholyan said that in the future, the protein design method could potentially help create and personalize vaccines for different diseases in various areas in the world.”Diseases can vary by location, for example, there are different strains of HIV in various countries or regions,” Dokholyan said. “If we can easily customize proteins for vaccines, that’s a good example of where personalized medicine is going to play a role.”