Reaping benefits of exercise minus the sweat

first_imgA team led by researchers at Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has isolated a natural hormone from muscle cells that triggers some of the key health benefits of exercise. They say the protein, which serves as a chemical messenger, is a highly promising candidate for development as a novel treatment for diabetes, obesity, and perhaps other disorders, including cancer.Bruce Spiegelman, a cell biologist at Dana-Farber, is senior author of the report, posted as an advance online publication by the journal Nature. The first author is Pontus Bostrom, a postdoctoral fellow in the Spiegelman lab.“It’s exciting to find a natural substance connected to exercise that has such clear therapeutic potential,” said Bostrom.Spiegelman dubbed the hormone “irisin,” after Iris, a Greek messenger goddess. He said the discovery is an important first step in understanding the biological mechanisms that translate physical exercise into beneficial changes throughout the body, both in healthy people and in preventing or treating disease.“There has been a feeling in the field that exercise ‘talks to’ various tissues in the body,” said Spiegelman, a professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School. “But the question has been, how?”According to the report, the irisin hormone has direct and “powerful effects” on adipose, or fatty, tissue — subcutaneous deposits of white fat that store excess calories and that contribute to obesity.When irisin levels rise through exercise — or, in this study, when irisin was injected into mice — the hormone switches on genes that convert white fat into “good” brown fat. This is beneficial because brown fat burns off more excess calories than does exercise alone.Only a small amount of brown fat is found in adults, but infants have more — an evolutionary echo of how mammals keep themselves warm while hibernating. In the wake of findings by Spiegelman and others, there has been a surge of interest in the therapeutic possibilities of increasing brown fat in adults.Along with stimulating brown fat development, irisin was shown to improve glucose tolerance, a key measure of metabolic health, in mice fed a high-fat diet.The discovery won’t allow people to skip the gym and build muscles by taking irisin supplements, Spiegelman cautioned, because the hormone doesn’t appear to make muscles stronger. Experiments showed that irisin levels increase as a result of repeated bouts of prolonged exercise, but not during short-term muscle activity.The Dana-Farber team identified irisin in a search for genes and proteins regulated by a master metabolic regulator, called PGC1-alpha, which is turned on by exercise. Spiegelman’s group had discovered PGC1-alpha in previous research.Bostrom said the hunt for molecular targets of increased PGC1-alpha activity ultimately pinpointed irisin, which turned out to be located within the outer membrane of muscle cells. This discovery ran counter to other scientists’ contentions that such a protein would reside in the cell’s nucleus.To test whether increasing irisin alone could mimic exercise benefits, the scientists injected modest amounts into sedentary mice that were obese and pre-diabetic.With 10 days of treatment, the mice had better control of blood sugar and insulin levels — in effect, preventing the onset of diabetes — and lost a small amount of weight. Although the weight loss was small, Spiegelman said that the hormone may have a greater effect when given for longer periods.There were no signs of toxicity or side effects, a finding that was predicted because the researchers limited the increase of irisin to levels typically caused by exercise.In part because it is a natural substance and because the mouse and human forms of the protein are identical, Spiegelman said it should be possible to move an irisin-based drug rapidly into clinical testing — perhaps within two years.The irisin discovery has been licensed by Dana-Farber exclusively to Ember Therapeutics for drug development. Ember is a Boston-based startup co-founded by Spiegelman and scientists at the Harvard-affiliated Joslin Diabetes Center and the Scripps Research Institute in Florida.The scientists said their findings merely scratch the surface of irisin’s multiple effects. They are continuing to explore the hormone’s possible benefits in metabolic diseases like diabetes, insulin resistance, and obesity, which constitute a growing epidemic around the world, as well as neurodegenerative illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease.Spiegelman added that as growing evidence implicates obesity and physical inactivity in cancer development, it’s conceivable irisin-based drugs may have value in prevention and treatment of the disease.Other authors, in addition to Spiegelman and Bostrom, are from Dana-Farber; Harvard Medical School; Harvard affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital; University of California, San Francisco; Universita Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy; Odense University Hospital, Denmark; and LakePharma, Belmont, Calif.The National Institutes of Health funded the research.last_img read more

5G: Where We Are and Where We’re Heading

first_imgIn the last few months, we have seen society’s embrace of technology accelerate dramatically. Automation, Artificial Intelligence, virtual experiences, autonomous vehicles and robotics have all become much more accepted as humanity realized what those technologies could mean to human progress. The global pandemic has also forced corporations to shift business models, redefine education, recast healthcare over distance and fundamentally opened the door to different ways to do almost everything we understood before COVID.At the same time, the wonders of technology have caused divides—both economic and geographic—that need to be addressed as we look to recover and rebuild. Today, the future of the economy and our communities depends on the ability of business and governments to invest in a long-term digital transformation strategy that includes everyone and everything regardless of their location or prior relationship with modern technology. One of the key elements of making this transformation real is having a pervasive way to reach the entire digital ecosystem. We will be dependent on modern connectivity to connect the clouds to the edges to the people to the devices across society; and at this time the single most important new technology to make that happen is next generation 5G wireless communications technology.Building 5G on Top of Existing 4G Infrastructure – An Important First StepToday, 5G is at best an extension of the 4G environment with legacy or traditional technology powering cellular networks for moderately faster speeds. The big four U.S. carriers have each introduced technology that aims to bring 5G connectivity to consumers – essentially adding on 5G equipment to an existing 4G LTE network.While these early efforts to bolster 4G LTE networks are admirable and demonstrate the appetite for the 5G experience, they are still very early in delivering the high broadband speeds, near zero latency, and high device density promise of 5G. The journey to get there is the challenge, and we have pretty significant hurdles to overcome from a U.S. perspective and will need the full investment of the US innovation ecosystem.The Race to 5G Dominance Heats up Across the GlobeOne of the biggest impediments to 5G infrastructure is the limited marketplace that exists, particularly in the U.S., which lacks at-scale providers of modern 5G equipment used to build these new networks. If we don’t fix that problem, 5G adoption in the U.S. will lag behind other nations and the US technology ecosystem will participate from the outside of this critical technology. The government must find creative ways to attract U.S.-based companies into the 5G ecosystem by sharing risk and creating incentives. With the capital, resources, and talent to build a 5G infrastructure, big tech will be able to increase their participation in 5G at an accelerated rate. We know that when the technology industry of the United States is fully present in a technical ecosystem, amazing innovation happens, and true progress occurs. We have seen this in Cloud, IT, software defined systems, virtualization, security and even in wireless technology many years ago.This change in the role of the U.S. technical ecosystem is critical. The lack of a robust secure supply chain, U.S. technology, and control over the intellectual property rights of the 5G ecosystem introduces significant strategic, security, economic, and political risk to the communications industry. The impact of these deficiencies goes beyond just mobile connectivity. The U.S. must drive the innovation and standardization of national 5G infrastructure to not only get left behind on the world stage, but also play a major role in the marketplace as it has for nearly every other technological invention. By doing so, we can increase market competitiveness, prevent vendor lock-in, and lower costs at a time when governments globally need to prioritize spending. More importantly, we can set the stage for the next wave of wireless that will far more resemble the cloud and IT ecosystems than traditional telecom systems.To Stand up a 5G Network in the U.S., We Need a New ModelUntil now, major efforts to develop a national 5G network have been segmented, but not for lack of trying. Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) standard is a great place to start – open is always better than closed when it comes to innovation and standardization. However, with O-RAN, you run the risk of open environments without optimization. If you can’t make the disparate parts work together, you don’t necessarily have an effective open environment.We need to change how we approach building a 5G infrastructure, starting from the ground up. 5G is not simply an evolution of 4G; it requires massive transformation, a multitude of additional towers and demands new distributed architectures using software-defined networks. Dell Technologies believes the model should mimic how you build a cloud; it’s done with a coalition, an ecosystem, and people who understand how to build modern systems beyond just the specific needs of telecom networks. And that’s where Dell Technologies and others are starting to emerge as potential facilitators to enable that collaboration and integration at scale.Now is the TimeBuilding sustainable 5G networks is a massive undertaking, one that requires federal support and investment from American companies. Deploying 5G networks in the coming years requires immediate capital for new infrastructure, devices, and services. It also requires a focus on not just creating demand for 5G but in creating U.Ss sources of supply of the underlying technology. This is an investment in creating new players or pulling adjacent companies into the 5G ecosystem. At the end we must have a wireless ecosystem that includes not just the existing well-respected international players but also fully includes a number of at-scale U.S. technology companies playing primary roles in the future of wireless.The events of the last six months have changed the way every technologist thinks about innovation. As more and more data are created at the edge, we’ve become a culture reliant on remote access. Permanent expansion of digital healthcare, education, remote work, job training, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement requires accessibility to a high-speed network, and investment in 5G technology infrastructure can make closing the digital divide possible. The US is leading the innovation in almost every aspect of that future except the core technology to connect it all together. That must change as a matter of national interest. Now is the time for us to seize the opportunity to invest in the infrastructure for a digital economy and to ensure the future global competitiveness of our nation.last_img read more

Government plans to update constitution

first_imgSaint Mary’s student senate met Tuesday night to discuss proposed updates to the student government’s constitution and rules for the College’s upcoming election season.Student body president Kat Sullivan said creating changes to the constitution will help candidates who wish to participate in future elections.“For the rest of the semester, we want to update our constitution for the next administration,” Sullivan said. “We want to make sure there is a clear understanding of the rules on the student government side as well as [on] the student body [side].”Sullivan said updates to the constitution are meant to benefit both student government members and the student body as a whole.“We are updating the constitution so we can give the student body a better understanding of what our organization does and how we run on a daily basis,” she said.Elections for student body president, vice president and senate will take place on Feb. 27, and elections for class boards and big boards will take place on March 6. Sullivan said the student body can expect emails containing information on future elections.“We have to give people two weeks notice because they have to get their materials approved by the elections community, student involvements, and multicultural services so we want to make sure everyone has a clear amount of time,” she said.Election rules remain under discussion, but Sullivan said more information on the election policies and violations will be known shortly.Another exciting event being put on by the Residence Hall Association is the Saint Mary’s prom-themed formal on Jan. 31. Tickets can be purchased at the Moreau Center for the Arts for $20. Ticket sales will begin about a week and a half prior to the formal.Contact Alaina Anderson at [email protected]: SMC Senatelast_img read more

Saint Mary’s Fulbright grantees discuss experiences in Malaysia, Mongolia

first_imgMembers of the Saint Mary’s community gathered Thursday evening for a panel discussion about Fulbright grants as part of the College’s International Education week.Laura Elder, a global studies professor who specializes in cultural anthropology, has received multiple Fulbright grants and now serves as the College’s Fulbright program advisor.“It’s a program for which all U.S. citizens are eligible, across the board,” Elder said. “All you need is a bachelor’s degree and an idea. You do not have to be an academic scholar. It could be someone who’s interested in the arts, medicine [or] science. What you need is an idea and a place where you’d like to work on that idea.”Elder received a Fulbright Scholar grant to study the intersections of Islam, feminism, culture and the economy in Malaysia in 2015.“As part of this research that I was doing — thinking about Islam, feminism and economy — I got to go all around Malaysia and give lectures because Fulbright paid for it,” Elder said.Because of the Fulbright program’s focus on having deep exchanges within a country and its larger surrounding region, Elder was also given the opportunity to visit other places such as Cambodia and Burma.In addition to research and travel, Elder has used her experience in Malaysia to form relationships that could potentially be used to help Saint Mary’s establish more study abroad programs, she said.“I’m [the] Fulbright program advisor,” Elder said. “If you’re interested in these kinds of engagements, we can make them happen.”Eleanor Jones, a Saint Mary’s alumna (’16) and current graduate student in global affairs at Notre Dame, was a Fulbright English teaching assistant in Mongolia from 2017 to 2018.“I went [to Mongolia] in August to do teacher training and what they call survival Mongolian language … and some Mongolian culture and history,” Jones said.Jones taught at the University of Life Sciences in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Most of her students came from the countryside, she said, and many of their families were nomadic.“When they would go home for the holidays, they would have to find their family because they may not be where they left them,” Jones said.Among the parts of her teaching experience she highlighted was an international cooking day at the university, during which she helped make some of the most American dishes she could think of — mac and cheese, sloppy joes and coleslaw.She said she also attended an eagle festival, which occurred in -20 degree temperatures.“I found out I’m allergic to the cold,” Jones said. “Once, I went horseback riding in -20 degrees, and my face broke out in hives. My Mongolian friend was with me and saw my face and picked up snow from the ground and just rubbed it in my face and then wiped it off with a scarf. The hives were gone … because the snow wasn’t as cold as the air.”As the end of her program neared, Jones said she got to travel more.“At the end of the program for Fulbright, we did community outreach,” she said. “For two weeks, we got to travel around the Mongolian countryside to different rural schools and do some dental classes and do some outreach for the American Embassy to promote some of our exchange programs.”An important part of Jones’ experience was looking beyond “pretty pictures” to see the problems in the area, including pollution, she said.“The winter that I was there was worse than it was in New Delhi,” Jones said. “… Mongolians [would] wear the air mask and then pull it down to smoke a cigarette and then put the air mask back on.”Jones said her time in Mongolia was difficult but gave her the chance to learn a lot about herself.Jamie Wagman, chair of the history and gender and women’s studies departments, was a Fulbright Specialist in Morocco in the spring.“In the spring of 2018, Fulbright notified me that the International University of Rabat in Morocco accepted my application, and I was approved for a short-term project,” Wagman said.Wagman said she had close friends from North Africa after hosting students for the Study of the United States Institute at Saint Mary’s, but she had never actually traveled there.“But I never set foot on [the] continent,” Wagman said. “I’d certainly never seen Morocco. I did not know Arabic. I barely knew any French. Still, I couldn’t wait.”Wagman brought her family to Morocco with her for the duration of her program. She said being a mother and an academic poses challenges when it comes to giving proper time and attention to both roles, so bringing her family with her was very important.One focus of her work in Morocco was helping the recently founded university with curriculum and development.“I met with faculty members and administrators to put together a proposal for a dual MBA and masters in gender and women’s studies program,” Wagman said. “I also provided lectures on transgender visibility, reproductive rights, history, sexual purity and stereotyping, and public health history in the U.S.”She said her students were familiar with gender theory, and the university community did not conform to the gender norms she had expected.Wagman said she found the university community to be welcoming and helped her family get acquainted with the city.“I realized how easy it is not to know what to do and not to know who to ask,” she said.Tags: fulbright scholar, International Education Week, Islam, Malaysia, Mongolialast_img read more

Hannaford sued over security breach

first_imgHannaford sued over security breachTwo law firms have filed lawsuits against Hannaford Brothers Company after the grocery chain reported a data security breach of its computer systems that has left its millions of customers vulnerable to credit card theft. The Philadelphia based law firm Berger and Montague, and Bangor based attorney Samuel W. Lanham Junior have filed class action lawsuits against the company in Portland and Bangor, respectively. The lawsuits were filed on behalf of all customers whose credit or debit card information was stolen as a result of Hannafords negligence towards maintaining its computer datas security system.Up to 4.2 million account numbers were stolen by thieves who cracked computers between December 7, 2007 and March 10, 2008. An estimated 1,800 cards have been used fraudulently. Hannaford explained that credit and debit card information was exposed when shoppers swiped their cards at checkout line machines and the information was transmitted to banks for approval. This form of theft is especially unusual, since information was stolen while it was in transit, as opposed to past scenarios where thieves accessed information from data stored in the databases maintained by merchants or card processors.Just last month, while the hacks occured undetected, Hannafords security system was found to be in compliance with the security standards required by the Payment Card Industry, a coalition founded by credit card companies. Hannaford still doesnt know how the hack occurred. The thefts are currently under investigation by the US Secret Service.last_img read more

Champlain College uses $7.7 million in bonding to build new dorm

first_imgChamplain College,Champlain College has financed $7.7 million in new debt through the Vermont Educational and Health Buildings Financing Agency (VEHBFA).  The bond was privately placed with TD Bank. The VEHBFA financing will allow the College to construct a 98 bed, on-campus student dormitory.The College feels its plan to increase the supply of on campus student housing makes the school more attractive to incoming students and increases retention among existing students, thereby improving the school’s financial position.The dormitory project expects to bring $7.6M into the local economy in construction costs alone. The project’s contractor and subs will employ approximately 160- 200 craftsman, with over 60% of the dollar value of construction going to Vermont based sub- contractors.last_img read more

November 15, 2003 Letters

first_img November 15, 2003 Regular News Judicial Appointments In response to the October 1 News article headlined “Bush Seeks Judges with ‘Integrity,’” I found our governor’s comments once again quite alarming. Jeb Bush indicates that he is looking for someone who shares his “judicial philosophy.” Jeb Bush then states his judicial philosophy and that he would appoint someone with a like view, a respect for the separation of powers, and recognize the judiciary has an important role. He then further explains that “they don’t need to be legislating, even if our legislature is imperfect, even if the governor is a crazy son of a gun. The judiciary role is not to clean up after my frailties or the weakness of the legislature.” Obviously, Mr. Bush has never been taught the concept of separation of powers in our form of government. That is exactly what the judiciary’s role is, to clean up after constitutionally imperfect legislation, or as he states, a “crazy” executive branch. It is, to be quite honest, very scary and depressing to know that a man with no concept of our form of government is the head of our state. Marc A. Falco Sarasota November 15, 2003 Letterslast_img read more

A return to collaboration in the credit union movement

first_imgI’ve been in the credit union movement for over a quarter century. Lately, I’ve been getting a sense of something that causes me considerable concern. My sense is that cooperation among and between credit unions is dwindling.The credit union movement is based on a set of cooperative principles established in 1844 by the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers in Rochdale England. Principle number six espouses cooperation among cooperatives. It states that cooperatives serve their members more effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement when they work together on all levels, including locally. This approach would certainly benefit credit unions today when we are under constant attack from the banking community and being hammered into submission by our regulator.But as credit unions have grown over the past quarter century, a turf war has emerged. Credit unions find themselves competing for the same groups of members, while large segments of the population go un-served. Despite CUNA’s claim that credit unions now serve over 100 million U.S. citizens (a claim that I and many others believe is grossly overstated), credit unions still hold less than 10% of total financial institution deposits.Even when credit union CEOs gather in the name of collaboration at industry events or conclaves, some still keep their cards close to their vests. CEOs of credit unions large and small often talk about how shared insight and strategy is limited; how discussions are more superficial and less about truly helping a fellow credit union advance its cause. There’s fear that the credit union down the street might beat us to a corner of the community that we one day hope to control. We engage in a competitive tug of war over our small corner of the financial services market, while the larger share of the populous gravitates to commercial banks and, even worse, predatory providers.There are countless underserved communities filled with “people of modest means” that desperately want and need the services that credit unions are intended to provide. But they are often shunned by banks and preyed upon by other financial services providers. Then, there are the youth. As the future of the country and what should be the future of our movement, they deserve our respect and should receive our attention. But in the absence of our understanding and attention, they are flocking to new, evolving and unconventional financial service providers. Finally, there are the un-served; the forgotten and sometimes rejected segments of our population; needing and deserving of our assistance often because of the predatory financial service providers who seek to separate these people from the few dollars they have.All three of these segments are ripe with opportunity for credit unions to provide viable financial services and, at the same time, operate sustainable institutions. But no single credit union, or selective and exclusive group of credit unions, can serve these groups and, once and for all, establish a true, universal credit union brand across the nation. To be effective, this effort will require a broad, unified effort built on a foundation of collaboration. Are there any takers?The fabric of our cooperative credit union movement is stressed and being torn apart. Personally, I fear that if we don’t do something to change direction, the credit union movement as we have known it will cease to exist in the not so distant future. When that happens, the nation will have truly suffered a tragic loss, for in the wake of such a loss, many in this country will be left to search in vain for reasonable and fairly priced financial services.It’s time to start a revival of cooperation within the credit union movement. Such a revival starts with a willingness to share and collaborate, even with our staunchest credit union competitors. United we stand. And with a focus toward serving an even greater number of people of modest means, the growth and success of any single credit union is success for the entire credit union movement. Who knows? With the right attitude, a shared strategy and a little luck, we might even reach 100 million people before it’s over. 132SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Mansel Guerry Mansel Guerry is President and CEO of CU24, operator of the country’s largest credit union-owned POS and surcharge-free ATM networks, and also provides a range of other services to … Web: www.cu24.com Detailslast_img read more

French private sector schemes cut deficit with €2bn investment gain

first_imgThe scheme’s resources, mainly stemming from contributions from companies, amounted to €63.7bn in 2016. This was an increase of 3.1% from 2015, although this was partly the result of tweaks to previous payment calculations. The “real” increase was 2.3%, according to a statement from Agirc and Arrco.Pension benefits, meanwhile, amounted to €73.4bn in 2016, up by 2.8% from 2015.The technical deficit of €4.3bn takes into account a €5.4bn payment made to the schemes by AGFF, a vehicle set up by the Agirc and Arrco to finance the cost of early retirement. The deficit in France’s pension schemes for private sector employees and executives fell by around €700m to €2.24bn in 2016, helped in part by €2bn of return generated by the schemes’ reserves.The aggregate deficit across the two schemes – Arrco, for private sector employees, and Agirc, for executives – stood at €3bn in 2015.The schemes are part of France’s public pay-as-you go pensions system, covering round 22m active members and 15m pensioners. They are separate schemes for now, but are due to merge under reforms agreed in 2015 as part of an effort to tackle the funding shortfall. The technical deficit, which does not include financial returns generated from the investment of scheme reserves, amounted to €4.3bn in 2016.last_img read more

Slashing P6K SAP cash aid prohibited – DSWD

first_imgNo governmentofficial is allowed to slash the monetary aid for whatever reason, according toAssistant Secretary Rhea Peñaflor. “It is up to thebeneficiaries, pagnakuha na nila angP6,000, kon gusto nila buligan ang pihaknga balay nga wala SAP,” said Peñaflor. Peñaflor,reacting to reports that some local government units slashed the cashassistance then gave the hacked amount to those unfortunately not covered bySAP, said such action was not in the guidelines. She urged SAPbeneficiaries who were coerced into giving up a portion of their cashassistance to register their complaints at DSWD, or text/call the followinghotline numbers: She also revealedhaving asked the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) toinvestigate the reported slashing of the cash assistance of SAP beneficiariesin Maasin, Iloilo – from P6,000 to P5,000. Some SAPbeneficiaries in Barangay Delgado, Maasin claimed they were made by barangayofficials to sign waivers stating they were voluntarily giving up P1,000 fromtheir P6,000 cash assistance and that the P1,000 would be given to those notcovered by SAP in their village. * Globe –09162471194 “Gina-encourage gid sila nga mag-report so that mayevidence kita nga indi kamo gusto buhinanang ginahatag nga P6,000,” said Peñaflor. * Sun –09329333257 * Smart –09474822864 In an interviewover DyOK Aksyon Radyo, Mayor Francis Amboy said he had asked barangayofficials to make it clear to their constituents that giving up P1,000 from thecash assistance must be voluntary only, and that this was for the benefit offamilies not covered by SAP. Everybody inMaasin is affected by the ongoing enhanced community quarantine, he pointedout./PN ILOILO City –Each beneficiary of the national government’s P6,000 Social AmeliorationProgram (SAP) cash assistance must receive the money in full, stressed theDepartment of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). “Under theBayanihan Act, the P6,000 must be released intact by local governments. Fundslashing is prohibited,” she stressed. DSWD Region 6records showed P36,342,000 was downloaded to the local government of Maasin for6,057 target SAP beneficiaries in the town.last_img read more