THREE players will make their Test debuts when Eng

first_imgTHREE players will make their Test debuts when England face France in Friday’s international in Avignon, kick-off 7.45pm.England coach Steve McNamara confirmed debuts for Castleford Tigers half-back Rangi Chase, who will start the match at scrum-half partnering Leeds Rhinos Kevin Sinfield in a strong half-back combination.Brisbane Broncos’ Jack Reed will make his first international start after being named in the centres alongside Hull FC’s Kirk Yeaman, who will be making his first international appearance since November 2007 when he played for Great Britain in a 28-22 victory over New Zealand in Wigan. Wests Tigers Chris Heighington is the third debutant and will start the game at loose forward, with Warrington Wolves Ben Westwood and Wests Gareth Ellis making up the rest of the back row.“The players have trained really well all week and we are looking forward to taking on France as we continue our preparations ahead of the Gillette Four Nations,” said national coach Steve McNamara.“The make-up of the side looks very exciting, with the right blend of youth and experience. There is a great opportunity for the players to really push on and stake a claim for a start against Wales the following week.“I have also been pleased with the attitude of the players that haven’t made the side this week. They are working hard in training and will come into contention as the Four Nations gets underway.”England start their Gillette Four Nations campaign on Saturday October 29 when they take on Wales at Leigh Sports Village (2.30pm) with tickets priced at just £10 adults and £5 concessions.The tournament moves to Wembley Stadium on Saturday November 5 when Wales face New Zealand at 1.00pm before England clash with Australia at 3.30pm.England’s remaining game against New Zealand will be played at the KC Stadium in Hull on Saturday November 12 (6.00pm) and tickets are priced from £20 adult and £10 concession.The 2011 Gillette Four Nations final will be played at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday November 19 (6.00pm) and tickets are priced from £20 Adult and £10 concession.Tickets for the 2011 Gillette Four Nations can be purchased by calling 0844 856 1113 or by visiting England team:1 Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Pats)2 Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton)3 Jack Reed (Brisbane Broncos, South Logan Magpies)4 Kirk Yeaman (Hull FC, Myton Warriors)5 Tom Briscoe (Hull FC, Featherstone Lions)6 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos, Waterhead)7 Rangi Chase (Castleford Tigers, Dannevirke Tigers)8 Jamie Peacock © (Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley)9 James Roby (St Helens, Blackbrook)10 James Graham (St Helens, Blackbrook)11 Gareth Ellis (Wests Tigers, Lock Lane)12 Ben Westwood (Warrington Wolves, Normanton)13 Chris Heighington (Wests Tigers, Umina Bunnies)14 Gareth Widdop (Melbourne Storm, King Cross)15 Adrian Morley (Warrington Wolves, Eccles)16 Jamie Jones-Buchanan (Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley)17 Jon Wilkin (St Helens, East Hull)last_img read more

FIVE Saints have been called into England Academy

first_imgFIVE Saints have been called into England Academy squad for the match against the Australian Institute of Sport at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday December 4 (3.00pm).England Academy coach Dave Elliott guided his charges to a 2-0 series win over the Australian Schoolboys last autumn and he’ll be hoping to see that success continue this year when the AIS arrive at Leigh.“We’re all very excited about getting back into camp and preparing to take on some of the best young players in the world,” he said. “We’re very excited about this group of players and because they are Under-17 instead of Under-18, it will be interesting to see how they cope with making the step up to the Academy level.“It’s a massive test for our lads and even more so because they’ll be playing against lads who are 18 and 19, but we have a lot of belief.“There’s been a feel-good factor in the Academy set-up which started after the series win last year and it’s had a domino effect since then. The new players in the squad have really picked up on that and we want to keep the momentum going now and take it into 2012.“The AIS are a talented outfit. They beat the French Under-17s 40-12 last week and they’re playing the French Under-19s as well so they will have some match practice before they play us. They’ll be a strong and powerful outfit, which is exactly what you’d expect from an Australian team, but we’ve got plenty of talent at our disposal as well.”England Academy Under-17 Squad:Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves, Golborne Parkside)Connor Farrell (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Pats)Connor Spencer (Bradford Bulls, Hunslet Warriors)Danny Yates (St Helens, Waterhead)Dom Speakman (St Helens, Widnes St Maries)George Williams (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Pats)Greg Richards (St Helens, Ulverston)Greg Wilde (St Helens, Golborne Parkside)Jack Cockerham (Bradford Bulls, Castleford Lock Lane)Jack Owens (Widnes Vikings, Farnsworth Hornets)James Cunningham (Hull FC, East Hull)James Duckworth (Leeds Rhinos, Whinmoor)James Saltonstall (Warrington Wolves, Siddall)John Bateman (Bradford Bulls, Dudley Hill)Jordan Baldwinson (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)Liam McAvoy (Bradford Bulls, Broughton Red Rose)Luke Briscoe (Leeds Rhinos, Featherstone Lions)Mark Percival (St Helens, Halton Hornets)Mike Learmonth (Warrington Wolves, Hunslet Warriors)Sam Doherty (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Hunslet Warriors)Stevie Ward (Leeds Rhinos, Hunslet Warriors)Tickets for the match are available the ticket office, online at or by calling 01942 487888. Price: Adults £3, concessions £2. On matchday, cash turnstiles will be in operation. For ticketing enquiries please contact 01942 487888.Hospitality for the match is available at a cost of £14.99 per person. For further information or to book, please contact 01942 487830.last_img read more

SAINTS youngsters reaped the praise of Head Coach

first_imgSAINTS youngsters reaped the praise of Head Coach Nathan Brown following the 48-18 win over Castleford Tigers.Joe Greenwood scored a brace in the win whilst James Tilley became the sixth Academy product to make his debut for the club in 2013.“The young lads did really well,” he said. “They are following the example of the older blokes like Paul Wellens and Jon Wilkin well. They both set a good standard, don’t look for excuses and the young kids go on the back of that.“The key was though to keep the same 9, 7, 6 and 1 together for two consecutive games. Wello will always do a solid job for us and Wilko had control of the game too. Makinson made some improvement at full back and organised the line very well. I also thought Stuart Howarth gave is a lot of improvement – his effort and attitude was terrific.”He continued: “We needed to start well as it is Easter Monday, we’re at home, and they have been on the bus for a while. We got repeat sets early and made it tough for them. But the last 20 minutes showed what type of footy Cas can play when they gel together.”Saints lost Josh Perry in the match – after he scored two good tries – but there won’t be any update on the extent of his injury until later in the week.“Things haven’t gone to plan with injuries,” Brown added. “But on the upside it has given the chance for different people to have a turn. Mark Percival, James Tilley and Joe Greenwood have come in and done well.“Lance Hohaia should be fit next week but apart from that there isn’t anything in the short term. We are going week by week at present but the key is we have to try and keep the key positions sound.“It was our defence that let us down on Friday; our offence went well I the second half and I always thought we would do well today. We improved in a number of key areas.”last_img read more

In partnership with our new partner Simply Doughnu

first_imgIn partnership with our new partner Simply Doughnuts you can win big by competing in our tricky kicking challenge.Simply boot a rugby ball into a giant doughnut pot from a variety of distances to win:20m line – win 10 packs of Simply doughnuts.30m line – win x2 places in VIP hospitality for the next league game.40m line – for a chance to return at the final game of the season to kick again for the chance to win a car for the year from Chorley Nissan.At each game we will select a person at random from those who register to take part and you must be attending the fixture either as a Member or as a match ticket holder.Just email your name and contact details to to enter.last_img read more

New apartments continue revitalization of Wilmington neighborhood

first_img Nearly a decade ago some areas like Greenfield Street on the outskirts of Downtown Wilmington were not a place people say they wanted to be.“Ten years ago for those of you who have been in town, you may remember coming down 3rd street here as you’re coming into town and you’re kinda like not wanting to look to the left as you passed here,” New Hanover County Commissioner, Rob Zapple said. “You know, the old Nesbitt Courts were abandoned, it was beat up. This area here was just an industrial park that frankly was not very attractive.”However, that is not the case anymore.Related Article: Leland man wanted for allegedly hitting bicyclist“I really love living in a neighborhood that’s super friendly, feels extremely safe, I love the gated community,” South Front Rental Community Resident, Shamari Pratt said.Tribute Properties turned the old Nesbitt Courts housing project, which was once condemned, into modern homes. It has been key in helping develop the area near Greenfield Lake, opening South Front II.“Beyond the aesthetics we want to maintain the historical integrity of it all,” South Front Regional Director, Molly McDonough said. “It’s really important to us as a company and also as citizens of Wilmington to make sure we’re doing bigger and better things for our community.”The property used to be the Block Shirt Factory.“The warehouse floors still have the paint marks, and we left that because it add that character,” McDonough said.The warehouse giving it a mix of what developers call vintage charm and urban sophistication.“I really like phase II. Actually when I redo my lease, I might move over to phase II honestly. My apartment is great but they’re just constantly improving the quality, improving the space, and I think it’s going to be a great apartment complex,” Pratt said.South Front II has a total of 54 apartments, but only five of those are still up for grabs. If you are interested, click here. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — More than 100 people celebrated the grand opening of Wilmington’s South Front II, a new housing development. But, it is not just another apartment complex, it is a development in an area in the midst of revitalization.Wednesday Tribute Properties hosted a block party to ring in the new expansion. The event gave people a chance to see how much work developers have done to turn this particular area of the Port City around.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Fire destroys Silver Lake Rd home Saturday

first_img Crews were able to quickly contain the fire in less than 15 minutes, and the fire was completely out in less than half an hour.“We went into a defensive mode, put water on it from the outside, had a report that nobody was inside from the residents themselves, so we went ahead and started fire fighting operations and got it under control pretty fast,” Capt. Colin Simpson of the Wilmington Fire Department said.The cause of the fire is under investigation. Firefighters respond to a house fire on Silver Lake Road in New Hanover County on March 9, 2019. (Photo: Kate Cornell/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Firefighters say a home is a “complete loss” after a fire Saturday night in Wilmington.It happened at a home at 406 Silver Lake Rd. near Monkey Junction.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Irregular engagements and flaws highlighted by NAO at Mount Carmel

first_imgIrregular engagements, contractual design flaws and a weak contract management functions at Mount Carmel Hospital were among the deficiencies noted by the National Audit Office (NAO) following its review of the contract for outsourced services. Such deficiences  dilutevalue for money said the Auditor General Charles Deguara who on Wednesday presented the report  to Speaker Anġlu Farrugia. The NAO found that, as at time of writing of this report, MCH was acquiring this service through a one year negotiated procedure since a new tender was not awarded before the contract’s expiry in July 2018.More than double employedThe report noted that the contract under review originally called for the deployment of approximately 60 full-time equivalents (FTEs), but in fact 134 FTEs were deployed as at September 2018. Moreover NAO  found that 47 of these outsourced personnel, though engaged through a contract for clerical services, have been deployed to carry out non-clerical responsibilities, such as maintenance and security duties.This audit observed that, while personnel engaged through this contract and deployed to work as clerks are delivering an acceptable level of quality in their work, some of those deployed to carry out non-clerical duties are not meeting the expected level of service.This concern is accentuated by MCH’s management’s assertion that it was found extremely difficult to dismiss a number of non-performers given that it itself had referred them for engagement to the service provider.Contract not in line with proceduresThe NAO found the cleaning service was procured through a call for quotations even though it significantly exceeded the financial threshold for this method of procurement; no formal and documented contract was in place; a number of deployed personnel carried out tasks not related to cleaning duties; and the output of the outsourced personnel as well as the quality of the cleaning products being used at MCH were questionable.The full report can be read here.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

More back office duties moved to Gozo

first_imgMGOZ / George ScerriMGOZ / George Scerri The Office of the Commissioner for Taxes in Gozo is giving a valid contribution to the Malta department as regards back office issues, as well as carrying out a full service in Gozo in all matters relating to VAT, income tax and inheritance among others.This was stated by Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna during a visit to the Gozo centre, which is located in Victoria.MGOZ / George ScerriAt present, the centre in Gozo is made up of 50 members of staff whose work includes VAT and grants on various schemes such as weddings and funerals, as well as all online submissions made by notaries based in Malta and Gozo.Minister Scicluna explained initiative of this kind is in line with the government’s principle that Gozitans are able to do work in Gozo without any extra inconvenience.In 2017, every economic sector Gozo recorded an increase in jobs; with the biggest increases recorded in the professional, scientific and technical jobs, as well as the management and support sectors where they reached almost 30%, whereas in the information and communication sectors, growth reached almost 25%.MGOZ / George ScerriMinister for Gozo Justyne Caruana was also present for this visit. She commented that centres such as these not only create jobs for Gozitans, but also increase the range of services available to the Maltese population.“We are seeing that a single project can serve two functions; consequently, it is the government’s commitment to continue working to increasing these types of initiatives. The Ministry is committed to continue to open more offices along well with a review of the agreement we have with various ministries and other authorities to enable us to give better service to the public in Gozo,” she said.Minister Caruana added that the coming weeks will see the start of renovation work at the Ministry for Gozo, including the Department of Inland Revenue.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Nairaland Topples News24 To Become The Most Visited Site In Africa

first_imgAdvertisement Nairaland, which has been Nigeria’s most popular and visited website for several years, has toppled News24 to become  the most visited website in Africa, according to Alexa.Although Alexa rankings have been criticised for their inaccuracy, they still remains the most popular tool to monitor a site’s traffic health in Africa and has been regarded as the web industry’s de facto public resource for information about website’s statistics.  News24, an online news service and  Online arm of the Naspers newspaper group is now in second place.Below is a snap shot of the 10 most visited sites in Africa. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Uber to start using Foursquare data in finding locations

first_imgAdvertisement Uber is going to start using Foursquare data in order to make it easy for drivers to locate some places.This was revealed through a communication sent out by Foursquare today.The company announced that they are now supplying Points of Interest (POI) data to Uber, everything from the names and locations of restaurants to local businesses, through a global, multi-year agreement. – Advertisement – Foursquare will enable Uber to customize, improve and increase the breadth of our non-personal POI location data to enhance Uber’s rider and driver experience. Also, these modifications will also be incorporated into Foursquare’s venue database going forward.Uber joins the likes of Apple, Twitter, Pinterest, Samsung, Microsoft, Yahoo, WeChat and Garmin in relying on Foursquare Places data.Since about a year ago, Uber has also been integrated in the Foursquare app, making it easy to call an Uber from within Foursquare once you’ve found the place you want to go.last_img read more

Mara Plans on Integrating the Nimbuzz Platform With its Existing Mara Platforms

first_imgImage Credit: Windows Central Advertisement African multi-channel platform of online and mobile tech innovations that are designed to connect people across emerging markets; Mara Social Media, has announced this week that it has acquired 9-year-old global platform Nimbuzz Assets, planning on integrating the Nimbuzz platform with its existing Mara platforms including – Mara Mentor; a free online mentoring platform that connects ambitious entrepreneurs and business leaders globally and Mara Jobs; an online job platform in emerging markets including Africa & the Indian Sub-Continent into Nimbuzz Messenger.Mara Mentor and Mara Jobs are available for download to iOS and Android users.As part of this acquisition, Mara gains access to Nimbuzz’s & Holaa’s unified platform as well as their international assets, IP & Database. The acquisition provides a strong foundation for our future growth in emerging markets. Nimbuzz Instant messenger & Holaa has a user base of 200 million registered users spread across India and the Middle East. – Advertisement – Mara will roll-out a new hybrid approach for the Nimbuzz Messenger which would be an amalgamation of content, Incubator platform, smart market place and consumer communities.Through this multi-platform integration of Nimbuzz & Mara’s current consumer facing platforms, the long-term play for Mara Social Media is to enable commerce by growing and amplifying the power of the user base & engagement.Anubhav Nagar; CEO at Mara Social Media in a press statement, said; “We see a strong momentum for consumer messaging apps, which are set to overtake social media apps globally.”Editor’s Note: Mara Jobs is specially designed to service the blue collar and white collar job markets in these regions which are currently hugely fragmented.[related-posts]last_img read more

DAVY RUSSELL Cheltenham Saturday

first_img[dropcap]D[/dropcap]elighted to partner Bless The Wings to a win in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on Friday.The 12-year-old rolled back the years and thoroughly enjoyed himself, staying on like a trooper to go one better than he did in the Festival edition of the race back in March.I’m riding again at Cheltenham on Saturday on the second day of their International Meeting and back  in Ireland for Navan on Sunday where I ride Poli Roi in the featured Grade 2 hurdle on the card.First up, the two rides from Cheltenham.SaturdayCHELTENHAMJAMESON (12.45pm)I was onboard Whisper when he won this last year and am looking forward to trying to follow up aboard Jameson in a race that looks wide open – despite there being just the four runners.The Twiston-Davies stable are in good form and Jameson has now had three starts over fences and run well in all of them – winning a handicap at Sandown and then a close second last time in Newbury when only caught close home.He’s had plenty of experience which will be a big help.It’s likely to be more testing ground but he seems versatile and coped well with soft ground over hurdles last season. Back in novice company he and Sedgefield winner Kalondra both have to give 5lb away but I’m hopeful of a good run in a race that could easily get tactical.Caspian Caviar Gold Cup (1.55pm)I don’t have a ride in the feature but will be keeping a close eye on the top weight Clan Des Obeaux. I beat him in a match earlier this season at Kempton when he made Whisper work really hard off level weights. That was a great effort given Whisper’s close second in the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury. Paul Nicholls is going through a real purple patch so I can see Clan Des Obeaux running a big race off top weight.JOHN CONSTABLE (3.05pm)He’s on a hat-trick after wins at Haydock and Market Rasen before finishing down the field on the flat in the Cesarewitch. He will need a massive effort to keep that run going on softer ground and in a much more competitive field. The New One seems to own this race and bids for a fourth win, he goes really well in the ground. I saw Melon exercising on the track this morning but this looks a much tougher Grade 2 than the one he won at Down Royal last month.I’ll be back later on Saturday for my Navan thoughts on Sunday.YOUR SAYIf you have a question for Davy drop us a line at and we’ll try and include in the next blog…BET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

Star Sports Greyhound Derby FREE BET OFFER

first_imgFREE BET OFFER: We have a great offer as Greyhound Derby sponsors !!!BACK ANY WINNER AT 3/1 OR MORE IN EITHER SEMI-FINAL AND WE’LL GIVE YOU A FREE BET TO THE SAME STAKE.Full terms conditions below.Don’t forget to check out latest outright market and specials at starsports.betTERMS AND CONDITIONS(1) Offer applies to win bets up to £25 and the win part of Each Way bets, TOTE bets are excluded from this offer. If you back a winner at 3/1 or more in any of the Star Sports Quarter Finals we will award you a free bet to your same stake (up to £25).(2) This offer is eligible to new and existing clients that have no restrictions on their account.(3) This offer applies to both Star Sports Greyhound Derby Semi-Finals and not graded or other open races that are run on the same night.(4) In the instance of a dead heat you will be awarded half your win stake as a free bet.(5) Free bets will be credited within 24 hours of settlement of the race.(6) We reserve the right to reclaim any bonus amount that have been rewarded in error.(7) Usual Star Sports Betting Rules and Terms and Conditions apply, these can be viewed at Star Sports reserve the right to withdraw or refuse this promotion at any point.(9) If you have any further questions about this promotion you can contact our customer service team read more

Mayor Bill White chosen as Rices 06 commencement speaker

first_imgShareCONTACT: B.J. Almond PHONE: (713) 348-6770 E-MAIL: Mayor Bill White chosen as Rice’s ’06 commencement speakerSelection pays tribute to White’s vision and leadership as mayor Houston Mayor Bill White will deliver the commencement address to Rice University’s Class of 2006 at ceremonies May 13. ” Mayor White has demonstrated extraordinary vision and leadership for the city of Houston since his election,” said Rice President David W. Leebron. “His performance over the last month in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita showed the nation, and indeed the world, the kind of compassionate and decisive leader we have at the helm in Houston.   He is a leader with national visibility who has enhanced the reputation of our city. The students made a perfect choice.” Katharine Donato, associate professor of sociology at Rice and chair of the selection committee for a commencement speaker, said students on the committee were inspired by White’s accomplishments and found him to be the epitome of a public servant. “Meeting as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was unfolding around us, we all praised Mayor White’s efforts and agreed that he had exemplified the utmost compassion, generosity and preparedness,” Donato said. “As a result, we enthusiastically recommended him to President Leebron to be our next commencement speaker.” White became mayor of the nation’s fourth-largest city in 2004 after winning a runoff election with 63 percent of the vote.   White has a record of accomplishment as a lawyer, federal official, businessman and state and city leader.   An honors graduate of Harvard University, White attended the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, where he was elected editor in chief of its law review and graduated at the top of his class.   President Bill Clinton appointed White to serve as deputy secretary of energy, where he reformed contracting practices to benefit taxpayers and promoted policies to reduce oil imports. White chaired the Texas Democratic Party from 1995 to 1997 before becoming president and CEO of Wedge Group prior to his mayoral campaign.  From 1979 to 1993, White was an attorney and then partner with Susman Godfrey. While practicing law, he taught law at the University of Texas at Austin, authored dozens of publications and testified before Congress on antitrust and voting rights issues.   In 1975, while serving as a young legislative assistant in the U.S. Congress, White helped draft landmark energy legislation. He has served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards, including Baylor College of Medicine, Pew Hispanic Center, Center for Public Policy Priorities, Center for Houston’s Future, U.S. Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board, Advisory Board of Environmental Defense of Texas, Advisory Board of McDonald Observatory and Astronomy, and the Steering Committee of Houston’s Quality of Life Coalition. For many years he served on the Executive Committee of the Greater Houston Partnership and twice served as chairman of its World Trade Division and once as chair of its Environmental Advisory Committee.   White is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is former chairman of the Houston World Affairs Council.   He has served on the board of five public companies. As mayor, White has earned praise for his consensus-based leadership style and his nonpartisanship as he has worked in close collaboration with Harris County Judge Robert A. Eckels in responding to the two hurricanes.   An editorial in the Houston Chronicle praised the mayor’s performance after his first 100 days in office, noting that his “attention to detail — political, emotional, practical — exemplifies the nuts-and-bolts management style he brought to City government.” The committee that recommended White to speak at Rice’s commencement consisted of Donato, chair; undergraduate student representatives Breck Garrett and James Lloyd; and graduate student representatives Sheila Moore and Matthew Murphy. “I am very grateful for the thoughtful work of the committee,” President Leebron said, “and especially pleased that its choice of Mayor White as commencement speaker reflects the strong bond between Rice University and the great city of Houston which is its home.” AddThislast_img read more

Fighting disease atom by atom

first_imgAddThis ShareCONTACT: Mike WilliamsPHONE: 713-348-6728E-MAIL: mikewilliams@rice.eduFighting disease atom by atomRice lab’s atomic map of hepatitis E may reveal strategies to fight itResearchers at Rice University and their international colleagues have for the first time described the atomic structure of the protein shell that carries the genetic code of hepatitis E (HEV). Their findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could mean that new ways to stop the virus may come in the not-too-distant future.Rice graduate student Tom Guu was part of the research team led by Yizhi Jane Tao, an assistant professor of biochemistry and cell biology. Guu said researchers have had a difficult time analyzing HEV, a particularly nasty form of viral hepatitis that flourishes in the developing world, where poor sanitation is common.“About 10 years ago, researchers began to describe what the virus looks like,” said Guu. “They found protrusions and indentations on its surface. While it looked a bit like a buckyball, or a geodesic dome, researchers were still stuck.”Without a more detailed description of the virus, it has been hard to design drugs to stop it. To do that, you have to look at it very closely, as the Rice team has done.Tao’s lab specializes in X-ray crystallography, a powerful technique that can pinpoint the exact location of every atom in a biomacromolecule or a large biomacromolecular assembly. In this case, the assembly was the viral capsid shell, made from a network of individual capsid proteins from a strain of HEV that had been made in insect cells, then purified and crystallized.After two years of intense study, Guu calculated the position of each of the approximately 500,000 atoms that make up the capsid, an icosahedron-shaped particle that roughly resembles a buckyball. The resulting 3-D computer model gives researchers the ability to identify the particle’s host-cell binding sites, through which HEV spreads.”Dr. Tao has already identified potential sites on the new model,” said Guu. “If we can prove these sites to be correct, labs around the world can start to design drugs, called competitive inhibitors, to interrupt the binding process and prevent the virus from attaching to cell receptors in the first place.”Guu compared the virus’s capsid protein to a hollowed-out watermelon. “You have the outer shell of the virus, but you take out its insides,” he said. “It retains its outside properties.” The empty capsid may still bind to a cell, but it contains no genetic material to transfer, rendering it noninfectious and therefore an excellent candidate for a vaccine.”In fact, other researchers have used the empty viral shell to vaccinate monkeys, and even humans. Later on, when the researchers challenged them with the real virus, they discovered that prior exposure to this virus-like particle conferred some sort of protection,” Guu said.“This virus has been less studied than others in the pathogenic human virus domain,” Tao said. “It has been rather difficult to generate a culture in the lab to study how the virus invades the cell. The only way to work with it is to overexpress the protein on its own.”It took nearly six months for Rice researcher Qiaozhen Ye to identify the right construct, isolate the protein and form the first crystals, after the project was initiated through an international collaboration with Jingqiang Zhang at Sun Yat-sen University in early 2006. Former Rice undergraduate student Douglas Mata then successfully reproduced one of these crystallization conditions. They were surprised to discover that, in the crystallization process, HEV capsid proteins extracted from the cultured cells self-assembled into virus-like particles. This in turn may lead to another strategy: “If you can prevent the protein from assembling, you can stop the virus,” Ye said.Tao sees great potential for their discovery. “There are so many things you can do with the structure that I think it will be useful for many years to come.”The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Natural Scientific Foundation of China, the Welch Foundation, the Hamill Foundation and the Kresge Science Initiative Endowment Fund at Rice University.Tao, Guu, Ye, Mata and Zhang co-authored the paper with Zheng Liu and Changcheng Yin of Peking University in China and Kunpeng Li of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China.The paper is online at read more

National womens health advocate Byllye Avery to speak at Rice Feb 7

first_imgShareMEDIA ADVISORYDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJeff National women’s health advocate Byllye Avery to speak at Rice Feb. 7HOUSTON – (Jan. 31, 2013) –Byllye Avery, founder of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, will give a talk on the state of American women’s health as part of the Gray/Wawro Lecture Series Feb. 7 at Rice University.Who: Byllye Avery, founder of the Black Women’s Health Imperative.What: Talk on “The State of Women’s Health Today: An Unfinished Agenda.”When: Thursday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m.Where: Rice University, Duncan Hall, McMurtry Auditorium, 6100 Main St.As founder of the Black Women’s Health Imperative (formerly the National Black Women’s Health Project) and the Avery Institute for Social Change, Avery has dedicated the last 30 years to advocate for and raise awareness of women’s health issues. Winner of the MacArthur Foundation Genius award, she has been honored throughout her career, including with Lifetime Television’s Trailblazer Award, Essence Magazine’s Award for Community Service and the president’s citation of the American Public Health Association. She is an adviser to the National Institutes of Health, was a visiting fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health and is a former faculty member at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.Through the support of Melanie Gray and Mark Wawro, this lecture series recognizes health as a matter of physical and social well-being and highlights gender as a key factor determining opportunity and quality of life. Each lecture brings to Houston a leading scholar whose work inspires deeper understanding of the gender features underlying urgent health concerns and fosters public conversation that can prompt informed action toward a more just world.Hosted by Rice’s Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, the event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and RSVPs are requested to For a Rice University map and parking information, visit of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.-30-Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to  FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

Rices Jones Graduate School of Business to host Rice Marketing Symposium March

first_imgShareMEDIA ADVISORYDavid Ruth713-348-6327druth@rice.eduJeff Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business to host Rice Marketing Symposium March 21              HOUSTON – (March 11, 2014) – Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business will host the seventh annual Rice Marketing Symposium from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 21 in McNair Hall’s Shell Auditorium, 6100 Main St. The theme of this year’s event is “Evolutionary Marketing Strategy.”The theme of this year’s Rice Marketing Symposium is “Evolutionary Marketing Strategy.”The Rice Marketing Symposium provides Houston-area marketing professionals with valuable education and insight into current marketing trends and best practices and strengthens relationships between leading marketing professionals and their respective organizations.Featured speakers will be John Arcidiacono, chief marketing officer at Stewart Title; Teresa Joy, director for North America commercial business intelligence and strategy at Dell; Christine Mastandrea, vice president for product strategy at Whitestone REIT; and Anita Sehgal, senior vice president for marketing and advertising at Academy Sports and Outdoors.Registration for the event is $30 for Rice Marketing Club members; $65 for American Marketing Association (AMA) members, Jones School alumni and Jones Partners; and $85 for the general public. For more information on the speakers, visit event is sponsored by Cameron, Jones Partners, Schlumberger and AMA Houston.Members of the media are welcome to attend and interview the presenters. For more information or to arrange coverage, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at 713-348-6775 or a map of Rice University’s campus, go to Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6.3-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here. AddThislast_img read more

Liberals and conservatives Hardwired to disagree

first_imgShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduAmy Hodges713-348-6777amy.hodges@rice.eduLiberals and conservatives: Hardwired to disagree? New Rice research suggests liberals and conservatives are different people at the level of personality, psychology and geneticsHOUSTON – (July 31, 2014) –Are liberals and conservatives hardwired to disagree? New research from Rice University and the University of Nebraska suggests that this may be the case.In a study titled “Differences in Negativity Bias Underlie Variations in Political Ideology,” researchers suggest that liberals and conservatives may disagree about politics partly because they are different people at the core — right down to their physiology and genetics. Specifically, the researchers found that one unifying factor among the numerous differences between liberals and conservatives is the nature of their physiological and psychological responses to negative environmental features.John Alford, an associate professor of political science at Rice and the study’s co-author, said that the research suggests it is biology — not reason or the careful consideration of facts — that predisposes people to see and understand the world in different ways.“These natural tendencies to perceive the physical world in different ways may in turn be responsible for striking moments of political and ideological conflict throughout history,” Alford said.“Conservatives are fond of saying that ‘liberals just don’t get it,’ and liberals are convinced that conservatives magnify threats; systematic evidence suggests both are correct,” said John Hibbing, lead author and the Foundation Regents Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.The study found that compared with liberals, conservatives tend to register greater negative physiological responses to stimuli and devote more psychological resources to them. For example, when study participants were shown pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS, a database of pictures used to elicit a range of emotions), eye-tracking revealed that conservative respondents fixed their gaze on negative images more rapidly (less than .8 seconds for conservatives versus nearly 1.3 seconds for liberals) and stayed focused on negative images longer (about 2.8 seconds for conservatives versus about 1.9 seconds for liberals).Alford noted that when eyes process images, they move so quickly that their movement is measured in microseconds. He noted that most eyes are still moving even as they appear to be fixated on an image.“The fact that conservatives focused on images for almost an entire second longer than liberals represents a significant difference,” Alford said.The study included a random sample of 340 U.S. adults over the age of 18 from Eastern Nebraska (54 percent female, mean age 45, 55 percent having at least some college experience). The sample included roughly equal numbers of politically conservative, liberal and moderate individuals as measured by a five-point self-identification scale.Subsets of these people, chosen to focus specifically on self-described liberals and conservatives, were shown a series of pre-rated IAPS images, some that had been rated as aversive and some that had been rated as appetitive, and measurements were made of their eye movements and physiological responses. The paper also drew on dozens of pieces of research from experts focusing on the biology, neuroscience and genetics of political ideology.Alford noted that bringing previous studies together with new research paints a bigger picture about how biology impacts political ideology.“A recurring feature of human history is right-left political battles between adversaries who see a very different world,” Alford said. “Empirical evidence is increasingly documenting the psychological and physiological differences across people that can lead them to perceive the world so differently. For example, one person focuses on threats, but when facing the same situation, another person focuses on opportunities.”Alford said it is not surprising that these different visions of reality lead to fundamentally different sets of political preferences.“We see the ‘negativity bias’ as a common finding that emerges from a large body of empirical studies done not just by us, but by many other research teams around the world,” said Kevin Smith, co-author and professor and chair of political science at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. “We make the case in this article that negative bias clearly and consistently separates liberals from conservatives.“By documenting that political differences are not necessarily traceable to misinformation or ignorance on the part of one side or the other, scientific understanding of the broader and deeper bases of political diversity may make it possible for Emerson’s forces of tradition and innovation to live together, if not more profitably, at least less violently.”The study, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, appeared in the June edition of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and is available online at Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.John Alford image courtesy Jeff Fitlow/Rice University. The photo is available for download here.Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just over 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. AddThislast_img read more

Synthetic biologists hack bacterial sensors

first_img Array of test tubes with colorful labels Kathryn Brink Return to article. Long DescriptionRice University synthetic biologists have hacked bacterial sensing with a plug-and-play system that could be used to mix-and-match tens of thousands of sensory inputs and genetic outputs. Those involved with the years-long project include (from left) Sebastian Schmidl, Jeff Tabor, Karl Gerhardt and Felix Ekness. (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)In a project spanning almost six years, Rice bioengineer Jeff Tabor and colleagues conducted thousands of experiments to show they could systematically rewire two-component systems, the genetic circuits bacteria use to sense their surroundings and listen to their neighbors. Their work appears in a study published this week in Nature Chemical Biology.Tabor’s group rewired the outputs of known bacterial sensors and also moved sensors between distantly related bacteria. Most importantly, they showed they could identify the function of an unknown sensor.“Based on genomic analyses, we know there are at least 25,000 two-component systems in bacteria,” said Tabor, associate professor of bioengineering at Rice’s Brown School of Engineering and the lead scientist on the project. “However, for about 99% of them, we have no idea what they sense or what genes they activate in response.”The importance of a new tool that unlocks two-component systems is underscored by the 2018 discovery of two strains of a deadly, multidrug-resistant bacterium that uses an unknown two-component system to evade colistin, an antibiotic of last resort. But Tabor said the possible uses of the tool extend beyond medicine.“This is nature’s greatest treasure trove of biosensors,” he said. “Based on the exquisite specificity and sensitivity of some of the two-component systems we do understand, it’s widely believed bacterial sensors will outperform anything humans can make with today’s best technology.” Return to article. Long DescriptionTo discover the function of a totally new two-component system, Rice University synthetic biologists re-wired the genetic circuitry in seven strains of bacteria and examined how each behaved when exposed to 117 individual chemicals. (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)While the genetic code for the components is easily spotted on a genomic scan, the dual mystery makes it almost impossible for biologists to determine what a two-component system does.“If you don’t know the signal that it senses and you don’t know the gene that it acts on, it’s really hard,” Tabor said. “We know either the input or the output of about 1% of two-component systems, and we know both the inputs and outputs for fewer still.”Scientists do know that SK’s are typically transmembrane proteins, with a sensing domain, a kind of biochemical antenna, that pokes through the bacteria’s saclike outer membrane. Each sensor domain is designed to latch onto a specific signal molecule, or ligand. Each SK has its own target ligand, and binding with the ligand is what starts the chain reaction that turn a gene on, off, up or down.Importantly, though every two-component system is optimized for a specific ligand, their SK and RR components work in similar ways. With that in mind, Tabor and study co-lead author Sebastian Schmidl decided in late 2013 to try swapping the DNA-binding domain, the part of the response regulator that recognizes DNA and activates the pathway’s target gene.“If you look at previous structural studies, the DNA-binding domain often looks like cargo that’s just hitching a ride from the phosphorylation domain,” Tabor said. “Because of that, we thought DNA-binding domains might function like interchangeable modules, or Lego blocks.” Return to article. Long DescriptionKathryn Brink is a graduate student in Rice University’s Synthetic, Systems and Physical Biology program. (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)Tabor said that is because bacterial sensors have been honed and refined through billions of years of evolution.“Bacteria don’t have anything nearly as sophisticated as eyes, ears or a nose, but they travel between very different environments — like a leaf or an intestine or the soil — and their survival depends on their ability to sense and adapt to those changes,” he said.“Two-component systems are how they do that,” Tabor said. “These are the systems they use to “see” light, “smell” the chemicals around them and “hear” the latest community news, which comes in the form of biochemical tweets broadcast by their neighbors.”Bacteria are the most abundant form of life, and two-component systems have shown up in virtually every bacterial genome that has been sequenced. Most species have about two dozen of the sensors and some have several hundred.There are more than half a dozen broad categories of two-component systems, but all of them work in a similar way. They have a sensor kinase (SK) component that “listens” for a signal from the outside world, and upon “hearing” it, initiates a process called phosphorylation. That activates the second component, a response regulator (RR) that acts upon a specific gene — turning it on or off like a switch or up or down like a dial. Jeff Taborcenter_img Share2David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJade Boyd713-348-6778jadeboyd@rice.eduSynthetic biologists hack bacterial sensorsTechnology could enable new medical, industrial, environmental biosensors HOUSTON — (May 20, 2019) — Rice University synthetic biologists have hacked bacterial sensing with a plug-and-play system that could be used to mix and match tens of thousands of sensory inputs and genetic outputs. The technology has wide-ranging implications for medical diagnostics, the study of deadly pathogens, environmental monitoring and more. Sebastian Schmidl, Jeff Tabor, Karl Gerhardt and Felix Ekness Return to article. Long DescriptionJeff Tabor is an Associate Professor of Bioengineering and of Biosciences at Rice University. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)To test the idea, Schmidl, then a DFG Postdoctoral Fellow in Tabor’s group, rewired the components of two light sensors Tabor’s team had previously developed, one that responded to red light and other that responded to green. Schmidl rewired the input of the red-light sensor to the output of the green-light sensor at 39 different locations between the phosphorylation and DNA-binding domains. To see if any of the 39 splices worked, he stimulated them with red light and looked for a green-light response.“Ten of them worked on the first try, and there was an optimum, a specific location where the splice really seemed to work well,” Tabor said.In fact, the test worked so well that he and Schmidl thought they might have simply gotten lucky and spliced together two unusually well-matched pathways. So they repeated the test, first attaching four additional DNA-binding domains to the same response regulator and later attaching five DNA-binding domains to the same sensor pathway. Most of those rewirings worked as well, indicating the approach was far more modular than any previously published approaches.Schmidl, now an assistant professor of biology at the Texas A&M University System’s RELLIS campus in Bryan, left Rice in 2016. Co-lead author Felix Ekness, a Ph.D. student in Rice’s Systems, Synthetic and Physical Biology (SSPB) program, then took up the project, engineering dozens of new chimeras and conducting hundreds more experiments to show the method could be used to mix and match DNA-binding domains between different species of bacteria and between different families of two-component systems.Tabor knew a top-flight journal would require a demonstration of how the technology could be used, and discovering the function of a totally new two-component system was the ultimate test. For this, postdoctoral fellow Kristina Daeffler and SSPB Ph.D. student Kathryn Brink transplanted seven different unknown two-component systems from the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis into E. coli. They engineered a new E. coli strain for each unknown sensor, and used DNA-binding domain swapping to link all their activities to the expression of green fluorescent protein.Long DescriptionIn the final phase of the study, Rice University graduate student Kathryn Brink performed and replicated almost 1,000 separate experiments to isolate the previously unknown function of a bacterial two-component sensor. (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)While they didn’t know the input for any of the seven, they did know that S. oneidensis was discovered in a lake in upstate New York. Based on that, they chose 117 different chemicals that S. oneidensis might benefit from sensing. Because each chemical had to be tested one-on-one with each mutant and a control group, Brink had to perform and replicate almost 1,000 separate experiments. The effort paid off when she discovered that one of the sensors was detecting changes in pH.A genomic search for the newly identified sensor underscored the importance of having a tool to unlock two-component systems: The pH sensor turned up in several bacteria, including the pathogen that causes bubonic plague.“This highlights how unlocking the mechanism of two-component systems could help us better understand and hopefully better treat disease as well,” Tabor said.Where is Tabor taking the technology next?He’s using it to mine the genomes of human gut bacteria for novel sensors of diseases including inflammatory bowel disease and cancer, with the goal of engineering a new generation of smart probiotics that can diagnose and treat these diseases.Additional co-authors include graduate student Karl Gerhardt, former graduate student Brian Landry and former undergraduate research assistants Katri Sofjan, Nikola Dyulgyarov and Ravi Sheth.The research was supported by the National Science Foundation (EFRI 1137266, CAREER 1553317), the Office of Naval Research (MURI N000141310074, YIP N00014-14-1-0487) and the Welch Foundation (C-1856).-30-High-resolution IMAGES are available for download at: Rice University synthetic biologists have hacked bacterial sensing with a plug-and-play system that could be used to mix and match tens of thousands of sensory inputs and genetic outputs. Those involved with the years-long project include (from left) Sebastian Schmidl, Jeff Tabor, Karl Gerhardt and Felix Ekness. (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Kathryn Brink is a Ph.D. student in Rice University’s Systems, Synthetic and Physical Biology Graduate Program. (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) To discover the function of a totally new two-component system, Rice University synthetic biologists rewired the genetic circuitry in seven strains of bacteria and examined how each behaved when exposed to 117 individual chemicals. (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) In the final phase of the study, Rice University graduate student Kathryn Brink performed and replicated almost 1,000 separate experiments to isolate the previously unknown function of a bacterial two-component sensor. (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Jeff Tabor is an Associate Professor of Bioengineering and of Biosciences at Rice University. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)The DOI of the Nature Chemical Biology paper is: 10.1038/s41589-019-0286-6A copy of the paper is available at: R. Brown School of Engineering: engineering.rice.eduRice Department of Bioengineering: bioengineering.rice.eduRelated research stories from Rice:Switch-in-a-cell electrifies life — Dec. 17, 2018 U. announces $82 million in strategic research initiatives — Oct. 16, 2018 aims students toward next-gen bioelectronics — Sept. 4, 2018 give synthetic biologists a head start — Aug. 14, 2018 strategy a boon for synthetic biology — April 12, 2018 U. biologists create toolkit for tuning genetic circuits — Jan. 11, 2018 tools advance bio-logic — Aug. 4, 2014 synthetic biologists shine light on genetic circuit analysis — March 9, 2014 bioengineered gut bacteria, no glory — May 12, 2014 to genes: Why the wait? — Aug. 14, 2012, UW win $2M grant for synthetic biology research — Sept. 16, 2011 on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. AddThislast_img read more

Iowa Police Charge Woman With Election Misconduct

first_imgA woman leaves a voting booth on Election Day November 4, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Show Discussion  LINKEDINPINTERESTREDDITTUMBLRSTUMBLEUPON   Share Share this articlecenter_img Iowa Police Charge Woman With Election Misconduct By The Associated Press October 28, 2016 Updated: October 28, 2016 Des Moines police have charged a woman with election misconduct after officials reported she voted twice.Des Moines police Sgt. Paul Parizek says officers charged 55-year-old Terri Rote with first-degree election misconduct on Thursday after being notified by elections officials that she had submitted two absentee ballots.She was booked into the Polk County Jail and released after posting a bond.Polk County Attorney John Sarcone says it one of the few examples he’s seen of alleged voter fraud in his more than 25 years as a prosecutor.Rote doesn’t have a listed number so couldn’t be reached to comment on the charge.A preliminary hearing for Rote is set for Nov. 7.Rote is registered as a Republican. US last_img read more