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The Evolutionary Perspective
Daily Archives: April 6, 2020
Posted: April 6, 2020 at 5:08 pm
Sweeping postcard views are made real in this two-bedroom, two-bathroom North Coogee home.
A private oceanfront sanctuary with an outlook to be envied, the apartment is one of just two on its floor in the sought-after The Islands complex.
Realmark North Coastal Projects Sales Associate Jason Kuriata believes prospective buyers will fall in love with the coastal sunsets and the ocean vistas.
Breathtaking panoramic ocean views are on offer from your very own balcony, with sliding louvres which capture all three of our famous islands Garden, Carnac and Rottnest in the very same picturesque snapshot, he said.
Tucked away off a secluded beachside slip road, this complex will leave you in absolute awe.
The Islands is a secure, gated community featuring immaculate gardens and a crystal-clear lap pool.
Inside, the airy open-plan living, dining and kitchen area seamlessly link to the balcony via bi-folding doors.
The kitchen is luminous with glistening stone benchtops, glass splashbacks and premium stainless steel appliances, with ample storage available in the understated white cabinetry.
Both bedrooms feature built-in robes and open to the outside.
The sumptuous master bedroom is neatly tiled and comprises of his and hers built-in wardrobes, balcony access with its own slice of the mesmerising sea view, and a fully tiled ensuite bathroom, Mr Kuriata said.
Twin vanities add personality and class to the master ensuite, which also includes a deep bathtub and frosted-glass screening.
The second bedroom is carpeted for comfort and connects to the generously sized courtyard area, which conveniently doubles as a laundry and drying space.
The beachside property comes with a host of desirable extras, including ducted reverse-cycle air-conditioning, an integrated Bose audio system, lighting controls, a CCTV security system and more.
Basement storage and dual parking is available, and the complex also includes a private lobby.
Mr Kuriata said the homes dream oceanfront location is just footsteps away from South Beach and all its amenities, including coastal cafes, playgrounds, retail precincts and a dog beach.
Contact: Realmark North Coastal, Jason Kuriata, 0438 990 690.
Global Quantum Dots Market Research Report 2020-2025 – Breakdown by Healthcare, Optoelectronics, LED Lighting, Solar Modules, and Other End-use…
Posted: at 5:07 pm
DUBLIN, April 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The "Quantum Dots Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2020-2025" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.
The global quantum dots market is reached a value of US$ 3.2 billion in 2019. Looking forward, the market is expected to reach US$ 10.5 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of around 22% during 2020-2025.
Quantum dot solar cells (QDSC) convert the sun's energy into electricity, thereby increasing the amount of electricity produced by the solar cells. This aids in the production of solar energy in a cost-effective manner while reducing the amount of wasteful heat generated in the process.
Moreover, the size and composition of tiny, semiconducting quantum dots make them suitable for a wide variety of applications. For instance, in the medical sector, these nanoparticles are used for different biomedical applications, including medical imaging and biosensors.
Besides this, quantum dots also enable researchers to study cell processes and improve the diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases such as cancer. The ongoing research on the usage of quantum dots in displays, ranging from small to large television screens, which would consume less power than that is used in current displays, is also driving the market growth. Researchers are also dedicating resources for finding efficient and universal methods for the synthesis of Graphene Quantum Dots (GQDs) with high stability, tunable PL emission wavelength and controllable surface properties.
Furthermore, QDs have gained immense popularity as their integration with various nanomaterials, such as noble metal nanoparticles, carbon allotropes, upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs), metal oxides and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) has provided new opportunities and possibilities in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology.
The report has also analysed the competitive landscape of the market with some of the key players being Altairnano, InVisage Technologies, LG Display, Nanosys, Nanoco Technologies, Nanophotonica, Navillum Nanotechnologies, Ocean NanoTech, Osram Licht AG, QD Laser Inc., Quantum Material Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Sony Corporation, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., etc.
Key Questions Answered
Key Topics Covered
2 Scope and Methodology
3 Executive Summary
4 Introduction4.1 Overview4.2 Key Industry Trends
5 Global Quantum Dots Market5.1 Market Overview5.2 Market Performance5.3 Market Forecast
6 Market Breakup by Processing Technique6.1 Colloidal Synthesis6.2 Fabrication6.3 Bio-Molecular Self-Assembly6.4 Viral Assembly6.5 Electrochemical Assembly6.6 Others
7 Market Breakup by Application7.1 Medical Devices7.2 Displays7.3 Solar Cells7.4 Photodetectors Sensors7.5 Lasers7.6 LED Lights7.7 Batteries & Energy Storage Systems7.8 Transistors7.9 Others
8 Market Breakup by Material8.1 Cadmium Based QD8.2 Cadmium Free QD
9 Market Breakup by End-Use Industry9.1 Healthcare9.2 Optoelectronics9.3 LED Lighting9.4 Solar Modules9.5 Others
10 Market Breakup by Region10.1 North America10.2 Asia-Pacific10.3 Europe10.4 Latin America10.5 Middle East & Africa
11 SWOT Analysis11.1 Overview11.2 Strengths11.3 Weaknesses11.4 Opportunities11.5 Threats
12 Value Chain Analysis
13 Porters Five Forces Analysis13.1 Overview13.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers13.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers13.4 Degree of Competition13.5 Threat of New Entrants13.6 Threat of Substitutes
14 Price Indicators
15 Competitive Landscape15.1 Market Structure15.2 Key Players15.3 Profiles of Key Players15.3.1 Altairnano220.127.116.11 Company Overview18.104.22.168 Product Portfolio 15.3.2 InVisage Technologies15.3.3 LG Display15.3.4 Nanosys15.3.5 Nanoco Technologies15.3.6 Nanophotonica15.3.7 Navillum Nanotechnologies15.3.8 Ocean NanoTech15.3.9 Osram Licht AG15.3.10 QD Laser Inc.15.3.11 Quantum Material Corporation15.3.12 Samsung Electronics15.3.13 Sony Corporation15.3.14 Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/hu5982
Research and Markets also offers Custom Research services providing focused, comprehensive and tailored research.
Research and Markets Laura Wood, Senior Manager [emailprotected]
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SOURCE Research and Markets
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Posted: at 5:07 pm
Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean famous for its turquoise waters, giant tortoises and wondrous birds, has extended protection to 400,000 square kilometers (154,000 square miles) of its seas, an area twice the size of Great Britain. The move fulfills the countrys long-standing pledge to safeguard 30% of its marine waters.
Seychelles marine ecosystem is the foundation that the economy is built upon, with fisheries and tourism being the primary pillars of our economy, President Danny Faure said on March 26 at the signing of a decree that created 13 new marine protected areas (MPAs). The people of Seychelles have a direct dependence on our ocean resources for food security and livelihoods.
The terrestrial area of the Seychelles 115 islands is only about 460 km2 (180 mi2), about three times the size of Staten Island in New York City, but the countrys exclusive economic zone (EEZ) spans 1.37 million km2 of ocean, twice the size of Texas. The challenge for the country is to prevent the unsustainable exploitation of its biodiversity, which it projects as its biggest selling point to the world.
The declaration of new MPAs was facilitated by a debt-for-nature deal proposed by the U.S.-based NGO The Nature Conservancy (TNC). The scheme came on the back of the 2008 financial crisis, when the Seychelles government was unable to pay back its foreign creditors, defaulting on its sovereign debt. Debt restructuring aims at avoiding default by changing the terms of repayment. The agreement with TNC allowed the country to free up $21.6 million in foreign debt, provided it ramped up protection of its marine resources and took climate adaptation measures.
While debt-for-nature schemes have been used before to protect terrestrial ecosystems, most notably in Latin America and the Caribbean, this is the first for marine areas. Nearly half of Seychelles new MPAs will be no-take zones, where economic activity such as fishing, mining or drilling will not be allowed. In the other half, called Zone 2, economic activities will be allowed, subject to regulation.
The island republics marine biodiversity is threatened by overexploitation, pollution generated inland, habitat degradation because of offshore oil exploration and extraction, as well as rising sea temperatures.
The hope is that the expansion will safeguard the habitats and nesting sites of endangered turtles, the last remaining population of dugongs in the Indian Ocean, preserve coral reefs, and also allow the country to invest in making the fisheries sector more sustainable.
Among the expected beneficiaries of these efforts are shark species. Shark fishing is an ancient practice in Seychelles, where till the 1940s, there were frequent sightings of hammerhead sharks (belonging to the family Sphyrnidae) and tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier)*.
Sharks have a strong cultural importance in Seychelles, and I think that marine protected areas are a critical tool for shark conservation locally, said James Lea, CEO of Save Our Seas Foundation, a Swiss group that works extensively in Seychelles. Lea added that there is indirect evidence to suggest that MPAs help shark species. Aldabra Atoll has been protected since the 1980s and has an abundance of marine life, including sharks. Blacktip reef sharks [Carcharhinus melanopterus] and sicklefin lemon sharks [Negaprion acutidens] in particular are thriving there, he said.
The Aldabra Atoll, the worlds second-largest coral atoll and a UNESCO world heritage site and special reserve, is arguably a success story in terms of conservation. It is home to the largest population of giant tortoises in the world, as well as more than 300 other species of animals and plants. The reserve extends into the sea, 1 km (0.6 mi) from the shore. Its remote location and long history of protection have combined to keep it safe.
A new MPA has now been designated around the atoll, whose boundaries extend to Tanzanias EEZ to the west and Madagascars EEZ to the south. It is one of five MPAs that are no-take zones.
Until 2012, only 0.04% of Seychelles marine territory was part of its MPA network. Under the debt-for-nature deal, reached in 2015, the government announced the first round of expansion in 2018, when 210,000 km2 (81,000 mi2) of marine areas were designated MPAs.
Convincing fishers and hoteliers
Expanding Seychelles MPA network is a very important and major first step in the conservation of Seychelles biodiversity, but it is only the first step, Rabia Somers and Vanessa Didon, from the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles, said in a statement to Mongabay. The conservation of Seychelles biodiversity ultimately depends on multiple factors, such as enforcement, public-private partnerships, and innovative management models.
The announcement was finalized after consultations, more than 200 of them, over six years to decide which areas will be protected and to what extent. The main challenge for the government and conservation NGOs was to convince people who rely on marine resources that the new protections would benefit them. Buy-in from the fisheries sector, both small-scale and large-scale, and the tourism industry will be crucial for the MPAs to work, experts said.
With its many privately owned island resorts, Seychelles often hosts the rich and famous, and sometimes even royalty. Prince William and Kate Middleton honeymooned on one such retreat on North Island; George Clooney and Amal Clooney also vacationed in Seychelles after their wedding.
The environment is core to the tourism product they offer, Wilna Accouche from the local NGO Green Island Foundation told Mongabay. They have to make sure that that the tourism activities do not damage the environment.
The NGO helped to get the marine area off another private island, Denis Island, designated as a protected area. While convincing hoteliers that they should conserve the most attractive features of their resorts is easy, Accouche said that getting them to recognize that their inland activities affect marine ecosystems is more challenging. This includes the discharge of waste, construction activity, and reclamation projects to create artificial islands.
Fishing communities maintain they are not solely to blame for the loss of marine species. Recreational fishing is common and unregulated in Seychelles. Marine stocks are also affected by rising sea temperatures and water pollution.
According to Accouche, a big problem in the effective management of marine areas is the mistrust between fishing communities and the government. For years, fishers have grappled with restrictions being imposed from the top. The conservation objectives of the new MPAs will only be achieved if fishers believe it is in their best interests to comply with restrictions, she said.
To minimize the new protections impact on fishing communities, some NGOs like Marine Conservation Society Seychelles work with communities to create temporal protected areas (TPAs) that will permit some activity during parts of the year. Seychelles beaches serve as seasonal nesting sites for green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata). TPAs restrict certain activities during certain critical time periods and also mitigate threats faced by sea turtles during the nesting and hatching season; poaching of nesting females and disturbance of nests and emerging hatchlings, Somers and Didon from the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles said.
Enforcing the new protections
Regulating activities in Zone 2 of the recently announced MPAs, where activities are allowed but subject to regulation, will be more difficult, experts said.
The National Information Sharing and Coordination Centre (NISCC) in Seychelles, together with other agencies, has been monitoring the countrys EEZ and surveilling MPAs. The agency will implement a five-year marine spatial plan that will be rolled out next year, covering not just the MPAs but the entire EEZ of Seychelles
The five-year plan would include using more innovative methods to monitor MPAs, such as satellites and drones, said Leslie Benoiton, who heads the NISCC. The plan will also focus on developing human resources and capacity for overseeing MPAs and educating and sensitizing communities, he said.
A technology-intensive approach, however, will come at a cost.
The funds secured through the debt-for-nature deal might not be enough to guarantee protection. To effectively manage such an extensive MPA network would require somewhere between $75 and $106 per square kilometer every year, according to an estimate from Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT), the entity created to channel the funds freed by the debt deal to the Seychelles government. At the top end of that range, the cost to effectively manage the massive swath of area now under protection would cost about $42 million a year.
Though the Seychelles government also sets aside funds for marine management, it is not nearly enough, so it is seeking grants and loans to secure the MPAs. To ensure effective coordination between the multiple agencies involved in overseeing the now-complete MPA network, the government is establishing a new body, the Seychelles Ocean Authority. It is also considering imposing an environmental levy of $10 on tourists a small price to pay for those seeking solace in a country where you can literally book your own slice of beach.
(Banner Image: One of the small rocky islands that make up the Seychelles archipelago. Image courtesy The Ocean Agency)
Malavika Vyawahare is a staff writer for Mongabay. Find her on Twitter: @MalavikaVy
FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.
[* Editors note: The article has been updated to clarify the kind of shark species that were sighted off the Seychelles coast.]
Posted: at 5:07 pm
Facebook pages and groups have been created to provide networking opportunities among Ascension Parish residents.
During a time of social distancing, many are utilizing social media to keep in touch during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Facebook pages and groups have been created to provide networking opportunities among Ascension Parish residents.
Save Ascension Businesses, with some 800 followers, was created by St. Amant Fire Chief and Constable James E. LeBlanc as a platform to support local businesses during the economic downturn.
Local businesses are the heartbeat and backbone of small towns like our own, and they need our help in times like these, the pages pinned post read.
Daily posts feature a variety of businesses from around the parish, sharing special offers and inventory updates.
Louisiana has 437,437 small businesses, which account for 99.5 percent of the state's businesses, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The state has 917,466 small business employees, a representation of 53 percent of Louisiana's employees.
Aside from promoting small businesses in the area, others have been sharing general information of interest to locals.
COVID-19: Surviving in Ascension Parish was created to provide networking, resources, and moral support. It had more than 1,750 members over the weekend.
Mary Wesley Babin and Buddy Legnon serve as administrators for the group.
"Buddy and I have tried to keep this site very clean and informative," Babin said. "It's been a pleasure having everyone on this site."
One member has posted a prayer every day for members, she said.
Also, the group plans on holding a drawing for an Ascension Parish family or single parent currently unemployed.
"We will be giving away some seasoning, groceries, and essentials," Babin said.
Tara Broussard said the group is the only one she uses for local information on coronavirus.
Though some comments to posts have been snippy, overall she's found the group informative and encouraging.
"No group is perfect, and I don't expect it to be," she said.
Lori Thacker said she follows just one group to avoid an overload of coronavirus information.
"I've learned a lot about COVID-19 and how it's affecting my community. This is the only group like this I'm in," she said.
Jenny Brignac Kocke has been impressed with the level of civility of the members.
"It's probably one of the most civil ones in all of Facebook!" she said. "Which isn't an easy task. It's very informative, as well as helpful."
Lydia Brown also found the group's posts helpful.
"I get a lot of information here," she said.
Belinda Guillot and Cathryn Stanley both agreed that the group was a great resource.
"It keeps those in our area on top of the latest information," Stanley said.
This group is very informative, and I like that its local, Kari Millet added.
Deanna Roberts Bourgeois has been checking in every day.
"Using technology to stay connected as a community can be powerful," she said.
‘Father of American Aeronautics’ once flew over the mountains of Lycoming County | News, Sports, Jobs – Williamsport Sun-Gazette
Posted: at 5:07 pm
Before he became known as an innovator in the field of hot air ballooning, John Wise, who is considered the Father of American Aeronautics. ascended to the skies over Lycoming County.
On the 24th of July, 1841, John Wise, the famous balloonist, made an ascension from Williamsport which attracted the attention of people from miles around, historian John F. Meginness wrote in an account of the flight.
Wise, a native of Lancaster, was 33 years old when he made his flight here. According to Meginness, it was the balloonists 30th ascension.
The earliest record of a successful manned hot air balloon flight was in 1783 in France, where a balloon made by the Montgolfier brothers first across the Parisian skyline carrying two men about a little over five miles before landing safely. Even before that, man had explored the idea of hot air lifting a balloon off the ground, similar to a Chinese lantern.
According to biographical account in the Lancaster history, John Wise had been interested in flight from an early age. An anecdote on Lancasters historical site said that as a young boy he had even tied his cat to a homemade parachute and observed the cats safe descent from a local church steeple.
Wises first ascension was made in 1835, six years before he soared over the mountains south of Williamsport. In his lifetime Wise was reported to have made 462 balloon ascensions.
The flight here was witnessed by hundreds of spectators, according to Meginness.
The balloon rose gracefully to a great height and then sailed over Bald Eagle mountain and was soon lost to view, the account of the flight stated.
His descent wasnt without drama, as Meginness related it.
He descended in White Deer valley, landing in front of the house of Mr. Deeter, badly frightening two women, who were the only inmates. Mr. Wise succeeded in convincing them that he was not an evil spirit, when they came out and viewed the wonder, Meginness wrote of the event.
Wise with being a part of a balloon corps during the Civil War, flying over Arlington, Virginia, to spy on Confederate forces, according to historical accounts. Wise is also believed to have made the first air mail delivery in 1859.
Unlike most bloodstains of that time period, Wise is reported to have approached ballooning from the perspective of a scientist, conducted experiments in atmospheric pressure and pneumatics during his flights. He was reported to be one of the first people to notice the air flow over the ocean, which we know now as the jet stream, according to a history of aeronautics.
His last flight, in 1879, ended with his balloon landing in Lake Michigan, where it is believed that Wise drowned.
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Posted: at 5:07 pm
Metro Inc. (T.MRU) hit a new 52-week high of $60.05 Monday. METRO announces a donation of $500,000 to Feed Ontario and United Way, along with a pledge to match customer donations of up to $500,000 in support of its Together We Can toonie-fundraising campaign. Starting today, until April 30, METRO will be appealing to the generosity of its Metro and Food Basics customers inviting them to donate a toonie at checkout in stores.
METRO is committed to helping Ontario communities during the COVID-19 pandemic who are struggling with food insecurity and other essential services which also include eldercare and mental health support
Arbor Metals Corp. (V.ABR) hit a new 52-week high of 40 cents Monday. No news stories available.
Blockchain Holdings Ltd. (BCX:CNX) hit a new 52-week high of 86 cents Monday. No news stories available.
BELLUS Health Inc. (T.BLU) hit a new 52-week high of $15.96 Monday. No news stories available.
Goodfood Market Corp. (T.FOOD) hit a new 52-week high of $4.01 Monday. No news stories available.
Sona Nanotech Inc (SONA:CNX) hit a new 52-week high of $2.08 Monday. No news stories available.
Wisconsin health care workers worry limited access to paid leave will allow COVID-19 to spread – WITI FOX 6 Milwaukee
Posted: at 5:06 pm
MILWAUKEE -- "If I become sick, I don't want to even say anything," one nurse said.
In that single sentence, she summarized what seven Wisconsin nurses, doctors, and medical assistants spent hours describing to FOX6. The employees, who work for various area health systems, expressed fear that their employers' policies will discourage sick medical professionals from staying home, while encouraging the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, health system administrators say they're trying to protect their workers while ensuring they have enough staff to respond to the current health crisis.
"My number one concern is obviously the safety of the public," the nurse said.
'How would I know?'
"I'd been controlling the fever pretty much with Tylenol and ibuprofen, but I was still getting night sweats," an Advocate Aurora medical assistant said. "And then I was actually short of breath."
It took the medical assistant four days to get tested for COVID-19, and four more to receive the negative results.
"But they did say since I had a little bit of a cough, I had to remain home until I was three days symptom-free without any fever control medications," he said, adding that he used ten days of personal time off, or PTO, during the time he followed instructions and stayed home.
"I just said, 'Hey this is what happened and I'm just looking to see if I can get time back for the quarantine pay,'" the medical assistant said. "And the response was, 'Did you have a confirmed work case exposure?'"
"How would I know?" he asked.
How it works
Employees gave FOX6 copies of Advocate Aurora, Froedtert Health, Froedtert South, and Ascension policies about COVID-19 leave. The pandemic is forcing health systems to change their policies frequently, sometimes daily, but employees provided the most up-to-date paperwork they had.
While the health system leave policies differ in several ways, each outlined a manner in which employees would be paid if exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case on the job.
But with strict restrictions on who can get tested for COVID-19 and delays in receiving test results, health care workers say they're usually unsure if, when, or where they were exposed. That means medical professionals who show symptoms of COVID-19 could end up at home using PTO or going without pay.
What's the big deal?
If sick leave is meant to be used when employees are sick, why does it matter if doctors, nurses, and medical assistants need to use that leave when exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms from unknown sources?
Every health care worker who spoke to FOX6 expressed concern that, in this pandemic, requiring medical professionals to use their often-limited PTO or go without pay will discourage them from staying home if they're sick, and instead encourage the spread of COVID-19 to their vulnerable patients.
Advocate Aurora's policy dated March 30, 2020 says employees receive "quarantine pay" if exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case at work. "Personal exposure" requires the use of PTO; employees are permitted to "borrow" against future PTO. Previous versions of the policy specified that employees would need to take unpaid time off in the absence of PTO.
Froedtert South, which includes Froedtert Kenosha Hospital and Froedtert Pleasant Prairie Hospial, has a policy saying employees who test positive for COVID-19 due to workplace exposure will be asked to fill out a worker's compensation claim, while employees with COVID-19 symptoms will "follow standard call-in/attendance procedures.
The policy says employees who test positive for COVID-19 from "personal exposure" and are not eligible for benefits will be unpaid.
"If I call in and tell you I have a sore throat or a cough, I get quarantined for 14 days without pay," a Froedtert South nurse said. "So there are many people that are the sole breadwinners of their family. So do you really think they're going to tell the truth and say, `Uh, yeah I'm not feeling very well?'"
"It will spread," a different Froedtert South nurse said. "A hundred percent. Because we're not being tested and we're not being compensated if we get infected. So who wants to go up there and be like, 'Oh, I feel like I have shortness of breath and I woke up today with a fever and it's kind of hard for me to breath,' when I know I'm going to be sent home without pay? People are going to come to work and it's going to spread."
"Were not protected in that sense," she continued. "And that is scary. That is downright scary."
Froedtert Health, which includes Froedtert Hospital, Froedtert West Bend Hospitals, and Froedtert Menomonee Falls Hospital, has different human resources policies. Those documents say staff will continue to receive full pay if they test positive for COVID-19 or are quarantined, but the paperwork provided to FOX6 does not detail what happens to employees who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
Ascension's policy says employees are paid for work-related exposure, and use a combination of PTO and/or short-term disability for "social-related" exposure.
None of the health system policy documents provided to FOX6 specify exactly how the workplaces will determine whether an employee's potential COVID-19 exposure is work-related.
"How are we supposed to feed our kids, our family?" a Froedtert South nurse asked. "Pay our mortgage, our bills? Buy food? Everybody there wants to protect the public. But unfortunately, we just arent having the means presented to us."
Health systems respond
FOX6 asked Advocate Aurora, Ascension Wisconsin, Froedtert Health, and Froedtert South for copies of their most updated COVID-19 leave policies. None of the health systems provided the documentation, nor did they answer specific questions about how those policies work.
Instead, company spokespeople sent statements outlining how they are trying to provide additional resources for their employees during the pandemic. Employees who work closely with administrators but were not authorized to talk to the press about this issue emphasized the difficult balance of protecting employees and ensuring there are enough staff members to handle future predicted surges in COVID-19 cases.
An Aurora Advocate spokesperson said:
"We are grateful for the unwavering commitment of our team members during this public health crisis. Our approach to supporting team members who need to be away from work continues to evolve as the crisis unfolds. The care of our team members is always top of mind, and weve made available a number of resources and introduced new programs, including an enhanced PTO policy and an innovative partnership with the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, to support them during these challenging times."
An Ascension Wisconsin spokesperson emailed:
"The safety of our patients and caregivers is our utmost priority as we all work to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and care for all those in need. As cases of COVID-19 increase, Ascension Wisconsin continuestoaggressively respondtothis evolving situationtoensure we are protecting our patients, associates and the communities we serve. We are constantly reassessing and updating our policies and guidelinesin accordance with CDC recommendations."
"As part of our commitment toour associates, Ascension Wisconsin is helping associates who are requiredtowork during this national crisis who may have additional unexpected dependent care needs during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Ascension Wisconsin Foundations has developed a statewide resource for all Ascension Wisconsin associates who areinneed of childcaretoconnect themto those needed and available resources."
In an email, a Froedtert Health spokesperson outlined efforts to expand the number of staff working from home, create a platform to connect employees with child care, and provide additional resources for mental health and emotional health needs.
Froedtert South did not respond.
"I used to be in the military, I get the whole situation," the Advocate Aurora medical assistant said. "They need to have the people they need to do the work. But they also need to protect the people who do the work."
Go here to read the rest:
Posted: at 5:06 pm
HAMBURG, GERMANY / ACCESSWIRE / April 6, 2020 / Evotec SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) today announced that the Company has established a dedicated site for research and development of gene therapy-based projects: Evotec Gene Therapy (Evotec GT) which will start operations with a strong team of gene therapy experts at an R&D site in Orth/Donau, Austria.
Evotec GT is an integral part of Evotecs integrated drug discovery platform and complements the Companys existing expertise. This strategic addition marks an important step towards Evotecs long-term vision of becoming a fully modality-agnostic drug discovery and development partnership company.
The team in Austria have worked together for many years and applied their research within gene therapy to different gene therapy-related technologies as well as various indications. The scientists have deep expertise in vectorology and virology as well as disease insights, in particular in hemophilia, hematology, metabolic and muscle diseases. Evotec GTs fully operational site will enable the Company to perform dedicated services in the field of gene therapy along the value chain of its customers from Pharma and biotech as well as foundations and academia.
Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, commented: We are delighted to initiate our new gene therapy platform and step into this field, which perfectly fits into our business strategy going forward. In recent years, precision medicines based on cell and gene therapies have emerged and are predicted to grow significantly. Gene therapy is a promising approach in the development of genetic medicines for patients, especially for inherited and rare diseases. Finding the best candidate agnostic of modality for any given disease biology will ultimately bring forward the best medicine for patients.
Dr Friedrich Scheiflinger, EVP Head of Gene Therapy at Evotec, said: We are proud to join the growing Evotec team to add the highly promising modality of gene therapy to drug discovery projects. Our team has performed research in the field across different technologies and therapeutic areas for many years and we look forward to leveraging our expertise as part of the truly impressive, modality-agnostic Evotec platform.
About Gene Therapy
Gene therapy is a technique that modifies a persons genes to treat or prevent disease by introduction, removal or editing of genetic material, specifically DNA or RNA, within the cells of a patient. Gene therapies aim to replace a disease-causing gene with a healthy copy, inactivate a disease-causing gene, introduce a new or modified gene or interfere on an expression-regulatory level to support treatment of a disease. Through this modification of gene expression, gene therapies can increase levels of disease-fighting proteins or reduce levels of disease-causing proteins within the cell. Since direct insertion of genes into cells is still very inefficient, gene delivery is facilitated by vehicles which are most often of viral origin. The structure of these viral vectors has been modified to accommodate for the therapeutic gene and to render the vector non-infectious. Depending on the indication and the affected tissue, the technique can be either applied ex-vivo or in-vivo, i.e. with or without removing the cells from the patients body for the therapeutic procedure.
According to various analyst reports, the gene therapy market was valued at approx. $ 500 m in 2018 and the market is expected to reach > $ 5 bn by 2025 with an impressive CAGR of ~34% over the forecast period. Furthermore, rapid and significant progress in the molecular and cellular biology arena, driven by technological advancements in genomics and gene-editing tools, has contributed to an increasing number of approved gene therapies as well as an expanding pipeline. According to the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM), by the end of the second quarter of 2019, there were more than 700 clinical trials ongoing globally.
ABOUT EVOTEC SE Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academics, patient advocacy groups and venture capitalists. We operate worldwide and our more than 3,000 employees provide the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery and development solutions. We cover all activities from target-to-clinic to meet the industrys need for innovation and efficiency in drug discovery and development (EVT Execute). The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuronal diseases, diabetes and complications of diabetes, pain and inflammation, oncology, infectious diseases, respiratory diseases, fibrosis, rare diseases and womens health. On this basis, Evotec has built a broad and deep pipeline of approx. 100 co-owned product opportunities at clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages (EVT Innovate). Evotec has established multiple long-term alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, UCB and others. For additional information please go to http://www.evotec.com and follow us on Twitter @Evotec.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of Evotec as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
Contact Evotec SE:
Gabriele Hansen, SVP Corporate Communications, Marketing & Investor Relations, Phone: +49.(0)40.56081-255,
 Sources: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/gene-therapy-market; https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/at-339-cagr-gene-therapy-market-size-to-surpass-usd-518-billion-by-2025-2019-09-16; https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/gene-therapy-market-to-garner-6-21-bn-globally-by-2026-at-34-8-cagr-says-allied-market-research-300975194.html
SOURCE: Evotec AG via EQS Newswire
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Siddhartha Mukherjee and Ken Burns Present PBS Premiere of ‘The Gene: An Intimate History’ – Columbia University
Posted: at 5:06 pm
Q. You and Burns have worked together in the past. Could you describe the collaborative process of turning a book into a documentary?
A. First of all, its an incredible collaboration. When Ken and I launch a film we begin with talks about the book, both of us excited and aware that we are wading into the unknown. We take long walks through Central Park and ask questions outside the nitty gritty of the film: What is the mood of the film? What are the primary messages were trying to convey? I was lucky to work on The Gene with largely the same production team that adapted my first book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, including the incredible filmmaker Barak Goodman (JRN86).
A film is different from a book. In The Gene we wereable to include a trove of historical footage and humanize the inspiring stories of patients and their families seeking cures for their genetic disease. People like Nancy Wexler, professor of neuropsychology at Columbias medical center, who has spent most of her life on an odyssey to find the gene for Huntingtons, a disease that killed her mother. Luke Rosen and Sally Jackson, parents on a tireless quest to raise awareness for their daughters rare degenerative disease. These personal stories help genetics come to life, but they also highlight how much we still do not know. I hope people will find the mood of our film somber, thoughtful and hopeful.
Q. For $200 a person can order a profile of his or her genome that provides ancestral information, as well as genetic health risks. Do you see this as a positive societal development?
A. The question you have to ask is do we want to live in a world where you can send a sample of saliva and find out that you have a 10 percent or 20 percent risk of developing breast cancer in the next 30 years. This information can be useful, motivating you to adopt more positive health behaviors. But it also marks you, changes you. It can change your relationship with yourself, your body. When you decide to test for future risk you are also, inevitably, asking yourself, what kind of future am I willing to risk?
Q. Could genetics play a role in how vulnerable a person is to contracting COVID-19, and whether that person is more at risk of dying from the illness?
A. This is one of the great mysteries of this infection. Young, healthy people are dying, even if most serious cases occur in the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. There are multiple studies trying to unravel why some people infected with SARS-Cov2, the virus that causes COVID-19, fall seriously ill, while others show only mild or nonexistent symptoms.We are finding a correlation between high viral loadthe amount ofvirus present in any sample taken from a patientand more severe illness.
As I argued recently in The New Yorker, we have done a good job measuring the spread of the virus across populations, but it is now time we learn more about how SARS-Cov2 behaves in the body. This requires large-scale efforts to collect the DNA of people and the virus that they are infected with. One example of a study might be taking the DNA of those with serious underlying disease and comparing it to the DNA of those with mild or asymptomatic cases. We need to determine whether genetic variations among humans affect how susceptible individuals are to COVID-19 infections as rapidly as possible.
Q. What would you like audiences will take away from the film?
A. We hope The Gene will help people understand that the story of the revolution in genetics that is transforming medical science is also the story of what makes us who we are. Wed like to see the film spark a national conversation. The National Institute of Healths National Human Genome Research Institute, our outreach and education partner, is planning many activities. We are in conversations with people in cities across the country, including policymakers and science educators, right down to the primary school level, to take part in discussions and host screenings.
In the next few weeks NIH will launch an interactive digital platform that will go beyond the book and film, adding discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic. After you watch the film, please keep up with us on Twitter to learn more about these activities. Visit @DrSidMukherjee, @KenBurns and @WETA (our producing public media station). Stay tuned.
How ‘viral load’ and genetics could explain why young people have died from coronavirus – The Independent
Posted: at 5:06 pm
The coronavirus pandemic has hit older people far harder than those who are younger, but scientists are yet to fully understand why this is.
Many of the elderly people who have died have had pre-existing health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, all of which make fighting the virus more difficult, but many have not had any such health problems, and occasionally the virus has caused the deaths of younger, apparently healthy people.
Researchers around the world are racing to learn how the virus behaves, which health factors put people most at risk, and are trying to work out whether there may be genetic traits that could mean some people respond to the infection differently to others.
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
There are various theories to suggest why the virus is so unusually and devastatingly selective.
Some scientists have suggested the greater the amount of virus that infects an individual known as the viral load could make a large difference to how the body is able to respond to infection.
Put simply,the larger the dose of the virus a person gets, the worse the infection is, and the least promising the outcome.
A parallel school of thought is that genetic variations between humans differences in our DNA could affect how susceptible an individual is to the virus.
And another candidate for why apparently healthy young people are dying is they may have a highly reactive immune system, which is sent into overdrive fighting off the virus. In such a scenario, a huge inflammation storm could inadvertently overwhelm vital organs such as the lungs.
None of the theories compete with one another, and aspects of all of them, as well as innumerable other factors, could be at play in an individual case.
No hype, just the advice and analysis you need
Dr Edward Parker of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, explained how a high viral load can impact humans. He said: After we are infected with a virus, it replicates in our bodys cells. The total amount of virus a person has inside them is referred to as their viral load. For Covid-19, early reports from China suggest the viral load is higher in patients with more severe disease, which is also the case for Sars and influenza.
The amount of virus we are exposed to at the start of an infection is referred to as the infectious dose. For influenza, we know that that initial exposure to more virus or a higher infectious dose appears to increase the chance of infection and illness. Studies in mice have also shown that repeated exposure to low doses may be just as infectious as a single high dose.
He added: So all in all, it is crucial for us to limit all possible exposures to Covid-19, whether these are to highly symptomatic individuals coughing up large quantities of virus or to asymptomatic individuals shedding small quantities. And if we are feeling unwell, we need to observe strict self-isolation measures to limit our chance of infecting others.
Professor Wendy Barclay, the head of the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College London, said existing knowledge of viral load means healthcare workers can be at greater risk of infection.
In general with respiratory viruses, the outcome of infection whether you get severely ill or only get a mild cold can sometimes be determined by how much virus actually got into your body and started the infection off. Its all about the size of the armies on each side of the battle, a very large virus army is difficult for our immune systems army to fight off.
So standing further away from someone when they breathe or cough out virus likely means fewer virus particles reach you and then you get infected with a lower dose and get less ill. Doctors who have to get very close to patients to take samples from them or to intubate them are at higher risk so need to wear masks.
Genetic differences between those infected
Scientists are currently preparing to scour Covid-19 patients genomes for DNA variations that might indicate why some people are more at risk than others.
The findings could then be used to identify groups most at risk of serious illness and those who might be protected, and this knowledge could then inform the hunt for effective treatments.
A huge effort to pool DNA research from patients around the world is now on, with the ultimate goal being to build a body of evidence from people with no underlying health issues, but who have reacted differently to infection by the virus.
One promising strand of research into why some people are more susceptible to the coronavirus is on the gene variation for the cell surface protein angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), found on the outer membranes of cells, and which the coronavirus uses to enter cells in the lungs and airways.
Variations in production of ACE2 could make it easier or more difficult for the virus to enter and infect cells.
We see huge differences in clinical outcomes and across countries. How much of that is explained by genetic susceptibility is a very open question, geneticist Andrea Ganna, of the University of Helsinkis Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, told Science Magazine.
Another fascinating line of inquiry is whether different blood types could lead to differing levels of susceptibility to the disease.
A Chinese research team reported in a non-peer-reviewed article that people with type O blood may be protected from the virus, and those with type A blood could be at greater risk.
Were trying to figure out if those findings are robust, Stanford University human geneticist Manuel Rivas told Science Magazine.
The first results from the investigations into genetic differences and susceptibility are expected in less than two months time.