Trial soon in ₹400-crore Gujarat fisheries scam

first_imgThe Gujarat High Court on Friday upheld the prosecution of two BJP Ministers of the then Modi government in the State, in connection with the ₹400 crore fisheries scam in which contracts for fishing were awarded without bidding in 58 dams and reservoirs in 2008.Justice J.B. Pardiwala dismissed petitions of Parshottam Solanki and Dilip Sanghani, who challenged a lower court’s order initiating criminal prosecution for alleged irregularities and corruption in awarding fisheries contracts.In 2016, a local anti-corruption court in Gandhinagar had initiated the prosecution after the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) filed its probe report.A detailed probe conducted by the ACB had implicated the former Ministers and officials of the agriculture and fisheries departments.The High Court has now asked both political leaders to surrender before the local court within two weeks and face trial.The High Court acted on a petition filed by Ishaq Maradia, who has been fighting to bring the scam to light.“Both will have to face the trial now. In the case of Solanki, even the Governor has granted sanction of prosecution in the scam,” a government official said after the High Court order.last_img read more

Hardik Patel to join Congress, says Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti

first_imgFace of the Patidar quota agitation in Gujarat, Hardik Patel is set to take a plunge in the politics by joining Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Mr. Patel on Thursday given green signal to join Congress in a meeting of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) held in Rajkot district.“The issue of Hardik’s joining politics was discussed and all members of the PAAS, which is the apex decision making body of the agitation, has given him go ahead to join Congress party,” PAAS member Geeta Patel said after the meeting.His entry into the opposition party will likely take place on March 12 after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting to be held in Ahmedabad.After the meeting, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi and others will address a public rally at Adalaj where the 25-year-old Mr. Patel is likely to be inducted into the party.Meanwhile, amidst political buzz about his contesting Lok Sabha polls, the PAAS members said that Mr. Patel will take that call after joining the party.“He is likely to contest the Lok Sabha polls but from where is yet to be decided,” a person close to Mr. Patel said.last_img read more

Khan fears for McGregor in Mayweather bout

first_imgSEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program Khan’s fears reflect wider misgivings by some in the boxing community who believe Saturday’s money-spinning superfight should never have been sanctioned on safety grounds.The head of the Association of Ringside Physicians, Larry Lovelace, is among those who believe Nevada should not have granted a licence to the fight.“We were very surprised this bout was even sanctioned and was going to be permitted to carry on,” Lovelace was quoted as saying by the New York Times.“The thing I really fear, truly fear, is that somebody’s going to get really hurt.”The Nevada State Athletic Commission, which sanctioned the fight, has a financial interest in the fight going ahead, earning a slice of the gross ticket receipts.ADVERTISEMENT Conor McGregor stands on stage during a weigh-in Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, in Las Vegas. McGregor is scheduled to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing bout Saturday. (AP Photo/John Locher)LAS VEGAS — British boxer Amir Khan fears Conor McGregor could face serious injury as the Irishman prepares to face Floyd Mayweather here Saturday.Former light-welterweight world champion Khan told the MMA Hour television show Friday he believed mixed martial arts star McGregor could be hurt in what he expects will be a one-sided meeting with Mayweather in Las Vegas.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses McGregor has never fought in a professional boxing contest and is a huge underdog against Mayweather, a 49-0 fighter regarded as one of the best boxers in history.“It’s like a tennis player trying to play badminton,” Khan said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“So he (McGregor) should not show too much too balls in this fight. If he starts getting a beating — step out man,” he added.“He needs to think about himself in this fight, because if he gets seriously injured, he might not ever be the same fighter or he might not even fight again.” Amir Khan claims Manny Pacquiao has agreed to Saudi Arabia bout PLAY LIST 01:05Amir Khan claims Manny Pacquiao has agreed to Saudi Arabia bout00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments With the bout expected to bring in more than $60 million at the gate, the commission could earn as much as $1.2 million.But Bob Bennett, the executive director of the commission, hit back at suggestions of a conflict of interest.“As a regulator, I take offense to the fact that we’re approving this fight for fiduciary reasons,” Bennett said. “That’s totally unfair, and it’s simply not true.” SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games MOST READ Read Next LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Phoenix Suns guard Knight to miss season after knee op LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

US home building slides 37 per cent in April

first_imgWASHINGTON – U.S. builders broke ground on fewer apartment buildings last month, pushing overall home construction down 3.7 per cent from March.The Commerce Department said Wednesday that housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.29 million in April, lowest since December. Apartment construction tumbled 12.6 per cent to 374,000. Construction of single-family homes blipped up 0.1 per cent to 894,000.Still, housing starts are up 10.5 per cent from April 2017 on a 7.2 per cent increase in single-family homes, and a 19.1 per cent surge in apartments.Home construction has grown steadily since the housing crash hit bottom in 2012. The pace of homebuilding is still below its long-run average of about 1.5 million a year, which has led to a shortage of homes on the market. Home builders are struggling with higher prices for lumber and other building materials and a shortage of skilled labourers.A healthy job market is giving Americans the confidence to shop for houses. Millennials are increasingly moving out on their own to buy their own homesDemand for housing is strong despite an uptick in mortgage rates: The rate on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate home loan is 4.55 per cent, up from 4.05 per cent a year ago.“We expect housing starts to continue to gain ground through 2018, supported by positive fundamentals such as low unemployment and healthy wage increases, which are expected to offset higher mortgage rates,” Leslie Preston, senior economist at TD Economics, wrote in a research note. “At the same time, tight inventories and rising prices will continue to support homebuilding.”In April, housing starts fell 16.3 per cent in the Midwest, 12 per cent in the West and 8.1 per cent in the Northeast. They rose 6.4 per cent in the South.Building permits, an indicator of future construction, fell 1.8 per cent in April to a seasonally adjusted 1.35 million.last_img read more

SP declares candidate on Ghaziabad Lok Sabha seat

first_imgGhaziabad: The Samajwadi Party (SP) on Friday declared the name of its candidate on Ghaziabad Lok Sabha seat. Party officials informed that the name announced is one among the 16 candidates declared by the Samajwadi party on various Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. As per reports, the list released by the Samajwadi Party, which is contesting the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party of Mayawati, named Senior leader Surendra Kumar alias Munni Sharma as their candidate from Ghaziabad. Also Read – Gurdwara Bangla Sahib bans single use plasticSharma, a native of Muradnagar area is Samajwadi Party’s district president from Ghaziabad. The residents of Ghaziabad had been demanding for a local candidate to be elected as member of parliament from the district. With Sharma’s name in the list, the other competent political parties might get a tuff competition. Meanwhile, the Bhartiya Janta Party and Congress party are yet to declare their candidate from Ghaziabad. The SP-BSP alliance had kept the Ghaziabad Lok Sabha seat for Samajwadi Party.last_img read more

Electronic tongue can taste spicy foods more accurately than humans

first_imgWashington: Scientists have developed an electronic tongue that can ‘taste’ spicy foods more accurately than humans. Spicy food wears out taste buds quickly. This can be a problem for people who make and sell spicy food. “At low concentrations, or low spiciness, it’s hard to discriminate between two samples,” said Courtney Schlossareck, a graduate student at Washington State University in the US. “It’s also hard to tell a difference between two samples at high concentrations,” said Schlossareck. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportThe e-tongue’s ability to differentiate between the spiciness of foods could come in handy for industry, according to a study published in the Journal of Food Science. A problem with testing spicy foods is that people can only test a few samples before their taste buds give out. After a few bites, taste buds can not distinguish differences in taste at all. However, the e-tongue can handle as much heat as any scientist can throw at it and maintain accuracy. “This would allow testers to narrow a selection down to two or three samples for a human tasting panel if they start from 20 different formulations,” Schlossareck said. “That would take days to do with people tasting them,” she said. That is because real people need to wait at least five minutes between samples. Even then, only a few samples can be tested because the spiciness lingers and can throw off results, she said.last_img read more

Bernd Leno has joined Arsenal in €192 million deal

first_imgBayer Leverkusen has sold goalkeeper Bernd Leno to Arsenal for around €19 million, completing Unai Emery’s second major signing as manager.The 26-year-old German international Leno has arrived on a contract that should keep him at the Emirates until 2023, making him the long-term replacement for current number one Petr Cech, reports Four-Four-Two. Emery was delighted after unveiling his latest acquisition, saying: “We are very pleased that Bernd Leno will be joining us,”“Bernd is a goalkeeper of high quality and experience. We are all excited that Bernd has chosen Arsenal and look forward to start working with him in pre-season.” Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.Welcome to Arsenal, @Bernd_Leno – we’re delighted to have you here ?#HeyLeno pic.twitter.com/m4yT22I58V— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) June 19, 2018Leno was a major part of the Leverkusen squad that achieved a 5th place finish in the Bundesliga last year and he has won 6 caps for his country to date – though unfortunately, he did not make Joachim Lowes final squad for the World Cup.After the purchase of Stephan Lichtsteiner last month, Emery has managed to further enhance his options defensively with the signing of Leno, as his new look Arsenal side begins to take shape.last_img read more

Father Joes homeless services during winter months

first_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Deacon Jim Vargas stopped by Good Morning San Diego to discuss how Father Joe’s Villages supports the community throughout the winter and the services it provides.For more information click here. December 21, 2018 Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, Father Joe’s homeless services during winter months KUSI Newsroom Posted: December 21, 2018last_img read more

Crews Respond To Funny River Controlled Structure Fire

first_imgHowie Kent with the Division of Forestry: “The wildland part of it originated from the structure that was burned and it spread into the wildland towards some trees, and we had response from helitack and a couple of engines. We caught the fire at 2/10 of an acre, so just under a quarter of an acre.”  Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Division of Forestry and Central Emergency Services responded to a ‘controlled’ structure fire that spread into wildland area around mile 17 on Funny River Road, on Saturday, June 2. Kent: “An individual thought it was under the general burn permit, but that was not the case. Any kind of burning like that requires Department of Environmental Conservation permitting, which we do not do.”  A burn ban was instituted Sunday morning for the entire Kenai Peninsula due to increased winds and high fire danger. The ban has been temporarily lifted as of this afternoon.center_img An individual was burning a 30ft x 40ft structure that was not covered by a general burn permit. According to Kent, the fire had the potential to be much worse if crews had not responded as quickly as they did.last_img read more

Paper Makers Make More Cuts

first_img“This was an attractive opportunity, and we intend to use the proceeds received at closing to pay down debt,” IP’s chairman and CEO John Faraci said in a statement. The down economy and reduced demand have taken a toll on paper makers. One producer, Sappi Fine Paper North America, announced that it will indefinitely suspend operations at its facility in Muskegon, Michigan, resulting in the furlough of approximately 190 salaried and hourly employees. The suspension is set to begin April 1.The company said the suspension was necessary in light of “significantly lower global demand for coated fine paper products.” As part of a separate cost-cutting initiative, Sappi also said it is eliminating an additional 70 positions company-wide.UPM is suspending production at a pair of its mills in Finland in April. The suspension is said to result in a 880,000-ton per-year reduction of coated and uncoated specialty paper as well as uncoated mechanical magazine paper.Meanwhile, Memphis, Tennessee-based International Paper said it is divesting the equivalent of 143,000 acres of properties located in southwestern U.S. The company is selling 114,000 acres to the American Timberlands Fund for $220 million in cash and donated the remaining acres (worth approximately $55 million) in exchange for a 20 percent investment in the fund.last_img read more

Publishers PressPublishers Printing Compnay LabelPak Division Receives Flexographic Technical Associations Gold Award

first_imgPublishers Press/Publishers Printing Company Label-Pak Division has been awarded the Flexographic Technical Association’s (FTA) Gold Award, as well as the Best of Show Award for Narrow Web Publication for Alpinist Magazine’s “Autumn 2010” cover.The Label-Pak Division was awarded one of six Best of Show Awards given annually. Over 900 submissions were entered for consideration.Other Narrow Web Gold Publication winners include MPI Label Systems’ Bushdoctor Microbe Brew (label) and Labeltronix’s NLN Chocolate Banana Lean Pro Matrix and Eagle Castle 2009 Chardonnay (both labels).The 145-year-old Publishers Press/Publishers Printing Company is based in Louisville, Kentucky. The company currently offers magazine, catalogue and full service commercial printing, distribution, email marketing and label printing.last_img read more

Why are Shah Rukh Khans movies getting flopped lately

first_imgWhy Shah Rukh Khan’s movies are getting flopped at box office.Varinder ChawlaShah Rukh Khan is one of the biggest superstars of India, who not only has a huge fan base in the country, but across the globe. However, the actor’s movies have not been doing well at the box office lately.Although Shah Rukh’s films still take huge opening at the box office, none of the recent movies could create the desired impact at the commercial circuits. In fact, most of his recent films ended up being flop at the box office.His last two films – Jab Harry Met Sejal and Zero were highly anticipated movies as those had strong star cast and were helmed by popular directors. But both the movies failed to impress the audience, and hence, flopped at the box office.Trade analyst, Sumit Kadel in a video put forward a number of reasons that according to him, are responsible for Shah Rukh’s movies going flop at the box office.First, Shah Rukh has been doing high budget experimental movies like Fan and Zero. He feels that such experimental films die at the box office after making a limited earning of around Rs 80 to 100 crore. Sumit said that as SRK has invested too much money on such films, these ended up being flop despite making decent collection. He stated that Fan had a budget of around Rs 90 crore, and Zero was made on Rs 150 crore.Secondly, Sumit feels that the audience is now tired of seeing Shah Rukh in romantic roles. Zero was expected to present him in a different light, but he was again seen romancing Anushka Sharma’s character in the film. He feels the audience does not want to see him in the same old romantic avatar anymore.Thirdly, the trade expert said that wrong kind of directors are being given the responsibility to direct wrong kind of films. He said that most of Shah Rukh recent movies have been directed by people, who are not known for making such films. They have been taken out of their comfort zone in a bid to direct the superstar’s films. Sumit said that light-comedy directors like Maneesh Sharma was given a complex film like Fan, Aanand L Rai was given Zero, which was opposite to his usual genre. Shah Rukh Khan as Bauua Singh in ZeroTwitterThe trade analyst then spoke about the release dates of the King Khan’s films. SRK’s movies are not being released on good dates, and are often clashing with other big movies, he said.Sumit further said that the audience’s faith in Shah Rukh’s movies has come down after repeated flops. His films witness massive occupancy because of his huge fan base, but the collection subsides after the weekend as the word of mouth remains bad.Talking about the corrective measures the superstar should take, Sumit said that he should start choosing more commercial and universally appealing movies. And even if SRK wants to do experimental films, he should restrict the cost of production to around Rs 40 crore.Sumit also said that it is high time that Shah Rukh works with big film-makers like Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Rajkumar Hirani and Karan Johar.last_img read more

Wrestlemania to be telecast in four languages in India WWE breaking barriers

first_imgTriple H has lookalike in Aaron Finch, feels former cricketer Mitchell JohnsonTriple H InstagramSony Pictures Networks India Private Limited (SPN), the exclusive broadcast partner for WWE in India, today announced the launch of its new campaign ‘#WWEKAMAHAYUDH’ ahead of WrestleMania 35 this Sunday. WrestleMania is set to captivate millions of WWE fans across the globe while SPN’s programming and marketing initiatives will make this WrestleMania more accessible to fans across India than ever before.WrestleMania is ranked in the top 10 most valuable sports brands in the world and to further the appeal in India, Sony Pictures Networks has launched ‘#WWEKAMAHAYUDH’, a campaign that showcases the scale of WrestleMania. In Indian mythology, ‘Mahayudh’ signifies the biggest battles with the fiercest warriors and is akin to WrestleMania 35 where the biggest WWE Superstars battle for supremacy on the Grandest Stage of Them All. The #WWEKAMAHAYUDH campaign will have a complete 360-degree rollout across mass media; including television, print, outdoor, radio and digital. Rounda Rousey is expected to face Triple H and Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania 34.Bryan Steffy/Getty ImagesIn 2018, WrestleMania 34 was live telecast in Hindi for the first time. The ever-growing popularity of WWE in South India has fueled the demand for regional feeds for the biggest Sports-Entertainment show of the year. For the very first time in the history of Sony Pictures Networks, WrestleMania will be live telecast in four languages: English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu on SONY TEN 1, SONY TEN 3 and SONY SIX channels across India.In another first, Sony Pictures Networks along with WWE will host special screenings of WrestleMania 35 in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata in partnership with PVR. The screening parties will have many fun activities at an experiential fan-zone where attendees will get an opportunity to win branded WWE merchandise. An on-air contest for Sony Pictures Networks viewers had almost 30,000 fans enter to win the chance for a larger-than-life experience of #WWEKAMAHAYUDH and watch WrestleMania 35 on a 70mm big screen. Ethan Miller/GettyRajesh Kaul, Chief Revenue Officer, Distribution and Head of Sports Business, Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited said, “The ‘#WWEKAMAHAYUDH’ campaign is our way of presenting the strong narrative of the WWE’s biggest event and give more fans across India the chance to enjoy the family-friendly action. There is a demand for WWE in local languages in Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh and that is why we are introducing Tamil and Telugu commentary in those regions. The telecast of WrestleMania 35 in four languages will make WWE’s biggest event of the year accessible to a larger set of audiences. In addition to this, we are increasing fan engagement and for the first time in the history of Sony Pictures Networks in India, we are hosting seven special screenings of WrestleMania 35 across six cities- Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata for WWE fans.”WrestleMania 35 will take place at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 7.last_img read more

ICC 2019 World Cup Lungi Ngidi ruled out of match against India

first_imgThe Proteas have been dubbed as ‘chokers’ for repeatedly failing to perform on the stage of major ICC tournaments. This time around, they were not looked upon as one of the favourites. The sudden retirement of AB de Villiers last year denied them the services of their most dynamic limited-overs player.However, the return to form of Hashim Amla in the practice match and the continuing success of Quinton de Kock gave the Proteas hope of producing a better effort this time than expected. Unfortunately for the Faf du Plessis-led team, while de Kock has failed to convert his good starts into big scores, Amla is yet to get an opportunity as he was forced to leave the field very early on in his innings.The bowlers have also disappointed by allowing both the teams they bowled to in the first two games to score over 300 runs. With Ngidi now also out of the third game of the tournament for Proteas, it’s an uphill task for them to stay in the hunt for the title. Ngidi won’t play against India due to injuryTwitter/ICCIf two losses in two matches are not bad enough, South Africa are now faced with another major problem. One of their key pacemen, Lungi Ngidi, has been declared unavailable for the team’s third match of the World Cup, against Indian on June 5.Ngidi suffered a hamstring problem during his team’s game match against Bangladesh at The Oval. This forced him to leave the field after having bowled just four overs in the game. South Africa were already plagued by injuries with Dale Steyn unable to play the first two matches and still not certain to take part in the fixture against India. On top of that, Hashim Amla suffered a blow to the head during the opening game of the tournament against England which caused him to retire hurt immediately and then sit out of the match against Bangladesh.Dangerous times for SAIf Steyn doesn’t recover and Amla too is unable to get back in the playing XI, South Africa’s campaign, already looking very unsteady, would be in danger of completely going off the rails.last_img read more

Hrithik Roshan Deepika Padukone to star in Ramayana as Ram and Sita

first_imgHrithik Roshan, Deepika PadukoneInstagramHrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone are one of the few Bollywood stars who often manage to sweep fans off their feet with their charming personality be it on-screen or off-screen. So what if the two superstars come together on the big screen? Wouldn’t it be an interesting watch? Well, if the latest reports are to be believed, Hrithik and Deepika are all set to star in Nitesh Tiwari’s mythological drama, Ramayana.According to several reports that have been doing the rounds of the industry, Hrithik would be playing the role of Lord Rama while Deepika is being cast opposite for Sita’s role. The reports further suggest that producer Madhu Mantena wanted to cast Deepika opposite Hrithik to make the project a grand one.It is also being said that Hrithik has almost given his nod to the film and Deepika is reportedly in talks for the role. And if things fall in right place, it will be the first time that Hrithik and Deepika would be sharing screen in a film.The movie is reportedly been bankrolled by Madhu Mantena, Allu Aravind and Namit Malhotra and would be directed by Nitesh Tiwari and Ravi Udyawar.Meanwhile, Hrithik, who is currently basking in the sucess of SSuper 30, will be next seen in War opposite Tiger Shroff and Krrish 4. Deepika, on the other hand, is busy shooting for Meghan Gulzar’s Chhapaak and will be seen playing Kapil Dev’s on-screen wife in Kabir Khan’s ’83 which stars Ranveer Singh as Kapil Dev.last_img read more

Expectant mother among 3 killed in road crash

first_imgRoad Accident logoThree people, including a pregnant woman, were killed in a road crash in Sadar upazila of Rangpur on Thursday.The deceased are Moni Begum, 25, Moni’s aunt Asia Begum, 50, and Tushar, 26, from Dinajpur district, reports UNB.Police said the accident took place around 10:30am when an ambulance carrying the pregnant woman hit a stationary truck as its driver lost control over the steering, leaving the patient and the helper of the ambulance dead on the spot and Asia injured.The tragic incident occurred when Mosaddek Azad along with Moni and Asia were heading to Rangpur Medical College Hospital from Dinajpur.last_img read more

Stages Repertory Theatre Announces Plans To Build A 305 Million Complex In

first_img– / 4Stages Repertory Theatre announced plans to build a three-stage, $30.5 million dollar complex in Montrose. Managing Director Mark Folkes said construction would begin this summer.“This is essentially a doubling in capacity as an organization,” said Folks. “We currently operate in just over 30,000 square feet in our home this move brings us just over 66,000 square feet.”The plan includes building from the ground up and renovating a warehouse they purchased from the Museum of Fine Arts last year.“It was used to store pieces of their permanent collection that were not on display at the museum,” said Folks. “We are re-purposing that warehouse basically to create the support system for the work that we do. So that will be the home of our production workshops, of our rehearsal and education spaces.”He said thankfully, the warehouse foundation is slightly raised. Because in the last three months, potential flooding has been a major topic of conversation.“We’ve been very thoughtful in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey about the design of the facility to ensure that the core of the infrastructure is not sitting on the first floor.” said Folks. “So, things like electrical systems that will live on the second and third story of the structure to protect should we face another catastrophic event like that in this city.”Stages plans to move to the new complex and re-open in fall 2019 without disruption to the performance schedule.  Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Listen 00:00 /01:25last_img read more

Engineering artificial cell membranes to drive in situ fibrin hydrogel formation

first_imgRe-engineering the cell membrane for improved biofunction is an emerging, powerful tool in cell biology to develop next-generation cell therapies. The process can allow users to supplement cells with added therapeutic functionalities. Additional functionalities can include cell homing, surface adhesion or resistance to hypoxia for enhanced cellular capabilities. However, the number of such examples on re-engineered plasma-membranes to activate membrane-bound enzymes that promote the assembly of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins to promote cell functionalities are limited. 3D projection of fibrin gel containing fibrinogen stained with Alexa 594 (red) fibrinogen and hMSCs incorporating sc_thrombin [ox890] stained with Hoeschst 33342, imaged after 60 min of cell associated fibrin formation in cell culture. Credit: Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09763-0. They synthesized the artificial membrane binding thrombin complex using a two-step process to generate an active supercationic thrombin construct (sc_thrombin). Deller et al. also generated a polymer surfactant corona or green halo using electrostatic coupling of glycolic acid ethoxylate 4-nonylphenyl ether (ox890) to sc_thrombin to engineer a third variant sc_thrombin [ox890]. The scientists controlled the reaction conditions (pH, temperature and chemical composition) carefully and monitored the reaction progress using zeta potentiometry across a period of two hours. They observed the activity of thrombin by monitoring/characterizing the increasing turbidity of the fibrinogen solution. They then obtained MALDI-TOF spectra (matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectroscopy) of the native and modified thrombin to show full cationization of the construct. When Deller et al. conducted compression testing of the resultant self-supporting structures, the Young’s moduli were similar to soft fibrin hydrogels, indicating consistency. To investigate thrombin adhesion to cell membranes, the scientists chose a monolayer of bone marrow derived hMSCs (with well-characterized adipogenic, chondrogenic and osteogenic pathways). First, they incubated a monolayer of hMSCs with fluorescently-labelled analogues of thrombin; thereafter, they labeled the hMSCs with a plasma membrane-specific dye and imaged immediately to confirm the thrombin-plasma membrane binding. Using time-lapse confocal fluorescence microscopy, they showed the nucleation and fibrin growth from the cells thereafter. Welding with stem cells for next-generation surgical glues Advanced cell therapies are currently approaching clinical translation in response to an increasing demand for newly modified, cell-specific matrices (scaffolds) for biocompatible therapeutic performance. However, the rational design of matrices is extremely challenging since the cell phenotype and cell fate can be intertwined to a wide-range of scaffold-dependent factors; including cell adhesion, surrounding chemical composition, cell receptor stimulation, surface micro-/nano-morphology and mechanical stiffness. These factors immediately impact cells during in vitro tissue engineering, typically when cells are seeded to adhere on biocompatible and biodegradable scaffolds in the lab, where the scaffolds act as a surrogate extracellular matrix (ECM). Eventually, when the cells grow and differentiate, they can produce natural ECM of their own, to gradually replace the biomimetic scaffold material and form a structurally self-supporting biological entity. Deller et al. also completed cell growth assays to determine relative metabolic activities of labelled hMSCs-thrombin to show the modified cells were without observable cytotoxicity in varying concentrations of thrombin (1 µm to 25 mM). Using confocal microscopy again, the scientists showed the arrangement of fibrin structures emanating from the plasma membrane of the hMSC monolayer, in contrast to hMSCs without thrombin. The work protocol thereby generated a 3-D fibrin hydrogel construct with dense cellular aggregates surrounded by a 3-D fibrin matrix. The scientists also investigated the ability of the fibrin hydrogel system to sustain 3-D cultures for long-term growth; a requisite for tissue engineering, to show hMSC differentiation via adipogenic and osteogenic pathways. To verify the results, the scientists conducted extensive biomechanical tests on the cell types and tested for the upregulation of specific genes SOX9 and RUNX2 involved in chondrogenesis and osteogenesis respectively, using RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction), to substantiate the fibrin hydrogel system sustained long-term hMSC proliferation in vitro.After confirming the membrane re-engineering approach for in lab tissue engineering applications, Deller et al. investigated the ability to produce thrombin coated cells in lab for their injection at a site of injury to initiate a healing response for tissue-engineering applications in vivo. For this, the scientists used an in vivo Zebrafish model system to perform preliminary cell transplant studies. Zebrafish is a model organism, established for fluorescently labelled live cell imaging and thrombolytic and hemostatic processes; suited for the present work. The scientists isolated, labelled and delivered fluorescently labelled primary Zebrafish fibroblasts, labelled with sc_thrombin[ox890] conjugate via microinjection to show cell survival after 3 days at a site of incisional injury. The synthesis and characterisation of the supercationic thrombin-polymer surfactant conjugate. a Schematic showing the electrostatic surface potential of native and supercationic thrombin (sc_thrombin) (PDB; 1UVS) at pH 7, highlighting the anionic (blue) and cationic (red) charged regions. Generation of the polymer surfactant corona (green halo) via electrostatic coupling of glycolic acid ethoxylate 4-nonylphenyl ether (ox890) to sc_thrombin gives [sc_thrombin][ox890]. b Zeta potential (ca. pH7; n = 3) of thrombin as a function of cationization times (0–120 min). Data reported as means ± standard deviation (s.d.). c Rate of fibrinogen solution (3.125 mg mL−1) gelation as measured by changes in turbidity (600 nm) catalysed by sc_thrombin subjected to various cationization times (0–120 min). Data shown as one-phase association curves of raw data. d MALDI-TOF MS spectra (m/z = 3) of native and sc_thrombin (60 min). Credit: Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09763-0 Schematic diagram showing in situ fibrin hydrogel formation from the membranes of bone-marrow derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Artificial membrane binding thrombin constructs comprising supercationic thrombin molecules (white) surrounded by a polymer surfactant corona (yellow) that associates with surface exposed cationic (red) residues spontaneously insert into bilayer regions of hMSC plasma membranes. In the presence of fibrinogen, the membrane-immobilised thrombin catalyses fibrin formation (blue fibres) within the interstitial spaces between the cells giving rise to a self-supporting hydrogel monolith. Credit: Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09763-0 More information: Robert C. Deller et al. Artificial cell membrane binding thrombin constructs drive in situ fibrin hydrogel formation, Nature Communications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-09763-0 D. E. Discher. Tissue Cells Feel and Respond to the Stiffness of Their Substrate, Science (2005). DOI: 10.1126/science.1116995 Tamer A.E. Ahmed et al. Fibrin: A Versatile Scaffold for Tissue Engineering Applications, Tissue Engineering Part B: Reviews (2008). DOI: 10.1089/ten.teb.2007.0435 © 2019 Science X Network In a recent study, Robert C. Deller and co-workers at the interdisciplinary departments of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Engineering, Functional Nanomaterials and Pharmacology, and Neuroscience in the UK, bioengineered a self-contained cell matrix-forming system. In the experiments, they modified the plasma membrane of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) to integrate a new thrombin construct, which gave rise to spontaneous fibrin hydrogel nucleation and growth when supplemented with human plasma concentration levels of fibrinogen in cell culture media. The scientists bioengineered the cell membrane by synthesizing a membrane-binding supercationic thrombin-polymer surfactant complex. Thereafter, they observed cell differentiation in the resulting robust, stem cell-containing fibrin hydrogel constructs to form osteogenic and adipogenic cell lineages. The differentiated cells could eventually secrete fibrin to form self-supported bioengineered cellular monoliths that exhibited Young’s moduli as expected of the native extracellular matrix. The results are now published in Nature Communications. center_img A range of natural biocompatible polymers have produced such transient hydrogel scaffolds for tissue engineering; including chitosan, gelatin and fibrin. Fibrin hydrogels are the most popular among them, since they can be produced readily at room temperature using proteolytic cleavage. Biological fibrin formation occurs in response to injury, culminating from a biochemical cascade of proteolytic cleavage, which converts prothrombin to thrombin and forms a fibrin-hydrogel clot. Fibrin hydrogels can therefore mediate cellular biomolecular functions and regulate the osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation of human stem cells such as hMSCs. They can also be conveniently delivered using syringes, albeit with complications related to reduced cell viability.In the present work, Deller and co-workers first described a method to synthesize supercationic thrombin-polymer surfactant complexes that spontaneously bound to the plasma membrane of hMSCs to drive in situ fibrin hydrogel nucleation and growth. The resulting self-supporting hydrogel construct allowed high levels of metabolic activity as an artificial matrix for effective differentiation of stem cells to form adipogenic or osteogenic cell lineages. The scientists then showed the feasibility of the method of cell functionalization by injecting thrombin-labelled GFP-expressing fibroblasts (GFP: Green fluorescence protein) into a zebrafish (Danio rerio) skin wound model to demonstrate their in vivo biocompatibility for hemostatic applications. Explore further Journal information: Nature Communications In vivo zebrafish injury and [sc_thrombin][ox890] labelled GFP + fibroblast addition. Schematic representation of the in vivo adult zebrafish injury model. a Wildtype (non-transgenic) recipient zebrafish were anaesthetized and a 4 mm incisional injury made on the ventral upper thorax. A lateral view is shown. b Unlabelled or [sc_thrombin][ox890] labelled, FACS sorted GFP+ fibroblasts were injected at six sites around the edge of the incisional injury. At the desired time-point, fish were sacrificed and the tissue surrounding the incision was fixed, imaged and embedded for sectioning. A ventral view is shown. Ventral view of the area of tissue surrounding the incision at 3 dpi following transfer of c unlabelled or d [sc_thrombin][ox890] labelled GFP+ fibroblasts. Similar numbers of cells were retained at all wounds. The red line depicts the approximate position of the incisional injury which is fully re-epithelialized at this stage. Sections through the injury region at 3 dpi following transfer of e unlabelled or f [sc_thrombin][ox890] labelled GFP+ fibroblasts. No obvious differences were observed between wounds containing labelled or unlabelled cells. Arrows indicate the position of the incision. Credit: Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09763-0. Citation: Engineering artificial cell membranes to drive in situ fibrin hydrogel formation (2019, May 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-artificial-cell-membranes-situ-fibrin.html Using macroscopic observations and histological assays, the scientists further revealed that there were no adverse effects between fish injected with engineered or native fibroblasts. However, Deller et al. expect to complete further investigations to understand the precise effects on the specific wound healing response using bioengineered cells in the future.In this way, Deller et al. synthesized and characterized a new membrane active thrombin construct and demonstrated its application to drive in situ fibrin formation in the plasma membranes of stem cells. The scientists showed that thrombin-based fibrin hydrogel constructs prepared using the new protocol supported high levels of cell growth and viability to eventually produce a self-supporting tissue engineered construct. The stem cells were also able to differentiate along the well-defined adipogenic and osteogenic pathways while demonstrating Young’s moduli similar to the native cells to indicate high levels of integration of the modifications. Deller et al. propose to optimize the protocols for further experiments in vitro prior to in vivo translation, to gain further insight to the enzymatic activity of cell membrane bound bioengineered proteins to develop biocompatible, hemostatic products. Evaluating rhodamine (rh) labelled rh_thrombin, rh_sc_thrombin and [rh_sc_thrombin][ox890] on hMSC plasma membrane affinity. Cells labelled with CellMask (green) and rhodamine labelled thrombin (magenta) visualized with confocal microscopy. Video shows the rh_sc_thrombin [ox890] labelled hMSCs supplemented with fibrin gel conjugating with fibrinogen (green) to highlight fibrin formation emanating from the bioengineered cell surface. Credit: Nature Communications, doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09763-0 , Science This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Radio gaga

first_imgFor long, the intimacy of a voice has been pivotal during travel sojourns, walk in the woods, congested drives, after fights with your best friend, in crowded marketplaces or even when you are all by yourself.This is none other than the radio jockeys giving you company with intermittent beauty tips, social issues, interactive debates and of course good, old melodies. With the benefit of hindsight, the radio has changed over the years. From news-based transmissions to today’s all-encompassing caucus of over-zealous listeners participating in a vast range of discourses. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’RJ Siddharth from Big FM, Mumbai, says, ‘The change has been phenomenal. What started as an entertainment based format with the advent of private FM industry in the early 2000 has taken a giant leap to become a revolution involving each and every strata of society perhaps becoming the only format catering to the infotainment needs of individuals. And the biggest change that has happened is the pin-pointed and targeted programming at the most local level in a language they understand and giving a never-heard-or-seen-before opportunity to both the parties – advertisers and consumers (say listeners).’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHe further adds, ‘Today’s radio jockeys should be the voice of the city and the people. It is essential for an RJ to have an opinion. They should be honest and of course need to have an in-depth knowledge on the issue/topics he is talking about. Pretence is something which must be avoided at any cost.’There is a lot to achieve and lot to explore vis-a-vis radio industry and the radio market are concerned. With almost 13-14 years of its existence, there is an ample space to bring in languages, different formats, music and personalities to make an inroad into segments where radio is yet to make its presence felt. Speaking about the essential elements of radio, he says, ‘Understandably, music and especially film music is an essential part of radio and unlike western countries where private FM is immensely popular, film music is a genre in itself and we can’t visualize entertainment without taking it into account. We are working on an infotainment format hence music is there to stay till the time we find a suitable and more effective alternative.’India’s radio industry is undergoing a makeover with the government’s approval to allocate new radio licences through e-auction and increased foreign investment limit. This move will boost advertising revenue in the long-run, promote business consolidation and lower expansion cost, according to analysts and industry experts.According to RJ Koushik Bhattacharya from Kolkata, ‘There has been resurgence in the popularity of radio. The radio boom has thrown open a number of avenues and opportunities for young, energetic and enthusiastic people who have an ear for music and a passion to entertain. This has become a wonderful career for different professionals. At the same time, day by day, number of listeners is increasing from different sphere of life.’For RJ Prateek Sharma, who works with BIG FM 92.7 in New Delhi, the Indian radio industry is expanding by leaps and bounds. ‘The government is also being very helpful in the expansion of this medium. Norms are changing, reach is increasing, more and more people are tuning in, and many more brands are associating with the radio as a medium. Good and better days lie ahead certainly.’Prateek is one person who has worked in the international market and feels, ‘I think the response has been very encouraging. The kind of music that Indian radio stations play and the content that we provide, there is a big audience, ready to consume it. And if that music and content helps them to stay in touch with their Indian roots, what more can one ask for!’last_img read more

No city of joy for refugees

first_imgTo realise his aspiration of becoming a pure “Kalkatta-wallah”, the protagonist of this tale of a fervent, pervading desire for belonging and acceptance is advised to follow four key rules – believe that you know everything, accept rumours are more important than facts, make a grand gesture every now and then and most importantly, have a low enough ambition to be envious of those with higher ones. But can he follow them without irrevocably losing his identity and moorings and will he survive the transition? Also Read – World War I’s forgotten violent aftermath and toxic legacyThis is the premise of acclaimed story-teller Kunal Basu’s latest work – a searing, visceral narrative of the life and aspirations of the under-privileged outsiders in a metropolis and how their success is only a thin line away from disgrace or worse!Jamshed Alam or Jami, who with his parents and polio-affected sister exchanged one limbo – a refugee camp for Bihari Muslims in Dhaka optimistically called “Geneva” – for one marginally better, a chaotically, colourful Kolkata tenement thanks to an uncle who is a ruling Communist Party leader in the city and his zari factory-running mother, has one fixed dream – becoming a pukka Kalkatta-wallah. Also Read – Enid Blyton’s adventures get even more mouth-wateringWith his childhood entanglement with a local gang leading to an unceremonious early exit from school, he becomes an assistant to a passport agent, who is also engaged in some dodgy work. A chance encounter with a lonely, high-society woman during the understaffed Durga Puja holidays at the travel agency where he is working seems to open the door to a world of luxury and privilege and more so after she introduces him to a friend who runs a massage saloon with “other benefits” and he takes to this work with gusto.  A world of the rich and famous – and the kinkily dangerous – is now accessible but also heightened is the danger from jealous rivals, police, and most from the world he grew up in.After he meets again and befriends a former co-worker – a single mother with a sick boy, Jami’s various worlds – family, neighbourhood and the gang, massage and other ‘services’ clients, and the world of culture he sought to become part of and succeeded to some extent though at a personal cost – collide after the old familiar things change in 2011, the cat-and-mouse games of terror and security rear their head, and he is at the marked risk of losing all that is dear to him and has painstakingly worked for, and even his very existence. Playing key roles in his chaotic journey are a multitude of well-drawn characters – his ulcer-suffering father, his hard-working but determined mother, his clear-thinking but sarcastic sister Miriam, Uncle Mushtak, the Communist party fixer (who is later dethroned), Jahanara, the local temptress, Rakib, the near psychotic gang-leader, Rajesh Sharma, the travel agent whose apprentice he becomes, Ani Mitra, his first Bengali friend and fount of wisdom for the city, Mrs Goswami who changes his life, Rani, the hijra who manages the massage parlour, and Mandira and Pablo, who not only make an empathetic human but also ultimately endanger him.Basu’s narrative is not a very comforting – in fact, is most unsettling – account of aspirations of migrants to become an anonymous part of a big metropolis where they land up in the hope of sustenance and once managing to climb out of the flotsam and eke out a basic livelihood, not matter how deprived and how filled with small and big acts of treachery towards loved ones and others, to dream to achieve some part of the opulently plush lifestyle they see around them and help to facilitate for the better-off.A key plot is also the basic absurdity of subcontinent’s affairs – farcial had it not been tragic – that runs through the principal protagonist’s origins. His family fled their ancestral home to a nearby part of a new country where they could be safe and prosper, but soon found themselves unwanted and under a new threat when this itself became a new country, and were forced to seek refuge again in the very country they originally fled from – and in a city which is anything but a City of Joy for them.It is a picture of Kolkata at its most unsympathetic and unwelcoming – and from a viewpoint most should thank for being spared – but still necessary viewing. Don’t shirk it! IANSlast_img read more