Australian Camp Diary – Jessica McCall

first_imgFollowing the weekend’s training camp in Sydney, Australian Women’s Open squad member, Jessica McCall tells us about how the camp went and the squad’s excitement in the lead up to the 2015 World Cup. I always get excited when it comes to an Australian Touch Camp because although we all live pretty far apart, when we come together it feels like we see each other every week. Although when everyone arrived, we hadn’t seen each other since we were playing against each other at State of Origin a few months ago so we had the usual catch up with everyone while preparing for the start of the camp. While Belly, Phil, Swingers and Marto got the formalities out of the way about what to expect in the next six months, we had a few fresh faces that have been included into the squad which is always great to see. Hannah, Laura, Tamika and Sammy were included into the Women’s squad after an amazing year of Touch from all four of them. Belly also had asked three Under 18’s Australian reps to train with us which gave them in insight into the Australian Open’s Team and hopefully where they’ll end up in next couple of years.While we all knew that we had a fitness test before the camp, everyone was a bit on edge, especially me, as we all knew Belly likes our team to be physically fit as he likes a running game. While there were a few nervous faces and a few panic attacks, the test got under way. We ran for eight minutes, had an eight minute break and then ran for eight minutes again. While it doesn’t sound like much, the test is quite physically demanding and even more mentally demanding. Luckily I had Hannah Dyball helping me every step along the way but the whole team really put in a massive effort which I think comes down to our attitude to retaining the World Cup. With fitness out of the way, Belly decided to put us into two teams: Cows and Ducks. The Ducks were practically any squad member under 20 years of age versus the Cows which we classified as the older but more experienced.  Although the Cows didn’t possess the youthfulness or the speed of the Ducks, the Cows had experience and experience won us the first challenge of line attack. The young ones were punished by Phil with V-sit holds and the young ones were determined to get back at us. Dummy-half running was next on the agenda and my team, the Cows thought it would be a good idea to give the Ducks some confidence and let them win this challenge, although this punishment would happen after our 20 metre Touch game. 20 metre Touch is a variation of Beach Touch and the Old Cows were once again winners so we ended up doing the punishment which was planks. The day was over after Ice Baths and everyone is a little sore and sorry but a very successful first day.We arrived on Sunday quite early and as everyone is booting up, Laura Peattie realises she forgot her boots. So lucky a Touch friend lived close by and her dad Ray Ray drove her boots out to her. The morning session revolved around driving patterns and yet again another challenge occurred with the experienced Cows winning again and the young Duckies had to army crawl the whole length of the field. This was one challenge us Cows knew we had to win as we probably wouldn’t be able to stand up if we had to do this punishment.We then had a proper game against the West’s Division One Men’s team which really showed us how far we’ve come in the space of two days. Our driving, talk and defence was amazing and the commitment shown by every player was world class. When the game finished we all knew we that we had something special within this squad and every player could pull on the Green and Gold jersey without any hesitation. If only we were allowed to take 20 players to the World Cup as I believe everyone deserved a spot to take the field in the World Cup.Our whole team would like to thank Belly, Swingers and Phil for such an organised camp and we all know the direction in which the Australian Women’s Open team is headed in. To Marto, thanks for being our Touch mum while at camp and knowing what we are going through really helps us more than you know. To TFA, thank you for your time and for organising a great camp for the entire Open squads. Related LinksAussie Camp Diarylast_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

Elon Musk proposes Los Angeles tunnel to Dodger Stadium

first_imgLOS ANGELES, Calif. – Traffic-weary baseball fans could someday travel to and from Dodger Stadium on a public transportation system underneath Los Angeles — if Elon Musk’s latest bold plan comes to fruition.The billionaire’s Boring Company tweeted a proposal Wednesday for autonomous, zero-emissions electric sleds that would run through a tunnel between the stadium and a location in the city’s Hollywood area.The company says the so-called Dugout Loop system would be privately funded and not require tax money.Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted that it’s exciting to see innovative ideas aimed at reducing traffic on LA roads.A proposal to build a gondola from Union Station to Dodger Stadium was announced in April.Musk is currently building a test tunnel from his SpaceX rocket plant to a point near Los Angeles International Airport.last_img read more

Usable groundwater rapidly depleting in north east India IIT study

first_imgNew Delhi: India’s northern and eastern states saw a rapid decline in usable groundwater between 2005 and 2013, raising an impending risk of severe droughts, food crisis, and drinking water scarcity for millions of people, researchers have found.A team from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, West Bengal and Athabasca University, Canada, compiled the first estimates of usable groundwater storage (UGWS) at the state-level across all of India using both in situ and satellite-based measurements. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Groundwater-level data was used from 3,907 in situ monitoring wells across the country and the total UGWS was estimated between 2005 and 2013. The estimate shows rapid depletion of UGWS in Assam, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal. In these areas, increases in agricultural food productions have resulted at the cost of non-renewable loss in groundwater volume at an alarming rate, the researchers wrote in the study published in the journal Advances in Water Resources. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KOn the other hand, southern and western Indian states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chattisgarh show replenishing usable groundwater storage trends. Earlier works by the government agencies have only been able to estimate the total groundwater, only a part of which is usable for human purposes, said lead researcher Abhijit Mukherjee, Associate Professor Hydrogeology, Department of Geology and Geophysics, IIT Kharagpur. “The estimates show rapid depletion of usable groundwater storage during 2005-2013 in most of northern parts, losing 8.5 cubic kilometre per year (km3/year) of total groundwater, and eastern parts which lost 5 km3/year of total groundwater,” Mukherjee told PTI. He emphasised that more than 85 per cent of the groundwater usage in India is linked with irrigation abstraction practices. India is the largest user of groundwater in the world. It uses an estimated 230 km3 of groundwater per year — over a quarter of the global total. Groundwater being an essential natural resource for irrigational water supply during non-monsoonal months, large-scale depletion could have unforeseen consequences in future food security, said Mukherjee. “Underground water is definitely declining in Rajasthan at faster rate. There are pockets in UP which have seen a dip in groundwater table as well,” agreed Dr N C Ghosh, former Head of Hydrology, National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Roorkee, who was not involved in the study. The problem, Ghosh said, is compounded by over-exploitation of the ground water. “About 85 per cent of rural drinking water needs and 65 per cent of irrigation needs and 50 per cent of urban drinking water and industrial needs are fulfilled from the ground water,” he said. Mukherjee noted that rapid depletion in UGWS would accelerate the decline in food production and availability of drinking water, two of the prime goals of achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030. “More than 120 million people would get affected only in the Gangetic states,” he said. The study combined borehole data from Central Ground Water Board, rainfall data and satellite data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), a pair of satellites launched in 2002. A northeastern state like Assam, which was regarded always as water-affluent, has lost two per cent of its usable groundwater resource, and is at the brink of suffering drought and famine in impending years, said researchers, including first author Soumendra N Bhanja from Department of Geology and Geophysics, IIT Kharagpur. PTIlast_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

To Beat The Warriors You Gotta Draft Like The Warriors Good Luck

SA2008-1115Kawhi Leonard17.027.4 DET1994-973Grant Hill18.126.3 Despite those odds, plenty of teams manage to look smart in the draft every year. The Warriors themselves had a terrific series of drafts between 2009 and 2012, when they picked up Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in rapid succession. That group generated about 25 more points of VORP than they should have based on where they were picked, giving Golden State one of the shrewdest four-year stretches of drafts in the lottery era: DET1985-8827Dennis Rodman12.828.6 NO2002-054Chris Paul24.728.4 CLE1985-887Kevin Johnson12.934.7 Early in the draft, the curve is steep. The average No. 2 pick is worth only about 80 percent as many VORP in his first five seasons as the average No. 1, and players only get less valuable from there. Each additional pick produces a lot less than the slot before, emphasizing how costly every random tumble in the lottery can be.But let’s say our theoretical team gets its hands on a collection of valuable draft picks. What are the odds that it will take the right player at each slot? According to my research, there’s about a 70 percent chance that a team won’t take the best player available with any given pick at or near the top of the draft. Of course, the haul is still usually decent even if a team doesn’t nail its pick perfectly — but at the same time, “decent” doesn’t really help build a Warriors-killer.VIDEO: Why the No. 1 pick is such a valuable crapshoot Only at the most extreme edge of young talent, where the sample of historical examples is limited, do we see the potential upside usually associated with a group of highly drafted prospects playing together. (Think of the 2009-10 Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the greatest collections of pure talent ever assembled, coalescing into an NBA finalist within a few seasons.) Short of that, it’s tough to improve more than normal reversion to the mean would predict by simply stocking up on a bunch of kids with raw draft pedigree. Future stardom is unpredictable (again, see teams’ lack of consistency in getting better-than-average return on picks), and young players in particular tend to amplify one another’s flaws when playing together.But if our hypothetical Warriors-killer does manage to survive the lottery, make the right picks in the draft, get those prospects on the court together and then max out their potential, the model predicts the upper bound for its eventual peak Elo would be 1762. That’s roughly where the Warriors will be starting from next season (after reverting their final 2016-17 rating to the mean), and it’s also roughly the same Elo carried at season’s end by the 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers — not coincidentally, the last team to unseat the Warriors in the playoffs.A lot has to go right to get to that point, and most teams who travel down that path will fall short. But the Warriors will also feel the tug of parity soon — however gently — and at the same time, some team will eventually clear all the hurdles and build the challenger to Golden State’s throne. There’s a decent chance that journey starts in Brooklyn tonight, at the draft. * Value Over Replacement Player. Based on draftees’ first five NBA seasons, versus the average expected VORP for the slot where each player was picked. Players who were traded at the draft are assigned to the team that acquired them.Source: Basketball-Reference.com LAL1993-9610Eddie Jones14.027.8 In the age of superteams and super-duper teams,1Whether today’s stars want to admit such things exist or not. the Golden State Warriors built the ultimate doomsday machine when they added Kevin Durant in free agency last summer. Winning a championship this year seemed — and ultimately was — inevitable. But before KD put pen to paper, Golden State had captured one title and set the all-time wins record. And it was done with a roster largely built through the draft. The Warriors were the poster children for how to build a team through savvy scouting and player development, not reckless spending.Likewise, we can make a pretty good guess that the team that one day unseats Golden State will not be a creaky monument to Russian oligarchy, but rather more organic. So on draft day, let’s imagine how a team might build through the draft, stockpiling young talent and maxing out their collective potential. Could such a team rise to the Warriors’ level? Maybe. But everything would have to go right for our team, from lucking out in the lottery to nailing its picks and then developing them into stars. In other words, to beat the Warriors, you have to do what the Warriors did.First things first: It isn’t easy to jam-pack a roster with a bunch of promising young players. Even an aggressive tanking effort like Sam Hinkie’s “Process” in Philadelphia can’t guarantee that the lottery balls will fall the way they’re expected to. Indeed, the Sixers under Hinkie suffered below-average lottery luck. Meanwhile, other teams can always swoop in and snag the top pick (think the Cavaliers). Although Philly still managed to draft some high picks over the years — including, finally, a No. 1 choice in Ben Simmons last year — it didn’t get as much out of the draft as its fans might have expected when the Process began.And because the value of a pick diminishes so rapidly from No. 1 down, any unfavorable bounce in the lottery could derail our imaginary rebuild before it begins. Here’s the expected value for each pick slot — as measured by players’ Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) over the course of their first five NBA seasons — since the lottery era began in 1985: BEST PICK TOR1997-009Tracy McGrady13.526.1 And this methodology probably underrates the drafting job done by former Warriors general manager Larry Riley — and his replacement, Bob Myers, who made the team’s best pick when he drafted Draymond Green 35th overall in 2012 — since it looks at only the first five seasons of a player’s career. Curry, for instance, didn’t reach his full game-breaking potential until his sixth season in the league.But just as studies have found in other sports (most notably the NFL), there isn’t much consistent skill to making better-than-average picks in the NBA draft. The correlation between a team’s per-pick return on investment2As measured by VORP over expectation for each draft slot. in one three-year period and the next is only 0.014 — a practically nonexistent relationship.3I used three years because that’s about half the reasonable lifespan of an NBA GM gig. Even the Warriors picked big-man bust Ekpe Udoh sixth overall in between the first rounds in which they snapped up Curry and Thompson.With all these factors stacked against teams built around touted draft picks, it’s no wonder they have a spotty record of converting potential to results. Using the same method of evaluating talent bases as my colleague Kyle Wagner and I created for this story about the Minnesota Timberwolves, I measured how many highly drafted young players each team4Going back to the start of the NBA’s modern expansion wave in 1988-89. had on its roster at the same time. I then built a model using that data to predict how a team might fare over the next five seasons based on its young talent. For most teams in recent history, it’s tough to see much of a relationship between young talent and how much the team’s Elo rating5Essentially, FiveThirtyEight’s way of measuring how well a team is playing. improved, above and beyond what we’d simply expect from ordinary reversion to the mean.To show this, let’s give our team a starting Elo of 1400, basically where the Warriors themselves were after the 2011-12 season. Here’s what that model would predict its peak Elo to be over the next five seasons, depending on how much young talent it currently has: CLE2002-051LeBron James27.429.5 TEAMDRAFTSPICKPLAYERVORP* OVER EXPECTEDTOTAL VORP OVER EXPECTED The best four-year draft runs, by Value Over Replacement Player, 1985-2016 SEA1986-8917Shawn Kemp11.825.9 GS2009-1235Draymond Green15.824.8 read more

Womens soccer McVicker sees injury as stepping stone

Entering its game against Minnesota, the Ohio State women’s soccer team had high hopes for its season-opening run. Those high hopes were shattered on one serious play during the seventh minute, when redshirt senior goalkeeper Jillian McVicker tried to make a save.McVicker collided with a Minnesota player, and sustained fractured ribs, a punctured lung and a lacerated kidney. She was quickly removed from the field and taken to a Minnesota hospital,where she remained in intensive care for two days before being downgraded to standard care.“Ohio State senior goalkeeper Jillian McVicker is being held at a Minneapolis hospital through the end of the week for further treatment and testing after suffering an injury Sunday at Minnesota,” the athletic department said in a statement from an OSU spokesperson on Friday.McVicker has appeared in over 50 matches for the Buckeyes since joining the team in 2012. McVicker is a former assistant sports director for Lantern TV and also reported for The Lantern during the 2016 Spring Semester.After being released from the hospital on Saturday afternoon, she and her family drove back to Columbus, stopping in Chicago along the way before arriving back at OSU on Monday.Although not the first time the Metuchen, New Jersey, native has sustained an injury, this time, was different from the rest.OSU senior goaltender Jillian McVicker flexes as she recovers in her hospital bed in Minnesota. Credit: Courtesy of Jillian McVicker“I knew that it definitely wasn’t my muscle or anything. I just came out, I knew there was going to be a collision but I just had to get the ball,” McVicker said. “When I came out, I thought I had the wind knocked out of me at first, and then I couldn’t breathe for like a minute.”According to McVicker, her doctor said this type of injury is most common after being involved in a car crash, not with a sport like soccer.The injury has effectively ended the OSU career of McVicker, with a little over a month left in the regular season. Although her time as a Buckeye athlete has been cut short, she has still maintained a positive attitude and high spirits. “All the adversity I have faced, whether it be from injury or typical adversity that every athlete goes through, you just have to keep your head up and keep your mind on the process,” McVicker said. “Take it day-by-day and step-by-step. Which is actually very ironic because that’s exactly what I’m doing in my rehab right now.”As part of the healing process, McVicker can only lift things under 10 pounds, while limiting the amount of overall movement she has throughout the day.On social media, McVicker has received an outpouring of support from family, friends, teammates, players from other teams and, most notably, former United States Women’s National Team midfielder Julie Foudy. McVicker, a four-time OSU scholar-athlete and three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, has appeared in over 60 matches during her career with the Buckeyes. She is a double major in strategic communications and journalism, and will be graduating this December.After graduation and her injuries have fully healed, McVicker has intentions to continue her playing career outside of OSU.“I definitely want to graduate and want to look at playing overseas in Germany professionally or in America,” McVicker said. “I’m going to probably try to get an agent and figure that out once I graduate. It’s definitely not the last time I’m going to put on my keeper gloves and my jersey again.”Although she will no longer be lacing up her cleats for the Scarlet and Gray, McVicker said she will be embracing her new role of cheering her team on. Without the redshirt senior in the net, the Buckeyes will now be looking to the sideline when when she returns. From here on out, the focus of McVicker is to rally the troops to continue the team’s success. “Although this injury happened to me, my main thing for this season is for my team to be successful,” McVicker said. “Yes, this is horrible and I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone. But at the same time, all of my energy and everything when I get back is to prepare my the team the best I can in my new role.” read more

Ohio State mens volleyball coach Pete Hanson still aiming for championships after

Men’s volleyball coach Pete Hanson has more than 600 wins and one national title in his 30 years with the Buckeyes.Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsAs his players shook hands following a sweep of IPFW on Friday, Ohio State men’s volleyball coach Pete Hanson had claimed the 603rd win of his career.Hanson, who has coached the Buckeyes for 30 years, holds a career record of 603-324. Hanson and the No. 11 Buckeyes have passed several milestones this season, including the program’s 1,000th overall win and its 500th victory at St. John Arena. Hanson’s OSU career spans 18 20-plus win seasons, 10 national semifinal appearances, a runner-up finish and one national championship.Before beginning his illustrious coaching career, Hanson played volleyball at the collegiate level at Kellogg Community College in Michigan then spent his last two years at Ball State University, up until 1979. Upon graduation, Hanson took his first position as an assistant coach for Ball State men’s volleyball team.He then spent time as a women’s assistant and head coach with Wyoming before joining the Buckeyes’ men’s program in 1985.“I just felt like it would be a great way to give back and to help continue to grow men’s volleyball, and so it kind of led me here and I have been here for 30 years,” Hanson said.Hanson said he thinks the most passionate aspect of his job is watching young players succeed.“The thing that keeps me coming in every day and keeps me looking forward to next year is to bring in a young man and to convince him that Ohio State would be a great place for him to go to school, to get his education, to play volleyball, and then to help him through that journey,” Hanson said. “At the end of the day when they walk out of here with a degree in hand, and maybe they’ve already got a job lined up, that’s the really cool part. To think that myself, my two coaches and Ohio State had a part in that is a really, really neat feeling.”While the Buckeyes finished last season with a losing record for the first time since 1992, Hanson’s squad has started fresh in 2015 with an 11-3 overall record and a 5-1 mark in conference play.The ultimate goal he sets for his team is the same on the yearly basis: winning the national championship.“I think the long-term goal is to try to do the necessary things that are going to allow our team to compete for an elite championship and hopefully a national championship,” Hanson said. “Even though we’ve got this goal and 99.9 percent of the time we’re not going to reach it, it certainly is a goal worth having.”Hanson learned what it takes to make a championship run before he even joined the Division I volleyball ranks.“My senior year (at Ball State) we won the MIVA championship and qualified to go to the NCAA national championships,” Hanson said. “Just having successes along the way which is what we’re trying to do here with our guys, I was able to experience that and those are memories that I’ll have for a lifetime.”As he hunts for a second title as a coach, Hanson said he is grateful for his wife and two sons, ages 20 and 18, who have been supportive of his career.“There are times when you miss some of the kids’ activities and you’re not there at all the right times that you’d like to be,” Hanson said. “I think the big thing was that my wife and the two boys understood and they dealt with it as positively as they could.”Off of the court, Hanson enjoys playing golf in addition to spending time on the water.“Here in the past five to seven years, I’ve become really enamored with fly fishing,” Hanson said. “For the last six or seven summers, my wife and I go to Wyoming to visit one of her brothers, and he got me turned onto fly fishing in the backcountry. It is just the most relaxing and just a time that I can’t put a price on.”Hanson will have to put his next fishing trip on hold as the Buckeyes get set to take on Grand Canyon on Saturday and Sunday in Phoenix. 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

Alaskan Appointed To Top Position At Interior Department

first_imgThe leased lands are not only close to the pipeline, but allow companies to tap into two new prospects, the Nanushuk and Torok formations. Alaska Bureau of Land Management associate state director Ted Murphy pointed out that it is important to note that the further west you travel in the NPR-A the less infrastructure there is to support development. All of the leases sold adjoin current leases. Balash, who served as served as chief of staff to Senator Dan Sullivan and Natural Resources Commissioner under Governor Sean Parnell, had previously fought for an Alaska-led plan to allow modern seismic studies in ANWR. T ConocoPhillips and Anadarko, jointly bid on a total of about 80,000 acres, building upon the new Willow oil discovery made within NPR-A, and announced a year ago. During Balash’s tenure, the state filed a claim requesting the transfer of 20,000 acres in ANWR from the federal government to the state of Alaska. The BLM rejected the claim, and now Balash could have the power to overturn such a decision. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The U.S. Senate confirmed Alaskan Joe Balash to a top position at the Interior Department on Thursday, serving as assistant secretary for land and minerals management under Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. While only seven of the 900 leases offered in the NPR-A were sold, causing strong discussion on the value of opening less accessible ANWR, it’s important to recognize that the short window between the announcement that the properties would be available and the actual lease offered minimal opportunity for planning and resource allocation for the bidders. During Balash’s Senate confirmation hearing, he pledged to work on speeding permits and allowing responsible drilling and mining, and improve recreational access to federal lands. Story as aired:http://www.radiokenai.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Dorene-on-Alaskan-appointed-to-top-position-at-interior-department.mp3last_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

Essex County Sheriffs Department Partners With Middlesex Sheriffs Office To Complete Interactive Training

first_imgMIDDLETON, MA — 87 members of the Essex County Sheriff’s Department (ECSD) have completed an interactive firearms training organized in conjunction with the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO), Sheriffs Kevin F. Coppinger and Peter J. Koutoujian announced this week.The training was held on the MSO’s Mobile Training Center (MTC), a specialized trailer that allows officers to practice their responses to critical incidents. MSO officers who operate the MTC can offer unique scenarios for each user to test their firearm, communication and de-escalation skills.“We are proud to share this resource with our law enforcement colleagues at ECSD. Our agencies regularly participate in trainings together, from our Crisis Intervention Training program to continuing education opportunities for staff, but this represents a new avenue for partnership,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “This training allows officers to work through real life scenarios and practice their responses to a serious incident, all while receiving constructive feedback from ECSD instructors and MSO officers.”The MTC was stationed at the Middleton House of Correction from April 22 – May 3. ECSD staff practiced scenarios specifically tailored for the environments that deputies operate in, such as construction details which may involve a traffic encounter and inmate transportation.“Providing the most advanced training to our correctional officers is a priority of our department. We continually strive to provide high quality, situational training to our officers. Sharing this interactive training platform is an example of how Sheriffs’ Departments in the Commonwealth collaborate for the benefit of public safety,” said Sheriff Kevin Coppinger.In 2018, 19 police departments were trained through the MTC. So far this year, nine agencies – including the Essex County Sheriff’s Department – have utilized the MTC for at least one week of training.Photo L to R: ECSD Special Sheriff William Gerke, MSO Firearms Instructors Officers Frank Reid, Chris Hardy, Ret. Sgt. Don Cook, ECSD Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger with ECSD Firearms Instructors Sgt. Jim Comeau, Security Investigator Jason Frampton, Security Investigator John Zaccari, Capt. Shelley Ehlers, Capt. Tom Cote, Assistant Superintendent/Director of Training Christine Arsenault.(NOTE: The above press release is from the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedMiddlesex Sheriff’s Office Receives State Grant For Popular Youth Summer CampIn “Police Log”Attorney General Awards Middlesex Sheriff’s Office A Healthy Summer Youth Jobs GrantIn “Police Log”51 Wilmington Students Graduate From Middlesex Sheriff’s Youth Public Safety AcademyIn “Government”last_img read more

Indigenous icon Morales losing grounds among native people

first_imgPeople sit in front of signs against Bolivian President Evo Morales` bid for re-election in 2019 in La Paz. Photo: ReutersIn 12 years as president of South America’s poorest country, Evo Morales has accomplished many of the goals he set forth when he became the first indigenous person to lead Bolivia.The 58-year-old leftist and former coca farmer has presided over an economy that has grown by an annual average of 4.6 percent since he took office, more than twice the rate for all of Latin America.After nationalizing the country’s bounteous natural gas reserves, he pursued market-friendly economic policies and invested export revenue in social programs that helped lift more than two million people, nearly a fifth of the population, from poverty.With a new constitution in 2009, he even changed the name of the country from the Republic of Bolivia to the Plurinational State of Bolivia, reflecting diverse ethnicities that for centuries had felt like second-class citizens.For Bolivia’s more than 4 million indigenous people, support for Morales appeared to pay off. The poverty rate dropped from 59.9 percent in 2006 to 36.4 percent last year. Access for indigenous communities to electricity, sewerage and water service all grew, according to the World Bank. Here in Charagua, in the country’s remote southern lowlands, Guarani people recently dissolved the local municipality and launched Bolivia’s first experiment in autonomous government. The move, made possible by the new constitution, is meant to replace distant, homogenous rule with policies tailored to the local, indigenous reality. Yet here and across Bolivia, indigenous people are increasingly turning against Evo, as the poncho-wearing Morales is known. The dissatisfaction – over everything from proposed development of indigenous lands to his successful gambit to end term limits – is marring what had been widespread acclaim for a leader emblematic to first peoples’ movements worldwide.   “His way of thinking and his actions aren’t indigenous,” said Gualberto Cusi, a former judge and ethnic Aymara, an influential Andean tribe from which Morales himself also hails. Cusi, who was barred from the Constitutional Court by Congress last year after disagreements with the government, now leads a group of indigenous dissidents. Many Aymara have flourished under Morales’ rule. Building upon a long history selling textiles along Lake Titicaca, they now thrive in commerce, like importing Chinese electronics they sell as far afield as the Amazon rainforest.  But even they are increasingly fed up. “He should go,” said Joaquin Quispe, a cook whose Aymara family moved from Bolivia’s interior to El Alto, a city where a swelling indigenous influx in recent years made it outgrow nearby La Paz, the country’s administrative center.What particularly bothers some are moves by Morales, using supporters in Congress and the judiciary, to consolidate power.Although his own 2009 constitution set a limit of two five-year terms, Morales asked voters in a 2016 referendum to let him run again in 2019.When they said no, Morales convinced the Constitutional Court to let him anyway. The court, consisting of jurists nominated by Congressional allies, ruled that term limits are a violation of his “human rights.” Morales’ spokeswoman, Gisela Lopez, declined to make the president available for an interview and didn’t respond to requests for comment for this story. A close ally, former Senate President Jose “Gringo” Gonzales, said Morales hasn’t abandoned indigenous peoples, but has evolved as president to represent and work with everyone.  “He can sit for one minute with a businessman and the next with a worker,” said Gonzales, who stepped down from the Senate last week for undisclosed reasons. “He still has the humility and simplicity that were highlighted when he took office.”Morales is now the longest consecutively serving head of state in the Americas. He is the sole leader remaining from a wave of leftists, including Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, who dominated Latin American politics early this century.His name, which graces schools, stadiums, and cultural centers, is increasingly voiced in street protests and scrawled in graffiti. All over the divided country, “Bolivia said no!” sprayings compete with ”Evo Yes!” signs painted by supporters of his party, Movement Toward Socialism, or MAS.Morales won’t go before voters again until late next year. And the opposition remains fragmented, meaning no other leader in Bolivia as yet compares in political stature.Still, in a July poll commissioned by newspaper Pagina Siete, support for the president among likely voters fell to 27 percent from 31 percent last November. A survey by pollster Ipsos this week showed a similar level of support, at 29 percent of likely voters, with a six-point drop over the past year in his approval rating, now at 43 percent.Over the past eight months, Reuters traveled across Bolivia to better understand the waning support for the president among indigenous peoples. From his native Altiplano, the high, arid plateau home to the Aymara, to gas-rich lowlands, where the government has authorized extraction on indigenous lands, many native Bolivians say they no longer feel represented by Morales.“A NEW ERA”For many, the years following Morales’s 2005 election were marked by jubilation and hope.Before his official inauguration in January 2006, Aymara “maestros,” or ritual leaders, held their own ceremony at the pre-Incan site of Tiwanaku, west of La Paz. Morales, in a traditional red tunic, climbed the Akapana pyramid, where shamans presided over a fire ritual and presented him with a staff symbolizing his right to lead the assembled tribes.“Today begins a new era for the native peoples of the world,” Morales said. Tens of thousands of indigenous activists, along with native delegations from as far away as Chile and the United States, cheered.Within months, he began asserting his plans to “decolonize” Bolivia and give locals more voice in government and a greater share of national wealth. On May 1, Labor Day, he ordered troops to occupy natural gas fields and nationalized all hydrocarbons.“The time has come, the longed-for day, a historic day for Bolivia to retake absolute control of our natural resources,” he said in a speech while surrounded by soldiers at an oil field operated by Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, the Brazilian energy company.Morales began renegotiating energy contracts for a bigger share of the profits, a move that ultimately many companies agreed to. The negotiations earned him plaudits from supporters and boosted government revenues at a time when gas prices were soaring.With the windfalls, Morales enacted measures including school vouchers for kids and pensions for workers who had never held formal employment.For the day-to-day business of governance, Morales appointed women, indigenous peoples and labor leaders to his cabinet. He embraced grass-roots organizations and forged a so-called “Unity Pact,” comprising leaders of Andean, lowland and Amazon tribes. Together, they helped draft the new constitution, approved by 60 percent of Bolivians in a 2009 referendum. That year, in a landslide, Morales won a second term.Tensions with indigenous groups first emerged in 2011.  Enjoying what by then was steadily improving economic growth, Morales proposed a 300-kilometer road through the Isiboro Secure Indigenous Territory, or Tipnis, a Jamaica-sized refuge in the Amazon. The highway, Morales argued, was necessary to bring basic services to remote tribes.But native groups and environmentalists were enraged.The road, they argued, more likely would facilitate drug trafficking, illegal logging and other unwanted activity. Protesters marched for more than a month, during which police and demonstrators clashed in clouds of tear gas and flurries of rubber bullets. “When Evo took office we thought indigenous people would never have to march again,” said Adolfo Chavez, a native Tacana and former president of The Confederation of Indigenous People of Bolivia, or Cidob, a grouping of 34 lowland tribes.The marching succeeded, at least for a time. That September, Morales halted work on the road for further study. But relations with some native groups were damaged.Two major indigenous rights organizations, Cidob and The National Council of Ayllus and Markas of Qullasuyu, left the Unity Pact. Since then, the split has widened into divisions that fall along political lines, not rivalries among Bolivia’s three dozen ethnicities.Soon, government supporters began to pressure both groups, using MAS loyalists to stage what some members described as coups within the organizations. Politics and loyalty to Morales began to matter more than the indigenous cause, they said.  Cidob leader Chavez was voted out in 2012. Chavez, who left Bolivia and now lives in Peru, says he was a victim of political persecution for leading the Tipnis demonstrations. Pedro Vare, Cidob’s current leader, in local media has continued to back Morales and criticize the protesters. Reuters was unable to reach Vare for an interview.One rainy evening in December 2013, MAS activists broke down the door of the two-story La Paz headquarters of Conamaq, as the other indigenous rights group is known. Once inside, they forced members, some of whom were visiting La Paz from remote regions and living there during their stay, to leave.“We had nowhere to go,” recalls Cristobal Salles, an Aymara and Quechua speaker who was a Conamaq councilman and now farms potatoes.  Dissent at both groups vanished.Hilarion Mamani, a 41-year-old  Quechua who led the Conamaq takeover, told Reuters a purge had been necessary. Using a charge long wielded against opponents by some leftists in Latin America, Mamani said previous leaders were acting on behalf of “North American imperialists.” Now, he added, “there are no divisions.”That’s because most of the previous members went on to form  dissident indigenous groups. Those groups have campaigned to enforce presidential term limits and against renewed efforts to build the Tipnis road and other projects on native lands.  In 2014, Morales began his sustained effort to stay in power.Despite the constitutional limit of two terms, Morales argued that his first administration shouldn’t be counted because he had been elected under a previous constitution. In the Constitutional Court, by then composed mostly of judges nominated by allies of Morales in Congress, he found a sympathetic audience.Except for one justice – Cusi, the fellow Aymara who at that time sat on the court. Cusi sought a strict interpretation of the charter and argued against another term. But the other judges prevailed. Morales ran for re-election and, with 60 percent of the vote, won a third term starting in January 2015. Before long, relations with native groups grew worse still.  In February 2015, a government comptroller discovered a $10 million shortfall in a state fund for indigenous projects, finding records of initiatives that had been funded, but never carried out.  Two of Morales’ former rural development ministers were convicted of misusing public funds and served brief jail terms.Some onetime Morales supporters were outraged. “It seems corruption has been institutionalized,” Edwin Prada, a lawyer and former advisor to Conamaq, said in an interview.Morales in public comments has said the fund was poorly run. Reuters couldn’t reach either of the two former ministers for comment.That year, natural gas prices fell from a peak in 2014. The country’s economy, while still healthier than that of many neighbors, cooled.Criticism of Morales and his party grew.   “LORD KING EVO MORALES”In  March 2015, residents of El Alto, formerly a bastion of Morales support, handed MAS its first big electoral defeat. They voted out the city’s MAS mayor, who had polarized local voters because of municipal spending, and elected Soledad Chapeton, an Aymara from a center-right party who became the city’s first female mayor.Morales, meanwhile, kept working to prolong his own mandate – first through the failed referendum and then through another plea to the Constitutional Court. By last year, the court was firmly allied with Morales.After opposing other government initiatives, Cusi, the Aymara judge, was impeached by the Senate. The day before the May 2017 ruling, Cusi donned chains in front of government headquarters and scoffed at what he considered his foregone ouster. “Lord King Evo Morales,” he said before television cameras, “order your puppet senators to condemn me.”  Officially, Cusi was accused of failing to fulfill duties. But many government critics called his removal political.“They found a pretext to oust me,” Cusi told Reuters. Now the head of a Conamaq breakaway group, Cusi recently announced he would seek the office of attorney general.With the go-ahead to pursue a fourth term, Morales stoked even more ire.Early last year, students at the Public University of El Alto, a bastion of political activism, began demonstrating for more educational funding. The ruling on term limits sparked further discontent, fueling demonstrations that continued into this year.In a clash with police, one student died. Police said the student, Jonathan Quispe, was killed when students hurled marbles. University officials said he was shot by police. Reuters couldn’t independently determine what led to Quispe’s death.Last August, Congress approved a project to restart the Tipnis highway. Other construction projects are also drawing fire.At a cost to taxpayers of $7 million, Morales last year inaugurated a three-wing museum with large modern windows in Orinoca, the remote Altiplano town where he grew up herding llamas. The “Museum of the Democratic and Cultural Revolution” tells Bolivia’s recent history through Morales’ own achievements.This month, Morales presided over the opening of a new 28-floor presidential palace in La Paz. He calls the $34 million building “the big house of the people.”The projects, some critics say, are further proof Morales lost touch. “He always said he would consult the people,” said Salles, the former Conamaq leader. “Now he doesn’t.”In Charagua, the lowland Guarani region, residents are struggling with autonomy. One recent afternoon, locals at a school auditorium hashed through problems now plaguing their experiment, the first of three autonomous regions approved by voters recently.Charagua, roughly the size of Panama, in the 1930s was the site of successful resistance against Paraguayan invaders who sought to seize area gas reserves. Despite having gas, however, Charagua remains poor, accessible only by dirt roads. The regional budget, financed in part by La Paz, remains the roughly $4.5 million it was before autonomy. But locals say the national government has all but abandoned them otherwise.“We are worse than before,” said one resident who identified himself as Victor before storming out of the auditorium. “I want a recall on this autonomy.”Reuters was unable to reach the Morales cabinet official in charge of indigenous autonomy.Guarani leaders there said they, too, are unhappy. Ramiro Lucas, a 44-year-old leader of a southern portion of Charagua, lamented that the region recently had to halt school breakfasts because money was needed for health centers. “Now we have land, but what good is that if we don’t have resources?” he told Reuters.last_img

The Paradox of Black Health

first_imgThere’s a new gray area in health research. For decades, scholars have looked at disparities through the lens of black and white. Changing demographics and growing immigrant populations are demanding new approaches that explore diversity within racial groups.“The Black population is not monolithic,” says Helena Dagadu, a fellow at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College who is preparing to complete her PhD in the Department of Sociology at Vanderbilt University. Dagadu is among the Center’s first cohort of doctoral fellows set to graduate in May 2015.A native of Ghana who came to the United States as a child, Dagadu is particularly interested in how health inequities affect black immigrant populations. “African immigrants represent one of the fastest-growing immigrant populations in the U.S.,” she says. Her research examines health disparities between the native-born American Black population and Black African immigrants—specifically as they relate to chronic, non-communicable conditions such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes.“The tide is turning in health research,” she says. “It’s moving toward an understanding that there are differences in black populations.”Dagadu’s observations align with a recent upsurge of interest in how underrepresented populations self-identify. According to the Pew Research Center, the 2010 census revealed that many communities, including Hispanics, Arabs, and people of mixed race, have said they’re unsure of which box to check on census forms.“The 2020 census will ask the race/ethnicity question differently,” says Dagadu. “They’re recognizing diversity within groups, which has implications for survey data coming out of the census. And we researchers get a lot of our data from those survey responses.”Like Dagadu, Courtney Thomas, PhD, another Meharry scholar, investigates the ways in which race and ethnicity influence health within black population groups.“The center of my research has been understanding health paradoxes,” says Thomas, who successfully defended her dissertation in sociology earlier this year. She will be joining the University of Kentucky faculty as an Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American and Africana Studies.“For example, we see that college-educated black women are at higher risk than lower-educated white women when it comes to maternal outcomes. I want to see how race and ethnicity figure into those outcomes.”Another area of interest for Thomas is the effects of race-based stressors and racial identity on mental wellbeing. “Even subtle forms of racial discrimination have a significant impact on mental health,” she explains. “The idea of not belonging—being unsure about how you’re viewed by others—causes stress and anxiety.”The negative effects are markedly greater for women than for men, Thomas adds. Subtler forms of racial discrimination have a greater impact on women, while more overt acts have a greater effect on men.Exploring how differences in social class and gender affect physical health and mental wellbeing is crucial, Thomas says. “It gives us a more nuanced understanding of black Americans’ health issues.”Both Thomas and Dagadu applaud the fellowship at Meharry for providing scholars with invaluable hands-on mentorship and leadership development. Another 11 fellows are currently pursuing doctoral studies.The Center, launched in 2009, has worked to increase the diversity of health policy leaders in the social, behavioral, and health sciences—particularly sociology, economics, and political science—who will one day influence health policy at the national level.“The RWJF fellowship has been a great complement to my PhD training,” says Dagadu. “We’ve had opportunities to hear the perspectives of prominent scholars interested in building a healthier America. I’ve gained practical professional development skills, and learned how to talk about my work to the media as well as influential policymakers working to eliminate health disparities.”She credits the experience with helping her land a position as an Endowed Assistant Professor of Sociology at Loyola University–Chicago. “I believe this program helped make my interview a success,” she says.“You can go to any research program and learn,” explains Thomas. “This fellowship has given me regular exposure to top scholars. Right from the beginning, I felt like I was in the middle of the field and I had a place at the table.”last_img read more

Cardinals Fall 41 to No 17 Virginia in ACC Opener

first_img“UVA played mistake-free doubles to open up the match,” said UofL head coach Rex Ecarma. “They won four deuce points early and we were fighting from behind. After they won No. 1 singles, the rest of the matches could have gone either way. David won and Sergio was winning. Fabien was up in the second set early. It’s obvious we have a special group of freshmen. UVA added two players in their top four. They are very improved team from last year.” #17 Virginia 4, Louisville 11/20/2019 at Charlottesville, Va.(Boar’s Head Sports Club)Singles1. Carl Soderlund (VA) def. #104 Brandon Lancaster (LOU) 6-1, 6-02. Brandon Nakashima (VA) vs. Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff (LOU) 6-3, 6-5, unfinished3. #38 Gianni Ross (VA) def. Fabien Salle (LOU) 6-2, 7-54. Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. Federico Gomez (LOU) 6-3, 6-45. Aswin Lizen (VA) vs. Sergio Hernandez Ramirez (LOU) 3-6, 5-5, unfinished6. David Mizrahi (LOU) def. Matthew Lord (VA) 1-6, 6-2, 6-3Doubles1. Carl Soderlund/Matthew Lord (VA) vs. Christopher Morin-Kougoucheff/Fabien Salle (LOU) 5-3, unfinished2. Aswin Lizen/Gianni Ross (VA) def. Brandon Lancaster/Alex Wesbrooks (LOU) 6-33. Brandon Nakashima/Henrik Wiersholm (VA) def. Federico Gomez/Sergio Hernandez Ramirez (LOU) 6-1 The match was decided on court three where No. 38 Gianni Ross defeated freshman Fabien Salle 6-2, 7-5 for the 4-1 final. Virginia (2-0, 1-0 ACC) started the match by taking the doubles points with wins on courts 2 and 3. The Cavalier duo of Brandon Nakashima and Henrik Wiersholm defeated Lousville’s Federico Gomez and Sergio Hernandez Ramirez 6-1 at No. 3 and clinched the point at the two-spot where Aswin Lizen and Gianni Ross topped Brandon Lancaster and Alex Wesbrooks 6-3. Matchup History Preview The University of Louisville men’s tennis team fell 4-1 to No. 17 Virginia in its ACC opener Sunday in Charlottesville, Va.center_img In singles action, Carl Soderlund defeated No. 104 Lancaster at the No. 1 seed to give Virginia a 2-0 lead. Wiersholm defeated Gomez 6-3, 6-4 at the four-spot to make the score 3-0. David Mizrahi put the Cardinals on the scoreboard with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Matthew Lord at No. 6. With the victory, the freshman improves his dual match record to a team-best 4-0. Up next, the Cardinals (3-1, 0-1 ACC) will travel to Gainesville, Fla., to face Florida Atlantic in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Next Match: vs. Florida Atlantic 1/26/2019 | 11:00 a.m. Match Notes:Louisville 3-1, 0-1 ACCVirginia 2-0, 1-0 ACC; National ranking #17Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (1,4,6,3)T-2:00  A-257  Print Friendly Version Full Schedule Roster last_img read more

Nanoparticles pass through mucus membranes in lungs to deliver pulmonary drugs

first_img Play Movie of nanoparticles moving through mucus. Credit: Schneider et al. Sci. Adv. 2017;3:e1601556 The nanoparticles, the team notes, were created using biodegradable materials that prior research found safe for internal use. Testing in mice, they report, showed the particle carriers stayed in the lungs for several hours—they also proved to be more effective than conventional therapies at reducing asthma symptoms such as irritation. The researchers suggest that MPPs could offer a better treatment plan for lung patients by providing a therapy that maintains drug levels in the lungs for longer periods of time, reducing the need for repeated dosing, which itself can cause lung irritation. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen More information: Craig S. Schneider et al. Nanoparticles that do not adhere to mucus provide uniform and long-lasting drug delivery to airways following inhalation, Science Advances (2017). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601556AbstractMucoadhesive particles (MAP) have been widely explored for pulmonary drug delivery because of their perceived benefits in improving particle residence in the lungs. However, retention of particles adhesively trapped in airway mucus may be limited by physiologic mucus clearance mechanisms. In contrast, particles that avoid mucoadhesion and have diameters smaller than mucus mesh spacings rapidly penetrate mucus layers [mucus-penetrating particles (MPP)], which we hypothesized would provide prolonged lung retention compared to MAP. We compared in vivo behaviors of variously sized, polystyrene-based MAP and MPP in the lungs following inhalation. MAP, regardless of particle size, were aggregated and poorly distributed throughout the airways, leading to rapid clearance from the lungs. Conversely, MPP as large as 300 nm exhibited uniform distribution and markedly enhanced retention compared to size-matched MAP. On the basis of these findings, we formulated biodegradable MPP (b-MPP) with an average diameter of <300 nm and examined their behavior following inhalation relative to similarly sized biodegradable MAP (b-MAP). Although b-MPP diffused rapidly through human airway mucus ex vivo, b-MAP did not. Rapid b-MPP movements in mucus ex vivo correlated to a more uniform distribution within the airways and enhanced lung retention time as compared to b-MAP. Furthermore, inhalation of b-MPP loaded with dexamethasone sodium phosphate (DP) significantly reduced inflammation in a mouse model of acute lung inflammation compared to both carrier-free DP and DP-loaded MAP. These studies provide a careful head-to-head comparison of MAP versus MPP following inhalation and challenge a long-standing dogma that favored the use of MAP for pulmonary drug delivery. Play Movie of nanoparticles moving through mucus. Credit: Schneider et al. Sci. Adv. 2017;3:e1601556 Citation: Nanoparticles pass through mucus membranes in lungs to deliver pulmonary drugs (2017, April 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-04-nanoparticles-mucus-membranes-lungs-pulmonary.html Journal information: Science Advances Lung problems impact the lives of millions of people. Such conditions include asthma, in which bronchi spasm, making it difficult to breathe; cystic fibrosis, in which over-production of mucus leads to blocking of bronchi; and COPD, in which obstructions form in bronchial passages. Fortunately, these types of ailments are all treatable to some degree, though they cannot be cured. For that reason, scientists continue to look for ways to improve current therapies.Currently, lung ailments such as cystic fibrosis, COPD and asthma are treated with inhaled drugs such as corticosteroids that adhere to the walls of air passages. In some instances, they are carried by what are known as mucoadhesive particles, (MAPs), but, as the researchers note, thick mucus often builds up on such passageways, lessening the effectiveness of the delivery system. In this new effort, the researchers took a different approach—rather than trying to make medicines that adhere do their job better, they turned to nanoparticles that are small enough to make their way through mucus membranes to the lining of the lungs themselves, offering direct medication application to affected areas. Called mucus-penetrating particles (MPP), they remain in the lungs, releasing medication for an extended period of time. The making of mucus in common lung diseases PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen 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. © 2017 Phys.org Explore further (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from multiple institutions in the U.S. has developed a new way to treat lung disease—using nanoparticles to transport chemicals through the thick mucus membranes that can coat pulmonary airways. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes how they used particles small enough to move through holes in the mesh that makes up mucus to deliver helpful drugs.last_img read more