Google funds projects to find, fight new pathogens

first_imgOct 21, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The philanthropic arm of the Internet search company Google today announced it is awarding more than $14 million for various projects aiming to prevent the next pandemic by detecting new pathogens and disease outbreaks in Africa and Southeast Asia.The awards by Google.org are going to six different initiatives aiming to “identify hot spots where new diseases may emerge, detect new pathogens circulating in animal and human populations, and respond to disease outbreaks before they become global crises,” the company said in a news release.”Business as usual won’t stop the next AIDS or SARS,” Dr. Larry Brilliant, Google.org executive director, said in the news release. “The teams we’re funding today are on the frontiers of digital and genetic early detection technology. We hope that their work, with partners across environmental, animal, and human health boundaries, will help solve centuries-old problems and save millions of lives.”The statement said three of the grants are for efforts to use mapping and weather and climate data to help predict where and when disease outbreaks will occur:The Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Mass., will receive $2 million to support satellite mapping of forests to improve monitoring of forest loss and settlement expansion in tropical countries.Columbia University International Research Institute for Climate and Society will get $900,000 to improve the use of forecasts, rainfall data, and other climate information in East Africa and to link weather and climate experts to health specialists.University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., is awarded $900,000 to develop a system for using weather projections to inform and target responses to disease threats in West Africa.”For Rift Valley fever and malaria, long-term weather forecasts and deforestation maps can show us where to look for outbreaks, up to six months in advance,” said Frank Rijsberman, director of the grant program for Google.org.The other three grants, the company said, are for projects designed to detect early signals of possible epidemics through blood sampling, molecular diagnostics, mining of digital data, and other surveillance efforts:The Global Viral Forecasting Initiative (GVFI) will receive $5.5 million for collecting and analyzing blood samples from humans and animals in hot spots in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, China, Malaysia, Lao PDR, and Madagascar. The grant will be matched by the Skoll Foundation. Dr. Nathan Wolfe, GVFI’s founder and director, said the project’s aim is to monitor the movement of viruses from animals into people.Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York City, is awarded $2.5 million to support research to speed the discovery of new pathogens and promote rapid regional responses to outbreaks by establishing molecular diagnostics in hot spot countries, including Sierra Leone and Bangladesh. Columbia’s Dr. Ian Lipkin and colleagues already have discovered more than 75 viruses.Children’s Hospital Corp., in Boston, will receive $3 million to combine the online disease-detection efforts of HealthMap with ProMED-mail’s global network of human, animal, and ecosystem health specialists who report disease outbreaks. The project will assess emerging-disease reporting systems, expand networks in Africa and Southeast Asia, and develop news tools to improve outbreak detection.See also: Oct 21 Google releasehttp://www.google.com/intl/en/press/pressrel/20081021_googleorg.htmlJuly 21 CIDRAP News story describing HealthMap and other nontraditional disease-monitoring initiatives: “More efforts look outside the box for outbreak signals”last_img read more

Jamaica Scorpions beat Jaguars by 20 runs

first_imgJAMAICA Scorpions defeated Guyana Jaguars by 20 runs in their day/night Group B game of the Regional Super50 at Kensington Oval last night.Batting first Jamaica Scorpions were all out for 255 off 49.3 overs. Top scorer for the Scorpions was Steven Taylor with 86,while Andre McCarthy hit 45 and John Campbell 42. The best Jaguars bowler was Raymon Reifer with 4-38.The Jaguars in their turn at the crease could only muster 235 off 49.4 overs. (Assad Fudadin 57, Raymon Reifer 54, Anthony Bramble 39, Veerasammy Permaul 30; John Campbell 4-43)last_img read more

Syracuse looks to break losing streak against Georgetown in final home Big East matchup with Hoyas

first_img Published on January 11, 2013 at 9:17 pm Contact Kevin: kmprisei@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse hasn’t beaten Georgetown in seven tries. SU’s last win in the rivalry with the Hoyas came on Feb. 26, 2008 in a 68-67 win at the Carrier Dome.The losing streak, though, hasn’t been full of one-sided games. In the last three meetings at the Carrier Dome, Georgetown’s margin of victory has been three points or less every time, including a 65-62 win on Feb. 25.In its final home Big East matchup against Georgetown, the Orange is looking to reverse the trend.“It’s four years, now,” senior guard Carmen Tyson-Thomas said. “We’re ready to take this big rivalry, and we’re home in the Dome, and we’re ready to bring it.”Syracuse will take on Georgetown on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Carrier Dome, in the second half of a basketball doubleheader that includes a men’s noon matchup with Villanova. The Hoyas carry a 10-5 record (1-1 Big East) into the game, while the 13-1 Orange is coming off a win in Saturday’s conference opener at Marquette.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFor the team’s seniors, including Washington, D.C., native Elashier Hall, the game marks the final opportunity to beat the rival Hoyas at home. The group will get a last chance to beat Georgetown on the road on Feb. 12.The Hoyas are led by 5-foot-11 senior guard Sugar Rodgers, who has led Georgetown in scoring in each of her four years. This season, however, Rodgers isn’t just leading the Hoyas with her average of 25.9 points per game – she is also leading the nation.Syracuse counters with its own dominant force, senior center Kayla Alexander, who ranks 28th in the country averaging 19.5 points per game. Still, containing Rodgers will require a total team effort, and SU’s freshman contingent is quickly preparing for Rodgers’ quick-shooting mindset, Alexander said.“We really want this win against Georgetown,” Alexander said. “What we’ve been telling the freshmen, though, is Sugar Rodgers, you have to get up on her when she crosses half the court. Because she will shoot it from there.”Aside from Rodgers, only one other Hoya – junior forward Andrea White – is averaging in double figures, with 11.1 points per game. This reads similar to SU’s point distribution, with Tyson-Thomas the only other Orange player to average double digits with 10.9 points per game.As a team, Syracuse ranks third in the Big East offensively at 77.8 points per game – 11th in Division I– while the Hoyas are eighth in the conference at 66.3 points per game.Still, Alexander has gained respect for Georgetown defensively over her career, as the Hoyas have engaged Syracuse in a number of tight defensive battles. SU can expect a challenge from Georgetown’s defense on Saturday, Alexander said.“As far as their defense, they are really scrappy,” Alexander said. “They get after it, and they get their hands on everything. They gamble a lot.”With Georgetown’s aggressiveness, it becomes important for Syracuse to keep its offense under control. If risky or sloppy passes are kept at a minimum, Georgetown’s chances of generating turnovers decrease.Making it easier for Syracuse to stay poised should be the home environment. Over the seven-game losing streak to the Hoyas, the Orange has appeared more competitive at home – SU has lost the three home matchups by a total of six points, while losing the three road games by a total of 52 points. Georgetown won a neutral-site matchup in the 2011 Big East Tournament, 61-60.“As long as we are poised on the offensive end, taking care of the ball and not creating turnovers,” Alexander said. “If we just do our thing, we should be fine.”Over the last five years, SU has seen its effort fall short to Georgetown time and again. This year, the Orange comes into the first matchup with a better record, along with plenty of confidence from a demanding non-conference slate.The teams are certainly familiar with each other, and an SU loss on Saturday would not be for lack of knowledge of the opposition.It would be simply lack of execution.“Every game is important,” head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “We understand how to get beat; they’ve beaten us. We understand exactly what we’ve got to do to win the basketball game.” Commentslast_img read more

Castro to host Iowa forum about changing nominating process

first_imgDES MOINES — Democratic candidate Julian Castro, a former San Antonio mayor, has been criticizing the role Iowa and New Hampshire play in the presidential nominating process. He’s planning a town hall forum next Tuesday in Des Moines to discuss the issue.“There’s no reason that Iowa and New Hampshire that hardly have any black people or people of color should always go first,” Castro said during a conference call with reporters yesterday.New Jersey Senator Cory Booker told Iowans yesterday that if he fails to get enough support in qualifying polls, there will be a billionaire on the stage for the televised debate later this month, but no black candidate since with California Senator Kamala Harris dropped out of the race this week. Castro hasn’t qualified for the debate either“My concern is not the presence of any one candidate on the debate stage only,” Castro said yesterday. “We need to change the whole game.”Castro is not a fan of the caucus process.“There’s no reason that a caucus system that makes it harder for working people and people with disabilities to participate should be what we begin with,” Castro said. “We need to work to reform how we elect a president in the first place.”Later today, Castro is among the candidates who will participate in a forum in Waterloo that’s sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The Iowa Farmers Union is hosting a forum in Grinnell this afternoon where several candidates will speak.last_img read more

England Boys on back foot after Irish defeat

first_img After losing narrowly to Ireland, England must beat the old enemy Scotland tomorrow (Thursday) if they are to retain the Boys Home Internationals at Forest Pines. England went down 7-8 to the Irish, holding them 6-6 in the singles after being edged out 2-3 in the morning foursomes. “It was very disappointing,” said England team manager Derek Hughes. “We have very good performances from the middle order but we didn’t get anything from the top three matches. “Normally you expect to get at least a point from there but it was a day when the big names didn’t deliver. You can’t take anything away from Ireland but the lads are sure to go out tomorrow to make up for today.” The morning foursomes was a session of low scoring as both teams took full advantage of benign conditions at the tree-lined parkland course. The best scoring of all came from the second match where the English pairing of local Ashton Turner (Image © Leaderboard Photography) and Haydn McCullen were simply too hot to handle.They defeated the experienced Paul McBride and Jack Walsh 6&5 in an exemplary display of precision and ball striking. The English duo recorded seven consecutive birdies from the second hole, or put another way, Ireland were two under after nine holes but found themselves four down. The pairing of Harry Ellis and Ben Amor teamed up for the second day and enjoyed a comprehensive 5&3 win over Alec Myles and Rowan Lester. They raced 4-up after six holes before Ireland rallied. However, Ellis and Amor closed out the match with a birdie at the 15th. The Irish pair of Jordan Hood and Gareth Lappin never trailed against Robert Burlison and Bobby Keeble and ran out 2&1 winners with a birdie at the 17th and it was a similar story for Sean Flanagan and Ronan Mullarney in the bottom match against Jack Singh Brar and Bradley Moore and they also won on the 17th by 3&1. It meant the decisive match was the top tie where Ireland’s Robin Dawson and James Sugrue were one down with three to play before turning it around and winning on the 18th against Adam Chapman and Marco Penge. In the singles, the top three matches went Ireland’s way with Chapman, Penge and Turner all losing, Turner by 5&4 and the other two on the final green. With the middle order of McCullen, Burlison, Amor and Singh Brar all coming out on top, it left the score at 6-6. But only Keeble managed to achieve a victory, winning 3&2, but Moore and Ellis were both on the wrong end of their scorlines. 7 Aug 2013 England Boys on back foot after Irish defeat last_img read more