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

Sherwood brushes off speculation

first_imgTim Sherwood preferred to focus on the performance of his players rather than the mounting speculation about his Tottenham future after the comprehensive defeat of Sunderland. The build-up to Monday’s Barclays Premier League clash was dominated by a report that claimed the Spurs head coach’s tenure would end this summer, regardless of how results went between now and the end of the campaign. Sherwood insisted before the match that the speculation would not affect him or his players and so it proved, with the hosts running out 5-1 victors at White Hart Lane. Woeful defending saw Lee Cattermole open the scoring for the relegation-threatened Black Cats, but Spurs responded impressively through an Emmanuel Adebayor brace complemented by efforts from Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Gylfi Sigurdsson. It was a good end to a tough day for under-fire Sherwood – not that the Spurs boss would admit it. “No, it was a good end to a day where we needed to win the game,” he said. “We came here and we knew we had to respond to the game against Liverpool and we did that today. “After giving them a goal – we’re making a habit of this and we have to stop it – I thought we controlled the game from start to finish. “We stayed patient with the football, moved it around, made the pitch very big and got our offensive players on the ball in the correct areas of the field. “We created 29 attempts to score a goal – it was the most dominant football match you’re ever going to see.” Pressed on whether the talk had been at all unsettling, Sherwood added: “It doesn’t affect me. “I am just professional, I know I have got an opportunity to manage this football club and I owe it to the players and the fans who come and support us to do the job professionally. “That’s what I did, just got on with the job.” The players did just that too, with Adebayor lending his backing to Sherwood after netting a brace. “I am not surprised he is backing me, he never played before I came in here,” the Spurs boss said with a laugh. “Listen, I’ve always said about Ade that he is a top professional. I hear all these stories and I see it myself, but he has never caused me a problem. “He is a real credit to the football club, the way he conducts himself with the young players. “That’s why he scores so many goals. He is a fantastic trainer and just gets on with it. I would have been mad not to give him the opportunity to play, wouldn’t I? “I think the players are backing me and I am backing them as well. They get from me honesty – I tell them when they’re not doing well and pat them on the back when they are doing well. “I always wanted honesty from my managers and at some clubs I didn’t get that, which was very disappointing. You live and learn.” While the direction of Tottenham remains unclear, the only way Sunderland are heading his down unless things change quickly. Gus Poyet’s side have taken just one point from their last seven matches and languish bottom of the table, seven points adrift of safety. They have two games in hand on many of their relegation rivals but manager Poyet concedes his side need a miracle to stave off the drop. “I don’t change my opinion,” the Black Cats boss said. “I am very honest and I know where I am. It doesn’t matter if it was five minutes ago or if you asked me on Friday. “I am realistic, when you look at the table and the games that we have got left, about how many we need to win. “I think we need a miracle. We need something unique, a shock because if not I cannot see it coming.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Fast reaction: Three takeaways from Syracuse’s 34-18 win over West Virginia

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ ORLANDO, Fla. — In the program’s first bowl game in five years, No. 20 Syracuse (10-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast) celebrated on the field while it’s former Big East rival, No. 16 West Virginia (8-4, 6-3 Big 12), slunk to the locker room after a 34-18 beating.After a lethargic, back-and-forth first half, SU steadily built a lead and held it, winning it’s fourth-straight against the Mountaineers and securing a 10-win season.Here are three reactions from SU’s first bowl game in five years.More CoverageSyracuse defeats West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl to cap first 10-win season since 2001No. 20 Syracuse’s defense stymies No. 16 West Virginia in Camping World Bowl winSuperlatives from Syracuse’s 34-18 Camping World Bowl win over West VirginiaEric Dungey delivers fitting end to historic career in Camping World Bowl Published on December 28, 2018 at 8:46 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Grahamcenter_img Dungey’s curtain callAdvertisementThis is placeholder textLate in the third quarter, on a shovel pass to fullback Chris Elmore, Eric Dungey became Syracuse’s all-time leading passer, eclipsing Ryan Nassib’s 9,190 yards. Dungey finished the game with 303 yards and threw for 9,340 in his four years at SU.In his final game for the Orange, Dungey played with the same reckless abandon that fans will remember in central New York for years to come. Facing near-constant pressure early in the game, he rolled and bailed from the pocket, taking hits and grinding out yards on the ground.He threw two bad interceptions, but he also accounted for a touchdown. When he took a shot and WVU got flagged for roughing the passer in the first quarter, Dungey popped up and started clapping in the direction of the two defenders who buried him.From missing the ends of his first three seasons and compiling a lopsided losing record, Dungey pushed and pulled and cajoled SU to its best season in decades and the seventh 10-win season in school history. He will go down as a Syracuse legend, because he is.Transfer trial runIn their first ever game for Syracuse, transfers Abdul Adams and Trishton Jackson accounted for three of Syracuse’s four touchdowns.Adams, a running back who started at Oklahoma, bulldozed his way to two touchdowns on eight carries for 19 yards. Jackson, a wide receiver formerly at Michigan State, made three catches — one an acrobatic, contested grab on the left edge of the endzone for a touchdown, placing both feet down and rolling out of bounds with the ball on the first play of the fourth quarter.During bowl practices and at the joint conferences the day before the game, SU head coach Dino Babers was coy about how much Adams and Jackson would, or could play. They needed to master the playbook, be comfortable taking contact again and Babers stressed a certain amount of loyalty to the players who got SU to this point.But on the field in Orlando, it was the transfers who starred for the Orange.Unlikely contributorsEarly in the fourth quarter, a deflected pass fell in the hands of Syracuse defensive back Allen Stritzinger. The pick set up SU at the WVU 33-yard line, and a few plays later, Andre Szmyt knocked in a 34-yard field goal.Earlier, sophomore defensive end Tyrell Richards chased down running back Martell Pettaway to save a touchdown, then came bursting off the edge to drop Jack Allison for a sack.Both players have been regular contributors on special teams and occasionally earned rotational snaps or played in garbage time. But as SU dominated the Mountaineers, Babers played several younger players. He had stressed that as much as the bowl is a reward for the 2018 team, it’s also a springboard into 2019.“The interesting thing about the bowl season is that you’re really — you have one team but you have another team that’s surfacing,” Babers said on Wednesday. “Your underbelly, your 2019 team, is surfacing because they realize in less than three days maybe the guy that’s in front of them is going to be gone.”All over the field, players who had for most of the season been buried on the depth chart started sliding in and making plays. Commentslast_img read more