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GTT, the new face of Guyana Amazon Warriors

first_img‒ signs signature sponsorship deal with teamBy Akeem GreeneGuyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) is now the signature sponsor of the Guyana Amazon Warriors for the fifth edition of the gala Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).This was disclosed by GTT’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Justin Nedd yesterday while speaking at a festive ceremony held at the Presidential Suit of the National Stadium, Providence.“Our sponsorship of the Amazon Warriors is an expression of GTT’s understanding of the Guyanese heart and passion for sport especially cricket.”, the CEO stated.While there was no disclosure on a cost of the sponsorship, the agreement is expected to see the company have the main branding rights for the team as they seek to improve spectators’ experiences at the Stadium.“GTT and the Guyana Amazon Warriors will blaze the stands and the grass mound on match days in full party mode. We want everyone to embrace what it means to be an Amazon Warrior”, Nedd added.The CEO also disclosed their “Future Amazon Warrior” in 15 year-old Berbician Seon Glasgow. GTT will immediately provide full sponsorship for his participation in the Sir Garfield Sobers Schools Tournament in Barbados in July.Glasgow has been selected to be part of the Electra Sports Academy that will be representing Guyana at the tournament.“We will also pursue Seon’s training with the Guyana Amazon Warriors team here in July in preparation for the CPL Games in August,” Need disclosed.Likewise, Amazon Warriors, Marketing and Media Officer and Assistant Operations Manager, John Ramsingh revealed that the partnership with GTT would provide more hype among other things. “Our partnership with GTT is aimed at providing more information, more hype, more opportunities to get a chance to see these matches live and even a chance to interact in person with the International, Regional and your own local players”.GTT’s CEO Justin Nedd signing a ceremonial bat in the presence of Amazon Warriors Ashmine Jailall (Carl Crooker Photo)Director of Sport Christopher Jones was most enthused about the proceedings since it exemplifies his contention that “government and government alone cannot undertake the development of sport since corporate support is needed.”Jones congratulated GTT on the venture and assured that there is willingness to lend whatever support is needed to make the Amazon Warriors successful.The company also unveiled, the “Amazon Warriors Song”, which is a musical collaboration between two local music stars Calvin Burnett and Drew Thoven.The league will run from August 4 to September 9 and the Warriors will have four home games during the period of August 17 to 22. The Warriors have been one of the most consistent teams in the league reaching three of the four finals to date.The Warriors have six newcomers in their squad with Afghanistan leg spinning sensation Rashid Khan heading the list that includes destructive Jamaican wicket-keeper/batsman Chadwick Walton who played for the Tallawahs in the last four seasons.Big-hitting ICC Americas opener Steven Taylor will also suit up for the Warriors, along with Barbados all-rounder Roshon Primus and the Guyanese pair, batsman Gajanand Singh and fast bowler Keon Joseph, who was a replacement to Ronsford Beaton in the 2013 squad but did not play a match.The retained players are Pakistani all-rounder Sohail Tanvir, New Zealand opener Martin Guptill, Australian middle-order batsman Chris Lynn, Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder Rayad Emrit, Trinidad and Tobago batsman Jason Mohammed, Guyanese trio Veerasammy Permaul, Assad Fudadin and Steven Jacobs and Trinidad and Tobago wicketkeeper/batsman Steven Katwaroo.The finals of the tournament will take place at the new Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad and Tobago from September 5 to 9.last_img read more


French broadcaster TF1 has struck a partnership wi

first_imgFrench broadcaster TF1 has struck a partnership with text-to-video technology specialist Wibbitz to enhance the digital offerings of its LCI news channel.LCI will begin using the technology to generate video content for its Metronews website this summer. Content will also be generated for LCI’s soon to be launched 24-hour video-focused digital platform.TF1 said that the Wibbitz technology would enable it to generate addition video content to illustrate stories, which would be central to its future news platform.TF1 is taking a minority stake in Wibbitz as part of the partnership.Oivier Abecassis, director of digital and innovation at TF1 Group, said that the organisation had been particularly attracted to the text-to-video solution developed by Wibbitz, which would allow it to significantly enrich its inventory of video content.Wibbitz’s technology uses language processing algorithms to scan text content to understand a story, summarises it into a narrative script and then packages branded videos, selecting clips, photos and infographics from a publisher’s own content or licensed content from partners.According to Wibbitz, a professionally recorded human voiceover for the content is then generated in under 10 minutes. Immediate publication can be facilitated by the use of the Wibbitz automated voiceover.TF1 has placed digital innovation at the centre of its plans for LCI, which recently passed from the digital-terrestrial pay TV platform in France to the free-to-air platform.last_img read more


Outdoor air pollution linked to intellectual disabilities in children

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 21 2018British children with intellectual disabilities are more likely than their peers to live in areas with high outdoor air pollution, according to a new Journal of Intellectual Disability Research study funded by Public Health England. The findings come from an analysis of data extracted from the UK’s Millennium Cohort Study, a nationally representative sample of more than 18,000 UK children born in 2000 to 2002.Averaging across ages, children with intellectual disabilities were 33 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of diesel particulate matter, 30 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of nitrogen dioxide, 30 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of carbon monoxide, and 17 percent more likely to live in areas with high levels of sulphur dioxide.The authors note that intellectual disability is more common among children living in more socioeconomically deprived areas, which tend to have higher levels of air pollution; however, exposure to outdoor air pollution may impede cognitive development, thereby increasing the risk of intellectual disability.”We know that people with intellectual disabilities in the UK have poorer health and die earlier than they should. This research adds another piece to the jigsaw of understanding why that is the case and what needs to be done about it,” said lead author Dr. Eric Emerson, of TheUniversityofSydney, in Australia.Source: https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/journal-intellectual-disability-research/study-uncovers-link-between-air-pollution-andlast_img read more


Study provides potential new targets for treating epilepsy

first_img Source:https://picower.mit.edu/news/study-reveals-how-glial-cells-may-play-key-epilepsy-role Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 30 2019A new study provides potential new targets for treating epilepsy and new fundamental insights into the relationship between neurons and their glial “helper” cells. In eLife, scientists at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory report finding a key sequence of molecular events in which the genetic mutation in a fruit fly model of epilepsy leaves neurons vulnerable to becoming hyper activated by stress, leading to seizures.About 60 million people worldwide have epilepsy, a neurological condition characterized by seizures resulting from excessive neural activity. The “zydeco” model flies in the study experience seizures in a similar fashion. Since discovering zydeco, the lab of MIT neurobiologist Troy Littleton, Menicon Professor in Neuroscience, has been investigating why the flies’ zydeco mutation makes it a powerful model of epilepsy.Heading into the study, the team led by postdoc Shirley Weiss knew that the zydeco mutation was specifically expressed by cortex glial cells and that the protein it makes helps to pump calcium ions out of the cells. But that didn’t explain much about why a glial cell’s difficulty maintaining a natural ebb and flow of calcium ions would lead adjacent neurons to become too active under seizure-inducing stresses such as fever-grade temperatures or the fly being jostled around.The activity of neurons rises and falls based on the flow of ions – for a neuron to “fire,” for instance, it takes in sodium ions, and then to calm back down it releases potassium ions. But the ability of neurons to do that depends on there being a conducive balance of ions outside the cell. For instance, too much potassium outside makes it harder to get rid of potassium and calm down.The need for an ion balance – and the way it is upset by the zydeco mutation – turned out to be the key to the new study. In a four-year series of experiments, Weiss, Littleton and their co-authors found that excess calcium in cortex glia cells causes them to hyper-activate a molecular pathway that leads them to withdraw many of the potassium channels that they typically deploy to remove potassium from around neurons. With too much potassium left around, neurons can’t calm down when they are excited, and seizures ensue.”No one has really shown how calcium signaling in glia could directly communicate with this more classical role of glial cells in potassium buffering,” Littleton said. “So this is a really important discovery linking an observation that’s been found in glia for a long time – these calcium oscillations that no one really understood – to a real biological function in glial cells where it’s contributing to their ability to regulate ionic balance around neurons.”Related StoriesGenetic contribution to distractibility helps explain procrastinationNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerNew study reveals ‘clutch’ proteins responsible for putting T cell activation ‘into gear’New targets for interventionWeiss’s work lays out a detailed sequence of events, implicating several specific molecular players and processes. That richly built knowledge meant that along the way, she and the team found multiple steps in which they could intervene to prevent seizures.She started working the problem from the calcium end. With too much calcium afoot, she asked, what genes might be in a related pathway such that, if their expression was prevented, seizures would not occur? She interfered with expression in 847 potentially related genes and found that about 50 affected seizures. Among those, one stood out both for being closely linked to calcium regulation and also for being expressed in the key cortex glia cells of interest: calcineurin. Inhibiting calcineurin activity, for instance with the immunosuppressant medications cyclosprorine A or FK506, blocked seizures in zydeco mutant flies.Weiss then looked at the genes affected by the calcineurin pathway and found several. One day at a conference where she was presenting a poster of her work, an onlooker mentioned that glial potassium channels could be involved. Sure enough, she found a particular one called “sandman” that, when knocked down, led to seizures in the flies. Further research showed that hyper activation of calcineurin in zydeco glia led to an increase in a cellular process called endocytosis in which the cell was bringing too much sandman back into the cell body. Without sandman staying on the cell membrane, the glia couldn’t effectively remove potassium from the outside.When Weiss and her co-authors interfered to suppress endocytosis in zydeco flies, they also were able to reduce seizures because that allowed more sandman to persist where it could reduce potassium. Sandman, notably, is equivalent to a protein in mammals called TRESK.”Pharmacologically targeting glial pathways might be a promising avenue for future drug development in the field,” the authors wrote in eLife.In addition to that clinical lead, the study also offers some new insights for more fundamental neuroscience, Littleton and Weiss said. While zydeco flies are good models of epilepsy, Drosophila’s cortex glia do have a property not found in mammals: they contact only the cell body of neurons, not the synaptic connections on their axon and dendrite branches. That makes them an unusually useful testbed to learn how glia interact with neurons via their cell body versus their synapses. The new study, for instance, shows a key mechanism for maintaining ionic balance for the neurons.last_img read more


DDay for Facebook Zuckerberg before skeptical lawmakers

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg held private meetings Monday with lawmakers ahead of his congressional testimony Tuesday and Wednesday “I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”In his written remarks, Zuckerberg called Facebook “an idealistic and optimistic company” and said: “We focused on all the good that connecting people can bring.”But he acknowledged that “it’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy.”Zuckerberg said he has called for more investments in security that will “significantly impact our profitability going forward,” adding: “I want to be clear about what our priority is: protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profit.” © 2018 AFP Cardboard cutouts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stand outside the US Capitol, placed by advocacy group Avaaz to call attention to what the group says are fake accounts still spreading disinformation on Facebook Graphic showing Facebook’s presence around the world Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg was set for a fiery face-off on Capitol Hill Tuesday as he attempts to quell a firestorm over privacy and security lapses at the social network that have angered lawmakers and the site’s two billion users. ‘Investigating every app’Zuckerberg recounted a list of steps announced by Facebook aimed at averting a repeat of the improper use of data by third parties like Cambridge Analytica, and noted that other applications were also being investigated to determine if they did anything wrong.”We’re in the process of investigating every app that had access to a large amount of information before we locked down our platform in 2014,” said Zuckerberg.”If we detect suspicious activity, we’ll do a full forensic audit. And if we find that someone is improperly using data, we’ll ban them and tell everyone affected.”Zuckerberg met behind closed doors with Senators Bill Nelson of Florida and Dianne Feinstein of California, among others.Backing ‘Honest Ads’On Friday, Facebook sought to quell some concerns over political manipulation of its platform by announcing support for the “Honest Ads Act” that requires election ad buyers to be identified, and to go further with verification of sponsors of ads on key public policy issues.Zuckerberg said the change will mean “we will hire thousands of more people” to get the new system in place ahead of US midterm elections in November.”We’re starting this in the US and expanding to the rest of the world in the coming months,” Zuckerberg said.On Monday, Facebook agreed to supply proprietary data for a study on its role in elections and democracy.”The goal is both to get the ideas of leading academics on how to address these issues as well as to hold us accountable for making sure we protect the integrity of these elections on Facebook,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page.”Looking back, it’s clear we were too slow identifying election interference in 2016, and we need to do better in future elections.” Zuckerberg prepares another apology—this time to Congress Citation: D-Day for Facebook, Zuckerberg before skeptical lawmakers (2018, April 10) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-d-day-facebook-zuckerberg-skeptical-lawmakers.html Explore further Zuckerberg, making his first formal appearance at a Congressional hearing, will seek to allay widespread fears ignited by the leaking of private data on tens of millions of users to a British firm working on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.The scandal has sparked fresh talk about regulation of social media platforms, and Facebook in the past week has sought to stem criticism by endorsing at least one legislative proposal, which would require better labeling and disclosure on political advertising.Senator Bill Nelson, one of the lawmakers who met privately Monday with Zuckerberg, said he believes the 33-year-old CEO is taking the matter seriously.”I believe he understands that regulation could be right around the corner,” the Florida Democrat said.Other lawmakers were less clear about the need for new regulations.Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana said, “I’m not interested in regulating Facebook. I’m interested in Facebook regulating itself and solving the problems. I come in peace.”Zuckerberg was set to appear before a Senate panel from 1815 GMT, with another session in the House of Representatives Wednesday.The huge social network has begun alerting some users about whether their data was leaked to the British firm Cambridge Analytica.Notification is among several steps pledged by Facebook to fix pervasive problems on data security and manipulation of the platform used by some two billion people worldwide. Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley said Tuesday’s hearing is the first step in an “open dialogue about how we address growing consumer privacy concerns.” “The tech industry has a duty to respond to widespread and growing privacy concerns and restore the public trust. The status quo no longer works,” Grassley added.Suit and tieOn Monday, Zuckerberg ditched his trademark T-shirt for a somber dark suit and tie as he made the rounds on Capitol Hill and sounded contrite about Facebook’s conduct.”We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I’m sorry,” Zuckerberg said in his written testimony released by the House commerce committee. 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. read more


Laserscribed disordered graphene significantly improves sodiumion battery capacity

first_img Sodium-based batteries could make your smartphone cheaper and cleaner Yet normal graphite, the dominant anode material in lithium-ion batteries, struggles to store or intercalate sodium ions because sodium ions are larger than lithium ions. Hard carbon is a type of disordered graphite that can store more sodium ions, hence increasing battery capacity. The problem is that making hard carbon requires temperatures of almost 1000°C.The KAUST team led by Husam Alshareef has developed a process using a simple bench-top laser to make three-dimensional hard carbon directly on copper collectors without excessive temperatures or additional coating steps.The team formed a polymer (urea-containing polyimide) sheet on copper and then exposed this sheet to strong laser light. By introducing nitrogen gas during the process, the team could replace some of the carbon atoms with nitrogen atoms, reaching an extremely high nitrogen level (13 atomic percent), which is unattainable by other techniques. Thus, the three-dimensional graphene was more conductive, had expanded atomic spacing, and was directly bonded to the copper current collectors, eliminating the need for additional processing steps.”We wanted to find a way to make three dimensional hard carbons without having to excessively heat our samples. This way we could form the hard carbon directly on copper collectors,” said Fan Zhang, a Ph.D. student in Alshareef’s group.The KAUST researchers fabricated sodium-ion batteries using their laser-formed anode material. Their device exhibited a coulombic efficiency that exceeds most reported carbonaceous anodes, such as hard and soft carbon, and a sodium-ion capacity better than most previous carbon anodes in sodium-ion batteries.”I enjoyed learning from every member of Prof. Alshareef’s group, especially Fan Zhang, who was my closest mentor,” said Eman Alhajji, a KAUST Gifted Student Program (KGSP) intern and current undergraduate student at North Carolina State University, USA. Eman will join the group as a Ph.D. student next fall.”Zhang and Alhajji set an admirable example of productive collaboration between KAUST graduate students and visiting KGSP interns. Their work opens a new direction in battery research, which can be extended to other energy-storage technologies,” said Alshareef. Provided by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology More information: Fan Zhang et al. Highly Doped 3D Graphene Na-Ion Battery Anode by Laser Scribing Polyimide Films in Nitrogen Ambient, Advanced Energy Materials (2018). DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201800353 Explore further Journal information: Advanced Energy Materialscenter_img Citation: Laser-scribed disordered graphene significantly improves sodium-ion battery capacity (2018, July 30) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-laser-scribed-disordered-graphene-significantly-sodium-ion.html Laser treatment of a polymer coating on copper creates nitrogen-doped laser-scribed graphene (NLSG) for use as a sodium-ion battery anode. Credit: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. Image created by Xavier Pita Sodium-ion batteries have potential to replace the currently used lithium-ion batteries by using the cheaper (less than a thirtieth of the cost of lithium) and more abundant sodium resource. This has particular potential in Saudi Arabia, where sodium is readily available and easily extracted as a byproduct of water desalination, a significant source of potable water in the country. 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


Google Facebook agree EU fake news code of conduct

first_imgEU Digital Economy Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said the commitment was “a step in the right direction” Major tech companies including Facebook and Google agreed Wednesday on a code of conduct to combat online disinformation in the European Union, although critics said the commitments were too weak. Divisions over EU’s focus on tech groups to stop ‘fake news’ Explore further Citation: Google, Facebook agree EU ‘fake news’ code of conduct (2018, September 26) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-google-facebook-eu-fake-news.htmlcenter_img 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. © 2018 AFP Seven months before the European elections, the code published by the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, called in particular for the withdrawal of advertising revenues from disseminators of “fake news”. In addition, companies agreed that the source of adverts should be clearly labelled and also agreed to closer scrutiny of ad content disseminated on platforms.They will also track the misuse of automated bots to distribute fake news and expand the possibility for users to lodge complaints about suspect posts.EU Digital Economy Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said the commitment was “a step in the right direction”, but also called for further efforts by Silicon Valley giants.Gabriel maintained her threat of EU regulation if the voluntary commitment did not swiftly lead to tangible results.EU sources said Facebook and Google, including its video sharing site Youtube, have so far backed the code of conduct, with big tech lobby Edima also one of the signatories. The push against fake news by the European Commission gained traction this year after a scandal involving the illegal harvesting of Facebook users’ data in the election campaign of US President Donald Trump.Fears in Brussels now centre on the European Parliament elections next year after alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential ballot and the Brexit vote in Britain the same year.In a statement, Gabriel said she hoped the code of conduct would “contribute to a transparent, fair and trustworthy online campaign in the run-up to the European elections in spring 2019.”At the same time, “Europe’s fundamental principles of freedom of expression, free press and pluralism should be fully respected”.Harsh criticism came from an advisory body of media representatives, associations and academics also convened by the Commission.The code does not contain “a common approach, no clear and meaningful obligations, no measurable objectives” and no sanctions for enforcement, a statement said. Therefore, there can be no question of “self-regulation”.”Let’s face it. Platforms which make money from advertisements displayed alongside fake news articles and posts are just not well-placed to tackle this problem,” said Monique Goyens, head of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC).last_img read more