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R500m boost for SA parks

first_img8 June 2007South African National Parks (SANParks) has been allocated R574.9-million to develop infrastructure and improve facilities in the country’s nature reserves for the 2010 Fifa World Cup and beyond.“Coupled with the R600-million that is being spent on the infrastructure component of the Expanded Public Works Programme, total expenditure on upgrading, as well as new rest camps, tourism roads, fences and other infrastructure, will have exceeded R1-billion by 2010,” Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk told Parliament this week. , during the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism’s (Deat) budget vote this week.Delivering his department’s budget vote in Cape Town, Van Schalkwyk said SANParks had signed an agreement with Fifa accommodation and ticketing company Match to offer football fans a truly unique experience during the World Cup.“In the event that SANParks is called on to provide more accommodation units than are currently available in its inventory, the organisation has made provisions to erect, at short notice, tented accommodation to meet any demands that may be placed on the facilities,” the minister said.“Provision of services in national parks throughout the 2010 World Cup tournament will occur with very minimal disruption to domestic visitors, who remain the organisation’s backbone.”Trans-frontier tourismVan Schalkwyk said that in June 2005, eight Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states had adopted a strategy to promote trans-frontier conservation areas (TFCAs) and trans-frontier parks (TFPs) as premier international tourism attractions for 2010 and beyond.“We therefore plan, before the end of the year, to hold at least two investor conferences, one in South Africa and one in Europe, to attract investment into major tourist facilities within the TFCAs,” he said.South Africa’s tourism industry has continued to improve, with almost 8.4-million international arrivals in 2006 – an increase of more than one million visitors compared to the previous year.Open Africa RouteVan Schalkwyk said his department was currently funding the Open Africa Route initiative, in order to achieve the revenue, seasonality, distribution, length of stay and transformation requirements of the South African tourism industry.He said the development of these routes would focus on the packaging of “second economy” products into tourism experiences. Twenty-three existing routes are being revised to include second economy operators, and three new routes are being developed.“We are providing a comprehensive range of support measures to ensure that the second-economy operators are well equipped to meet the high expectations of both local and international travellers,” he said.In addition, just over 2 000 small operators will be trained on tourism awareness, while over 800 will be trained in business management, human resource management, financial management and marketing.Van Schalkwyk added that the department would launch a tourism safety and awareness strategy, involving “pro-active measures as well as support measures where incidents have occurred”, in September.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Crops looking good, harvest conditions fair for 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseWow! August proved to be a strong month for finishing out what looks to be a very large corn and soybean crop for many parts of Ohio.With just a few exceptions, nearly all of Ohio had surplus moisture by the release of the Sept. 2 USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) weather summary for Ohio. A few notable exceptions were Pandora that was 2 inches below normal, Cambridge that was 4.59 inches below normal, Bucyrus that was 4.53 inches behind, and Stow that was almost 6 inches below normal precipitation since April 1. On the flip side, Washington Courthouse has seen 6.52 inches above normal, Newark had more than 8 inches over normal, Circleville is 9 inches above average, and a Cleveland location is a whopping over 10 inches above normal precipitation for this time of year.August had no shortage of Growing Degree Days either. Again, the vast majority of Ohio locations were well above average for GDD accumulation. Gallipolis, though, was 140 GDDs behind, South Point was 296 behind and Marysville was 332 GDDs behind as of Sept. 2. Findlay was 456 GDDs above normal, Akron Canton was 618 above normal, and Fredericktown was 655 GDDs above normal.The heat really pushed the crops, especially the corn, quickly toward harvest conditions.Even by late August, a few farmers around Ohio were already harvesting corn for an early new crop pricing advantage. Anderson Ethanol received the first load of new crop corn on Aug. 29 from southern Darke County. It was 107-day maturity, planted in mid-April and at 18.3% moisture. Similarly, late August and early September saw early harvest efforts get started in scattered pockets around the state.Ohio’s corn was ahead of schedule in every category for the 2018 crop compared to last year and the five-year average in the Sept. 2 NASS report. This year, 13% of the corn crop was mature compared to the 5% five-year average and 6% in 2017. Silage harvest, at 32% completed, was well ahead of last year.In soybeans, 15% of the 2018 crop was dropping leaves by Sept. 2 compared to the 7% five-year average. Both crops were looking good with 79% of Ohio’s corn and 80% of Ohio’s soybeans in the “good” or “excellent” categories.Looking forward, Ohio’s very hot weather of early September fueled in part by tropical activity in the Pacific Ocean and a big high pressure system over the eastern U.S. will maintain the shift to at or above normal for the remainder of the month.“We do not see any early freeze conditions this year,” said Jim Noel, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the U.S. Department of Commerce, in a recent CORN Newsletter.Noel predicted September rainfall to end up near normal with above normal humidity for the month and, as a result, slower soil drying conditions than would be expected with the higher temperatures. Noel said the October harvest outlook for the weather is temperatures still 1 to 3 degrees F above normal and rainfall levels 0.5 to 1 inch above normal with continued above-normal humidity levels, which could make for challenging harvest conditions, with the wettest conditions in the western half of Ohio and northern areas and the driest areas east and southeast, Noel said. The freeze outlook should be near normal timing in the Oct. 10- to Oct. 20-range.last_img read more

a month agoReal Madrid president Florentino insists summer market a success

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Real Madrid president Florentino insists summer market a successby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid president Florentino Perez insists they had a successful summer market.Los Blancos made a handful of new signings this summer, spending a total of 305 million euros, yet only Eden Hazard seems to have joined as a guaranteed starter.Regardless, Florentino is pleased with their business.”The squad is one of the most valuable [in the world] at 1.18 billion euros,” he told the club’s General Assembly.”We have added new players, including Hazard, who has excited Madrid fans since the day of his presentation. The best player in the Europa League and the Premier League.”[Luka] Jovic, aged just 21 and having scored 27 goals last year, to the best left-back in the French league [Ligue 1] over the last two years, [Ferland] Mendy.”Also [Eder] Militao, who just won the Copa America.”Rodrygo [Goes] is one of the most promising players in Brazilian football.”[Alphonse] Areola has arrived to replace our dear Keylor Navas [whose name was met by applause from the room].”The commitment to young players is an angular part of our model. We believe in our academy and here at Valdebebas, the values of the club are transmitted to the players.” last_img read more

22 days agoBarcelona captain Messi talks Griezmann and preseason tours

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Barcelona captain Messi talks Griezmann and preseason toursby Carlos Volcano22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona captain Lionel Messi admits their pre-season tour has had a negative effect on their start to the season.Messi was speaking after their Champions League win over Inter Milan.”When you travel you don’t train well,” he said.”We returned and we left [again], you don’t work well and we didn’t have a training base, but we’re improving, we’re going to get going, but it’s not a criticism, it’s reality.”It’s understandable that the club puts on these [pre-season] games, all the big clubs do it and it’s necessary, little by little we’re going to adapt to the competition.Messi made just his second start of the season against Inter and he says that he’s getting back to match sharpness.”[I’m] trying to start, they’re the first 90 minutes I’ve been able to complete, [I’m] happy to end well, tired and lacking in rhythm, but once the games go by, I will get going, I’m used to playing and managing my matches,” he added.”We don’t train much because we’re playing two games a week and there isn’t time. I feel better when I’m playing and when I have a run of games.”He also commented on his relationship with Antoine Griezmann.”Obviously we don’t have any problems; there’s a good relationship between everyone in the dressing room, we are united,” Messi explained.”We knew that the time wasn’t the best, that we needed this win to get back on track so that we can go forwards now.”We’ve won two important matches and let’s hope it stays like this, it was tough to get started but we hope to continue rising.”We’re on this path, we knew that we were having a difficult moment, but if we look at the rest of Europe, it’s tough for every team to start, for pre-season, we’re slow, I’m not finding excuses but it’s reality.” last_img read more

22 days agoChelsea striker Tammy Abraham undecided about international future

first_imgChelsea striker Tammy Abraham undecided about international futureby Paul Vegas22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea striker Tammy Abraham says he is undecided about his international future.England and Nigeria are both vying for the 22-year-old, who has scored eight goals in ten games this season.”I love both nations,” Abraham said.”To be wanted by both nations, clearly I’m doing something right on the pitch for Chelsea. I just have to keep going. My time will come.”I’m not sure, I haven’t made a decision yet. I’m just focusing on the club now.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

June 23 2008 Welcome to the June 15 workshop

first_imgJune 23, 2008 Welcome to the June 15. workshop participants: [top from left] Tyler Scott, Mark Moynihan [intern], Todd Findley, Brendan Siegl, Mateo Mir Bashiri [intern] and Thomas TJ Bogan. [middle from left] Jonathan Schafer, Magda Lojewska, Claire Woolley [seminar week] and Toa Rivera [intern]. [front from left] Lindsay Marsh [two weeks] , Aimee Madsen [seminar week] and Rebecca Brown. [Photo & text: sa]last_img

Moderate amounts of healthy fats could soon be allowed in diets

first_imgImage Credit: Bitt24 / Shutterstock By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJan 8 2019Most public health guidelines including the Dietary Guidelines for Americans do not allow fat portions in excess. However nutritionists and dieticians have now agreed that not all fats in diet are bad and many of them could be allowed.At present there is ample evidence to show that not all forms of fats are bad for the heart and some are indeed good for the heart. Some of the fats may help to reduce triglycerides in blood. This is a particularly harmful type of lipid particle in blood that causes heart disease. Some fats can also raise the HDL or “good” cholesterol in the blood and thus protect the heart. As the HDL rises, the levels of the harmful LDL cholesterol start to decline. The new evidence shows that fat content in diets can not only improve the satisfaction with the diet but also help in reducing weight and preserving muscle mass. Some fats such as the trans fat is bad for the heart and should be avoided say experts. However all fat molecules are broken down in the body to provide high amounts of energy. Each gram of fat yields 9 calories. Fats are broken down into simple molecules containing hydrogen and carbon atoms. There are two major types of fats – saturated and unsaturated. Unsaturated fats contain carbon molecules binding to other carbon molecules while saturated fats contain carbon molecules binding to hydrogen molecules.There are mono and poly unsaturated fats or fatty acids (MUFA and PUFA). MUFA have a single unsaturated carbon bond and are seen in good fats such as olive oil, some types of nuts etc. PUFA contain more than one unsaturated carbon molecule and are found in plant or vegetable oils, salmon and sardines, walnuts etc. Some of the saturated fats include “12-carbon lauric acid, 14-carbon myristic acid, 16-carbon palmitic acid and 18-carbon stearic acid”. Among these stearic acid is not responsible for raising bad cholesterol LDL in the body.Related StoriesLipid-lowering drugs are underutilized for preventing atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseaseStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaThese findings have indicated that not all fat consumed is same and neither are their effects on the body. Researchers have said that dietary fat needs to be lowered since the 1930’s with the Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association in 1968 recommending reducing the total saturated fat intake. The first Dietary Guidelines for Americans by the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs was published in the 1977 and it emphasized on the same principle.Researchers led by Heidi Silver, an associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, developed a diet plan for 14 days. The menus contained three meals and two snacks in a day. The diet plan raises the total intake of “18-carbon monounsaturated fat, oleic acid and the 18-carbon and longer chain polyunsaturated fats”. These longer chain PUFA are also called the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They replaced the carbohydrate snacks with nuts and croutons in the salads were replaced by slices of avocado. Salad dressings were made of canola oil, safflower oil and olive oil. This diet was advised to 144 women over a period of 16 weeks. This diet showed a significant reduction in abdominal fat and waist circumference in these women and there was also a 6 percent improvement in blood pressure markers. The five and 10 year heart disease risk was also reduced by 6 percent among these women. The diet was appreciated and satisfactory for the participants.The researchers then looked at the blood lipid profiles of the participants. They noted that the balanced moderately high fat diet showed more improvements in levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol among Caucasian females and significant rise in HDL levels among African-American females. Authors concluded that not all populations respond similarly to diets and diets need to be individualized for benefits.This study was funded by the Atkins Foundation.last_img read more

Opioid overdose patients can be safely discharged an hour after administration of

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 23 2019Suspected opioid overdose patients treated with naloxone are safe for discharge from the emergency department after one hour. That is the conclusion of a study to be published in the January 2019 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM), a journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM).The study is the first to clinically assess the St. Paul’s Early Discharge Rule, developed in 2000 at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.The lead author of the study is Brian Clemency, DO, associate professor of emergency medicine in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB and an attending physician specializing in emergency medicine at Erie County Medical Center. He also is a physician with UBMD Emergency Medicine. The findings of the study are discussed in a recent AEM podcast, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go: Using the HOUR Rule.”Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesThe study findings indicate that the rule may be used to predict which patients are likely to be at high risk for adverse outcomes after opiate overdose.The authors reported that adverse events seen in patients with normal examinations after receiving naloxone for parenteral opiate overdose were minor and unlikely to be life-threatening.The study suggests the rule works when naloxone is administered intranasally and in a population where synthetic opioids are more common than in the original study.The authors recommend further study to determine the exact performance characteristics of the rule in the context of overdoses of various drugs, drug combinations, and routes of administration subgroups.Commenting on the study is Gary Vilke, MD, professor of clinical emergency medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in the department of emergency medicine and former chief of staff for the UCSD Medical Center. Dr. Vilke also serves as the medical director for risk management at UC San Diego Health and is the vice chair for clinical operations for the emergency department:”This study is an important addition to the emergency medicine literature as it evaluates a clinical support rule to define who can be safely discharged from the emergency department after only an hour of observation following prehospital naloxone use with minimal risk for a subsequent adverse event. This is obviously important for emergency department capacity and throughput issues. But more importantly, with our current opioid crisis, this study stratifies outcomes of the use of intranasal naloxone in both traditional IV heroin overdoses and oral opioid overdoses, using the data to create a practical prediction rule.” Source:http://saem.org/last_img read more

Study finds high rates of weightbased bullying among LBGTQ teens

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 7 2019Adolescents who identify as LGBTQ often face victimization and bullying because of their sexual and/or gender identity. New research from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity and the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut indicates that high percentages of LGBTQ youth are also teased and bullied because of their body weight – in some cases at higher rates than previous reports of weight-based bullying in heterosexual youth.The study, published in Pediatric Obesity, reports on findings from 9,838 adolescents who participated in the 2017 LGBTQ National Teen Survey, a comprehensive survey conducted in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign to assess victimization, health behaviors, family relationships, and experiences of LGBTQ adolescents across the United States.Researchers found that across sexual identities, 44-70% of LGBTQ teens reported weight-based teasing from family members, 41-57% reported weight-based teasing from peers, and as many as 44% reported weight-based teasing from both family members and peers. Furthermore, approximately 1 in 4 teens reported these experiences at school, and body weight was the third most common reason that these adolescents indicated they were teased or treated badly (behind sexual orientation and gender identity).”Body weight is often absent in school-based anti-bullying policies, and our findings suggest that heightened awareness of this issue may be warranted in school settings to ensure that weightbased victimization is adequately addressed and that sexual and gender minority youth are recognized as potentially vulnerable targets of weight-based bullying,” said Rebecca Puhl, Deputy Director of the UConn Rudd Center, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut, and the study’s lead author.Adolescent obesity rates currently reach 20% in the United States, and weight-based victimization has become a widespread form of mistreatment experienced by youth. This victimization has harmful health consequences, including increased risk for depression, low selfesteem, suicidal ideation, poor body image, disordered eating, harmful weight control behaviors, and lower levels of physical activity. Although there is mounting evidence of weight-based victimization in youth, there has been little attention to this issue in LGBTQ adolescents, despite their high prevalence of overweight and obesity and increased risk for victimization.Related StoriesBariatric surgery can be safe, effective treatment for teenagers with obesityStudy finds higher use of pain medications among bullied studentsBullying in children with ASD gets worse with age”These issues warrant attention among healthcare providers, parents, educators, and all others who interact with adolescents. Increased consideration must be given to the intersection of social identities related to body weight, sexual orientation, and gender identity in youth,” said Ryan Watson, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut and co-author of the study.Another key finding from this new study was that regardless of the source (family or peers) of weight-based victimization, sexual and gender minority adolescents face these experiences across diverse body weight categories. The highest rates of weight-based victimization occurred in LGBTQ adolescents with obesity (as many as 77% reported these experiences), but high percentages of teens at lower body weight categories were also vulnerable – 55-64% of those with an underweight BMI reported weight-based victimization.These findings are timely given a 2017 policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommending that pediatricians assess youth with obesity for their experiences of victimization and stigma related to their body weight.”Healthcare providers should be aware that sexual and gender minority youth can be vulnerable to weight-based victimization, regardless of their body size. Our study suggests that it may be warranted to screen LGBTQ youth for their victimization experiences not only in the context of sexual and gender identity, but also in the context of body weight,” suggested Puhl. Source:http://www.wiley.comlast_img read more

Small army of tiny robots can remove dental plaque

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 25 2019A visit to the dentist typically involves time-consuming and sometimes unpleasant scraping with mechanical tools to remove plaque from teeth. What if, instead, a dentist could deploy a small army of tiny robots to precisely and non-invasively remove that buildup?A team of engineers, dentists, and biologists from the University of Pennsylvania developed a microscopic robotic cleaning crew. With two types of robotic systems–one designed to work on surfaces and the other to operate inside confined spaces–the scientists showed that robots with catalytic activity could ably destroy biofilms, sticky amalgamations of bacteria enmeshed in a protective scaffolding. Such robotic biofilm-removal systems could be valuable in a wide range of potential applications, from keeping water pipes and catheters clean to reducing the risk of tooth decay, endodontic infections, and implant contamination.The work, published in Science Robotics, was led by Hyun (Michel) Koo of the School of Dental Medicine and Edward Steager of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.”This was a truly synergistic and multidisciplinary interaction,” says Koo. “We’re leveraging the expertise of microbiologists and clinician-scientists as well as engineers to design the best microbial eradication system possible. This is important to other biomedical fields facing drug-resistant biofilms as we approach a post-antibiotic era.””Treating biofilms that occur on teeth requires a great deal of manual labor, both on the part of the consumer and the professional,” adds Steager. “We hope to improve treatment options as well as reduce the difficulty of care.”Biofilms can arise on biological surfaces, such as on a tooth or in a joint or on objects, like water pipes, implants, or catheters. Wherever biofilms form, they are notoriously difficult to remove, as the sticky matrix that holds the bacteria provides protection from antimicrobial agents.In previous work, Koo and colleagues have made headway at breaking down the biofilm matrix with a variety of outside-the-box methods. One strategy has been to employ iron-oxide-containing nanoparticles that work catalytically, activating hydrogen peroxide to release free radicals that can kill bacteria and destroy biofilms in a targeted fashion.Serendipitously, the Penn Dental Medicine team found that groups at Penn Engineering led by Steager, Vijay Kumar, and Kathleen Stebe were working with a robotic platform that used very similar iron-oxide nanoparticles as building blocks for microrobots. The engineers control the movement of these robots using a magnetic field, allowing a tether-free way to steer them.Together, the cross-school team designed, optimized, and tested two types of robotic systems, which the group calls catalytic antimicrobial robots, or CARs, capable of degrading and removing biofilms. The first involves suspending iron-oxide nanoparticles in a solution, which can then be directed by magnets to remove biofilms on a surface in a plow-like manner. The second platform entails embedding the nanoparticles into gel molds in three-dimensional shapes. These were used to target and destroy biofilms clogging enclosed tubes.Related StoriesStudy: Surveillance for antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to be core focus for healthcare facilitiesStructure of bacteria responsible for traveler’s diarrhea decipheredNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellBoth types of CARs effectively killed bacteria, broke down the matrix that surrounds them, and removed the debris with high precision. After testing the robots on biofilms growing on either a flat glass surface or enclosed glass tubes, the researchers tried out a more clinically relevant application: Removing biofilm from hard-to-reach parts of a human tooth.The CARs were able to degrade and remove bacterial biofilms not just from a tooth surface but from one of the most difficult-to-access parts of a tooth, the isthmus, a narrow corridor between root canals where biofilms commonly grow.”Existing treatments for biofilms are ineffective because they are incapabale of simultaneously degrading the protective matrix, killing the embedded bacteria, and physically removing the biodegraded products,” says Koo. “These robots can do all three at once very effectively, leaving no trace of biofilm whatsoever.”By plowing away the degraded remains of the biofilm, Koo says, the chance of it taking hold and re-growing decreases substantially. The researchers envision precisely directing these robots to wherever they need to go to remove biofilms, be it the inside of a cathether or a water line or difficult-to-reach tooth surfaces.”We think about robots as automated systems that take actions based on actively gathered information,” says Steager. In this case, he says, “the motion of the robot can be informed by images of the biofilm gathered from microcameras or other modes of medical imaging.”To move the innovation down the road to clinical application, the researchers are receiving support from the Penn Center for Health, Devices, and Technology, an initiative supported by Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, Penn Engineering, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. Penn Health-Tech, as it’s known, awards select interdisciplinary groups with support to create new health technologies, and the robotic platforms project was one of those awarded support in 2018.”The team has a great clinical background on the dental side and a great technical background on the engineering side,” says Victoria Berenholz, executive director of Penn Health-Tech. “We’re here to round them out on the business side. They have really done a fantastic job on the project.” Source:https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/army-microrobots-can-wipe-out-dental-plaquelast_img read more