Learning life in the lab

first_imgHigh school students from Chelsea tried their hands at a little genetic engineering last Thursday, in a lab exercise at Harvard’s Science Center that first coaxed bacteria to produce a red fluorescent protein, and then harvested the material.The group of about 15 students carefully followed steps outlined on the blackboard by research assistant Alia Qatarneh. In the process, they completed the Amgen-Bruce Wallace Biotechnology Lab Program, an eight-lab biotechnology course supported by the Harvard Life Sciences Outreach Program and funded by the Amgen Foundation.“For over a decade, the Outreach Program has shared the technology of our teaching labs [with area schools] through class visits to campus,” said Robert Lue, outreach program director and professor of the practice of molecular and cellular biology. “The Amgen program gives us another way to package technology with curriculum in a manner that brings it to the schools. The bidirectional combination of approaches maximizes the beneficial impact of Harvard’s resources in the life sciences.”The course is made available to high schools around the state. The Outreach Program provides instructions for eight labs and lends the schools kits that include $20,000 in chemicals and equipment that many schools couldn’t otherwise afford, such as centrifuges, hot water baths, and thermal cyclers (also known as PCR machines, for polymerase chain reaction) that amplify DNA.“The class would not be happening at Chelsea High School without this program,” said Melissa Puopolo, a science teacher at the school.“I don’t have a centrifuge,” she said. Having access to “the equipment is huge; the PCR machine is really expensive.”The biotech outreach effort has proven popular, according to Tara Bennett, the program manager. In its first two years, it has served 5,000 students in 50 schools across the state, from Yarmouth on Cape Cod to Lee along the New York state border. What that means, however, is that the kits can be loaned out for just three weeks at a time. Because Chelsea had to return the kit before finishing the final lab, the students traveled to Harvard to complete it.“It is a tight schedule,” Bennett said. “These are big-ticket items whose cost is preventing teachers from introducing students to the [biotechnology] equipment.”The processes used in Thursday’s lab are standard in biotechnology, Bennett said, and can be used to get bacteria to produce biological products such as the red fluorescent protein — which is used to tag other molecules so scientists can track them — or important therapeutic substances such as insulin.Chelsea High School students Bahiya Nasuuna (left) and Jolena Gonzalez perform lab work with RFP-expressing bacteria inside Harvard’s Science Center.The students learn that science is sometimes messy and that experiments don’t always turn out as planned. In the labs, Puopolo said, students get hands-on experience that could give them a leg up in college or even help them land a biotech job out of high school.“They can say … ‘I can work with DNA or pour gels,’ ” Puopolo said. “There are so many jobs in biotech in the area.”Neris Yanes, a junior at Chelsea High, said she liked the lab work because it allowed her to participate rather than just listen. Bahiya Nasuuna, a senior, enjoyed the clear steps outlined in the lab and said science may be in her future.“Science is my favorite subject. I definitely want to pursue it in college,” Nasuuna said.last_img read more


first_imgDonegal Deputy Pearse Doherty outside the Dail todaySinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty’s Property Tax Repeal Bill will be debated during his party’s private members’ time in the Dáil tonight and tomorrow night.Speaking today Deputy Doherty said: “The property tax is another austerity tax and will only further pressurise those in mortgage arrears. It reduces disposable incomes and has a negative effect on consumer spending and, in turn, jobs.“The Property Tax Repeal Bill 2013 is the only way to defeat this tax. That is why Sinn Féin has published this bill for debate tonight and tomorrow night. We are looking for the support of all TDs. “However, in the likely scenario that it will be defeated, we are committed to repealing this tax if in government after the next election.“In the meantime, all Sinn Féin councillors returned after next year’s local elections will be mandated to support the maximum reduction of 15% in the property tax.“Our bill would repeal the tax and refund anybody who paid it this year. We have shown there are alternatives and that the government has a choice. We are asking the general public to lobby their TDs to support this bill.”  DOHERTY’S PROPERTY TAX REPEAL BILL BEFORE THE DAIL was last modified: June 11th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DOHERTY’S PROPERTY TAX REPEAL BILL BEFORE THE DAILlast_img read more

Final phase of €16m N56 upgrade to get underway in August

first_imgContracts have been signed on the final phase of the strategic N56 Mountcharles to Inver Road Scheme, with works due to get underway next month.The N56 Drumbeigh to Inver Road Scheme which is located approximately 3.5km west of the village of Mountcharles is the second and final phase of the overall €16m N56 Mountcharles to Inver Road Scheme.  The first phase, from Mountcharles to Drumbeigh, is now approaching completion. This key strategic infrastructural project will not only improve the level of service and safety for all road users but will enhance the accessibility of south west Donegal and in particular, Killybegs Port.  Cathaoirleach Cllr. Nicholas Crossan signed contracts for the final phase last Friday afternoon.Speaking at the signing Cllr. Crossan said “this is an important step forward in securing the long term economic, social and cultural viability of Donegal and indeed South West Donegal. “This investment will see the completion of a major piece of infrastructure that will facilitate more ease of access for businesses, visitors and investors to south west Donegal including Killybegs Port which continues to be a significant contributor to the economic development of the county. “This type of investment is crucial for Donegal and the entire North West region if we are to realise our ambitions as a region for growth and prosperity.” Construction will commence in August 2019 and it is expected to be open to the public in early 2021. Wills Bros. Ltd, have been appointed contractor based on the Most Economically Advantageous Tender process. Wills Bros. Ltd have completed similar works on the Donegal’s national road network in recent years including the N56 Mountcharles To Drumbeigh Scheme, N15 Blackburn Bridge and N56 Boyoughter to Kilkenny. Cathaoirleach of Donegal MD, Cllr. Noel Jordan also welcomed the signing of the second and final contract for this project and referred to the positive impact that phase one has had on the local community saying “the impact that the work to date has had on road users and those living and working in the locality has been very positive.  What was a narrow and dangerous stretch of road is now much safer and provides greater access for all road users and especially for the local community.”Director of Roads and Transportation with Donegal County Council John McLaughlin explains “these works will see the existing N56 single carriageway with narrow hard strips and poor vertical and horizontal alignment being replaced with a new Type 1 Single Carriageway including a 3.65m wide lane in each direction with 2.5m wide hard shoulders. “Works will include site clearance, fencing, safety barriers, drainage and service ducts, diversion of watermains and other utilities, accommodation works, landscaping and environmental mitigation measures”. The construction of the works will be supervised on behalf of Donegal County Council by Roughan & O’Donovan Consulting Engineers.This Scheme is funded fully by Transport Infrastructure Ireland and is included in the published Capital Plan ‘Building on Recovery 2016 – 2021’. Final phase of €16m N56 upgrade to get underway in August was last modified: July 22nd, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:N56 Mountcharles to Inver Road Schemelast_img read more

BJP to finalise seat sharing with Shiv Sena in Maharashtra

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hopes to finalise seat sharing arrangements with the Shiv Sena by September 22 or the upcoming weekend, ahead of the Assembly polls in Maharashtra, but is clear that the question of just who is the dominant partner has been settled in its favour.Senior party sources told The Hindu that the alliance with the Shiv Sena, called the ‘Mahayuthi’, was very much on, but that the seats (number and specific areas) were still being hammered out between the two parties. Before the two parties had parted ways just before the 2014 Assembly (later coming together to be partners in the Devendra Fadnavis government), the seat-sharing arrangement was heavily loaded in favour of the Shiv Sena, which contested 169 seats, while the BJP contested 119 seats. By the time 2014 rolled around, the BJP, cresting on the Modi wave, wanted a renegotiation on a more realistic assessment of the ground situation. Talks broke down in October 2014, and the two parted ways. The BJP and the Shiv Sena came back together after a period of being apart.‘Faced off’“What is interesting, of course, is that out of the total 288 Assembly seats [one member is nominated to the Assembly, taking the total number to 289], the BJP and the Shiv Sena directly faced off against each other in 54 seats. The BJP won 32 of these seats and the Shiv Sena 22. So the question of who the dominant force in the Mahayuthi is, has been settled in the last elections,” said a senior BJP leader. “This is when the BJP had fought only on 260 seats and the Sena on 280,” added the source. The BJP had fought on 25 seats out of a total of 48 seats in the Lok Sabha polls, and the Sena at 23 seats. The BJP’s strike rate is better, too, with the party winning 23 of the seats; the Sena came in with 18 seats.With all these numbers, the BJP is determined to settle the question of who can be seen as the big brother in the alliance in its favour, for some time to come.last_img read more

The transformers

first_imgFired up the entrepreneurial spirit and change they believe in, some Bangaloreans are blazing new trails of being in areas as diverse as yoga, motor sport and social initiatives. Meet some of the city’s new eclectic set.Sean Blagsvedt, 35Founder, babajob.comHe moved to Bangalore seven years ago from Redmond, US, on assignment with Microsoft Research India. “Bummed out” by the socioeconomic inequity he saw, Sean launched babajob.com in the city, a Bangaloreheadquartered job search website to help informal sector workers find work through social networks. Since its inception in 2007, the Babajob experiment has not only proved to be sustainable, but is thriving too. The innovative venture has hooked up thousands of nannies, maids, cooks, drivers, plumbers, office-boys and cashiers in the city with the right employers.Finding social networks restrictive beyond a point, Blagsvedt has tied up with mobile telecoms and is using the SMS route to reach a wider audience. “As of last month, our user growth rate has tripled. We have also launched across the country and our spread has widened immensely with 500,000 positions added, and job seekers from every state, including the smaller towns, are accessing our database,” he says.Yamini Muthanna, 40Yoga PractitionerIf city-based yoga practitioner and Bharatanatyam dans-euse had her way, yoga would be prescribed as a universal panacea for all the myriad maladies of urban living. In fact, Muthanna reveals that she has on various occasions designed yoga routines to deal with very urbane issues like shopping binges, break-ups and work-related stress. “Yoga can be an everyday companion for modern day life,” quips Muthanna. She has mapped out specific yoga sequences to overcome jetlag, speech or presentation anxieties at work, addictions, and social adjustment.Dinesh Reddy, 44Founder and Managing Director Red Rooster Racing (RRR)The call of the racetrack was too persistent to ignore for this former director of Nutrine Confectionery. In 2008, Reddy quit his job as the director of the city-based sugar confectionary and started Red Rooster Racing. RRR is powered by two of Reddy’s favourite ideas-to put India on the world motor sport map and make motor sporting as big as cricket in the country. “At RRR, our goal is to see an Indian in the top three to five riders or drivers at the Formula 1 level in circuit racing, the Moto GP in motor racing, and the World Racing Championship in rallying,” says Reddy.Vineet Sethi, 27 and Manu Singh, 27 Owners, HysteriaOnce upon a time, Bangaloreans couldn’t find any original music merchandise in their hood. That has now changed with opening of music concept store Hysteria, the only offline retailer of copyrighted music merchandise in the country. Since June 2010, Hysteria has been giving a taste of hip (and original) music-related goodies like Sex Pistols bags, Bob Marley T-shirts, Green Day flip-flops, miniature guitars and Elvis Presley zippos. Set in Church Street, it is the brainchild of two enterprising MBA graduates who left their jobs to do something on their own. Hysteria sources music accessories, apparel, DVDs and art from the US, UK, Australia and Europe. “Bangalore is a cosmopolitan city where people know and love their music. So we figured that the best place to sell licenced rock’n’ roll merchandise was here,” says Singh.Ayesha Pramanik, 29Disco JockeySporting a collage of tattoos and a larger-than-life personality, DJ Ayesha belongs to the rare tribe of female disc jockeys in the country. A tech specialist of a very different sort, the freelancing DJ revs up the IT city’s electronic dance music scene, and its nightlife, with the edgy sounds of deep tech house, dub step, drum and bass. “Yes, you need to know your music, but your personality matters a lot too, and how you connect with the crowd,” explains Pramanik, who has played gigs all around the country for the past ten years.advertisementlast_img read more