Utah State’s Matt Wells Named Mountain West Coach of the Year, While A School-Record 18 Aggies Earn All-Conference Honors

first_imgNovember 28, 2018 /Sports News – Local Utah State’s Matt Wells Named Mountain West Coach of the Year, While A School-Record 18 Aggies Earn All-Conference Honors Robert Lovell Tags: All-Mountain West/Matt Wells/Mountain West/Utah State Aggies Football FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailLOGAN, Utah – Utah State’s Matt Wells was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year, while 18 Aggies earned various all-conference accolades as the league office announced its postseason football honors Wednesday. In all, USU had eight offensive players, eight defensive players and two specialists recognized.Utah State’s 18 all-conference honors were the most in the Mountain West, while Fresno State had the second-most with 14. Boise State was third with 11 players recognized, followed by San Diego State (10), Nevada (9), Hawai’i (7), San José State (7), Wyoming (6), New Mexico (5), UNLV (4), Air Force (3) and Colorado State (3).Overall, Utah State’s 18 total honorees are tied with the 1997 Big West Conference championship team for the most in school history.Utah State players to earn first-team all-Mountain West honors included senior offensive center Quin Ficklin and sophomore return specialist Savon Scarver, while senior offensive lineman Roman Andrus, redshirt junior linebacker Tipa Galeai, sophomore quarterback Jordan Love, senior safety Jontrell Rocquemore, junior running back Darwin Thompson and sophomore linebacker David Woodward were all named to the second team. Aggies who earned honorable mention all-league honors included senior defensive end Adewale Adeoye, senior offensive lineman Rob Castaneda, junior placekicker Dominik Eberle, senior safety Gaje Ferguson, redshirt junior defensive end Fua Leilua, junior tight end Dax Raymond, senior wide receiver Ron’quavion Tarver, senior offensive lineman Sean Taylor, junior nose guard Christopher Unga and junior cornerback DJ Williams.Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, while Fresno State linebacker Jeff Allison was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year. Wyoming’s Cooper Rothe was named the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year and Nevada’s Toa Taua  earned Mountain West Freshman of the Year honors.Wells, who was also named the Mountain West Coach of the Year in 2013, is the first coach in school history to earn multiple coach of the year honors. Overall, he is one of just five coaches in school history to be so honored as Bruce Snyder (1978), Chuck Shelton (1991) and John L. Smith (1997) were all recognized by the Big West Conference, while Gary Andersen earned Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year accolades in 2012.Wells is also just the fifth coach in conference history to be named the Mountain West Coach of the Year multiple times, joining Colorado State’s Sonny Lubick (1999, 2000), New Mexico and San Diego State’s Rocky Long (2002, 2012, 2015), Utah’s Urban Meyer (2003, 2004) and TCU’s Gary Patterson (2005, 2009).Aggies who earned all-conference honors for the second time this season included Andrus, Eberle, Ficklin and Raymond, as Eberle earned first-team all-Mountain West honors in 2017, while Andrus, Ficklin and Raymond were all named to the league’s honorable mention team a year ago.Ficklin, a 6-foot-2, 300-pound senior offensive center from Mesa, Ariz. (Red Mountain HS/BYU), started all 12 games and had an overall performance grade of 92 percent for the season, which ranked first on the team. During the year, he ranked second on the team in offensive snaps played at 745 and had a team-best 48 knockdowns, which included a season-high 10 against BYU, while not allowing a single sack all season.Scarver, a 5-11, 185-pound wide receiver from Las Vegas, Nev. (Centennial HS), leads the nation in kickoff returns (34.2 ypr) and is tied for second nationally with his two kickoff returns for touchdowns (0.17 pg). On the season, Scarver has returned 21 kickoffs for 719 yards and has four returns of 50 or more yards on the season.Andrus, a 6-4, 310-pound senior offensive lineman from El Dorado Hills, Calif. (Oak Ridge HS/Snow JC), started all 12 games, including 10 at left guard and two at left tackle this season, and had an overall performance grade of 91 percent. Overall, he only allowed one sack all season as he played four different positions on the offensive line. During the year, he led the team in offensive snaps played at 750 and had 24 knockdowns, which included a season-high six against San José State.Galeai, a 6-5, 230-pound redshirt junior linebacker from Euless, Texas (Trinity HS/TCU), started all 12 games and is tied for second in the Mountain West and tied for 27th in the nation in sacks with 8.5 (0.71pg), tied for seventh in the MW in forced fumbles with two (0.17 pg), tied for eighth in the MW in tackles for loss with 11.0 (0.92 pg), and is 47th in the MW in tackles with 58 (4.8 pg). Overall, Galeai ranks first on the team in sacks, second in tackles for loss and fifth in tackles, while tying for the team lead in forced fumbles and ranking tied for third on the team in interceptions. He recorded a career-high 11 tackles against Air Force and returned one of his two interceptions 56 yards for a touchdown against BYU.Love, a 6-4, 225-pound sophomore quarterback from Bakersfield, Calif. (Liberty HS), started all 12 games this year and is second in the Mountain West and 11th in the nation in points responsible for with 204 (17.0 pg), third in the MW and ninth in the nation in passing touchdowns with 28 (2.3 pg), third in the MW and 12th in the nation in passing efficiency (159.9), third in the MW and 21st in the nation in completion percentage (.658), fifth in the MW and 18th in the nation in passing (267.3 ypg), fifth in the MW and 27th in the nation in completions (20.5 pg), and fifth in the MW and 28th in the nation in total offense (272.3 ypg).Love, who was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week five times in 2018, set the single-season school record for touchdowns passes with 28 and tied the single-game school record with five touchdown passes twice. Against San José State, Love was 32-of-42 passing for a career-high 491 yards and five touchdowns, as those 32 completions are a career high and tied for the second-most in a game in school history. Overall, Love is 246-of-374 (.658) passing for 3,208 yards with 28 touchdowns and just five interceptions and has thrown for at least 300 yards six times this season, and at least four touchdowns passes four times. He has also rushed for six touchdowns on the season to rank third on the team.Rocquemore, a 6-1, 210-pound senior safety from McKinney, Texas (McKinney HS), started all 12 games this year and is tied for third in the Mountain West and tied for 36th in the nation with three interceptions (0.25 pg), and tied for 30th in the MW with 70 tackles (5.8 pg). On the season, Rocquemore ranks third on the team in both tackles and tackles for loss (8.5) and is tied for third on the team with his two sacks. He is also tied for the team lead with his three interceptions, returning one of them 32 yards for a touchdown at Colorado State. His best game of the year was against Air Force as he recorded a career-high 13 tackles, which included a career-best 2.0 tackles for loss.Thompson, a 5-8, 200-pound junior running back from Tulsa, Okla. (Jenks HS/Northeastern Oklahoma A&M), started eight of the 12 games he played in this season and is first in the Mountain West and seventh in the nation in yards per carry (7.2), second in the MW and ninth in the nation in total touchdowns with 16 (1.3 pg), second in the MW and 13th in the nation with 14 rushing touchdowns (1.2 pg), third in the MW and 32nd in the nation in scoring (8.0 ppg), fourth in the MW and 61st in the nation in all-purpose yards (107.3 ypg), and fifth in the MW and 60th in the nation in rushing (79.2 ypg).Thompson, who was named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week once this season, has carried the ball 132 times for 951 yards and 14 touchdowns, while catching 22 passes for 336 yards (15.3 ypr) and two touchdowns. Overall, he had five 100-yard rushing games this year, including a career-high 141 yards on 13 carries and a career-best three touchdowns at Hawai’i.  He also had at least one rushing touchdown in nine games this year and was the only running back in the conference to have 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game as he had 140 rushing yards on 15 carries and 115 receiving yards on four receptions against San José State.Woodward, a 6-2, 235-pound sophomore linebacker from Olympia, Wash. (Olympia HS), started all 11 games he played in this season and ranks first in the Mountain West and 10th in the nation with 124 tackles (11.3 pg), fifth in the MW in tackles for loss with 12.5 (1.1 pg), sixth in the MW in forced fumbles with two (0.18 pg), and ninth in the MW in sacks with five (0.5 pg). On the season, Woodward leads the team in tackles, tackles for loss and forced fumbles, while ranking second in sacks, to go along with one interception. Overall, he has recorded seven double-digit tackle outings on the season, including a career-high 20 stops at Colorado State, which are the most tackles by an Aggie since 2015.Adeoye, a 6-3, 275-pound senior defensive end from St. Louis, Mo. (Ritenour HS), started three of the 12 games he played in this season and is tied for third in the Mountain West and tied for fifth in the nation with three fumbles recovered (0.25 pg). Adeoye ranks second on the team among defensive linemen with his 35 tackles, which includes 1.0 sacks and 4.0 tackles for loss. He recorded a career-high seven tackles against Air Force this year and had a career-best 1.5 tackles for loss against New Mexico State.Castaneda, a 6-4, 305-pound senior offensive lineman from Round Rock, Texas (Round Rock HS/Ellsworth CC), started all 12 games at right guard and had an overall performance grade of 89 percent and only allowed one sack all season. During the year, he ranked fourth on the team in offensive snaps played at 623 and was third on the team with 33 knockdowns, which included a season-high four against four different opponents.Eberle, a 6-2, 195-pound junior placekicker from Nuremberg, Germany (Redondo Union (CA) HS), leads the Mountain West and ranks fourth in the nation in scoring with 131 points (10.9 ppg), is first in the MW and eighth in the nation in field goals made (1.75 pg), and is third in the MW and 39th in the nation in field goal percentage (.778). Eberle is 21-of-27 on field goal attempts this season, including 1-of-1 from 10-19 yards, 8-of-10 from 20-29 yards, 4-of-5 from 30-39 yards, 5-of-6 from 40-49 yards, and 3-of-5 from 50-plus yards as his 21 made field goals are the second-most in a single season in school history. He has also made all 68 of his extra points on the year, which is a school record, and has set the single-season school record for points scored by a kicker with 131.Eberle, who has been named the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week twice this season, tied two NCAA single-game records this fall against New Mexico State with his 24 points scored and three 51-yard field goals, as he became just the sixth player in NCAA history to make three 50-yard field goals in a game. Both of those marks are also school and conference records. He also set school and MW records as he was 6-for-6 on field goal attempts against NMSU, which is tied for the third-most made in a single-game in NCAA history.Ferguson, a 6-foot, 210-pound senior safety from Mendon, Utah (Mountain Crest HS/Snow JC), started 11 of the 12 games he played in this season. Overall, he ranks fourth on the team and is tied for 32nd in the Mountain West with his 68 tackles (5.7 pg), which includes 1.0 sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss. He is also tied for third on the team with two interceptions and had one fumble recovery, to go along with four pass breakups. He had a career-high 15 tackles against Air Force this year and returned his first career interception 40 yards for a touchdown at No. 11 Michigan State.Leilua, a 6-2, 285-pound redshirt junior defensive end from Anaheim, Calif. (Spanish Fork (Utah) HS/Oklahoma State), started all 12 games this year and ranked 10th on the team and first among defensive linemen with 37 tackles, which included 1.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss, to rank fourth on the team.Raymond, a 6-5, 250-pound junior tight end from Provo, Utah (Timpview HS), is third in the Mountain West among tight ends in receiving yards (313) and fourth in receptions (23), despite missing nearly four games with a broken hand. Overall, he is fifth on the team in both receptions and receiving yards, while adding two receiving touchdowns. He began his junior season by catching a career-high seven receptions for a career-best 76 yards at No. 11 Michigan State.Tarver, a 6-3, 215-pound senior wide receiver from Belle Glade, Fla. (Glades Central HS/Fort Scott CC), started all 12 games this season and is seventh in the Mountain West and 61st in the nation with his 62 receptions (5.2 pg), and seventh in the MW and 62nd in the nation with his seven receiving touchdowns (0.6 pg). Overall, he has caught 62 passes for 676 yards (10.9 ypr) and seven touchdowns to lead the team in every receiving category. On the year, he has two 100-yard receiving games as he caught a career-high-tying nine passes for a season-high 128 yards against Air Force, and then had seven catches for 112 yards against New Mexico. He also had a career-high-tying two receiving touchdowns in back-to-back games against BYU and UNLV.Taylor, a 6-5, 300-pound senior offensive lineman from Vallejo, Calif. (Vallejo HS/Laney CC), started all 12 games at right tackle and had an overall performance grade of 91 percent and only allowed two sacks all season. During the year, he ranked third on the team in offensive snaps played at 656 and was second on the team with 40 knockdowns, which included a season-high five against UNLV.Unga, a 6-foot, 295-pound nose guard from Rochester, Calif. (Rancho Cucamonga HS), started all 12 games this year and ranked third on the team among defensive linemen with 32 tackles, which included 0.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. On the season, he had a career-high nine tackles against Air Force and recorded at least three tackles in six games.Williams, a 5-9, 180-pound cornerback from Smyrna, Tenn. (Smyrna HS/Independence CC), led the team and ranked third in the Mountain West with 13 passes defended (1.1 pg). He is also tied for third on the team with two interceptions and is seventh on the team with 42 tackles, which includes 1.0 sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss, while adding one forced fumble. He had a career-high 1.0 sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss as part of his six tackles against New Mexico State and posted a career-best three pass breakups against Colorado State.Utah State is 10-2 on the season and tied for first place in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West with a 7-1 league record. For USU, it is just the third time in school history that USU has won 10 games, along with the 2012 (11) and 2014 (10) teams, while its seven conference wins are tied with the 2013 team for the most in school history. This season also marks the second time in its six years in the MW that it has either won or shared the Mountain Division title.Utah State, which is bowl eligible for the seventh time in the past eight seasons and will play in its 13th bowl game in school history this year, will learn its postseason destination on Sunday, Dec. 2.Fans can receive bowl game and ticket updates at utahstateaggies.com/bowlgameinfo18.Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on Facebook at Utah State Football, as well as on Instagram at instagram.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics. Written bylast_img read more

Real Salt Lace Faces FC Dallas Today

first_img Written by The regular season gets going on March 2nd at the Houston Dynamo. FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmail (Tucson, AZ)  —  Real Salt Lake is on the pitch today as it faces FC Dallas in Tucson, Arizona.  Tags: Mobile Mini Sun Cup/Real Salt Lake Associated Press This is the second-to-last preseason matchup for RSL, which faces Portland on Saturday also in Tucson.  This week’s games are part of the Mobile Mini Sun Cup. February 20, 2019 /Sports News – Local Real Salt Lace Faces FC Dallas Todaylast_img read more

Nobel economist addresses University

first_imgThe nobel prize winning economist, Muhammad Yunus delivered this year’s Romanes Lectures at the Sheldonian this year.He gave lecture, entitled ‘A poverty-free world: When? How?’, to guests at the Sheldonian on Tuesday 2nd December.He focused particularly on the current global financial crisis and spoke of hisvision of a world free from poverty.Yunus, originally from Bangladesh, founded Grameen Bank, which provides credit to the poorest people in Bangladesh.Yunus and Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2006 “fortheir efforts to create economic and social development from below.”The Romanes Lecture occurs annually at the University. The first was given in1892. Past speakers have included William Gladstone, Winston Churchill and IrisMurdoch.A copy of each year’s lecture can be found at the Bodleian librarylast_img read more

Oxford University shows solidarity with Orlando victims

first_img“Each of us individually has been affected, and the community was left reeling in the wake of such a violent, repulsive blow. But it’s come back, stronger and full of love, looking out for each and every one of us. There’s been no space left for Islamophobia, for homophobia, for hate.”“All I can tell you about the decision to fly the rainbow flag at Balliol was that it wasn’t much of a decision, more an unanimous agreement to let the world know that we were here, still full of love.”Chloe Funnell, LGBTQ rep at Somerville, commented, “I decided to fly the flag because, firstly, at Somerville we have a large and diverse LGBTQ+ community, and I know it has affected some of us. Secondly, I think it’s important that the LGBTQ+ community, as well as allies, show their solidarity and respect after events like these. In doing so, we can demonstrate to others that we, as a community, will not be silent in the face of such hateful behaviour.”In addition to these displays of solidarity, students united against anti-homosexual preachers who were speaking about the attacks on Cornmarket Street on Monday.Approximately 100 counter-protesters gradually gathered around the preachers.Draped in rainbow flags, they sung and held up banners that read “Love is Love” and “Love conquers hate”.Jack Schofield, a second year at Christchurch, said, “Yesterday I heard that US ‘Christian’ hate preachers had chosen the aftermath of this attack to speak out about ‘morals’ and ‘sin’ in our city centre, I thought it only right to go and join the crowd that had already gathered in countering their message, and I’m sure the vigil organised for tomorrow evening will be very poignant and moving as our university and city show our solidarity with those affected.”“The news from Orlando was absolutely devastating and my heart goes out to the LGBTQ community of Orlando, their families, friends and the city as they try to heal, as well as for Muslims, who are likely to face a backlash for this tragedy. The attack, the largest killing of gay people in the West since the Holocaust, reminds all LGBTQ of the challenges we still face and the prejudice, which remains so pervasive and must be called out.” A vigil in solidarity with the victims of the shooting at a gay club in Orlando will be held outside the Radcliffe Camera on Wednesday, whilst a number of colleges fly rainbow flags after the massacre.OUSU’s LGBTQ Campaign have organised a vigil at 8.30pm in order “to remember the lives of victims” and to “mourn the violence that seeks to destroy our community”.49 people were killed at Pulse nightclub in an act of terrorism in the early hours of Sunday morning.The gunman, Omar Mateen, pledged his alliance to ISIS during the shootout.There will be trained peer supporters at the vigil, followed by a welfare event where LGBTQ people will have a chance to discuss the attack in a safe space.OUSU’s LQBTQ officer Catherine Kelly told Cherwell, “We’re holding a vigil on evening at 8:30pm outside the Radcliffe Camera because we felt it was important to honour and remember the victims of the attack in Orlando, most of whom were queer people of colour. We also want to give the LGBTQ+ community in Oxford a space to grieve- it has been incredibly hard for all of us to watch violence destroy the spaces we build. We will pass out candles, and read out the names of the victims. Everyone is welcome to attend the vigil, but we’re asking people to respect the welfare event in Wadham as an LGBTQ-only space.”The event description also specifies that “there is no space at this vigil for Islamophobia or racism” and “we will stand together and support one another as we have always done in times of crisis”.A number of colleges have decided to fly their rainbow flags in solidarity with the victims including Balliol, Somerville and Hertford. Christ Church and Pembroke have also both chosen to fly their flags at half-mast.Ele Saltmarsh, LGBTQ Officer at Balliol, told Cherwell, “After news of the attack came, I was trapped in that little bubble of anger, and fear, and sadness, trading revision time for tears. The silent cry started somewhere else, and our people took it up, turning their sorrow into solidarity. By the time I looked at what was happening outside of my little world, there were people everywhere; organising vigils, singing on Cornmarket, raising a flag.”last_img read more

Free Tax Filing

first_imgIf you haven’t filed your taxes yet, the Indiana Department of Revenue is offering free federal and state tax filing through Indiana freefile.This program allows a person to access tax-filing software from trusted vendors, such as H&R Block and FreeTaxUSA. An Indiana resident would input their tax information through a question-and-answer style program.Filing taxes online is a safe, secure and quick method that allows a tax return to be processed in 12 to 14 days, as opposed to a paper application, which can take up to 12 weeks.Taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $64,000 or less may qualify for INfreefile. To learn more about the program and to view other requirements, visit freefile.dor.in.gov. The deadline to file taxes is Tuesday, April 18.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

City Launches Web Page for Beachfill Project Updates

first_imgThe beach at 59th Street in Ocean City, NJ, on Monday (Feb. 9), about three months before the scheduled start of a new beachfill project.The City of Ocean City on Friday launched a new website page for regular updates on a massive project to bring 1.6 million cubic yards of new sand to Ocean City beaches between 36th and 59th streets from May to August.The work is part of a $57 million job that also includes beaches in Strathmere and Sea Isle City. The federal government is funding the entire project in an effort to restore eroded beaches and dunes throughout the region in the wake of 2012’s Superstorm Sandy.Because the federal Army Corps of Engineers is balancing so much work, the Ocean City project will stretch into the heart of the traditional summer tourist season, and Mayor Jay Gillian’s administration has vowed to communicate as much as possible about the project and the schedule as it develops.___________See and bookmark the Beach Replenishment Project (South) page: www.ocnj.us/beachfill.__________The first information release includes a fact sheet listing details on the project, the contractor, the dredge and borrow area, and the schedule.The beach at 36th Street will mark the northern terminus of the project area in Ocean City, NJ.It also includes a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) section answering questions such as:Will the beach be closed for the project?Where will the project begin and how will it proceed?When will my beach be closed?Why is this work being done during the summer season?What will Ocean City do to minimize the inconvenience for residents and guests?Continue to follow OCNJ Daily for updates and images before, during and after the project.See also:Beach to Close 1,000 Feet at a Time for Summer Dredging in Ocean City50 Years of Sand on the Way to Ocean City’s South Endlast_img read more

Ms Cupcake eyes expansion across the UK

first_imgBrixton-based vegan baker Ms Cupcake is looking at sites in major cities across the UK.Founder of the south London business Mellissa Morgan told British Baker that Greater London, Bristol, Brighton and Manchester were all on the wish list for new openings, to be expected within the next 18 months.The business has already attracted nationwide interest, particularly since launching its online delivery option Baked By Post at the end of last year. “Multiple” packages are sent out every day to recipients as far afield as Scotland and Northern Ireland. International expansion is also a possibility.UK coverage“We are not sure how many sites we want at this stage,” said Morgan. “I think it is important for people to be able to get hold of amazing, indulgent yet free-from cake wherever they are, so it would be good to have coverage across the UK – the sky is the limit.The team at Ms Cupcake is also working on expanding its savoury pastries and sandwich line to be launched this summer, as well as new seasonal products and Morgan is working on her second book.Acquisitions will be backed by private investors.last_img read more

Understanding insect defense

first_imgFor scientists who study insects, having a correct model of how an insect forms melanin is important for not only their research on insect structures, but also on how to control them. In a new study, published May 17 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, University of Georgia entomologists find that the model they and other scientists have been using is wrong. In humans, a polymer called melanin determines skin, eye and hair color—the darker the skin, the more melanin in a person’s body. For insects, melanin is a major aspect of their immune defense systems—their blood darkens in response to pathogens. Potential targets for this manipulation are proteins within the pathway that activate melanization. A proper understanding of how melanization works is essential to the success in choosing the proper targets to enhance this immune response, Clark explained. The researchers are now looking at the mechanism that links melanization and clotting in insect populations. Traditional models assume that activation of a single enzyme, called phenol oxidase, is sufficient to cause melanization. Results from the study coauthored by Clark and Michael Strand, a Regents and Distinguished Research Professor of Entomology, finds several essential steps are ignored in the current model. “Our research suggests they are very much connected to each other, in ways that are still unclear,” Clark said. “The whole process of melanization is much more complex than we realized. All the steps that lead up to the activation of the enzyme itself are by themselves complex, but now there is a whole other series of steps that occur afterward that we have not been paying attention to, and that is what we want to learn about now.” Having the right components in the model is essential in order to manipulate or exploit the insect system. Programs currently taking place in other countries are looking at how to replace insect populations in the field with those modified to have fewer undesired traits. Specifically, researchers hope to modify insects to make them incapable of passing on human and animal diseases. For example, a mosquito that lacks the ability to transmit malaria could be a possibility in the future. “For 50 years or so, people have been studying melanization in insects, and a model has been built as a way of understanding how it functions,” said Kevin Clark, an associate research scientist of entomology in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “They got a lot of things right, but some fundamental aspects have been ignored.” “It is a fundamental part of the immune system,” Strand said. “A misinterpretation of how this enzyme cascade is activated is a crucial deficiency in the literature. If this paper has any impact, it would be that it is changing the view of what is functionally required for this to operate.” center_img Clark and Strand used a silk moth to study the mechanisms at work when insects activate the melanization process. Using a large insect model, researchers were able to study how genes code for interactions with one another. Tyrosine was the only substrate for phenol oxidase they found in silk moth blood. Like a set of dominos, each action in the insect immune system is triggered by another reaction. Technically called the phenol oxidase cascade, this system of enzymes regulates the melanization of blood in insects. Melanization occurs when an insect is infected and melanin surrounds the infecting pathogen, generating free radical byproducts that work to kill the infection. In both humans and insects, the essential amino acid tyrosine is used to synthesize melanin. “We are looking at the interaction of products, which is much more about biochemistry rather than genetics,” Strand said. “With this information, we can go back to the smaller insects and apply the lessons learned. It is not a case of knowing genes; it is knowing how the products of those genes interact.” “One of the inherent problems with disease vectors, such as mosquitos, is that their immune systems do not effectively recognize and attack pathogens before they are transmitted to humans,” Clark said. “Therefore, numerous labs are attempting to genetically manipulate mosquitos to produce a more effective immune response that would destroy the pathogens.” The research confirms that, like humans, phenol oxidase uses tyrosine to make melanin but requires a scaffold of other components. However, the literature had grown to support other molecules besides tyrosine as the starting substrates. “People have largely ignored tyrosine because it has always been a terrible substrate for the purified form of the enzyme,” Strand said. “There are other substrates that work very well, but those substrates are nonsensical for being the start of the reaction because they are unstable. They just don’t exist in a bug’s body. But for decades experiments were taking place using these substrates because they work and the starting substrate (tyrosine), which should work, never works very well.” last_img read more

Vermont delegation wants unused federal rail funding directed to Vermont’s Western Corridor project

first_imgFollowing announcements by two newly-elected governors that their states no longer intend to use federal high-speed rail funding, thus leaving more than a billion dollars on the table, Vermont’s congressional delegation today called on Transportation Secretary Raymond LaHood to reallocate a portion of the funding to Vermont’s proposed Western Corridor project.While Vermont was successful in securing more than $50 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to improve the southeast-northwest Vermonter line, the proposed Ethan Allen Express Improvements and Extension project was unsuccessful in receiving funding. The project, which would improve passenger rail from Rutland to Burlington, was lauded by the Federal Railroad Administration and scored competitively in the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) application process, but did not receive federal investment due to limited funds.Citing decisions by the incoming governors of Ohio and Wisconsin to forgo $400 million and $810 million respectively in HSIPR funding, the Vermont delegation asked LaHood to direct the unused funding to Vermont’s high-quality Ethan Allen proposal.‘We strongly encourage you to consider Vermont’s project in the reallocation of HSIPR funds,’ Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders and Representative Welch wrote. ‘Success in establishing a national rail network will ultimately depend on supported passenger rail services ‘ such as the Ethan Allen Express – feeding passengers to major hubs throughout the country. Vermont has been doing this since 1995 and looks forward to continuing to contribute to our nation’s rail infrastructure.’Leahy said, ‘It is important that Secretary LaHood know that Vermont stands ready to move forward immediately with expanding rail service to communities along our Western Corridor. Upgrading the Western Rail Corridor has long been a transportation priority in Vermont, and we have a unique opportunity now to take advantage of Vermont’s strong application.’Sanders said, ‘Federal support for Amtrak’s Ethan Allen Express is extremely important for the economic and energy future of the region, most importantly Vermont’s western corridor. I hope the secretary will see fit to support this investment in Vermont’s public transportation. While other states may not want to move aggressively toward a clean energy future with rail travel, Vermonters would be more than happy to take the lead in energy efficiency and higher-speed rail.’Welch said, ‘If Ohio and Wisconsin don’t want to invest in high speed rail, I know some folks in Rutland, Middlebury and Burlington who would gladly put this money to good use creating good jobs, improving our transportation infrastructure and expanding travel and tourism businesses. This project is ready to go and has widespread support from state officials, the business community, and the towns and cities along the Western corridor. I hope we can convince Sec. LaHood that Vermont is ready, willing and able to get to work.’The delegation’s letter is copied below: The Honorable Ray LaHoodSecretaryUnited States Department of Transportation1200 New Jersey Avenue S.E.Washington, D.C. 20590 PATRICK LEAHY BERNIE SANDERS PETER WELCHUnited States Senate United States Senate United States Congress Dear Secretary LaHood:We understand that the U.S. Department of Transportation intends to reallocate unused High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) funding from states that have decided not to move forward with their funded projects. On Monday, November 16, 2010, at the conference of the U.S. High Speed Rail Association, you stated that funds are to be redistributed in a professional way in places where the money can be well spent. We write to bring your attention to such a project, Vermont’s unfunded Ethan Allen Express Improvements and Extension application.We understand the State of Vermont’s Ethan Allen Express Improvements and Extension proposal ranked near the top of the HSIPR FY 2010 and 2009 applications but was not funded due to inadequate funding at the federal level. During a Federal Railroad Administration briefing on November 3, 2010, concerning Vermont’s application, the FRA lauded the quality of Vermont’s application. With the unused funds now becoming available, we believe that Vermont’s project, with a federal participation request of $59,271,693, can provide an immediate and substantial contribution to the national rail network, and accomplish the goals set out in the National Rail Plan:1. Linking Metropolitan Areas (Burlington, Albany and New York City): The route of the current Ethan Allen Express and its proposed service extension to Burlington encompasses a population of 10,852,559 according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census.2. Intercity Passenger Rail Service Integration: The Ethan Allen Express is part of the national rail network, which links with other northeast passenger rail routes through New York’s capital corridor.Vermont has been unwavering in its commitment to intercity passenger rail. The State spends approximately $5 million annually to support two Amtrak routes and has invested significant capital resources to maintain and upgrade rail infrastructure. Amtrak considers the Ethan Allen Express extension to Burlington critical to revenue generation (resulting from additional ridership) and the continued sustainability of the service.Vermont has also been at the forefront of moving expeditiously on existing HSIPR projects. Vermont was approved for ‘fast track’ and was the second state to begin work on ARRA Track 1a projects. The Ethan Allen Express project can similarly proceed to the construction phase quickly.Success in establishing a national rail network will ultimately depend on supported passenger rail services ‘ such as the Ethan Allen Express – feeding passengers to major hubs throughout the country. Vermont has been doing this since 1995 and looks forward to continuing to contribute to our nation’s rail infrastructure.We strongly encourage you to consider Vermont’s project in the reallocation of HSIPR funds. Please do not hesitate to call us should there be any additional information we may provide.Sincerely,last_img read more

Optimizing your debit portfolio

first_imgAs the payments industry undergoes change brought about by technological advancements, debit remains the second most frequently used form of payment behind cash. The U.S. debit card market accounts for approximately 70 billion transactions worth more than $2 trillion. Active debit cardholders use their cards nearly every day for purchases, to get cash from an ATM, to pay bills and for other activities that are critical to their financial lives. Those transactions, in addition to providing valuable non-interest credit union income, serve as a constant reminder of the relationship between the consumer and his or her primary financial institution, which is why credit unions must continue to keep a healthy debit portfolio top of mind.As changing consumer behavior and competition from fintechs impact debit usage among members, credit unions will need to find ways to better understand and optimize their debit portfolios in order to drive penetration, activation and usage.Earlier this year, CO-OP Financial Services and Mastercard commissioned a survey of 240 leaders from credit unions of various asset sizes and geographic regions to identify the strategies they are using to optimize their debit portfolio. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more