Image Credit: GoPro Advertisement Wearable camera maker GoPro Inc named Apple Inc designer Daniel Coster as vice president of design, effective the end of April.Coster was a core member of Apple‘s industrial design team for more than 20 years and is credited with contributing to devices such as iPhone 4 and iPad wireless keyboard, the company said in a statement.GoPro has faced increasing competition from enhanced video-shooting capabilities of Apple’s iPhone 6 range. – Advertisement – GoPro shares rose 16.3 percent to 13.58 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.[Reuters]
Over 170 million people in Africa access FaceBook each month, 94% being on mobile. (Photo Credit: New Vision Uganda) Advertisement According to new reports, social media giants, Facebook Inc. has moved its Johannesburg offices into new premises, creating a new home for the company to work with its partners to boost innovation and provide an African home for the Facebook culture.Facebook Executives Carolyn Everson, VP Global Marketing Solutions and Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA, attended the launch of the new office together with Nunu Ntshingila; the Regional Director of Facebook in Africa. And the reason behind the moving is Facebook African growth accelerating rapidly.Facebook established a direct presence in sub-Saharan Africa in 2015 and since then the number of people connected to the social networking platform has grown to 42% to over 170 million monthly active users, with 94% of them are using mobile to access the platform. – Advertisement – “Facebook is deeply committed to Africa, a mobile-first continent where 7 in 10 of all connected people use the platform,” Carolyn Everson said in a press statement.Facebook says it sees growth of SMEs businesses that are driving economic development, companies that Facebook wants to help grow locally and regionally across the continent.“Many people in Africa who are coming online for the first time, are unleashing new possibilities for people and SMEs businesses alike,” Carol said.The Facebook team in Africa has grown alongside the number of people and businesses who use it and its ecosystem of developers, entrepreneurs and business partners, according to a report we attained.[related-posts]
iRise Tech-Innovation Hub first of its kind in Somalia. (Photo Courtesy: Quartz) Advertisement Pan-Africkan innovation hub network; AfriLabs has been working through tech hubs to build an innovation infrastructure that encourages the growth of Africa’s knowledge economy by supporting the development of start-ups, technology, and innovation, fostering partnerships between tech hubs across the different regions and promoting opportunities that the hubs and their communities can benefit from.On June 1st, this year, the pan-hub added 11 hubs including Uganda’s own – The Innovation Village, to its pan network. According to new reports, the tech networking and acceleration association has officially welcomed 7 other new hubs including iRise; the first ever incubation hub in Somalia that had just recently opened up, expanding its network to 67 tech and innovation hubs across more than 27 African countries with over 50,000 community members.Below are the new added incubation hubs;GE Garage, Nigeria.Ecolia Labs, Cameroon.Kumasi Hive.iRise Hub, Somalia.aLabs, Sierra Leone.CTID (Centre de Technologie, d’Innovation pour le Developement) Djibouti.Centre d’innovation de Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). – Advertisement – In a press statement, AfriLabs Executive Director; Anna Ekeledo, said, they are beyond ecstatic about AfriLabs expanding its network.“We look forward to carrying out more projects with our partners and members across Africa to support these hubs and the startups, entrepreneurs and innovators in their communities achieve even greater impact,” she said.
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Saturday 27 SeptemberRACING2.25 CurraghStellar Glow 7/4 > 5/42.30 MusselburghThe Wispe 4/1 > 9/42.45 EpsomChristophermarlowe evens > 4/53.05 MusselburghMr McLaren 4/1 > 11/43.30 CurraghOl’ Man River 4/5 > 1/2FOOTBALL10/11 West Brom 7/2 Burnley 12/5 DRAW0-0 DRAW 8/1 !!!! (Burnley bidding for their fourth consecutive 0-0)What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321
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Share NAE CONTACT Randy Atkins email@example.com RICE CONTACT: Jade Boyd713-348-6778 firstname.lastname@example.org Rice earns three invites to coveted engineering symposiumNational Academy’s ‘Frontiers’ symposium showcases top young talent Three of Rice University’s brightest young engineering faculty – Michael Deem, Rebekah Drezek and Marcia O’Malley — have been selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 11th annual Frontiers of Engineering symposium. Rice is one of just a handful of institutions to earn three invitations to the prestigious gathering. The three-day event brings together engineers ages 30 to 45 who are performing cutting-edge engineering research and technical work in a variety of disciplines. The invitation-only event is open to fewer than 100 participants from industry, academia, and government. This year’s 88 participants were chosen from a field of 220 applicants nominated by fellow engineers or organizations. ”Significant advances in engineering are occurring where disciplines intersect,” said NAE President William A. Wulf. ”Frontiers of Engineering provides an opportunity for engineers to learn about techniques and challenges in areas other than their own. This new knowledge can spark insights and collaborations that might not have occurred otherwise.” The symposium will be held Sept. 22-24 at GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y., and will explore aspects of ID and verification technologies, the engineering of complex systems, engineering for developing communities, and energy. Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will be a featured speaker. Jackson has served as chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and worked in the field of theoretical physics at both AT&T Bell Laboratories and Rutgers University. Deem, the John W. Cox Professor in Biochemical and Genetic Engineering and professor of physics and astronomy, specializes in statistical mechanics, specifically the computer simulation of complex molecular systems. He is interested in four main areas of research: the adaptive immune system response, cancer vaccines, protein structure and drug discovery, and zeolite structure and nucleation. His group uses both simulation and analytical statistical mechanics to attack these problems. Drezek, the Stanley C. Moore Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, conducts translational biomedical research at the interface between nanobiotechnology and biophotonics. In particular, her laboratory is developing new molecular imaging technologies for improved detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer. O’Malley, assistant professor in mechanical engineering and materials science, is director of the Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces Lab, which studies the use of robotic devices in virtual and remote environments. Her current research interests include the development of new techniques for the display of augmented feedback in virtual environments, the implementation and study of haptic feedback in simulated and remote environments, including associated control issues, and the design and control of wearable robotic devices for rehabilitation and training. To learn more about Frontiers of Engineering, visit http://www.nae.edu/frontiers . The 2005 U.S. Frontiers meeting program is also available at the site. Symposium sponsors this year include General Electric Co., the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the U.S. Department of Defense, DARPA, Microsoft Corp., and Cummins Inc., and individual donors. The National Academy of Engineering is an independent, non-profit institution that serves as an adviser to government and the public on issues in engineering and technology. Its members consist of the nation’s premier engineers, who are elected by their peers for their distinguished achievements. Established in 1964, NAE operates under the congressional charter granted to the National Academy of Sciences in 1863. ### FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis
ShareCONTACT: Mike WilliamsPHONE: 713-348-6728; cell 617-281-6854E-MAIL: email@example.comStudents get hands-on demo of Japanese ‘taiko’ drumsRice hosts students who were to have studied in quake-ravaged JapanWHO: Twenty Japanese college students and 14 U.S. undergraduates are spending the summer at Rice University in Houston. The group was to have spent the summer in Japan as part of the annual NanoJapan study-abroad program, but Rice University agreed to host the students after a March 11 earthquake and tsunami damaged host sites in Japan.WHAT: The students will learn about and use traditional Japanese “taiko” drums during one of program’s cultural training sessions.WHEN: 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 10:30-11:30 a.m. June 14WHERE: Baker College, Rice University campus, 6100 Main St.PARKING: Because of road construction on campus, please use Entrance 3 on Main Street, across from Cambridge Street. Lovett Lot is on your right just inside the entrance. Buzz the parking office at the gate and give them your credentials for entry. Call Rice Media Relations (Mike Williams, 617-281-6854) for an escort to the class. Campus map: http://www.rice.edu/maps/maps.html.WHY IT’S NEWSWORTHY: University laboratories across Japan are still rebuilding and dealing with rolling blackouts that resulted from a deadly earthquake and tsunami March 11. The award-winning undergraduate internship program NanoJapan has sent 16 U.S. students to study and work in Japanese nanotechnology laboratories each summer since 2005. Rather than cancel the program, organizers are running it in reverse this summer; 20 Japanese students are living and working with U.S. program participants at Rice University. The students are living in Rice housing and working together in Rice laboratories. The program also incorporates a number of intercultural activities and intense language training. AddThis
AddThis ShareDavid Ruth713firstname.lastname@example.org Jeff Falk713email@example.com Energy firms must acknowledge cybersecurity as more than an IT problem, according to new Rice University paperHOUSTON – (Sept. 17, 2012) – Energy firms have spent vast sums on the security of their information systems, but they must reorient from a reactive, tactical posture regarding intrusions and attacks to a more strategic, holistic view that expands beyond the categorization of the issue as an IT problem, according to a new paper from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.Titled “Cybersecurity Issues and Policy Options for the U.S. Energy Industry,” the paper investigates how energy companies involved in the production and delivery of hydrocarbons, as well as companies that generate and transmit electricity, face new risks posed by malicious software (“malware”). These risks can affect the continuity of their operations, capacity to deliver products and services and ability to protect investments — particularly in research and development — from theft or unauthorized disclosure. The paper comes against the backdrop of the U.S. Congress’ failure this summer to pass significant cybersecurity legislation for the protection of commercial and government information technology infrastructure.“For the energy industry, cybersecurity is not just a technology problem, but rather is one that includes the larger dynamics of information and operations,” said Christopher Bronk, the paper’s principal author and a Baker Institute fellow in information technology policy. “How public policy can form components of the response to cybersecurity issues pertaining to the energy industry and the critical infrastructure that it builds, operates and maintains requires considering both the complexity of the issue and the nuance in potential policy prescriptions.”The paper details examples of major oil and gas companies that have suffered a significant data breach or disruption of IT service, the latest being Saudi Aramco. In August, Saudi Aramco saw as many as 30,000 computers on the company’s network compromised by a malicious piece of “malware,” possibly the one labeled “Shamoon” by the computer malware analysis community.“The issues of cyberespionage and true cyberattacks — the ability to achieve kinetic outcomes by manipulation of computer systems — represent significant challenges for the energy industry, the United States government and the international community,” Bronk said.“Constructing institutions to cope with these problems and move beyond a reactive posture will require greater research investment, collaboration and unorthodox combinations of expertise from within the computing field and beyond it.”Bronk will host a range of international cybersecurity experts from business, government and academia at the Baker Institute tomorrow, Sept. 18, to share and discuss the latest information on how to detect, defend against and respond to emerging cyberthreats. For more information about this conference, visit http://www.bakerinstitute.org/events/emerging-cyber-security-threats-public-policy-and-technology-response.Bronk previously served as a career diplomat with the Department of State, where his last assignment was in the Office of eDiplomacy, the department’s internal think tank on information technology, knowledge management, computer security and interagency collaboration. Adam Pridgen, a graduate student and cybersecurity researcher in Rice’s Department of Computer Science, is the paper’s secondary author. Deloitte LLP supported the research activity from which this paper was drawn.-30-For more information or to schedule an interview with Bronk, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-348-6775.Related materials:“Cybersecurity Issues and Policy Options for the U.S. Energy Industry” paper: http://www.bakerinstitute.org/policyreport53Christopher Bronk bio: http://bakerinstitute.org/personnel/fellows-scholars/cbronk Bronk on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techpologist @techpologistFounded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute sponsors more than 20 programs that conduct research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.
Share6David Ruth713email@example.comJade Boyd713firstname.lastname@example.orgSynthetic biologists engineer inflammation-sensing gut bacteriaRice University bioengineers demo new class of minimally invasive biosensors HOUSTON — (April 5, 2017) — Synthetic biologists at Rice University have engineered gut bacteria capable of sensing colitis, an inflammation of the colon, in mice. The research points the way to new experiments for studying how gut bacteria and human hosts interact at a molecular level and could eventually lead to orally ingestible bacteria for monitoring gut health and disease.Jeff TaborThe research, published in a new study in Molecular Systems Biology, involved a series of breakthroughs in the lab of Jeffrey Tabor, assistant professor of bioengineering and of biosciences at Rice, and key contributions from collaborators Robert Britton and Noah Shroyer at Baylor College of Medicine. Tabor’s team, including lead co-author and postdoctoral researcher Kristina Daeffler, identified the first genetically encoded sensor of a novel biomarker linked to inflammation, inserted the genes for the sensor into a well-studied gut bacterium and collaborated with Shroyer and Britton to use the engineered bacteria to detect colon inflammation in mice.“The gut harbors trillions of microorganisms that play key roles in health and disease,” Tabor said. “However, it is a dark and relatively inaccessible place, and few technologies have been developed to study these processes in detail. On the other hand, bacteria have evolved tens of thousands of genetically encoded sensors, many of which sense gut-linked molecules. Thus, genetically engineered sensor bacteria have tremendous potential for studying gut pathways and diagnosing gut diseases.”Synthetic biologists like Tabor specialize in programming single-celled organisms like bacteria in much the same way an engineer might program a robot. In particular, Tabor’s team is working to develop bacterial sensors that can detect disease signals in the gut. Like electrical engineers who build circuits from wires and electronic components, Tabor’s team uses genetic circuits to program single-celled creatures to carry out complex information processing.Synthetic biologists at Rice University have engineered orally-ingestible gut bacteria capable of sensing colitis in mice. (Image courtesy of J. Tabor/Rice University)Previous work has suggested that alterations to the gut microbiota, genetic predisposition and other environmental factors may play key roles in inflammatory bowel disease, a condition that includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and which affects as many as 1.6 million Americans.“Based on a number of previous studies, we hypothesized that the molecule thiosulfate may be elevated during colitis,” Daeffler said. “It has been difficult for scientists to study this link because there aren’t tools for reliably measuring thiosulfate in living animals. Our first goal in this project was to engineer such a tool.”From the outset of the project in 2015, Daeffler said, the idea was to use sensor bacteria, in this case an engineered form of Escherichia coli, to sense thiosulfate and related sulfur-containing compounds that may also be biomarkers of colitis. There were well-understood methods for programming E. coli to produce a fluorescent green protein in response to specific stimuli, but there were no known genes — in any organism — that were used to sense thiosulfate, and few for the other compounds.“There’s a link between gut sulfur metabolism and inflammation, and we knew that we needed to be able to measure sulfur metabolites accurately to diagnose colon inflammation,” she said.Tabor said study co-author Ravi Sheth, an undergraduate researcher in the group in 2015, used a computer program to identify potential sensors of thiosulfate and other sulfur compounds in the genome of Shewanella, a type of bacteria that live in marine sediment. Tabor’s group believes that Shewanella likely breathe these molecules and use the sensors to turn on the proper enzymes in their presence.Kristina DaefflerDaeffler spent one year engineering E. coli to express the sensor genes, validate their function and optimize them to respond to the potential biomarkers by producing a green fluorescent protein signal. It took another year to prove that the system worked and detected colon inflammation in mice.The researchers administered orally two drops containing about a billion sensor bacteria to both healthy mice and to mice with colitis. They measured the activity of the sensor bacteria in each group six hours later. The tell-tale green fluorescent protein showed up in the feces of the mice. Though it was not visible to the unaided eye, it could easily be measured with a standard laboratory instrument called a flow cytometer.The team found that the thiosulfate sensor was activated in the mice with inflammation, and was not activated in the healthy mice. Furthermore, the researchers found that the more inflammation the mouse had, the more the sensor was activated.Tabor said the study shows that gut bacteria can be outfitted with engineered sensors and used to noninvasively measure specific metabolites and that this result could open the door to many new studies that could help elucidate a wide range of gut processes.Though it would likely take several additional years of development, and it remains unknown if thiosulfate is a biomarker of human colitis, the sensor bacteria might eventually be re-engineered to function as a diagnostic of human colitis, Tabor said. In particular, the green fluorescent protein could be replaced with an enzyme that makes a colored pigment.“We’d like to develop a home inflammation test where a person prone to colitis flare-ups would eat yogurt that contained the engineered bacteria and see blue pigment in the toilet if they were sick,” he said.Tabor said such a test could reduce unneeded and costly trips to the doctor and unneeded colonoscopy procedures, which are both expensive and invasive. He said his team has begun collaborations with gastroenterologists at Baylor to achieve this goal.Additional co-authors include Britton, Shroyer, Jeffrey Galley and Laura Ortiz-Velez, all of Baylor College of Medicine, and Christopher Bibb of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.The research was supported by the Welch Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University’s Department of Bioengineering.-30-High-resolution IMAGES are available for download at:http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/04/0405_PROBIOTIC-sensor-lg-1n291vw.jpgCAPTION: Synthetic biologists at Rice University have engineered orally ingestible gut bacteria capable of sensing colitis in mice. (Image courtesy of J. Tabor/Rice University)http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/02/0222_CAREER-Tabor-1-web-2co8q23.jpgCAPTION: Jeffrey Tabor (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)http://news.rice.edu/files/2017/04/0405_PROBIOTIC-Daeffler-med-1hnnkzc.jpgCAPTION: Kristina Daeffler (Photo courtesy of Tabor group/Rice University)The DOI of the Molecular Systems Biology paper is: 10.15252/msb.20167416A copy of the paper is available at: http://msb.embopress.org/content/13/4/923Related research stories from Rice:Rice U. lab creates open-source optogenetics hardware, software — Nov. 7, 2016http://news.rice.edu/2016/11/07/rice-u-lab-creates-open-source-optogenetics-hardware-software/Photosynthetic bacteria give biologists a cool new tool — May 10, 2016http://news.rice.edu/2016/05/10/photosynthetic-bacteria-give-biologists-a-cool-new-tool/It’s now easier to go with the flow — May 3, 2016http://news.rice.edu/2016/05/03/its-now-easier-to-go-with-the-flow/Jeffrey Tabor wins CAREER Award — April 4, 2016http://news.rice.edu/2016/04/04/jeffrey-tabor-wins-career-award-2/Red means ‘go’ to therapeutic viruses — Dec. 1, 2015http://news.rice.edu/2015/12/01/red-means-go-to-therapeutic-viruses/No bioengineered gut bacteria, no glory — May 12, 2014http://news.rice.edu/2014/05/12/no-bioengineered-gut-bacteria-no-glory/Rice synthetic biologists shine light on genetic circuit analysis — March 9, 2014http://news.rice.edu/2014/03/09/rice-synthetic-biologists-shine-light-on-genetic-circuit-analysis/Rice, UW win $2M grant for synthetic biology research — Sept. 12, 2011http://news.rice.edu/2011/09/12/rice-uw-win-2m-grant-for-synthetic-biology-research/Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,879 undergraduates and 2,861 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for happiest students and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview. AddThis
FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis ShareDavid Ruth713email@example.comJeff Falk713firstname.lastname@example.orgBaker Institute expert explores tussle over tax reform and deduction limitsHOUSTON – (Feb. 15, 2019) – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 placed a $10,000 limit on the amount of state and local taxes people may deduct on their federal income tax returns. One year after the law’s passage, this so-called SALT deduction limit remains one of its most contested provisions, according to an expert in the Center for Public Finance at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.Credit: 123RF.com/Rice UniversityJoyce Beebe, a fellow in public finance, examined the pros and cons of the limit and state-level efforts to circumvent the caps in a new report, “Fiscal Federalism and the State and Local Tax Deduction Limit.”Prior to the tax reform, there was no cap on the amount taxpayers could claim for the deduction. Several states have since proposed or passed legislation to circumvent the limit. In response, the IRS issued a warning against state charitable contribution workarounds in May, followed in August by proposed U.S. Department of Treasury regulations intended to block those state actions.Four states (New York, Connecticut, Maryland and New Jersey) filed a lawsuit against the federal government, claiming the cap unfairly targeted them and represented federal interference with states’ constitutionally protected rights. In November, the federal government sought to dismiss the case, arguing that the states do not have legal standing to file the lawsuit.“Beyond the pointed statements between the federal and state government officials, these arguments bring up an important issue: What are the existing fiscal interactions between the federal and state governments, and how would the SALT deduction cap change these dynamics?” Beebe wrote.Her report reviews the connections between the governments and summarizes the viewpoints for and against a SALT deduction limit. It also discusses recent state actions to mitigate the effects of the cap, as well as federal government reactions and individual-level workarounds.“Fiscal federalism, which describes the financial relations between different levels of government based on their respective responsibilities, is a unique and indispensable feature of a federal government system,” Beebe wrote.The federal government provides substantial financial assistance to state and local governments. Beebe’s report focuses on two of the largest federal support mechanisms — federal grants and the SALT deduction.“Although removing the SALT deduction cap would cost the federal government more than $600 billion over the next decade, newly elected Democrats from high-tax states have begun discussions on either increasing or removing the cap,” Beebe wrote. “The partisan nature of the tax reform and the high level of fiscal deficits mean the limited SALT deductibility would have profound revenue implications, and the adversarial relationship between state and federal governments would intensify. Although the SALT deduction cap has been interpreted as a political move to harm blue states, or a maneuver simply to finance the TCJA, there is no doubt the federal government provides substantial financial assistance to state and local governments.”Because the SALT deduction is administrated through federal tax policy, the key economic issue centers on the magnitude of the spillover effects of state and local government spending, Beebe said.“Some of the workarounds may prevail on legal grounds, but whether they make good state tax policies is a separate matter,” she wrote. “Key state-level issues on both revenue and expenditures need to be addressed. The growing spending on entitlements and the looming budget shortfalls require not only efficient administration but also a reconsideration of spending priorities.”For more information or to schedule an interview with Beebe, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at email@example.com or 713-348-6775.-30-Follow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.Follow the Baker Institute’s Center for Public Finance via Twitter @Baker_CPF.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Report: www.bakerinstitute.org/media/files/files/401eb013/bi-report-021219-cpf-salt.pdfBeebe biography: www.bakerinstitute.org/experts/joyce-beebeBaker Institute Center for Public Finance: www.bakerinstitute.org/center-for-public-financeFounded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top five university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.