Laurie Foster: Good job Calabar High

first_img Add Russell ‘Midnight’ Thompson and his vivid story-telling – fiction with a sprinkling of fact – the five- or six-strong Wynter clan, all representing the black and green, and the call was like that following a Sir Garfield Sobers extra-cover drive – “not a man moved”. They all craved their ‘I was there’ status and had to be seen in the place – talk about distraction as the distant sound of a gunshot, piercing the air at intervals, indicating the start of yet another, seemingly irrelevant race. There was a cost for all this. Those highly anticipated races went by without the visual input of some of the most ardent followers of the sport. Thank you, ‘Stewie’ Spencer for passing by and bringing the group to attention as to what had been missed. It was a good day, and the hospitality of the homesters was first-class. It only needs a little fine-tuning to get the event in more spectator-friendly mode. Calabar has a tradition of excellence in the sport to uphold. Wint and McKenley started the trend, and those now in the limelight are carrying the baton, protected by a host of well-wishers. There can be no better way to concretise the tradition of the ‘Utmost for the Highest’. They were summoned to perform last Saturday, and the response was tumultuous. “Here, Sir.” Good job, Calabar! Saturday, January 23, 2016, was a significant day in the already richly endowed history of Jamaica’s track and field. It signalled the dawn of a new day in which Calabar High School hosted a track meet on a home-based, synthetic surface. The event was in honour of two of its athletic products who have etched their names in the annals of the sport around which the country has received its most global acclaim. That such prominence, privilege, and prestige should have gone to Red Hills Road was indeed fitting, given that school’s meaningful contribution to the process. The celebrants, Herb McKenley and Dr Arthur Wint, stand as the first two Jamaicans to record medals at the highest echelon of the sport. These came at the 1948 London Olympics when the country, not then an independent nation, huddled under the Union Jack, singing God Save the King, took gold (400m) and silver (800m) from Wint’s efforts, and silver (400m) from the McKenley performance. As if by a divine mandate, with the demands of history not to be denied, Saturday last was to feature a spectacle that could not have been accorded a more appropriate stage. On display, opening the year of the XXXI Olympiad, were two home-grown athletes of a more recent generation, both given to top world ranking at their age levels in the 400m, similar to Wint and McKenley. Javon Francis and Christopher Taylor have made their announcement that they would be factors to be considered when up against their global competitors. Francis took the spotlight at the 2013 Moscow World Championships after a spine-tingling anchor run in the 4x400m relay that plucked a silver medal out of nothing. His 44.00 split called to mind the gold medal, world record-breaking leg of 44.6 at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics by the undisputed great, Herb McKenley. Taylor ran to Jamaica’s only gold at the World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia, last year, registering 45.27, not only a national youth (Under-18) record, but the second-best ever for a 15-year-old. If ever the healthy tradition was on the doorstep of repeat greatness, the time must be now – the prospect of it being cemented, mouth-watering. That the raison d’Ítre for being present was sidelined is testimony to the atmosphere and ambiance that was the Red Hills facility on the day. The presence of old stagers in local scholastic sport, representing the administrative, supporter or on-the-field cohort, detracted somewhat from the competition, however enticing. This columnist, in several aborted attempts to take up trackside viewing advantage, was thwarted by absorbing conversation with such sporting stalwarts as Bernie Panton of a former local governing body fame and a Calabar old-timer; ‘Bowla’ Morant of mid-60’s Fortis football glory; and Devon ‘Stone Age’ Smith, who they all acknowledged to have been a fierce middle-order batsman at the host school. NOT A MAN MOVEDlast_img read more

Dy, peaking La Salle not taking any opponents lightly

first_imgDespite their league best record which catapulted them past National U, the Lady Archers are not taking any opponent lightly with still five games left in their eliminations schedule.“When we’re inside the court, we treat each team equally. Nobody is stronger than one, and no one is weaker than another,” said Dy in Filipino after the 25-15, 25-19, 25-19 win.  “We prepare for each team in the same way.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkLa Salle is the league’s hottest team with three-game winning streak, but what makes it more impressive is that the Lady Spikers have only dropped a set in that run.But although the Lady Spikers are the closest to clinch a Final Four spot, Dy said they’re not looking that far ahead and are taking their chances one match at a time. “We don’t actually think about that right now, we’re taking it one step at a time, so game per game,” said Dy who had 14 points against the Lady Maroons. “We will continue to improve on what we need to be better on, and from there we will fight onwards.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism MOST READ De La Salle is finally at the apex of the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament with a 7-2 record after a three-set win over University of the Philippines on Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenterscenter_img Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina LATEST STORIES Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Nietes wants move to super flyweight: ‘My dream fights are there’ View commentslast_img read more

As massive Zika vaccine trial struggles researchers revive plan to intentionally infect

first_img North America MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES January2016 January2017May2017 0 5000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 To date, 1380 participants have enrolled in the trial, which tests a vaccine containing a small circular piece of DNA that holds two Zika genes. From the outset, the researchers had planned to open new trial sites at infection hot spots, if needed. But new cases have dropped to a trickle throughout the Americas. Email As massive Zika vaccine trial struggles, researchers revive plan to intentionally infect humans Further complicating the trial, many people throughout Latin America and the Caribbean have already been infected with Zika and recovered, which has left them immune to the virus and hence ineligible for vaccine trials. “We have problems finding people to participate,” Kallás says. Indeed, nearly 50% of 2147 Nicaraguans studied in Managua—which is not a site in the NIAID trial—tested positive for antibodies to the Zika virus between January and September 2016, a group reported 27 August in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Kallás says evidence of efficacy could still emerge from areas of São Paulo that, inexplicably, have had little Zika. Those pockets, where less than 5% of the people test positive for Zika antibodies, remain susceptible to the outbreaks that could give the vaccine a real test. “There’s this sense the epidemic will hit our region, but we don’t know when,” Kallás says. “We don’t understand why it didn’t happen already.”Given the drop in cases, a surer way to test any vaccine against Zika is to deliberately expose inoculated subjects to the virus. Researchers have used this strategy, known as a human challenge trial, for decades to test vaccines against diseases that either can be effectively treated or, like Zika, typically cause mild symptoms.But in 2017, an ethics committee convened by NIAID and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, called it “premature” for Zika. They worried that people intentionally infected with the virus might transmit it to their sexual partners, primarily through infected semen. And they were confident that traditional field trials could test the efficacy of the leading vaccine candidates.The report froze plans for a human challenge study, which NIAID had agreed to fund. “It was a great setback,” says the study’s leader, Anna Durbin of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. “If we had been allowed to go forward, we’d know today which vaccine candidates look good.”Now, the study is being considered again, as Zika disappears from the region and industry loses interest in bringing a vaccine to market. In a major blow, Sanofi Pasteur halted work on its vaccine, licensed from Walter Reed, in September 2017. “There’s a compelling reason to conduct a human challenge trial now,” says bioethicist Seema Shah of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, who chaired the 2017 ethics committee. But, she adds, “The details are complicated and it’s important to have a rigorous review.””If they’re careful, we have no problems supporting it,” Fauci says. Durbin plans to submit her new protocol for review in about a month, and in early 2019 hopes to start injecting Zika virus into people immunized with a vaccine containing live, but weakened Zika virus made by NIAID’s Stephen Whitehead. As a precaution, she plans to enroll only women at first, to avoid semen transmission from infected males. The volunteers will receive a low dose of Zika virus, and they will remain in clinics for the 2 weeks it typically takes to clear the infection. Any vaccine that works in the challenge study theoretically could then be evaluated in a real-world outbreak—just as is occurring now with an unlicensed but promising Ebola vaccine.The much larger NIAID trial could also pay off, even if it doesn’t show whether the Zika vaccine is effective. It will yield data on safety and immune responses; combined with animal data on efficacy, the results might be enough for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to license the vaccine, Fauci says.But regardless of whether the trial leads to an approved vaccine, he has no regrets about launching it. “Zika was a very ominous threat just a couple of years ago, and there is certainly the possibility that it is going to come back,” Fauci says. “It’s a risk that you’ll spend this money and never use the vaccine, but balancing the importance of this infection and the impact it could have, we felt it was a good decision to move ahead. And I would be happy to defend that anywhere.” (GRAPHIC) J. YOU/SCIENCE; (DATA) N. GRUBAUGH, S. SARAF, K. ANDERSEN, BASED ON WEEKLY REPORTED CASES FROM THE PAN AMERICAN HEALTH ORGANIZATION AND THE FLORIDA AND TEXAS DEPARTMENTS OF HEALTH A Brazilian mother holds her daughter, who was born in 2016 with microcephaly, a Zika-caused birth defect.center_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country In 2016, as the mosquito-borne Zika virus spread through the Americas and cases of infected women having brain-damaged babies mounted, investigators raced to develop a vaccine. Now, a $110 million vaccine trial is underway at 17 sites in nine countries, but it faces an unexpected, and ironic, challenge. Cases of Zika have plummeted to levels so low that most people vaccinated in the trial likely will never be exposed to the virus, which could make it impossible to tell whether the vaccine works.”Right now, there are no infections, and certainly not enough to even think about an efficacy signal at this point,” says Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Bethesda, Maryland, which launched the trial. Human trials of other Zika vaccine candidates at earlier stages are also in limbo, and last year one large vaccinemaker pulled the plug on development of its candidate. But NIAID and others are pressing ahead, saying a vaccine might someday be needed. To make up for the lack of new cases, other investigators are turning to an unusual, and ethically complex, strategy. Starting next year, Science has learned, they plan to test a vaccine by deliberately infecting people with Zika.Launched in March 2017, NIAID’s placebo-controlled vaccine trial includes two sites in Brazil, where Zika hit hardest and where the brain damage known as microcephaly first surfaced. From the beginning of the outbreak in 2015 until the start of this year, Brazil had about half of all 800,000 suspected and confirmed Zika cases in the Americas, according to the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, D.C. But from January through June, Brazil’s Ministry of Health reported fewer than 7000 probable cases, in a nation of 200 million people. “It’s a good dilemma because we don’t have Zika anymore,” says Esper Kallás of the University of São Paulo in São Paulo, Brazil, principal investigator for the local NIAID site. “But it’s a dilemma. Everybody is concerned about it. It’s a lot of investment.” By Jon CohenSep. 12, 2018 , 12:30 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Zika’s vanishing act Weekly counts of new Zika cases, suspected and confirmed, have plummeted in North and South American countries hosting a vaccine trial. 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