Former Hong Kong lawmaker rejects HSBC explanation over frozen bank accounts

first_img whatsapp Share More From Our Partners Police Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comLA news reporter doesn’t seem to recognize actor Mark Currythegrio.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgFans call out hypocrisy as Tebow returns to NFL while Kaepernick is still outthegrio.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgKansas coach fired for using N-word toward Black playerthegrio.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.comPorsha Williams engaged to ex-husband of ‘RHOA’ co-star Falynn Guobadiathegrio.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comMan on bail for murder arrested after pet tiger escapes Houston homethegrio.comFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comColin Kaepernick to publish book on abolishing the policethegrio.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comFort Bragg soldier accused of killing another servicewoman over exthegrio.comBill Gates reportedly hoped Jeffrey Epstein would help him win a Nobelnypost.com Show Comments ▼ Former Hong Kong lawmaker Ted Hui has renewed his criticism of HSBC despite the bank’s CEO expressing regret for freezing his bank accounts. “It is very scary for Hong Kong people. Most of us feel like we have already lost all freedom, especially the freedom of expression.” whatsapp Monday 18 January 2021 9:42 am He said: “Any institution is an accomplice of human right infringement where it acts against due procedures with the effect of oppressing freedom. Authorities in Hong Kong have launched a crackdown on pro-democracy opposition since Beijing imposed a national security law in June. by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMoneyWise.comMechanics Say You Should Avoid These Cars In 2021  MoneyWise.comBrake For ItSay Goodbye: These Cars Will Be Discontinued In 2021Brake For ItAtlantic MirrorA Kilimanjaro Discovery Has Proved This About The BibleAtlantic MirrorTaco RelishSuspicious Pics That Are Fishier Than The SeaTaco RelishUnify Health LabsThe 1 Thing Randy Jackson Did To Lose WeightUnify Health LabsLiver Health1 Bite of This Melts Belly And Arm Fat (Take Before Bed)Liver HealthCarsGeniusThese 4 Loaded SUVs Are Now Dirt CheapCarsGeniusThe Legacy ReportMan Who Predicted 2020 Crash 45 Days Early Issues Next Major WarningThe Legacy ReportMagellan TimesIf You See A Red Ball On A Power Line, Here’s What It MeansMagellan Times In December, the former lawmaker claimed accounts held by him and his family were frozen after he said he would seek exile in Britain to continue his pro-democratic activities. In August last year, it was reported by Reuters that global banks were examining whether clients in the former British colony had ties to the pro-democracy movement, in a bid to avoid becoming involved in security laws. “Has HSBC followed professional procedures of screening, asking, finding and evaluating?center_img Hui, who fled Hong Kong late last year after facing criminal charges over pro-democracy protests in the Asian financial hub, took to Facebook to criticise Quinn’s message. Hui also asked HSBC to explain why members of his family were “collectively punished” on the Facebook post. Tags: Company Hong Kong HSBC Holdings “I openly hold HSBC accountable for answering these important questions.” HSBC is under fire, with senior politicians asking it to explain why it has frozen the accounts of democracy activist Ted Hui. HSBC is under fire, with senior politicians asking it to explain why it has frozen the accounts of democracy activist Ted Hui. Also Read: Former Hong Kong lawmaker rejects HSBC explanation over frozen bank accounts Damian Shepherd Former Hong Kong lawmaker rejects HSBC explanation over frozen bank accounts Speaking to City A.M. about the opposition laws, Hong Kong activist Nathan Law, said: “When international companies enter China, they must have a large amount of compromise in terms of their integrity and reaction to social issues. “This shows how Beijing manipulates economic powers to conduct and expand their authoritarianism. Noel Quinn, HSBC chief executive, had written to Hui last week explaining that the bank was unable to operate the accounts and was instructed to act by the police.last_img read more

Brexit: EU raises ‘strong concerns’ about grace period extension

first_imgIn a statement, ministers said: “For supermarkets and their suppliers, as part of the operational plan the UK committed to at the UK-EU Joint Committee on 24 February, the current Scheme for Temporary Agri-food Movements to Northern Ireland will continue until 1 October.  Brexit: EU raises ‘strong concerns’ about grace period extension Poppy Wood whatsapp (Getty Images) The EU will raise “strong concerns” about Britain’s extension of a grace period for checks on agricultural and food products heading to Northern Ireland, the vice president of the European Commission has said. However, the move was met with criticism from figures from across the political spectrum. Raoul Ruparel, Theresa May’s former Brexit adviser, tweeted that it was “hard to see how this is allowed under the Protocol.  “Certification requirements will then be introduced in phases alongside the roll out of the Digital Assistance Scheme.” “I suspect [the] UK gamble is that because it’s temporary and part of [a] step to full requirements, the scope for EU objection/action is limited,” he said. Ireland’s deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill also slammed the move. “The EU and the British government need to work together and this appears to be another unilateral attempt to override what has been agreed,” she said. Show Comments ▼ Tags: Brexit Speaking in the Commons this afternoon, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs that Northern Ireland’s position within the UK internal market was “rock solid and guaranteed”. Wednesday 3 March 2021 6:36 pm (Getty Images) Also Read: Brexit: EU raises ‘strong concerns’ about grace period extension center_img (Getty Images) Also Read: Brexit: EU raises ‘strong concerns’ about grace period extension The government this morning announced it will unilaterally change a part of the Northern Ireland Brexit deal, in a move that will better suit British businesses. whatsapp The first of these periods is set to expire at the end of March, but government announced it will now be extended until October. Supermarkets in Northern Ireland have struggled with supply issues since the Brexit transition period ended on 1 January, however the problem is expected to worsen when the existing grace period ends. “I’ll be raising our strong concerns on the respect of the [Northern Ireland] Protocol, following today’s announcements,” Sefcovic said on Twitter. Share Ministers said they would extend the grace period on Irish Sea border checks for UK supermarkets and suppliers to adapt to new trade barriers. Maros Sefcovic said he will speak to David Frost, the Prime Minister’s Europe Adviser, on the implementation of EU-UK agreements tonight. “What everyone should be focused on is achieving agreement to find solutions to the issues that are outstanding, but it’s very clear the protocol must be made to work.” He added that the government would underscore that with the operational “easings” to protect food supplies and other areas, pending further discussions with the EU. It is understood the government has described the move as an “operational easement” rather than a formal extension of the grace period.last_img read more

Blackrock receives approval to run wealth business in China

first_imgWednesday 12 May 2021 12:17 pm Show Comments ▼ Angharad Carrick The chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, Guo Shuqing, said in March that Chinese regulators welcome more foreign entry into China’s financial sector, including the wealth management space. It also reported revenue of $4.4bn, beating analysts’ prediction of $4.31bn. BlackRock will “support China in building a sustainable ecosystem for investing,” chairman and chief executive Laurence Fink said in a statement. The joint venture, which is 50.1 per cent owned by Blackrock and includes China Construction Bank and Temasek, received approval from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission today. Blackrock receives approval to run wealth business in China FILE PHOTO: The BlackRock logo is seen outside of its offices in New York Also Read: Blackrock receives approval to run wealth business in China FILE PHOTO: The BlackRock logo is seen outside of its offices in New York “The Chinese market represents a significant opportunity to help meet the long-term goals of investors in China and internationally.” China opened up its huge financial sector last April as part of an interim Sino-US trade deal.center_img Blackrock has won approval to begin operating its wealth management business in China as it capitalises on the country’s fast-growing asset management market. whatsapp whatsapp More From Our Partners Why people are finding dryer sheets in their mailboxesnypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comKamala Harris keeps list of reporters who don’t ‘understand’ her: reportnypost.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest regretnypost.comMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.com‘Neighbor from hell’ faces new charges after scaring off home buyersnypost.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.com Last month the asset manager reported a 16 per cent jump in profit in the first quarter after net income rose to a record $1.2bn. FILE PHOTO: The BlackRock logo is seen outside of its offices in New York Also Read: Blackrock receives approval to run wealth business in China Share by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeBrake For ItSay Goodbye: These Cars Will Be Discontinued In 2021Brake For ItAll Things Auto | Search AdsNew Cadillac’s Finally On SaleAll Things Auto | Search AdsLivestlyPlugs Have These Two Holes At The End, Here’s WhyLivestlyFactableAluminum Foil Uses You’ll Want to KnowFactableMoneyWise.comMechanics Say You Should Avoid These Cars In 2021  MoneyWise.comDrivepedia30+ Funny Photos Of Car Owners Having A Rough DayDrivepediaLuxury SUVs | Search AdsThese Cars Are So Loaded It’s Hard to Believe They’re So CheapLuxury SUVs | Search AdsQuizscape8 Out Of 10 Men Fails This Car Engine Quiz. Can You Pass It?QuizscapeDaily Funny40 Brilliant Life Hacks Nobody Told You AboutDaily Funny Blackrock is the latest company to move into mainland China and take advantage of the growing savings and maturing markets as the financial system is liberalised.last_img read more

Fortune favours brave Academicals

Testing wearable sensors as ‘check engine’ light for health

first_imgHe envisions one day having wearables that act as a sort of “check engine” light indicating it’s time to see the doctor.“One way to look at this is, these are the equivalent of oral thermometers but you’re measuring yourself all the time,” said Snyder, senior author of a report released Thursday on the project.advertisement Newsletters Sign up for Morning Rounds Your daily dose of news in health and medicine. It was that phenomenon that alerted Snyder, the longest-tested participant, “that something wasn’t quite right” on one of his frequent long flights.Landing in Norway for a family vacation, Snyder noticed his oxygen levels didn’t return to normal like they always had before. Plus his heart rate was much higher than normal, which sometimes signals infection.Sure enough, soon a low-grade fever left him dragging. He feared Lyme because two weeks before going abroad, Snyder had helped his brother build a fence in a tick-infested rural area in Massachusetts. He persuaded a Norwegian doctor to prescribe the appropriate antibiotic, and post-vacation testing back home confirmed the diagnosis.Also during the study’s first two years, Snyder and several other volunteers had minor cold-like illnesses that began with higher-than-normal readings for heart rate and skin temperature — and correlated with blood tests showing inflammation was on the rise before any sniffling. WASHINGTON — A next step for smart watches and fitness trackers? Wearable gadgets gave a Stanford University professor an early warning that he was getting sick before he ever felt any symptoms of Lyme disease.Geneticist Michael Snyder never had Lyme’s characteristic bulls-eye rash. But a smart watch and other sensors charted changes in Snyder’s heart rate and oxygen levels during a family vacation. Eventually a fever struck that led to his diagnosis.Say “wearables,” and step-counting fitness trackers spring to mind. It’s not clear if they really make a difference in users’ health. Now Snyder’s team at Stanford is starting to find out, tracking the everyday lives of several dozen volunteers wearing devices that monitor more than mere activity.advertisement Please enter a valid email address. Tags wellness HealthTesting wearable sensors as ‘check engine’ light for health Related: Related: About the Author Reprintscenter_img Michael Snyder, professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, sports wearable gadgets. Steve Fisch via AP Move over Fitbit: Sweat-sensing bracelet could be next wearable tech Leave this field empty if you’re human: In addition, the Stanford team detected variations in heart rate patterns that could tell the difference between study participants with what’s called insulin resistance — a risk factor for type 2 diabetes — and healthy people.No, don’t try to self-diagnose with your fitness tracker any time soon. The findings in Thursday’s report are intriguing but the study is highly experimental, cautioned medical technology specialist Dr. Atul Butte of the University of California, San Francisco, who wasn’t involved with the research.“This kind of approach is going to help science more than the general public” until there’s better data about what’s normal or not, Butte said. “Remember, the baseline is always in motion. We’re always getting older. We’re always exposed to things. Just because there’s a deviation doesn’t mean it’s abnormal.” Associated Press From vibrating pillowcases to smart pajama belts, sleep tech is flooding the market Among the earliest hints: Changes in people’s day-to-day physiology may flag when certain ailments are brewing, from colds to Lyme to type 2 diabetes, researchers reported in the journal PLOS Biology.Interest in wearable sensors is growing along with efforts to personalize medicine, as scientists learn how to tailor treatments and preventive care to people’s genes, environment, and lifestyle. The sensors are expected to be a part of the National Institutes of Health’s huge “precision medicine” study, planned to begin later this year.But a first step is learning what’s normal for different people under different conditions.The Stanford team is collecting reams of data — as many as 250,000 daily measurements — from volunteers who wear up to eight activity monitors or other sensors of varying sizes that measure heart rate, blood oxygen, skin temperature, sleep, calories expended, exercise and even exposure to radiation. That’s paired with occasional laboratory tests to measure blood chemistry and some genetic information.An initial finding: Blood oxygen levels decrease with rising altitudes during plane flights, in turn triggering fatigue. But toward the end of long flights, oxygen begins rising again, possibly as bodies adapt, the researchers reported. Privacy Policy By Associated Press Jan. 12, 2017 Reprintslast_img read more

The creator of the pig-human chimera keeps proving other scientists wrong

first_img About the Author Reprints Early this year, seeking a way to grow human organs for transplant, his group announced it had created pig-human chimeras — fetal pigs with human cells mixed in. His Salk Institute lab has discovered two new kinds of stem cells, including one considered the pinnacle of stem cells because, in addition to being able to create every type of cell in the body, it can also form tissues like the placenta and amniotic sac that embryos need to survive. Last December, they used a technique in mice that may help reverse aging by reprogramming adult cells back to their youth. Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. Related: Tags CRISPRethicsgeneticsprofiles Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte stands in a lab at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif. Sandy Huffaker for STAT “It’s hard to know where to start, he’s doing so many different things. You get the sense he’s sort of fearless.” By Usha Lee McFarling Aug. 7, 2017 Reprints Related: Usha Lee McFarling Please enter a valid email address. There are those who remain skeptical about these early findings. The pig chimera, for example, contained so few human cells that Stanford stem cell researcher Hiromitsu Nakauchi said it seemed “like more a negative result.” Others say the many barriers to creating human organs in pigs seem insurmountable. And the work is revolting to people who oppose any dabbling with human embryos or mixing of human and animal tissue.Human cells are shown in green in this developing heart in a 4-week-old chimeric pig embryo. Salk InstituteBut among scientists, Izpisua Belmonte has a growing legion of fans. They applaud him for his audacious work, his pushing of boundaries, his keen intellect, and his willingness to conduct difficult experiments everyone tells him will never succeed.“Scientists have this way of predicting what can’t be done, then being proven wrong by other scientists who are not bound by conventional wisdom,” said Dr. George Q. Daley, a stem cell researcher and dean of Harvard Medical School. “Juan Carlos is both rigorous and intrepid enough to take bold risks and then produce science that surprises us all.”Izpisua Belmonte, now 57, is an unlikely star of this futuristic arena. He was born in rural Spain to a farm family so poor that he had to drop out of elementary school at age 8 and work in the fields. His mother could neither read nor write. When he finally re-enrolled in school at 16, he quickly caught up — and caught the notice of teachers who encouraged him to attend the University of Valencia.He had no interest in science. He wanted to study philosophy. But on his way to enroll in the philosophy department, a beautiful building caught his eye and, on a whim, he enrolled there instead. It was the pharmacy department.Izpisua Belmonte went on to earn a Ph.D., studying adipose tissue in Bologna, Italy — but fat research frankly bored him. Only when he moved to a lab in Heidelberg, Germany, and helped with pioneering work on the genes that rigorously control the body patterns of embryos, did he find a spark.“That’s when it clicked,” he told STAT. “This is what I want to do.”It was there, fiddling with genes and embryonic tissues, that Izpisua Belmonte finally found some questions he could sink his teeth into. They were biological questions, but they were also deeply philosophical: How could a single cell unfold into a unique individual? Where did the instructions come from? And how much, really, separated humans from other animals?After more training at UCLA — to learn about frogs — Izpisua Belmonte was heading to Europe to start his own lab. But first, he attended a conference where three of his mentors happened to be speaking. All mentioned the young scientist’s work.Salk Institute scientist Ron Evans was at the conference and decided he had to meet the person everyone was buzzing about. “He thought differently,” said Evans, who recruited Izpisua Belmonte on the spot, ”and the combination of his thinking and meticulous execution was exciting.”The famed institute is now being roiled by a very public gender discrimination lawsuit, but it has long been known for the quality of the scientists it hires; the 53-member faculty includes three Nobelists, four Lasker Award winners, and more than a dozen members of the National Academy of Sciences. Izpisua Belmonte joined the faculty in 1993, and, according to Evans, has more than lived up to his promise. @ushamcfarling There are many reasons for that success: a strong work ethic (“science 25 hours a day” is how Izpisua Belmonte describes his schedule), large labs in both the U.S. and Spain, the embrace of new tools like CRISPR gene-editing as soon as they emerge, and a focus on some of life’s most fundamental questions. Perhaps the most important reason is his depth of understanding of embryos and how they work — and his ability to coax them to not only give up their secrets but do things even millions of years of evolution never had.Izpisua Belmonte was not content to work just with chicks and mice, the standard lab animals for embryology. His new lab was filled with salamanders, including Mexican axolotls, amphibians that can regenerate not only limbs, but jaws, spines, and brains. His was one of the first labs in San Diego to study zebrafish, valuable because they have see-through embryos that develop outside their bodies. “The lab,” he said, “was like a zoo.”His quest for regeneration started with limbs. They could regrow, even though they were made of so many different cell types, including muscle, bone, skin, and nerve. They had specific and complex patterns. To Izpisua Belmonte, they were like “small embryos outside the body.”They were also a lot like organs — even using the same genes and pathways to develop. He thought being able to create organs for the tens of thousands of desperate people on transplant waiting lists might be one of the most important things he could do.When embryonic stem cells burst onto the scene in the late 1990s, Izpisua Belmonte immediately saw their potential. Like many scientists, though, he didn’t start working with them right away because of ethical and funding issues.But his native Spain jumped on board in 2003, passing a law endorsing work on the cells. The next year, officials asked Izpisua Belmonte to create and run a new center for regenerative medicine where he could work on them. (He was becoming something of a legend in Spain. That same year, his hometown, Hellin, named the local high school after him.)In 2006, Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka discovered that adult cells could be reprogrammed into stem cells, abating most ethical issues and igniting the field. (He was later awarded a Nobel Prize for this work.) At the outset, stem cells promised to cure everything and produce anything, including human organs to order. But many labs, including Izpisua Belmonte’s, found the trial and error attempts to create different cell types or grow specific organ shapes on scaffolds hugely frustrating.“We could be 100 years doing that,” Izpisua Belmonte said. “We were trying to imitate nature with very little knowledge.” He couldn’t, as he puts it, “educate” the cells in the Petri dish.” And they just wouldn’t form the complex 3-D structures he needed to build working organs. Then the idea hit. In one of his first published papers, back in Germany, Izpisua Belmonte had grafted tissue from an embryonic mouse limb bud onto the wing bud of a chick embryo and found development proceeded normally. The experiment showed that the signals for development appeared similar in widely differing species. It also suggested that mixing tissues from different species might work.“This idea of chimera was already in my mind,” Izpisua Belmonte said. “It was in my first paper and has stayed there for many years.” And animals grow perfect organs inside of them all the time, he noted.Geneticists had long used chimeras made from genetically distinct mice as tools. The mid-’80s saw the debut of the shaggy “Geep” or goat-sheep chimera. And a handful of labs, including Izpisua Belmonte’s, had succeeded in getting a small number of various types of human stem cells to grow in mice. But there were problems with using mice for his organ project. Even if you could grow a human liver in a mouse, he thought, it would be far too tiny to be of any use.Izpisua Belmonte decided it was far better to grow human organs in pigs than mice. The group had early success with cows, too, but found pigs much cheaper and easier to use. Pigs also have organs about the size of humans, large litters, and a long history of human health applications.Still, getting human cells to grow inside of pig hosts seemed so impossible the team didn’t think their first experiments would work. “The pig embryo sees the human cells as an invader. The natural response is to find a way to kill them,” said Jun Wu, a senior researcher in Izpisua Belmonte’s lab who was lead author on the chimera paper. “We didn’t expect we’d find any human cells.”But they did. Only a tiny percentage of the human cells, about 1 in 100,000 cells, survived in the pig embryos — so few that some in the field wonder whether those cells were just flukes that survived but would never really function. Some, like Harvard’s Daley, say many barriers remain before complex organs that require multiple types of tissue, not to mention nerve inputs and blood vessels, could ever be created for humans in animals and not be rejected by the immune system.“It remains a highly speculative and risky proposition,” Daley said. But he and others also see the study as a critical first step.Research associate Alejandro Ocampo works in Izpisua Belmonte’s lab at the Salk Institute. Sandy Huffaker for STATHow did Izpisua Belmonte get the chimera experiment to work against all odds? One reason is its scale. He pulled together a team of 40, including pig farmers, to run the chimera experiments on a massive farm of some 9,000 pigs in Spain. The effort took four years and involved injecting stem cells into some 2,000 embryos.There was also his deep understanding of development. Pigs are so different from humans. They gestate in just three months while humans take nine. Izpisua Belmonte likens this to cars entering freeways at vastly different speeds: Accidents are bound to happen.To overcome this problem, Izpisua Belmonte tried using stem cells of different ages in the experiments. While theory might suggest that the earliest, most embryo-like stem cells would work best because they have the most potential to become any type of cell, the results showed that the pig embryos were more open to accepting intermediate, or slightly aged, human stem cells.Izpisua Belmonte is also the first, said University of Cambridge developmental biologist Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, to think about stem cells not just in terms of time, but also in space. Last year, he also published the discovery of “region specific” stem cells, finding some are more powerful depending on where they originate from in an embryo.“It’s a very novel concept,” she said. “I like the way he uses developmental biology to tackle important human health problems.”center_img Privacy Policy Related: Izpisua Belmonte readily admits that he’s a long, long way from growing any human organs in pigs. First, the team will need to create chimeras with a much higher percentage of human cells. Izpisua Belmonte thinks that’s coming. He already has a few powerful tricks up his sleeve.One is the use of CRISPR to edit out the genes involved in the development of an organ, leaving the host with a vacancy that can then be preferentially filled with donor cells. Izpisua Belmonte calls this “emptying the niche.”The technique has worked well in mice-rat chimeras to create mice with pancreases, hearts, and eyes that are rich in rat cells. Mice even developed gallbladders with rat cells — a finding that stunned Izpisua Belmonte because normal rats don’t have gallbladders and haven’t for millions of years.“That’s something fantastic,” he said in an interview here in an office decorated with sculptures of eggs and huge colorful photos of human and zebrafish embryos. “It’s evolution taking place not in millions of years but in 19 days” — the length of a time a mouse gestates.The team is now working on using the CRISPR technique in pig embryos to increase the human cell count in organs. They’re also using their newest stem cells in tests; experiments now underway show they survive far better in chimeras as well.Izpisua Belmonte stands with senior researcher Jun Wu and research associate Keiichro Suzuki. Sandy Huffaker for STATIn 2015, Izpisua Belmonte applied for a prestigious NIH Director’s Pioneer Award that comes with $500,000 a year for five years. He was thrilled when he got a call telling him his application had received the highest ratings. It had been hard for him to get governmental funding for research involving human embryos and embryonic stem cells. Much of his work had been funded by private foundations, with some contributions from California’s stem cell agency, CIRM.But a few weeks later, he got another call. The grant couldn’t be funded, he was told, because the National Institutes of Health would not support work on human chimeras. The issue had the agency scrambling to sort out its policy; it convened a workshop for the following month on the issue, inviting Belmonte and other chimera researchers to make a case for their work. National Science Correspondent Usha covers the toll of Covid-19 as well as people and trends behind biomedical advances in the western U.S. We’ve created human-pig chimeras — but we haven’t weighed the ethics First human-pig chimeras created, sparking hopes for transplantable organs — and debate [email protected] HeavyweightsThe creator of the pig-human chimera keeps proving other scientists wrong LA JOLLA, Calif. — It was the salamanders.Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte had spent years probing the inner workings of embryos, ferreting out the genes that give a body its shape or allow wings to form instead of legs. He’d tracked wafting chemical messengers that, like traffic police, guide streams of dividing cells either left or right. He’d even found a way to tweak animals to grow extra limbs. But one thing he never stopped thinking about was how salamanders could lose parts of their bodies and then regrow perfect replacements. Was it possible, he wondered, that humans might do the same?The dogged pursuit of that question has pushed Izpisua Belmonte to the forefront of biology as he’s made one stunning discovery after another — many before the world is ready to deal with their far-reaching ethical implications.advertisement Leave this field empty if you’re human: It’s one of many examples of regulatory agencies, and society for that matter, scrambling to keep up with Izpisua Belmonte. “There are no policies in place for what he’s working on,” said UC Davis’s Knoepfler, who has called for more guidance in the area. “It’s all uncharted territory, and he’s one of the folks who is pushing us into that territory.”The creation of human-animal chimeras is deeply upsetting to many people. Animal rights groups vehemently oppose the work. Some bioethicists say the work is an affront to human dignity. The U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops calls it the creation of “beings who do not fully belong to either the human race or the host animal species.”Hank Greely, director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford University, said many people are fine with the idea of growing organs in animals, but problems arise when the research starts involving what he’s termed “brains, balls, and beauty.” Most people would object, Greely said, to a pig with a human brain, a pig with human cells that can reproduce, or a pig with a human nose.“The big issue is this question of humanness and if we are conferring humanness on nonhumans,” he said. “That is going to make people upset.”Greely has served with Izpisua Belmonte on panels to address ethical issues and co-authored articles with him on the ethics of chimeras. “Juan Carlos has always seemed aware of these issues. He gets that people can get freaked out,” Greely said. “I’m quite convinced he’s sensible and responsible.”In this chimeric mouse embryo, the developing heart includes a large number of rat cells. Salk InstituteIzpisua Belmonte said he wants more than anyone to see clear guidelines. He understands the importance of what the new technologies, many of them from his lab, portend.“We’re in a critical moment in human evolution. Everything that has happened in the past billion years follows two rules: random mutation and natural selection,” he said. “We’re now at a moment in history where we don’t have to follow Darwin’s rules. We need to be conscious of that.”But he also thinks fears of the potential humanness of chimeras are greatly overblown, in part because of biology: So few human cells have survived in embryos so far, he said, and chimeras are highly likely to be sterile. He said technology could be used to prevent human cells from migrating into an animal’s brain, and any reproduction of chimeras could be avoided by not bringing the animals to term. (His lab stops the pig experiments after just four weeks even though Spain would allow them to go further.)“Scientists have the most to lose by not being careful,” he said.He worries that restrictions on the research mean that U.S. science will fall behind in this area. An internationalist who fondly recalls the babble of foreign languages spoken in the European labs where he trained, Izpisua Belmonte said he has no problem turning to colleagues in foreign countries for their expertise or to conduct work that might not be funded or allowed in the U.S.“If that means we knock on the door of another lab in China, we need to,” he said. “If it’s in Saudi Arabia, let’s go there.”Izpisua Belmonte did end up getting that Pioneer Award from the NIH late last year. But he had to agree to keep away from human tissue and use the funds to work only on creating organs for primates.He’s agreed, but hopes future NIH policy will fund research on animal-human chimeras. “In the end,” he said, “we want to cure humans, not monkeys.” She’s hellbent on solving the organ shortage with ‘designer pigs.’ Just don’t keep her waiting Paul Knoepfler, stem cell researcher at University of California, Davis His lab also played a supporting role in two extremely controversial studies conducted at Oregon Health and Science University: the work reported last week on the editing of a heart-disease gene in human embryos, as well as the creation last year of “three parent” embryos in an effort to eliminate the mutations that lead to mitochondrial disease.“It’s hard to know where to start, he’s doing so many different things,” said Paul Knoepfler, a stem cell researcher at University of California, Davis. “You get the sense he’s sort of fearless.”advertisementlast_img read more

Fr Paddy: November… A time to remember

first_imgHome Columnists Fr Paddy: November… A time to remember Columnists Fr Paddy: November… A time to remember Facebook It’s the time of year when the shadows lengthen, evenings fall quickly and our busy lives slow down, all of which is this is reflected in the world of nature.Leaves that have died fall to make room for the newness of colour and hope contained in the womb of spring. In pre-Christian times people grappled with the mystery of life and death.The burial tomb at Newgrange Co. Meath is such an example. It dates back to 3150BC and was not discovered until 1962 by a local farmer when its real significance and purpose came to light.It is a monument, magnificent and brilliant, that encapsulates our innate struggle seeking meaning and hope of a life after death. This monument aligns itself to the greater cosmos.On December 21 (Winter Solstice) light penetrates right into the burial chamber. Wisdom suggested that the sun god would visit the darkness of death and transform it to new life.Our Christian tradition also promises that, “people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”November is the time of the year when we too remember all our loved ones who have gone before us.The leaves have fallen and trees stand bare. The land now harvested rests and lies fallow, winter points us to mortality and death, one day with great certainty we too all of us will die.Many of us during this month will visit our family graves and remember our loved ones.Death is difficult and indeed painful. Death strips us of the familiar and leaves us often naked and vulnerable, with our bereavement and painful losses.The death of a loved one often leaves us asking many questions struggling in finding answers as we wrestle in the coping and continuing of our day to day without a husband or wife, sibling or friend.The great Christian writer C.S. Lewis describing his experience of loss simply, “The tears and loss that I now feel is the love we once shared.”Perhaps the two most powerful lines in the entire Gospel describe the human emotion felt by Jesus when his friend Lazarus died, “Jesus wept”.Jesus knew the pain and hurt that comes to visit when someone we love dies. In fact in order for God to fully embrace the human condition, he also through his Son had to embrace death itself.The humiliating and brutal manner of Christ’s death united God with all experiences of suffering and persecution. The final words that came from our dying God was a prayer of welcome and wonderful invitation “Today you will be with me in paradise”.We know from our experience of the seasons that the leaves will blossom again, that spring will come.Christ’s death was an ultimate demonstration of love by his Father.As he was awoken to new life and resurrection, so too are all of us, who believe in him.As we remember our loved ones who have died and pray for them, we do so with great hope in our hearts.St. Paul tells us that “Our true home is in heaven.”May all our loved ones enjoy the eternal promise of life and peace in the happiness and joy of God’s presence. Jesus tells us “I am going ahead of you to prepare a place for you. So that where I am, you too shall be.”Remembering our loved ones who have gone before us is a noble and worthy endeavour. May all who we have loved and lost, rest in peace.The following poem reflects on the vulnerability of griedf.For Grief – Poemby John O’ DonohueWhen you lose someone you love,Your life becomes strange,The ground beneath you becomes fragile,Your thoughts make your eyes unsure;And some dead echo drags your voice downWhere words have no confidenceYour heart has grown heavy with loss;And though this loss has wounded others too,No one knows what has been taken from youWhen the silence of absence deepens.Flickers of guilt kindle regretFor all that was left unsaid or undone.There are days when you wake up happy;Again inside the fullness of life,Until the moment breaksAnd you are thrown backOnto the black tide of loss.Days when you have your heart back,You are able to function wellUntil in the middle of work or encounter,Suddenly with no warning,You are ambushed by grief.It becomes hard to trust yourself.All you can depend on now is thatSorrow will remain faithful to itself.More than you, it knows its wayAnd will find the right timeTo pull and pull the rope of griefUntil that coiled hill of tearsHas reduced to its last drop.Gradually, you will learn acquaintanceWith the invisible form of your departed;And when the work of grief is done,The wound of loss will healAnd you will have learnedTo wean your eyesFrom that gap in the airAnd be able to enter the hearthIn your soul where your loved oneHas awaited your returnAll the time. TAGSFr PaddyFr Paddy Byrne Pinterest Previous articleBREAKING: Michael D Higgins set to be re-elected as President of IrelandNext articleRemedial works wanted for, ‘rollercoaster of a road’ in Laois Fr PaddyFr Paddy is a curate in the hugely vibrant Portlaoise Parish. From Carlow town, he was educated in Carlow CBS and studied Business and Politics in Trinity College Dublin before training to be a priest in Carlow College.He is the youngest priest in the Kildare & Leighlin diocese and writes for a number of media outlets. He has almost 14,000 followers on Twitter. Council Community Facebook Twitter Pinterest Twitter WhatsApp New Arles road opens but disquiet over who was invited to official opening RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR By Fr Paddy – 27th October 2018 WhatsApp Community Charlie Flanagan on Electric Picnic: ‘I’d ask organisers to consult with community leaders’ Laois secondary school announces scholarship winners for new academic yearlast_img read more

BMO becomes first big bank to offer B.C. RESP grant program

first_img Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Student debt contributing more to bankruptcies Knowledge First to wind down Impression Plan RESP IE Staff Toronto-based Bank of Montreal on Thursday announced it has become the first big bank to help families in British Columbia access the $1,200 B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant (BCTESG) through an RESP. The program was launched by the B.C. government last year. Related news Knowledge First acquires Heritage to boost RESP offerings Keywords RESPsCompanies Bank of Montreal If both parent and child are B.C. residents, parents can apply for the grant at their local bank branch. The child must be: born in 2007 or later; and the beneficiary of an individual (nonfamily) RESP or a family plan in which all beneficiaries are siblings. If approved, the $1,200 grant will be deposited directly into the RESP once the application has been processed by Employment and Social Development Canada. The money will arrive within about six to eight weeks after the application is made. “We’re here to help ease some of the stress our valued B.C. customers may feel when looking to save for their children’s educations, and are thrilled to be the first major financial institution to facilitate the grant program put in place by the B.C. government,” says Mike Bonner, senior vice president & regional head, B.C. and Yukon division, BMO. Click here for a complete list of financial institutions offering the grant. Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Many U.S. investors in the dark on fees, performance: Report

first_img Knowledge among investors in the U.S. is generally low, according to new research from the investor education arm of the U.S.-based Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).Two-thirds of respondents in a survey of 2,000 U.S. investors couldn’t pass a 10-question quiz on investment concepts, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation reported. Bitcoin should face tough capital rules, Basel Committee says Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Related news New York attorney general secures receiver for crypto firm James Langton For example, the survey found that almost half (46%) think that past performance is a good indicator of future results. It also found that only 30% know that the main advantage of index funds over actively managed funds is that they typically charge lower fees and expenses.Investor knowledge was particularly weak when it comes to understanding industry fees.The survey found that nearly one-third don’t know how much they pay in investment fees and expenses, or believe that they don’t pay anything at all.It also found that investors are highly confident in their own portfolios, with 29% saying they expect their portfolio to outperform the market, compared with just 4% who expect it to underperform.Regarding cryptocurrencies, most investors (85%) said that they are aware of crypto, and 12% said that they have already invested in crypto.The study also found that investors increasingly prefer to receive investment disclosure via email (33%), while a preference for mailed disclosure dropped from 49% in 2015 to 36%.“These research findings underscore the need for researchers, policy-makers, advocates and industry stakeholders to continue to develop innovative investor tools and resources to better educate investors and to help protect them from fraud,” said Gerri Walsh, president of the FINRA Foundation and FINRA’s senior vice president for investor education. Rear view of a business woman math problems calculations black chalk board 123RF/ismagilov How should banks allocate capital for crypto? Keywords Client education,  Cryptoassets,  Disclosure,  Commissions and feesCompanies Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Pandemonium Breaks Out in Canada as Jamaica Wins Olympic Relay Race

first_imgAdvertisements RelatedPandemonium Breaks Out in Canada as Jamaica Wins Olympic Relay Race RelatedPandemonium Breaks Out in Canada as Jamaica Wins Olympic Relay Race Pandemonium Breaks Out in Canada as Jamaica Wins Olympic Relay Race UncategorizedAugust 25, 2008center_img RelatedPandemonium Breaks Out in Canada as Jamaica Wins Olympic Relay Race FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Pandemonium broke out earlier today along Eglinton Avenue West in Toronto, Canada, when Jamaica won the men’s 4×100-metre relay race at the Beijing Olympics.The area in Toronto known as “Little Jamaica”, erupted with Jamaicans screaming, dancing and waving flags as the Jamaican relay team of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, set a new World Record of 37.10 seconds.The scene was certainly different from an hour earlier when the women failed in their bid to finish the relay race. Shock and utter dismay were registered on all faces.Ms. Letna Allen-Rowe, a business owner in the area, said she was ecstatic and felt out of this world at the “super amazing feat of our runners. I knew these men had it in them and then they delivered way above expectations by smashing the old record. I am still walking on cloud nine.”She said although the women did not finish their race we still need to respect them and love them because they are Jamaica’s finest.Chief Representative of Jamaica National Building Society’s (JNBS) Toronto office, Mrs. Alison Martin, invited Jamaicans to watch the two relay races on large-screen television sets outside JN’s offices. Supporters were encouraged to wear something black, green or gold.The festivities will continue tomorrow as the men and women 4×400 relay finals get underway.last_img read more