Big break for biotech in SA

first_imgSouth Africa’s biotechnology capabilityis growing steadily. (Image: BioPad) MEDIA CONTACTS • Kagiso Ntanga, LIFElabMarketing and communications manager+27 31 261 6427 or +27 82 808 9180Janine ErasmusThe Bio2Biz conference, held at the Durban International Convention Centre at the end of September 2009, unpacked new, innovative ways in which biotechnology and business can work together.About 700 delegates attended the four-day event, now in its sixth year. Since its inception in 2004 the conference has rotated between KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape provinces.A diverse range of discussion topics was on offer, from drug discovery and development, women in the biotechnology business, stem cell technology and South African biotechnology start-ups, to bioprospecting and indigenous knowledge systems, among others.Bioprospecting is the scientific search, based on traditional healing and biodiversity, for microrganisms, animal and plant species that could be a valuable source of medicinal drugs.Bio2Biz 2009 coincided with an exhibition of the latest in biotechnology developments. Participating exhibitors included the Department of Science and Technology; filtration and instrumentation specialist Microsep; laboratory equipment supplier Davies Diagnostics; the Innovation Fund, a technological campaigner; and a host of other biotechnology-related companies.Biotechnology on the riseThe conference was organised by a group of six partners: the Innovation Fund, eGoli Bio, BioPad, the Cape Biotech Trust, LIFElab and PlantBio. The latter four are designated biotechnology innovation centres, set up under government’s National Biotechnology Strategy, which was adopted by Cabinet in 2001.“Over the past five years, [the innovation centres] have supported the establishment of 30 new start-up biotechnology companies,” said Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, speaking at the conference.Research and intellectual property generated by South African innovators have sustained the new companies, said Pandor, adding that more than 1 000 research jobs have been created and that each year sees more innovative new products and services springing from the country’s creative minds.“We want to make South Africa one of the top 10 nations in the world in terms of the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, flavour, fragrance and biopesticide industries by 2018,” she affirmed.“Already, we have initiated four bioprospecting and product development flagship projects, and registered a Bachelor of Indigenous Knowledge Systems degree, the first of its kind in the world.”Indigenous knowledge is beneficial for society because it includes natural treatments that have been used successfully for hundreds of years to treat a range of ailments. Because of the potential for business opportunities offering new healthcare products and services, it can also contribute to job creation.Potential in biotechnologyGuest speaker Dennis Liotta, professor of organic chemistry at Atlanta’s Emory University, was adamant that South Africa had all the necessary elements to be competitive in international pharmaceutical development in its own right.“There is huge potential for the South African biotechnology industry,” said Liotta at the conference’s opening session. “There are strong research scientists, government research councils, a traditional knowledge system and biodiversity.”Liotta, also the inventor of a number of anti-viral drugs, said that the South African biotechnology industry would achieve this by capitalising on its strengths and forging new partnerships to boost areas where skill or expertise is lacking.He is also the director of the South Africa Drug Discovery Programme, an initiative of Emory’s Global Health Institute. This programme aims to furnish African scientists with crucial skills in early drug discovery – a situation that, according to Emory, needs urgent attention.The talented scientists selected for the programme have access to top academic expertise from Emory. As funding is always a challenge in drug development, they learn how to evolve their ideas into a package that will attract the right investors. In this way they can successfully translate their research into effective healthcare products.Once training is complete, the graduates are placed in relevant positions in their own countries.This is a positive sign for developing African nations. These days big pharmaceutical companies focus their attention on markets in the developed world, said Liotta, where they are sure to recoup the huge amounts poured into research and development. Developing nations are thus left out in the cold, as state-of-the-art drugs are simply not made available.“[Pharmaceutical giants] only focus on these needs when put under moral political pressure,” commented Liotta.Traditional remedy to fight HIV/AidsOne of the highlights at Bio2Biz 2009 was a presentation by Southern African Network for Biosciences (Sanbio) director Luke Mumba, which featured a traditional remedy thought to have potential in the fight against HIV and Aids.The treatment is currently under scrutiny by scientists from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. The traditional healer who developed the remedy claims it can cure HIV and Aids, and tests have shown that at least one plant used in the drink could possibly be as effective as the antiretroviral Indinavir, manufactured by Merck.The names of the plants are as yet a secret. Sanbio is currently seeking permission to take the active ingredients, in capsule form, to clinical trial in Southern Africa.Queries or comments? Contact Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

Collect-a-Book sparks children’s love of reading

first_imgPresent to add a bit of colour and energy to the visits was the Collect-a-Can mascot, the CANman, who had boxes of reading books in tow for the schools to add to their libraries in exchange for the cans the pupils and school staff had collected for recycling. (Images: Collect-a-Can SA)Together with partners and stakeholders, Collect-a-Can’s (a can recovery and recycling organisation), Collect-a-Book initiative has managed to collect approximately 3000 books that they hope will help foster a love of reading literature among the five underprivileged schools they had identified to receive these books.About 3 000 books were donated by Collect-a-Book to five underprivileged schools, in the hopes they would spark a love of reading in the children.Collect-a-Book is an offshoot of Collect-a-Can, the well-known can recovery and recycling organisation. A number of partners joined the initiative, which was Collect-a-Can’s effort to mark Mandela Month this year. It tied into Nelson Mandela’s love of reading and his belief in the role the youth had to play in transforming South Africa as a whole.The books were handed over to the schools on 23 and 24 July; on the days, the pupils were treated to fun-filled interactive reading with volunteers and staff, who were on hand to help make it a time to remember.Zimasa Velaphi, Collect-a-Can’s public relations and marketing manager, said the aim of Collect-a-Book was to put books in the hands of underprivileged pupils and “bring reading books to life, while making a lasting and memorable difference in schools”.Groups of volunteers and partners, along with a number of staff members from Collect-a-Can, made their first stop at Zitha Primary School in Vanderbijlpark, in Gauteng on Thursday. Visits to the four other schools were on Friday. They were: Chuma Primary School in Khayelitsha, Cape Town; Khalipha Primary School in Umlazi, Durban; Boepakitso Primary School in Diepkloof, Johannesburg; and Bokamoso Primary School in Soshanguve, Tshwane.Present to add a bit of colour and energy to the visits was the Collect-a-Can mascot, the CANman, who had boxes of reading books in tow for the schools to add to their libraries in exchange for the cans the pupils and school staff had collected for recycling.Selected classes at the schools were treated to what the facilitators of the initiative called “READalicious” activities. These involved teaching the children the many benefits of reading through interactive exercises and group reading sessions. They showed that reading could be fun, and could be considered more than just a part of the school curriculum.The activities were designed to prove to the children that reading could help to unlock the imagination and widen their scope of reference.Velaphi explained that the importance of reading for pleasure could not be underestimated. A study on children and reading “showed that reading for pleasure positively influences children’s learning abilities, especially with regards to developing their vocabulary, spelling abilities and mathematics skills”.It was important, she added, for Collect-a-Can to ensure this was not a once-off event. “Schools can look forward to a follow-up visit for International Literacy Day on Tuesday, 8 September 2015, when we hope to find that these learners have fallen in love with reading for pleasure.”The many partners who played a part in the success of the initiative included ReaderLympics, Biblionef, Molteno, Pan Macmillan, Dainfern Valley Estate and Tshikovha Environmental and Communication Consultancy.“Nothing encapsulates the spirit of Mandela Month more than working together to make a positive difference in our underprivileged communities,” Velaphi concluded.For more information about Collect-a-Can, visit its website or telephone on 011 466 2939.last_img read more

Kohlis support is a massive confidence booster: Rahul

first_imgBy Chetan Narula Colombo, Aug 3 (PTI) Injury prone India opener K L Rahul today termed captain Virat Kohlis backing as a massive “confidence booster” during the tough times he has endured in his short international career. Rahul returned to action in the second Test after missing the series opener due to viral fever. He made instant impact, scoring a solid 57 before being run out following a mix up with day one centurion Cheteshwar Pujara. After the days play, Rahul said that the knowledge that his place in the playing eleven is secure ? as Kohli had put it in the pre-match interaction? helps him during his repeated recovery phases. “It makes a massive difference. It gives me so much confidence, not just now but even after the surgery the support staff, the coaches, the boys were constantly messaging me and saying ?whenever you are ready, get ready sooner, the team misses you? and small things like that make a lot of difference,” said Rahul. “That kept me motivated, that woke me up each morning to go to physiotherapy and do my boring rehab. It gives you confidence that team is backing you, team trusts you, waiting for you to come back into the team and that makes a big difference and I come back with lot more confidence. “I can walk into the team with ease in my head, there is no pressure me losing my position which is great and which the captain and coaches have always given me that support which has played a big role in my small career so far,” the opener said further. Rahul is no stranger to injuries or illness, and he has been in/out of the Indian team in his short 18-Test career. In fact, hardly a season has gone past since his debut in 2014 when he has not been out of the team nursing some or the other injury. It has obviously made a serious impact on a young and promising player. When asked to compare the wait due to injuries with the time before he made his Test debut, he replied, “I think this is a lot more difficult because in physical injuries, you want to do a lot of things. “We as sportsmen, were not used to just sitting at home and being at home all day. We want to go out, we want to play sport, we want to be in the gym, want to train, we want to hit balls, and when youre not physically able to do that, its really tough. It starts playing on the mind a lot more. “I have kind of gotten used to this. More than playing for a long time, I have been in and out of the team because of injuries. It?s never easy to come back. “It takes you a couple of games to get back into your groove as an opening batsman, understand where your off-stump is, to understand what pace you have to play at, how many shots are too many shots, how slow is too much slow – there are a lot of things, a lot of doubts in your mind if you keep going out and coming back in. But I have enjoyed the challenge,” said Rahul. “People might say there is certain part where I can control my body and I can take care of my body but sometimes it just happens. No matter how well I have taken care of my body, I have been injured a few times which is very unfortunate and which is very disappointing. But each time I have come back, I have come back stronger and I have come back hungrier.” Rahul was immaculate in his innings on day one at the SSC and was well placed to break his drought of hundreds, when he was entangled in a mix-up with Pujara who went on to score 128 not out. The opener said that he is not yet at a desperate stage to convert these missed chances into hundreds, although he is left ruing too many such moments. “I wasn?t upset with him. Run outs happen, it could have happened with anybody. It could have been him who got run out and it could have been my mistake. I wasn?t disappointed about that. I was disappointed because I have been away from the game so long and I didn?t want to get out at all. “I wanted to be in the middle, play as many balls as I could, as many days as I could if I could bat. I was disappointed about that. I was looking good and just after lunch, a crucial time as a batsman, you can capitalise and get a lot of runs during that session. “So I was disappointed that I got out at that time,? he said. Rahul has scored four hundreds and seven fifties so far and he admits that he should have converted more starts. “Ive never chased numbers, firstly. My job as an opening batsman is to give the team a good start, lay a solid foundation and I think Ive done that so far. “Disappointing that I have not been able to convert that, but I think that will keep me hungrier. Each time I go back to bat, I will want to get more and more runs. I am not cautious about numbers right now, but maybe if this keeps going it might start playing on my mind. “But nothing changes, you feel a lot more confident, youre seeing the ball a lot better, so you want to maybe play a little bit more positively. All the answers to the questions I will only find when Im in the middle and when I get a hundred. Thats when Ill know what the right process is and how I need to go about my innings,? he said. When asked about the SSC pitch that turned out to be drier and completely different from the 2015 Test pitch here, Rahul said, ?Its completely different from the one we played on the last time around. When we saw the wicket a couple of days ago, we did expect the wicket to be the same as last time, but today we turned up and the wicket was different. “It was on the slower side and I think it will take turn as the days go. The more the footmarks, the more turn and purchase Ashwin and Jadeja can get.” PTI CN BS BSadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Hero MotoCorp drives Q1 net up 36 to Rs 1257 cr

first_imgNew Delhi: The country’s largest two-wheeler maker Hero Moto Corp on Tuesday posted a 35.89 per cent increase in consolidated net profit at Rs 1,256.69 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2019 on the back of a one-off exceptional gain of Rs 737.48 crore.The company had reported a net profit of Rs 924.74 crore during the same period of previous fiscal. Revenue from operations, however, declined to Rs 8,185.97 crore for April-June period as compared with Rs 8,913.27 crore in the same period of 2018-19, Hero Moto Corp said in a regulatory filing. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe company had deposited and created provision for “National Calamity Contingent Duty” (NCCD) including applicable cess in its Haridwar plant during prior years, while contesting the same on the ground that NCCD is in nature of excise duty and should be covered by area-based exemption. Pursuant to favourable order from the Supreme Court, the provision has been reversed as exceptional item in the current quarter and necessary refund applications already filed with the department, the company said. “The overall economic and customer sentiments continued to be soft during the first quarter of this fiscal and their impact is clearly visible in the performance of the auto sector,” Hero MotoCorp Chief Financial Officer Niranjan Gupta said.last_img read more

Fox Hill Day Commemoration Basketball Camp

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, August 14, 2017 – Nassau – In recognition of national Emancipation Day/Fox Hill Day commemoration, members of the Rhode Island Rams men’s basketball team with Fox Hill Urban Renewal staffers, and children and stakeholders living in the area, held a special basketball camp August 10, 2017. Photo shows group relaxing during a break.(BIS Photo/Derek Smith, Sr.) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img

Community Activists Demand Action vs Controversial Hold

first_img July 30, 2018 Ed Lenderman Community Activists Demand Action vs Controversial Hold Ed Lenderman, Posted: July 30, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – For eight months now, a coalition of community activists have been demanding the San Diego Police Department do away with a controversial restraining hold called, “the carotid restraint.”Today, the coalition presented Mayor Faulconer and the City Council with two boards- saying it represented some 31,500 signatures demanding the same action.KUSI’s Ed Lenderman has the story from City Hall. Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Battle Over Online Privacy Heats Up

first_imgThe Venable Consortium, a group of media industry associations lead by AAAA, IAB, ANA, DMA and backed by counsel providers Venable LLP, recently took a significant, proactive step in the release of its “Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising.” The publication is important because it’s a direct response to a growing call for stricter control over the tracking of consumer behavior online.Up to now, publisher and advertiser trade groups were primarily concerned with keeping the FTC on the side of self-regulation, which it largely has been. Lately, however, lawmakers have become more vocal about introducing legislation that threatens the industry’s self-regulatory status.Congressman Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat and chairman of the Communications, Technology and the Internet subcommittee, has made clear his intention to introduce legislation to bolster consumer privacy protection. “I have previously announced my desire to work with Chairman Waxman, Chairman Rush and Ranking Members Barton, Stearns and Radanovich to develop legislation this year extending to Internet users the assurance that their online experience is more secure,” he said in his opening statement during a joint hearing on behavioral advertising with the Communications and Consumer Protection Subcommittees last June.A Shift Away From Self-Regulation? Currently, the Internet publishing and advertising industry is operating in a self-regulated environment, but online behavioral tracking is being used to ever-growing degrees—from large ad networks of unaffiliated sites to specific vertical networks and down to single-publisher Web site networks and “related content” applications. “Part of what we’re doing with that cookie is enhancing the consumer experience,” says Pam Horan, president of the Online Publishers Association, which, along with the MPA and ABM is part of the Venable Consortium. “It’s to make sure we’re delivering the right content. The advertising piece of it is very important, but so is educating the lawmakers on the fact that the technology is also used for a better user experience.”Congressman Boucher would like to see an opt-out practice introduced where consumers can opt out of first- and third-party use of their information—and then be able to opt in to third-party use.“If you had a first-party opt out, that would be a publisher-consumer relationship,” says Horan. “In that scenario, that Web site would need to provide the consumer with an option.”Introducing that option, goes the argument, could severely undermine an advertising business model that, says Horan, supports 90 percent of online revenues. “At the most extreme, a requirement for opt in could have a huge impact on the business model. Our ability to serve ads is the foundation of our ability to serve that model. It could have a significant impact.”Currently, consumers can opt out via Web sites such as NetworkAdvertising.org. The FTC, for starters, would like to see something more comprehensive. The “Self-Regulatory Principles” guidelines will attempt to take that further by educating consumers via more industry-developed Web sites and marketing campaigns, as well as “new links and disclosures on the Web page or advertisement where online behavioral advertising occurs.”The guidelines are the first step in bringing the advertising and content industries together on a defined set of principles. Next, says Horan, is a set of guidelines for the enforcement of those principles. All of this, she says, is aimed at proving to the FTC and the Hill that the industry is serious about protecting its self-regulation. SIDEBARWhat You Need to KnowRuth Day, chief privacy officer at UBM [pictured], notes the privacy principles published by the Venable group focus on unaffiliated, third-party ad networks. Publishers are considered first-party trackers, and the FTC is clear on that distinction and has essentially backed off any further privacy regulation of first-party tracking of consumers due to the clear, direct relationship. However, many publishers do display third-party online behavioral ads on their sites. For those of you, here’s what Day recommends you keep an eye on.Read the Guidelines—If you work with a third-party ad server, familiarize yourself with the principles to see what they mean for ads that are displayed on your site.Know Who You’re Dealing With—“Publishers need to know whether a third-party ad server displaying ads on its Web sites is part of a behavioral online network, with an appropriate representation in the contract or insertion order,” says Day.Who’s Responsible for What?—“Logically, the third-party ad server needs to be the party responsible for notice because it is the entity collecting information from the visitor to the publisher’s Web site,” adds Day.last_img read more

BtoB Brand Tech Decisions Goes Digital Only

first_imgSummit Professional Networks announced a shift to digital for its quarterly magazine, Tech Decisions, toward the end of the first quarter in 2014. Tech Decisions, currently operating via PropertyCasualty360.com, will continue to be housed there as a web-based magazine with plans for a tablet magazine. In addition, Summit Professional Networks will offer an expanded digital portfolio including custom content creation for its partners, webcasts and face-to-face events.“The relevance to the tech audience is to see the information in their domain,” says Gary Mirkin, senior vice president of the Custom Solutions Group at  Summit Professional Networks. “We made the decision [to go digital] because the distribution is solid and that it is being sought after by our audience through our tech channels.”In 2013, Tech Decisions magazine produced four regular issues, one special edition and a weekly e-newsletter called “Tech Digest Weekly” to a roughly 24,000-person circulation of mostly c-level executives, IT managers and larger mid-market agents in the insurance industry. “We see the potential to increase [our audience] by virtue of broadening the editorial focus of the digital publication [and] the ability to reach the other segments that Summit Professional Networks focuses on—financial, insurance, legal and subsets of those,” Mirkin contends. “In essence, the strategy should take the circulation much higher.”As part of the new strategy’s digital format, Summit plans to leverage its presence in the financial services, benefits and legal markets by adding “strategic thought-leader programs” to its portfolio including webcast, video, live event and whitepaper components, acting as a “channel -support tool generator” to help its partners disseminate information to their clients, according to Mirkin.“Digital obviously offers a much broader audience a platform that they’re used to using now rather than a platform that is clearly somewhat cumbersome for people to get to,” he says.  “They should get the information in the platform they’re used to and that they want to, so that it becomes more of a tool for them. It’s kind of the way of the world in this particular [audience] segment.”However, Mirkin does not disregard the appeal of print or its market demand.He adds that if a sponsor showed “great interest and would like print issues for their channel, sales force or their tradeshow,” the company would consider accommodating the request.last_img read more

Matt Bean Is Entertainment Weekly Editor

first_img[This story first appeared on sister site min.]The nearly one-month-old mystery of Jess Cagle’s successor as Entertainment Weekly editor was resolved on Feb. 10 when Cagle—who has doubled as People editor and EW editorial director since Jan. 13—announced the intra-Time Inc. hire of SI.com managing editor Matt Bean.He leaves one content-busy brand for another, with the post-Super Bowl SI in the midst of the Winter Olympics and about to embark on the Swimsuit issue’s 50th anniversary.  EW will culminate its busy awards season with the Oscars on March 2.Bean came to SI and Time Inc. in Aug. 2012 from Rodale, where min digital media editor Steve Smith credited his stewardship for “developing one of the most ambitious and sophisticated mobile app programs of any magazine publisher.”  As Men’s Health articles editor earlier during his eight-year stint, he oversaw theNational Magazine Award-nominated front-of-book section and spearheaded the launch of the first-to-market tablet edition in 2010. Being the on-air host of Spike TV’s adventure-sports driven The Playbook while at MH extended to Bean starting the SI Now daily live talk show.Said Cagle: “Matt’s arrival is a testament to Time Inc.’s confidence in EW. He is [an especially] talented editor well-suited to this unique brand, and it will be a thrill to see where he and the extraordinary staff take EW in the years to come.”last_img read more

Toyota will invest 749 million in US production report says

first_img Tags 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: A tougher looking electrified crossover Share your voice 2019 Lexus LS 500h review: Full-size hybrid offers luxury with tradeoffs 2019 Mercedes-Benz S560e: Luxury cruising with an electric edge Toyota Lexus More From Roadshow 2018 Honda Accord: Turbo engines, sharper design and more spacecenter_img Lexus Toyota Comment Car Industry Hybrids 1 62 Photos Enlarge ImageToyota’s factories in Alabama and Kentucky are about to get a big cash injection from HQ in order to offset potential tariffs. Toyota Toyota has big plans in America, and to accomplish them it will be investing $749 million into its various US manufacturing facilities in addition to creating jobs for 586 people according to a report published Thursday by Reuters.What could Toyota be planning that would have it ready to whip its checkbook out for a significant chunk of a billion greenbacks? More hybrids. Duh. This is Toyota we’re talking about, so of course it’s more hybrids. It also plans to ramp up its US-based engine production, presumably to help with that whole “more hybrids” thing.But, business being business and politics being what they are right now, it also seems likely that Toyota’s expansion of its US production is a show of allegiance to the powers that be in hopes of staving off increased tariffs on the goods that it imports from Japan. As The Dude says, “You gotta feed the monkey, man.”Keep in mind that Toyota and Mazda announced last year that they’d be teaming up on a $1.6 billion plant in Alabama and way back in 2017, it pledged to invest $10 billion by 2022. It then bumped that number recently by an additional $3 billion, of which Thursday’s announcement is a part.Toyota committed to putting the money from Thursday’s announcement toward an additional 230,000 engines’ worth of capacity at its current Alabama plant by the end of 2021, and it will also add new four- and six-cylinder engine lines to the factory. The plant in Kentucky will get a cash infusion to help it build Lexus ES and RAV4 hybrids.Toyota boss Akio Toyoda is set to give a speech in Washington, DC on Friday where presumably he’ll flaunt that sweet $13 billion figure, and we only hope he’s invested sufficiently in air horns and engaged the services of a qualified hype man on his behalf.Toyota didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.last_img read more