A Tribe Called Quest Hits Number One On Billboard For First Time In Over Twenty Years


first_imgA Tribe Called Quest‘s final album, We Got It From Here….Thank You 4 Your Service, has officially debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album, which sold 135,000 in its debut week, marks the second time the iconic hip-hop group has reached the top spot in their career, and first time since Beats, Rhymes, and Life came out over twenty years ago.Social Consciousness And Racial Inequality Are Front And Center On A Tribe Called Quest’s Surprise Comeback Album [Review]According to Billboard, We Got It From Here…. surpasses Jeezy‘s stint as the longest gap between #1 albums in the hip-hop category, while only Lionel Richie‘s 2012 album, Tuskeegee (which took 25 years for Richie to reach #1 again) surpassed Tribe’s wait among all genres. The new ATCQ album has received accolades from across the musical spectrum, and witnessed the group bring back that socially conscious old-school vibe from the genre’s Golden Era, which has been lacking in recent years.The group recently appeared on Saturday Night Live with host Dave Chappelle for a two-song performance, and has announced preliminary plans for a highly-anticipated final World Tour, with details still to come. Check out the group’s video for “We The People….” below:[via Billboard]last_img read more

Progress against melanoma


first_imgHarvard stem cell researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston (CHB) have taken two important steps toward development of a new way of treating melanoma, the most virulent form of skin cancer.In two letters featured on the cover of this week’s edition of the journal Nature, the researchers, led by Leonard Zon, chairman of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute’s (HSCI) governing committee and a professor in the University’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (SCRB), report isolating a gene that hastens the growth of melanoma tumors, and using an already-approved drug, in combination with a drug now working its way through the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process, to uncover new potential therapeutic targets in melanoma.Zon, who is also the Grousbeck Professor of Pediatrics at CHB and who heads the hospital’s stem cell program, said his group is now waiting for FDA approval of a drug that blocks the function of the gene BRAF, which has long been known as a melanoma promoter, and is “planning on starting clinical trials within six months of that approval. We’ll be doing the trials at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.”The path toward the new findings began in 2005 with the development by Zon’s lab of a zebrafish model of human melanoma, Zon said. It was further accelerated, said Richard White, lead author of the drug-related paper and a postdoctoral fellow in Zon’s lab, by researchers’ use of novel genetic and chemical approaches — including drugs already approved for other purposes — that are uniquely available in the zebrafish system.In the White letter, the researchers report that early in melanoma development, the BRAF gene causes the cells to become more “progenitor”-like, resembling a type of embryonic cell called neural crest stem cells.“We asked what happens in the early stages of melanoma to the cells that acquire BRAF mutation,” White said. “What we figured out pretty early is that one of the things that BRAF does is cause the animal to have too many embryoniclike neural crest cells. So we developed a chemical screen to find molecules that would suppress the neural crest cells.”They then screened a library of 2,000 chemicals in zebrafish embryos to find ones that eliminated these neural crest cells. “We have a common strategy: We look for drugs that are used for something else, and ask whether they can then be used” for the disease being studied, White said. This strategy has the obvious advantage that a compound found to be effective in initial studies can be moved directly to human trials, because it already has FDA approval.The chemical, called lefunomide, was found to inhibit a gene called DHODH. This drug was previously approved for treating rheumatoid arthritis. To make sure this wasn’t only effective in zebrafish, they asked Sean Morrison, a stem cell researcher at the University of Michigan, to test lefunomide on rat neural crest stem cells and found that it interfered with the process of self-renewal. “So at that point we had two really good pieces of evidence — in zebrafish and rats. So we said, ‘This looks really good; now let’s test it in human melanoma,’ ” White said.By combining lefunomide with a drug awaiting approval that blocks the BRAF gene, they magnify the effect of two drugs that taken alone have a smaller effect. Together, said White, the drugs completely knocked out melanoma in several human cell tests, and reduced tumor size in melanoma cells transplanted into mice as well.A second team in Zon’s lab, led by postdoctoral fellows Craig J. Ceol and Yariv Houvras, looked at a chromosome segment that was known to be amplified in human cancer, but it wasn’t obvious which gene was causing melanoma growth. By using a genetic screening approach in adult zebrafish, they were able to pinpoint a single gene, SETDB1, that accelerates the onset of melanoma. “Now that it’s known that SETDB1 is a cancer-causing gene, the question is how to find drugs that block SETDB1. Also, this may be a new prognosticator for the development of melanoma — tumors with SETDB1 may be more aggressive,” White said.last_img read more

Congrats to George Takei & Lea Salonga as Allegiance Officially Opens


first_img Allegiance View Comments About the Artist: With a desire to celebrate the magic of live theater and those who create it, and with a deep reverence for such touchstones as the work of Al Hirschfeld and the wall at Sardi’s, Squigs is happy and grateful to be among those carrying on the traditions where theater and caricature meet. He was born and raised in Oregon, lived in Los Angeles for quite a long time and now calls New York City his home. Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 14, 2016center_img George Takei, Lea Salonga, Telly Leung and more will pledge their Allegiance as they officially open in the new tuner on November 8. Directed by Stafford Arima, the production, which is based on Takei’s childhood experience in a Japanese-American interment camp, is playing at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre.To celebrate the Great White Way premiere of this tale of family, love and patriotism set during World War II and beyond, Broadway.com resident artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson penned this portrait. In addition to the leading trio, the sketch features Katie Rose Clarke, Michael K. Lee, Christopheren Nomura and Greg Watanabe, along with a few “wishes on the wind.”Oh my! Broadway.com wishes the cast a happy opening! Related Showslast_img read more

Gardening workshop


first_imgUniversity of GeorgiaGardeners who suffer from arthritis can learn to plant and tend vegetables and weed flowerbeds with less pain at a new workshop offered by the University of Georgia’s AgrAbility program and the Arthritis Foundation.The workshop, “Gardening and Farming with Arthritis,” will be offered in Athens Aug. 5, Gainesville Aug. 12, Tifton Nov. 5 and Macon Dec. 9. Participants will learn how to manage arthritis pain through planting modifications, tool adaptations and other strategies. A tai chi class will follow each workshop. The tai chi portion will focus on slow, meditative, physical exercise designed for relaxation, balance and health. Georgia’s AgrAbility program promotes independence for those disabled in the agricultural community. Presented by UGA Cooperative Extension, it is part of a national program administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.To register, visit www.farmagain.com/register, or call 706-542-0304 (toll free at 877-524-6264). The cost is $15. The workshops will be offered two times a day, at 9 a.m. (9:30 a.m. in Athens) and again at 2 p.m. Space is limited to 25 people per class.last_img read more

Pecan research


first_imgThe pecan, a Georgia crop staple, packs a much higher antioxidant punch than its nut-cousin the almond. But what the little-known nut is high in is overshadowed by what it’s low in—research, marketing and consumer data.With a four-year, $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, University of Georgia food scientist Ron Pegg and his team now have the funding to transform the pecan’s image from holiday baking ingredient to year-round powerhouse. Their goal is to give consumers more information on the nutrient-packed nut and provide pecan growers with long-term profitability by improving their production efficiency and productivity.UGA will lead grantWith UGA as the lead, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant also involves collaborators from Texas A&M and New Mexico State universities.Pegg’s research on pecans started with peanuts. As a food scientist in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, his specialty is looking at the nutrients and bioactives—like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and blood pressure- and cholesterol-lowering components—that certain foods possess. From 2007 to 2009, Pegg worked with Ron Eitenmiller, an emeritus food science professor at UGA, on a nutritional study that examined the health potentials of new peanut varieties. During that time, they were approached by pecan producer Jon Robison of the Georgia Pecan Growers Association to see if more could be learned about the pecan’s nutritional and health benefits. That led to a meeting with Hilton Segler, who was GPGA president at the time, and Duke Lane Jr. and Buddy Leger of the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Pecans. Past research led to grant awardFunding from the commission helped Pegg generate the preliminary data on pecan bioactives, which led to the USDA award and four years to work on pecan improvement. “In looking at pecans versus other tree nuts, pecans are the highest in antioxidant activity,” Pegg said. “We’re extending our research looking at antioxidant activity, and we’re finding higher values than those listed in the USDA oxygen radical absorbance capacity database.”Antioxidants may assist the body’s natural defense mechanisms as they keep in check the potentially harmful effects of free radicals, which, according to Pegg, are reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that the body produces from normal metabolism. Free radicals are also encountered in the environment.Pecans may help prevent metabolic syndromeA 2011 clinical study from Loma Linda University found that pecans could help reduce biomarkers associated with cardiovascular disease and possibly metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is the tendency of several conditions to occur together, including obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes or pre-diabetes, high blood pressure and high levels of fat in the blood. A qualified health claim from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also says “scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts [such as pecans], as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease,” which equates to between 18 and 20 pecan halves.“Some consumers are very unaware of the nut’s benefit,” Pegg said. “There is a lot that they don’t know about pecans.”What consumers do know is that they like them. Pecan exports to China have skyrocketed since 2004, from 5,455 tons when the nut was first introduced to 40,273 tons (about 80.5 million pounds) in 2009, according to the Texas Pecan Growers Association. Chinese eat pecans in many ways like Americans eat peanuts—street vendors soak them in flavoring solutions, roast them, crack them and sell them by the bagful, Pegg said. And now India is also showing interest in importing the nut.Georgia is no. 1Georgia is the highest pecan-producing state in the U.S., producing 75 million pounds in 2010, an off year of production for this alternate-bearing tree. Texas and New Mexico followed with 70 million pounds and 66 million pounds, respectively.Pecan trees typically have a two-year cycle. They produce more nuts in odd years in Georgia than they do during even years. That, too, is something Pegg hopes his team can change through the project’s horticultural initiatives. A more consistent supply could lead to higher profits and more stable prices.Pegg’s UGA grant collaborators include M. Lenny Wells, a UGA Cooperative Extension horticulture pecan specialist on the UGA Tifton campus. Wells and faculty at Texas A&M and New Mexico State universities will be running horticultural studies and developing outreach materials. Pegg and Philip Greenspan, an associate professor of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences in the UGA College of Pharmacy, will be conducting pecan analytical and biological studies. John McKissick, an agricultural economist and professor emeritus in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and Sharon Kane, a food business development specialist with the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, will be examining both the production and marketing economics of pecans. When USDA Assistant Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced Pegg had received the grant, he was in Gdansk, Poland, as an invited guest lecturer at the Gdansk University of Technology. During his two weeks of lectures on functional foods, nutraceuticals and foods for health, he fit in a little pecan promotion.“I mentioned that pecans have the highest antioxidant levels of tree nuts, and one of the students asked me ‘what is a pecan?’” he said. “In Europe, they’re very familiar with hazelnuts and walnuts, but they haven’t heard of pecans.”last_img read more

Nassau Coliseum Groundbreaking Ceremony Starts Renovation


first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York With the swing of a sledgehammer crashing through a ceramic-tiled ticket booth wall, officials marked the ceremonial groundbreaking of the long-awaited, $261-million renovation of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale on Thursday.Lawmakers, union leaders and other officials mostly stayed on script in saying good things are worth waiting for and not mentioning a plan took so long to finalize that the NHL’s New York Islanders skated from the 43-year-old arena—the only home the team had known.“I’ve never seen a project go so smoothly,” said developer Bruce Ratner, majority owner of Forrest City Ratner, who lured the Islanders to his Barclays Center in Brooklyn before his subsidiary, Nassau Events Center (NEC), landed a 34-year lease at the coliseum.A decade ago, Charles Wang, the Islanders’ part-owner, proposed The Lighthouse Project, a $3.7-billion plan to renovate the arena as well as build commercial and residential space on the surrounding 77 acres, but the idea fizzled five years ago. Then in 2011, voters rejected a referendum to authorize a proposed $400 million in borrowing to rebuild the coliseum. The current plan to give the arena a facelift didn’t solidify until after the team decided to move.Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, who thinks the team will eventually return to the coliseum—despite the team signing a 25-year lease at the Barclays Center—reiterated that the Isles will still play six games at the coliseum after its reopening, scheduled for next year.Not present at the ceremony was Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray—fresh off losing her GOP bid for Nassau County District Attorney—who Islanders fans blame for the team leaving after her administration asked Wang to downsize his Lighthouse plan. He instead abandoned the idea.“It’s tough to get big projects done here on Long Island,” said Long Island Association President Kevin Law. “It’s easy to give up.”He then sought to ease concerns over recent reports that Onexim, a Russian company led by Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, recently became majority owner of Ratner’s NEC. Law noted that National Grid is British owned and Cablevision recently announced that it is being purchased by a European telecommunications giant. He said LI should be thankful for, not fearful of attracting foreign investors.After recapping the litany of events that NEC plans to host at the coliseum, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark teased that Friday “we plan to make a major announcement about a future basketball team that will permanently play at the coliseum.”last_img read more

Comments on mortgage servicing, literacy plan due in May


first_imgComments on changes to mortgage servicing rules, as well as a draft national financial literacy strategy, are due in May.In 2011, the Financial Literacy and Education Commission released a national strategy titled “Promoting Financial Success in the United States: National Strategy for Financial Literacy.”The commission plans to update the strategy to reflect changes within the last five years, and the Treasury seeks comments on a draft update. This update will be created by adding new text and edits to the original 2011 National StrategyComments are due May 11.The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking comments on amendments to its 2013 mortgage servicing rules. These fall under Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act, and Regulation X, which implements the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. continue reading » 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

The agile dashboard


first_img This post is currently collecting data… Executives use dashboards to monitor the performance and health of our businesses. Traditional metrics like sales, revenue, margin, return on equity and total shareholder return are common and important metrics. But today, in the age of disruption, do we need different, more forward-looking metrics to indicate if our business is agile enough to win the marketplace tomorrow?The Agile Dashboard was developed to help organizations address this gap by creating a set of more forward-looking, predictive metrics centered on: speed, interactivity and pivot. This video features Joe Perfetti, innovation fellow, Duke Corporate Education, and lecturer with the RH Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.The discussion explains why speed, the level and type of interactivity with customers and the external environment, and the ability to pivot are the building blocks of agility. It also provides the metrics for each and examples of their applicability in organizations. This is placeholder text continue reading »center_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Listing bid threat to Soho scheme


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Pulling power


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