Watch: Scientists develop a phone app that can track and analyze sperm

first_img“For semen analysis, measuring sperm concentration and motility are the most critical parameters that clinicians actually look for,” said Hadi Shafiee, senior author of the study and a principal investigator in the Division of Engineering in Medicine and Renal Division of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.This new technology is described in a paper published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine.advertisement A father’s sperm could predict whether his child will be obese Why it matters:The idea to develop this technology came 2 1/2 years ago after Shafiee talked to several urologists. After a vasectomy, men had to return to the hospital a couple of times after the procedure to test their semen. The urologists told Shafiee that it would be useful if patients could test their semen at home.“Post-vasectomy compliance testing is actually very poor,” Shafiee said. Computer-assisted semen analysis is expensive and time-consuming, while manually analyzing semen is subjective, and results can be inconsistent between labs.Apart from post-vasectomy testing, Shafiee sees numerous other applications of this technology.Couples trying to conceive don’t need to visit a clinic and can instead use the kit at home, especially if they live in an area where infertility is stigmatized. People with smartphones in developing countries could use it if they can’t travel to a clinic or lack the resources to do so. Animal breeders could also adapt the kit to regularly test animal semen.The nitty-gritty:The phone case contains two lenses pulled from CD and DVD drives, and an LED light to illuminate the sample. The case cost $3.59 to make.To load the sperm into the case, the researchers designed a manually operated sampler that cost them $0.86 to make. Sperm goes up a detachable tube into a disposable microchip. Related: About the Author Reprints Hyacinth Empinado Checking male fertility, with the phone in your pocketVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard ShortcutsEnabledDisabledPlay/PauseSPACEIncrease Volume↑Decrease Volume↓Seek Forward→Seek Backward←Captions On/OffcFullscreen/Exit FullscreenfMute/UnmutemSeek %0-9 facebook twitter Email Linkhttps://www.statnews.com/2017/03/22/sperm-phone-app-track/?jwsource=clCopied EmbedCopiedLive00:0001:2401:24  Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed an inexpensive and discrete way of screening for male infertility. Hyacinth Empinado/STAT In the LabWatch: Scientists develop a phone app that can track and analyze sperm NewslettersSign up for The Readout Your daily guide to what’s happening in biotech. By Hyacinth Empinado March 22, 2017 Reprints The technology does not require any training to use. During the study, the researchers had trained and untrained people use the app and accessories, and they did not see any difference between the results.Once the microchip is loaded, the Android-based app records one-second-long videos and uses each video frame to track sperm. It can deliver results in less than five seconds with over 98 percent accuracy.The researchers compared the results of the app against those obtained through standard laboratory analysis. Out of the 350 semen samples, lab tests classified 307 of them as abnormal using standards set by the World Health Organization. The app was able to detect 303 of the abnormal samples. Samples were abnormal if they had less than 15 million sperm per milliliter and less than 40 percent of the sperm in the sample were swimming.But keep in mind:The app and the phone accessories won’t be available anytime soon. The researchers are still planning on doing more tests and seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Shafiee is creating a startup to get the product on the shelves, and he envisions that the entire kit would cost around $50.The app also has its limitations. It has trouble accurately identifying sperm concentration in samples that have more than 100 million sperm per milliliter.The app also has difficulty differentiating between sperm and debris that has a similar size to the sperm head.center_img Sperm test 2.0: New diagnostics aim to better understand male infertility Please enter a valid email address. Tags fertilityresearch [email protected] Smartphones can now be used to track and analyze sperm.Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed an inexpensive and discreet way of screening for male infertility by creating an app that could be used with a few phone accessories.Using the phone’s camera and a specially designed 3-D printed phone case that can magnify the sperm, the app can measure the amount of sperm in semen and how many of them are actually swimming.advertisement Related: Multimedia Producer Hyacinth creates videos and animations for STAT and is the senior producer of “The Readout LOUD” podcast. Leave this field empty if you’re human: What they’re saying:“The device has many advantages: simple, fast, accurate and inexpensive,” Ashok Agarwal, director of the Clinical Andrology Laboratory and Sperm Bank at Cleveland Clinic, said in an email. “I believe that the application of this device for post-vasectomy sperm check could be a game changer.”But he said that the biggest limitation of the technology was that it could not detect problems in sperm morphology — the size and shape of the sperm. Defects in the sperm’s head or tail could cause difficulties reaching or penetrating the egg.“This is important because it is well-established that sperm concentration and sperm motility are less important when it comes to predicting the fertility in assisted reproductive technology,” said Agarwal, who wasn’t involved with the study.The bottom line:Smartphone-based methods to measure the amount of sperm and its motility could, in the future, lower the cost and stigma to regularly testing male fertility, but you shouldn’t expect to see it in the app store just yet. @sayhitohyacinth Privacy Policylast_img read more

Pharmalittle: Regeneron Covid-19 antibody treatment works in animals; Warren asks SEC to probe Kodak trading

first_img Log In | Learn More Ed Silverman Pharmalot Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. @Pharmalot GET STARTED Alex Hogan/STAT Tags STAT+ STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. About the Author Reprintscenter_img Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. What is it? Pharmalittle: Regeneron Covid-19 antibody treatment works in animals; Warren asks SEC to probe Kodak trading Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the pharma industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED What’s included? Top of the morning to you, and a fine one it is. Despite a looming tropical storm and gloomy skies hovering over the Pharmalot campus, our spirits are sunny today. And why not? As the Morning Mayor taught us: Every day should be unwrapped like a precious gift. We often note this little insight, because a pick-me-up can be a good thing, especially in times such as these. Meanwhile, here are a few items of interest to help you start your day. Hope all goes well and do stay in touch. Remember, we accept saucy tips and dossiers. …Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) says its Covid-19 antibody drug combination prevented and treated the virus in rhesus macaques and hamsters, Reuters writes. The animal study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, found the cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies was able to “almost completely block establishment of virus infection.” The cocktail also minimized infection in a second study in which animals were infected with a higher level of the virus, but the prophylactic effect was greatly diminished with a lower dose. By Ed Silverman Aug. 4, 2020 Reprints [email protected] last_img read more

Elective, but not optional: Orthopedic patients eagerly await surgeries delayed by Covid-19

first_img About the Author Reprints Related: Data show hospitalized Covid-19 patients are surviving at higher rates, but surge in cases could roll back gains “If a nurse is no longer in a unit to help us in the operating room or postoperatively, we just simply can’t do the case.” Comparing the Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson Elizabeth Cooney Leave this field empty if you’re human: For patients who are waiting — voluntarily or not — there are some strategies to help relieve their pain. Doctors are reluctant to prescribe opioids for fear of addiction, so they suggest milder analgesics or anti-inflammatory drugs. Steroid injections into a joint can help. So can physical therapy or exercising in a pool, if either one isn’t shut down. “Unfortunately, these chronic conditions are really not curable until the patient has the surgery,” Parvizi said. Young of “Here & Now” looks forward to the day she can stop relieving her pain with ibuprofen, only half-joking that she’ll be getting a new knee but losing a kidney from the painkiller’s side effects from heavy use.Tulane’s Savoie looks at another potential price of delay. If someone falls off a ladder and tears the rotator cuff in the shoulder or a knee ligament, those injuries often require surgical repair — eventually. A brace can help, as can crutches, but another slip can do further damage.Patients waiting for a hip replacement can be so hobbled by their pain that their muscles become deconditioned, making their eventual recovery from surgery longer, Savoie said, stretching three to four months into something like 12 to 24 months. @cooney_liz HealthElective, but not optional: Orthopedic patients eagerly await surgeries delayed by Covid-19 Some people waiting for knee replacements or shoulder surgery don’t want to go anywhere near hospitals or even their doctors’ offices for fear of Covid-19 infection — despite safety measures put in place. Other people disabled by pain wait in near-desperation as they lose the power to travel beyond their homes’ four walls. Almost a year into the pandemic, some patients are moving from one camp to another, flipping from deciding to wait to pressing for a surgery date. Mental fatigue and physical pain are both taking a toll, said Savoie. “We’re doing a guy tomorrow that put his surgery off nine months because of the pandemic. And then he called back and said, ‘Look, I hurt. I’m tired of this,’” Savoie, whose hospital is still doing elective procedures, told STAT in early January. “One guy said, ‘I don’t care if I die afterwards. I’ve got to get this.’” When stratifying patients for surgery, Javad Parvizi, an orthopedic surgeon at the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute of Jefferson University in Philadelphia, considers more than physical exams or imaging studies. He worries about people who live at home in isolation, without someone to care for them as their mobility diminishes. Other patients can’t return to work because of their joint pain while they wait for a knee or hip replacement.“It is not seen as lifesaving, but it certainly impacts the lives of our patients,” Parvizi said. “These people have difficulty going up and down stairs. They’re having a difficult time sleeping at night. Patients with hip arthritis are unable to get in and out of a car to drive themselves to the supermarket to buy food.”Still, if patients have severe comorbidities or lower immune function and their need for surgery is not an emergency, Paravizi and his colleagues are recommending that these patients wait until the pandemic is under better control.  Robin Young, the Boston-based host of the NPR and WBUR news program “Here & Now,” is awaiting her second knee replacement and has endured months of daily bone-on-bone pain. Courtesy Liz Linder She’s not alone. More than 100 U.S. hospitals have put elective surgeries on hold indefinitely. It’s a decision few would question as ambulances are turned away from emergency departments throughout Los Angeles and small hospitals in Texas have flown their patients to other states to find open beds. Elective doesn’t mean optional; for some people anticipating operations to ease their pain or halt their disease, hospitals’ decisions about what’s elective involves a grim calculus of how long they can wait.Even some organ transplantation can fall into the elective category. Dialysis, for example, can keep someone alive while waiting for a kidney transplant. That makes the surgery “life-enhancing” versus “lifesaving.”advertisement Please enter a valid email address. By Elizabeth Cooney Jan. 27, 2021 Reprints While Kaiser Permanente’s Navarro isn’t concerned about degeneration if the delay isn’t indefinite, he does acknowledge patients’ pain.“For the person who’s had arthritis of their knee for many, many years and it’s certainly worse now, it may be harder to walk, I feel bad that we have to put them off,” he said. “By putting them off, we’re not going to change the natural history of the disease or make the operation harder.”Meanwhile, he’s helping hospital staff do phone triage for patients worried they might have Covid-19 and filling shifts in the emergency department.“Some patients are unwilling to wait and they’ve become less understanding of Covid because they’ve been put off for six, eight months now,” Navarro said. “We have to deal with them any way we can.” Young has been willing to wait, certain that other people have endured delays in getting more serious elective surgery. But a few days after securing the new date for her knee replacement in February, it was called off again, in light of rising Covid cases at the hospital. Now she’s looking — skeptically — at mid-March. Still, she’s anticipating the future. “I’m going to be swimming in Walden Pond, I’m going to be hiking in a few months, and I’m going to be dancing and wearing high heels,” Young said. “I don’t have any complaints.”  Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Trending Now: Robin Young wants you to know she thinks her second knee replacement is the least important thing in the world. While hospitals are caught in the grips of a Covid-19 surge that is straining their capacity, she doesn’t compare her pain to the life-and-death struggles that have erased most elective surgery from hospital booking calendars.“I’d give up a bed for somebody struggling to breathe,” she said. “Gladly.” Still, she has endured months of daily bone-on-bone pain that makes every footfall hurt, and takes ibuprofen to get through the day. So the Boston-based host of the NPR and WBUR news program “Here & Now” was excited that an operation canceled in December was rescheduled for February. “If you need an elective surgery,” she said, “there’s a good chance that whatever you need it for isn’t getting better.”advertisement Ron Navarro, orthopedic surgeon at Kaiser Permanente In orthopedics, the question seems simpler, but isn’t always so clear-cut. Joint replacements and other musculoskeletal repairs understandably take a backseat to traumatic injuries. Hip fractures after a fall raise the risk of dangerous blood clots in older adults, making their prompt treatment lifesaving. At any age, a herniated disc puts a patient’s spinal cord at risk of paralysis, arguing for a speedy resolution.The wave of Covid-19 patients now deluging hospitals is creating a mounting backlog of elective cases doctors have decided can be put off for weeks or months. It is also dismaying many patients.Ron Navarro, an orthopedic surgeon and regional chief of orthopedics for Kaiser Permanente’s 13 medical centers across Southern California, has to explain the gravity of the situation to patients whose procedures have been postponed.“I tell them, sir or ma’am, there are simply no nurses in the operating room area. We cannot do yours.’” he said. “If a nurse is no longer in a unit to help us in the operating room or postoperatively, we just simply can’t do the case.” There are differences in the current pause compared to last spring’s hiatus in elective surgery, surgeons told STAT. As the pandemic overwhelmed hospitals from March through May, shortages of PPE to protect health care workers and ICU equipment to help patients breathe were matched by the thinning ranks of health care workers who weren’t sickened by the virus, said Felix Savoie, chair of orthopedic surgery at Tulane University. Without widespread testing available even to hospitals, patients were assumed to be contagious. That meant full precautions and scarce protective equipment had to be deployed every time, for every patient, exacerbating the shortage.Meanwhile, patients waited. All kinds of procedures were pushed into the summer and fall. In some states, the governor was the one who ordered elective surgeries to halt to keep hospital beds open for Covid patients. In others, hospital leaders made the call. Surgeons weighed how long each patient could wait — at least eight weeks meant the elective category.Covid-19 treatments, testing, and PPE supplies have all improved, but crowded hospitals and their exhausted staffs are closer to their limits.So are patients. General Assignment Reporter Liz focuses on cancer, biomedical engineering, and how patients feel the effects of Covid-19. Privacy Policy [email protected] Tags Coronavirushospitalsorthopedicspainlast_img read more

‘Is this a cycle lane or an obstacle course?’ Image from Laois road causes a stir online

first_img TAGScycle laneLaois County CouncilLouise TroyThomasina Connell Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date Pinterest ‘Is this a cycle lane or an obstacle course?’ Image from Laois road causes a stir online By Alan Hartnett – 18th January 2021 Electric Picnic Pinterest Previous articleLaois pub faces closure after licence renewal application rejectedNext articleGarda warning over online shopping and parcel deliveries scam Alan HartnettStradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016. Twitter Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival Facebook Facebookcenter_img Twitter WhatsApp Electric Picnic Home News Community ‘Is this a cycle lane or an obstacle course?’ Image from Laois… NewsCommunity Fine Gael Councillor Thomasina Connell, on spotting Ms Troy’s picture, says she intends to raise this at this week’s meeting of the Portlaoise Municiple District.She said: “Which came first the chicken or the egg? The cycle path or the 14 poles in this photo?“I will raise this with Laois County Council at the next Portlaoise Monthly District Meeting which takes place on Wednesday.”SEE ALSO – Thanks to musicians, sports clubs, customers and staff as Laois pub closes its doors The picture, in all honesty, speaks for itself here.Laois woman Louise Troy captured an image of a cycle lane in Portlaoise – and it went viral on Twitter simply because it really is unclear how anyone would cycle safely on it.The barrister, who comes from The Heath, described the path as more of an obstacle course than a cycle lane – and she’s not wrong as a number of poles are erected right in the middle of it.The cycle lane in question is located on the Block Road in Portlaoise – just before you start to turn left if you are heading for Portlaoise Hospital.Louise, who recently joined the Laois-Offaly branch of the Social Democrats, described the path as very dangerous.She said: “This is what my local council calls a cycling path.“Might be better to rename it an obstacle course.“It’s incredibly dangerous, especially at that junction.” RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Electric Picnic WhatsApp Electric Picnic apply to Laois County Council for new date for this year’s festivallast_img read more

SEC strategic plan puts retail investors at top

first_img James Langton Companies Securities and Exchange Commission The U.S.  Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday announced a new strategic plan to guide the agency’s work over the next four years with a primary focus on three strategic priorities: investors, innovation and performance.The focus on investors includes initiatives designed to modernize disclosure and to expand investor choice. The SEC also aims to pursue enforcement and compliance exams that will target misconduct that impacts retail investors. “Today’s interconnected world market offers new opportunities for securities manipulation, fraud, and abuse, while also giving new life to age-old scams like Ponzi schemes. Through this initiative, the SEC plans to expand our efforts in various areas, including, for example, securities custody and penny stock trading,” the SEC says in a news release.Alongside those goals, the SEC is seeking to enhance its understanding of how different types of investors participate in the capital markets; and, to bolster its outreach to retail investors.The strategic plan also highlights the opportunity to utilize innovation to better allocate regulatory resources the commission’s plan to invest in both technology and people to enhance its performance. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media United States Capitol, Washington DC valeriiiavtushenko/123RF Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Former rep sanctioned for suitability failures

first_img A former broker has agreed to a multi-year suspension and a $100,000 fine after admitting to violating securities rules by recommending excessively risky investments to several clients.An Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) hearing panel has approved a settlement with Preston Henry Smith, who was a rep with Blackmont Capital Inc., Macquarie Private Wealth Inc. and Richardson GMP Ltd. in Calgary, but is no longer registered. BFI investors plead for firm’s sale In settling the disciplinary allegations against him, Smith agreed to a two-and-a-half year suspension, 12 months of close supervision, a fine of $100,000 and $5,000 in costs.According to the settlement, he hasn’t worked in the industry since 2017, and recently declared bankruptcy.The sanctions stem from violations of IIROC rules that involved recommending unsuitable, high-risk investments to five groups of clients.“This includes recommending the purchase of certain high-risk corporate debentures, the risks of which the respondent and his clients did not fully appreciate, as well as the unapproved alteration of one client’s account document,” the settlement said.When his firm’s compliance department flagged the fact that certain client holdings were outside their reported risk parameters, “[Smith] had these clients increase the risk tolerances to match their high risk holdings,” it noted.Several of his clients were compensated by his firm for their losses, the settlement said. James Langton PwC alleges deleted emails, unusual transactions in Bridging Finance case Keywords Enforcement,  SuitabilityCompanies Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada Related news Closeup of mallet being hit on stacked coins at table in courtroom andreypopov/123RF Mouth mechanic turned market manipulator Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Tracing one ICT regulator’s journey to 5th-generation regulation

first_imgTracing one ICT regulator’s journey to 5th-generation regulation ITUThe global regulatory and technology landscape is complex and fast-moving.Regulators find themselves grappling with an ever-growing array of challenges, chief among them achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the 2030 deadline, now just a decade away.The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s ICT regulator is no exception, as the country continues to prioritize the rapid growth of its ICT sector and pursue sustainable economic diversification as part of its Vision 2030.A new strategy bringing government agencies and the private sector together as well looking into new and emerging technologies have been critical elements of the Saudi Arabian regulator’s journey.But what is 5th-generation in the first place? And how is Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) planning to get there?The evolving role of the ICT regulatorIf we think in terms of regulatory “generations”, the first employed a “command and control approach”, which often took the form of public or national telecom monopolies. The second-generation regulatory landscape saw the opening of markets, facilitating partial liberalization and privatization of telecommunications. By generation three, we saw accelerated investment, innovation, and access opportunities emerge, with regulators placing a dual focus on stimulating competition while ensuring consumer protection.Fourth generation features integrated regulation, led by economic and social policy goals. A 4th-generation regulator is one that ensures or is working towards universal access, consults stakeholders regularly, and promotes international and regional cooperation, equitable spectrum management, and stronger consumer protection.Where do regulators stand globally?According to ITU’s Global ICT Regulatory Outlook 2020, 8 per cent of countries now has holistic, forward-looking regulatory frameworks enabling digital transformation across the economy.More than half of world’s population is concentrated in 2nd and 3rd-generation countries, poised to leapfrog to near universal digital inclusion and lead vibrant ICT markets.40 per cent of countries remain in regulatory generations 1 and 2, missing development opportunities and remaining disconnected from the digital transformation of their economies. While one third of countries have achieved G4, characterized by thriving markets for ICT services and the lowest proportion of unconnected populations, some have already set 5th-generation regulation in their sights. In a 5th-generation regulatory environment, collaboration among even more stakeholders is key to shaping decisions in a harmonized way not only within the telecommunications realm, but across a broad range of sectors now dependent on ICTs.CITC’s regulatory transformation With a guiding vision of a “connected nation for a thriving digital economy”, CITC is stepping up to meet the 5th-generation regulation challenge with an ambitious new digital transformation strategy. Their vision also emphasizes safeguarding the public, providing reliable service, ensuring fair competition, and balancing the diverse needs of multiple stakeholders.Historically, the Commission’s mandate focused on regulating the telecommunication and information technology sectors. But the last two years have seen that mandate evolve to reflect a changing global regulatory and technology landscape.Today, CITC is delivering on its vision by working to create a robust regulatory platform within which government and businesses can safely operate and invest. The Saudi Arabian regulator has met the challenges of an increasingly complex regulatory environment with a series of initiatives, including, among others:• Promoting investment and infrastructure development while ensuring access to high-quality services. CITC reported investing 15 billion USD in infrastructure, including meeting major deployment milestones on network infrastructure and quality. Mobile broadband download speed reached 77.55 Mbps in August 2020, and mobile coverage increased to 99 per cent of the population for 3G and 94 per cent for 4G, according to CITC estimates.• Establishing a National Regulatory Committee that will bring together 8 core regulators to collaborate on ICT and digital cross-sectoral topics like blockchain, smart cities and digital platforms, and proactively anticipate emerging topics. Additional public and private entities will be involved as needed. This collaboration was set up to accelerate regulation-to-adoption and seeks to drive innovation, job creation, and investor confidence by promoting coherence and efficiency across Saudi Arabia’s ICT ecosystem.• Acting collaboratively to deploy ICTs during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic reached Saudi Arabia, CITC collaborated quickly and effectively with telecom operators to meet the surge in demand for online access and data with increased speeds and data capacity, free services, expanded spectrum use, and enhanced network configurations and connectivity. This rapid response played a critical role in enabling remote work, business continuity, delivery apps, e-government services, and remote learning across Saudi Arabia.Looking ahead: Targeting new sectorsAround the world, ICT regulators are expanding their telco-focused mandates to include adjacent sectors: another hallmark of 5th-generation regulation. CITC counts itself among these forward-looking regulators by targeting adjacent sectors with the greatest potential to be disrupted by the rapidly expanding ICT landscape, such as mobility, healthcare, manufacturing, energy, education, finance, and retail. The Commission has also identified Saudi Arabia’s public sector as a priority, ensuring that regulation enables social welfare, public safety, and security.In this increasingly convergent digital environment, CITC is balancing three objectives, all of which are aligned with ITU’s Strategic Goals of growth, inclusiveness, sustainability, innovation, and partnership. First, it is looking to empower the telecom sector, especially through building and strengthening infrastructure. Key regulatory topics for the CITC in this area include ensuring adequate spectrum allocation for international mobile technologies (IMT) usage, fair competition, affordable prices, and connectivity. CITC’s second objective is to enable the expansion of the IT and technology sectors by leveraging infrastructure investments. Removing barriers and promoting growth and localization in the ICT sector have been deemed critical steps for the country’s successful digital transformation journey. Third, as technologies evolve to touch many more sectors of the economy, CITC is exploring new and emerging technologies and their related markets, including quantum computing, IoT, automated vehicles, blockchain, AI, media convergence, digital currencies, fintech, and 5G.The strategy also advances several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with CITC placing a strong emphasis on sustainability through the inclusion of ITU’s global standards on sustainability within its core objectives. As it continues to hit milestone after milestone, CITC is well on its way to becoming one of the world’s most developed 5th-generation regulators. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:blockchain, Commission, communications, efficiency, environment, Government, healthcare, infrastructure, innovation, Investment, ITU, regulation, Saudi Arabia, sustainability, sustainable, technology, U.S.last_img read more

Roads, transport put pedal to metal on economic recovery, jobs

first_imgRoads, transport put pedal to metal on economic recovery, jobs Minister for Transport and Main Roads The Honourable Mark BaileyMajor road and transport projects across Queensland are set to drive the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for economic recovery and jobs with billions of dollars’ worth of upgrades set to start or finish in 2021.Inspecting progress on the $80 million Sumners Road Interchange upgrade today, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said Queenslanders would also witness a number of projects completed in 2021.“2021 is the year of construction and jobs in Queensland thanks to a $50 billion, four-year infrastructure guarantee by this government as part of our economic recovery plan,” Mr Bailey said.“Queenslanders last year backed our plan for economic recovery – and we’re backing them with the start of a record four-year, $26.9 billion roads and transport budget that will create more than 23,600 jobs.“From sealing our western roads and investing our regional ports to getting started on the second M1 and building on our 33 Bruce Highway upgrades underway right now – there will be plenty of hi-vis around.Assistant Regional Roads Minister Bruce Saunders said regional Queensland was the biggest focus of the government’s four-year road and transport budget with 2021 kicking off $17.8 billion in investment focussed on communities outside the south-east corner to support 16,180 jobs.Member for Mount Ommaney Jess Pugh said the Sumners Road interchange project was just one example of how investing in roads and transport was not just busting congestion, but also supporting jobs and businesses in the community through COVID-19.“It’s local business that has supplied the concrete and girders for this project, which has then been installed by local workers to ultimately benefit local families and industry,” Ms Pugh said.“From my community to communities right across Queensland – we continue to manage the health impacts of this pandemic, and because of that we’re able to get on with the job of building the roads and transport our state needs.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, Bruce, building, business, community, covid-19, Government, industry, infrastructure, Investment, jobs, Minister, Palaszczuk, pandemic, project, QLD, Queensland, Transportlast_img read more

High-tech cars making the pool of mechanics smaller

first_img Dean McClelland is succinct in his faith in the future of the transportation industry. “You can’t offshore this work. These vehicles have to be serviced right here in our communities; all this equipment does. There’s never been more opportunity for students who want to join this industry.” Trending in Canada Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 Mechanics students at Centennial College’s Ashtonbee Campus in Scarborough, Ontario ‘My car does what?’ New auto safety technology leaves some drivers confusedCentennial College works closely with the automotive industry, offering programs staked by most of the major manufacturers. To stay cutting-edge, they have Sector Advisory Boards involving all aspects of transportation. Graduating students who are job-ready is essential to the college’s success, and this time of year is crucial to coordinating the efforts of what is being taught and how it will be applied. At a recent meeting, a government relations representative from General Motors admitted to McClelland the challenges of figuring out what the industry needs to have taught when it’s changing so rapidly.“We realize the act of learning is as important as the learning,” McClelland. “To be job-ready, they need an increasing suite of skills.”Mechanic and Centennial professor Chris Muir agrees. He still straddles both worlds, and has been immersed in what he calls the turbulent time starting in 1995 as the industry moved away from carburetors to fuel injected systems. “On-board diagnostics changed everything. We need technicians who are computer savvy but are also great on the tools. You have to love it, you do. The challenges and stresses are increasing, but if you want it, it’s a fascinating time to be coming into this.” Like most apprentice programs, the early years are for weeding out the weak. You will be tested.Is it possible, or even suitable, to train a kid who has pure tool savvy to “get” the computer diagnostic part of the industry? Or to teach a kid who is a computer genius how to work the tools? McClelland notes an increase in university graduates who are entering Centennial programs with a great academic background in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math), another reason to support your children in staying with these areas in the younger grades. Much of our future skilled work will need these programs, including many of the vocational ones that were once considered a safe haven for students looking for ways to get these core subjects.Centennial features programs in all areas of transportation, including aviation, heavy-duty equipment, motorcycle, and truck and coach. The challenge isn’t in finding jobs for graduates; it’s finding candidate students with the required skillset who can adapt to an industry that is evolving at warp speed.Every technician working in all of those programs must be academically robust as well as mechanically capable. Those programs Centennial offers that are partnered with industry heavyweights create an atmosphere that is mutually beneficial to both: Centennial structures learning on current requirements, and the industry can specify and tweak those requirements. On both sides of the equation, the word “adaptability” comes up with increasing frequency.McClelland is blunt about ideal students. Those who possess better academic readiness rise faster and have more flexibility in the work world. “There is a dire shortage,” he states. His message is echoed in my discussions with several independent shops and two dealerships. Finding a well-qualified technician is indeed getting very difficult. On the flip side, being that well-qualified technician means having many, many options. Trending Videos PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca We spend a lot of time questioning where technology is headed in the automotive industry as it concerns those who make and buy the vehicles, but what about the impact it has on those who maintain them?With the emphasis shifting more and more to computerized vehicles and diagnostics, how is this affecting students who were traditionally, perhaps, less academically inclined? We always heard the “head to the trades” line for the kids who were flunking traditional core education, but those skills are now vital in this industry. For both dealerships and independent garages, it’s getting increasingly difficult to find qualified technicians, as senior mechanics head into retirement at the same time the automotive industry creates a need not just for bodies to work the tools, but also for minds capable of handling the tech. How do we bridge this rapidly expanding chasm? Where will shops find skilled technicians?Alan McClelland is the dean of the School of Transportation at Centennial College in Ontario. He started out on the tools himself, and there is perhaps nobody who better understands both sides of the equation as it moves forward at increasing speeds. COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS “We’ve seen a huge shift over the past 10 to 15 years,” he says. “Once, a shop had a lot of routine work that could be performed by rout, leaving the specialty work, the tougher diagnostics, to those with more advanced abilities. That routine work is shrinking, and fewer technicians are going to be able to remain productive without advanced training.”That training encompasses an ever-growing field of study, some of it largely unheard of, or at least uncontemplated, even a generation ago. Things once considered soft skills – communication, teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, and adaptability – have surged to the fore. RELATEDcenter_img RELATED TAGSNewsAlan McClellandBrad SmithCentennial CollegeChris MuirDean McClellandDunnvilleOntario The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever advertisement See More Videos We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. ‹ Previous Next › Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan”last_img read more

Finger Lakes Wine Alliance Celebrates Riesling Month 2016 with Grand Tasting…

first_imgAdvertisementBelinda Venuti of Knapp Winery, and coordinator of FLWA events in New York City, enjoys a moment discussing Finger Lakes Rieslings with one of many wine retailers who participated in the event.GENEVA, N.Y. – Oct. 20, 2016 – On Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance (FLWA) welcomed restaurateurs, retailers, sommeliers, distributors and media to the 2016 Riesling Month Grand Tasting held at Scandinavia House in New York City. The event was one of many held across New York State during the month of September—all of which provided FLWA wineries with the opportunity to showcase the region’s star varietal, Riesling.Representing North America’s pre-eminent cool-climate region for this aromatic white wine, 13 wineries from the Finger Lakes AVA came together at the Grand Tasting to pour a selection of their best Rieslings, including some of their 2015 vintages that few had had the privilege of tasting before.Participating wineries included: Bellangelo, Boundary Breaks Vineyard, Chateau LaFayette Reneau, Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars, Fox Run Vineyards, Glenora Wine Cellars, Heron Hill Winery, Knapp Winery, Lakewood Vineyards, McGregor Vineyard, Sheldrake Point Winery, Thirsty Owl Wine Company and Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery.About Finger Lakes Wine AllianceFounded in 2004, Finger Lakes Wine Alliance is a not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to increase the visibility and reputation of the Finger Lakes region, its wines and wineries. The alliance is comprised of 29 members and 15 affiliated businesses and vendors, and it is guided by a board of directors that includes winery owners and principles from the Finger Lakes AVA. With its glacier-sculpted landscapes, ideal microclimates and gifted winegrowers, the Finger Lakes region is home to over 130 wineries that produce exceptional cool-climate wines and world-class Rieslings. For more information, visit www.fingerlakeswinealliance.com, call 315.791.2359 or connect on Facebook or Twitter.Advertisement Twitter ReddIt Pinterest Share Linkedin Home Industry News Releases Finger Lakes Wine Alliance Celebrates Riesling Month 2016 with Grand Tasting in…Industry News ReleasesWine BusinessFinger Lakes Wine Alliance Celebrates Riesling Month 2016 with Grand Tasting in New York CityBy Press Release – October 20, 2016 49 0 Email TAGSConsumerfeaturedFinger LakesFinger Lakes Wine AllianceRiesling Month Previous articleAlpha Omega Surges Ahead with New Solar and Energy Storage MicrogridNext articleMarian Jansen op de Haar Joins Acumen as Estate Ambassador Press Release Facebooklast_img read more