A strong and growing maritime industry is vital to the economy of the United Kingdom and it is critical that we treasure and protect this vital artery if we are to remain a world-leading maritime centre.The work of the General Lighthouse Authorities, which provide and maintain marine aids to navigation and respond to new wrecks and navigation dangers in some of the busiest waters in the world, is crucial to underpinning that vision whilst maintaining our vigorous safety record and continuously improving standards of safety.Reductions in the 3 General Lighthouse Authorities’ running costs have enabled the UK to reduce light dues for 4 successive years. For 2019 to 2020 I intend to freeze light dues rates at 37½ pence per net registered tonne. This will mean that light dues will have fallen by 28% in real terms since 2010.Light dues rates will continue to be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that the General Lighthouse Authorities are challenged to provide an effective and efficient service which offers value for money to light dues payers.
The problem, Zhuang said, was that a fundamental physical property called the diffraction limit capped the resolution of conventional light microscopes at about 200 nanometers, or half the wavelength of visible light.“That is still about one to two orders of magnitude too large to be able to directly resolve these molecular interactions,” Zhuang said. “STORM is one of the major super-resolution imaging methods that overcomes the diffraction limit, so now we can achieve resolution that is much better than 200 nanometers, as high as a few nanometers in some cases … and we can look inside cells and see how these molecules interact and how they function with much better clarity.”When Zhuang and colleagues put those tools to use, they discovered a number of novel cellular structures, including a periodic membrane skeleton in neurons made of rings of a protein called actin that are evenly spaced by a second protein, called spectrin. They also discovered a new understanding of how genetic material, DNA, is packaged inside the cell.Ultimately, Zhuang said, making those types of discoveries is among the most gratifying parts of her career in science.“It feels particularly rewarding, and it’s a great feeling that we can make new biological discoveries using new methods we ourselves invented,” she said.Zhuang received her B.S. degree in physics from the University of Science and Technology of China, and completed her Ph.D. in physics at the University of California, Berkeley, before doing postdoctoral work in biophysics at Stanford University.In 2001, she joined Harvard’s faculty, and was promoted to full professor in 2006. She has received a number of prizes and awards, including the 2018 Dr. H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.Zhuang was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator in 2005, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Physical Society, and a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the European Molecular Biology Organization. Lurie wins award Harvard researchers receive Breakthrough Prizes Geneticist Stephen J. Elledge wins Breakthrough Prize Recognition for their discoveries Math professor receives Breakthrough Prize for innovative work in his field Related Xiaowei Zhuang, the David B. Arnold Jr. Professor of Science, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, has been named the recipient of the 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in recognition of her pioneering work in the development of super-resolution microscopy techniques that have transformed research capabilities in fields from chemistry to biology to medicine.“I was thrilled [to receive this news],” Zhuang said. “It is really a remarkable honor. Being recognized is gratifying, but as scientists we don’t work with a goal of winning prizes. We do science because we love it and we love making discoveries and understanding how things work … but this is a very pleasant surprise.”Created in 2012 by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Yuri and Julia Milner to recognize paradigm-shifting research in a number of fields, the Breakthrough Prizes are intended to celebrate the achievements of the world’s top scientists and inspire the next generation of research.Sometimes called the “Oscars of Science,” the prizes are the richest in the field, with winners receiving $3 million. In addition to the life sciences, prizes are handed out in mathematics and fundamental physics.Thus far, Zhuang said, she hasn’t contemplated how to spend the money that comes with the prize.“I have to say I have not been thinking about it at all,” she said. “It’s one of those things … honestly, I don’t know. Maybe when it sinks in and I receive the money, and I have to really think about it, then I’ll make a decision.”Zhuang was selected for the prize by a committee made up of past laureates, “for discovering hidden structures in cells by developing super-resolution imaging — a method that transcends the fundamental spatial resolution limit of light microscopy.”,The technique Zhuang developed — called stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy, or STORM — allowed researchers to use optical microscopes to see objects believed to be too small to be seen by conventional light microscopes.“My broad interest is in understanding the nature of living things — how life arises from the collective actions of molecules, i.e., the molecular basis of life,” Zhuang said. “We love to study living systems by imaging, but there are challenges to that approach.”One of the main challenges, she said, has to do with the size of the objects that researchers want to observe in living systems.“Our bodies are made up of cells which range in size from about 10 to 100 microns in size, or about the width of a human hair,” Zhuang said. “Inside a cell, there are many types of molecules that form intricate networks of interactions that control its function and behavior.”Even the larger of those molecules, called biomacromolecules, such as proteins, RNAs, and DNAs, are often only several nanometers in size — some 10,000 times smaller than the width of a hair. Award recognizes scientist’s trail-blazing work on how cells sense DNA damage and initiate self-repair read more
Over the weekend, more than three thousand members of the Army, the Marines, and the police began an offensive aimed at arresting the leaders of criminal gangs in the service of drug traffickers in northern Colombia, a police spokesperson revealed on 6 February. “What we estimate is that acting directly against the criminal gangs, independently of the security detachments in the area, there are at least three thousand personnel,” nearly one thousand of whom are from the police, the director of that institution, Gen. Oscar Naranjo, told Bogotá radio station Radio Caracol. The operation, named “Troy,” is planned for the next ninety days and is an action that should make it possible “to arrest the criminal gangs’ leaders and bosses, but also members of the rank-and-file and common criminals in the gangs’ orbit,” Naranjo indicated. The general affirmed that “the priority is neutralizing these criminals, who are posing a grave threat to the communities and defying the authorities, and who, in addition, generate not only violence, but also processes of corruption in the regions.” According to Naranjo, the operation will cover an extensive area in the departments of Antioquia, Córdoba, and Sucre (in northwestern and northern Colombia), where there is a strategic corridor that drug traffickers have traditionally sought to control in order to move drugs to the Pacific. The three thousand personnel from the police, the Army, and the Marines are being joined by units from the Investigative Technical Corps (CTI) of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the intelligence service, and the Judicial Police. The operation was ordered by President Juan Manuel Santos, who on 6 February, upon establishing a National Security Council, said that the issue of criminal gangs (Bacrim) required “comprehensive and effective action by the entire state” and lamented the lack of effective law enforcement against their members. “Out of the total number of members of those gangs who are arrested, only 12% are convicted, and of that 12%, only a small percentage are convicted of belonging to those criminal gangs,” he specified. After indicating that those criminals are often convicted of crimes not punished by mandatory prison terms, Santos said that his administration has observed “failure at every stage of the state’s action.” “And for this reason, what we’ve proposed in this council is to strengthen the weak links in that chain,” the president announced. The Colombian Catholic Church also made a statement about these gangs on the same day, at the beginning of the Colombian bishops’ annual conference. The secretary of the conference, Msgr. Juan Vicente Córdoba, said that in the case of the Bacrim, “there wouldn’t be a possibility other than that they submit to justice,” a reference to messages that gang leaders have conveyed to high-ranking Catholic clergy with regard to possible negotiations with the government for their demobilization. Msgr. Julio Cesar Vidal, the bishop of Montería, the capital of the department of Córdoba (in northern Colombia), the most impacted by these criminal groups, said in this regard that “they (Bacrim members) don’t want a situation similar to the one in Mexico; they just want the Church to help them open a space for them to turn themselves in to the government.” The Catholic prelate explained that “they’re not asking for dialogue commissions, as was done with the United Self-Defense Units of Colombia (AUC, extreme right-wing armed groups), nor for special laws; they’re asking for a space, and that space needs to be given to them, because they’re not one, two, or three people, they’re more than five thousand people.” According to the government, these gangs, the majority of which are made up of members of demobilized extreme right-wing paramilitary groups and which are in the service of drug traffickers, are present in at least sixteen of the country’s thirty-two departments. By Dialogo February 09, 2011 read more
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A person was shot and another was pistol-whipped during a recent Gordon Heights home invasion, one of two such cases two days apart that Suffolk County police are investigating, authorities said.Two men armed with handguns entered a home on Dunton Avenue, hit a man in the head with a gun and shot another victim in the leg before the assailants stole an Xbox gaming console at 2:10 a.m. Saturday, June 20, police said.Then at 1:20 a.m. Monday, June 22, two men armed with a gun broke the front glass door of an East Elm Street home in Central Islip and stole money and a cell phone, police said.The victims in the first case were treated at a local hospital. The victims in the second case were not harmed.There were neither any arrests made nor descriptions of the suspects available in either case, police said.Detectives are continuing the investigations. read more
NewsTalk ZB 17 May 2019Family First Comment: She said legalisation is not the solution to drug reform. “We just had a study released which said that we are actually spending US$4.50 for every dollar that we bring in on taxes. We are seeing one in four employees self report that they go to work stoned.”The US State of Colorado is continuing to fight the cannabis black market, six years after legalising the drug.Seizures of marijuana in the U.S mail system have increased more than 1000 per cent since 2013, as Colorado becomes a major exporter of the drug.National Drug and Alcohol Screening Association executive director, Jo McGuire, told Kate Hawkesby greater rules and regulations are needed.“Not only do people completely bypass the regulatory system when they are a player, but people from other countries [are] flooding our state and setting up illegal grow operations in our national forest.”She said legalisation is not the solution to drug reform.“We just had a study released which said that we are actually spending US$4.50 for every dollar that we bring in on taxes. We are seeing one in four employees self report that they go to work stoned.”https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/early-edition/audio/colorado-still-fighting-cannabis-black-market-six-years-after-legalisation/ read more