Costs of reproduction and carry-over effects in breeding albatrosses

first_imgWe investigated the physiology of two closely related albatross species relative to their breeding strategy: black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophris) breed annually, while grey-headed albatrosses (T. chrysostoma) breed biennially. From observations of breeding fate and blood samples collected at the end of breeding in one season and feather corticosterone levels (fCort) sampled at the beginning of the next breeding season, we found that in both species some post-breeding physiological parameters differed according to breeding outcome (successful, failed, deferred). Correlations between post-breeding physiology and fCort, and links to future breeding decisions, were examined. In black-browed albatrosses, post-breeding physiology and fCort were not significantly correlated, but fCort independently predicted breeding decision the next year, which we interpret as a possible migratory carry-over effect. In grey-headed albatrosses, post-breeding triglyceride levels were negatively correlated with fCort, but only in females, which we interpret as a potential cost of reproduction. However, this potential cost did not carry-over to future breeding in the grey-headed albatrosses. None of the variables predicted future breeding decisions. We suggest that biennial breeding in the grey-headed albatrosses may have evolved as a strategy to buffer against the apparent susceptibility of females to negative physiological costs of reproduction. Future studies are needed to confirm this.last_img read more

Charitable efforts from Greggs

first_imgGreggs has continued to support UK charities and communities during 2011 by raising record amounts of money.Following the announcement of its preliminary results this morning (14 March), the high street retail bakery chain revealed that it had raised £1m for the BBC’s Children in Need appeal last year.The company’s own registered charity, the Greggs Foundation, was established in 1987 and has since raised more than £10m for people living in disadvantaged areas. It receives donations from the Greggs business, its employees through its ‘Give As You Earn’ initiative, as well as donations from major shareholders, investment income and through staff fundraising activities.As part of the Foundation, the business started its own Greggs Breakfast Clubs programme – a means of providing a free breakfast for primary schoolchildren in areas of particular social disadvantage. The company funds £225,000 into the scheme every year and now operates in 180 UK schools, reaching around 8,000 children.Greggs opened up five new Breakfast Clubs during the second half of 2011 in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool in response to the summer riots.Ken McMeikan, chief executive at Greggs, said: “At Greggs we have always prided ourselves on doing the right thing – whether for our people, our customers, local communities or the environment. One great example of this has been the fantastic work done by so many to support children in some of the most disadvantaged communities. “Fourteen Greggs Breakfast Clubs are now operating through partner organisations and I am delighted that more companies are becoming involved in supporting them. We are enormously grateful to these organisations for having the vision and compassion to tackle child poverty right here in the UK. I would also like to pay tribute to the head teachers, their staff and the volunteers who make these clubs work so brilliantly.”The Greggs Foundation also operates a grant programme, in which it offers major grants to charitable organisations supporting disadvantaged people in the north east of England. In addition, the Foundation gives regional grants of up to £2,000 for similar charities across the UK, as well as its Hardship Fund, which offers ‘emergency’ funding to north east of England families who need essentials such as clothing, beds and ovens.Derek Netherton, chairman for Greggs, said: “Our values lie at the very heart of what we do and in our relationships with our staff, customers and shareholders. In such difficult economic times, customers expect us to continue providing great-tasting products at great value prices; but they also expect us to do even more to help those who are most disadvantaged within the community.“I would like to pay tribute to the tremendous efforts of our 20,000 people over the past year. Their continued passion and dedication have been rewarded through our profit-sharing scheme, in which 10% of profits are shared among our staff.”Speaking of the company’s commitment to its staff, McMeikan added: “We remain indebted to our people for their incredible energy, enthusiasm and commitment to delivering products and service that will delight our customers. I am particularly pleased that we were able to create more than 800 new retail jobs through our shop opening programme during the year, lifting the total number of Greggs employees above 20,000 for the first time.“We continue to share 10% of our profits with our people and I am delighted that a record £5.9m will be shared among our staff in respect of our performance in 2011.”Throughout the past 12 months, Greggs received the Sandwich Industry Awards’ lifetime achievement award, as well as being named Corporate Foundation of the Year at the Business Charity Awards.last_img read more

More than two dozen Greek houses at Purdue University ordered to quarantine

first_imgCoronavirusIndianaLocalNews WhatsApp (Photo supplied/Purdue University) 27 Greek or co-operative living houses have students that have been told to quarantine or isolate of coronavirus concerns at Purdue University, but the school is not saying which houses those are.They are saying six of those houses are on full quarantine. The latest numbers from Purdue, according to the school’s COVID dashboard page, show 298 students and 21 employees have gotten the virus out of over 12-thousand tested since August 1st.Indiana University has a whole list of Greek houses affected by the virus and even has an online dashboard page of how many students per house have tested positive.IU is the only school known to have such a dashboard page specifically for Greek houses.Tippecanoe County as a whole, where Purdue is located, has a much lower positivity rate over the last seven days compared to Monroe (IU), Delaware (Ball State), and Vigo (Indiana State) Counties, all of which are home to major universities.St. Joseph County (Notre Dame) and Marion County (Bulter, IUPUI) are the only other counties with major universities that have a 7-day positivity at or below 5-percent.– Tippecanoe County: 2.94% 7-day positivity rate (all tests) with 24 weekly reported cases.– St. Joseph County: 4.49% 7-day positivity rate (all tests) with 112 weekly cases.– Marion County: 5.59% 7-day positivity rate (all tests) with 85 weekly cases.– Monroe County: 9.2% 7-day positivity rate (all tests) with 49 weekly cases.– Delaware County: 11.2% 7-day positivity rate (all tests) with 52 weekly cases.– Vigo County: 11.3% 7-day positivity rate (all tests) with 255 weekly cases. Twitter Pinterest Facebook Previous articleExpanded 9/11 Memorial in Indianapolis one year awayNext articleNorthwood High School Athletics Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. More than two dozen Greek houses at Purdue University ordered to quarantine By Jon Zimney – September 11, 2020 0 316 Facebook Google+ Google+ Pinterest WhatsApp Twitterlast_img read more

Cake sales fall in run up to Christmas

first_imgChristmas cake and pudding sales have slumped in the run up to Christmas, down 5.3% on last year for the two weeks to 12 December.The figures, released by retail data provider IRI, show an equally glum picture for the rest of the food industry, with overall sales down 1.3% to £3.5bn and sales of bacon, gammon and sausages, which were linked to cancer in a World Health Organization (WHO) report, down 13.2%.The only category to buck the trend is alcohol, with sales of beer, wine and spirits up 3.3% to £630m. Spirits performed especially strongly with sales rising 3.8% to £200m.Martin Wood, head of strategic insight, retail solutions and innovation at IRI, said: “While consumers get into the spirit of Christmas, literally in many cases, it seems that some of the more traditional Christmas categories are in decline, including cakes and desserts, while Christmas baking items are also down.“This could be down to people taking a more healthy approach to the big day but it’s probably a little too early to say whether this trend will continue and we expect figures to bounce back during a busy Christmas shopping period this week.”last_img read more

Faith-based approach in battling malaria

first_imgDespite malaria remaining a major disease, infecting more than 200 million people and killing nearly 500,000 a year, such great progress was made against it that the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015 set a global target for eliminating the illness in nearly three dozen countries by 2030.Now, however, progress has stalled. The 216 million cases of malaria reported in 2016 were 5 million more than the cases reported in 2015, according to WHO.Solving this problem, said Dyann Wirth, Richard Pearson Strong Professor of Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, requires the collaboration of different disciplines and different groups with deep expertise in certain areas.In recognition of this, Harvard Divinity School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School together hosted a panel of Anglican bishops from Africa on Thursday to discuss the role of faith and communities in working to end malaria and save lives. Wirth served as a moderator, along with HDS Professor of African Religious Traditions Jacob Olupona. Progress will be lost if new president abandons fight Related Malaria: Down but not out Seeking new momentum in malaria fight Leaders in eradication efforts gather at Harvard to trade ideas, experiences center_img Bishop André Soares of Angola said his country still has a long way to go in controlling malaria. He said his government has called the church a social partner as it recognizes the number of people who attend services or interact with the church.“We are not doctors, but we are the leader in the communities, and the community trusts in us,” he said.The bishops traveled to the U.S. to spread their message and raise awareness about the many lives still claimed by the disease and the amount of progress made when funding is increased. In addition to speaking at Harvard, the bishops met with representatives at the United Nations and with members of Congress in Washington, D.C.HDS Dean David N. Hempton recognized the bishops’ work mobilizing resources and leveraging their communities and networks to address the problem, and urged an ongoing dialogue about the interconnections of faith in public health and public health in faith.“Faith leaders and their organizations have the ability to bring energy and resources to solving some of humanity’s biggest problems,” he said. “Two key strengths faith organizations bring to these efforts are their ability to organize their communities around health-related social needs, and their ability to network or link people to much-needed resources.”Also participating in Thursday’s event at the Divinity School were representatives of Harvard’s Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe initiative, HDS’ Center for the Study of World Religions, the J.C. Flowers Foundation, and Kenneth Staley, global malaria coordinator for the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative.“Faith communities play a big role in what we’re doing in these countries,” said Staley. “Religious leaders and communities of faith really are integral in being able to connect individually with each person in each village and each city to really understand how they can protect themselves from malaria and how they can help others.” Malaria has the greatest impact in Africa. The disease led to the deaths of an estimated 445,000 people in 2016, according to WHO, with nearly all of those cases — 91 percent — located in Africa. Children under the age of 5 made up 285,000 of those deaths, according to WHO.Bishop David Njovu of Zambia said that education, trust, and acknowledging the role of faith in community members’ lives is crucialcrucial to helping curtail the disease, especially in remote areas where health facilities do not exist. In those areas, he said, a sick person’s first stop is a traditional healer.“We don’t go there to condemn a traditional healer, because as soon as you do that, you create a gap,” he said. Instead, Njovu brings along a health care teacher or professional to try to win over community members by teaching them what malaria is and how it is contracted.Winning over community members requires religious heads to lead by example, Njovu said. When testing is offered in a community, Njovu and a village leader are the first people to accept it to show that they believe in what they are preaching. After the test, Njovu offers a prayer and a blessing.“That way we are saying conventional medicine and prayer are going together to heal someone. That’s the way we approach this,” he said. “We don’t go there to fight because if we fight, it will be a lose-lose situation.” “We are not doctors, but we are the leader in the communities, and the community trusts in us.” — Bishop André Soares of Angola Politics biggest threat to malaria effort Disease has been resilient, speakers say, and efforts to eradicate it require a local focus last_img read more

Renewable resources supplied 33% of Great Britain’s electricity in first quarter of 2019

first_imgRenewable resources supplied 33% of Great Britain’s electricity in first quarter of 2019 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Technica:New figures by energy consultancy EnAppSys have shown that renewable energy sources generated 33% of the total volume of Great Britain’s generated electricity over the first quarter of 2019, while clean energy technologies (including nuclear) accounted for nearly 50%.According to EnAppSys’ figures, a total of 27.2 terawatt-hours (TWh) of renewable electricity was generated over the first quarter of 2019 in Great Britain (as opposed to the United Kingdom, which includes the Republic of Ireland), 16.6 TWh of which came from wind farms (in line with previous quarters) while solar generated 2.7 TWh (up 43% from the previous quarter and up 46% from Q1 2018).These figures from renewable generation compare favorably with the rest of Britain’s energy mix, where natural gas-fired power plants generated 32.2 TWh, or 39.5% of Britain’s total, while nuclear energy generated 13.1 TWh, or 16%.The figures also highlight the continued decline of coal in Great Britain’s energy mix, which produced only 2.9 TWh over the first quarter, down 37.2% from the previous quarter and down 65% from the same quarter a year earlier.“The market continues to progress towards an increasingly green future and this evolution will be supported by news that National Grid is seeking to manage the system without any carbon emissions for a number of hours by 2025,” said Paul Verrill, director of EnAppSys. “Driving this progression is significant growth in levels of renewable generation which, on current trends, could overtake fossil fuels in the not-too-distant future.“Wind farms were responsible for 60.8% of renewable generation in the quarter and this displaced conventional power stations from the market. Coal has effectively ceased to be a major fuel source in the market and now ranks below gas, nuclear, wind, imports and biomass as a fuel source of significance.”More: Renewables generate 33% of Britain’s electricity in first quarterlast_img read more

State progress on health preparedness called slow

first_imgDec 19, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Though the United States observed the fifth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks this fall, the nation’s public health emergency preparedness has improved slowly and remains inadequate, according to a report last week from the nonprofit organization Trust for America’s Health (TFAH).Jeff Levi, PhD, director of the Washington, DC-based TFAH, said in a Dec 12 press release that the Sept 11 and anthrax attacks and Hurricane Katrina were wake-up calls for the country to improve its weak preparedness systems. “But, across the board it is clear that we haven’t learned the lessons from these tragedies—we are still vulnerable to what might come next,” he said.The 84-page report, released annually since 2003, assesses preparedness in each state and the District of Columbia, examines funding and accountability for preparedness, and offers recommendations to improve the country’s ability to respond to a national health emergency.How do states stack up?In the state assessment, the TFAH report based scores on how states and some cities performed on 10 indicators of preparedness. The indicators, which change each year to reflect changing preparedness expectations and the availability of public state preparedness data, include:”Green” status for distribution of vaccines, antidotes, and medical supplies from the Strategic National StockpileSufficient Biosafety Level 3 laboratoriesEnough laboratory staff to do tests for anthrax or plagueYear-round influenza testingEnough hospital beds for the first 2 weeks of a moderate pandemic flu outbreakIncreased seasonal flu immunization rates among adults aged 65 and olderIncreased pneumococcal vaccination rates for seniorsUse of a disease surveillance system that is compatible with the national system used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Enough registered nursesSteady or increased funding for public health programs from 2004-05 to 2005-06Oklahoma scored highest, with 10, while California, Iowa, Maryland, and New Jersey were lowest, with scores of 4. More than half of states and the District of Columbia scored 6 or less. Kansas scored 9; states scoring 8 included Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The report says that states with stronger surge capacities and immunization programs scored higher this year, since four indicators focused on these measures.Since the first report was published, the number of states lacking the capacity to conduct lab tests during a bioterrorism emergency has shrunk from 44 to 11. The report applauds states for improving the public health workforce’s ability to test for anthrax or plague, but the authors say the increase was due to employee cross-training rather than staffing increases.One area of concern was flu vaccination rates for seniors. Thirty-five states maintained their rates and two increased their rates, but vaccination coverage for seniors fell in 13 states. “Seasonal flu vaccinations are viewed as a key part of planning for pandemic preparedness and other emergency responses that would require mass vaccination or distribution of medications,” the report states.Concerns about fundingRegarding federal efforts, the report raises strong concerns about funding. Congress has appropriated about $1 billion per year since 2002 to strengthen federal and state preparedness, but programs are already being cut, even before basic goals have been met, the report says.”These cuts threaten to halt or even reverse progress that has been achieved,” the report asserts.TFAH also faults federal agencies such as the CDC for not establishing clearer standards for state preparedness capabilities, especially those that receive federal funds. Americans should have more information about how well their communities and states are prepared and how tax dollars are being spent, the authors write.”Americans are not receiving the information they deserve to know about the safety of their own communities—or the standards they should hold the government accountable for,” the report says.To improve leadership and oversight of public health and bioterrorism preparedness, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should have a single senior official assume responsibility for all public health programs, according to TFAH. Currently the duties are handled by separate HHS divisions. “No one official below the secretary has the authority to coordinate and synthesize a national preparedness strategy among agencies,” the group says.Some other recommendations include:Boosting surge capacity and the medical and public health workforceExpanding testing capabilities in public health labsBolstering the Strategic National Stockpile of medications and vaccinesEstablishing a “state of emergency” health insurance benefit to encourage uninsured and underinsured people who are ill during an outbreak to seek medical careLegislation passed by Congress just before it adjourned Dec 9 may help some of the problems cited in the in the TFAH report. The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (S 3678), signed into law by President George W. Bush today, addresses pandemic preparedness standards for states, calls for surveillance system improvements, and sets forth measures to improve medical surge capacity.The legislation also requires HHS to establish an agency called the Biodefense Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to revitalize Project BioShield, established in 2004 to develop countermeasures against biological weapons and other threats.The new legislation authorizes spending of $1.07 billion for BARDA for fiscal years 2006 through 2008. In August the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the remainder of the bill would cost $297 million in fiscal year 2007 and about $6 billion for the period 2007 through 2011.See also:TFAH news release, with links to complete report News story on TFAH 2005 reportCIDRAP News story on TFAH 2004 reportDec 15 CIDRAP News story “Congress passes public health preparedness bill”last_img read more

French Seek UXO Investigators

first_imgFrance’s RTE Réseau de Transport d’Electricité has issued a tender for the investigation of potential unexploded ordnance (UXO) targets along the export cable route which will connect the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm to the grid.The purpose of the work is to investigate with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and/or divers the potential UXO targets along the submarine cable route of 33 kilometres as identified in and modelled from a geophysical campaign.The duration of the contract is twelve months with a possible six-month extension.The tender will remain open until 4 October and RTE will dispatch invitations to tender or invitations to participate to selected candidates by 4 November.In February 2017, RTE awarded Prysmian with a contract to manufacture and deliver the export cable for the Saint-Nazaire wind farm, as well as for two additional wind farms offshore France: Fécamp and Calvados.The 480MW Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm will feature 80 Haliade 150-6MW wind turbines installed between 12 km and 20 km off the coast of the Guerande peninsula in western France. The commissioning of the wind farm is planned for 2022.EDF Renewables and Canada’s Enbridge are developing the project through the company Eolien Maritime France (EMF).last_img read more

Bermuda’s foreign currency issuer default rating affirmed at ‘AA+’; outlook stable

first_img Share 164 Views   no discussions Share Image via: worldatlas.comNEW YORK, USA — Fitch Ratings has affirmed the issuer default ratings (IDRs) and country ceiling for Bermuda as follows: –Foreign currency IDR at ‘AA+’; –Local currency IDR at ‘AAA’; –Foreign currency short-term IDR at ‘F1+’; –Country ceiling at ‘AAA’. The rating outlook is stable. The ratings reflect the island’s stable macroeconomic and political environment, which, combined with friendly policies towards its international business sector, has made its economy one of the wealthiest in the world. The ratings are supported by extremely high per capita income, sustained large current account surpluses, strong institutions and a moderate public debt burden. Bermuda’s sophisticated legal system, strong regulatory framework, simple tax regime, proximity to the US market and presence of highly skilled human capital continue to support its reputation as a domicile of choice for (re)insurance and financial services companies. Although Bermuda’s captive insurance business faces strong competition, new products are being developed while medium-term prospects could benefit from regulatory equivalence with the EU expected in 2012. Bermuda’s economy is expected to contract for the third consecutive year in 2011, partly due to weak labor market conditions on the island, and the resulting impact on the property rental market and overall household consumption. Fitch foresees a mild economic expansion in 2012 and 2013 as initiatives to promote tourism pay off, and international business activity picks-up after a period of contraction. Fitch notes that Bermuda’s medium-term growth prospects appear to be quite modest. The increase in fiscal deficits in recent years has been driven by revenue underperformance, increases in capital expenditure and spending pressures, especially in the social sector, related to the difficult economic situation. Debt to GDP has increased in line with fiscal deficits and is estimated to reach 22.7% in 2011, which is below the ‘AA’ median of 41.6%. However, Fitch believes that a lower debt burden is desirable in the context of Bermuda’s small, open and narrow economy as well as its limited financing flexibility. “The increased public sector indebtedness reduces Bermuda’s space to respond to future economic shocks and underlines the importance of setting forth a clear medium-term fiscal consolidation plan,” said Santiago Mosquera, a director in Fitch’s Sovereign Group. There is a very limited room for additional indebtedness under the current debt ceiling (BM$1.25 billion). However, the debt ceiling has changed various times since 2005 to accommodate budget deficits, with Fitch not ruling out further increases in the ceiling in the coming years. “Repeated changes to the debt ceiling undermine the credibility of the fiscal policy anchor,” added Mosquera. Fitch will continue to monitor Bermuda’s fiscal consolidation plan which is likely to become clearer next year when the government introduces its medium-term budgetary framework. Sustained weak economic performance and deterioration in the sovereign’s fiscal metrics could put downward pressure on Bermuda’s ratings. Regulatory changes that negatively affect international companies operating in Bermuda could also undermine creditworthiness. On the contrary, a resumption of economic growth and concrete signs of fiscal consolidation and debt stabilization would help sustain Bermuda’s ratings.Caribbean News Now LifestyleMoney Bermuda’s foreign currency issuer default rating affirmed at ‘AA+’; outlook stable by: – November 19, 2011center_img Share Sharing is caring! Tweetlast_img read more

Barangay ‘kagawad’ jailed over ‘bookies’

first_imgILOILO City – A village councilman wascaught soliciting bets from the illegal numbers game “bookies.” The 62-year-old Pepito Avelino wasarrested in Barangay Infante, Molo district around 1 p.m. on Friday, a policereport showed. Recovered from his possession wereP1,161 bet money and gambling paraphernalia, the report added. Charges for violation of PresidentialDecree 1602, which prescribes stiffer penalties for illegal gambling will befiled against Avelino./PN The suspect was detained in the lockupfacility of the Molo police station. last_img read more

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