South African team leads study on anti-HIV gel

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South African team leads study on anti-HIV gel

first_imgThe Facts 001 study will enrol 2 200women aged 18 to 30 years at seventrial sites across South Africa to testthe effectiveness and safety of tenofovirgel to reduce HIV infection in women.(Image: actup.org)MEDIA CONTACTS• Salim Abdool KarimCaprisa+27 31 260 4548RELATED ARTICLES• Anti-Aids gel offers hope• New research key to HIV treatment• HIV vaccine hope for Africans • HIV vaccine breaks new groundNosimilo RamelaA South African team of researchers will soon lead a major follow-up clinical trial to confirm the effectiveness and safety of tenofovir gel, an antiretroviral microbicide, which has been proven to reduce HIV infection in women.The clinical trial, named the Facts 001 study, will expand on the findings of the initial phase IIb study, called Caprisa 004, which were presented last year. The Caprisa 004 study examined the concept of using a product for Aids treatment in HIV prevention.The Durban-based Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (Caprisa) put 889 women on the study over two years. They found that a vaginal gel containing the antiretroviral drug tenofovir was 39% effective in reducing HIV risk when used before and after sex. It was 54% effective when used more consistently, and also halved the incidence of genital herpes infections.However, Caprisa 004 was a small trial and was not designed for licensure purposes. In order for the gel to be licensed for distribution and use, another study with more participants needed to be conducted.Prof Helen Rees, executive director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, will be leading the Facts 001 study.She said: “If we’re going to do licensure, we’ve got to demonstrate safety in thousands of women. We don’t have enough safety data yet. Through this new study we want to build up the body of knowledge of this gel so that we can put all of this data together and, assuming that we have got an effective product, apply for licensure.”Rees said the objectives of the study are to confirm the Caprisa 004 results in larger and more diverse populations, as the initial study was only done on two populations in KwaZulu-Natal where the HIV incidence is extremely high.The Facts 001 study will examine the effectiveness of the gel against HIV in different sorts of populations where the HIV incidence is lower, in other parts of the country.Honouring the unsung heroes“We are very pleased to be associated with the Facts 001 study and hope that the results of this study will confirm the positive Caprisa 004 results, making it possible to provide a technology that can help protect women against HIV and Aids,” said Derek Hanekom, deputy minister of science and technology.Funded by South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Health and the US Agency for International Development, the Facts 001 study plans to enrol 2 200 women aged 18 to 30 years at seven trial sites across South Africa.This will be the first South African-led team of scientists to conduct HIV research at seven centres, said Rees. She said international scientists collaborating with local peers usually led multi-site trials.“We are very proud of the South African researchers who constantly prove that they are world-class,” said Hanekom. “We would also like to honour the women who are an integral part of these studies – they are the unsung heroes.”last_img read more

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Feeding Farmers Week 3 – Watson Farms, Sandusky County

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Week number three of Feeding Farmers, courtesy of AgriGold, took the Ohio Ag Net crew to Watson Farms in northern Ohio on the Sandusky-Seneca County line.The family operation is headed up by Dusten Watson. He took over in recent years after his dad Lee handed down the keys to the next generation, something he plans to do himself down the road. The farm also recently brought on the full-time employee Joe Ringholz.They’ve experienced a unique planting season. Some much needed rain this past Thursday was “a godsend.” Dusten did say that they should’ve stayed home with regard to planting on May 9th as everything put in the field that day had to be replanted.Ty Higgins talks more about the farm in the video below.last_img read more

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Beef Quality Assurance Program’s online certification hits a milestone

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest More than 50,000 cattle producers have been certified through the Beef Quality Assurance program’s new online learning system since it was first offered in February 2017. Throughout the country hundreds of thousands have now become BQA-certified through in-person and online training, with an estimated 80% of the U.S. fed beef supply now touched by BQA-certified operations.The beef checkoff-funded BQA program is a nationally coordinated, state implemented program that provides systematic information to U.S. beef producers and beef consumers of how commonsense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions. BQA guidelines are designed to make certain all beef consumers can take pride in what they purchase — and can trust and have confidence in the entire beef industry.Online BQA training provides 24/7 access to the program through a series of videos and animation. While in-person training is still available through numerous sessions conducted by in-state BQA coordinators throughout the country, online certification provides a chance for certification at any time. Three courses are available (cow/calf, stocker/backgrounder and feedyard) to deliver a program that most closely aligns with the individual’s operation. The certifications are also available in Spanish.“Beef producers recognize that quality is everyone’s responsibility, but many don’t have the opportunity to attend in-person training,” said Bob Smith, DVM, chair of the BQA Advisory Board. “These producers still want to assure that practices on their operations are conducted under BQA-qualified standards. While in-person training provides important knowledge and useful cattle handling and husbandry skills, the online BQA program is a valuable option that can deliver critical information and training anytime and anywhere.”For information on completing online BQA training, go to https://www.bqa.org/certification. For more information on the BQA program, contact DeCoite at cdecoite@beef.org.last_img read more

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Beta Testing At Spiceworks: A Surprising Place To Find Qualified Guinea Pigs

first_imgrieva lesonsky Related Posts How to Get Started in China and Have Success Tags:#Beta Testing#networking#small business#startups Beta testing can be a bitch – especially when you’re working with complex business technology that doesn’t make sense for consumers. It can be incredibly difficult to find good test subjects with enough of a knowledge base to give you intelligent feedback on these kinds of sophisticated products.That’s exactly the issue facing Pertino as it prepared to launch its cloud-based network launch last fall.Where To Find Qualified Beta Testers?Pertino’s concept was to build a cloud-based global network, requiring no specialized hardware or virtual private networks. The company envisioned a network affordable enough for small and midsize (SMB) companies with the security and performance of an enterprise network.How the heck do you beta test a product like that?Pertino CEO Craig Elliott turned to the Spiceworks.com community of more than 2.4 million IT professionals, centered around the company’s free, ad-supported IT management tools for SMBs.Elliott and many Pertino employees were already Spiceworks members, and they started with a 20-company private beta program that grew into “a community-exclusive public beta” involving 250 “Spiceheads.”Spiceworks’ co-founder Jay Hallberg says three to four years ago the Spiceworks team was “dreaming big that someday we’d have a company launch within Spiceworks.” Pertino turned out to be that company. Beta Testing Feedback Is EssentialWhile the usual point of beta testing is to find out if your product is good enough to launch, most initial offerings end up requiring signficant tweaks. “If you’re not thoroughly embarrassed by the first product you release,” Elliott says, “you’ve overthought it, and you’ve come to market too late.”Beta testing in Spiceworks enabled knowledgeable IT professionals to actually use the product and offer Pertino “incredible, first-hand feedback and insights,” says Elliott.Todd Krautkremer, Pertino’s VP of marketing, explains that, “Since so many members of the Spiceworks community work IT at small and mid-sized businesses, it was a way to treat SMBs as consumers… The Spiceheads provided feedback in real time [that] shaved months off what the normal development timeline would be.” Beta testing in Spiceworld gave Pertino “validation and the ability to go back to the drawing board based on the feedback,” Krautkremer adds. If you can’t make it in the Spiceworks community, how can you succeed in the broader market?Speed WinsPertino didn’t worry about launching its “private” beta to such a large community. “”In the world of open-source tech,” says Krautkremer, “to rest your laurels on defensible IP is not a recipe for success.” Patents can’t protect you.Instead, seizing the market as early as possible is the best way to become a dominant leader, says Krautkremer. It’s not necessarily being first to market,” Krautkremer continues, “MySpace was there before Facebook.” To win, your idea has to be novel and simple, and you have to pursue it aggressively.So far, that approach is working for Pertino. The company publicly launched its product in February: “6,000 people downloaded it on day one,” Krautkremer says, and more than 300 Pertino networks were built.Beta Test TipsSharing what he learned from the Spiceworks beta, Krautkremer offers tech companies 4 quick tips:Use the freemium model: make it easy for potential customers to try your product.Keep it simple: “Click, click, done wins. Click, click, click, done loses.”Eat your own dogfood: use and test your own product.Get to market first and then grow fast.Oh, and find qualified beta testers to provide useful feedback before you make your product publicly available.center_img China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star…last_img read more

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Lakers Metta World Peace Expected to Return Tuesday

Just 12 days after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace is expected to return to the starting lineup Tuesday night when the Lakers take on the New Orleans Hornets.World Peace, who was supposed to be sidelined for at least six weeks, participated in a three-on-three scrimmage at practice Monday and appeared to be healthy.“We’ve got a chance to make a push for this championship,” World Peace told reporters after practice. “We all need it. All the guys under contract, injured or not injured, we need each other to make a run at this thing.”With just five games left to secure the final playoff spot, the Lakers (40-37) trail the Utah Jazz (41-37) for the eighth postseason spot in the Western Conference. Every game is important for the Lakers to win as the Jazz hold the tie breaker.“He’s good,” Lakers coach Mike D’ Antoni said. “It’s probably a game time decision, but he looks good. He’s raring to go. The medical staff will make a decision tomorrow. It’s unbelievable. He’s different. … I’ve never seen this before.”World Peace began his rehabilitation last week, running and shooting with the team Saturday and before Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers. He said he was ready to play last Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks, but  he was not cleared by team doctors.World Peace injured his knee in the first half of the Lakers’ 109-103 loss to the Golden State Warriors on March 25. This is the first ever knee injury for the Lakers defensive stopper, who tweeted that his recovery time would take a week and half.“Right after the surgery, they were amazed how the swelling didn’t even exist off of meniscus surgery,” World Peace said. “You can play, but the swelling is what keeps you from playing, so when I didn’t have any swelling that’s why I was pushing to play. I wanted to play three games ago. It was good teamwork with doctors and training staff.”With the return of World Peace to the Lakers lineup, the team will still be without point guard Steve Nash. Nash will miss his fourth consecutive game because of a hip injury, but is expected to return to the lineup on Friday when the Lakers play the Warriors. read more

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Oceanic ecosystem in the wake of hurricanes

first_img Greater prevalence of anal cancer precursors for women living with HIV than prior reports A federal program to rebuild the ecosystems of the Louisiana Delta at the mouth of the Mississippi River took a hit last month when Hurricane Katrina roared through the gulf. The Golden Meadow Plant Materials Center, which is charged with rebuilding an ever-eroding Louisiana coastline, lost about one-third of its 50,000-to-80,000 plants – which strengthen marshes and island barriers. The plants were located in a greenhouse at the 90-acre facility in Galliano, La., southwest of New Orleans. Relatively speaking, the plant materials center took a small hit. Coastal Mississippi, however, did not fare so well. Nor did southeastern Louisiana.”It was a catastrophic event,” said Gary Fine, Manager of the United States Agriculture Department’s Golden Meadow center, which is one of 26 plant materials centers across the country. Fine and a group of mainly volunteer workers – such as high-school students – may make a trek to the beaches of Mississippi to “try and help them replenish,” Fine said.Before coming to Louisiana, Fine worked in Kansas rebuilding the planes.”I grew prairie grass in Kansas and I’m growing wetland grass here,” Fine said, explaining that the program was initially developed by the government in the 1930s to replant the dust bowl area of the central planes.It’s up to Fine’s crew to discover what plants, for instance, can tolerate a great deal of salt. The saltwater from the ocean, combined with rising sea levels, erode and sink the coastline. The stabilization of the Mississippi River’s channel – the construction of levees – has cut off sediment-laden overflow that once nourished adjacent wetland areas. Hurricanes and tropical storms ravage the coast, as well.By working with plant geneticists, crossing and breeding certain species that can help strengthen the coastline, Fine is using nature’s bounty to protect the ecosystems from its wrath by strengthening marshes and island barriers with hardy vegetation.One of a number of projects Fine is working on involves rebuilding ridges and maritime forests. Using bulldozers to shape the ridgeline, and recreating the maritime forests with plants grown in containers at the facility, the group is able to stabilize the coastal region. Because with each hurricane season, the Gulf of Mexico coastal regions become more vulnerable. Such plants include; ‘Vermilion’ smooth cord grass; ‘Fourchon’ bitter panicum; ‘Brazoria’ seashore paspalum; and ‘Fourchon’ bitter panicum.When the coastline recedes, migratory birds from South America can no longer make the trip across the gulf. By rebuilding the maritime forests and coastline, Fine’s group is recreating the habitat that sustains the wildlife.It’s one reason Fine likes working in the delicate coastal region.”It’s exciting and rewarding,” he said, adding, “It’s a fragile environment but it’s a dynamic environment.”by Allison Cooper, Copyright 2005 PhysOrg.com Citation: Oceanic ecosystem in the wake of hurricanes (2005, October 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2005-10-oceanic-ecosystem-hurricanes.htmlcenter_img Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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