Healing outside the box

first_imgWhat if health care workers in under-resourced countries could administer a prognostic test on patients in the field, miles from any hospital, simply with a smartphone app?This is the kind of innovation that the winners of the 2014 President’s Challenge will now be able to bring to thousands, if not millions, of people suffering from diabetic foot ulcers.President Drew Faust on Thursday awarded $70,000 to the project, called VACU Scan.The support will be crucial in widening its reach.“There were so many really great ideas and teams here, I’m just really happy right now,” said Benjamin Brush, a student at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a member of the VACU Scan team.“This money will speed up our implementation process,” said team member Richard Lin, also of HMS. “The equipment we can buy, the trials we can perform, the personnel we can hire … this is a game-changer for us.”Changing the game, or at least advancing possible solutions for some of the world’s greatest problems, has been the focus of the President’s Challenge since its inception three years ago. This year Faust, in collaboration with the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab), challenged Harvard students to generate social change by developing entrepreneurial solutions in five categories: education innovation, affordable health, energy and the environment, economic development and sustainable employment, and efficient governing.“Nobody could have predicted the reaction the i-lab has engendered, and nobody could have predicted how much it would be offering to the world in the way of great ideas, improvements, and inspiration,” Faust said in remarks before announcing the winner.Faust was particularly impressed by the range of the competitors — the 130 teams in the challenge came from 12 different Schools at Harvard. “As I walked around and talked with the different teams I so enjoyed asking where they were from and figuring out how in the world these collaborations ever evolved,” she said. “They evolved because this space is here and this space encouraged it and made it happen.”In March, 10 finalists were announced and the challenge picked up momentum, with teams working at an accelerated clip to build their ideas into viable ventures. Their resources included time and space at the i-lab, $5,000 seed money, and insight from mentors.The three runners-up from that group were OpportunitySpace, a platform that helps communities find the best uses for public land; Virtudent, a telehealth solution for dentistry; and Giant Otter Technologies, a Web-based, 3-D simulation tool for conflict resolution focused on  school bullying.“The President’s Challenge process meant so much to us,” said Geoff Marietta, a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a co-founder of Giant Otter. “We were able to get feedback from the Harvard community about whether this is an idea that should move forward and be scaled. It showed us the validity of our idea.”The challenge has yielded impressive results. Since winning in 2012, Vaxess, which developed a method of using silk to stabilize vaccines so they can be stored and shipped without refrigeration, has raised $3.75 million in its first round of venture funding. Now established in a new lab in Kendall Square, its team has grown from the original four founders to seven employees.“The President’s Challenge played a huge role in Vaxess’ success, providing us with initial seed capital to push the technology forward, access to great mentors who worked with us to advance the plan, and pressure from competing against great entrepreneurs, which prepared us to head out into the real world and compete for funding,” said Michael Schrader, who graduated from Harvard Business School in 2012.Adam La Reau, the founder of finalist One Summit, which helps children with cancer build self-confidence and resilience through the rigors of rock climbing, said the competition spurred him to ask the right questions. “What direction do I want to go? What’s the end state? What’s the impact I’m trying to have and how do we measure it?”But the toughest test for La Reau, a student at the Kennedy School, was not a business or technological challenge. “It was finding out just how many kids suffer from cancer. This is what inspires you to want it to scale — and scale smart. We want to do it, but do it well, and deliver the impact we set out to deliver.”last_img read more

CFO Focus: The Fed will be patient

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » The first four months of 2019 have witnessed a very sharp major central bank monetary policy reversal. Most of 2018 was represented by the theme of monetary policy normalization, or a moving away of the extraordinarily accommodative policy that had been in place since the 2007-2009 financial crisis. While our thoughts for 2019 were that the Fed would remain neutral as the global economy softened, we did not foresee them giving credence to a potential cut to the policy rate in 2019 and an easing of quantitative tightening.In March 2019, the Federal Open Market Committee announced that starting in May it would begin curtailing the runoff (quantitative tightening) from $30 billion treasury notes and $20 billion mortgage-backed securities to $15 billion treasuries and $20 billion MBS. By September, the runoff should be complete. It is not entirely clear whether the Fed will just keep letting MBS runoff and reinvest a portion in treasuries. This action gave support to the bond market.Moreover, the Fed signaled it was open to using the power of quantitative easing as a normal policy tool. It has been known that the Fed wanted to keep a balance sheet far greater than the pre-financial crisis $800 billion. Currently, its balance sheet is approximately $3.8 trillion. In earlier discussions, the Fed indicated that it wanted to get it down below $3 trillion and wouldn’t reverse course as part of normal policy response to a weakening economy. Essentially, we thought QE was in a box with the words “only break glass in case of emergency.” Now it appears that additions to the balance sheet remain an option for recession. This was and remains very constructive for the bond market.last_img read more

Czech Republic shutting schools, events over coronavirus

first_imgThe Czech Republic is to close schools indefinitely and ban events hosting more than 100 people in new measures to contain the coronavirus, its prime minister said on Tuesday.The central European country has reported 40 cases of coronavirus since detecting the first infections on March 1.In most cases, the virus appeared in people coming from northern Italy, the worst-hit area of Europe. “Our paramount task is the health of our citizens,” Prime Minister Andrej Babis told a news conference on Tuesday.”We understand this will be very unpleasant for people, but we want to prevent, by all means, what happened in Italy from happening here.”Officials said the measures were decided after a Prague taxi driver was diagnosed with the disease, the first case where the source of infection could not be identified.The new measures will close schools and universities, but not kindergartens, from Wednesday. A ban from Tuesday night on events ranges from film and theatre to other cultural, sports and religious gatherings.The Czech government has already banned flights with Italy, and issued mandatory quarantines for thousands returning from vacation in the southern European country.On Monday, it banned hospital and retirement home visits, and started border checks including taking temperatures and testing any foreign travelers feeling ill.Topics :last_img read more

China says US ‘abusing power’ by squeezing TikTok

first_imgDetails of the injunction remain sealed for now by the court in Washington.The US squeeze on TikTok is one of a litany of issues souring relations between the rival powers, spanning tech, defense, human rights and contested seas.US tech giants have also raised concerns over the precedent a ban could set for a free internet — and the prospect of reprisals against American firms operating in China’s vast market.ByteDance has begun discussing a complex transfer of ownership to Silicon Valley giant Oracle.A tentative deal unveiled last weekend would make Oracle the technology partner for TikTok and a stakeholder in a new entity to be known as TikTok Global.TikTok said Sunday it would “maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government” on the plan, which has received preliminary approval from Trump.But it was still unclear whether the deal would be approved by Beijing, where some consider the US move an unjustified appropriation of Chinese technology. Beijing on Monday accused the Trump administration of abusing “national power” by trying to ban TikTok, as a federal court gave the video app’s US operations a stay of execution.A US government order had sought to ban new downloads of the Chinese-owned app from midnight (0400 GMT Monday) — but allow use of TikTok until November 12, when all use would be blocked.President Donald Trump claims the popular app poses a national security threat and harvests data for Beijing via its Chinese parent company ByteDance — allegations the firm vehemently denies. Topics :center_img Describing the order as “bullying behavior”, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said it was evidence of “abusing national power to unreasonably suppress other countries’ enterprises”.Instead, the US should “provide a fair, just, open, and non-discriminatory business environment for companies around the world investing and operating in the country”, Wang added.China says Trump is strong-arming the company into giving up full ownership of a lucrative app — with 100 million US subscribers — to an American rival.But late on Sunday a US federal court issued a temporary block on the order after TikTok’s lawyers successfully argued it was a “punitive” ban motivated by politics rather than genuine security fears.last_img read more

Governor Wolf Announces New Review of Feasibility of Added Passenger Rail Service in Western Pennsylvania

first_imgGovernor Wolf Announces New Review of Feasibility of Added Passenger Rail Service in Western Pennsylvania Infrastructure,  Press Release,  Transportation Harrisburg, PA – Acknowledging the continued interest in adding passenger rail service in western Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf announced today that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will take another look at adding service between Altoona and Pittsburgh.“I know the appetite for such service remains strong in western Pennsylvania, and I have asked PennDOT to check once again about whether such a step is possible,” Governor Wolf said. “I want to exhaust every angle possible to serve the needs of this region.”The new effort will include a review of several past studies on the Keystone West Corridor and will gather information about the condition of the right of way, current and projected rail freight activity on the line, track and platform alignments and historic ridership data. An estimate of costs of needed improvements also will be developed.The study also will produce three potential service plans and include a travel demand marketing assessment and ridership estimates.The work will include outreach to Norfolk Southern Railroad, which owns the corridor between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, and Amtrak, which currently operates the cross-state Pennsylvanian, a once daily train in each direction between New York, Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, as well as hourly service east of Harrisburg.“This study will help answer some important unresolved questions about a way forward with this added service for western Pennsylvania,” Governor Wolf added. “Offering transportation options aligns with my promise to all Pennsylvanians that my administration would deliver a government that works for a better quality of life.” SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img September 21, 2018last_img read more

Pirates Fall To Pacers In Soccer Play

first_imgOn the second night of back-to-back road games, the Greensburg Pirates traveled to Switzerland County to take on the Pacers and lost 4-2.Greensburg started the game off with a goal in the first minute (something that hasn’t been accomplished in over three years), when Joseph Pacilio received a well placed through ball from Vincent Pavy and found the back of the net. With Greensburg up 1-0 early, the Pacers battled back and were able to score the equalizer less than 15 minutes later. The weather conditions led to some sloppy play including some misfires from both teams. Greensburg got the chance to go up once again when freshman Sage O’Mara scored a goal off of a header that came from a corner kick from junior Nicholas Zapfe.Once again, Switzerland County equalized to draw the score to 2-2 at halftime. The second half was a very defensive battle throughout until the final 12 minutes, when Switzerland County buried a shot from 25 yards out. The Pirates continued to fight and get scoring chances late, but another goal from the Pacers put the Pirates away for good and pushed the score to 4-2.Courtesy of Pirates Coach Cody DeVolld.last_img read more

New foundation director named in Decatur County

first_imgGreensburg, In. — The Hospital Foundation of Decatur County has introduced Susan Burkhart as the new director. Former director, Bryan Robbins has taken over as the president of the Greensburg-Decatur County Economic Development Corporation.Burkhart has been a member of the foundation board since 2012 and has been the president for the last two years. She has served on the Gala committee and is the co-creator of “Tee Off Fore Tatas.”Burkhart said, “I cant wait to meet the entire staff at the Hospital. Every time I am at the hospital whether it is for a board meeting or to check in at the Gift Shop, I see so many friendly faces. By getting to know them and by working together we can create a better hospital.”The foundation raises money to support the Decatur County Memorial Hospital and improve the quality of life for all residents.last_img read more

Hall of Fame

first_img Latest posts by admin (see all) BAR HARBOR — Nominations are now being accepted for the second inauguration into the Mount Desert Island High School Trojans Hall of Fame.The only stipulation for nominations is that the individual has played or coached at MDIHS and has been out of high school for at least five years.“It is just a thing to start acknowledging some of the people who have gone through the school who have made significant contributions to the high school, the athletic department and the community as a whole,” said MDIHS athletic director Bunky Dow.Contact Mr. Dow at 288-3511, extension 327 or bdow@u98.k12.me.us. The form will eventually be posted on the MDIHS web site.For more sports news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander. Bio Latest Posts House fire in Winter Harbor – October 27, 2014 admin Hancock County Court News Nov. 3 thorugh Dec. 11 – January 22, 2015 State budget vs. job creation – January 22, 2015 This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

Cricket News Big Bash League: Perth Scorchers batsman dismissed off seventh ball in over, creates controversy

first_imgNew Delhi: The Big Bash League clash between Perth Scorchers and Sydney Sixers witnessed a high-scoring encounter. Sydney Sixers were boosted by aggressive knocks from Daniel Hughes (36) and Moises Henriques (38) as they reached 177/5. In response, Cameron Bancroft, making his comeback after serving a nine-month ban due to the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, blasted an unbeaten 87 and shared a 98-run stand with Ashton Turner (60) to help the Scorchers achieve a seven-wicket win with seven balls to spare. However, the match was overshadowed by a moment of controversy during the Perth Scorchers’ chase and it involved Michael Klinger. The incident became a big talking point and it involved the umpires.The incident took place in the second over of the Scorchers’ chase and Michael Klinger was the batsman. Ben Dwarshuis, a left-arm pace bowler, was bowling and after bowling a dot-ball to Bancroft, he conceded a leg bye and two byes in the next two balls. On the fourth ball, Klinger got a single to backward square leg. Bancroft was on strike for the next two balls as he pulled a couple to deep midwicket and a single to long leg. The umpires should have called the end of the over but Dwarshius was allowed to bowl. On the seventh ball, Klinger (2) upper-cut a short ball and was caught by Steve O’Keefe at third man.The dismissal on the seventh ball of the over resulted in plenty of controversy, with several fans pointing out the poor umpiring standards. Scorchers coach Adam Voges said the controversy was “not ideal”. “Obviously it’s the umpires’ jobs to count the number of balls in an over,” he said. Cricket Australia said the incident would be “followed up”.   Read More | Do you know who hit the first six in the history of cricket?”It appears there was a miscount of balls in the over, and a seventh ball was allowed by the umpires,” a spokesperson said on the official website. “As the ball was bowled, it is deemed live and consequently the decision stands. The incident will be followed up in Cricket Australia’s general match review process and feedback will of course be taken on board.”Read More | Bhuvneshwar Kumar aims to fill Jasprit Bumrah’s shoesPerth Scorchers registered their second consecutive win but they still remain in last position. Sydney Sixers, despite the loss, are still in third position. Hobart Hurricanes remain on top spot while Sydney Thunder are in second position. Adelaide Strikers, the defending champions, are in fourth spot. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Men’s crew hits water in Boston to open year

first_imgThe Wisconsin men’s rowing team, coming off a season in which they were crowned IRA national champions, will hit the water for the first time this season this weekend at the Head of the Charles meet in Boston.Despite the fact that this meet has no bearing on the regular season, UW head coach Chris Clark is still excited for the race, as he knows the prominence of rowing in the northeast adds to the excitement of beginning a new season.“It’s the first time guys will put on a uniform here at Wisconsin and race since last June,” Clark said in his press conference Monday. “Rowing is a part of life there at Boston. A couple hundred thousand people show to this regatta. It’s a big scene and a lot of fun. There’s 8,500 competitors, and in our particular event there’s about 40 teams. Last year we finished second in the race and were the top college finisher behind only the U.S. Olympic team.”However, Clark knows that this race is only a warm-up for the regular season.“This could be considered preseason, and as much as we’d like to do well here, the races in the spring are the ones that count. It’s an exciting start to the season though, that’s for sure,” Clark said. “[Tuesday] morning will actually be the first time we row our lineup for this race. It will be tough. It always is because there’s not a lot of preparation involved.”Veterans lead the wayThe lack of preparation time won’t hurt the Badgers as much as it could because the team returns six of their top nine rowers from last season.The team lost senior coxswain Adam Barhamand and seniors Derek Rasmussen and Joe McMullin, but returns seniors Grant and Ross James, Max Goff, Zach Krupp, Ed Newman and George Walters from the national championship roster.Clark knows this experience will help his team but isn’t making any guarantees.“Let’s assume that those six will be back and better than ever. And that’s a big assumption. I have no idea who will fill those other spots,” Clark said. “The seniors have to realize that they have to better than the year before and that’s a tough thing to do. They aren’t guaranteed spots, but I’ll be very unhappy if they’re not in that top boat.”Clark also realizes that things may not always be as good as they are now for the Badgers.“I know I’ll be looking back next year and thinking, ‘These were the good old days.’ And I know how quickly things change,” Clark said. “I’m enjoying it while I’ve got guys that are this talented, and some of them really are.”In looking forward to this season, Clark knows that it won’t be easy to repeat but is looking forward to the challenge.“Whatever the feeling I had after last season, I want it again,” Clark said. “It wasn’t flashy, but it sure felt good.”last_img read more