Red Force wary of Jaguars’ spin for NAGICO Super50 semi-final

first_imgPORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):Defending champions Trinidad and Tobago Red Force are wary of a dangerous spin attack when they meet Guyana Jaguars in the first semi-final of the NAGICO Super50 Tournament at the Queen’s Park Oval here today, starting at 12:30 p.m. (Jamaica time).Captain Jason Mohammed has admitted that his batsmen will have to step up if they are to defeat the persistent Jaguars and remain on course to retain their title.”I think the batting department is going to be the most difficult part of it. We see that the pitch is spinning a lot, and they have some quality spinners, but in saying that we have some quality batters in our team as well,” said Mohammed.”So I think we have the ammunition to counteract the Guyana bowlers, and hopefully we will come out on top tomorrow in terms of the batting, and the bowling will take care of itself.”In the preliminary phase of the tournament, Guyana posted four wins and suffered two defeats, while Trinidad and Tobago registered four wins and one loss.”It’s going to be a tough game; at the end of the day, we have to enjoy it as cricketers. This is the moment we cherish, when we beat the best team and we come up good against the best team and the best bowlers.”The match will be a repeat of last year’s grand final when the Red Force – inspired by a hundred from current captain Jason Mohammed and spell-binding bowling from champion spinner Sunil Narine – completed a comprehensive 135-run victory to take the title.”I don’t think the guys will be thinking a lot about it (revenge),” declared Leon Johnson, the captain of the Guyana Jaguars.”I think it will be a negative … us losing last year in the finals to Red Force … but we will probably have it a little bit in the back of our minds.”We just have to go out and play the game hard,” he said. “They will have a lot of crowd support obviously, and we normally get good support here in Trinidad as well, so we are looking forward to a good game.”last_img read more

SA-developed HIV vaccines being tested

first_imgClinical testing of two locally developed HIV vaccines has begun in Cape Town and Johannesburg, as part of the Medical Research Council’s South African Aids Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI). The safety trial, being conducted jointly with the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), will test the two vaccines that were developed by the University of Cape Town through joint funding from SAAVI and the NIAID. Professor Anna-lise Williamson, head of the vaccine development team and joint staff member of UCT’s Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine and the National Health Laboratory Services, explained that the transition from laboratory to human testing would not have been possible without the support of a large team from the University of Cape Town, together with national and international collaborators. The trial has been reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration, who allowed the trial to move forward through the usual review process. It has also been approved by the South African Medicines Control Council and the Directorate of Biosafety in the Department of Agriculture, which approves products using genetically modified organisms. “If data from this clinical trial is promising, we intend to move into the next phase of trials, which will involve about 200 participants and will look at further safety and immunogenicity data.” Further trials SAAVI director Elise Levendal said the start of the safety trial was made possible by the excellent collaboration between researchers, scientists and communities. Regulatory approvals Vaccine design, manufacture “An effective vaccine against HIV/Aids remains a top global health priority, and it is our hope that the evaluation of these vaccines in clinical trial will provide some important answers that will bring us closer towards this goal,” she said. The vaccines will be tested in a prime-boost approach, with the SAAVI DNA-C2 vaccine being given to prime the immune response and the SAAVI MVA-C vaccine to boost or enhance the immune response. Research collaboration “Both the Cape Town and Johannesburg sites have been preparing communities, potential recruits and undergoing site preparation for some time,” she said, adding that the sites had been preparing for many months in order to recruit the most suitable people. Institutional review boards or research ethics committees at each participating institution have also reviewed and approved the trial. “The vaccine designs are based on HIV subtype C, the dominant strain circulating in southern Africa,” he said. “They are the first HIV test vaccines developed in Africa to make it into human clinical trials.” In a statement this week, MRC president Anthony Mbewu said that the development of the vaccines was the culmination of eight years of research and development that involved scientists from across South Africa and the rest of the globe. Successful vaccination Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, principal investigator for the Cape Town trial site and director of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, said researchers had been eagerly awaiting the go-ahead to begin recruiting participants for the landmark study. 22 July 2009 The test vaccines, called SAAVI MVA-C and SAAVI DNA-C2, have shown promising results in animal testing. The DNA vaccine was constructed in South Africa using a plasmid backbone provided by the Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center of NIAID and manufactured in the US by Althea Technologies, while the MVA vaccine was designed by the team at UCT and constructed and manufactured in the US by Therion Biologics. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material The tests follow the successful enrolment and vaccination of 12 volunteers in Boston, USA, and the local researchers plan to recruit 36 participants from the Crossroads Clinic in Cape Town and the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg.last_img read more

Forrester: If You Think Social Media Marketing is Worthless, You’re Doing it Wrong

first_imgRelated Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification mike melanson The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Has your company spent seemingly countless hours tweeting on Twitter, networking on Facebook and writing the company blog? Have you found yourself wondering if it’s all a waste of time? Maybe that last Facebook fan page contest saw fewer entries than you’d hoped for, or that last Twitter-only coupon had fewer redemptions than you’d expected, but perhaps that’s not all that matters.According to the the latest report by analyst firm Forrester, many people are looking at the face-value dollars and cents of social media marketing and, put simply, they’re doing it wrong. Beyond clicks and coupon redemptions there lies a case for social media marketing that shows its value is well beyond what we see on the surface.Analyst and report author Augie Ray writes in a blog post this morning that traditional measurements of success for return on investment in social media marketing lead to an incomplete picture.Many marketers can draw a straight line between investments in social media marketing and financial results, but many more cannot.  This doesn’t mean social media marketing is ineffective; it just means that marketers have to recognize benefits beyond dollars and cents.  Facebook fans, retweets, site visits, video views, positive ratings and vibrant communities are not financial assets–they aren’t reflected on the balance sheet and can’t be counted on an income statement–but that doesn’t mean they are valueless.  Instead, these are leading indicators that the brand is doing something to create value that can lead to financial results in the future. Ray suggests that we look at ROI in terms of four perspectives – financial, digital, brand and risk management. For each, however, Ray says that we should go beyond the surface to evaluate success. Financial ROI, for example, can be measured in terms of online coupon redemption, but also in other ways. He gives the example of online retailer Petco.com. It has found that “Products with reviews have return rates that are 20% lower than those without reviews – and the return rate is 45% lower for products with more than 25 reviews – saving on shipping, restocking, and customer service costs.”Similarly, looking at risk management, Ray notes that “this perspective is not about creating positive ROI but reducing unforeseen negative ROI in the future.” By estimating the likelihood and potential cost of PR issues over time, a company could also estimate how much it might save by way of using social media. Tags:#advertising#NYT#social networks#web As for brand, Ray writes that “marketers don’t need to reinvent brand metrics for the social media age” and that evaluating brand online is the same as it was offline. In terms of brand, it comes down to simple measurements – such as awareness, purchase intent, preference and brand association – and whether or not online efforts are helping to improve numbers in those realms. The final perspective offered by Ray – the digital perspective – is more easily measured. Ray points to efforts by Swanson Health Products, which “improved the visibility of its product reviews to search engines” and subsequently “saw a 163% increase in search engine traffic to product pages”.In the end, the report cautions that not all social media marketing efforts will result in ROI (a term Ray implores companies to use only when speaking of directly measurable financial gain), and that we need to move beyond counting retweets and Facebook fans. Many marketing investments are not intended to furnish immediate financial results but instead create long-term brand value. The greatest and most valuable brands weren’t created in one quarter to the next but with an eye toward building lasting relationships with customers. Smart marketers are coming to recognize the way social media marketing can deliver on those same long-term values and are building programs with strategies and metrics to suit.In short, Ray seems to be reinforcing a simple idea that many of those who are tech savvy already embrace: Social media, any way you slice it, is worth the effort and the investment. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…last_img read more

NBA free agency could make Raptors, Warriors both losers

first_imgTORONTO, ONTARIO – MAY 30: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors is defended by Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors in the second quarter during Game One of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on May 30, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFPDefending champion Golden State and the Toronto Raptors are battling for supremacy in the NBA Finals, but both teams could lose superstar talent in upcoming free agency for next season.Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard and Marc Gasol and Golden State’s injured Kevin Durant as well as Klay Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins are among those expected to be highly prized free agents on the market next month for the 2019-20 campaign.ADVERTISEMENT ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Players can agree on contract terms for next season starting in July and begin signing new deals on July 6.Durant, Leonard and Gasol have contract options allowing them to opt out of deals and become free agents after the NBA Finals, as do such stars as Boston’s Kyrie Irving and Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsThompson and Cousins become free agents once the Warriors’ season is over and their deals conclude.The Raptors made a trade deal last year for Leonard with San Antonio knowing they were guaranteed only one season with Leonard in Toronto. Their move for Gasol with Memphis at the trade deadline was for a top defender to help the title chase but one who could leave afterwards. LATEST STORIES MOST READ Rafael Nadal says he won’t play Wimbledon warmups Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anewcenter_img Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “You hope to build that trust. We know there are two tough moments in sports, trading a player and when a player leaves in free agency. We all have to prepare ourselves for everything. I think we’ve built this trust in a way that whatever it is, we would have prepared ourselves.”Some Raptors fans were excited at a report Leonard bought property in Toronto but he said Sunday that it wasn’t true.There’s a lot of money available and plenty of possibilities.LeBron James would love to lure talent to the Los Angeles Lakers and both Thompson and Leonard are from Los Angeles.Reports and speculation link Durant to the New York Knicks or Los Angeles Clippers and Leonard or Durant, or both, to the Brooklyn Nets, maybe with Irving.‘Nothing is guaranteed’Clippers coach Doc Rivers incurred a $50,000 fine from the NBA for comparing Leonard to retired Chicago Bulls icon Michael Jordan.“I don’t really think my legacy is going to ever reach the potential of Michael Jordan,” Leonard said. “I just want to play and let people remember I played hard at both ends of the floor, I was a winner, and that’s basically it.”The Knicks can be the big spenders in free agency with nearly $73 million available while the Clippers have nearly $60 million and the Nets about $54 million.The Warriors can offer Thompson a five-year deal for $190 million, better terms than rivals, but that hasn’t stopped Thompson from fielding questions about his legacy.“I just try to enjoy the journey,” he said. “You wish to have no end in sight, but everything that’s great always comes to an end. So whether that’s tomorrow or four years from now, you never know. Raptors president Masai Ujiri, who is from Nigeria, says regardless of how the finals turn out, the trust built over the journey will be critical in Toronto’s chances of persuading Leonard to stay.“We’re going to be us,” Ujiri said. “Kawhi Leonard is a superstar and we’re going to treat him like a superstar, but we’re also going to do all the natural things I think will help us get to that level to convince Kawhi that this is the place for him.“The future conversations I’ve had with Kawhi are about the Golden State Warriors and that’s his mindset, what’s at hand right now, what’s the job right now. And the job right now is to beat the Golden State Warriors.”Ujiri realizes the deal must work for the club and Leonard, who has had to adjust to life in a new nation.“When he sees with the city, the fan base, basketball, coaching, everything almost has to come together naturally,” Ujiri said.ADVERTISEMENT “That’s the beauty of life. You just got to go out and enjoy every minute with the group of guys you got, because in professional sports nothing is ever guaranteed.” View commentslast_img read more

Scientific reticence A threat

first_imgThe philosophy of science is of rigour and caution. Scientists are trained to look at a problem from multiple perspectives and use all available tools to arrive at the most robust conclusion. In the case of peer-reviewed journals, scientists and experts assess the validity and accuracy of the findings in an extensive review process. This is the best system we have come up with, over multiple generations, to produce the most accurate and reliable knowledge. Also Read – A special kind of bondUnfortunately, when it comes to climate change, the need for excessive caution and absolute certainty of results is manifesting as silence from the mainstream science on the worst yet probable consequences and the worst-case scenarios that are looking increasingly likely. To better understand this, let us consider two examples where this silence is most prominent and also most concerning. The first is related to the debate around the global warming targets set by the United Nations’ IPCC in the landmark Paris agreement. Also Read – Insider threat managementIn the 2015 agreement, countries pledged to restrict greenhouse gas emissions “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and 1.5°C, above pre-industrial levels (around 1850s). It was signed by almost all countries of the world. Over the past couple of years, these targets have been largely accepted in the scientific community and among policymakers as “safe” guardrails beyond which we might be in serious trouble. However, warming, even at 1.5°C, could essentially lock-in irreversible collapse of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and raise global sea-level by multiple metres, argued experts who study land and sea-ice. While the amount and rate of sea-level rise are uncertain, the basic ice-sheet physics shows that it will certainly happen, at a rate that will be faster than ever seen before. The changes will also be irreversible. Moreover, some studies have also shown that even a 1.5°C or 2°C temperature rise could be enough to trigger a number of self-reinforcing warming feedback loops. The loops include physical processes caused by rising global temperatures that themselves cause more warming. Some of such loops have already started rolling, for instance, the vanishing Arctic sea-ice loop. When these processes are triggered they will naturally and certainly lead to greater warming, which would essentially be out of human control. In light of these facts, the idea that 1.5°C and 2°C are ‘safe’ seems more like a failure in the effective communication of consequences by the mainstream scientific community. Second, what is largely ignored in climate debates is the way that the IPCC suggests to achieve 1.5°C and 2°C targets. The global body inherently assumes the use of technologies for carbon capture and sequestration to curb carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. While science shows that we can, in principle, capture CO2 directly from the atmosphere, it has not yet been achieved at the scale that is needed or in a way that is remotely cost-effective. This raises the question: Are we basing our climate change goals and consequently the future of human civilisation along with that of all the other species on the planet on a technology that does not exist yet? This would seem like an absolutely critical point of discussion in the climate debate but, the mainstream scientific community — the IPCC, the policymakers and the governments pay little or no emphasis to this. These are just two examples, which suggest that scientists and experts around the world must speak out more on nuances and the worst-case scenarios that are certainly not obvious to the general public. Given the high stakes and far-reaching human consequences of climate change, it could be argued that it should almost be a moral obligation for the scientists to speak out more than they have been. “Challenges faced by scientists in finding the right balance between reticence and speaking out are both ethical and methodological,” according to a study published last year in the journal Ethics, Policy and Environment. “Scientists need a framework within which to find this balance. Such a framework can be found in the long-established practices of professional ethics (for example, that followed by engineers and medical practitioners),” it added. The study discusses plausible reasons (good and bad) for scientific reticence, ranging from a simple and understandable fear of being wrong because of uncertainty in predictions to other reasons like fear of losing funding and facing disapproval from colleagues and the community at large. It goes on to propose that scientists may be subject to the same code of moral ethics — Duty to Report and Epistemic Privilege — as other professionals in fields such as engineering and medicine. The Duty to Report says, “[they] must act out of a sense of duty, with full knowledge of the effect of their actions, and accept responsibility for their judgement [in a way that is] open, personal, [and] conducted with the interest of the public in mind.” Epistemic Privilege means that professionals are presumed to have access to knowledge that is not available to other members of society. It is entirely appropriate, and indeed it may be required, for them to speak out — even if there is an appreciable chance that they are wrong. (Pushp Bajaj is a freelance science journalist. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more