Share on Twitter Share LinkedIn Pinterest Share on Facebook Scientists from Trinity College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) have discovered that abnormalities of blood vessels in the brain may play a major role in the development of schizophrenia, a debilitating condition that affects around 1% of people in Ireland.The network of blood vessels in the brain regulates the transport of energy and materials in and out of the brain — forming what is known as the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Scientists working in the Smurfit Institute of Genetics at Trinity College Dublin and the Department of Psychiatry, RCSI, have discovered that abnormalities in the integrity of the BBB may be a critical component in the development of schizophrenia and other brain disorders.The research, published today in the leading international journal Molecular Psychiatry, was supported by the Health Research Board (HRB), Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the US-based charity, Brightfocus Foundation. Email People living with a chromosomal abnormality termed ’22q11 deletion syndrome’ (22q11DS) are 20 times more likely to develop schizophrenia. These people lack approximately 40-60 genes within a small region in one of the pairs of chromosome 22. A gene termed “Claudin-5” is located within this region, and it is changes in the levels of this component of the BBB that are associated with the presence of schizophrenia.Assistant Professor in Neurovascular Genetics at Trinity, Dr Matthew Campbell, said: “Our recent findings have, for the first time, suggested that schizophrenia is a brain disorder associated with abnormalities of brain blood vessels. The concept of tailoring drugs to regulate and treat abnormal brain blood vessels is a novel treatment strategy and offers great potential to complement existing treatments of this debilitating disease.”“While it is very well accepted that improving cardiovascular health can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attacks, we now believe that drugs aimed at improving cerebrovascular health may be an additional strategy to treating brain diseases in the future.”Working with an international group of scientists from Cardiff University, Stanford University and Duke University in addition to screening post-mortem brain samples from the Stanley Medical Research Institute, the scientists are the first to identify a molecular genetic component of the blood brain barrier with the development of schizophrenia.Professor Kieran Murphy, Head of Department of Psychiatry, RCSI and Consultant Psychiatrist at Beaumont Hospital, said: “We have shown for the first time that dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier may be an important factor in the development of schizophrenia. These findings greatly add to our understanding of this debilitating and socially isolating condition.”
Jan 13, 2012Study: Presence of autoantibodies in population strikingly highMore than 32 million people aged 12 and older in the United States likely have antinuclear antibodies (ANA), which can indicate or be precursors of autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, says a study published yesterday in Arthritis & Rheumatism. The study, from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the University of Florida, Gainesville, is the first to measure the prevalence of ANA, the most common type of autoantibody, in a large, nationally representative sample of the general population. The authors used indirect immunofluorescence to analyze blood serum samples from 4,754 people who were part of NIH’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1999 to 2004. ANA prevalence in the group was 13.8%, which extrapolates to 32 million in the US population. Prevalence increased with age; was higher in females, with the female-male ratio peaking in those 40 to 49 years old; and was higher in African Americans than whites. Unexpectedly, the prevalence was higher in normal-weight than overweight or obese subjects.Jan 13 NIH press releaseArthritis & Rheumatism abstractDogs can harbor norovirusPet dogs may play a role in the transmission of human norovirus, says a study in the Journal of Clinical Virology. Fecal samples from 92 indoor pet dogs from households where the dog or humans had experienced diarrhea or vomiting were screened for a variety of human norovirus genotypes. Four dogs were positive for norovirus genogroup GII, the most common strain circulating in humans. All of the dogs lived in households with small children, and two of the dogs had mild symptoms. The researchers conclude that human norovirus can survive in the canine gastrointestinal tract, although determining whether the virus can replicate there will require further research.Jan 12 J Clin Virol abstractStudy: Linezolid outperforms vancomycin in MRSA pneumoniaIn a multicenter, randomized controlled trial, linezolid was significantly more effective than vancomycin—long the standard therapy—for treating patients with nosocomial methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) pneumonia, according to a report published yesterday in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Patients in the double-blind study were randomly assigned to receive linezolid (600 mg every 12 hours) or vancomycin (15 milligrams per kilogram) every 12 hours for 7 to 14 days. In the per-protocol population, 57.6% (95 of 165) of the linezolid-treated patients achieved clinical success at the end of the study, versus 46.6% (81 of 174) of the vancomycin-treated patients (P=.42). Adverse renal effects were twice as common in the vancomycin patients (7.3% versus 3.7%). However, all-cause mortality at 60 days was similar in the two groups: linezolid, 15.7%; vancomycin, 17.0%. In an accompanying commentary, Antoni Torres of the University of Barcelona writes that current recommendations from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Thoracic Society put linezolid and vancomycin on a similar level. With this study and other recent findings, Torres says, “The recommendations regarding linezolid must be reconsidered and probably expanded. In addition to the better clinical and microbiological cures observed in this study, the risk of renal failure with vancomycin is a strong argument in favor of linezolid.”Jan 12 Clin Infect Dis abstractJan 12 Clin Infect Dis commentary excerptWHO hails India’s polio achievementIn a statement yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) praised India for having gone a year without finding a new polio case, signaling that it has apparently interrupted wild polio virus transmission. The WHO said India’s achievement is notable because the country was once the epicenter of polio. The government reported its last case on Jan 13, 2011, in a 2-year-old girl from West Bengal state. If pending lab tests are negative, India will have stopped indigenous polio transmission, reducing the number of countries that have never accomplished that feat to a historical low of three: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said in the statement, “India’s success is arguably its greatest public health achievement and has provided a global opportunity to push for the end of polio.” The WHO praised India for its leadership and financial commitment to stopping polio transmission, which involved delivering nearly a billion doses of oral polio vaccine each year. India’s achievement comes amid calls for a renewed global push to eradicate the disease.Jan 13 WHO statementJan 9 CIDRAP News storyStudy finds dengue-chikungunya co-infections in IndiaAn analysis of blood tests from patients treated for dengue and chickungunya infections at a tertiary hospital in India revealed that 2.7% of patients who were tested for both viruses had co-infections, according to a letter published online Jan 6 by the Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology. Among 331 samples tested for dengue, 12% (40) were positive. Of 170 samples tested for chikungunya, 19% (33) were positive. Of 72 samples tested for both viruses, 2.7% (2) were positive for both. The authors reported that the clinical pictures for the two diseases are similar, though dengue infections can have more serious outcomes, and both viruses are spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. They suggested that cases of either disease can be missed if both tests aren’t performed, and added that the presence of one disease doesn’t rule out the other. The diseases follow a seasonal pattern, rising in post-monsoon periods, the report said.Jan 6 Indian J Pathol Microbiol letter
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today reported that 45 more people in 19 states have fallen ill with Salmonella poisoning since the CDC’s last update on Mar 15.The agency has now confirmed 132 cases in 32 states tied to the use of kratom, an herbal alternative to opioids. Thirteen states have reported their first infections, bringing the number of affected states to 38.Forty percent of patients (38 of 96 with available information) have required hospitalization, but no deaths have been reported in this outbreak, the CDC said. The update comes just days after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a mandatory recall for all powdered kratom products from Triangle Pharmanaturals, the first-ever mandatory recalled issued by the FDA for a food product. The FDA issued the recall after the Las Vegas–based company failed to voluntarily recall kratom products.On Apr 3, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said, “This action is based on the imminent health risk posed by the contamination of this product with Salmonella, and the refusal of this company to voluntarily act to protect its customers and issue a recall, despite our repeated requests and actions.”It is not yet known if any Triangle products are involved in the current outbreak.Outbreak concentrated on West CoastThe CDC said illness start dates ranged from Jan 11, 2017, to Mar 20 of this year, and any cases occurring on or after Mar 14 may still not be reported. The CDC identified multiple strains of Salmonella involved in the 132 cases: Salmonella I 4,,12:b:- (61 cases), Salmonella Javiana (15), Salmonella Okatie (21), and Salmonella Thompson (35).”Despite the information collected to date about where ill people purchased kratom, a single common brand or supplier of kratom has not been linked to the outbreak. CDC continues to recommend that people not consume kratom in any form because it could be contaminated with Salmonella and could make people sick,” the CDC said.Fifty-seven (73%) of 78 people interviewed reported consuming kratom in pills, powder, or tea in the weeks prior to illness. Kratom is touted as both an herbal stimulant and pain killer, and it is often purchased online and consumed in powder form. Most cases (54%) have occurred in men, with Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho each reporting eight or more cases. Washington, with 13, has the most cases.Whole-genome sequencing performed on isolates taken from 60 patients has shown no signs of antibiotic resistance, the CDC said.See also:Apr 6 CDC update Apr 3 CIDRAP News story “Tainted kratom prompts first mandatory FDA food product recall”
By Fr. Glenn Jones:“Beware the ides of March!”, Shakespeare places on the lips of Caesar’s soothsayer. You might think that Shakespeare had some insight into 2020 with this coronavirus thing. It’s interesting—and most humbling—how a microscopic thing can bring the macro human world almost to its knees. The mightiest man … the most beautiful woman … the most powerful politician—little difference to a little virus. It spits its short little genetic code into a cell … that cell becoming a virus factory (imagine a document taking over your copier). Wash, rinse, repeat, goes the cycle ‘til our heroes—white blood cells—charge into the fray.One thing of note is that the recent stories (and eyewitness) of the stockpiling of food and necessities demonstrate to us most starkly how tenuous are our daily lives. For instance, going on a 6:15 a.m. run to the neighborhood market, I thought: “Surely shelves should be stocked … things should be slow … this morning; it’s Saturday, after all. Wrong. Wasn’t too bad when I arrived, but thronged by the time I left just 20 minutes later. Sheesh!In our society we tend to live fairly comfortable and secure lives, and so newly-experienced uncertainty breeds fear, and fear breeds … more fear, even though we know that “fear profits a man nothing”. No more, I think, will we chuckle at the Great Depression generation who would hoard almost anything in their “waste not, want not” philosophy. With even toilet paper harder to find than leftover cupcakes at a daycare, we’ve come to understand those old-timers a bit better.The number of coronavirus cases gradually ticks up, and yet that gradualness is hopefully a good sign, pointing toward the hope that people may be taking things seriously and practicing the hygiene and social distancing which is repeatedly emphasized ad nauseam by authorities and medical experts. Repeated, but necessary.Such is a portion of the societal team effort that will eventually assist in bringing this situation closer to its end. And while uncertainty breeds fear, we mustn’t let that fear overwhelm civility and care for one another, remembering that “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18) After all, the real test of one’s character and the character of a society is the behavior during adversity, or when doubt and uncertainty tempt toward fear. Indeed, “civilization” depends upon us being “civil” and unselfish with one another, as St. Paul writes: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)Thus God commands us to love and to care for each other, as St. Paul says in another place: “…love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8) Jesus Himself said: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34) And just how much did Jesus love all—and each—of us? We need only gaze upon a crucifix to behold it.Certainly we can choose to digress—de-evolve, so to speak—toward animalistic selfishness, or we can be truly human—seeking the good of the many over myopic self-centeredness. After all, what does it mean to be “in-human” but to be cruel, selfish, uncaring. Without feeling for the other?So leave that yet another super mega pack of toilet paper for someone else—maybe the elderly couple hoping to just survive the gauntlet of raucous shoppers, or the pregnant single mother with two little ones in tow who just got off work from her crummy job. As teammates support one another on the field or on the court, let us support one another even to self-sacrifice, looking toward the finish and helping one another along the way, for the victory of each contributes to the victory of all … the defeat of one contributes to the defeat of all.People inevitably ask in these sorts of situations: “Is this a trial/punishment/plague from God?” Well … no one can really say; maybe yes, maybe no. But for anyone to claim to know God’s thoughts and plans is the height of arrogance, forgetting: “…my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)Yet whatever trial we endure, we also remember that God’s ultimate plan is for our eternal good, not necessarily our temporal good. Virtue, not wealth and ease or material security, is what He calls us to. For instance, if a trial or hardship leads an evil person towards repentance and conversion to the good and to the salvation God offers to all, then the hardship was really a gift in disguise. Likewise, our helplessness when confronted with such trials helps to center us toward the things that truly matter: family, friends, and living a good and holy life. And so we remember St. Paul again: “…if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God…[so] I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:13-18) Have a good—and peaceful—week.“Though the fig tree do not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength…” (Habakkuk 3:17-19)Rev. Glenn Jones is the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and former pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Los Alamos.
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The record growth was driven a 5.9 percent improvement in container volumes handled and a 5.6 percent surge in liquid bulk. However, dry bulk was down 6.1 percent year-on-year. In total, 9,884,522 tonnes of conventional breakbulk was handled at the port of Antwerp during 2014, down 2 percent on the 2013 total. Ro-ro traffic also fell by 2 percent year-on-year to 4,470,346 tonnes. The total number of cars handed fell by 8.1 percent to 1,195,161 units. In 2014 a total of 14,009 seagoing ships called at the port of Antwerp. This is 1.5 percent fewer than 2013. However, the overall gross tonnage rose by 1.7 percent to 335,275,551 gross tonnes. The number of ultra-large container ships (larger than 10,000 teu) calling at the gateway totaled 266 by the end of December 2014 – 68 more than in 2013.www.portofantwerp.com
Taking time to actually talk through and role play potential scenarios that might develop in the playground or on a play date will help your child feel more confident to use these conflict resolution strategies when needed. Encourage imaginative playImaginative play provides a powerful safe haven for children to work through overwhelming emotions, to make sense of things they have seen, heard or learned from others, and for processing social interactions, including conflicts. Having the space, time and freedom to play imaginatively, provides children with a sense of power – they feel in control, capable of figuring things out, of thinking things through and solving problems. In play therapy for example therapists often see elements of a child’s real life experiences re-enacted in imaginative play and can guide them in terms of expressing their feelings and then imagining appropriate pro-social responses. Host regular play dates in the safety of homeRegular play dates provide your child with real life opportunities to develop friendships and to practise pro-social behaviour, with your support, and away from the stress of the school playground or other larger group setting. As much as we try to avoid it, conflict is a normal and unavoidable part of life and relationships. Additionally, experiencing strong emotions, including anger and aggression, is part of our innate emotions. These feelings are signals that help to protect us from real or perceived threat, and helps us to establish healthy boundaries and assert our needs. However, as children, we don’t yet have the capacity to manage these powerful emotions and so, how parents support and assist children to make sense of these feelings, provides opportunities for them to learn to manage conflict from an early age. Helping children learn to manage conflict effectively will also help them to experience more fulfilling friendships and enjoy better social experiences. Of course, how well children are able to resolve conflict is directly related to their age, stage of development and life experiences. For example, a young child may not know how to compromise without assistance or have the emotional capacity to empathise with the needs of others. Equipping children of all ages with the strategies provided will help them to harness their feelings, develop more pro-social behaviour as well as become more equipped at resolving inevitable conflicts. Learning to manage strong emotionsWhile children do experience very strong innate emotions, including anger, aggression and frustration, it is important that they learn that yelling, physically attacking or intimidating others do not help to resolve conflict. Helping children to learn simple strategies for remaining calm, such as taking a deep breath or stopping and counting to 10 to regain their capacity to think before acting, is an important part of the process of learning to manage difficult feelings and effectively dealing with conflict. Talk and listenSpeak to your child about their feelings being normal and giving these feelings expression through words which will prevent them from needing to act these out indiscriminately. This helps your child to recognise the value of using words and speaking clearly to solve conflict. Work together to develop phrases that they can say to help find a solution for the conflict. For example they can learn to say, “I/we can talk about how I/we feel and find a way that will work for me and you/others.” Learning to say how they feel and what they wish would happen, rather than attributing blame and overly focusing on who caused the conflict, are also important skills to develop. For example they can say, “I am angry that you took my ball and need you to ask me first”.Being a good listener is also a valuable skill to learn. Helping children learn to listen to each other can be difficult, especially when they are very young and/or emotionally upset or overwhelmed. Trying to talk things through when they are feeling upset or tired will not be helpful and could only make matters worse. In these instances, it is often best to wait until your child is calm and less emotional or tired, before proceeding with any talk about conflict resolution strategies. Problem-solving together to find a solutionInitially children will need help to navigate the process of brainstorming potential solutions together, with the aim being able to find a solution that makes everyone happy. For younger children, keep the options limited and simple. For example, you can ask them what do they think will help to solve the problem and then add your thoughts or ideas that are simple and uses age-appropriate language. For older children, remind them that everyone has the right to be heard and that no idea is silly or stupid. Encourage fairnessTalk regularly with children about the benefits of being kind, practising fairness and sharing with others. Catch them doing the right thing as often as you can – rewarding positive pro-social behaviour with lots of verbal encouragement. While young children find it difficult to understand why they need to “take turns”, they will often be more willing to share when encouraged to let the other child have a turn once they have had their turn – this gives the child a sense of controlover the situation and the act of sharing, rather than it being something they are being forced to do by an adult. When they feel that they have been given a fair opportunity at having their turn, they will be more open to allowing another to take a turn, and in the meanwhile you can provide generous dollops of praise (verbal rewards) for them being able to wait their turn. When nothing else worksTeach your child that it is okay to walk away when nothing else works, and that they can feel safe to come to you or another trusted adult to seek assistance in resolving difficult situations and being comforted while struggling with this. Its also vital for all children to learn that life/reality has limits and that they will not always get what they want. Role play friendship-related scenariosUse role play to help your child feel more comfortable employing the strategies outlined above.
MONTGOMERY, AL – MARCH 25: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking before crowd of 25,000 Selma To Montgomery, Alabama civil rights marchers, in front of Montgomery, Alabama state capital building. On March 25, 1965 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Photo by Stephen F. Somerstein/Getty Images) MIAMI, Florida – It’s a sense of pride for the African-American community that one of the first holidays in 2020 commemorates the birthday of Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 20.The historical milestone and impact of Dr. King’s birthday and life achievements may not resonate as much to the younger generation as it in the 1950s and 1960s when he fearlessly stood up to the establishment to fulfill his dream of securing equal rights and justice among America’s diverse races. As his birthday is again commemorated, Dr. King may best be remembered for his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington for jobs and freedom in 1963.The visionary leader’s speech at the height of the Civil Rights Movement highlighting his vision for racial equality in America inspired millions from all races.It’s ironic that after all the optimism the speech created then, and the resulting success King had in the passage of the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Act in 1965, King’s dream of a racially united nation remains elusive.Most likely, if Dr. King were around today, he would have felt he failed in his ambitions for an America where the races live and work together in peace.When he made the memorable speech, the racial divide in America was very stark, especially in the Southern states, including Florida. African-Americans struggled to be recognized, for access to restaurants and movie theaters, much less attend schools or colleges that previously accepted only white students.Believing in the creed stated in the American constitution that “all men are created equal” it was King’s quest that these words be lived, and real racial and economic freedom and equality would be achieved in America.Fifty-seven later, it would be disingenuous to say that blacks in America have not made significant social and economic progress. There are more liberties that this race currently enjoy that couldn’t even be contemplated in1963. However, there are still too many overt and covert forces that continue to keep the black and white races apart. Moreover, the gulf between some white and black communities has widened.On reflection, black America misread the significance of 2008 with the election of America’s first black president. Most blacks, in their elation, saw this as a manifestation of King’s dream with a coalition of races voting Barack Obama into office.However, this historical election unveiled the camouflage that covered racism in America, exposing the sad truth that a large percentage of Americans were aggressively opposed to racial equality. Especially, it disclosed that the majority of the white race resisted a president who emerged from a once ostracized minority race.After Obama’s election, more evidence of America’s deep racism was revealed. This ranged from the disrespect for him as president and attempts to block his presidential agenda; attempts to block the registration of black voters and obstacles placed to those who already have the right to vote; the spread of low-income black communities characterized by inadequate housing and high unemployment; the deterioration in the criminal justice system reflected in continued imbalance between the incarceration of black youth compared to white youth; and, most disconcerting, the decline in the relationships between some white law enforcement officers and black residents in several communities.Sadly, instead of focusing on building bridges to improve relationships between the races, some politicians are currently targeting support from black Americans solely for political gain. However, by doing this, these politicians may not even be aware they have increased the power of black voters.It’s a fact that in several voting districts in America, and definitely in the presidential elections, candidates will be unlikely to succeed in their election bid without the support of the black vote. In South Florida, black voters, mostly concentrated in Broward and Palm Beach counties, are one of the most important voting blocs nationally.As candidates compete for the black vote, it’s the perfect opportunity for voters to ensure the candidates are focused on issues crucial to their economic and social well-being and not just selling empty promises.This is the reason why it’s important for blacks to continue to register to vote and vote heavily in this year’s elections. The black vote is more than a means of electing officials who they believe will support them. It is definitely a potential path to racial equality.The voting rights Dr. King succeeded in obtaining in 1965 may be the link to the racial equality he envisioned in his famous speech. The more influential the black vote becomes, the more elected officials should begin focusing on meeting demands from the black community, ensuring the policies that are implemented are more equitable across the different races.Hopefully, November 2020 will reflect the beginning of this equity.
Share Share Share 373 Views no discussions Tweet Mickey Moreau (left) and Hon. Joseph Issaac (right) Sharing is caring! LocalNews Government contributes to bringing back Fete L’audre Bord by: – June 27, 2019 Thanks to the generosity of the Government of Dominica, EC$25,000 has been injected into the revamping of the Potterville Feast Fete L’audre Bord.On June 25, 2019, Dominica Labour Party (DLP) Candidate for the Roseau North constituency, Honorable Joseph Isaac presented the cheque to the Pottersville Development Committee for the activities which will be held from June 28-30th 2019.He expressed his interest in titivating the feast which has been dormant for a number of years, alongside the youth in his constituency.“I am very pleased with the leadership that the young guys have shown where they have decided to come together, joining with the Pottersville committee and they established a subcommittee for the implementation for fete L’audre Bord. At this time I would like to commend them and I like their energy and I’m happy to see that they are very concerned about their community.”He went on to note that he will play an integral role in the continuation of such activity, and this donation from the government is a signal of what’s to come.“With this initial contribution, for the first year, in the re-establishment of fete L’audre Bord, l’d want to wish them well. I will form an integral part of their implementation and not just leave them on their own; the little that I know it is at their service. As I have always said I am available to help, anytime the youth need me. We had a lot of interaction where we have a lot of debates as to what I need to do for Pottersville, so that’s just a start,” Isaac revealed.Meantime, vice chairman of the Pottersville Development Committee, Michael ‘Mickey’ Moreau, expressed gratitude to the Minister for the Government’s assistance in “opening its hand to the Pottersville Community.”“Thanks to Honorable Isaac, from since he came on board as the Pottersville caretaker, I must say that he has been doing a great job in Pottersville and Fond Cole and the rest of the Roseau North constituency.”He stressed that the return of this activity has been long awaited by residents within the community.“I was told of the event and it has been years now we have not had a feast and every year when that date comes around we always have the young people saying we need our feast and that was a fresh air when Honorable Isaac was sent to us.”The activities will commence on Friday evening with a fish night and move into Saturday with a beach clean-up. On that day, Members of the Gutter Lapo Kabwit will lighten up the streets.On the Sunday, following a church service, the ritual blessing of the boat will be done and the main activity will commence on the Pottersville highway with entertainment from Calypsonian Sour Sour and Shadow Flow, The First Serenade Band, Signal Band, Colton T, Keks Mafia and others.As highlighted, proceeds from the events will be donated to the proprietor of well known, “Juice Man Cafe & Night Club” Fredrick Joseph whose establishment was destroyed as a result of a fire on Monday evening.Hon. Issac presenting the cheque to a member of the sub committee
mm-Wave products, microelectronic assembly and rapid prototyping expert, QuinStar, has partnered with hardware solutions provider, TeraSys Technologies, to advance their testing capacity. QuinStar’s production backlog was growing rapidly and acceptance testing was becoming a bottleneck. Rather than hiring more workers and running the risk of overstaffing, they decided to investigate test automation solutions. The company needed an automation solution provider that understood the nuances of millimeter-wave testing.QuinStar was facing the problem most businesses want to solve: product orders were increasing beyond what their production team could support. The company’s customer requirements impose a high degree of per-unit acceptance testing including long duration tests over different temperature ranges. QuinStar prides itself on providing a stable work environment, so they are cautious about hiring during production spikes. At the same time, QuinStar also strives to provide its workers with work-life balance—requiring 24/7 availability was not an option. They thus decided for test automation technology.The Solution: Turnkey Test Automation with LabviewOne major requirement for the automation solution was that it had to be fully turnkey. Once a technician started the test, the company wanted every step to be 100% automatic including the creation of the test report document. To make this happen, QuinStar wanted a solution provider that understood the nuances of RF and millimeter-wave testing, something that an application-agnostic supplier couldn’t offer. Within 6 weeks, the company built an automation routine to calibrate the test setup, and then cycle through a sequence of temperature, RF power levels, and frequencies. Given a typical test sequence often amounted to over 150 test points, the automation dramatically sped up testing – and eliminated human error. They also wrote a custom ActiveX data translation module to transpose the data onto MS Excel spreadsheets and format them to the exact specifications for each of QuinStar’s customers.QuinStar’s new automation solution has been operating for a few months now and has tripled the test station’s throughput capacity. Test runs during normal business hours readily meet production schedules. From a financial perspective, QuinStar will rapidly achieve a positive return-on-investment from their automation solution. Due to the increased throughput, the company’s investment will pay for itself after testing its 120th unit—a milestone they will likely meet in the next quarter. Based on the success of this program, QuinStar is considering additional candidates for test automation.