Compass to acquire Bold New York

first_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Tags Bold New YorkbreakingcompassJordan SachsResidential BrokeragesRobert Reffkin Share via Shortlink Message* Founded in 2012, Compass has become one of the biggest firms in New York City, with more than 2,100 agents. Nationally, the 18,000-agent firm closed $91.4 billion in 2019 sales, according to Real Trends.Compass did not immediately return a request for comment.Despite the strength of the U.S. housing market, New York has seen declining rents, record concessions and high vacancy. In January, Manhattan’s median rent dropped 16.6 percent year-over-year to $3,000, according to data from Miller Samuel. In Brooklyn, the 13.8 percent year-over-year drop to $2,472 was the largest decline since 2008.Rental brokers have also been squeezed by policy changes over the past couple of years, including New York’s overhaul of rent stabilization and last year’s ban on tenant-paid broker fees.Many agents have also been frustrated by daily fees to post rental listings on StreetEasy.Since 2018, Compass has aggressively ramped up growth by acquiring firms around the country. In New York it struck a deal in 2019 to buy Stribling & Associates, one of the city’s last independent firms with 270 agents.The brokerage industry has been consolidating over the past year. In January 2020 the Corcoran Group officially merged with sister company Citi Habitats. In June, Brown Harris Stevens merged with its sister company Halstead.Amid the pandemic, Compass has continued to add agents and make acquisitions, most recently striking a deal to buy title startup Modus.In January, Compass filed confidentially to go public. The SoftBank-backed firm, which has raised $1.5 billion from investors, was last valued at $6.4 billion after a July 2019 funding round.This story is breaking. Return to this page for updates.Contact E.B. Solomont Compass CEO Robert Reffkin and Bold CEO Jordan Sachs (Photos via Compass, Bold/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)Compass is acquiring Bold New York, a 10-year-old brokerage with a robust portfolio of rental developments, The Real Deal has learned.The deal, announced by Bold at a town hall meeting Tuesday, will boost the venture-backed firm’s new development marketing division. Bold CEO Jordan Sachs could not immediately be reached for comment.With 120 agents, Bold punches above its weight with exclusives that include Metro Loft Management’s 20 Broad (533 units) and JDS Development Group’s American Copper (671 units). It is also marketing Greystar’s Hollingsworth, a 380-unit building on West 37th Street, and Slate Property Group’s 118-unit rental at 222 Johnson Avenue in Williamsburg.Read moreNYC rental agents divided on broker fee ban Compass files for IPO Compass to buy Stribling Full Name* Email Address*last_img read more

BAE Systems Hires Capita for IT Services (UK)

first_img View post tag: hires May 28, 2014 View post tag: IT Capita plc has recently signed a contract with BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines to become its strategic partner to transform the existing method of IT service delivery for its submarine building business in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. View post tag: Naval Equipment & technology View post tag: UK View post tag: europe Share this article View post tag: Navy The contract is expected to be worth between £60m and £70m over the next five years to Capita. BAE Systems Maritime – Submarines is currently designing and building the Astute class of nuclear powered attack submarines for the UK Royal Navy. It is also leading on the design of a replacement for the Vanguard class submarines.Capita IT Services will deliver an enhanced IT service model across the submarine building business which will be aligned with the wider BAE Systems group IT framework.The new service model will result in reduced service charges and higher levels of IT service management performance through using specialist teams focussed in particular fields, such as end user computing, collaborative services and applications management.This new contract builds on the work that Capita IT Services has provided to the business over the past eight years, including the implementation of servers, wide area networks and local area networks. Capita has also provided technical consultancy and application development, while managing a dedicated on site service desk with the flexibility to oversee a range of IT issues.[mappress]Press Release, May 28, 2014; Image: BAE Systems View post tag: Capita View post tag: BAe Systems View post tag: News by topic View post tag: services Back to overview,Home naval-today BAE Systems Hires Capita for IT Services (UK) BAE Systems Hires Capita for IT Services (UK)last_img read more

Research Specialist

first_imgGeneralSummary/Purpose:The Research Specialist isto be a proficient research and/or clinical laboratory specialistwho has a firm understanding of techniques and a solid foundationin the underlying science, gained from some professionalexperience.The Research Specialistwill place an emphasis on coordination of research sample receipt,shipping, and storage, and have a firm understanding of laboratoryinformation systems and clinical laboratory sciences. Under minimalsupervision of the Laboratory Manager or Medical Director orPrincipal Investigator, they will perform a variety of both routineand complex clinical and/or research laboratory tests in accordancewith established standards and procedures. They will be responsiblefor running lab tests, completes measurements as assigned, identifyand resolve common problems, and uses analytical skills toimplement assigned projects. The Research Specialist will also beexpected to understand the role of senior lab members and acceptsconstructive guidance, set-up experiments based on definedstandards, collect and maintain project data, and provide technicalsupport to other research technologists and research specialists.Specific duties may vary according to rotationassigned.Specific Dutiesand Responsibilities:Performs a variety of bothroutine and complex clinical and/or research laboratory tests inaccordance with established standards and procedures. Prepares anddetermines the suitability of solutions, reagents, and stains,following defined formulas and procedures.Reports and records theoutcomes/results of all tests.Exchanges routineinformation in an appropriate manner requiring good oral andwritten communication. Regular interaction with students, vendors,post-doctoral fellows, faculty members, and other clinicalfellows.Maintains andtroubleshoots equipment, routine repairs or notifying servicepersonnel when more complex problems occur. Performs relateddutiesMay be responsible forroutine operational activities such as; ordering supplies andmaterials, reviewing inventory, maintaining up to date records oftests, etc.Performs preventativemaintenance of equipment.Coordinates researchactivities with some supervisory responsibilities as designated bythe Principal Investigator.Performs miscellaneousrelated duties such as general lab housekeeping and maintainingsafety records.MinimumQualifications (mandatory):Bachelor’s degree inbiological sciences, chemistry, or relatedfield.1 year related clinicaland/or research laboratory experience performing relevant orrelated techniques.Knowledge of good labpractices.PreferredQualifications:Master’s degree, withrelated graduate research, may substitute for experience to theextent permitted by the JHU equivalency formula.JHU Equivalency Formula: 30 undergraduate degree credits (semester hours) or18 graduate degree credits may substitute for one year ofexperience. Additional related experience may substitute forrequired education on the same basis. For jobs where equivalency ispermitted, up to two years of non-related college course work maybe applied towards the total minimum education/experience requiredfor the respective job.Special Knowledge,Skills, and Abilities:Able to workindependently, under minimal supervision.Must have strongdecision-making skills, and be able to exercise goodjudgment.Requires precision andattention to detail.Strong writtencommunication and interpersonal skills.Read and interpret verbaland written directions.Organize and prioritizework and follow through on assignments.Work successfully as partof a team in a high volume, dynamic laboratory.Equipment,Machine, or Tool Requirements:Computer experienceincluding MS Office, Database, and email. Laboratory equipment ortools including but not limited to: HPLC, mass spectrometer,centrifuge, dried blood spot auto sampler (DBSA), ambientionization mass spectrometer sources (e.g. Paper Spray, DESI, FlowProbe).Work Environment /Whileperforming the duties of this job:While performing theduties of this job, the employee may remain in a stationaryposition (sitting or standing) up to 20% of the time. Occasionallyrequired to traverse throughout the laboratory or to retrieveequipment, supplies, or specimens from other locations on campus.The employee is required to operate a computer keyboard, laboratoryinstruments, and small laboratory tools such as pipettes, cuttinginstruments, glass tubes, dishes, and/or slides. Constantlyrepositions self to perform duties at laboratory work stations,gathering specimens and loading equipment.Prolonged visionrequirements including viewing a computer screen, paperreports/documents, charts and results. Visual acuity is required todistinguish fine gradation of color or structure and closelyexamine specimens (including via a microscope).Laboratory environment -Exposure to toxins and infectious agents exist, but potential forpersonal injury or harm is minimized if established safety andhealth precautions are followed. Must refer to and are expected tocomply with procedure manuals, follow proper laboratory protocolsand safety policy/procedures, and be familiar with material datasafety sheets in assigned work areas. Able to read and understandall Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) guidelines applicable tothe assigned work area. Working in a laboratory where there may bediscomforts due to odors, noise, temperature fluctuations, andworking around lab equipment. Research areas may include animal,human, human products, DNA, and radiation protocols. Use ofpersonal protective equipment may be advised orrequired.May transport equipmentand supplies usually less than 40 pounds from one area to another(in the Rangos laboratory or to other East Baltimore campusbuildings). May be required to lift and/or move up to 50 poundswith proper training, or precautions/lifting aides (example: supplyboxes or Formalin cubes). In some areas workspace islimited.Staff may be required tocomplete an annual competency review and must ensure compliancewith Johns Hopkins Policy, Laboratory Policy & Procedure,Health, Safety & Environment regulations, and all applicableprivacy & confidentiality laws/practices.Many departmentlaboratories operate 24/7 with schedules on day, evening, or nightshifts. Rotating schedules which may include weekend work andholiday assignment. (Overtime possible when authorized/needed tomeet business and patient needs).Classified Title: ResearchSpecialistWorking Title: Research Specialist ​​​​​Role/Level/Range: ACRP/03/MAStarting Salary Range: $16.13-$22.16 (commensurate withexperience)Employee group: Full TimeSchedule: M-F 8:30a-5:00pExempt Status: Non-ExemptLocation: 04-MD:School of Medicine CampusDepartment name: 10003048-SOM Pat Clinical ChemistryPersonnel area: School of MedicineThe successfulcandidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employmentbackground check.If you are interested inapplying for employment with The Johns Hopkins University andrequire special assistance or accommodation during any part of thepre-employment process, please contact the HR Business ServicesOffice [email protected] For TTY users, call via MarylandRelay or dial 711.The followingadditional provisions may apply depending on which campus you willwork. Your recruiter will adviseaccordingly.During the Influenza (“theflu”) season, as a condition of employment, The Johns HopkinsInstitutions require all employees who provide ongoing services topatients or work in patient care or clinical care areas to have anannual influenza vaccination or possess an approved medical orreligious exception. Failure to meet this requirement may result intermination of employment.The pre-employmentphysical for positions in clinical areas, laboratories, workingwith research subjects, or involving community contact requiresdocumentation of immune status against Rubella (German measles),Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B anddocumentation of having received the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria,pertussis) vaccination. This may include documentation of havingtwo (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicella vaccines; or antibodystatus to these diseases from laboratory testing. Blood tests forimmunities to these diseases are ordinarily included in thepre-employment physical exam except for those employees who provideresults of blood tests or immunization documentation from their ownhealth care providers. Any vaccinations required for these diseaseswill be given at no cost in our Occupational Healthoffice.Equal OpportunityEmployerNote: Job Postings are updated daily and remain online untilfilled.EEO is theLawLearn more: Apply(This will open in a new window from which you will be automatically redirected to an external site after 5 seconds) Save Research Specialist Salary Not Specified You need to sign in or create an account to save School of Medicine -East Baltimore Campus Twitter Maryland, United States Research Administration Not specified Full Time jobs in Baltimore Share Research Specialist Salary Not Specified You need to sign in or create an account to save The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to apre-employment background check.If you are interested in applying for employment with The JohnsHopkins University and require special assistance or accommodationduring any part of the pre-employment process, please contact theHR Business Services Office at [email protected] For TTYusers, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.The following additional provisions may apply depending on whichcampus you will work. Your recruiter will adviseaccordingly.During the Influenza (“the flu”) season, as a condition ofemployment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employeeswho provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care orclinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination orpossess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meetthis requirement may result in termination of employment.The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas,laboratories, working with research subjects, or involvingcommunity contact requires documentation of immune status againstRubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella(chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received theTdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may includedocumentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicellavaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratorytesting. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases areordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except forthose employees who provide results of blood tests or immunizationdocumentation from their own health care providers. Anyvaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no costin our Occupational Health office.Equal Opportunity EmployerNote: Job Postings are updated daily and remain online untilfilled.EEO is the LawLearn more: legal information Similar jobs Save Research Specialist Facebook Research Specialist Research Specialist You need to sign in or create an account to save More searches like this LinkedIn Academic Affairs Not specified Full Time jobs in Baltimore Administrative Not specified Full Time jobs in Baltimore Johns Hopkins University Maryland, United States Maryland, United States Save Research Specialist Salary Not Specified Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins Universitylast_img read more

States Rushed To Regulate Student Data

first_imgStates Rushed To Regulate Student DataBy Sarah Breitenbach for Stateliness/Pew Charitable TrustsIn recent years states have rushed to regulate how student data can be used by school systems and education technology companies. Now some are considering whether parents should be able to decide how their children’s data is used.What if a child’s performance in a fifth-grade gym class could be used to set the rate for a life insurance policy when they’re 50? What if a computer program advertised interactive tutoring when your child struggled with long division?Privacy advocates worry these scenarios could become reality as schools increasingly rely on outside companies to collect, manage and analyze the massive amount of data gleaned from standardized tests, transcripts, individual education programs and even cafeteria purchases.This subcontracting is not new or uncommon, but it has often left school districts without explicit control over students’ personal information. And it has left some parents, administrators and privacy advocates worried that those companies might one day sell or mine the data for a profit.With few protections on the privacy of student data beyond a decades-old federal law, states have been scrambling to regulate how student data is collected and stored. More recently they’ve begun governing how third-party companies can use student information.In 2014, 21 states passed 26 student data laws mostly targeted at states and school districts. Many echoed a 2013 Oklahoma law that requires state approval to release student data and mandates that only aggregated data — no data tied to individual students — can be released.By last year, lawmakers had shifted their focus to third-party companies. They passed 28 student privacy laws, in many cases mirroring a California statute that prohibits service providers from using data to target ads to students, selling student information, and creating student profiles for commercial purposes.This year nine states — Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia — have added 11 new student data laws, mostly based on the California standard. A similar proposal is awaiting the signature of Colorado’s governor.It’s impossible to know how companies could or would use the information they collect, said Joel Reidenberg, a privacy expert and law professor at Fordham University.“What are they going to do with it? Are they going to use it for experimentation? Data analytics?” he said. “Will it wind up 10 years down the road being used in an insurance underwriting decision?”School districts and their vendors are required to keep educational records confidential, under the 1974 federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. But the law, written at a time when protecting student data simply meant locking a filing cabinet, is ambiguous about some of the non-academic data now collected in schools.“It’s not at all clear that what a child eats in the lunchroom would be considered an educational record,” Reidenberg said.Regulating Third PartiesFewer than 7 percent of school systems’ contracts for cloud computing services restrict vendors’ sale or marketing of student data, a 2013 study by Reidenberg and Fordham’s Center on Law and Information Policy found. A quarter of districts using those services tell parents about their relationships with vendors. One in five don’t have policies governing the use of online services.School systems should be restricting the way their vendors use student data, Reidenberg said, and the 2013 study proves they are just not exerting that control. He worries what could happen if companies continue unrestricted.“I don’t think it’s appropriate for commercial vendors to be able to data mine what a child is doing in a classroom and develop a commercial product to sell back to other school districts,” Reidenberg said.But Brendan Desetti, director of education policy for the Software and Information Industry Association, said vendors are not interested in advertising.He said the California model governing third-party data management makes sense, and he hopes states won’t deviate too far from it because similar laws help companies conform across state lines. “At the end of the day, we want to comply.”Desetti also points to the Student Privacy Pledge, a promise made by education technology companies to not sell student information, keep the data longer than it is needed by a school system, or disclose student information for advertising.The pledge, which was started in 2014 and has 275 signatories, including Apple and Google, can be enforced by the Federal Trade Commissions if a company is found to violate its promise.But despite the pledge and states’ efforts to replicate the California law, Reidenberg said many states are too focused on making sure the data isn’t used for marketing and advertising. States also need to worry about whether the data that’s collected is being used for secondary purposes, such as using a student’s performance to develop and sell a curriculum, how long the information is kept, whether parents have a right to know who is using their children’s data, and if there is a means to correct inaccurate data.“It’s just a whole host of good data practices, fair data practices that are not covered by a statute focused only on marketing,” he said.Opting Out?States and school districts have long used electronic databases to keep grades and attendance, but more recently, schools are using online services and apps as part of classroom instruction.As more teachers turn to these programs and social media as a regular part of their curriculum, states need to safeguard children’s data, said Rachel Anderson with the Data Quality Campaign, a nonprofit focused on how data is used in education. Not because education technology companies are breaking the law, she said, but because regulations need to reflect changes in education.States are looking for ways to be more transparent about the programs they use and how children’s data is being collected. Some have explored laws that would allow parents to opt out of data collection or the submission of personal data to education technology companies.Between 2014 and 2015, state legislators introduced 98 bills that included opt-in or opt-out provisions, and this year Arizona passed a law requiring schools to obtain parents’ permission before collecting certain data.But the Data Quality Campaign suggests these proposals shouldn’t be treated as privacy protection because they force parents to assess the risk of data-sharing without giving them adequate context to decide how their children’s information should be used. Instead, some advocacy groups say, school districts need to be more transparent about the collection and use of student information.“The conversation is looking different in every state and district at this point,” Anderson said. “Some states are really taking the approach of parents can decide if they want to opt in or out of these additional recommendations.”FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Watch Widespread Panic Cover Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” At The Mann

first_imgLast night, Widespread Panic continued their run of the Northeast with a performance at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, PA. After wrapping up two classic shows at the new venue in Coney Island, NY, anticipation was high for this late-summer Sunday performance.Fortunately, Panic brought the heat all night, opening with a cover of Neil Young’s “Walk On,” before a great series of prized originals spanned the entire first set. The band ultimately closed out set one with a rendition of Buffalo Springfield’s classic “For What It’s Worth,” which you can watch below.Watch Widespread Panic’s take on “For What It’s Worth” below, courtesy of Bill Cochran.Set two opened with the classic Bob Dylan song “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” and featured “You Should Be Glad” and The Meters’ “It Ain’t No Use.” The band even welcomed some guests during the “Drums” segment that followed “Impossible,” as Sikiru Adepoju and Richie Shakin’ Nagan accentuated the jam with unique percussion instruments. Finally it was “Saint Ex,” “Proving Ground,” and “Action Man” that closed out the second set. “May Your Glass Be Filled” and “Postcard” served as a two-song encore, leaving Panic fans smiling after a great showing at the Mann.Check out the full setlist, which can be seen below.Setlist: Widespread Panic at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia, PA – 9/11/16Set 1: Walk On, Makes Sense To Me, This Part of Town, Glory, Visiting Day, Old Neighborhood, The Last Straw > Big Wooly Mammoth > For What It’s Worth (66 mins)Set 2: A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, You Should Be Glad, It Ain’t No Use > Blight, Impossible > Drums* > Drums & Bass* > Saint Ex, Proving Ground, Action Man (89 mins)Encore: May Your Glass Be Filled, Postcard (11 mins)Notes: * w/ Sikiru Adepoju on Talking Drum; Richie Shakin’ Nagan on Shakerslast_img read more

Beastie Boys’ Ad-Rock Releases Funky Remix Of Spoon’s “Can I Sit Next To You”

first_imgAd-Rock, the former Beastie Boys member, just released a remix of Spoon’s cowbell-heavy “Can I Sit Next To You”, off the group’s ninth studio album, last year’s Hot Thoughts.While Hot Thoughts already showed the Austin, Texas-based indie-rock band exploring more funk-inspired stylings, the Beastie Boy rapper heightens this vibe with his remix of “Can I Sit Next To You”. In Ad-Rock’s reimagining of the Spoon song, the rapper, guitarist, and actor reconstructs “Can I Sit Next To You”, isolating the song’s propulsive and prominent bass and drums and the airy vocals laid out by Spoon singer Britt Daniel and relayering them.Currently, Spoon has plans to tour with Grizzly Bear for seven shows in June, spanning from June 18th to June 30th, in addition to an upcoming leg of their current tour, which begins on May 13th in Nashville. As for Ad-Rock, he has teamed with Mike D, the other surviving member of the Beastie Boys, to release a memoir due out in the fall. The highly anticipated book has been in the works since 2013.You can take a listen to Ad-Rock’s remix of Spoon’s “Can I Sit Next To You” below.Spoon – “Can I Sit Next To You” (Ad-Rock Remix)[H/T Rolling Stone]last_img read more

Contemporary sounds of Istanbul

first_imgThe tune is atonal. The computer-generated melody is based on a chant by Anatolian monks. But can it be considered beautiful?Absolutely, says Turkish-born pianist Seda Röder, an associate in Harvard’s Department of Music who commissioned the work for her new CD.For many listeners, the beauty of works by composers such as Beethoven and Brahms lies in their harmonic chords and melodic themes. But even those classic masters experimented with dissonance, juxtaposing notes that seem to clash chromatically, and jar the listener’s ear.Yet while many classical composers used the technique to heighten the sense of emotion and tension in a piece, they almost always chose to resolve the friction by restoring harmony.But sustained dissonance was a natural and important progression in the Western musical canon and carries its own beauty, said Röder, who recently released “Listening to Istanbul,” a collection of six contemporary Turkish piano pieces full of disharmonious chords.The CD was the result of an encounter between Röder and Tolga Yayalar, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Music. After attending one of Röder’s performances with the Harvard Group for New Music (HGNM) in 2008, Yayalar approached the pianist and asked if he could compose a work specifically for her.The piece, titled “In the Temporal Gardens,” premiered at Harvard last April during an HGNM concert. Based on a poem by Turkish poet Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar, the composition inspired Röder to further explore the world of Turkish contemporary music.“After that performance, I thought, not many people know much about Turkish music outside of Turkey, and they should,” said Röder, who studied at the State Conservatory in Istanbul and received her magister diploma, the equivalent of a doctor of musical arts degree, from the University Mozarteum in Austria.Encouraged by Yayalar, Röder contacted five prominent contemporary composers in Turkey who agreed to write pieces for the accomplished pianist, all with a theme or connection related to her native country.The result is a rich soundscape that includes an audio image of the frantic pace of rush hour in the nation’s capital, Istanbul, and a piece modeled after the traditional Turkish makams, or scales that use notes that fall between the conventional Western scales’ configuration of half steps.“I feel a responsibility to share this music with the world — mirror it, reflect it to the people who may not even know that it exists,” said Röder.Röder admits it is sometimes hard for listeners to warm quickly to contemporary music. Unlike many classic compositions that are well-known and contain familiar formal structures and harmonic progressions, contemporary works, she said, more often than not challenge the listener.“I don’t think it’s fair to expect people to immediately grasp and understand the music that was just composed versus music they have been hearing for 300 years. New music requires new listening in order to be able to adjust.”To help her audiences, Röder gives brief lectures prior to performing a new work to explain the compositions’ various layers.“People often feel lost, and with my talks I try to give them a branch they can hold onto. I am trying to make contemporary music much more approachable for everyone.”Röder came to Harvard in 2007 after conducting postdoctoral research at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich to further her study of lesser-known, 20th century Viennese composers. Since arriving in Cambridge, she has also been drawn to thematic concert programs that tell a story about a time, a city, or a people.“Listening to Istanbul” falls into that musical framework.“There are a lot of elements that you will not find in the contemporary music of other countries because these composers are specifically making use of Turkish elements or making reference to Turkish life,” she said.Furthering her exploration of contemporary music, Röder is working on an electro-acoustic composition that she plans to perform with one of Harvard’s student orchestras later this year. The piece, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, will include Röder’s improvised version of the work’s first movement cadenza that will use a computer to alter the sound of the piano keys.But purists shouldn’t cringe at the idea of tweaking a classic with a computer keyboard, argues Röder.“It was very conventional that people in Beethoven’s time improvised during the cadenza in the style of their time. When I think about it now, I think one should also improvise in the style of his or her own time.”Above all, Röder urges audiences of contemporary works simply to open up to the experience.“Go with the music, and be open for those new sounds. Just close your eyes, and don’t worry about understanding.”last_img read more

Global race to a COVID-19 vaccine

first_img Designing a coronavirus vaccine In a related effort, researchers at HMS’s Blavatnik Institute and at the Brigham hope to use an antibody-detection tool called VirScan — which they adapted to recognize antibodies for the novel coronavirus in people’s blood — to help scientists working on vaccines identify which viral antibodies the immune system best responds to and which don’t affect the virus.“[VirScan] can help you follow a vaccine to see how well it’s making antibodies and what kinds of antibodies,” said Stephen Elledge, the Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics and of Medicine at HMS and Brigham and Women’s, who developed the tool in 2015 with two Ph.D. candidates in his lab. “A lot of the antibodies you make are just useless. They don’t do anything to the virus or hurt the virus and they don’t help it. They’re just neutral. They’re there. Sometimes they even make it easier for the virus to get into certain cell types … The idea would be that you would try to remove them from the vaccine, because they’re competing with the neutralizing antibodies in the vaccine just as much as they would be with the actual virus.”While he hopes this effort takes off, Elledge’s primary focus is on using VirScan as a post-infection tool to study the outbreak’s true extent, lethality, and epidemiology, and learn how the virus affects the immune system.For Barouch, having multiple coronavirus vaccine-related efforts are crucial, since no one group has all the expertise and each vaccine will have pros and cons.“We don’t yet know which vaccine is ultimately going to be the safest, the most effective, and the most deployable,” Barouch said. “Ultimately, if we have two or more vaccines that become available for COVID-19, that would be a good thing because each vaccine is different. For example, some vaccines might be very effective in the elderly; some might not. Some might be easier to produce at mass scale; some might not. Some might be single-dose regimens, some might be multiple-dose regimens. Each vaccine is going to have its own particular characteristics.” A multipronged attack against a shared enemy Harvard scientists take various approaches in the race for a treatment for the deadly coronavirus In Dan Barouch’s lab, many researchers have not taken a day off since early January, and virtually all are working nearly seven days week to develop a vaccine that could help end the coronavirus pandemic.“Everybody wants to contribute to this global crisis as best they can,” said Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.The team hopes their work will be worth it. There is cause for optimism.The lab developed a vaccine in collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceutical Cos., the drug-making arm of Johnson & Johnson. It plans to launch clinical trials in the fall as part of a joint $1 billion collaboration agreement announced by the U.S. government and Johnson & Johnson on March 30.And the push by Barouch’s group is far from the only one out there. There are currently more than 40 in development around the world, according to the Milken Institute, an independent economic think tank in California. The approaches are varied, but all involve training the body’s immune system to recognize and remember the virus and produce antibodies to fight the disease.Most of the work at Harvard is in its early stages and includes a number of different vaccine methods. Barouch’s lab at Beth Israel is the first to move toward clinical trials so far.Like everyone working on this, “We want to move as fast as we possibly can, because we think the world needs a vaccine,” said Barouch ’93, M.D. ’99 . He co-leads the vaccines working group at Harvard’s Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness and is also a steering committee member of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard.,A project at the Cambridge biotech Moderna uses the virus’ genetic code to trigger an immune response. It began clinical trials in Seattle on March 16 and was produced in just 63 days. Andrea Carfi, Moderna’s head of research, co-leads the vaccines working group at the consortium with Barouch.Barouch’s lab began working on two vaccines right after scientists from China published the gene sequence of the coronavirus. It’s been a frenzy since.That first weekend, the team quickly identified the protein spike as the target region for a vaccine — the coronavirus gets its name from the crown-like spikes on its surface. By Monday, Jan. 13, they had designs for vaccine constructs and created synthetic viral genes. At the end of the month, the lab started a collaboration with Janssen using one of the company’s approaches. Basically it involves transporting an adenovirus that causes a common cold, coated with coronavirus antigens, into cells to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies. By Feb. 6, the group started testing the vaccines in animals.Barouch’s lab was able to work so quickly on this method because it has spent the past 15 years working on HIV and, more recently, Zika vaccines using the same approach. The hospital has collaborated with Janssen on vaccines in the past.In mid-February the lab began collaborating with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on their other vaccine strategy. That one is DNA-based. Like RNA vaccines, it uses the genetic material of the virus to produce an inoculant that mimics it, helps the body identify it, and create antibodies to fight and neutralize it.At the Precision Vaccines Program (PVP) at Boston Children’s Hospital, Director Ofer Levy, professor of pediatrics at HMS, and other researchers — including David Dowling, an HMS pediatrics instructor — are working toward developing age-specific vaccines.“Most vaccine development disregards species specificity or aid specificity during the preclinical phase,” Levy said. “We’re turning the process on its head. We’re saying who most suffers from coronavirus? It’s the elderly. We take elderly white blood cells, blood donations, test them outside the body, stimulate them with different small molecules called adjuvants [which are added to a vaccine to boost the recipient’s immune response], and then find out which would work best in an elderly individual.”,The group hopes to build a vaccine targeting infants, as well. “Infants can get infected and can have bad outcomes, but also they can spread the infection to others,” Levy said.Their work is supported by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.In the labs of Mahmoud Nasr and Gerhard Wagner, the Elkan Blout Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at HMS, researchers have just started work on what’s called a subunit vaccine. In these vaccines, scientists only use the essential antigens from a virus, said Nasr, a principal investigator in the renal division and division of engineering in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.Wagner and Nasr hope to create a vaccine where several copies of the coronavirus spike proteins are placed in large phospholipid nanodiscs that can elicit a strong antibody response by mimicking the large number of spikes of the virus and their position in a membrane. It has been shown that presenting numerous antigens on a membrane environment produces a stronger response than using non-membrane-bound proteins. This method will likely require adjuvants and multiple doses to elicit a strong enough immune response that provides long-term immunity.At Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, researchers hope to create bioactive material that cues a stronger immune response against the coronavirus. They hope the vaccine both kills the virus in infected individuals and helps uninfected individuals develop longer-lasting immunity without the need for additional boosts. Led by David Mooney, a Wyss core faculty member and the Robert P. Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering at Harvard John E. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the team previously created cancer vaccines that prompted the immune system to attack and destroy cancer cells. Other efforts at the Wyss focus on diagnostics and therapeutics. “We want to move as fast as we possibly can, because we think the world needs a vaccine.” — Dan Barouch Facing a pandemic, Broad does a quick pivot How the institute converted a clinical processing lab into a large-scale COVID-19 testing facility in a matter of days Researchers prepare for next year and beyond Relatedlast_img read more

Literary critic discusses the soul

first_imgDo badgers have souls? British literary critic Terry Eagleton framed his lecture around this question when he spoke at the Snite Museum of Art Wednesday afternoon.  English Department Chair Valerie Sayers introduced the topic of souls and literature with a short biography of Eagleton and his influence in contemporary literary criticism. “Though many literary critics draw their fan base from within their specified field, Mr. Eagleton is actually read by the public,” Sayers said. “His capacious understanding of the interplay between religious faith and leftist politics as well as his authority on aesthetics have led him to write more than literary criticism, including a novel, a memoir and a screenplay,” she said. To address the question of whether badgers have souls, Eagleton said inquirers should look at their bodies.  “Look at what they do. As the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, ‘if you want to look at the soul, look at the body – the body as practice, the body as project,’” Eagleton said. Eagleton said “practice constitutes the life of the body,” which gives it more significance than conventional understanding might hold.  “People are more than parcels of matter, not because they harness a soul, but because they are highly particular,” Eagleton said.  Souls, however, ought to be defined more tangibly, according to Eagleton. “You can see someone’s soul all the time, just as you ‘see’ someone’s rage or grief,” he said. “There is a confusion of language games, as if asking where the soul is amounts to asking ‘How close to my left armpit is my envy?’  The soul isn’t a ghostly liver or a spectral kidney. It’s the natural force of a being, as Thomas Aquinas writes.”  As a literary critic, Eagleton said language needs to be grappled with to understand the soul, and the question of whether or not badgers have them. He said a soul relates to a body like a meaning relates to a word, not necessarily attached, but the former in each pair is more profound.  Because bodies are tangible, Eagleton said the most suitable human language is metaphor because it is tangible, allowing readers to experience the world discursively.  “Some say that since badgers lack language, they lack souls. But if souls are understood as simply a natural driving force, then how to do we answer the question ‘Do badgers have souls?’” he said “Yes, badgers do have souls in this sense. Just look at them. Only because we have a misguided perception of the soul would we think otherwise. “But the possessive ‘have’ is a misleading word. You can’t just get rid of a soul, like you can a piece of rubbish,” Eagleton said.  Though badgers have souls by Eagleton’s definition, he said there are still differences between humanity and badgers.  “We are conceptual bodies and can do things that badgers can’t do, like build cruise missiles and fire them at each other,” he said. In this way, Eagleton said humanity is not unique in its possession of souls, but it does have its unique qualities. Human advancement was a move up, he said, but the destructive capabilities of modern society were anything but animalistic in his eyes.  “This ‘move up’ is biblically called the Fall, [but] not down toward the beast, that is, how animals act. They’re fine. They’re innocent. So, two cheers for badgers.”last_img read more

Why Won’t All the Way Star Bryan Cranston Speak on Mondays?

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on June 29, 2014 In the new issue, Cranston also sings the praises of his former Breaking Bad co-star Aaron Paul. “I love him like a son,” Cranston told GQ. “We’ll be friends for life.” Aww! Additionally, the All the Way star gets personal about his rough childhood. “There was a period where my mother fed us nothing but hot dogs and beans, or big pots of soup that would last weeks,” he said. “It’s not the childhood I would have designed for myself. But it’s the one that was destined for me.” Related Shows Bryan Cranston View Comments All the Way Check out Cranston on the cover of GQ below, then see him in All the Way at the Neil Simon Theatre! Star Files Since becoming a Broadway star, Tony nominee Bryan Cranston has traded his Breaking Bad tightey whities for a suit and tie, and he’s showing off his dapper new look on the pages of British GQ. Cranston, who plays President Lyndon B. Johnson in All the Way, revealed some interesting details about his life in the new issue—for instance, did you know he takes a vow of silence every Monday? “A lot of times, people talk unnecessarily,” he said. “And if you’re busy talking, you’re not taking in the art, or the architecture, or the environment you’re in. Maybe you don’t see the flowers.” Luckily, All the Way is dark on Mondays, so he doesn’t have to worry about performing an all-charades version of Robert Schenkkan’s political drama.last_img read more