Saint Michael’s College,Principal Investigator, Professor Ellis-Monaghan of Grand Isle, and co-principal investigator Dr. Greta Pangborn, SMC assistant professor of computer science, of Winooski, have been awarded a three-year National Science Foundation grant of $200,000 for the period from September 1, 2010 through August 31, 2013.‘With this support, we’ll be able to explore math questions that have never been raised before,’ said Dr. Joanna Ellis-Monaghan, Saint Michael’s College associate professor of mathematics, ‘and those are the interesting questions.’‘This NSF grant allows us to continue the collaborative work between math and computer science of designing nanoconstructs, with student assistants, that has the potential for wide practical application,’ Dr. Ellis-Monaghan said.The professors, who have been collaborating for several years now, will involve four, funded, research assistants, who are Saint Michael’s students: Mary Spuches, a junior math major from North Syracuse, N.Y., Thomas Dickerson, a sophomore computer science major from Bristol, Vt., Christopher Lessard, a sophomore mathematics major from Stoneham, Mass., and Kelsey King, a sophomore mathematics and education double major from Lyndonville, Vt. These, and other students, will work on the project over the course of the three-year project.Awarding of this grant was enhanced by the strong track record these professors and others at Saint Michael’s have in propelling their students into post-graduate studies. Professors Ellis-Monaghan and Pangborn have co-authored a number of journal articles with students, and they have now or have had former students pursuing advanced math- and CS-related degrees at RPI, UNH, Colorado State, UVM, Notre Dame, NC State, Dartmouth, WPI, Johns Hopkins, the University of Chicago and elsewhere.The NSF funded project titled, ‘Collaborative Research: New Graph Theory from and for Nanoconstruct Design Strategies,’ focuses on using mathematics and computers to design nanoconstructs to carry out practical jobs in the future. These could be applied to such tasks as directing medicines within the body to precisely the right location for effective drug delivery, or any number of other challenges in chemistry, biology and other areas.Nano (tiny) technology has great promise for biosensors, nanoelectronics (inside high tech equipment), biomolecular computer activity, as well as drug delivery.DNA self-assembly of nanostructures‘Recent research has focused on DNA self-assembly of nanoscale geometric constructs,’Professor Ellis-Monaghan said, because DNA replicates itself. Working with biologists, the mathematicians and computer scientists have developed a variety of three-D structures from self-assembling DNA, including cubes, octahedrals, buckyballs, and even tiny boxes with opening lids.One essential element in the process is designing the molecules needed for the nanostructure, the fewer needed the better the design. The NSF grant specifically supports the professors and their students in developing the tools needed to minimize the number of molecules to be created for a given nanoconstruct. Professor Ellis-Monaghan says the potential for putting these constructs to practical use are boundless. In the meantime, she and Professor Pangborn and their student assistants will forge ahead in developing the necessary tools.Source: Saint Michael’s College. 9.8.2010Photo: Saint Michael’s College Professors Joanna Ellis-Monaghan and Greta Pangborn. Photo credit: Andy Duback Learn What Matters at Saint Michael’s College, The Edmundite Catholic liberal arts college, www.smcvt.edu(link is external) . Saint Michael’s provides education with a social conscience, producing graduates with the intellectual tools to lead successful, purposeful lives that will contribute to peace and justice in our world. Founded in 1904 by the Society of St. Edmund and headed by President John J. Neuhauser, Saint Michael’s College is located three miles from Burlington, Vermont, one of America’s top college towns. It is identified by the Princeton Review as one of the nations Best 371 Colleges, and is included in the 2011 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Saint Michael’s is one of only 280 colleges and universities nationwide, one of only 20 Catholic colleges, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Saint Michael’s has 1,900 undergraduate students, some 500 graduate students and 100 international students. Saint Michael’s students and professors have received Rhodes, Woodrow Wilson, Pickering, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other grants. The college is one of the nation’s top-100, Best Liberal Arts Colleges as listed in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report rankings.-30-
In 2004 Acambis temporarily halted one of its phase 3 trials comparing ACAM2000 with Dryvax, the currently licensed smallpox vaccine that is no longer produced, after myopericarditis developed in at least three of the research subjects. The HHS, in an Apr 20 release of its plan for developing and buying medical countermeasures against a range of biological, chemical, and other threats, said it was planning to stockpile a weaker version of the smallpox vaccinemodified vaccinia Ankara (MVA)for certain groups, such as pregnant women and immuncompromised people, who can’t receive the conventional smallpox vaccine. The agency “is well advanced in the pre-award stage” of a program to buy an MVA vaccine. Two companies have developed MVA vaccines: Acambis and Copenhagen-based Bavarian Nordic. Acambis has a contract with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make 209 million doses of smallpox vaccine for the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to use in the event of a terrorist release of smallpox virus. Marc Wolfson, a spokesman for the HHS Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness in Washington, told CIDRAP News in an e-mail that the company has delivered 192.5 million doses of ACAM2000 so far and has been paid $573,650,000. May 18, 2007 (CIDRAP News) A US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel yesterday recommended that the agency approve a smallpox vaccine made by British biotechnology company Acambis plc that is currently being stockpiled for the US government. “This vaccine should not be used lightly,” said Pamela McInnes, a panelist who directs the Center for Integrative Biology and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. See also: Panel members said if the FDA approves the vaccine it should require the company to continue clinical trials and other measures, Reuters reported. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Acambis are discussing an arrangement for Acambis to provide long-term production of the vaccine using a US-based supply chain and production (ie, warm-base manufacturing), Acambis said in its press release. Having an FDA-licensed product is a prerequisite to finalizing a warm-base manufacturing contract with the CDC, Garland said. HHS countermeasures implementation planhttp://www.hhs.gov/aspr/ophemc/enterprise/strategy/strategy.html Panelists said they had to weigh the risks of heart inflammation, which would be unacceptable for routine vaccination, against the threat that US military personnel and others in high-risk settings face regarding smallpox exposure, Reuters reported. Ian Garland, Acambis’ chief executive officer, said in a company press release that the FDA panel’s recommendation reinforces the company’s confidence that ACAM2000 will be licensed. The FDA told Acambis its target date for an approval decision is Aug 31, 2007. The panel unanimously voted 11 to 0 that ACAM2000 is both safe and effective, Karen Reilly, an FDA spokesperson, told CIDRAP News in an e-mail after the meeting. The FDA is not bound by the advisory panel recommendations but usually follows them. The positive recommendation came despite some concerns panel members raised about the side effects of the vaccine. Some outside experts who spoke at the meeting said the risk of heart inflammation in people who had been vaccinated warranted further review, according to a Reuters report yesterday. May 17 Acambis news releasehttp://www.acambis.com/default.asp?id=1893 ACAM2000 uses vaccinia virus, a close relative of smallpox, and is grown in cell culture. It is derived from Dryvax, a first-generation vaccine that was used in global smallpox eradication programs. The newer vaccine is grown in cell culture rather than on the skin of calves, which is thought to produce a purer and safer vaccine that has less risk of rare but serious complications.
Saddam was executed Dec. 30 for his role in the killings. Two of his co-defendants in the Dujail case – Ibrahim, Saddam’s former intelligence chief, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former head of Iraq’s Revolutionary Court – were executed in January. Around Iraq, meanwhile, bombs tore through a Shiite mosque during prayers in Baghdad and struck several targets in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk on Monday, killing at least 26 people. In Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad, at least 18 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in a series of bombings, the most devastating when two parked car bombs exploded within 10 minutes in a southern part of the city. The latest attacks highlighted the challenges facing U.S. and Iraqi forces in their bid to curb sectarian bloodshed with the month-old security crackdown. Execution-style killings usually blamed on Shiite militias have fallen dramatically but bombings have not matched the downward trend. Late Monday, U.S. and Iraqi troops engaged in a major operation as part of the crackdown in the volatile Hurriyah neighborhood in northern Baghdad, state television said. BAGHDAD – A former deputy in Saddam Hussein’s government was hanged before dawn today for the killings of 148 Shiites, an official with the prime minister’s office said. Taha Yassin Ramadan, who was Saddam’s vice president when the regime was ousted four years ago, was the fourth man to be executed in the killings of 148 Shiites following a 1982 assassination attempt against the former leader in the city of Dujail. The official, who witnessed the hanging but spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made, said precautions had been taken to prevent a repeat of what happened to Saddam’s half brother Barzan Ibrahim, who was decapitated on the gallows. Ramadan was weighed before the hanging and the length of the rope was chosen accordingly, the official said. Ramadan was convicted in November of murder, forced deportation and torture and sentenced to life in prison. A month later, an appeals court said the sentence was too lenient and returned his case to the High Tribunal, demanding that he be sentenced to death. The court turned it into a death sentence. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!