Researchers working as part of the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center have developed a new way to identify and sort stem cells that may one day allow clinicians to restore vision to people with damaged corneas using the patient’s own eye tissue. The UGA researchers published their findings in Biophysical Journal.The cornea is a transparent layer of tissue covering the front of the eye, and its health is maintained by a group of cells called limbal stem cells. When these cells are damaged by trauma or disease, the cornea loses its ability to self-repair.“Damage to the limbus, which is where the clear part of the eye meets the white part of the eye, can cause the cornea to break down very rapidly,” said James Lauderdale, the paper co-author and associate professor of cellular biology in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. “The only way to repair the cornea right now is to do a limbal cell transplant from donated tissue.”In their study, researchers used a new type of highly sensitive atomic force microscopy, or AFM, to analyze eye cell cultures. Created by Todd Sulchek, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech, the technique allowed researchers to probe and exert force on individual cells to learn more about the cell’s overall health and its ability to turn into different types of mature cells.They found that limbal stem cells were softer and more pliable than other cells, meaning they could use this simple measure as a rapid and cost-effective way to identify cells from a patient’s own tissue that are suitable for transplantation.“Todd’s technology is unique in the tiniest and most sensitive detection to change,” said Lauderdale. “Just think about trying to gently dimple or prod the top of an individual cell without killing it; with conventional AFM it’s close to impossible.”Building on their findings related to cell softness, the research team also developed a microfluidic cell sorting device capable of filtering out specific cells from a tissue sample. With this device, the team can collect the patient’s own tissue, sort and culture the cells, and place them back into the patient – all in one day, said Lauderdale. It can take weeks to perform this task using conventional methods.The researchers are quick to caution that more tests must be done before this technique is used in human patients, but it may one day serve as a viable treatment for the more than 1 million Americans who lose their vision to damaged corneas every year. The group first started this research with the hope of helping children with aniridia, an inherited malformation of the eye that leads to breakdown of the cornea at an early age. Because aniridia affects only one in 60,000 children, few organizations are willing to commit the resources necessary to combat the disease, Lauderdale said.“Our first goal in working with such a rare disease was to help this small population of children, because we feel a close connection to all of them,” said Lauderdale, who has worked with aniridia patients for many years. “However, at the end of the day this technology could help hundreds of thousands of people, like the military, who are also interested in corneal damage, common in desert conditions.”Steven Stice, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, who plays an important role in fostering cross-interdisciplinary collaboration as director of the RBC, initially brought the researchers together and encouraged a seed grant application through the center for Regenerative Engineering and Medicine, or REM, a joint collaboration between Emory University, Georgia Tech and UGA.“A culture is developing around seed funding that is all about interdisciplinary collaboration, sharing of resources, and coming together to make things happen,” said Stice. “Government funding agencies place a high premium on combining skills and disciplines. We can no longer afford to work in an isolated laboratory using a singular approach.”The REM seed funding program is intended to stimulate new, unconventional collaborative research and requires equal partnership of faculty from two of the participating institutions.“We tend to get siloed experimentally,” says Lauderdale. “To a biologist like me, all cells are very different and all atomic force microscopes are the same. To an engineer like Todd it’s just the opposite.”The study, “Cellular Stiffness as a Novel Stemness Marker in the Corneal Limbus,” is available at www.cell.com/biophysj/fulltext/S0006-3495(16)30771-8. Funding was provided by an NIH NIGMS Biotechnology Training Grant on Cell and Tissue Engineering, the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, the Center for Regenerative Engineering and Medicine, the Sharon Stewart Aniridia Research Trust and the NSF CMMI division.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Should my daughter remove her hijab? Should I tell my son to shave his beard? What do I tell my young children when they ask if President-elect Donald Trump is going to deport us?Those were just some of the pointed questions posed to a panel of religious leaders, elected officials, law enforcement and community organizers during an often-emotional forum that attracted close to 100 people at the Islamic Center of Long Island (ICLI) in Westbury on Thursday night.Muslim and Jewish leaders in Nassau County following Trump’s shocking victory last month coordinated the hastily arranged event. It sparked passionate discussion about tangible steps minority groups should take when confronted by hate-filled rhetoric and what role law enforcement can play in preventing bias crimes. Nationwide last year, anti-Muslim hate crimes saw a dramatic 67-percent increase from the prior year, and attacks on Jews, blacks and LGBT people also spiked.The number of incidents this year won’t be available until 2017, but anti-hate groups have documented hundreds of bias crimes since the Nov. 8 election.The event, the first of many to come, was in response to accusations that candidate Trump trafficked in hate, misogyny and Islamophobia to drudge up support from people distrustful or fearful of immigrants. Underscoring the anxiety many minority groups are feeling, Silvia Finkelstein of the Nassau District Attorney’s Office of Immigrant Affairs said she’s been to about a dozen similar events in the last three weeks.At one point, a visibly perturbed Rabbi Michael White of Temple Sinai of Roslyn peered over at elected officials and questioned how they’d react if Trump’s incoming administration institutes a registration system for Muslims.“We’ve been protected by a phenomenal police department, and I don’t expect that to change,” White, a panelist, said. “There has been a spike all over the country of horrific events in schools and in parks, phrases like ‘Heil Trump,’ swastikas, awful stuff…You raised the issue of this abominable potential of a registry…I want to know from our elected officials here: if the federal government calls for a registry based on religion, what will you do?”RELATED: Trump Team Considering Resurrecting Ineffective & Discredited Bush-Era Muslim RegistryTown of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, demurred. Instead she said the key is to be proactive and to continue holding similar events that unite the community.“I grew up understanding the danger of identifying groups, of having groups feel that they were in any kind of danger of who they were, how they prayed,” she said. “And so our best approach is what we’re doing here tonight—it’s by standing together.”Bosworth noted that after the election, a swastika was discovered in the bathroom of a Port Washington public school. The community responded by organizing a similar forum that attracted more than 500 people.ICLI President Dr. Isma Chaudhry set the tone for the evening’s discussion when she recalled the palpable fear among mosque leaders for their congregation, particularly weekend school students and teachers. Chaudhry, who has made a career out of interfaith dialogue, said even she was unable to effectively respond to entreaties from worried parents.“Parents are asking me, should they ask their girls to take their head covers off when they go out?” she recalled. “Do the young Muslim men now have to shave off their beard because their parents are afraid?”RELATED: ‘Heil Hitler’: Reports of Hate Crimes Have Long Island, Nation on EdgeJohn Berry Jr., commander of Nassau County police’s Third Precinct, which covers Westbury, said practicing Muslims should not diverge from their faith.“You have our support—we are behind you 100-percent,” he told Chaudhry and the audience, many of whom were Muslim. “There’s no reason to change. This is what America is about; it’s a melting pot. In particular, New York and New York City [have] always been that way. I wouldn’t change any of your practices or customs—do what you’ve always done.”When confronted by a young Muslim woman about discredited claims of Sharia law spreading in the US and questionable police tactics—most notably the NYPD’s years-long surveillance of Muslims on Long Island and elsewhere after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks—Deputy Chief of Patrol Kenneth Lack said cops, like religious groups, are frequently over-generalized as he defended his department.“I think we do it better than most of those 18,000 other police departments,” he said of NCPD’s decades-old policy of community engagement, adding that each officer in the police academy participates in 12-hour hatred and intolerance training at the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County.While it was difficult for panelists and community members to agree to a consensus as to how best to address many of their fears among Long Islanders, their was near-unanimous agreement that schools must take a more prominent role in educating students about tolerance.Jenna Freed of Roslyn, a parishioner at Temple Sinai and the parent of an adopted child from Ethiopia, said it’s important that parents air concerns to school officials.“When the election happened I reached out to our school district…and said what are you gonna do?” she said. “Because if my kids come home and feel targeted, they’re going to be really devastated and I’m going to be really mad…your words will carry much more weight when you proactively send something out and address it then they will reacting to a crime.”She said within minutes after her meeting, the principal of one of the schools sent a letter to all parents calling the school a “place of unity and community and we celebrate our diversity.” Similarly, an elementary school in the district tried to alleviate fears by reminding parents about the “No Place for Hate” initiative its involved in to address intolerance and hate.Another parent of four echoed Freed’s sentiment.“Fear spreads from ignorance,” the woman said. “They know nothing about Islam, they know what they hear in the media.“I think we need to bring more speakers into our schools,” she continued, adding that a middle school-aged girl in her district in Suffolk County was harassed and threatened suicide. “This is how dangerous it is.”A woman who identified herself as a longtime educator at Westbury Public Schools, said its no secret that some kids are fearful of new deportation policies.“Since the election, nobody in the school district has really addressed the elephant in the room,” she told the panelists. “We hear our children in the hallway [talk] fearfully about whether or not their parents are going to be sent away—we’re not supposed to answer because we’re not supposed to be politically correct. And that more than disturbs me because, I too, was raised in a family of Holocaust survivors and I was taught the danger of silence.”Despite the trepidation among many parents, some speakers offered hopeful messages.Dr. Faroque Khan, a board member of the ICLI, reminded the audience about how support for the Muslim American community on Long Island has grown since 9/11.“We have to be optimistic, this will pass,” Khan said. “We did not elect a new constitution, we elected a new president. That’s a crucial difference.”
The CPL point standings: Trinbago Knight Riders Jamaica Tallawahs6420008-0.17 Guyana Amazon Warriors8350006-0.064 St Lucia Stars8070011-1.799 871000141.372 … Guptill returns home, Ronchi called upFOLLOWING a much-needed day off on Wednesday after their four home games of the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 tournament ended on Tuesday evening, an upbeat Guyana Amazon Warriors unit resumed training yesterday at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.The Warriors, with two key round-robin encounters remaining, has for the first time in CPL history found themselves in such a complicated position, and theirMartin Guptillgames against Barbados Tridents on Tuesday (August 29), and Jamaica Tallawhas on Friday (September 1), are must-win games if they stand a chance of qualifying for the playoffs.A loss for Warriors on Tuesday will make the final league match merely an academic affair.The Warriors have blown hot and cold throughout the tournament, and haven’t looked sharp, at least for the first six games. They however, rebounded nicely, winning their last two encounters at home by commanding margins. The two hammerings – one against Tridents on Sunday evening, and the other against St Lucia Stars on Tuesday evening – boosted the Warriors’ morale, heading into their final two games. However, with the playoffs on the line, the Warriors must be at their best in all three departments of the game, since playing their oppositions in their own backyard would not be an easy task.The Warriors’ batting was a huge let-down for the first six games, but judging from their last two performances, the batting seems to be hitting peak form at the right time.The options they have in the bowling department are their greatest strength so once the batting can complement that top-class bowling department then positive results are predictable in the remaining two games. Trinbago Knight Riders and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots have already confirmed for the playoffs, which means the battle for the other two places will come from the Warriors, Tridents and the Tallawahs. Both the Tridents and the Tallawahs have four remaining games. Meanwhile, the Guyana Amazon Warriors have replaced their captain and opening batsman, Martin Guptill, with fellow New Zealander wicketkeeper/batsman Luke Ronchi for the remainder of the tournament.Unfortunately Guptill has to return to New Zealand because of an important family health matter and as such the Warriors team will be without their appointed captain for the rest of the 2017 Hero CPL.Ronchi has just completed his stint in the NatWest T20 Blast in England where he played with Leicestershire and is currently one of the top tenLuke Ronchiscorers in the League with 429 runs at a strike rate of 180.25.Omar Khan, Operations Manager of the Guyana Amazon Warriors, said: “It’s unfortunate and hugely disappointing to lose Martin at this stage of the tournament, but we empathise with his situation and he has our full support as he returns home to his family. We welcome Luke to the Guyana Amazon Warriors family and his wealth of experience and explosive batting in this format will certainly be an asset to our team.”Guptill scored 142 runs from seven innings and was in his fourth year with the Guyana Amazon Warriors. TEAMMPMWMLMTMDN/RPTNRR Barbados Tridents6240004-0.125 St Kitts and Nevis Patriots852001110.74
– Old Fort triumph in U-16 indoor finalTHE QUEEN’s Park Cricket Club won back-to-back U-13 titles (indoor and outdoor) to finish on top of the Guyana Hockey Board Boys’ Challenge over the weekend in the capital city. The Trinidadian club’s older team did not fare as well in the U-16 category; given that Guyanese clubs Saints (outdoors) and Old Fort (indoors) triumphed.Old Fort triumphed in the U-16 indoor battle on Sunday.Playing at the National Gymnasium on Sunday, the visiting team got past GCC in the U-13 final by a score of 3-0 in the three-team event (Saints also participated in the lower age group).Nicholas Siu Butt led the attack with two goals, while Adam Traboulay scored the other.The U-16 final was less eventful, with the clash going to penalties and the home team succeeding.On Saturday, QPCC had stormed to a 10-0 victory against Saints in the U-13 Boys Outdoor final at the GCC ground. In that clash, Adam Wyatt and Siu Butt had both scored hat-tricks, while Christiano Austin and Caiden Mack supported with two goals each. In the U-16 final, a Naresh Mahadeo goal propelled Saints to a 1-0 victory over Old Fort.Earlier, QPCC were knocked out in the semi-finals by the eventual second place finishers.Siu Butt won the most-goal award for both the indoor and outdoor competitions, while Mack was named MVP for the outdoors and another QPCC player, Siem Zanvliet, MVP for the indoors.Saints’ Samuel Garnett won both the Most Goals and the MVP awards in the outdoor competition for the older age group, while in the indoors, Daniel Woolford won the Most Goals award and his Old Fort teammate, Shaquon Favourite, the MVP award.
Things got heated at PNC Park on Sunday as three Cincinnati Reds players and two Pittsburgh Pirates have been ejected following a benches-clearning incident in the top of the fourth inning.Reds manager David Bell, outfielder Yasiel Puig and relief pitcher Amir Garrett, as well as two Pirates relievers, Keone Kela and Felipe Vázquez, were ejected for their involvement in the incident. Bell immediately approached home-plate umpire Jeff Kellogg to argue the call, while players began pushing and shoving each other on the mound.Several players were restrained, and at one point, Yasiel Puig appears to draw his elbow back to throw a punch. Benches clear in Pittsburgh during Reds – Pirates game. pic.twitter.com/Dm6SSnvUNP— MLB (@MLB) April 7, 2019Archer was allowed to stay in the game and responded by strking Dietrich out. MORE: The 20 ugliest, weirdest and most entertaining baseball brawls since 1976Derek Dietrich hit a two-run home run in the second inning and admired his shot as it left the park, likely causing Chris Archer to throw behind his back when he came to the plate again in the fourth inning. Archer is known for being one of baseball’s more flamboyant pitchers, often strutting and celebrating following strikeouts.All aboard the showboat 🚢 pic.twitter.com/fqOj0CkjLK— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 7, 2019The umpire warned both teams following the wild pitch but that didn’t stop the benches and bullpens from clearing out. MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZN