Robert Randolph, BIG Something & More Rock Blunderbuss [Audio/Gallery/Review]

first_imgLoad remaining images Heavy Seas brought together good music and good beer on Saturday at Blunderbuss Music Festival in Baltimore. The one-day fest boasted a fun lineup loaded with hometown heroes. With low ticket prices and a high concentration of talent, Blunderbuss is likely one of the higher bangs-for-buck this summer.Sweet Leda started things off for the early risers with local favorite, Ron Holloway joining them on the sax. They played a new single, “Make it Happen,” off their upcoming album and have a slew of shows coming up around Maryland this summer.Next up was another hometown crew, Cris Jacobs Band, the solo project of The Bridge frontman. Jacobs has a new album in the works which will be out this fall and has been debuting bits and pieces of it at shows in the area.BIG Something brought the dance jams in the late, hot afternoon. The six-man heavy rocking funk band will be making appearances at festivals all over the country this summer.BoomBox continued the dance party in the early evening. These two never disappoint, with smooth lyrics and full jams. The pair will be heading out west until late July, when they come back to the East coast for F.A.R.M. Fest.Baltimore’s own, Robert Randolph & the Family Band headlined the night, bringing the fest to a high-energy ending with fans dancing on stage and multiple encores as the sun went down. The family is off to G Fest and FIBARK Festival this upcoming weekend.Blunderbuss was the second festival put on by Heavy Seas in Baltimore, and the largest one to take place at the harbor this summer. You can check out a few soundboard recordings and a gallery from taper Will Urquhart below.BoomBoxBIG SomethingCris Jacobs Band: last_img read more

A tiny, time-released treatment

first_imgOmid Farokhzad’s vision of medicine’s future sounds a lot like science fiction.He sees medicine scaled down, with vanishingly small nanoparticles playing a big role, delivering drug doses measured in molecules directly to cancerous tumors.He sees “theranostic” particles that not only deliver nanotherapy, but also beam back diagnostic images of changing tumor cells. He sees “smart” nanoparticles that release tiny doses of drugs, such as insulin, in response to body conditions, like changing blood sugar levels.Farokhzad sees nanoparticle-based vaccines that can take the joy out of smoking and reverse allergies, and the development of therapeutic nanoparticles that can be taken orally instead of injected, opening whole new classes of medications, like cholesterol-lowering statins, to nanoparticle therapy.An associate professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Farokhzad sees these things because he’s helping bring them to reality. Of the seven targeted nanoparticle-based drug candidates currently in human trials, two are based on technologies developed in part in his lab.“I think the medicine my own kids will see in the next 30 to 40 years will be very different from what we practice today,” said Farokhzad, the director of the Brigham’s Laboratory of Nanomedicine and Biomaterials. “Targeted therapies will be the mainstay of treatment for almost all diseases.”Nanoparticles are molecular-scale capsules that can deliver tiny payloads, such as anti-cancer drugs, into the body. A common method uses fat molecules to create the particles, which release the drugs inside when the fat breaks down. Farokhzad, building on work by scientist Robert Langer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has developed controlled-release nanoparticles made of polymers instead of fat. These better resist breakdown and so release drugs over longer periods.If the disease doesn’t kill you …Using a controlled-release nanoparticle in therapy has several advantages over conventional drug delivery, Farokhzad said. Particles with molecules that bind to the outside of cancer cells can target a tumor cell and release drugs directly to the malignancy. In addition, the particles’ extended survival in the bloodstream extend the tumor cells’ exposure to the anti-cancer drug, delivering a greater cumulative dose to the tumor even while lowering the toxicity to the rest of the body.In traditional chemotherapy, for example, doctors blast a patient’s entire body with chemicals in an effort to kill tumor cells. Almost all of the drug, however — upwards of 99 percent, Farokhzad said — misses the tumor entirely. Instead, the highly toxic chemicals hit other organs and tissues, forcing physicians into a high-wire act balancing tumor-killing effectiveness and toxicity, which can lead to a range of side effects, and even kill the patient.In addition, Farokhzad said, the traditional chemo infusion results in a short-duration pulse during which the tumor sees most of the drug. Concentrations then typically fall quickly as the body clears away the chemical.In controlled-release therapy, the nanoparticle concentration is also highest in the blood immediately after infusion, but because the drug is released from the particles more slowly, its peak concentration — and its highest toxicity — is lower, blunting unwanted side effects.At the tumor site, the opposite happens. The nanoparticles’ ability to lock onto tumor cells delivers between five and 10 times the dose of traditional chemotherapy at any moment. And because particles circulate in the blood longer, the tumor’s exposure is also longer.“A tumor sees a materially increased drug concentration compared with the drug given in conventional form and the rest of the body sees about the same level of the drug,” Farokhzad said. “[But] it’s being delivered much more gently over time.”Two potential therapies based on work in Farokhzad’s lab are in human testing. The first, BIND-014, uses targeted nanotherapy for lung and prostate tumors. The drug candidate recently passed phase 1 trials, which are focused on a drug’s safety, and entered phase 2 trials, which measure the therapy’s effectiveness. Farokhzad said the molecular target on the prostate cancer cell is also found on the cells of tumor blood vessels, giving the therapy potentially broader cancer-fighting applications.Two potential therapies based on work in Farokhzad’s lab are in human testing. The first, BIND-014, uses targeted nanotherapy for lung and prostate tumors. The drug candidate recently passed phase 1 trials, which are focused on a drug’s safety, and entered phase 2 trials, which measure the therapy’s effectiveness. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerThe second therapy, which is in phase 1 trials, is a nicotine nanoparticle vaccine, meant to help smokers quit and prevent relapse for those who have done so. The vaccine works by sensitizing the immune system to nicotine, a small molecule that normally escapes the immune system on its way to the brain’s pleasure centers. The vaccine makes nicotine visible to the immune system, clearing it from the body and removing the pleasurable sensation it causes.The trials are being run by two of the three companies Farokhzad has founded since 2007. The first, Bind Therapeutics, was established to develop the early promise of targeted nanoparticles for cancer treatment. The second, Selecta Biosciences, was similarly founded to pursue nanoparticle-based vaccine development. The third company, Blend Therapeutics, is designing drug molecules that are optimized from the start to work with nanoparticles to target infectious diseases, inflammation, pain, and cancer.Passing the “who cares’’ testFarokhzad, who received his M.D. from Boston University, was drawn to nanoparticle research during his residency at BWH. In addition to his clinical duties, he was conducting research on the transcription factors that regulate the expression of genes involved in myeloid differentiation, but he was looking for a project that had a near-term potential to improve the lives of patients he was seeing in the clinic every day.“I was just stepping back … and looking at the big picture. If I did everything well and understood the transcriptional regulation of these genes, whose lives would it change? At the end of the day, does it pass the ‘who cares’ test?” Farokhzad said. “I wanted things that had a human application, a bench-side innovation that could go to the bedside.”Farokhzad heard about Langer, who runs the largest biomedical engineering lab in the world and has conducted pioneering work in tissue engineering and drug delivery systems, including long-lasting nanoparticles.  He contacted Langer, who agreed to take him on as a postdoc.Farokhzad explored creating nanoparticles with nucleic acids on their surface that bind to specific sites on cancer cells, like a key that fits a lock, as he described it. In 2004, he demonstrated that the technique worked on cells in a lab dish and, a year later, delivered a talk at an international cancer conference in Paris describing experiments showing that the technique worked in animals.“I thought if there was a way to spatially control which tissues saw more of the drug, it would be a paradigm shift,” Farokhzad said.The response was immediate. Conference organizers chose his work to be among the handful of findings they promoted out of the conference, and the media attention drew venture capitalists looking to finance the next big discovery.Farokhzad, who had left Langer’s lab in 2004 to start his own lab at the Brigham, turned to Langer, who he knew had started several companies. Together, the two co-founded Bind Therapeutics.“He totally took it to a huge new level,” Langer said of Farokhzad’s development of earlier nanoparticle research. “Omid is passionate about making discoveries into new products that can help people’s lives.”Farokhzad not only took from Langer’s lab an interest in nanoparticles, he also adopted Langer’s view that private industry is an essential partner in bringing discoveries to the patient.“My philosophy has been: ‘How do you get these things to the public?’ Our lab is a pretty good size and does pretty well in grants, but you can only go so far in what you expect students to do,” Langer said. “These companies provide a terrific vehicle for bringing these ideas from the lab to the clinic.”Tools to deliver needed drugsToday, Farokhzad’s lab takes up one entire floor plus part of another in the Brigham’s Medical Research Building in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Its 30 investigators, including fellows and students, explore ways to make nanoparticles with novel properties that might make them useful in therapy. One of his longtime fellows, Jinjun Shi, has received an appointment as an assistant professor of anesthesia and is moving upstairs to open his own lab.Nanoparticles, Farokhzad said, can be engineered to do more than just target specific cells. They can be used flexibly to answer any number of therapeutic challenges, eliminating the need to find compounds that by themselves are both effective therapies and effective delivery systems within the body.One recent thrust has been to develop a nanoparticle without using organic solvents because the solvents react with some types of therapeutic drugs, breaking them down before they can enter the bloodstream. Another effort, in collaboration with Langer and Richard Blumberg, a professor of medicine at HMS and the Brigham, has been to develop a particle that can be taken orally. The process mimics the natural process through which infants gain the antibodies that give them their initial protection on entering the world. The babies absorb the antibodies in their mother’s breast milk, and the antibodies cross the gut/blood barrier to give them immune protection. When nanoparticles are attached to antibodies, they can hitch a ride into the bloodstream through a barrier they couldn’t cross alone.“If oral delivery of biologics is so difficult, why do babies do it so effectively?” Farokhzad asked.last_img read more

A hot idea for conserving energy

first_imgWhen winter temperatures drop to frigid in Cambridge, the air inside some rooms at Eliot House soars to downright tropical.That’s because Eliot, an upperclassman dormitory built in 1931, uses a steam-driven heat exchanger to pump hot water through the building whenever the outdoor temperature drops below 48 degrees. To ensure that enough steam reaches radiators at the end of the line, radiators in rooms closer to the input get hotter than necessary.With limited temperature controls in their dorm rooms, some sweltering students resort to cracking windows to let some of the heat escape. Aldís Elfarsdóttir ’18, an environmental science and engineering concentrator at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), didn’t like the environmental implications of that.Curious about the impact of wasting all that energy, she took on an extracurricular project through her work with the Harvard Office for Sustainability (OFS) to quantify the amount of energy flying out the windows during wintertime. This inefficiency is one reason undergraduate Houses are undergoing a renewal that includes state-of-the-art heating systems and energy-efficient windows.Working with Siemens energy engineer Christopher Bitzas, Elfarsdóttir discovered that if all its windows were kept closed through the winter, Eliot House could save 358 million BTUs of thermal energy — slightly more energy than an average person in the United States consumes during an entire year. Based on the cost of purchasing steam, closing the windows would save nearly $14,000 each winter.With that data in mind, Elfarsdóttir attended a design-thinking workshop at SEAS, organized in conjunction with OFS. There she met Patrick Kuiper, M.E. ’16, then an applied mathematics master’s student, who introduced her to Patrick Day, S.M. ’16, an engineering sciences master’s student. Together, they launched a data-gathering project to help Eliot House conserve energy. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences Office of Physical Resources and Planning provided funding, and OFS advised the team. House reopens after 15-month renewal project No loss of character in new-look Dunster The project involved installing Intel Edison Internet of Things development boards, retrofitted with temperature and humidity sensors, into 15 Eliot House dorm rooms to gather real-time environmental data.“We had been using these devices for fun, and then Aldís came along and had a great application for them,” Kuiper said. “These simple devices give us a way to quantitatively analyze people’s temperature perceptions.”Fine-tuning the miniature computers and connecting them to Amazon Web Service to collect and organize data was an iterative process that involved its share of trial and error, Day said.But the biggest challenge the team faced came when they arrived at Eliot House in early August to install the devices. Due to a scheduling conflict with a move-in day, they had less than 24 hours to set up all 15 computers. They had to work late into the night to installing the sensors in all four floors of the House.The devices now provide temperature and humidity information twice an hour. The team intends to use that data, in conjunction with qualitative input from resident surveys, to help students select rooms they are likely to find more comfortable.So far, 106 residents have completed a survey that asks their temperature preferences and demographic background. In the spring, Elfarsdóttir will survey residents again to determine whether their room felt too hot or too cold for them during the winter.That data will lay the foundation for a model that can be used to make suggestions to students when it comes time for room selection, said Kuiper. For instance, a student who hails from the Deep South and loves beach weather might be more comfortable in a room that gets warmer in winter, he said.“I am so excited to see this project come to life,” Elfarsdóttir said. “Our hope is that, by increasing occupant comfort, we can simultaneously save energy because there will be reduced window-opening during winter.”In addition to reducing energy usage, the team hopes the data generated will contribute to other research projects, at Harvard and beyond.“Maybe this project will help inform the upcoming renovations at Eliot House,” Day said. “Hopefully, this will provide some real data that will help decision-makers select a heating system that will work better for the building.”Heather Henriksen, who directs the OFS, said one of her office’s primary goals is to facilitate projects like this that use the campus as a test bed for student and faculty research.For Elfarsdóttir, it was especially rewarding to work on a project that could impact the future of her House, which is due to be renovated in three years.As she travels through narrow hallways and up creaky flights of stairs, checking the sensors and chatting with housemates about the project’s progress, it’s clear to Elfarsdóttir that stately Eliot House has become a living laboratory.“This project has impressed upon me how data can show us, in a completely quantitative way, how we are interacting with our living environment,” she said. Relatedlast_img read more

Eurocopter Unveils New Look Helicopter

first_img Eurocopter unveiled a new-look hybrid helicopter on Monday in a bid to counter U.S. rival Sikorsky’s efforts to break the speed barrier by rewriting the rules of rotorcraft design. The X3 protoype — which combines forward-facing propeller engines astride two short aircraft wings with overhead rotor blades — was unveiled at the European company’s factory in southern France following months of secrecy about the project. The half-plane, half-helicopter design aims to overcome chronic obstacles to high-speed helicopter flight by combining the advantages of fixed-wing aircraft with those of a standard helicopter, allowing it to fly at 220 knots or 400 km/hour. The move by the world’s largest civil helicopter maker comes less than two weeks after United Technologies unit Sikorsky claimed an unofficial speed record of 250 knots (460 km/hour) with its own next-generation prototype called X2. Today, helicopters typically cruise around 140 knots. Eurocopter, part of European aerospace group EADS, said its X3, sporting black-and-white striped propellers, had flown for the first time on Sept. 6 at a French government testing site. Sikorsky’s X2 made its maiden flight in 2008. The technology clash reflects fierce competition between helicopter makers to deliver more speed without sacrificing stability or efficiency. Under current designs, rotor tips approach supersonic speeds when pushed to fly too fast and this can threaten the stability of the base of the rotor, executives said. Helicopter makers have devoted years of research to solving the problem, but typically the faster a helicopter flies, the less efficient it is when hovering and vice-versa. Eurocopter Chief Exceutive Lutz Bertling said the X3 would be more cost-efficient than its competitors, which also include the existing Bell Boeing tilt-rotor aircraft. “All big helicopter manufacturers are looking for more distance and more speed,” Bertling told reporters. “It only makes sense to increase speed if in the end what you gain is not over-compensated by increased cost.” If successful, the new machine will be marketed for long-distance search and rescue, inter-city shuttle services or military uses including special forces operations. Reuters reported Eurocopter’s plans to unveil the X3, ending months of industry speculation. The Sikorsky model features two main rotors atop the cabin, which spin in opposite directions. That both neutralises the spinning force applied to a traditional single-main-rotor helicopter and provides a speed boost. One thing the European and U.S. machines have in common is that their unusual design eliminates the need for the sideways tail rotor used to stabilise traditional helicopters. By Dialogo September 28, 2010last_img read more

Trump stunned by Burden

first_imgWorld number one Judd Trump suffered a shock first-round defeat at the PTC Grand Finals in Galway as Alfie Burden sprung a huge surprise. Victory saw Burden, a lowly 55 in the rankings, reach the last 16 of a full ranking event for only the second time in his career and the first since 1997. Trump, who followed world number two Mark Selby out of the tournament, mustered a best break of 44 and made a number of mistakes around the table, while 36-year-old Burden impressed with breaks of 76 and, in the deciding seventh, 116. Press Associationcenter_img John Higgins was knocked out 4-2 by a fit-again Ali Carter. Carter, who could not take part in last month’s Haikou World Open due to complications with his Crohn’s disease, sealed a place in the last 16 with the win. He took advantage of a missed red to make a 79 clearance in the first frame before Higgins made it 1-1 with a run of 111. Carter then made it 3-1 and 4-2 to progress. Chinese number one Ding Junhui reversed a 3-1 deficit to defeat Andrew Higginson 4-3. Higginson, a semi-finalist here last year, reeled off breaks of 57 and 71 on his way to a two-frame lead but Ding changed the momentum irreversibly with a turn of 118 in the fifth. His compatriot Xiao Guodong was also successful, securing a 4-1 win over former world champion Graeme Dott, who was in ragged form. Rod Lawler denied China another winner on the night as he defeated Cao Yupeng 4-2. After losing the opening frame, Liverpudlian Lawler took the next three to put him on the road to victory. In the day’s final game, Norwegian Kurt Maflin beat former world champion Ken Doherty 4-2. last_img read more

Federal High Court Disowns ‘Writ of Execution’ by Giwa Group

first_imgThe Head of Communication department of NFF, Ademola Olajire, insisted that the Registrar of the Federal High Court, Jos, Mr. Nasiru Gusau monday in said the document circulated in the media lastweek did not emanate from the court.“We did not issue any writ of execution on this matter. What you are saying is strange to me,” Gusau said in a video interview made available to the media lastnight.Gusau explained further: “The Giwa people made an application for writ of execution, which the court declined. The court cannot execute a declaratory judgment or an interlocutory order.“Moreover, if the case is on appeal, how can the High Court issue a writ of execution?”Olajire claimed that the undated and completely invalid ‘writ of execution’ submitted at the NFF secretariat last Friday, by an Executive Officer (Accounts) with the Federal High Court, Jos, Langmbweng Enoch Wupeh.“The ‘writ of execution’ was, strangely, prepared and signed by Plaintiff Counsel (Giwa’s lawyer), and to it was attached only the first two orders made by the court, leaving out the most recent orders that struck out the first two, as well as the Hon. Judge’s clarification. The signature of a ‘Judge’ (no name) was poorly forged,” he explained.After its 25 –minute misadventure at the Glass House, the Giwa group issued a self –deluding statement that it had ‘taken over’ the NFF.The invasion came only 24 hours after a peace meeting ordered by the Nigeria Parliament. Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Sports (which is saddled with the responsibility), Rt. Hon. Anayo Nebe, at the weekend expressed huge disappointment with the Giwa group’s actionIn a related development, the Federal Capital Teritory (FCT) Police Commissioner, Wilson Inalegwu, ymonday summoned both Amaju Pinnick and Chris Giwa, the two factions claiming the sole of the Glass House.Pinnick and Giwa held separate meeting with the police chief at his office as the crisis assumed a new and dangerous twist, where in trying to reinforce their claim as the NFF President, and they reported at the Glass House at different time.Giwa, accommpanied by Effiong Johnson, Sani Ferma and Yahaya Adama, stormed the Glasshouse few minutes after Pinnick addressed the media and secretariat staff.They were given access by the Divisional Police Officer Wuse Zone 3, Supretendent Irek Sunday after getting clearance from Inalegwu.They later left to inspect the Sunday Dankaro House, the new NFF Secretariat under renovation.Pinnick insisted he was validly elected NFF President. He said his appeal due to be heard on June 28, negated the ruling of the lower court which gave an order that favour Giwa.He also accused the Giwa group of trying to sabotaging Nigeria’s quest to qualify for 2018 World Cup in Russia by using force to take over the NFF office last Friday, a day after the House of Representatives Sports Committee brokered a truce between him and Giwa.He also insisted Giwa remained banned by Confederation of African Football (CAF) which also reserves the right to unban him.” I should not have sat down with him before the House Committee, I only did it out of respect to the lawmakers and Nigerian government. The issue of lifting his ban is a CAF congressional issue and not a decision by NFF board. I remainthe President of NFF as I was elected till 2018.“Aside from that, I was not joined in the court case and can’t be removed from office as ruled by the Supreme Court. The parties joined in the case are Aminu Maigari and Musa Amadu. I remain the President, ” Pinnick said.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram GLASSHOUSE TAKE OVERAs FCT police comissiomer summons Pinnick, GiwaFemi Solaja and Olawale Ajimotokan in AbujaThe unending drama in the Glass House took another turn last night as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) produced an evidence from the Federal High Court in Jos that disowned the ‘writ of execution’ being bandied by the Giwa group.last_img read more