9 April 2013The latest attempt to counter the thriving crime of rhino poaching in South Africa comes in the form of a poisonous substance with which a game reserve is now treating its rhinos’ horns.Consumers of the “poisoned” rhino horn, generally found in Asia, risk becoming seriously ill from ingestion as it is contaminated with a non-lethal chemical package.Private game reserve Sabi Sand Wildtuin, at the southern end of the Kruger Park, is tired of watching an entire species vanish before its eyes.The reserve has resorted to taking matters into its own hands by injecting ectoparasiticides into the horns of 100 of its rhinos.Ectoparasiticides are not intended for consumption by humans; they are generally used for the control of ticks and parasites in animals. An ectoparasiticide is an antiparasitic drug used in the treatment of ectoparasitic infestations. It kills the parasites that live on the body surface.Toxic side-effectsAlthough not lethal in small quantities, they are toxic and symptoms of accidental ingestion may include severe nausea, vomiting and convulsions, among other side effects.Because of these side-effects, the treated rhino and their horns must be visibly identifiable, to avoid ingestion of treated horns by humans.Andrew Parker, the chief executive of Sabi Sand Wildtuin Association, says the reserve is leading this programme because it is located at the epicentre of the problem, at the southern end of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, where up to 70% of rhino killings occur.In addition to making whoever consumes the rhino horn very ill, the ectoparasiticides are accompanied by a pink dye that can be detected by airport scanners.“We realised that the treatment of the horns, along with an indelible dye, would go a long way towards helping us achieve our goal of protecting all rhinos in South Africa from poaching,” says Lorinda Hern of the Rhino Rescue Project.The dye is visible on an X-ray scanner even when ground to a fine powder. Airport security checkpoints are almost certain to pick up the presence of this dye in a treated horn regardless of whether the horn is intact or in powder form.“Testing is ongoing and comprehensive, to ensure that the animals have in no way been harmed by the administration of the treatment and, based on the research, it is believed that the treatment should remain effective for approximately three to four years, after which re-administration would be required,” says Hern.Diminishing the lucrative tradeThere is no doubt a solution to rhino poaching needs to be found. The number of rhinos lost to poaching in South Africa exceeded 300 in 2010 and over 400 in 2011.This week, the government said 203 rhinos had been killed by poachers so far this year, including 145 in Kruger Park.Rhino horn on the black market is worth an estimated R600 000 (US$66 000) a kilo for mature horns, which average four to 4.5kgs in weight when they are sawn or hacked off close to the animal’s skull.The poachers themselves receive a fraction of the R2.4-million to R2.7-million ($264 000 to $300 000) value of each horn from the syndicates that plan the raids and export the material.Logically, a permanent solution to poaching is to eliminate the demand for rhino horn altogether. Education will go a long way to teaching consumers that rhino horn contains no nutritional or medicinal value, however, education will not produce an immediate result – and results are needed urgently.The Sabi Sand game reserve hopes that these two tactics, implemented for the first time in South Africa, will put a dent in the lucrative rhino horn trade.“The media in South Africa and globally maintain a close watch on the shrinking herds of our rhino,” Parker says. “The same platform can expose exactly what the poachers are up against from now on.“They have had an easy ride so far, running a vast and brutal, hugely profitable trade under the noses of government authorities between here and Asia. Now we are forcing them to answer to their consumers about what they are passing off as medicine,” he adds.Sabi Sand has launched a widespread media campaign and posted signs on its fences to make poachers aware that its rhinos’ horns have been poisoned.First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.
The interview process is about mutual discovery—learn as much about your potential team and organization as they are learning about you. (Large preview)Question #5“What are the three pieces of your product that are most valuable but also in the most need of an update?”Why ask this?This question is all about priority and, similar to the prior question, this could be digging more into the tech stack of the product. My reason for asking actually has more to do with the “core loop” of the product. The core-loop is the dopamine hit that attracts a user and keeps them coming back to enjoy the product repeatedly.It’s akin to the food pellet that makes a rat respond to stimuli. It can also be a prime pain-point that’s a massive trigger for catastrophic system failure, and thus ultimate fear within the team. “Don’t do anything to this or our entire system could shut down.” When considering some changes to that legacy system perhaps we simply leave it alone, but we might enhance it in another way leveraging something more modern as an overlay or in a new tab or window?What follow-ups might provide more insight?What is standing in the way of doing this work?What team members could we talk to about these features?Have they done any research to understand what’s causing the behavior to be erratic or difficult to maintain?What users can we speak with about the features to understand how they’re using it?Perhaps there’s a slight tweak that could be made enabling the same outcome, but putting less stress on the system?Are there small tweaks that could be made to relieve pressure on the back-end and reduce strain on the database?How is this question received?Similar to the prior question, this can quickly get technical but it doesn’t have to. I’ve posted the question to a hiring manager who also forwarded it to a member of the product and dev teams who all gave slightly different answers. As suspected, they all provided some overlap which clearly showed what the most important problem was to work on from the business’ perspective. Don’t hesitate to ask they forward the inquiry on to someone who might be better suited or could provide a more nuanced response. Gathering broad viewpoints is a hallmark of what we designers do well.Question #6“Do you have a customer I might contact to get their thoughts about your product or service?”Why ask this?This may be the boldest question on this list, but it provides so much amazing value as an incoming designer. If we are operating as practitioners of a human-centered approach, we should be comfortable talking to users and our employer should be comfortable ensuring we have access to them. Granted, you may not yet be a member of the team, and they’re not yet your customer. But putting a willing foot forward in this area speaks confidently that you would love to get first-hand access to customer feedback.What follow-ups might provide more insight?How familiar is your team talking to their users?How often does this activity take place?Assuming this customer is a fan of the company, do we have access to users who aren’t so happy with the product?Do we ever seek feedback from someone who has canceled the service?How might the team use any insights you bring back to them?How is this question received?This question is bold and can be a bit tricky. Sometimes the team doesn’t have a good customer in mind, or even if they do, they don’t have ready access to them as customers are handled by a separate gatekeeper. At the same time, I would expect most companies to have a short-list of customers who think they’ve hung the moon. The marketing department tends to plaster their quotes all over the home page so feel free to look for that prior to the interview and ask for those contacts directly.When asking this question, I’ve also provided the questions I was intending to ask as well as the answers I got back. With free user research on the table and an opportunity for the marketing team to gain additional positive feedback asking this worked out in my favor, but that won’t always be the case. Be gracious and understand if someone’s not comfortable providing this access, but it’s a strong play in expectation setting for a human-centered design practice.Question #7“What is your dedicated budget for UX and design?”Why ask this?If the value of user experience is wrapped up solely in market research, then the company doesn’t understand a human-centered approach through their users. Market research can certainly be valuable by informing the company if a business idea might be financially viable. However, user research can guide the organization in delivering something truly valuable. This question can help a prospective designer understand that the company sees design as an investment and competitive advantage.What follow-ups might provide more insight?What percentage of your overall expenditures does this represent and why?What is the highest-titled member of the design team?What is the education budget in a given year for training or events?Has this grown, shrunk, or stayed flat compared to the prior year?What are the growth areas for the design team overall, i.e. where is the design investment focused?Research?Visual design?Copywriting?Architecture? How is this question received?This is honestly more of a leadership question, but it can be tailored to even an entry-level position. Any organization without a clear operating budget for design isn’t taking the practice seriously nor its practitioners. Product, engineering, and design are the components of a balanced team. Funding one at the behest of another is a dumpster fire and clearly communicates that the balance is out of alignment.The easiest answer I’ve been given is the salary and position I’m applying for, however, that shows a lack of foresight in terms of both growth for the team by way of headcount, as well as properly empowering designers to do their best work. HomeWeb DesignTough Interview(er) Questions For The Job-Seeking Designer Discussions during an interview. You have the floor so use it to your advantage. (Large preview)Just The BeginningThese are just a few of the types of things we could be talking about during experience or product design interviews. We certainly should care about excellent visual design and elegant UI. We should absolutely care about qualitative and quantitative analytic data and the insights they provide. We should definitely care about motion design, user flows, journey maps, design systems, microcopy, and culture fit. These are all part of the playbook of any strong, digital-design candidate. But the answers to the above topics can be incredibly impactful for the first 90 days and beyond when assuming a new design role.You may not be able to ask these questions in a face-to-face discussion, but they make a great follow-up email after an interview. Or perhaps they’re questions you keep in the back of your mind as they’ll inevitably come up in your first few months on the job. They could prove very useful to guide a longer-term, strategic vision that empowers you to improve the business by crafting glorious engagement with both your teams and your customers.Does Asking These Things Actually Help Get The Job?I’ve been asked if these questions were helpful in landing a better job and truthfully, I don’t know. I did find a very rewarding new position as a Principal Product Designer, and I used these questions throughout the interview process. After I was hired, I spoke to a couple of folks who were part of that process, and they mentioned the questions, so they were at least memorable.The entire line of questioning has also resulted in the opportunity to co-author a book around using design to address organizational change and reconsidering how the field of experience design is currently defined. I would posit both of these opportunities were impacted in some way by these thought-provoking questions, even if the projects have yet to be fully realized (we are just starting work on the book, but it’s a very exciting concept).I also used the questions in interviews with several different companies and ultimately, I was able to entertain multiple offers. Through each interview using these questions allowed me deeper insights about the organization than I would have had otherwise. Did the questions directly help me get the position? Of that I’m unsure, but they were absolutely beneficial for both my own awareness and for the team I eventually joined.Final ThoughtsApproaching the job interview process more like a researcher gave me a very different perspective on the process. Interviewing can be a stressful event, but it can also be a mutual glimpse into a shared future. Any prospective employer is inviting a designer to embark on a life journey with them — or at least a year or two — and the interview is where the two parties really start to get to know one another. The answers to these questions can help paint a more transparent picture of the shared road ahead for both the designer and the teams they might partner with.Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and whether you have other tough questions you’ve asked during interviews. I would love to know how they’ve been received and continue adding to my own list!Further Reading“How You Can Find A Design Job You Will Truly Love,” Susie Pollasky“Facebook Changes Its ‘Move Fast and Break Things’ Motto,” Samantha Murphy, Mashable“Sprints & Milestones” podcast by Brett Harned and Greg Storey“Playbook” offers career advice for designers via crowdsourced Q&A“Dear Design Student” is a collab from some amazing industry veterans providing wisdom to up-and-coming design talent. #invaluable Interviewing is a great opportunity to get to know the company, take notes! (Large preview)Interviewing Like A ResearcherThe following is a list of questions that can assist in your evaluation of a prospective employer and provide invaluable insight into their organizational maturity in the digital product space. All of these questions can help to paint a more holistic and honest picture of the design process as well as the value that a talented designer might bring to an organization. Below I’ll share questions I’ve asked, as well as their intent, along with some responses I’ve received from prospective employers. Let’s dive in.Question #1“What are the three biggest challenges facing your business over the next six months? What about the six months after that?”Why ask this?This is on the ground information for any designer. Upcoming challenges should be readily apparent for anyone on the existing team, and they’re already considering how the person being interviewed might help solve them. Framing the question in this way can provide valuable insight into how far ahead the team is thinking and how proficient they are at planning. It also can help a designer quickly bring value and insights to the organization.What follow-ups might provide more insight?Does work exist in the pipeline that a designer can help immediately bring to the product through evaluative research?Is there a product that has been delayed based on initial feedback?What insights were learned and how can that be used to tighten cycles and quickly iterate to production?Is a project hemorrhaging funds from a past launch that didn’t grow as quickly as anticipated?Are there ideas of how to save this investment and help it become successful?How is this question received?This is honestly the easiest of any question on this list. It’s a bit of a softball as I would expect any executive, manager, or team member to have this information top-of-mind. That said, when I’ve asked the question it shows that I’m already considering the above and how I might be a positive influence quickly. I’ve consistently gotten great answers to this question, and it also allows for an open conversation on how a candidates’ particular skill set could be leveraged immediately once hired.Question #2“Should you be moving fast and breaking things or moving slow and fixing things?”Why ask this?Facebook popularized the mantra of “Move fast and break things,” in an effort to fail quickly while continuing to grow from what was learned. While fostering a culture of continual learning is enormously valuable, not all problems can be solved by creating completely new products.Continuing to cover up technical debt through a constant barrage of new features can be catastrophic. That said, many organizations are held hostage by successful products that continuously add features so much that innovation is completely stifled. It’s very helpful to understand both sides of this question and the value they can bring to a product’s design.What follow-ups might provide more insight?How comfortable is the team with the idea of shipping a rough Minimum Viable Product (MVP), to gain insights quickly?How risk-averse is the company or group or even the design team?Is the business dealing with a very fragile codebase?How frequently is tech debt refactored?How is UX debt identified and managed?How is this question received?This is a very thought-provoking question for lean/agile organizations and the most common response I’ve received has been, “That’s a really great question,” and the ever-popular “It depends.” I’ve gotten fantastic responses by asking this as it affords an honest reflection on the current state of the business. The design team likely has an opinion on whether they are moving too fast or too slow and if they should behave a bit differently.The answer doesn’t need to be a scary thing, but it should be honest and should afford some honest reflection. The best designers I’ve known appreciate hearty challenges they can dig into, and this question can provide additional clarity as to what you’re stepping into.Question #3“If you’re moving fast, why?Why ask this?Moving fast can be very exhilarating, but it may not result in productivity. To some stakeholders I’ve spoken with, the word “Agile” is synonymous with “I get my things faster.” In reality, being agile or ‘lean’ is about learning and delivering the right product or solution in the smallest way to customers. Moving fast can be very advantageous so long as it’s coupled with a willingness from design to show work that may not be perfect but is functional to the point of being usable. This is where moving fast is great; learning can be realized quickly and new product directions can be identified early. This can inform an interviewing designer on how data and research are being collected and distributed to other teams or the larger organization. Alternatively, if this isn’t happening, it could indicate a large opportunity for change or an unmitigated disaster so be on the lookout and follow-up accordingly.What follow-ups might provide more insight?Are you trying to break things and learn from failure, or just moving fast because of #things?Are you looking to gain mindshare in a new market?How is the growth being managed?How is the doubling or tripling of staff affecting team dynamics, agile health, or even the company culture?What plan is in place for documenting and disseminating learning that has been gathered?How important is this task for the organization and the work I do as a designer?How is this question received?This question and the next tend to be contingent on individual teams or parts of the company. I’ve also had it backfire a bit as it’s easy for someone to become defensive of their organizational behavior. One exuberant response I’ve heard is “We’re failing fast and failing often on our teams!” but when pressed with, “What have you learned from those failures? How has that learning been incorporated into the project and received by leadership?” responses were a bit uncomfortable. This is a massive red flag for me — honesty is tremendously important to me. Just be aware this can start to get into uncomfortable territory, but it can also speak volumes about a team or leader in how they manage their response.Question #4“If you’re moving slow, why?”Why ask this?Sites and applications are like rose bushes: if they aren’t pruned periodically they can get unruly and — eventually — downright ugly. Likewise, the continuous addition of new features to any code base without sufficient refactoring and paying down tech debt can create a very fragile product. The company may have started moving quickly to capture market share or breaking things in order to build quickly and try out changes to the tech stack.From a design perspective, the biggest experience gains aren’t necessarily from a design system or improved onboarding. The company may need to modernize the tech stack to focus on improved performance or application up-time. The team may need to make changes to their delivery mechanism providing some form of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CICD), a system where a designer can more easily implement A/B testing and better understand where the most impactful changes might be made.Most designers would likely not give a second thought to the state of the tech stack because that’s an ‘engineering problem’, amirite? However, getting an up-front look at the state of the product from a technical perspective is immeasurably valuable, even to design.Understanding where the company is in upgrading their systems, what frameworks are being used, and how willing they are to invest in the infrastructure of a legacy product provides a glimpse into the company or team priorities.What follow-ups might provide more insight?Which parts of the site/application/product are least-effective?Should they be retired or reinvested in?How might these upgrades impact day-to-day work?Are new features being prioritized into the new product development so we can phase out aging systems?How will these changes impact customers?Can they still get their jobs done in the new system or are they going to be retired?How is that being communicated to users?Has there been any communication around sunsetting these retiring systems to lessen the burden?Has any analysis been done to understand how much revenue is provided by those users whose features are about to come to an end?How is this question received?This line of questioning has typically been handled offline as managers I’ve spoken to didn’t have the answers handy. They were typically fielded by an IT or Dev manager, who was more than happy to see that level of interest from a designer. As a designer, I don’t need to understand the details of my team’s API end-points, but I should understand something about the health of my digital product. Tough Interview(er) Questions For The Job-Seeking DesignerYou are here: Posted on 26th September 2018Web Design FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share (mb, ra, yk, il)From our sponsors: Tough Interview(er) Questions For The Job-Seeking Designer Tough Interview(er) Questions For The Job-Seeking Designer Tough Interview(er) Questions For The Job-Seeking Designer Joshua Bullock 2018-09-26T13:30:31+02:00 2018-09-26T12:29:21+00:00Whether you’re a multi-year veteran to the UX industry or fresh out of a higher education or boot camp style program, setting out into the job market can be a daunting task for any designer. From freelancing or working for a more boutique studio, doing agency work, or joining the enterprise, a myriad of positions, requirements, and organizations are available for a design practitioner who is looking to take the next steps in their career.In this article, I’ll present a list of questions from my personal experience to consider leading up to and even during the interview process. I’ll also include the goal when asking the questions, basically what you’re trying to learn, along with responses I’ve received when asking them of prospective employers.As with anything, your mileage might vary, but considering these topics before an interview may help you better solidify the perspective on what you are looking for from your next position. It is written primarily from the position of an interviewee, however hiring managers may also find them valuable by looking at their company through that lens and considering them for prospective designers.Recommended reading: The Missing Advice I Needed When Starting My CareerUnderstanding Design MaturityJared Spool and other UX leaders have written a few things about the design maturity of organizations and the ideal distribution of design resources. When considering taking a design position within an organization, how might we look at the company through this lens and better understand where they are on their experience journey? With numerous titles being thrown around (Experience Designer, Product Designer, UI Designer, Interaction Designer, UX Designer, and so on), what might provide additional clarity for the working relationship you’re about to enter into and the role you are about to assume?Having a few years in various design roles, I’ve spent time on both sides of the interview table — both as a hiring manager and as a prospective employee. In every interview I’ve been a part of, be it part of the hiring team or as an interviewee, an opportunity was presented to inquire about the team or organization. “Do you have any questions for us?” is the most common phrase I’ve heard and this presents a golden opportunity to dig deep and gain valuable insights into the dynamics of the team and organization you’re speaking with.Meet SmashingConf New York 2018 (Oct 23–24), focused on real challenges and real front-end solutions in the real world. From progressive web apps, Webpack and HTTP/2 to serverless, Vue.js and Nuxt — all the way to inclusive design, branding and machine learning. With Sarah Drasner, Sara Soueidan and many other speakers. Check all topics and speakers ↬When I am applying, I’m on the verge of entering into a new relationship, and to the best of ability, I want to understand where we are both headed. Just as the organization is investing in me as an individual, I am being asked for a commitment of time, energy, passion, creativity, and least of all artifacts. I would like to understand as much about my partners as possible. Given that no prenuptials exist in the working world, we may eventually part ways, and our engagement should be as profitable as possible for both sides.I’ve asked the aforementioned question many times of prospective candidates, and in some cases, the response has regrettably been completely passed over. The seemingly benign, “Do you have any questions for us?” opening affords any designer a wealth of opportunity to learn more about the company and design engagement. If design solves problems by gathering information, I propose we attend the hiring process as we would any other research effort. Related postsInclusive Components: Book Reviews And Accessibility Resources13th December 2019Should Your Portfolio Site Be A PWA?12th December 2019Building A CSS Layout: Live Stream With Rachel Andrew10th December 2019Struggling To Get A Handle On Traffic Surges10th December 2019How To Design Profitable Sales Funnels On Mobile6th December 2019How To Build A Real-Time Multiplayer Virtual Reality Game (Part 2)5th December 2019
This week Facebook company Parse announced the launch of new Parse software development kits (SDKs) for Apple’s tvOS and watchOS 2, so Facebook developers can build immersive apps for the Apple TV and the Apple Watch. Parse previously released support for the Apple Watch and App Extensions in April, which enabled developers to build apps with extensions running on Apple Watch alone—without having to rely on a constant connection to an iPhone. More recently, the company announced the open sourcing of its SDKs in August. A major challenge faced by Parse was local storage with tvOS, and it decided to re-architect local data persistence from the iOS SDK. In response to the problem of logging into apps via tvOS (difficult without a regular keyboard), the Facebook integration library has been updated to let users login to tvOS apps using the Facebook tvOS SDK by using just a few lines of code. Both new SDKs, as well as the updated Facebook integration library are available on GitHub. Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T… These Mistakes Can Derail a Legacy Software Con… Cate Lawrence Why Your Company’s Tech Transformation Starts W… Related Posts How AI is Learning to Play with Words Tags:#Apple#Apple TV#Facebook#parse#SDK#TvOS#Watch OS
This weekend, American Dreaming Magazine’s Pop Up Food Court returns for another round of delicious madness. Philly’s top food vendors wil be on the scene with an amazing selection of delectable treats. From fancy burgers and dogs to tasty ice cream, ‘tots and more—the hardest part will be deciding where to start, and when to stop. Event Details American Dreaming: Pop-Up Food Court When: Saturday, December 23, 2 – 8 p.m. Where: The Dreaming Building, 618 N. Front Street Cost: Free More Info: RSVP here American Dreaming: Pop Up Food Court
Blue Line Contractors Ltd. is a Toronto-area general contractor specializing in commercial and residential renovations that require expertise in structural modifications or complex building changes.Blue Line’s president, Silvio Santos, didn’t have the budget to hire an IT expert. But he knew the way they worked needed an overhaul, as he “would be on the phone from 6 to 10 or 11 every night organizing crews, organizing clients, and scheduling meetings.”The biggest issue for Blue Line was that their old system didn’t support remote access. That meant the team couldn’t collaborate seamlessly between the office and the site. It meant scheduling had to happen over the phone in the evening. And it meant Santos couldn’t take time off. “I used to go 24/7,” Santos says, “And I just don’t have that in me anymore.” Big Changes on a Small BudgetFor Santos, the only choice for the hardware refresh was Intel: “They have the reputation and have been around a long time. I’ve never had issues with Intel processors so I always stick with Intel.”Santos replaced his six-year-old PC fleet with a Lenovo ThinkServer, powered by an Intel Xeon processor E3-1225 v3. Site supervisors received new laptops featuring the Intel Core i5 processor family. All of the hardware was chosen carefully so the team could communicate changes and deal with issues on-the-fly. Schedule or design changes that once threw a wrench in the whole project and considerably slowed down the workday were suddenly no big deal.Santos says that with a new network infrastructure in place, Blue Line has also improved administration with more accurate payroll, and now has the capacity to email invoices and track expenses in real time. He believes these new tools will also help him attract new staff because he can offer more flexible work options. That flexibility extends to Santos himself, too: “I can now take a week off without feeling stressed. It’s a lot easier because I can be in communication and help to address issues quickly.” The New NormalThe day-to-day operations at Blue Line now look completely different. These days, Santos can put a schedule together any time of day and send it out. “If there’s a conflict, I know right away and can modify plans in real time so we don’t have downtime if someone doesn’t show up when they were expected,” he says.Before the refresh, Santos would travel back and forth to client locations to pick up and drop off drawings to quote projects. Today, drawings are emailed to Santos who accesses CAD drawings on his workstation powered by the Intel Xeon processor E5-1630 v3. According to him, “this has been one of the biggest benefits of the new technology.”Reviewing and quoting on large projects used to take two to three weeks to get drawings in for revisions and verification. Add another two weeks for production and six weeks later, they’d be starting installation.“Now, we can get shop drawings for urgent jobs in a day or two, if not same day,” says Santos. “The whole process has streamlined from a month to a day.”Santos estimates his business has grown 30 percent since they started making the investment in new technologies, and he’s projecting a further 30 to 40 percent increase in sales this year — all thanks to the right hardware.Learn more about Blue Line’s refresh process and how the right hardware upgrades could boost your small business. Have you upgraded recently? Comment below, and tell us what’s helped your small business compete! And join us on TwitterOpens in a new window!
Fetal brain cells called astrocytes are used in studies on Alzheimer’s disease. Science advocates who attended a “listening session” on the use of fetal tissue in medical research held today by senior officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington, D.C., say they are optimistic that they were listened to and heard. But many researchers remain concerned about reports that President Donald Trump’s administration is considering withdrawing funding for such studies, which are fiercely opposed by antiabortion advocates. “It was a very good conversation. It was not a ‘check the box’ meeting,” says Kevin Wilson, director of public policy and media relations for the American Society for Cell Biology in Bethesda, Maryland.“It was a wonderful opportunity to talk about the science,” adds Jennifer Zeitzer, director of public affairs at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), also in Bethesda. 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Martin Pera, a human embryonic stem cell expert at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, attended via Skype on behalf of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, based in Skokie, Illinois. (Travel delays prevented him from attending in person.)The off-the-record, invitation-only meeting was part of a new “review” of U.S.-funded research that involves human fetal tissue, derived from elective abortions, that would otherwise be discarded. The use of such tissue is legal under a 1993 federal law. The science advocates who attended today’s meeting left HHS officials with packets of information describing the tissue’s importance in research, from studies of how the Zika virus damages fetuses to probes of HIV biology and tests of drugs against it.Groups opposed to abortion have long opposed the use of the tissue, and in September they wrote letters to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb urging them to defund the research. The same month, HHS announced it was launching the review, and FDA said it was canceling a contract for supplying fetal tissue to the agency.The review is being spearheaded by Brett Giroir, a physician-scientist who is assistant secretary for health, and Paula Stannard, senior counselor to Azar; both were at today’s meeting. Also present in the HHS conference room were Lawrence Tabak, principal deputy director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funded an estimated $103 million in projects using human fetal tissue this year; and Lowell Schiller, senior counselor to Gottlieb.Fetal tissue research backers and opponents alike are watching the review process closely. Today’s meeting was one of several “listening sessions” with stakeholders that HHS has said will include abortion rights groups and ethicists, as well as academic institutions.Abortion opponents are hoping that the end result is a shutdown of U.S. funding for research using the tissue. David Prentice, research director at the Charlotte Lozier Institute in Arlington, Virginia, which opposes human fetal tissue research, applauds the review as “timely and welcome. … It’s good to see this in-depth examination of the science, bioethics, modern alternatives, and options. My hope is for those funds to go to better science.”Lawrence Goldstein, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego, who depends on human fetal tissue for his work studying Alzheimer’s disease, says he is reserving judgment on the outcome of the process. “There’s nothing wrong with review. That’s a good thing,” he says. “But I’m watchfully waiting to see whether they can do this in an objective way.”Some critics doubt the review will reach that objective result.“Azar has continually painted himself as a no-nonsense technocrat, yet he continually kowtows to antiabortion groups while ignoring the scientific and medical communities,” says Mary Alice Carter, director of Equity Forward, a New York City–based nonprofit that monitors the activity of antiabortion groups and supports human fetal tissue research.In a related development, Politico reported today that Giroir sent a letter to Representative Mark Meadows (R–NC), who opposes abortion, assuring him that HHS is “fully committed to prioritizing, expanding, and accelerating efforts to develop and implement the use of … alternatives” to fetal tissue from elective abortions.If HHS did decide to halt funding for human fetal tissue research, it is unclear whether the ban would apply to research grants that agencies have already awarded. Eight years ago, after a federal judge ruled that federally funded human embryonic stem cell research was illegal, in-house NIH projects were halted for 19 days, as were as reviews of new extramural proposals and pending grant payments. But NIH funds that had already been disbursed to extramural researchers were not affected.And 4 years ago, when the federal government paused a controversial type of influenza research known as “gain of function” experiments, officials halted new grants but asked only for a “voluntary pause” on ongoing projects.With reporting by Jocelyn Kaiser. Research groups attend HHS ‘listening session’ on fetal tissue research amid funding fears
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After 30 years, Johnlu Koa still doing ‘hard-to-make’ quality breads Experiencing traffic? Book a ‘ride-sharing flight’ to your destination PLAY LIST 01:02Experiencing traffic? Book a ‘ride-sharing flight’ to your destination01:35U.S. urges Japan, South Korea to share intel01:34After polls, Poe shares light moment with her staff02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH View comments ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims MRT 7 on track for partial opening in 2021 The Fatted Calf and Ayutthaya: New restos worth the drive to Tagaytay Clutch Go delivers anew for Blue Eagles Malditas save PH from shutout Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ LATEST STORIES Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Photo from Fiba.comGilas Pilipinas will parade the same lineup it used against Japan when it faces Chinese Taipei on Monday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Leading the way for the Philippines are naturalized center Andray Blatche and star guard Jayson Castro.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Also part of the roster are June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Calvin Abueva, Japeth Aguilar, Allein Maliksi, Troy Rosario, Kevin Alas, Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright, and Kiefer Ravena.READ: Gilas shakes off Japan to start World Cup qualifiers campaignFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe Philippines is coming off a 77-71 win over Japan on Friday in Tokyo to start its campaign in the Fiba World Cup qualifiers.Meanwhile, Chinese Taipei hopes to bounce back after suffering a humiliating 104-66 loss to Australia in its home court.
Two days after Aditya Tare’s six over fine leg off Rajasthan Royals’ James Faulkner sealed a victory and playoff qualification for the Mumbai Indians, cricket fans in the city are still gobsmacked.So unbelievable was the chase of 190 in 14.3 overs that it continues to be a big talking point even while a new government takes charge at the Centre, and ministers assume office.For the Mumbai team, it was a shot in the arm. Written off after finishing the UAE leg of the tournament winless, the defending champions clawed their way back into the top four, and the architect of that famous win, New Zealander Corey Anderson, said on Tuesday that the victory has changed the mindset of the team.”It makes us more fearless in a playoff scenario. A lot of people had written us off so to pull it off was a great feeling. It provided a sense of relief. Now, it’s a level playing field again. We need to continue being fearless, and build on the momentum,” Anderson said ahead of the team’s Eliminator match against the third- placed Chennai Super Kings.It’s certain that Mumbai will find it hard to replicate the sheer audacity and fearlessness of that performance, but Anderson was willing to be optimistic. “A lot of boys in the dressing room, myself included, thought that was a lot of runs to get. But we stayed optimistic and found a way to win, like we have in the past few weeks. We need to remain fearless even now,” he said.advertisementMumbai must thank Yusuf Pathan’s blitz on Saturday for elevating Kolkata Knight Riders into the top two, because otherwise, their inconsistent batting would’ve been up against the top bowling side in the tournament.As things stand, Chennai’s bowling -the medium pacers in particular – have shown themselves to be the team’s Achilles heel.Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming said their final league stage win against Royal Challengers Bangalore was important from a momentum point of view. “It was good and important against the run of Mumbai confident after heroics against Rajasthan. We had not played that well in those games. The worst defeat was against KKR at the Eden Gardens. The one [win] at Bangalore was just what we had asked for. We know pretty well what the players are going to deliver for us and the opportunity they are going to get,” he told reporters.One aspect that is expected to play a key role in the result is the venue.The Cricket Club of India’s Brabourne Stadium, situated at a stone’s throw from the regular Mumbai venue, the Wankhede Stadium, is hosting its first IPL game in three years, and while the conditions may not be too different to those at the Wankhede, both teams will still need to adapt.Of course, Mumbai have the advantage of playing at home, and crowd support for them will be vociferous. In fact, a CCI official told MAIL TODAY on Tuesday that online ticket sales had seen a mega spike soon after Mumbai’s win on Sunday and for Chennai.