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Día Internacional de la Mujer 2011.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\" Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí. Más »

Entrega de Silla de Ruedas.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\" Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí. Más »

Compartiendo con nuestras socias y socios de la tercera edad de Molino Abajo, Temoaya, Estado de México.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\" Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí. Más »

Visita la página de “Código Ayuda A.C.” Aquí

Entrega de Reconocimiento por la AMS a la labor de Gabriela Goldsmith Presidenta de \"Código Ayuda A.C.” Más »

Día de la Niñez 2011 con nuestras socias y socios de San Lorenzo Tepaltitlán, Toluca, Estado de México.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\" Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí. Más »

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\" Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí. Más »

“Yo Me Declaro Defensor” de los Defensores de Derechos Humanos

Participación en la campaña “Yo Me Declaro Defensor” de los Defensores de Derechos Humanos por la Alta Comisionada de los Derechos Humanos de la ONU Navy Pillay. Más »

Entrega de Reconocimiento al Lic. Enrique Peña Nieto por su apoyo como gobernador a los grupos vulnerables de nuestra Asociación.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\" Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí. Más »

Compartiendo con nuestras socias y socios de la tercera edad en Molino Abajo, Temoaya, Estado de México.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\" ¡Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí! Más »

Compartiendo con nuestras socias y socios de la tercera edad en Molino Abajo, Temoaya, Estado de México.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\" ¡Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí! Más »

Compartiendo con nuestras socias y socios de la tercera edad en Molino Abajo, Temoaya, Estado de México.

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\" ¡Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí! Más »

Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\" ¡Visita la página de Madres Solas Aquí! Más »

Thelma Dorantes Autora y Actriz principal de la obra de Teatro \"Hombre Tenía que Ser\".

Visita de Thelma Dorantes a las oficina de la Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\" en Toluca, Estado de México. Más »

Thelma Dorantes Autora y Actriz principal de la obra de Teatro \"Hombre Tenía que Ser\".

Visita de Thelma Dorantes a las oficina de la Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\" en Toluca, Estado de México. Más »

Thelma Dorantes Autora y Actriz principal de la obra de Teatro \"Hombre Tenía que Ser\".

Visita de Thelma Dorantes a las oficina de la Asociación de Madres Solteras y Grupos Vulnerables para el Desarrollo Social \"Por un Trato más digno Yo Madre Soltera Aquí Estoy A.C.\" en Toluca, Estado de México. Más »

Premio Nacional del Trabajo 2012.

Entrega a los trabajadores de la Dirección de Organización y Desarrollo Administrativo de la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México del Premio Nacional del Trabajo 2012 por la Secretaría de Trabajo y Previsión Social del Gobierno de México. Más »

 

Making the most of social media

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News
http://news.mit.edu/sites/mit.edu.newsoffice/files/styles/article_cover_image_original/public/images/2017/social-media-at-mit-00.jpeg
Social media can be a great way to promote your MIT department, lab, center (DLC), or group and to engage with your audience. For those who are new to it, though, running multiple sites for outreach can be daunting. Jenny Fowler, the manager of social media strategy in MIT’s Communications Initiatives, shares some tips for those starting to build a social media presence.

Which platform?

The most popular platforms are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with Snapchat on the rise. Fowler recommends Facebook for those new to social media. “Facebook is still really popular with early teens, and their grandparents are on it too. It has this huge audience reach and lets you do almost everything, now. You can post images, post videos, go live, create events, and more.”

You’ll want to give careful thought before taking on a new platform. Fowler encourages communicators to consider their goals, audience, and the platforms their audience may be using. Also consider the type of content that will be shared. For example, if you plan to share a lot of images, Instagram is a good choice.

Fowler cautions communicators from rushing into new platforms. “Opening a platform just to be in that platform is spreading your valuable time even thinner. Decide if it makes sense.”

Creating content for social

Once your group’s social media presence stretches across two or more platforms, it’s important to tailor the content. “My posts on Facebook are different from my posts on Twitter and my posts on Instagram,” says Fowler. “It can be the same content, but it should be presented using the best practices of that platform.”

It’s also helpful to understand the user base for each platform when deciding what content to use. For example, Snapchat skews younger than Facebook or Twitter.

Although each platform is different, one thing remains the same: visuals. Putting a picture or video on every social media post has come to be expected — and is demonstrated to improve audience engagement. GIFs are a great way to spice up your feed; you can find them on the Giphy site, including some that are MIT-specific.

Hashtags 

Hashtags are an important part of social media. Fowler pictures a hashtag as a “virtual room.” Those who know about the hashtag and are interested in the topic will use it to enter the conversation.

They’re not used in the same way on each platform, however. Fowler notes that “Instagram is the medium where you can just hashtag away. You can have 23 hashtags and it’s fine, but on Twitter it gets messy. On Twitter I recommend using just one or two.” Facebook has implemented hashtags as well, but they aren’t often used there.

“Twitter is the most hashtag savvy, the most actively engaged in hashtags,” Fowler explains. “Although Instagram allows for the use of many hashtags, I feel the importance of each one is lost. Instagram hashtags help users find each other, Twitter hashtags help users discuss hot topics.”

To find active hashtags, Fowler searches within Twitter. While she normally uses hashtags that are already popular on Twitter, she does create original hashtags for unique topics such as #MIT2016, the commencement hashtag that’s updated each year.

Fowler warns against creating too many new hashtags, though, going back to the virtual room idea: “If you create a room that no one else knows exists, it’s just you talking to yourself.”

Analytics

Social media gives you a quick and easy way to gauge audience interest. The amount of likes, comments, and shares a post gets can be telling. “I’m not a fan of vanity metrics,” says Fowler, referring to impressions and reach. “It doesn’t mean that everyone a post ‘reached’ necessarily even saw the post. The metrics I value are likes, retweets, and shares — engagements. Those mean that people looked at that post and were motivated to do something.”

Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics provide these numbers, as well as trends, for free. Hootsuite is an external service that provides analytics for multiple platforms and helps manage and schedule social media. It has a free version, or you can contact Fowler to ask about Hootsuite Enterprise, a paid license.

Analytics show which posts are the most compelling. Once the account has enough content, trends may appear around specific types of posts. “Our posts with pictures of the dome do really well, so we probably post a picture of the dome about once a month because people love it. Analytics help you make more informed content strategy decisions,” Fowler says.

She counsels, “To start off, measure one metric. It depends on what your goals are. Maybe you’re concerned with video views or Twitter engagements. Check that metric often, and it’ll look the same for a while, but one day it will do something crazy. It will spike up or shoot down and you’ll ask ‘why did that happen?’”

If that metric isn’t providing enough information, focus on another. “Maybe the video views aren’t telling you what you’re looking for, so you decide to look at how many people click through from your post to an article.” Fowler notes, “You can be really specific, and you can change your mind.”

Engaged support

Fowler is a resource on campus for those seeking guidance about their group’s social media presence. She hasn’t created any online guides because social media is so versatile, but she’s happy to meet with community members and give them personalized advice: “I’m here to talk about content strategy and help you zero in on your goals and focus.”

If you manage a social platform for a DLC or manage a person who does, you can join the social-media email list and the Social Media Working Group, which meets monthly on campus. To find out more, or to set up an appointment, send email to Jenny Fowler.


Making the most of social media

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News
http://news.mit.edu/sites/mit.edu.newsoffice/files/styles/article_cover_image_original/public/images/2017/social-media-at-mit-00.jpeg
Social media can be a great way to promote your MIT department, lab, center (DLC), or group and to engage with your audience. For those who are new to it, though, running multiple sites for outreach can be daunting. Jenny Fowler, the manager of social media strategy in MIT’s Communications Initiatives, shares some tips for those starting to build a social media presence.

Which platform?

The most popular platforms are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with Snapchat on the rise. Fowler recommends Facebook for those new to social media. “Facebook is still really popular with early teens, and their grandparents are on it too. It has this huge audience reach and lets you do almost everything, now. You can post images, post videos, go live, create events, and more.”

You’ll want to give careful thought before taking on a new platform. Fowler encourages communicators to consider their goals, audience, and the platforms their audience may be using. Also consider the type of content that will be shared. For example, if you plan to share a lot of images, Instagram is a good choice.

Fowler cautions communicators from rushing into new platforms. “Opening a platform just to be in that platform is spreading your valuable time even thinner. Decide if it makes sense.”

Creating content for social

Once your group’s social media presence stretches across two or more platforms, it’s important to tailor the content. “My posts on Facebook are different from my posts on Twitter and my posts on Instagram,” says Fowler. “It can be the same content, but it should be presented using the best practices of that platform.”

It’s also helpful to understand the user base for each platform when deciding what content to use. For example, Snapchat skews younger than Facebook or Twitter.

Although each platform is different, one thing remains the same: visuals. Putting a picture or video on every social media post has come to be expected — and is demonstrated to improve audience engagement. GIFs are a great way to spice up your feed; you can find them on the Giphy site, including some that are MIT-specific.

Hashtags 

Hashtags are an important part of social media. Fowler pictures a hashtag as a “virtual room.” Those who know about the hashtag and are interested in the topic will use it to enter the conversation.

They’re not used in the same way on each platform, however. Fowler notes that “Instagram is the medium where you can just hashtag away. You can have 23 hashtags and it’s fine, but on Twitter it gets messy. On Twitter I recommend using just one or two.” Facebook has implemented hashtags as well, but they aren’t often used there.

“Twitter is the most hashtag savvy, the most actively engaged in hashtags,” Fowler explains. “Although Instagram allows for the use of many hashtags, I feel the importance of each one is lost. Instagram hashtags help users find each other, Twitter hashtags help users discuss hot topics.”

To find active hashtags, Fowler searches within Twitter. While she normally uses hashtags that are already popular on Twitter, she does create original hashtags for unique topics such as #MIT2016, the commencement hashtag that’s updated each year.

Fowler warns against creating too many new hashtags, though, going back to the virtual room idea: “If you create a room that no one else knows exists, it’s just you talking to yourself.”

Analytics

Social media gives you a quick and easy way to gauge audience interest. The amount of likes, comments, and shares a post gets can be telling. “I’m not a fan of vanity metrics,” says Fowler, referring to impressions and reach. “It doesn’t mean that everyone a post ‘reached’ necessarily even saw the post. The metrics I value are likes, retweets, and shares — engagements. Those mean that people looked at that post and were motivated to do something.”

Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics provide these numbers, as well as trends, for free. Hootsuite is an external service that provides analytics for multiple platforms and helps manage and schedule social media. It has a free version, or you can contact Fowler to ask about Hootsuite Enterprise, a paid license.

Analytics show which posts are the most compelling. Once the account has enough content, trends may appear around specific types of posts. “Our posts with pictures of the dome do really well, so we probably post a picture of the dome about once a month because people love it. Analytics help you make more informed content strategy decisions,” Fowler says.

She counsels, “To start off, measure one metric. It depends on what your goals are. Maybe you’re concerned with video views or Twitter engagements. Check that metric often, and it’ll look the same for a while, but one day it will do something crazy. It will spike up or shoot down and you’ll ask ‘why did that happen?’”

If that metric isn’t providing enough information, focus on another. “Maybe the video views aren’t telling you what you’re looking for, so you decide to look at how many people click through from your post to an article.” Fowler notes, “You can be really specific, and you can change your mind.”

Engaged support

Fowler is a resource on campus for those seeking guidance about their group’s social media presence. She hasn’t created any online guides because social media is so versatile, but she’s happy to meet with community members and give them personalized advice: “I’m here to talk about content strategy and help you zero in on your goals and focus.”

If you manage a social platform for a DLC or manage a person who does, you can join the social-media email list and the Social Media Working Group, which meets monthly on campus. To find out more, or to set up an appointment, send email to Jenny Fowler.


Play Labs, a playful tech accelerator for MIT students and alumni, launches

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News
http://news.mit.edu/sites/mit.edu.newsoffice/files/styles/article_cover_image_original/public/images/2017/play-labs-mit-00.png
Bayview Labs and Seraph Group, in coordination with the MIT Game Lab, has announced Play Labs, a startup accelerator for MIT students and alumni to launch companies that utilize playful technologies. The first round of projects at Play Labs will run from June through August on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The initial batch of projects will be virtual reality and augmented reality technologies and applications, though the incubator will also consider startups using other playful tech, including 3-D modeling, rendering, streaming, gamification, artificial intelligence, and machine vision. Applications of playful technology can be within any industry, including online/mobile/VR gaming, e-sports, entertainment, education, health care, or finance.

Startups that are accepted into Play Labs will each receive an initial investment of $20,000 from the Play Labs Fund in return for common stock. Startups that graduate from the program and meet certain criteria will be eligible for up to $80,000 in additional funding from Play Labs and its investment partners.

The deadline for applying to the first round is Feb. 20. Full information on the program, eligibiity, and benefits can be found at playlabs.tv.   

The Play Labs program will be run by Bayview Labs and its executive director, Rizwan Virk ’92, an MIT alumnus in computer science and engineering and a prolific Silicon Valley angel investor, advisor, and mentor, in conjunction with the Seraph Group, a seed-stage venture capital investment firm founded by Tuff Yen.  

The MIT Game Lab, a research group in MIT’s Department of Comparative Media Studies/Writing, and Ludus, the MIT Center for Games, Learning, and Playful Media, will host and conduct the educational program for MIT-related startup companies employing playful technology. Teams will be given workspace on the MIT campus for the duration of the program.  

Also participating is VR@MIT, a student organization dedicated to fostering virtual/augmented/mixed reality entrepreneurship at MIT.

During the program, startup teams will be mentored by the executive director, and by faculty and staff from the MIT Game Lab. Additional speakers and mentors for the accelerator will include many successful entrepreneurs and experts in product design, sales and marketing, and fundraising, drawn from MIT alumni and Seraph Group. 

Virk, the executive director of Play Labs, has been a co-ounder, angel investor, and mentor to many successful startups using playful tech, including Gameview Studios (makers of Tap Fish, sold to DeNA); Funzio (sold to GREE); Tapjoy; SLIVER.tv; and Telltale games. Virk did his undergraduate thesis at the MIT Media Lab in the Interactive Cinema group, was in one of the first group of finalists in the MIT $100k competition (which was then called the MIT $10k Competition). After graduating from MIT, Virk worked DiVA, at one of the first startups spun out from the MIT Media Lab.

“MIT has been the starting point for many successful startups over the years,” Virk says. “Recently, a lot of focus or playful and gaming technologies, particularly virtual/augmented reality, has been on the West Coast, but I believe that the eco-system around MIT in Boston has great talent and startup ideas in these areas. When I graduated from MIT and thought of doing my first startup, I wish I had this kind of accelerator program, with support from both MIT staff and industry entrepreneurs and mentors. That’s why I designed the program in this way.”

“MIT students thrive on innovation and creative exploration,” says Scot Osterweil, managing director for Ludus. “We are pleased that through Play Labs we will help them move their most imaginative ideas into the realm of the possible.”

“We see tremendous opportunity to invest, support and partner with the MIT community of outstanding people,” says Yen. “Our network of successful investors will bring valuable experience, access and resources to startups.”


Play Labs, a playful tech accelerator for MIT students and alumni, launches

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News
http://news.mit.edu/sites/mit.edu.newsoffice/files/styles/article_cover_image_original/public/images/2017/play-labs-mit-00.png
Bayview Labs and Seraph Group, in coordination with the MIT Game Lab, has announced Play Labs, a startup accelerator for MIT students and alumni to launch companies that utilize playful technologies. The first round of projects at Play Labs will run from June through August on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The initial batch of projects will be virtual reality and augmented reality technologies and applications, though the incubator will also consider startups using other playful tech, including 3-D modeling, rendering, streaming, gamification, artificial intelligence, and machine vision. Applications of playful technology can be within any industry, including online/mobile/VR gaming, e-sports, entertainment, education, health care, or finance.

Startups that are accepted into Play Labs will each receive an initial investment of $20,000 from the Play Labs Fund in return for common stock. Startups that graduate from the program and meet certain criteria will be eligible for up to $80,000 in additional funding from Play Labs and its investment partners.

The deadline for applying to the first round is Feb. 20. Full information on the program, eligibiity, and benefits can be found at playlabs.tv.   

The Play Labs program will be run by Bayview Labs and its executive director, Rizwan Virk ’92, an MIT alumnus in computer science and engineering and a prolific Silicon Valley angel investor, advisor, and mentor, in conjunction with the Seraph Group, a seed-stage venture capital investment firm founded by Tuff Yen.  

The MIT Game Lab, a research group in MIT’s Department of Comparative Media Studies/Writing, and Ludus, the MIT Center for Games, Learning, and Playful Media, will host and conduct the educational program for MIT-related startup companies employing playful technology. Teams will be given workspace on the MIT campus for the duration of the program.  

Also participating is VR@MIT, a student organization dedicated to fostering virtual/augmented/mixed reality entrepreneurship at MIT.

During the program, startup teams will be mentored by the executive director, and by faculty and staff from the MIT Game Lab. Additional speakers and mentors for the accelerator will include many successful entrepreneurs and experts in product design, sales and marketing, and fundraising, drawn from MIT alumni and Seraph Group. 

Virk, the executive director of Play Labs, has been a co-ounder, angel investor, and mentor to many successful startups using playful tech, including Gameview Studios (makers of Tap Fish, sold to DeNA); Funzio (sold to GREE); Tapjoy; SLIVER.tv; and Telltale games. Virk did his undergraduate thesis at the MIT Media Lab in the Interactive Cinema group, was in one of the first group of finalists in the MIT $100k competition (which was then called the MIT $10k Competition). After graduating from MIT, Virk worked DiVA, at one of the first startups spun out from the MIT Media Lab.

“MIT has been the starting point for many successful startups over the years,” Virk says. “Recently, a lot of focus or playful and gaming technologies, particularly virtual/augmented reality, has been on the West Coast, but I believe that the eco-system around MIT in Boston has great talent and startup ideas in these areas. When I graduated from MIT and thought of doing my first startup, I wish I had this kind of accelerator program, with support from both MIT staff and industry entrepreneurs and mentors. That’s why I designed the program in this way.”

“MIT students thrive on innovation and creative exploration,” says Scot Osterweil, managing director for Ludus. “We are pleased that through Play Labs we will help them move their most imaginative ideas into the realm of the possible.”

“We see tremendous opportunity to invest, support and partner with the MIT community of outstanding people,” says Yen. “Our network of successful investors will bring valuable experience, access and resources to startups.”


SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News

An artist’s rendering of an exoplanet is shown. An exoplanet is a planet that exists outside Earth’s solar system. Illustration credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

Is there anybody out there? The question of whether Earthlings are alone in the universe has puzzled everyone from biologists and physicists to philosophers and filmmakers. It’s also the driving force behind San Francisco State University astronomer Stephen Kane’s research into exoplanets — planets that exist outside Earth’s solar system.

As one of the world’s leading “planet hunters,” Kane focuses on finding “habitable zones,” areas where water could exist in a liquid state on a planet’s surface if there’s sufficient atmospheric pressure. Kane and his team, including former undergraduate student Miranda Waters, examined the habitable zone on a planetary system 14 light years away. Their findings will appear in the next issue of Astrophysical Journal in a paper titled  “Characterization of the Wolf 1061 Planetary System.”

“The Wolf 1061 system is important because it is so close and that gives other opportunities to do follow-up studies to see if it does indeed have life,” Kane said.

But it’s not just Wolf 1061’s proximity to Earth that made it an attractive subject for Kane and his team. One of the three known planets in the system, a rocky planet called Wolf 1061c, is entirely within the habitable zone.  With assistance from collaborators at Tennessee State University and in Geneva, Switzerland, they were able to measure the star around which the planet orbits to gain a clearer picture of whether life could exist there.

When scientists search for planets that could sustain life, they are basically looking for a planet with nearly identical properties to Earth, Kane said. Like Earth, the planet would have to exist in a sweet spot often referred to as the “Goldilocks zone” where conditions are just right for life. Simply put, the planet can’t be too close or too far from its parent star.  A planet that’s too close would be too hot. If it’s too far, it may be too cold and any water would freeze, which is what happens on Mars, Kane added.

Conversely, when planets warm, a “runaway greenhouse effect” can occur where heat gets trapped in the atmosphere. Scientists believe this is what happened on Earth’s twin, Venus. Scientists believe Venus once had oceans, but because of its proximity to the sun the planet became so hot that all the water evaporated, according to NASA. Since water vapor is extremely effective in trapping in heat, it made the surface of the planet even hotter. The surface temperature on Venus now reaches a scalding 880 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since Wolf 1061c is close to the inner edge of the habitable zone, meaning closer to the star, it could be that the planet has an atmosphere that’s more similar to Venus. “It’s close enough to the star where it’s looking suspiciously like a runaway greenhouse,” Kane said.

Kane and his team also observed that unlike Earth, which experiences climatic changes such as an ice age because of slow variations in its orbit around the sun, Wolf 1061c’s orbit changes at a much faster rate, which could mean the climate there could be quite chaotic. “It could cause the frequency of the planet freezing over or heating up to be quite severe,” Kane said.

These findings all beg the question: Is life possible on Wolf 1061c? One possibility is that the short time scales over which Wolf 1061c’s orbit changes could be enough that it could actually cool the planet off, Kane said. But fully understanding what’s happening on the planet’s surface will take more research.

In the coming years, there will be a launch of new telescopes like the James Webb Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, Kane said, and it will be able to detect atmospheric components of the exoplanets and show what’s happening on the surface.

How the U.S. can beat hepatitis C: Don’t buy the pills, buy the company

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News
http://news.mit.edu/sites/mit.edu.newsoffice/files/styles/article_cover_image_original/public/images/2017/hepatitis-c-syringe_1.jpeg
In a recent article in Forbes, MIT Sloan School of Management visiting scientist Mark Trusheim and co-author Peter B. Bach, a physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, propose a startling response to the prevalence of hepatitis C and the high cost of the leading therapy: The U.S. government should not just pay for the pills — they should buy their maker.

The pharmaceutical company Gilead sells hepatitis C drugs that have 80 percent market share at an estimated average cost per patient as high as $42,000 per curative treatment course. In clinical studies it’s shown to halt, and in some cases reverse, liver damage caused by the disease. “In this unique case … there is an intersection of a clear winning therapy, large public health need, slow adoption, high product pricing,” and a solid business case, say the authors.

By taking the unorthodox approach of buying Gilead and divesting the parts not related to U.S. hepatitis C treatment, the United States “will make [the therapy] affordable to rapidly treat the 2.7 million Americans that the CDC estimates still have hepatitis C,” and save money in the long run, compared to the traditional approach of reimbursing for treatments, Trusheim and Bach say.

This unprecedented solution, backed by a break-up analysis and financial cost-benefit calculations, fulfills another public aim: “Improving the health and wellbeing of the U.S. is the very objective of public investment in research, medical care, and in this one case, the stock market,” the authors assert.

“In a desire to cure more patients faster, we discovered that private equity financial tools could provide a more effective route than what the current drug purchasing approaches are achieving,” said Trusheim, who is also a strategic director of the MIT NEW Drug Development ParadIGmS (NEWDIGS) initiative. NEWDIGS convenes a broad sample of healthcare stakeholders — including global leaders in research, development, insurance, regulation, clinical care, and patient advocacy — to develop and pilot innovative biomedical innovation practices that benefit all.

Current hepatitis C treatment costs are limiting their impact on patient care. “Science is making remarkable treatments possible,” said Gigi Hirsch, executive director of NEWDIGS and the MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation. “The creativity and analytic rigor that Peter and Mark demonstrate in this proposal stimulate the kinds of collaborative discussions we need to overcome the financial barriers between patients and the medicines they need.”


Joint Russian, Turkish Bombing Campaign in Syria Deepens NATO Crisis

This NEWS was origynally shared on Sutesuaem Universities News

The launching of coordinated air strikes by Russian and Turkish warplanes against Islamic State (ISIS) targets in northern Syria Wednesday has further exposed the crisis gripping Washington’s intervention in the war-ravaged Middle Eastern country, as well as the deepening contradictions plaguing the NATO alliance on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president.

The bombing campaign struck targets around the Syrian town of al-Bab, the scene of bloody fighting between Turkish troops and ISIS militants over the past several weeks.

From a political standpoint, the joint action by Russia and Turkey, a member of the NATO alliance for the past 65 years, is unprecedented. It stands in stark contradiction to the anti-Moscow campaign being waged by Washington and its principal NATO allies, which has seen the cutting off of military-to-military ties, the imposition of sanctions, and the increasingly provocative deployment of thousands of US and other NATO troops on Russia’s western borders. Just last week, the US sent 3,000 soldiers into Poland, backed by tanks and artillery, while hundreds more US Marines have been dispatched to Norway.

Turkey’s collaboration with Russia represents a further challenge to the US-led alliance under conditions in which Trump has severely rattled its European members with recent statements describing NATO as “obsolete” and charging its members with not “taking care of terror” and not “paying what they’re supposed to pay.”

The joint air attack was carried out under the terms of a memorandum reached between the Russian and Turkish militaries the previous week, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

The document, signed on January 12, was designed to prevent “incidents” between Turkish and Russian warplanes, as well as to prepare “joint operations … in Syria to destroy international terrorist groups,” Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudoskoy said in a statement.

Russian-Turkish relations reached their nadir in November 2015 when Turkish fighter jets ambushed and shot down a Russian warplane carrying out airstrikes against Islamist fighters near the border between Turkey and Syria. The incident brought Turkey, and with it NATO, to the brink of war with nuclear-armed Russia. At that point, Turkey was serving as the main conduit for foreign fighters, weapons and other resources being poured into Syria to wage the US-orchestrated war for regime change, while Russia was intervening to prop up its principal Middle East ally, the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In June of last year, Ankara sought to mend it relations with Moscow, which had retaliated for the shoot-down with economic sanctions. Relations grew closer in the wake of the abortive July 2016 military coup, which the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed on the US and its allies.

The turning point in bilateral relations between Turkey and Russia came at the end of last year, with the Russian-backed Syrian army’s routing of the Western-backed, Al Qaeda-linked militias in their last urban stronghold of eastern Aleppo. Turkey joined with Russia in brokering a withdrawal of the last “rebels” from the area and a nationwide ceasefire, which continues to prevail in much of the country.

Washington was pointedly excluded from the negotiations surrounding both Aleppo and the ceasefire. Only at the last moment has Moscow invited the incoming Trump administration—over the objection of Syria’s other major ally, Iran—to participate in talks aimed at reaching a political settlement over the six-year-old war that are to convene in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, next week.

The joint Russian-Turkish airstrikes around al-Bab came in the wake of bitter protests by the Turkish government over the refusal of the US military to provide similar air support for Ankara’s troops in the area. The Pentagon’s reluctance stemmed from the conflicting aims pursued by Turkey, which sent its troops into Syria last August in what the Erdogan government dubbed “Operation Euphrates Shield.”

Ostensibly directed against ISIS, Ankara’s primary target was really the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing, the People’s Protection Unit (YPG). The Turkish government views these groups as affiliates of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), against which it has waged a protracted counterinsurgency campaign within Turkey itself. The offensive against ISIS-controlled al-Bab is aimed principally at preventing it from falling to the YPG and at blocking the linking up of eastern and western Kurdish enclaves along Turkey’s border.

For its part, Washington has utilized the YPG as its principal proxy ground force in the US attack on ISIS, sending in US special forces troops to arm, train and direct these Kurdish fighters.

The US refusal to back Turkish forces around al-Bab with airstrikes led to angry denunciations of Washington by the Turkish president, who charged that the US was supporting “terrorists” instead of its NATO ally. Ankara also began delaying approval for US flights out of the strategic Incirlik air base in southern Turkey and threatened to deny Washington and its allies access to the base altogether.

It was likely these threats, combined with the Turkish-Russian agreement to conduct joint strikes, that led the Pentagon to reverse its previous refusal to support Turkish forces and launch limited bombing runs around al-Bab as well this week.

This crowded and geostrategically tense battlefield is likely to grow even more dangerous following Trump’s ascension to the White House.

Trump has reportedly called for the Pentagon to come up with proposals to deal a decisive defeat to ISIS in Syria and Iraq within 90 days. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Wednesday that he would “present options to accelerate the campaign” against ISIS to retired general James Mattis, Trump’s incoming defense secretary.

Citing unnamed Pentagon officials, CNN reports that “The Defense Department is prepared to provide the new administration with military options to accelerate the war against ISIS in Syria that could send additional US troops into direct combat.”

“One option would put hundreds, if not thousands, of additional US troops into a combat role as part of the fight to take Raqqa,” the Islamic State’s Syrian “capital,” according to the television news network. “… in the coming months, the Pentagon could put several US brigade-sized combat teams on the ground, each team perhaps as many as 4,000 troops.”

Plans are also reportedly being drawn up to escalate military provocations against Iran, which Mattis, in testimony before the Senate, described as the “biggest destabilizing force in the Middle East,” adding that the Trump administration must “checkmate Iran’s goal for regional hegemony.”

There is every indication, Trump’s rhetoric about improving relations with Moscow notwithstanding, that US imperialism is preparing for another eruption of militarism in the Middle East that will pose an ever greater threat of spilling over into a new world war.

Changing of the Guard in Washington

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It happens every four or eight years. America’s 22nd Amendment states:

“No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.”

“But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.”

Ratified by the required three-fourths of the then-48 states, it became the law of the land on February 27, 1951. It was introduced in response to Franklin Roosevelt’s four-time electoral triumphs. No other president served more than two terms, a precedent set by George Washington.

He declined to serve longer, saying he “didn’t fight George III to become George I.” His farewell address warned against involvement in “entangling” alliances.

He advised focusing mainly on domestic issues, counsel not followed except by John Adams, Jefferson and Madison.

More recently, things went disturbingly downhill. Washington would likely cringe at what’s ongoing. US presidents since James Monroe ignored his advice.

America is a warrior nation, a modern-day Sparta with nukes, its leaders and bipartisan congressional members disdainful of peace and stability, recent history most belligerent of all.

Changing of the guard in America usually occurs smoothly – this year very much out of step with tradition, events throughout the campaign and post-election unprecedented in US history.

Despite establishment forces and the press overwhelmingly supporting one major candidate over the other, the resoundingly denigrated outsider triumphed convincingly.

No matter. Efforts to delegitimize and undermine Trump persist, inauguration day and its aftermath promising to be tumultuous.

Hillary remains a sore looser. Graciousness was never her long suit. Wickedness defines her. Trump’s troubles may be just beginning. Dark forces wanting her to succeed Obama aren’t likely to give him a moment to breathe freely.

His tenure may be the most tumultuous in US history since the Civil War period – how it plays out and its ending yet to be determined.

It’ll take more than thick skin to handle what’s likely to come at him. America’s deep state gets what it wants. If replacing Trump with a more reliable establishment figure is intended, there’s little he can do to stop it

The Trump era begins at midday Friday – for as long as it lasts, a big changing of the guard uncertainty unlike any previous time in US history.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Octavia Spencer named Woman of the Year

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The Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the oldest theatrical organization in the United States, has named Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer as its 2017 Woman of the Year.

The award is bestowed annually on performers who have made lasting and impressive contributions to entertainment. Established in 1951, the award has been given to many notable entertainers, including Meryl Streep, Debbie Reynolds, Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Dame Helen Mirren, and most recently Kerry Washington.

A veteran character actress, Spencer has become a familiar fixture in television and film. Her critically acclaimed performance as Minny in Dreamworks’ “The Help” won her the 2012 Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, SAG Award, and Broadcast Film Critic’s Choice Award. She can currently be seen in the drama “Hidden Figures.”

The Woman of the Year festivities will begin at 3 p.m. on Thursday, when Spencer will lead a parade through the streets of Cambridge. At 4 p.m., she will be presented with her pudding pot at Farkas Hall, the Hasty Pudding’s home since 1888. A press conference will follow the presentation, and there will be a celebratory roast for the actress.

For the first time, the press conferences for Hasty Pudding’s Man and Woman of the Year will be live-streamed and available to the public free of charge. More information will be available on the Hasty Pudding’s social media channels soon via Facebook at facebook.com/thehastypudding, Twitter @thehastypudding, and Instagram @thehastypudding. Afterward, the Hasty Pudding will give a preview of its 169th production, “Casino Evil.”

“We could not be more excited to offer Ms. Spencer our Woman of the Year award. We are humbled by her talent and are so honored that our little pudding pot will be sitting alongside Ms. Spencer’s Oscar and Golden Globe on her mantle,” said Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ co-producer Adam Chiavacci.

“Everyone here is really looking forward to meeting her — as long as she doesn’t prove as difficult as her character on ‘30 Rock’!” added co-producer Natalie Kim.

Later this year, Spencer will be seen in “The Shack,” a film based on the best-selling novel of the same title. Spencer recently wrapped production on the film “The Shape of Water.”

To purchase tickets to “Casino Evil,” contact the box office at 617-495-5205 or order online at hastypudding.org/buy-tickets. The show will be performed at Farkas Hall, 12 Holyoke St., from Feb. 3 until March 5. The company then will bring the production to New York and Bermuda.

Two from MIT honored at World Technology Awards

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Leonardo DiCaprio began 2016 by capturing his long-awaited Academy Award for Best Actor, but his year ended in defeat, thanks to MIT graduate student Maher Damak.

Damak, a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a fellow in the MIT Tata Center, was named the winner of the Environment category at the World Technology Awards on Dec. 8 in Los Angeles. DiCaprio, a finalist in the same category for his work with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, had to settle for runner-up.

The annual awards, hosted by the World Technology Network (WTN), honor “outstanding innovators from each sector within the technology arena” whose work has “long-term significance in the fields of science and technology,” according to their website.

Moungi Bawendi, the Lester Wolfe Professor of Chemistry at MIT, joined Damak in the winner’s circle, taking home the Materials category award for his work in semiconductor nanocrystals, also known as quantum dots. Bawendi’s research has a wide range of uses, with applications from electro-optics to biology.

Meanwhile, DiCaprio was not the only celebrity in the running. John Oliver, host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” won in the Media and Journalism category; Secretary of State John Kerry won the Policy category; and prominent companies such as SpaceX were also recognized.

Damak’s research focuses on reducing runoff of agricultural pesticides by making sprays “stickier.” Many crops are hydrophobic — they repel water — which means that in some cases less than 2 percent of the pesticide actually stays on the plant. The rest ends up in the soil and water table, where it can become a significant environmental and human health hazard.

By introducing low-cost additives to the pesticide solution, Damak and his advisor, associate professor of mechanical engineering Kripa Varanasi, have demonstrated that they can enhance the efficiency of pesticide application by causing the droplets to better adhere to plants. They estimate that farmers using their system would need only one-tenth the volume of pesticide. Their findings were described in a paper in Nature Communications last year.

Damak says the next step is to begin large-scale field trials of the pesticide solution in collaboration with farmers in the U.S. and Europe, including orange growers and winemakers. “We’re talking to partners in Florida, California, and Italy who are interested in using the system.” They expect to begin these trials in the spring.

The scope of impact, however, is not limited to developed markets. The project initially focused on India, with support from the Tata Center for Technology and Design. There, most pesticide application is done by hand, making efficiency particularly important.

Ultimately, Varanasi and Damak see pesticide runoff as a global problem with both business and environmental consequences. So, while the initial large-scale testing is planned for the U.S. and Europe, Damak says, “India and the developing world is a very important market for us.”

And with about a year left in his PhD studies at MIT, Damak is looking to the future, and taking his technology to market.

“When I graduate, we plan to launch a startup to commercialize this product,” he says.

As World Technology Award winners, Damak and Bawendi will have the opportunity to participate in the nomination and judging process going forward. So, if DiCaprio and other Hollywood A-listers want to try their luck again next year, they know who they have to impress.