EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE – An aerospace engineer at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center has been named the recipient of the National Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists’ top award for 2005. Robert Navarro, currently project manager for flight experiments on the Altair unmanned aircraft system at NASA Dryden, was honored with the MAES Medalla de Oro (Gold Medallion) award for outstanding technical contributions and educational outreach to the Latino community. Navarro was one of three Latino engineers who received the honor in November at the black-tie La Medalla do Oro banquet held in connection with the organization’s 31st annual symposium in San Jose. The event is intended to honor professional members of MAES, industry supporters and representatives of academia for outstanding achievement, technical contribution and service to the Mexican American community. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals In addition to the award, a $4,000 scholarship was presented in Navarro’s name to Maria Hernandez, an engineering student at the University of New Mexico. The MAES Padrino/Ahijada (godfather/godchild) scholarship pairs a professional with a student member to provide guidance and serve as a role model. Navarro has been a member of MAES since he was an engineering student at California State University, Fullerton. He has presented technical papers at their conferences and has also conducted motivational workshops, as well as serving as a keynote speaker at various activities of regional MAES chapters. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1989, Navarro joined NASA at the Glenn Research Center in Ohio as a gas and fluids engineer. He worked on a variety of projects, including serving as principal engineer on three thermal and fluids experiments flown on space shuttle missions. After transferring to NASA Dryden in 1995, Navarro was involved in a number of engineering roles. He served as principal investigator for a series of experiments on the F/A-18 systems research aircraft and as chief engineer for that aircraft and the Helios solar-electric flying wing. More recently, he served as project manager for a short series of research flights by the Pathfinder-Plus solar aircraft earlier this year that acquired data to improve aeroelastic analytical tools for flexible-structure aircraft. In his present position, Navarro is responsible for management of earth science missions using General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ Altair unmanned aircraft system (UAS).160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Test your knowledge by seeing how many of these five Chelsea-related questions you can answer correctly.[wp-simple-survey-101] 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Janine ErasmusFor years scientists have been trying to find a gene that can be reliably used to identify members of the plant kingdom, using the fast-developing technique of DNA barcoding. Now a group of experts from South Africa’s University of Johannesburg (UJ), working with colleagues from the University of Costa Rica and Imperial College London, have opened that door with the discovery that a segment of the matK (megakaryocyte-associated tyrosine kinase) gene can fulfil this purpose.This discovery is of great significance to the world of botany, as DNA barcoding has many potential uses. Using snippets of DNA code for quick, cheap, easy and accurate identification, barcoding will make it possible to identify existing species from tiny pieces of plant material or from specimens taken from different stages in the plant’s life cycle, while data for new specimens will be submitted to the database on the spot.The same ease of identification has forensic, ecological and medicinal implications. Officials at ports and airports will instantly be able to identify plants in transit, even if obvious identifying features such as leaves or flowers have been stripped away – helping clamp down on the smuggling of endangered plant species. It will also take only minutes to identify plant ingredients in traditional medicines or specimens at crime scenes, even if they have degraded.Dr Michelle van der Bank, senior lecturer in UJ’s Department of Botany and Plant Biotechnology, led the South African contingent in the group. Her overseas colleagues were headed by Dr Vincent Savolainen of both the Royal Botanic Gardens and Imperial College London’s Department of Life Sciences, and Diego Bogarin of the Lankester Botanical Garden at the University of Costa Rica.Their results were published in the 7 February 2008 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Animal barcoding already in progressThe barcoding process is already widely carried out with animals, using the genetic sequence for the enzyme known as cytochrome c oxidase 1 (CO1 or cox1). But this gene is not suitable for the same purpose in plants because evolution rates in higher plants are much slower than in animals, with the result that there is often no DNA sequence variation between species. For this reason cox1 – the animal standard – cannot be used to distinguish between plants at species level.The distinguished group of scientists have now found that the matK gene can be used to identify plants reliably, as the gene’s DNA sequences are almost identical between plants of the same species, but differ between species. This means that the matK gene can provide scientists with a way of distinguishing between different plants, even though they may look identical.Neither the matK nor cox1 genes are found within the nucleus of the cell – matK is found in the chloroplast, the area of the plant cell involved in photosynthesis, while cox1 is found in the mitochondrion, the powerhouse of the animal cell.Studies in Africa and South AmericaThe researchers, led by Savolainen, carried out two large-scale field studies: one in Costa Rica and one in South Africa. Both sites were chosen for their exceptional diversity of plant life.Costa Rica, with its wealth of orchid species, was illuminating – the matK technique proved that a particular orchid that was thought to be a single species was actually two distinct species that relied on different insects for pollination. As Van der Bank says, it is difficult to identify an orchid that is not in bloom, but in total some 1 600 distinct species of orchids were catalogued during the study.Costa Rica’s national flower is in fact an orchid – the Guaria Morada (Cattleya skinneri).Meanwhile, in South Africa, the trees and shrubs of the Kruger National Park (KNP) also came under scrutiny. The KNP provided an ideal environment for research because it is one of the largest protected areas in Africa – around the size of Wales. It is now part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, itself a part of the Kruger to Canyons biosphere which has been designated by Unesco as an international man and biosphere reserve.The KNP encompasses at least 16 recognised ecozones, each with its own vegetation, geology, rainfall, soil and temperature.With Van der Bank at the helm, the project was initiated in 2005 and to date more than 2 000 plant specimens have been collected. Although the matK gene on its own identified more than 90% of the species, it was suggested that a combination of barcodes be used for identification of some of the plants in this area where matK alone could not suffice.This will only be the case in the remaining 10% of plant species, and the reason is hybridisation, or cross-breeding of species, which occurs much more readily in the plant kingdom than among animals. In these cases, the genome – the complete set of genetic material contained in an organism, including chromosomes, genes and DNA – has been altered and therefore it becomes necessary to make use of additional DNA references.UJ has set up a DNA bank that holds the results of the study. The team is now working to create a matK database of all the plant samples from South Africa and Costa Rica. This will be expanded to include plant samples from all over the world.The barcode of lifeDNA barcoding refers to the technique that uses a short DNA sequence from a standardised locus as a species identification tool. In genetics, the locus is a fixed position on a chromosome, where a specific gene, or DNA sequence within a gene, is located.Since identification is one of the first strategies in discovery, research and monitoring, it is vital that fast, inexpensive and accurate methods are available. Existing methods can be cumbersome to use, often rely on detailed examination of specific physical features, typically require interpretation by trained experts and are also limited to certain stages of life – but because DNA does not change as the organism grows it can be used at any stage.DNA barcoding is analogous with the process used to identify manufactured goods and as such, is considered to be a practical tool for the identification of the estimated 10 million species on the planet. Scientists expect that it will also help reveal the evolutionary history of life on earth.In addition, says the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding, because DNA barcoding quickly distinguishes new species, it will greatly accelerate the rate of their discovery. The fact that it has taken 250 years to scientifically describe roughly 15% of life’s diversity and that this diversity is now being lost at an alarming rate – often before there is even time to properly identify it – proves that DNA barcoding has arrived at a critical time.Furthermore, a hand-held scanner linked to a database can perform the identification in the field in seconds – the person using the scanner does not even have to possess scientific knowledge. This means that people living in inaccessible or little-studied parts of the world, such as central Africa, can use scanners to submit new samples to the database even as they go about their daily lives. The device does not yet exist but it is one of the goals of the project.Useful linksUniversity of JohannesburgImperial College LondonProject page at the Royal Botanic Gardens websiteLankester Botanical GardensProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journalCanadian Centre for DNA BarcodingThe Barcode of Life initiativeGenBank genetic sequence databaseGreat Limpopo Transfrontier ParkKruger to Canyons biosphere reserveUnesco world heritage centreConsortium for the Barcode of Life
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced its continued effort to modernize inspection systems through science-based approaches to food safety. USDA is proposing to amend the federal meat inspection regulations to establish a new voluntary inspection system for market hog slaughter establishments called the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS), while also requiring additional pathogen sampling for all swine slaughter establishments.The proposed rule also allows innovation and flexibility to establishments that are slaughtering market hogs. Market hogs are uniform, healthy, young animals that can be slaughtered and processed in this modernized system more efficiently and effectively with enhanced process control.For market hog establishments that opt into NSIS, the proposed rule would increase the number of offline USDA inspection tasks, while continuing 100% FSIS carcass-by-carcass inspection. These offline inspection tasks place inspectors in areas of the production process where they can perform critical tasks that have direct impact on food safety.“FSIS is excited to continue modernizing inspection practices, while allowing opportunities for industry to innovate and streamline food production,” said Carmen Rottenberg, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety. “There is no single technology or process to address the problem of foodborne illness, but when we focus our inspections on food safety-related tasks, we better protect American families.”In this proposal, USDA would also amend the regulations that apply to all establishments that slaughter swine. The new requirements would ensure that establishments implement measures to control enteric pathogens that can cause foodborne illness. Specifically, all swine slaughter establishments would be required to implement appropriate measures to prevent contamination throughout the entire production process in their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans, Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (Sanitation SOPs), or other prerequisite programs. The new requirements would ensure that both USDA and the establishment have the documentation they need to verify the effectiveness of these measures on an ongoing basis.There will be a 60-day period for comment once the rule is published in the Federal Register.To view the proposed rule and information on how to comment on the rule, visit the FSIS website at fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/c17775a2-fd1f-4c11-b9d2-5992741b0e94/2016-0017.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.
WILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Band Parents Association is holding its annual Trivia Night on Saturday, April 5, 2019 at the Wilmington Knights of Columbus Hall (112 Middlesex Avenue). Doors open at 7pm. Trivia begins at 8pm.Tickets cost $20 per person. Tables of 10 are available. For tickets, please contact whswildcatbandparents[at]gmail.com. (Checks can be made payable to The Wilmington Band Parents Association.)Attendees are asked to bring their own your own food for their table, and to come prepared for the raffle basket table and cash bar.Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Learn more about them HERE.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Band Parents Raffling Off A Jumbo Wildcat Connect Four GameIn “Community”Tickets Still Available For Wilmington Rotary Trivia Night On June 14In “Community”Wilmington Band Parents To Hold Trivia Night Fundraiser On March 18In “Community”