Three straight for St Jago

first_imgKINGSTON:St Jago High School scored an emphatic 3.5-0.5 win over Campion College in the final round of the PCJ Group National Schools Chess Championships, to secure the national title for the third consecutive year.After a draw in their round three match, both St Jago A and Calabar High went into the final round tied for the lead with five points each. As a result, both teams needed an outright win to stay on course for the title.With their feet to the fire, Calabar could only manage a 2-2 draw against St Jago B, which left the door wide open for St Jago A, who made no mistake in dispatching Campion College. This left St Jago A alone atop the standings with seven points.Decarteret College took second place on tiebreaker over Calabar, St Jago B and St Catherine A, as each school ended with six points.Individual category prizes were awarded to the zone champions, Mannings High, Glenmuir High, Wolmer’s Boys’, Ardenne High and St Jago High, while Excelsior High’s girls and Wolmer’s Girls were adjudged best female teams.National Master Shreyas Smith and Malik Curiah, both of Calabar, took home the awards for Best Boards one and two, respectively, Glenmuir’s Wayne March was the Best Board three, Best Board four went to St Jago’s Akeem Brown, and the Best Reserve was Tajae Morgan, also of St Jago. St Jago’s coach, National Master Mikhail Solomon, was adjudged the Best Coach.”The 2016 National Schools Chess Competition was efficiently run by the organisers and well contested by the competitors, and we commend the Jamaica Chess Federation for their efforts to engage students across the country in this beneficial sport,” said Camille Taylor, manager, information and corporate affairs of title sponsors Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica.last_img read more

How scientists are combatting deadly fungus—with bakers yeast

first_img Virginia Cornish, Columbia University Just like a village can brew their own beer, they could now brew their own yeast diagnostics. How scientists are combatting deadly fungus—with baker’s yeast Cornish wanted to expand the variety of fungal infections that their system could detect. The team found that simply replacing the baker’s yeast mating receptor gene with similar genes from other pathogenic species—including Magnaporthe oryzae, which causes blast disease in rice, and Fusarium graminearum, which causes blight disease in wheat and barley—allowed them to create a total of 10 new strains that can each detect a different disease.To make the yeast biosensor user-friendly, they soaked it into a paper dipstick that can easily test blood, urine, water, and dirt. The dipstick, which contains a live version of the genetically modified baker’s yeast, still worked after being stored at room temperature for 38 weeks. “Just like a village can brew their own beer, they could now brew their own yeast diagnostics,” Cornish says. “And it is very low tech.”Keith Pardee, a synthetic biologist at the University of Toronto in Canada who developed paper-based screens for Zika virus, says he is excited by the new test. “Since this yeast is already found in the kitchen, it seems like a pretty natural fit for monitoring fungal contamination of food.”But Boissinot cautions that the sensor is not ready for deployment in the clinic. In a crucial test of their sensor, the researchers used higher levels of fungal pheromones than those normally found in patient blood or urine samples. And yeast biologist Joseph Heitman at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, says that previous studies have shown some yeast mating receptors might respond to pheromones from similar species. That means that the biosensor could potentially misidentify some of the fungal diseases they are trying to detect.“We are not a game-changer yet,” Cornish concedes, “but we are working on improving this now.” Her team is also planning to develop a similar biosensor that can detect bacterial pathogens, including microbes responsible for cholera and the devastating citrus greening disease threatening Florida’s orange orchards. “This biosensor is impressive, and we should do more to make the microbes work for us, not against us,” Boissinot says. “It is going to be useful in the future, I am convinced about that.” Email By Ryan CrossJun. 28, 2017 , 4:15 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Researchers designed genetically modified yeast that turns red on a paper dipstick in the presence of fungal pathogens. So Virginia Cornish, a synthetic biologist at Columbia University, and her team set out to develop an alternative test with a long shelf life and no refrigeration using Saccharomyces cerevisiae, commonly known as baker’s yeast, as their model fungus. Like many other fungi, Baker’s yeast has mating receptors, proteins on its cell surface that detect pheromones released by potential partners. Cornish’s team took a mating receptor gene from Candida albicans, a common cause of yeast infections in humans, and stuck it in the baker’s yeast. They also added several other genes that they put under the receptor’s control—snippets that allow the yeast to produce lycopene, the red pigment and antioxidant abundant in tomatoes. In essence, the team turned the baker’s yeast into a biosensor that blushes tomato red upon detection of C. albicans. What’s more, the test yields results in just 3 hours, they report today in Science Advances. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Fungi are a microscopic menace to global health and food security. More than 1 billion people are infected with disease-causing species worldwide, while other strains flourish in wheat, corn, and other crops, where they destroy food harvests. Now, a cheap and simple method that can easily detect the fungus among us without sophisticated lab equipment could help developing countries save millions of lives by diagnosing infections and finding contaminated crops and food.“This is highly commendable and a great achievement,” says Maurice Boissinot, a microbiologist who designs biosensors at Laval University in Quebec City, Canada, but was not involved in the new research. “The way they engineered [the test] is truly something.”Fungi come in many forms, some less benign than others. In addition to species that cause common skin infections such as ringworm and athlete’s foot, other strains cause internal infections that can lead to painful mouth lesions, swollen lymph nodes, and even death. Detecting these infections isn’t too hard for well-equipped labs and hospitals. But most tests rely on antibodies that bind fungal proteins or reading nucleic acids to identify fungi by their genes, thus requiring sterile labs and refrigerated reagents that doctors and farmers in developing countries often don’t have access to. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Columbia University Office of Communications and Public Affairs last_img read more