The price of oil and gas at the pump. It is generally low risk; The size of the investment is dependent on the health of the nearby upstream assets; and I trust the readers have gotten a grasp of the extent of this opening discussion on the midstream sector and the importance of why we must build those pipelines to feed GPL sooner rather than later to end blackouts, but, more importantly, to create the new jobs in a new sector that can absorb the growing army of the unemployed in Guyana.Next week, I shall move to explaining these four key business characteristics of the midstream oil and gas sector. This is the fifth in an oil series, which started in August 2017, that aims to focus on the oil industry. The intention is to try and explain the entire value stream, oil strategy, and recommended action for the Guyana oil sector.I am of the belief that if the ordinary man in the street understands what is happening, then he will hold the feet of whoever wins the 2020 elections to the fire. The bottom line remains that the post-2020 Government must be held accountable by ensuring that the oil revenues are managed responsibly and with the best interests of all the people in mind.Right now, from what I am observing under this Granger-led PNC regime, they are not very transparent and accountable in the oil-related negotiations. So, my plan is to bring oil-related information to the man in the street to stimulate debate and subsequent grassroots activism on the issue. Today, I move the conversation to a discussion on midstream activities in the oil and gas sector.What is Midstream?Midstream is the function of the oil and gas industry that provides the vital link between the producing areas and the population centres where industrial, refining and residential customers are located. Field gathering, processing plants, and transmission pipelines are the major assets in the mainstream industry. Also in the midstream industry are transportation assets.Transportation assets can include the marine vessels that will be used to move the crude from the well to the refinery. Throughout this process, the chain will have storage assets. At the well site, Exxon has already commissioned the contract to develop their floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel designed to facilitate a production of up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day. Most of this oil could possibly be transported to the Baton Rouge Refinery in Louisiana owned by Exxon. That facility has a storage tank farm that can manage a production of 502,000 barrels per day (in one day that facility can handle 1/10 of Guyana’s annual fuel consumption).The commercial success of the oil and gas sector is heavily dependent on the midstream segment of the business. Based on a study on Mainstream Infrastructure called “Capitalising on our Energy Abundance” – NAFTA countries alone are planning to invest some US$640 billion between 2018 and 2035 in transport assets, and refining infrastructure. Those investments are expected to yield some 430,000 jobs in Canada, the USA, and Mexico.So these talks with Exxon to bring natural gas to the Guyanese shore for electricity should not be approached by the Granger Administration as a want, but as a need. If this investment is made in the natural gas facilities on-shore, then jobs will be created, possibly in the hundreds. Guyana can leverage such investments, which can include transmission pipelines, pumping facilities, processing facilities, storage facilities, compression facilities, and so on. It takes real investments and real humans to manage all of these things and that will redound to the benefit of Guyana.So the opening sentence from the “Technical Working Group” who are tasked with negotiating on behalf of the Government of Guyana should be, “we have a business plan for this industry – we want a reliable and low-cost electricity system for the nation and we are ready to bring our assets to the process, tell us what we need to do to get this done by 2022? Clearly, communication with clear deadlines and with a clear vision is what Exxon needs to hear to take the Guyanese team seriously.Midstream Business CharacteristicsThe four key characteristics of the midstream segment are: It is highly regulated, especially the pipeline components;
1 Stephen Quinn in action for Hull Republic of Ireland midfielder Stephen Quinn has agreed a move to Reading.The 29-year-old, a free agent after leaving relegated Hull at the end of last season, will sign a three-year contract with the option of a fourth.Royals boss Steve Clarke told the club’s website: “Stephen is an unassuming player but has always caught my eye and, when I knew he was available, I targeted him quite early in the summer.“His performances are always of a good standard and he is a talented, industrious, aggressive midfielder who can be influential in games.“Obviously he has just experienced relegation at Hull City and is desperate to get back to the Premier League as quickly as possible, which can only be good for us. He has previous experience of playing in the Championship and was an important member of the Hull City team that gained promotion.“Stephen is also a good character who will have a positive effect in our changing room and, just as importantly, on our younger players here at Reading.”Quinn joined Hull from Sheffield United in 2012 and made 97 appearances – including the FA Cup final defeat by Arsenal last year – and scored five goals.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Trojans remain wary of Irish despite their dismal record. By Scott Wolf STAFF WRITER SOUTH BEND, Ind. – This might be known as college football’s “greatest intersectional rivalry,” but today it better resembles two teams stuck in an intersection. But hey, there has to be some excitement when the Irish are imploding. It’s so bad that freshman quarterback Jimmy Clausen will not even play because of a sore hip, alleviating some tension because Clausen chose the Irish over USC. Jackson would not even allow that Notre Dame Stadium, with all its tradition and campus landmarks, was the marquee trip of the season. “It’s a fun place to play but the other settings are more fun,” Jackson said. “I like Oregon and Arizona State more.” USC coach Pete Carroll pretty much ignored the classic 2005 game, where Matt Leinart scored the winning touchdown on the famous Bush Push (assistance from tailback Reggie Bush). “You know, we haven’t built our program on that win,” Carroll said. “That was a great win for us and it was dramatic and Reggie’s plays and Matt’s plays and Dwayne’s (Jarrett’s) plays and all the things that they did, they had a great game that day. “I’m glad that it happened and all, but we don’t talk about it. That was quite a while ago now.” Especially the way the Trojans are playing right now. Today is almost a no-win situation. If USC wins, it merely does what is expected. A narrow victory fosters doubts about this team for the fourth week. And a loss pretty much ends the season, at least by USC standards. “I pretty much keep to the people I know because everyone has something to say right now,” USC safety Taylor Mays said. “You always hear questions. But we’ve never doubted ourselves. I think we’ve learned and we’re ready to move forward.” Maybe this game is a little more worrisome because backup quarterback Mark Sanchez makes his second straight start with John David Booty available in relief. History also offers a couple of warnings to USC. In 1963, Notre Dame’s only two victories were against USC and UCLA as the Irish went 2-7. The Irish beat the seventh-ranked, defending national champion Trojans, 17-14, and came back to beat the Bruins a week later, 27-12. Hmmm, that sounds familiar. In 1959, USC played a 4-5 Irish team. The Irish upset the No. 7 Trojans, 16-6. Perhaps the mother of all upsets occurred in 1960, John McKay’s first year. If Notre Dame loses today, it will be 1-7 for the first time since 1960 and only the second time in history. Notre Dame entered the Coliseum with eight straight losses after a season-opening victory. The Irish left with a 17-0 victory over USC. Perhaps to rekindle some of that nostalgia, Notre Dame wears green jerseys today as it did in 1977. That’s a sore spot for USC fans, who remember the Irish broke out those green jerseys 20 minutes before kickoff and routed USC, 49-19. Overall, Notre Dame is 3-1 against USC when breaking out special green jerseys. The Irish lost to USC two years in green jerseys. “These uniforms are ugly, but what the players like about them is that they’re throwbacks,” Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis said. “Because they’re throwbacks they’re unique. Remember what those jerseys looked like? Remember those ugly pants? That’s what they have to wear this week. “What I didn’t want to do is I didn’t want to make a big deal about using it more as a motivational thing. This is in respect to honor that ’77 team.” firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.No. 13 USC’s three-week slump suddenly looks insignificant compared to the wreck previously known as Notre Dame that awaits the Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium. Although records often obscure the atmosphere and drama of this rivalry, Notre Dame is 1-6 and needs a victory today to give its season relevance. The Trojans (5-1) view today’s game as a chance to get it right before the season hits the really tough part, excluding the powerhouse known as Stanford, of course. Every trip to Notre Dame includes drama, such as two years ago when the grass was extremely high and USC’s Desmond Reed tore knee ligaments when his cleats got stuck in the grass. This year will be known for a turbulent plane ride that several witnesses said was overblown. The only injury occurred when defensive end Lawrence Jackson saw trainers because a Popsicle stick cut the inside of his mouth. Memo to Jackson: Next time you’re in a bumpy plane, remove the ice cream stick from your mouth.
RB Leipzig have released a statement confirming Naby Keita will NOT move to Liverpool until July 2018, putting rumours of an early move to Anfield to bed.Last summer, Keita, the Guinea midfielder, agreed to sign for the Reds at the end of 2017-18 after they triggered his £48m release clause.However, rumours of the move being pushed forward to this month have hit the headlines in the days since Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona in a £142m deal.SEE ALSO: Naby Keita: How the Liverpool-bound midfielder has performed in 2017-18 for RB LeipzigJurgen Klopp wanted to add Keita to his squad in January, and reports emerged suggesting Leipzig were willing to accept the 22-year-old’s departure for an extra £13m.However, on Sunday, Leipzig released a statement via their official Twitter account confirming Keita will an RB player until June 30th.It read: ‘Naby Keita will remain an RB Leipzig player until 30th June 2018. We wish to put the speculation about a January move to Liverpool to bed.’ Sport director Ralf Rangnick was later quoted: “We won’t allow Liverpool to sign him early, even though they have shown renewed interest to bring him in during this transfer window.” OFFICIAL: Naby #Keïta will remain an #RBLeipzig player until 30th June 2018. We wish to put the speculation about a January move to @LFC to bed. pic.twitter.com/Cilx09m24e— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) January 14, 2018 1 Naby Keita will not join Liverpool this month
25 September 2012Experience was the key, said coach Zeca Marques, as Moroka Swallows edged SuperSport United 2-1 at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday to lift the MTN8 title for the first time since 1979.“You can’t change a winning formula and you can’t buy experience and this is what we got today,” he said at a post-match press conference.“We won it because of experience. Youth is great, but it’s got to be balanced.“Today we proved that with experience we can achieve things.”‘It’s a great feeling’Marques, who was an assistant coach to Gordon Igesund before Igesund was signed to coach Bafana Bafana, added: “This will go down in my memory forever. It’s a great feeling, a great moment for the team, for the club, for our supporters, for our sponsors.“I’m so happy for the supporters. They have suffered the last few years. I’m so happy for the players, they played like real fighters. They showed what they are made of.”Man of the match Georgi Nergadze produced an industrious performance for the Birds in the midfield and also struck their first goal with a real pearler of a shot from distance.On SuperSport’s side, their best attacking moments came through Sameehg Doutie, who showed off some insightful touches, but was quiet in the second half of the contest.Early chanceMidfielder Felix Obada had a good chance to fire Swallows into the lead in only the second minute when he latched onto a well-weighted through ball on the right hand side. He had plenty of time to shoot, but composure was missing from his effort, which flew wide of the right hand upright.The Soweto club looked to have settled the faster of the two teams as they made the better early impression, but after only five minutes they found themselves behind.Doutie set up Franklin Cale for the score with a superb defence-splitting ball across the top of the goal box, which took advantage of Swallows’ defence line being only slightly out of alignment. It was enough to put Cale five metres clear of the nearest defender, mere metres from the goal.GoalHe met the ball in stride with his left foot and steered it to the right of Swallows’ goalkeeper Greg Etafia, who tried to close down the angle, but was done in by the perfection of the pass.When SuperSport broke up a promising Swallows’ attack on the quarter-hour-mark, Sibusiso Zuma found Doutie in space on the right flank. He then picked out his Cale on the right with a floated pass across the top of the goal box. Cale met the ball on the volley, but his effort was disappointing and was sliced well wide of the goal.The Pretoria club looked good on the counter-attack, but they were caught out with a sucker-punch shortly after that.Swallows’ replySwallows attacked down the right and then brought the ball back inside to Lefa Tsutsulupa. As he made to shoot, the ball was knicked away from him, but it fell to Nergadze, right out in front on the top of the goal box.He pounced on the ball, striking a powerful shot high into the side of the netting to goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez’s right to level the scores at 1-1.Masatsantsa came close to retaking the lead when a free kick from Cale found Fransman in the Swallows’ box, but his header passed narrowly wide of the mark.With just over half-an-hour gone, SuperSport had an excellent opportunity to edge ahead, but it came to nought.One-twoA quick one-two between Doutie and Zuma put Doutie through with only Etafia to beat, but the Swallows’ netminder saved well to his left after he had cut down the angle.A short while later, Etafia dropped the ball from a corner kick, but SuperSport were unable to make him pay for his error.The teams turned with the scores level at 1-1.Cale tested Etafia with a free kick early in the second stanza, but the goalkeeper passed the test.Lerato Chabangu then had a chance to beat Fernandez with a free kick, but his shot passed over the top of the goal.Oh so closeJust before the hour-mark, Swallows came as close to scoring as one can get without actually scoring.They began with an attack down the right before a ball inside found Katlego Mashego in the middle. He attempted a shot, but it was blocked.The ball, however, fell to Nergadze, who found Tsutsulupa with a header on the left. The midfielder crossed, but Fernandez steered the ball away from the goal with a dive and a swat with his outstretched right hand.It fell to Chabangu, who met the ball on the volley and cracked a shot towards goal. Fernandez was unsighted, but somehow it didn’t cross the line as he and Mor Diouf combined to scramble it away.Shape and flowBoth teams created openings without being able to follow through with a finish as the game lost some of its shape and flow.Cale tried out Etafia again with a long-range effort, but the goalkeeper punched his speculative shot from distance away.Chenene was off-target for Swallows from a tight angle and Siyabonga Nomvethe, on as a substitute, then headed wide for the Birds.WinnerOnly three minutes remained when Bennett Chenene beat the offside trap to race onto a lobbed pass. Fernandez came out to challenge him, but Chenene made good use of the bounce of the high pass to direct the ball over the goalkeeper’s head and into the empty net.The Swallows’ players, bench and supporters erupted with joy, while SuperSport’s players’ shoulders slumped. Time was almost up and they knew it.Five minutes of additional time was played, but the score went unchanged and Swallows claimed their first MTN8 title in 33 years.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
25 October 2013The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs is to publish a new, incentive-based “No Drop” report giving South African municipalities and residents a clear idea of how much water they’re using – and how much they’re wasting.“The aim of the report will be to increase water efficiency and leakage reduction from water supply networks, and will add to the already established Green Drop and Blue Drop reports,” department spokesperson Linda Page said this week.Page said the first No Drop report would be published next year, with assessments due to be conducted across all municipalities in South Africa from October to March, with subsequent reports to be carried out every two years thereafter.The No Drop Report will publish audited values pertaining to water use and management in each local municipality, reporting such figures as part of the Blue Drop scorecard, which measures the quality of South Africa’s drinking water.R7.2bn a year ‘leaking away’“Research data from 132 (of 237 municipalities), representing 75% of the total volume of municipal water supply, show that the current level of non-revenue water is estimated at 36.7%, of which 25.4% is considered to be losses through physical leakages,” Page said.In South Africa, the 30th driest country in the world, water losses are estimated to cost the economy R7.2-billion per year. According to estimates in the National Treasury’s 2012 Budget Review, South Africa’s water demand will outstrip its supply by 2030.Page said the department expected to find pockets of excellence with regards to efficient water usage in the country, while special interventions to address inefficiencies would be required in other municipalities.She admitted that technical ineptitude and ageing infrastructure were causing severe water losses countrywide.“Inadequate maintenance and repairs of existing infrastructure, long response time to water leaks, and a culture of water wastage are some of the challenges facing the South African water sector,” Page said.‘War on Leaks’ projectThe No Drop Report will add to the department’s “War on Leaks” project, which is geared towards getting municipalities and communities to report and fix water leaks.“If you know your facts, then you can work out where you have problems and know how to improve. This is where the No Drop Report will be helpful,” Roy Tombs, operations manager at Mpumalanga water provider Sembcorp Silulumanzi, told SAnews this week.“It’s a very clear system for determining whether you are investing in the best infrastructure and practices, and whether you have the correct people employed to deal with issues of water loss and management.”Tombs added that, in the coming years, he expected the system to evolve and gain more credibility.In her 2013/14 budget vote on 21 May, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa singled out behavioural patterns as the biggest contributors to water wastage.“We are losing our clean drinking water in the distribution system due to leaking pipes, dripping taps and illegal water use,” Molewa said. “These are all behavioural patterns that have a negative impact on the use of water.”Source: SAnews.gov.za
Tags:#cloud#security Related Posts klint finley A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Yesterday we reported that Wikileaks‘ web site suffered a denial of service (DOS) attack just before the publication of its most recent cache of documents. The site was down for only a few hours, according to Forbes’ Andy Greenberg.Today, The Guardian reports that Wikileaks turned to Amazon.com’s Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) service to get back online and survive the DOS attack.There are various ways to conduct a DOS attack, but most methods work by placing an enormous burden on a server. For example, one might make a huge number of frivolous requests for pages of a web site until the server is overloaded. Wikileaks originally claimed it was receiving a distributed DOS attack. A self-described “hacktivist” using the name th3j35t3r took credit for the attack, and claims it was not a distributed DOS attack.The Guardian says that the EC2 pricing model makes the service less vulnerable to DOS attacks. However, last year a DDOS attack brought down the EC2 hosted site Bitbucket. That incident led to some to caution against using cloud hosting for mission critical services. However, it could be that EC2 has improved its defenses against DOS attacks. A highly scalable infrastructure would certainly help, as would hosting content on multiple providers.Update: George Reese of the cloud security company Enstratus tells us that the attack on BitBucket was very different from the attack on Wikileaks. The BitBucket attack was targeted a vulnerability specific to EC2 that Amazon.com claims to have fixed. The WikiLeaks attack was a generic DOS attack from outside the network. The BitBucket attack actually targeted internal IO resources.According to the Guardian, not all of Amazon.com’s servers are hosted in the US and “it could cause a major incident if the US government were to take action against a company on the basis that it might be hosting material the government finds embarrassing.” It may be unlikely that the US government would take action against Amazon.com, but it is possible that Amazon.com would decide to remove Wikileaks on its own.However, the latest cache of documents are not hosted on the same servers as the rest of the Wikileaks site. cablegate.wikileaks.org is hosted by a French company called Octopuce. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has issued another decision holding that a taxpayer could not use the he three-factor apportionment method permitted under the Multistate Tax Compact (MTC) for Texas franchise tax purposes. The Comptroller pointed out that the Texas Franchise Tax Act clearly requires the use of the single-factor apportionment method and that entities may not elect to use the MTC’s three-factor apportionment formula. Texas has consistently ruled that taxpayers may not use the MTC three-factor apportionment method. The taxpayer was required to use the single gross receipts factor in apportioning its margin to Texas, and consequently the amended taxpayer’s franchise tax return for report year 2015 was properly rejected and the refund claim was properly denied.Decision, Hearing No. 112,889, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, June 17, 2016, ¶404-183
A boy receives ivermectin to prevent river blindness. Some think the drug may also prevent nodding syndrome. By Gretchen VogelFeb. 15, 2017 , 2:00 PM ISSOUF SANOGO/Staff/Getty Images Mystery nodding syndrome may be triggered by parasitic worm Between 1990 and 2013, thousands of children in war-torn South Sudan and northern Uganda suddenly developed a severe and puzzling form of epilepsy. When exposed to food or cold temperatures, affected children nodded their heads uncontrollably. Over time the seizures often worsened, leaving the children severely disabled. Many died of malnutrition, accidents, or secondary infections.In some communities, roughly half of families had at least one child with the condition, called nodding syndrome; by 2013, an estimated 1600 children in Uganda were affected. But the cause of the devastation was a mystery. Now, a study finds that a parasitic worm often found in the children might trigger the body’s own defenses to attack neurons.The study doesn’t prove the worm is the culprit, but it “is the first to show that a cause-effect relationship is plausible,” says Hermann Feldmeier, a parasitologist at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin, who was not involved in the study.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The rash of cases in Uganda and South Sudan triggered an intense hunt for the cause, but searches for viruses, bacteria, environmental toxins, genetic factors, and nutritional deficits all came up empty. One key clue: Areas with nodding syndrome also had high rates of onchocerciasis, an infection with the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus. Spread through the bites of black flies, which breed in swift-flowing streams, the worms can invade the eye, and the infection is commonly known as river blindness. The World Health Organization estimates that at least 18 million people, most in sub-Saharan Africa, are infected.Researchers had suggested as early as the 1960s that high rates of epilepsy in Tanzania, with similar nodding symptoms, might be related to onchocerciasis. Others have noted that children with nodding syndrome are more likely to be infected than their healthy peers. But there’s no evidence that the worm invades the brain or directly causes seizures.Some researchers suggested that the worm instead causes an autoimmune reaction that damages the nervous system. Searches for antibodies that might play an autoimmune role had come up empty. But neuroimmunologists Avindra Nath and Tory Johnson of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, decided to use an improved protein chip to screen for antibodies to thousands of proteins at once.The new tool proved its worth. Blood from nodding syndrome patients reacted strongly to four proteins; in the case of one protein, called leiomodin-1, patient sera reacted 33,000 times more strongly than did sera from unaffected controls. The researchers then looked for the antibodies causing the reaction. As they report this week in Science Translational Medicine, antibodies to leiomodin-1 turned up in 29 of 55 nodding syndrome patients but only 17 of 55 controls. Patients also carried much higher antibody levels than controls.Leiomodin-1, which likely plays a role in cell shape, is found in smooth muscle and thyroid cells. Johnson’s team showed that it is expressed in the nervous system and brain, too. They also found a clue to what might trigger an autoimmune reaction to the protein: Several O. volvulus proteins resemble it. After the immune system gears up to fight the worm, similarities between an O. volvulus protein and leiomodin-1 may cause the antibodies to mistakenly attack neurons.The study gives little hope to children already affected, Nath says. Although antiseizure drugs can help, if the immune system has attacked neurons, the damage is likely permanent. However, the work could suggest a straightforward way to eliminate the disease, says infectious disease specialist Robert Colebunders of the University of Antwerp in Belgium, because the drug ivermectin kills the worm. Existing campaigns to eliminate river blindness by giving the drug could have a collateral benefit: After the Ugandan government stepped up ivermectin treatment, new cases of nodding syndrome plunged to nearly zero, Colebunders says. “If you eliminate the onchocerciasis, the epilepsy really disappears.”Yet the link between the worm and nodding syndrome doesn’t explain why the illness suddenly appeared in a region where onchocerciasis has likely been common for centuries, or why nodding syndrome only affects children and youth. Johnson, now at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, says malnutrition, exposure to other diseases, or genetic variation in how the body makes antibodies may also play a role. Other researchers have suggested that measles infection followed by malnutrition could trigger the disease.Neurologist Erich Schmutzhard of the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria has other doubts. He says that the leiomodin-1 antibodies could be a result of epilepsy, not its cause. The protein seems to be on the inside of neurons, not the outside, he notes. Seizures kill neurons, and he speculates that dying neurons could spill the protein into the blood stream, triggering the antibodies.The onchocerciasis connection is intriguing but far from definitive, says neurologist Andrea Winkler of the Technical University of Munich in Germany. She, too, thinks the syndrome is likely caused by multiple factors, such as malnutrition, parasites, and viruses like measles. “There are still lots of links missing.”
LATEST STORIES Former Cleveland Cavaliers teammates LeBron James (23) and Kyrie Irving (2). (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)Kyrie Irving’s return to the Quicken Loans Arena for the first time as a member of the Boston Celtics remains as the top storyline heading into the 2017-2018 NBA season.The 25-year-old former Duke product is expected to receive a hostile welcome from the city’s fans, but LeBron James believes it won’t be as bad as the treatment he got during his first game back as a member of the Miami Heat on Dec. 2, 2010.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges — Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) October 17, 2017James also made it clear that he holds no ill feeling toward his former point guard and that he respects his decision to leave.“At the end of the day, the kid did what he wanted to do. That was his destiny,” he shared.“The three years that we had together, unbelievable three years. I wish we could have continued that, but it didn’t work itself out. Now, my energy is to the guys that’s in ‘The Land.’”ADVERTISEMENT Meanwhile, Cleveland is expected to honor Irving with a video tribute on opening night, according to a separate report from Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon. Khristian Ibarrola /raRELATED STORIES:Kyrie Irving on opening night showdown vs. Cavs: ‘There’s no pressure at all’Cavs, Warriors gear up to begin championship quests againSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups Speaking alongside new Cavalier teammate Dwyane Wade in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, “The King” explained why he thinks Irving will be “fine” come opening night on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).“Everybody’s good. Everybody’s good. KD (Kevin Durant) last year in Oklahoma City, Paul George going to go back to Indiana, you know, D-Wade’s going to go to Chicago, Kyrie’s coming back to Cleveland. No (it won’t compare,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“They will be fine. People were throwing batteries at us,” James added, recalling his first game back in Ohio after the now infamous “The Decision.”The real story of @KingJames & @DwyaneWade‘s 14-year friendship: draft camp, playoff battles, ducking batteries, banana boats & so much more pic.twitter.com/7SFzLwzkUe No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: 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 Hontiveros returns to action, joins Alab Pilipinas