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Halting the damage

first_imgBy Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaUniversity of Georgia professor Richard Hussey has spent 20 yearsstudying a worm-shaped parasite too small to see without a microscope. Hisdiscovery is vastly bigger.Hussey and his research team have found a way to halt the damagecaused by one of the world’s most destructive groups of plant pathogens.Root-knot nematodes are the most economically important group ofplant-parasitic nematodes worldwide, said Hussey, a distinguished researchprofessor in plant pathology at the UGA College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.They attack nearly every food and fiber crop grown, about 2,000plant species in all. The nematode invades plant roots, and by feeding on the roots’cells, they cause the roots to grow large galls, or knots, damaging the crop andreducing its yields.Working with assistant research scientist Guozhong Huang andresearch technician Rex Allen, Hussey discovered how to make plants resistant toroot-knot nematode infection.Eric Davis at North Carolina State University and Thomas Baum atIowa State University also collaborated on the research.The discovery “has the potential to revolutionize root-knotresistance in all crops,” Hussey said.The most cost-effective and sustainable management tactic forpreventing root-knot nematode damage and reducing growers’ losses, he said, is todevelop resistant plants that prevent the nematode from feeding on theroots. Because root-knot nematode resistance doesn’t come naturally in most crops,Hussey’s group bioengineered their own.The results of the study were published Sept. 26 in the journal,Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Four common root-knot nematode species account for 95 percent ofall infestations in agricultural land. By discovering a root-knot nematodeparasitism gene that’s essential for the nematode to infect crops, the scientists havedeveloped a resistance gene effective against all four species.Using a technique called RNA interference, the researchers haveeffectively turned the nematode’s biology against itself. They genetically modifiedArabidopsis, a model plant, to produce double-stranded RNA to knock out thespecific parasitism gene in the nematode when it feeds on the plant roots.This knocked out the parasitism gene in the nematode anddisrupted its ability to infect plants.“No natural root-knot resistance gene has this effective range ofroot-knot nematode resistance,” Hussey said.The researchers’ efforts have been directed primarily atunderstanding the molecular tools the nematode uses to infect plants. This is aprerequisite for bioengineering durable resistance to these nematodes in cropplants.Through this research, they’ve discovered the parasitism genesthat make a nematode a plant parasite so it can attack and feed on crops,Huang said.“Our results of in-plant RNA interference silencing of aparasitism gene in root-knot nematodes provides a way to development crops with broadresistance to this destructive pathogen,” Hussey said. “Equally important, ourapproach makes available a strategy for developing root-knot-nematode-resistantcrops for which natural resistance genes do not exist.”Funding for the project came from the U.S. Department ofAgriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service National ResearchInitiative and the UGA CAES.last_img read more

Get to know members better through the use of data integration

first_imgCollateral Valuations are essential while serving members and maintaining a healthy credit union. However, credit unions are relying on inaccurate valuations of their members’ collateral values because of disintegrated data.VehiclesMembers own many different kinds of vehicles. The values of their vehicles can fluctuate greatly depending on a plethora of factors.  Since vehicles are usually the second most valuable asset members own (next to their house), net worth calculations heavily depend on the value of members’ vehicles. Credit unions should begin gathering data about all their members’ vehicles and store all the history of these assets.HousingA house is usually the most valuable asset a member will ever own. As we saw in the Great Recession, housing values can fluctuate quickly. Housing valuations are becoming more common with companies like Zillow beginning to use statistical models to determine worth (sometimes very inaccurately due to disintegrated data). Credit unions have an advantage in valuing members’ housing (especially if they originated their mortgage) because they have historical data about all their members from many. Utilizing internal and external data sources, credit unions can sharpen their valuation of all their members’ (and potential members) homes. continue reading » 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Long Island Businesses Support Frontline Workers, Each Business Awarded $2,500 in Marketing By Bethpage Federal Credit Union

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York This year, as part of its commitment to the Bethpage Best of Long Island Program and to small businesses across Long Island during this difficult time, Bethpage Federal Credit Union organized the Best Small Business Role Model Giveaway offering Bethpage Best of LI 2020 winners an opportunity to share how they have given back during the pandemic to support first responders, their community and those in need.Our editors have chosen three businesses to feature and each will be given a $2,500 marketing grant for any Schneps Media digital or print properties, including the Long Island Press and Noticia. We spoke with the owners of Lucky Lou’s Gourmet Rice Pudding,, Middle Country Automotive and Certified Cesspool and Drain Inc., about their charity work.LUCKY LOU’S OFFERS SWEETNESS DURING TRYING TIMESMaria Camassa is the owner of Lucky Lou’s Gourmet Rice Pudding, a wholesale pudding company with products in 7-Elevens, gourmet shops and supermarkets from Montauk to Manhattan.Although she lost a few large accounts when the pandemic hit, Camassa managed to compensate for losses by creating a successful no-contact delivery service, which brought Lucky Lou’s sweet treats to pudding lovers’ homes and businesses. News 12 Long Island had also recently filmed a story on the company and happened to air it right after the shutdown occurred, which significantly increased the brand’s visibility. The proud owner felt grateful that she was able to continue operating the business, and wanted to offer a hand to those facing bigger challenges.Healthcare workers at Stony Brook University Hospital enjoy Lucky Lou’s Gourmet Rice Pudding. Photo credit: Stony Brook University HospitalCamassa is on the advisory board of the Stony Brook Ronald McDonald House, which serves the needs of families who have hospitalized children at Stony Brook University Hospital. She knew several nurses at the hospital who were treating COVID patients, and realized what they were up against.“My heart just went out to them,” she said. “I felt their pain and I admired them so much for doing what they were doing. And so we just started donating cases of rice pudding on a weekly basis.”When Stony Brook first responders raved about Lucky Lou’s delightful desserts, Camassa and her colleagues knew they could do even more. As they continued pudding deliveries, the team decided to run fundraisers every couple of weeks to obtain essential items requested by the healthcare workers. After she sent out an email blast and shared a Facebook post promoting the charity effort, her home quickly became a drop off point for donations from around the community. Lucky Lou’s coordinated pick ups and drop offs with Stony Brook Healthcare Staff volunteers.“The response was astounding.” Camassa shared. “Local residents, organizations and businesses got together to donate items for the healthcare professionals. Some people from out of state were donating money and asked me if I could go shopping for them.“We got pounds of chocolates, cases of hand lotions, toothpaste, bags of T-shirts, socks, flip flops, and beautiful shawls,” she continued. “A lot of people donated weekly. So many were like, ‘What can I do? What can I donate?’”“Seeing so many people come together for the cause was an extremely rewarding experience,” she added. “For me personally, it’s just always overwhelming when people donate. It just makes you feel good. We are all in gratitude to the service the healthcare professionals provided to all during this critical time in our lives.”Brianna Camassa, daughter of Maria Camassa from Lucky Lou’s, brings donations of gourmet pudding to first responders at Stony Brook University Hospital. Photo credit: Maria CamassaMIDDLE COUNTRY AUTOMOTIVE GIVES BACKWhen the shutdown went into effect in March and automotive shops across the Island were feeling financial strain, Joe Strazzeri decided that he and his company Middle Country Automotive would adapt rather than downsize.“I was very fortunate because we’re considered essential,” Strazzeri said. “A lot of people in my business did furloughs. I was dead against that, because I was concerned if I was to do that I would lose somebody. Most of my people have families that they’re responsible for.”Instead, he chose to prioritize the wellbeing of his vulnerable employees along with his customers. Strazzeri implemented a series of strict safety measures at his two shops in Selden and Centereach, providing PPE to his entire staff, installing sneeze guards on counters, using plastic coverings on steering wheels and seats, and sanitizing touch points during repairs.As the owner and his team got used to the new reality, they wanted to support others on the frontlines. Strazzeri’s wife is a healthcare worker, and he saw firsthand the commitment she and other first responders had to make as COVID cases exploded.“They were working an exorbitant amount of hours, going above and beyond, putting their health at risk going into the facilities that they worked in,” he said. “We [started] doing free oil changes for them, and we were getting a lot of positive feedback.”The shop also partnered with a local Italian eatery, Cafe Amici, to supply free pizza pies to healthcare workers at Stony Brook University Hospital.Middle Country Automotive then broadened its charity efforts to help disadvantaged families in the Selden and Centereach areas.“COVID-19 had a great financial impact on many families in and around our community, causing a high demand on local food banks,” Strazzeri shared. “We started a food drive for [the charities] Island Harvest and Lighthouse Missions, offering our customers a discount for food donations.”Maria Chandler of Middle Country Automotive gathering donations for the company’s food drive. Photo credit: Middle Country AutomotiveAs they promoted the initiative through email newsletters, the group saw an immense influx of donations from clients—boxes upon boxes of canned goods weekly— which has not let up since. The drive has continued into the fall with no signs of stopping soon.“It’s phenomenal, the amount of food that people are bringing in, the response that we’ve gotten. It’s great to see people wanting to help [others] in the community that are in need.”What’s truly phenomenal is how the actions of one thoughtful and empathetic person can trigger a chain reaction of good deeds that has benefited so many people.CERTIFIED CESSPOOL ENERGIZES HEALTHCARE HEROES ON THE NIGHTSHIFTLike many small business owners, Sal Motta didn’t think quarantine would last very long. But as weeks went by, the owner of the Centereach-based cesspool maintenance firm Certified Cesspool and Drain Inc. understood that his business needed to adjust to the situation quickly.There was financial worry, as Certified Cesspool’s commercial clients included many restaurants and stores, which were forced to either cut hours or shut their doors completely. Simultaneously, with more residents staying home all day, there was an influx of people having issues with their cesspools and sewer lines clogging.“We had to adjust our lives to fit the demand,” Motta said. “But in the middle of it, we also realized that so many other people were doing the same thing, so we just wanted to help them.”One evening when visiting his friend’s restaurant, Motta spoke to an exhausted nurse who was picking up food before heading to the hospital to face another grueling 20 hour stretch.“She worked the night shift, and said that she was working non-stop,” he said. “When I started to wrap my head around what I could do for these people, one of the things that stood out to me was, a lot of restaurants were taking the initiative to bring the food to the day shift at hospitals. However, we heard that when these healthcare heroes arrived to their shift at night, there was little to no food left.” Additionally, restaurants had limited hours they were open for takeout and delivery.Sal Motta poses with healthcare workers, his team, and his Best of LI plaque. Photo credit: Sal MottaCertified Cesspool and Drain teamed up with Legends Bar and Grill in Kings Park to deliver meals to the night shift at seven different hospitals on seven different days, beginning on Monday, April 20 and ending on Sunday, April 26. The two businesses supplied food to Southside Hospital, Stony Brook University Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Huntington Hospital, Mather Hospital, St. Catherine’s and St. Charles Hospital. Every night, the group was greeted by delighted nurses who were extremely grateful for the altruistic deed.“We wanted to see the look on their faces when we surprised them, because they didn’t know it was coming,” Motta shared.The crew donated a total of 112 trays of food over the course of the week, spreading joy to healthcare workers who were working under more stressful conditions than ever before.“During such a strange and difficult time, seeing those smiles made everything worth it,” Motta said. “Just making that gesture, bringing that food to them, it really made a difference. It made so many people happy and appreciative at a time where there really wasn’t much to be happy about.”last_img read more

Chinese billionaire spends $3 million on mansion but never stays a night

first_img6256 Spyglass Hill, Hope Island. 6256 Spyglass Hill, Hope Island.The allure of 6256 Spyglass Hill lies in its unassuming presence, tucked away in a gated estate where 24-hour water and land security patrols are conducted in electric-powered vehicles so as not to disturb sleeping residents.The former owners embarked on a $3 million upgrade of the property five years ago which incorporated earth, water, air and fire elements.Among the luxury features is a rosewood front door, dark green natural onyx in both kitchens, a stone wall in the main living area, two separate staircases and soaring ceilings. It’s all in the detail.A pavilion overlooks the pool and is surrounded by decking.On the opposite side of the pool, a patio room connects to the chef’s kitchen but includes its own Electrolux barbecue, a wet bar, wine fridge and dishwasher. The property is on the market for $3.49 million. Fancy a rock star-residence?Alex Phillis of Ray White Runaway Bay is marketing the property, right, — and said the family purchased it for $3.2 million in July with a plan to use it as a holiday house.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North8 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago“He came and looked at it, loved it, and has not stepped foot again in the house,” Phillis said.“He bought it so his family could come out to holiday here and play golf but the provision was for his son to do university at Bond.” Phillis said it was unusual for someone to spend millions of dollars but never stay in the residence.“I guess you can do that when you have that much money,” he said. “The family wants to buy a beach house in Dubai or Singapore.” 6256 Spyglass Hill, Hope Island is back on the market.A CHINESE billionaire who dropped $3 million on a Gold Coast mansion but never spent a night in it is selling up.Wenguo Li has decided to part ways with his sprawling Hope Island property less than a year after he bought it.Queensland isn’t short of stunning houses…Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:45Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:45 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Summer Dream Home: Currumbin01:45 Related videos 01:45Summer Dream Home: Currumbin01:34Paradise for sale…01:16Dream home: Broadbeach Waters01:33Dream Home: New Farm01:36Dream Home: Brookfield01:00Mermaid BeachThe rock-star residence is one of only two properties on Spyglass Hill, Sanctuary Cove and has hosted some big names over the years including Dave Grohl, Paris Hilton, Pink and Harry Styles.last_img read more

Inmates Accused Of Fighting After TV Argument

first_imgLAWRENCEBURG – Four inmates at Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center are facing felony charges after allegedly ganging up on another inmate after a dispute over what channel was on television.Luis Magallon, 33, Damon Miller, 21, Patrick Garvey, 28 and Dakota Fraley, 20, have been charged with criminal confinement resulting in bodily injury, a level 5 felony; as well as battery resulting in moderate bodily injury, a level 6 felony.The July 21 fight stemmed from a disagreement between Magaollon and fellow inmate Dwion Hicks, 35, over what channel was on TV in the day room, the Dearborn County Register reported.The fight started in one cell and later moved to a different area of the jail.Investigators say Magallon struck Hicks with his fist two or three times, then two other inmates, Miller and Garvey began attacking Hicks while Fraley held the door closed.Fraley eventually opened the door and Hicks left the area, police said.Magallon later told police Hicks pushed him, and the other inmates attempted to break it up. Fraley told investigators that he had been trying to get in the cell to stop the fight, not hold the door closed.The newspaper reports that Garvey told investigators something between Hicks and Magallon has been “brewing” for months.last_img read more