11 Feb

Robotically driven system could reduce cost of discovering drug and target interactions

The model, presented in the journal eLife, uses an approach that could lead to accurate predictions of the interactions between novel drugs and their targets, helping reduce the cost of drug discovery.

Biomedical scientists have invested a lot of effort in making it easier to perform numerous experiments quickly and cheaply, says lead author Armaghan Naik, a Lane Fellow in CMUs Computational Biology Department.

However, we simply cannot perform an experiment for every possible combination of biological conditions, such as genetic mutation and cell type. Researchers have therefore had to choose a few conditions or targets to test exhaustively, or pick experiments themselves. The question is which experiments do you pick?   

Naik says that careful balance between performing experiments that can be predicted confidently and those that cannot is a challenge for humans, as it requires reasoning about an enormous amount of hypothetical outcomes at the same time.

To address this problem, the research team has previously described the application of a machine learning approach called active learning. This involves a computer repeatedly choosing which experiments to do, in order to learn efficiently from the patterns it observes in the data. The team is led by senior author Robert F. Murphy, Professor at the Ray and Stephanie Lane Center for Computational Biology, and Head of CMUs Computational Biology Department.

While their approach had only been tested using synthetic or previously acquired data, the teams current model builds on this by letting the computer choose which experiments to do. The experiments were then carried out using liquid-handling robots and an automated microscope.

The learner studied the possible interactions between 96 drugs and 96 cultured mammalian cell clones with different, fluorescently tagged proteins. A total of 9,216 experiments were possible, each consisting of acquiring images for a given cell clone in the presence of a given drug. The challenge for the algorithm was to learn how proteins were affected in each of these experiments, without performing all of them.

1 Feb

Birth announcements, Jan. 24, 2016

William and Marky Hayes of Chester are the parents of daughter Willa Mae Hayes born on Dec. 16. Mrs. Hayes is the daughter of Mark and Tammy Hillard of Chester. Paternal grandparents are Germerial and Diane Hayes of Chester.

Ryan and Amanda McLain of Rock Hill are the parents of daughter Aaliyah Jasmynn McLain born on Dec. 16. Mrs. McLain is the daughter of Harold and Marcia Rapp of Rock Hill and Patrick Murray of Brunswick, Ohio. Paternal grandparents are Mike McLain and Carolyn Gaverick of Mount Giland, Ohio.

Roberto Manzo and Nancy Castro of York are the parents of daughter Kayla Daniela Manzo born on Dec. 17. Mrs. Castro is the daughter of Rogelio and Reyna Castro of York. Paternal grandparents are Eduardo and Rosa Manzo of York.

Salahudeen Abdulkarim and Sarah Smith of York are the parents of daughter Saniyah Qadriyah Abdulkarim born on Dec. 17. Mrs. Smith is the daughter of Cornelius Smith and Julie Czarnecki of Coldwater, Mich. Paternal grandparent is Maryam Abdulkarim of York.

Larry “Buel” and Kalah Fox of Clover are the parents of daughter Eliza Gail Fox born on Dec. 18. Mrs. Fox is the daughter of David and Donna Simpson of York. Paternal grandparents are Larry and Cathy Fox of York.

Travis Parker and Amber Johnson of York are the parents of son Christopher Travis Parker Jr. born on Dec. 19. Ms. Johnson is the daughter of Bart and Crystal Johnson of Lancaster. Paternal grandparents are Reggie and Cheryl Parker of Rock Hill.

Lamar and DeQuanta Stowers of Rock Hill are the parents of son Justin Ahmad Stowers born on Dec. 21. Mrs. Stowers is the daughter of Willie and Emma McKnight of Rock Hill. Paternal grandparents are Dean Hunt and Martha Stowers of Rock Hill.

Tionna Peele of Rock Hill is the parent of daughter Indya Rose Jordan born on Dec. 21. Ms. Peele is the daughter of Cassandra Craig of Rock Hill.

Zach and Ashley Childers of Rock Hill are the parents of daughter Sadie Noelle Childers born on Dec. 22. Mrs. Childers is the daughter of Darrell and Lisa Funderburk of Rock Hill and Steve Locke of Rock Hill.

Tedrina Erby of Rock Hill is the parent of son Y’Bre Kel’Wane Erby born on Dec. 22. Ms. Erby is the daughter of Betty Erby of Rock Hill.

31 Jan

Local Sports Announcements: Jan. 23

–The 2016 edition of the Peggy Sarsfield 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament will tip off at 9 am Saturday at Montana Tech’s HPER Complex.

The one-day youth basketball tournament is open to girls and boys in third through eighth grade. Teams will be separated by grade (3-4, 5-6, 7-8) and gender. Games will be supervised by the Montana Tech women’s basketball coaching staff and refereed by players on the women’s team.

The entry fee is $100 per team and due on the morning of the tournament.

Signup sheets and liability forms are available at GoDiggers.com and must be turned into Oredigger assistant coach Alicia Nichols at the HPER Complex or at anichols@mtech.edu. For more information, contact Nichols at 496-4896 or head coach Carly VanDyke-Sanon at cvandyke@mtech.edu.

–Registration is now open for the Anaconda AOH St. Patrick’s Day 3-mile and 6-mile races, set for March 12.

Entry fee is $25 ($30 on race day), and registration prior to March 4 guarantees a t-shirt.

For race details, applications and online registration, visit www.anacondaaoh.com.

–Registrations are being accepted for the Butte 100’s 50- and 100-mile bike races, held annually at Homesteak Pass. This year’s race will be held on July 30.

You must enter a ($5) lottery to be eligible for the race of your choice, with selections being made during the first week of March. The deadline to register for these two races is Feb. 28.

Registrations for the 25-mile race will begin on April 1. Visit butte100.com for more information.

–Registration is now open for the 2016 Wulfman’s CDT 14k Trail Race.

The race is scheduled for June 18, and spots are filling up quickly.

To register, visit runsignup.com/Race/MT/Butte/WulfmansCDT14K.

–Breakthrough Basketball Camp will host a clinic for boys and girls in grades 4-9 on April 9 and 10 at the Butte High gym.

31 Jan

Mobile World Congress 2016 Predictions: 5 Announcements We Hope To See At The Mobile Trade Show

Mobile World Congress is one month away and the mobile-focused trade show is sure to be host to some interesting announcements. Reports indicate that many of the usual players will be in attendance. But which companies will be the stars of MWC? Several smartphones are expected to launch at MWC. Some companies may also have to follow up on announcements made earlier this month at CES 2016. However, nothing will be confirmed until the show begins.  

Here’s a rundown of some products that could debut at Mobile World Congress 2016.

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung has announced its last two Galaxy S flagship smartphones at MWC, so it would make sense for the Galaxy S7 to also launch at the trade show. Rumors currently suggest the manufacturer will host a press conference Feb. 21; however, Samsung has not yet sent out invites or details about its WMC plans.


LG has confirmed its WMC press conference for Feb. 21 and many expect the LG G5 will be announced at that time. LG has detailed that it will announce a smartphone at its press conference; however, it remains to be seen which device will make its debut at the trade show.   

PlayStation VR Release Details

Sony has confirmed its WMC press conference for Feb. 22. However, pundits are uncertain about what the Japanese manufacturer may announce at the trade show. It seems unlikely that the company would announce a new flagship smartphone, especially since Sony only recently announced US availability of the Xperia Z5 flagship smartphone, which launched at IFA in September 2015.

However, consumers are still waiting to learn more about the PlayStation VR headset, which is expected to launch during the first quarter, but has no price or official release date. Though Sony had a major presence at CES, the company failed to give any details on its VR venture amid announcements from HTC and Oculus. Perhaps Sony didn’t want to be caught in the shuffle of the VR frenzy that took place at CES. MWC could be a perfect place for Sony to have a spotlight on PlayStation VR without interference from competitors.

HTC Vive Pre Price

HTC has not confirmed any plans for MWC; however, the manufacturer has confirmed that the HTC Vive Pre VR headset will be available for preorder starting Feb. 29. The date is just days after Mobile World Congress ends, which makes MWC the perfect time for HTC to announce pricing details for the VR headset.

It would also make sense for HTC to share even more details about the Vive Pre at MWC, considering it originally announced its VR plans at MWC in 2015.

Huawei P9 Series

Huawei is expected to announce four models in its rumored P9 series at Mobile World Congress. These devices will include a standard Huawei P9 model, a Huawei P9 Lite model with mid-range specs, a phablet-sized Huawei P9 Max model and a Huawei P9 Premium model with high-end specs. Huawei has yet to confirm a press conference for MWC.

31 Jan

League of Legends: Listen to Jhin’s Unique Champion Interactions

League of Legends recently saw the additionof an all new champion named Jhin. Clad in stylish raiment and a creepy white mask reminescent of Borderlands 2s Handsome Jack, Jhin is a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield with his big gun.

He is nicknamed the Virtuoso, with skills and a personality revolving around that of a tortured artist. He isnt a sadist, but an artistand one who takes artistic pride in his ability to kill others. His skills have names like Curtain Call and Captive Audience,apt, considering his background as an actor.

Hes an incredibly fascinating character, and one with a host of special lines and interactions that he can say when he encounters opponents. To describe him as being a little creepy would be an understatement.

The LolKing channel on YouTube prepared a video compiling all of his available interactions with other champions. Its well worth a watch, especially if youre a fan of the lore in League of Legends. The things he says reveal much about who he is. Watch it above.

30 Jan

Former UPD officer seeks to enhance police, community interactions

He started using and implementing this style called, motivational interviewing, during his time as an officer for the Eastern University Police Department.

Like when a person slows down when they see a squad car even if they are following the speed limit, motivational interviewing elicits the person to analyze their own behavior and change it in a positive way.

When talking to people on patrol, he would often use this tactic to inspire change within the people in the community. Aside from using tickets and lectures every time to stress making good decisions, Closson started using this motivational interviewing technique, which he found to be quite successful.

“The student will voice his/her own reasons of why they should make a change, and then you help strengthen his/her own internal motivation,” Closson said.

When talking to students on the street, not all of whom may have been doing something wrong, Closson said he had positive interactions with students.

“They loved having that positive interaction with law enforcement,” Closson said.

It was crucial to Closson that the interactions dont always end or start with him saying they should not do this or that, but instead, promote an interest within the person to be successful.

Closson said he often used this technique to de-escalate the situations and promote change within people who may be making bad choices, particularly in enforcement situations such as when he was sent to the residence halls for cannabis and drinking complaints. He also used the method when just talking to people around the campus.

30 Jan

Researchers evaluate how coral-seaweed interactions affect coral associated …

As more reefs degrade, however, scientists continue to struggle to understand why. Top-down theories suggest overfishing of predator fish leaves fewer herbivores to eat the seaweed. Bottom-up viewpoints contend that rising temperatures and runoff from fertilizers on land cause the seaweed to over grow, throwing the ecosystem out of whack.

Realistically, both things are happening, Dixson said.

She believes other things are happening, too. Her research teams study findings suggest that seaweeds alter the corals biochemistry, and that increased seaweed cover may cause further coral declines by changing the ways organisms forage or interact there.

The paper grew out of Dixsons post-doctoral work with Mark Hay, a professor of biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology who studies seaweed-coral competition.

We know from Marks work that seaweed placed near coral improves the seaweeds taste because the algae spends its energy fighting coral instead of producing nasty chemicals to deter herbivorous fishes. My study looked at the other side of the coin–how the presence of seaweed affects coral palatability in fish, Dixson said.

In the experiment, Dixson videotaped and counted butterflyfish interactions with reefs that had chemically active (Galaxaura filamentosa) and chemically inactive (Sargassum polycystum) seaweeds and control reefs without seaweed. Because butterflyfish are territorial, she moved the experiment to multiple locations to ensure new butterflyfish visited the test site each time.

Parents are always trying to find ways to add vegetables into their childrens diet, by hiding extra carrots in tomato sauce, for example. But what if the child could smell the carrots even without seeing them? Dixson said. Its not about memory, there is something happening with the coral-seaweed interaction that makes the coral unattractive to butterflyfish.

Whether the corals are chemically changing internally in a way that makes them less nutritious or they actually taste bad due to the energy expended to defend themselves against the seaweed is unknown.

The ripple effect

Then there is the ripple effect–how does this negative coral-seaweed interaction affect other reef organisms and what is the larger implication for the ocean if this imbalance continues to grow?

Drastic differences already can be seen in places like Fiji, where a beautiful coral reef can be found right next to a seaweed-choked wasteland. Seaweed overgrowth is a consequence of environmental change, but it is not as simple as more seaweed hurts coral and less corals hurts fish – there are animal behaviors that could be driving this, as well.

Butterflyfish clearly have evolved the ability to detect changes or differences in coral reefs and are choosing habitat and food supplies based on these cues. If this pattern is present in other fish, it could have ramifications including putting undue pressure on healthy corals by overeating them while avoiding those they dont like Dixson said.

To begin answering these larger questions, Dixson said, requires adding behavioral effects into the mix of how scientists think about habitat degradation.

We need to start understanding these interactive effects, especially the behavioral choices that could be exacerbating issues that were not even thinking to give fish credit for, she said.

So, where does Dixson go from here?

She and Brooker plan to dive deeper into the chemistry of the coral-seaweed interaction to explore whether seaweed affects the corals nutrition, taste or something else they havent considered. They are also curious about whether coral-seaweed interactions affect a fishs ability to chemically camouflage itself against predators.

We know animals hunt with chemistry, so it makes sense that they would hide themselves with chemistry, too, Dixson said. Chemical camouflage is an emerging field with potential for helping us better understand how organisms interact and predator-prey dynamics. I think UD can be a leader in this field.

Explore further:
Chemical warfare on the reef: How certain seaweed species harm corals

More information:
Rohan M. Brooker et al. Cryptic effects of habitat declines: coral-associated fishes avoid coral-seaweed interactions due to visual and chemical cues, Scientific Reports (2016). DOI: 10.1038/srep18842

28 Jan

OPINION: Is federal government encouraging US Indian-Mideastern interactions?

It has been reported that the town of Browning might have to disincorporate or declare bankruptcy over an ongoing dispute with the Blackfeet Tribe about water and utility service.

A similar fate once threatened the Village of Hobart, Wisconsin, and now threatens Shawnee, Oklahoma, and many other communities. So what is the problem with removing municipal government for tribal government jurisdiction? Tribal governments do not allow non-tribal residents any voice in their government, and have no duty to protect or serve them. Tribes just want to tax, govern or chase non-Indians away. Rightful government of American citizens on Indian reservations is gone when states, counties and towns spinelessly give up.

27 Jan

Maier: How to have good interactions with others

Parking lots were crazy during the Christmas season. One day, I had a tough time getting out of a parking spot that was a tight fit from all directions. I had to repeatedly go back and forward. When I finally maneuvered my way out, I wasn’t positioned correctly. Another car wanted to pass me so I quickly moved out of the way. As I did, the driver screamed at me. All I could think was that driver had no idea what I had just been through! Of course, I didn’t know what she was going through either.

We don’t automatically know a stranger’s story. But we can cut out a lot of stress — and road rage — if we give each other the benefit of the doubt and extend grace. One way to offer grace without knowing the other person’s story is to assume the other person is inexperienced, stressed, in an emergency, having a bad day or just having a bad moment.

Of course, we need to offer the same benefit of the doubt and extra grace to people we know, too.

26 Jan

Moody’s: RCI Banque’s ABS remain unaffected by recent Renault announcements

London, 22 January 2016 — Auto loan asset backed securities (ABS) sponsored by Renaults captive
finance company, RCI Banque, are not directly exposed to the
market value of Renaults vehicles, says Moodys Investors
Service. While RCI Banques dealer floorplan ABS is more
closely linked to the manufacturers creditworthiness, it
benefits from a payment rate trigger to mitigate its exposure.

RCI Banques auto loan ABS are only indirectly exposed to
residual value risk. Their performance has been stable so far and
stayed within our expectations. The cumulative default rate of
1.05% is lower than our default rate assumption of 3.5%
to 5.0%, observes Carole Gintz, a Senior
Vice President/Manager at Moodys.

The dealer floorplan ABS credit risk mainly stems from the
dealers ability to liquidate vehicles at healthy monthly payment
rates through retail sales from dealer lots at prices that are sufficient
to cover the financed vehicles, notes Alexis Rivet,
an Analyst at Moodys.

As such, we take into account the rating of the vehicle manufacturer,
partly because of the possible need for the automaker to step in to support
dealers. However, a payment rate trigger is in place to any
hypothetical deterioration in the dealers credit risk,
says Mr. Rivet.

The new report is available on www.moodys.com: ABS
– EMEA: RCI Banques ABS transactions remain unaffected
by recent Renault announcements. This research does not
announce a rating action.

The payment rate of the dealer floorplan transaction, FCT Cars Alliance
DFP France — Series 2013-1, stood at 53% as
of November 2015, which is well above the 38% payment rate
trigger level for early amortisation under the transaction documents.

Moodys research shows auto loan ABS are mainly exposed to loans
that finance new vehicles and amortising loans (balloon loans account
for 52% of the pool in the German transaction). Exposure
to balloon loans (which have a large instalment due at maturity) vary
across RCI Banques auto ABS transactions and borrowers typically
have the option to sell the vehicle back to the dealer. This only
creates an indirect exposure to Renaults dealership in a hypothetical
scenario in which an increasing number of borrowers exercise their option
to sell the vehicles back to the dealers, combined with lower market
values of the vehicles.

Of the three auto loan ABS from RCI Banque (Baa1/A3(cr)/P-2) that
Moodys rates, two have assets domiciled in France and one
in Germany. The dealer floor plan transactions assets are
domiciled in France. All four transactions account for a total
outstanding pool balance of euro;2.6 billion. Two transactions
are still revolving, while the other two have amortised and built
up significant additional credit enhancement (see ABS – EMEA:
RCI Banques ABS transactions remain unaffected by recent Renault

Since the auto loan ABS do not have direct exposure to market value risk,
the assets performance is therefore not directly related to that
of the manufacturer. In contrast, the dealer floor plan transaction
relies on the manufacturers credit through the formers implicit
support for the dealers to which the transaction is directly exposed.

Moodys subscribers can access this report at:


NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call
one of our global press information hotlines: London +44-20-7772-5456,
New York +1-212-553-0376, Tokyo +813-5408-4110,
Hong Kong +852-3758-1350, Sydney +61-2-9270-8141,
Mexico City 001-888-779-5833, Satilde;o Paulo
0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires 0800-666-3506.
You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com or visit our
web site at www.moodys.com.

This publication does not announce a credit rating action. For
any credit ratings referenced in this publication, please see the
ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com
for the most updated credit rating action information and rating history.

Alexis Rivet
Structured Finance Group
Moodys Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Carole Gintz
Senior Vice President/Manager
Structured Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454

Releasing Office:
Moodys Investors Service Ltd.
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London E14 5FA
United Kingdom
JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456
SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454