Tag Archives: Grant

Matthew Akiyama, MD, Receives NIDA Avenir Grant

Avenir HIV/AIDs recipient Matthew Akiyama, MD, an assistant professor and clinician-investigator at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City, is a blood-borne infections sleuth.

With a 4-year, $ 2.5M Avenir Awards grant from the National Institutes of Drug Abuse (NIDA), Akiyama and his colleagues plan to leverage the power of next-generation gene sequencing to further their work on HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Kenya, Africa. “New sequencing technology will allow us to understand — at a very detailed level — the breadth of the quasi-viral species that exist within a single host,” Akiyama told Medscape Medical News.

PWID account for a large percentage of HIV/HCV co-infections and are central to HCV transmission globally. Understanding the network dynamics of transmission of one infection facilitates understanding of the other because they are often intertwined.

Akiyama’s novel approach embraces the spirit and philosophy of the Avenir Awards: using vital data to discover new avenues of prevention and treatment among at-risk PWID, in this case, those based on molecular epidemiology.

“Solving network dynamics will enable us to understand who in the community may be central to transmission pathways, as well how their behaviors lead to transmission. By understanding this, you can then target prevention interventions,” Nina Volkow, MD, NIDA’s director, told Medscape.

Part Sleuth, Part Anthropologist

“Dr Akiyama’s work is interesting. He mixes the whole concept of infectious disease and genetics of viruses with anthropology,” Volkow said. Akiyama’s study has multiple components that together may provide a template that can be scaled up into larger, global efforts.

The challenges of working with hard-to-reach populations such as PWID in low- to middle-income regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa are much the same as those seen in high-income regions. Those challenges include stigma, marginalization, limited interactions with the healthcare system, and inherent distrust in the system itself. Study recruitment (slated for fall or winter 2021) will start with response-driven sampling through needle and syringe programs in Kenya. That will be followed by chain referral or snowball sampling. Ultimately, Akiyama hopes to recruit roughly 3500 Kenyan PWID to reach a sample size of ~500 HCV-viremic participants over 2 to 3 years. He will then follow these patients to characterize HCV transmission networks.

Akiyama said that the Kenyan health authorities have been extremely progressive in rolling out medications for opioid use disorder as well as needle and syringe programs. “We’re hoping that those efforts have curbed the spread of blood-borne pathogens and we’ll be able to conduct an updated analysis to determine how widespread transmission has become,” Akiyama said. His previous analysis was conducted in 2019.

“The strong gradation from the coast inland to Nairobi (which at last count ranged from roughly 2% to 20%, respectively) can help us to better understand how molecular epidemiologic approaches can be used in areas of moderate and very low [HCV] prevalence to tailor interventions that target testing and linkage to care and move toward preventing outbreaks among populations who’ve seen very little spread thus far,” he explained.

In addition to the molecular analysis, Akiyama and colleagues plan to incorporate ethnographic and qualitative analyses among subgroups to better understand context-specific, local factors that drive or contribute to high-risk transmission in certain regions.

“This project will ultimately help to create a [two-step] template based on next-generation sequencing and phylogenetic analysis followed by qualitative analysis that have more widespread applications,” said Akiyama. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to carry out this research.”

Akiyama and Volkow report no relevant financial relationships.

Liz Scherer is an independent journalist specializing in infectious and emerging diseases, cannabinoid therapeutics, neurology, oncology, and women’s health.

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This post originally posted here Medscape Medical News

Self-employed Covid relief: When is SEISS grant five open for claims?

If the claimant’s turnover has decreased by less than 30 percent, the grant will be worth 30 percent of three months’ average trading profits.

In this case, the grant will also be subject to a cap of £2,850.

To claim, HMRC has asked claimants to calculate two different turnover figures.

Claimants will need to know their turnover for April 2020 to April 2021, in addition to their turnover for either 2019 to 2020 or 2018 to 2019.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Horoscopes: Your weekly horoscope by Russell Grant – what’s in the stars next week?

Aries (March 21/April 20)

If you and a partner live some distance apart, take any chance you get to spend more time with each other. You might also discuss how you might arrange your lives so you are together more in the future. A strong need to help other people could lead you to a local Charity.

Taurus (April 21/May 21)

Someone will be looking for advice or support over a break of some sort in your family or friendship circle. You may have to come to terms with an issue you thought was closed. It will be annoying that other people can’t seem to leave the past behind.

Gemini (May 22/June 21)

Despite a possible hurdle, a job you have taken on will continue to make progress. All you have to do is stick at it. Just as if you are learning something new, whether it is a craft, art techniques, a foreign language or a dance step, practice will make perfect.

Cancer (June 22/July 23)

Make it a priority to tie things up. There are some difficult jobs you are trying to avoid but the sooner you get these over with the sooner you can get on with things you do enjoy. A friend or colleague’s constant grumbles are starting to get you down.

Leo (July 24/August 23)

A colleague whose help and support you are relying on is never there when you need them. Their laziness is getting in the way of your goals. It might be time to start looking for a new partner. Be cautious and conservative with financial transactions.

Virgo (August 24/September 23)

An achievement should not be put down to good luck alone for you have worked hard to reach this point. It can still be hard to believe that you have achieved what you set out to do. Give yourself a mental shake and enjoy the results.

Libra (September 24/October 23)

You can expect to experience at least one or two out of the ordinary events. A conversation, meeting or appointment will bring opportunities you never would have dreamed of. You’re in an adventurous mood and there is a touch of the dare-devil about you.

Scorpio (October 24/November 22)

What you need and what you get are two very different things. You could do with a break when responsibilities are increasing. You need a hug but you can’t get close to a loved one whose company you are missing.

Sagittarius (November 23/December 21)

It’s upsetting that someone you have helped out in the past refuses to be available when you could do with their assistance. They are showing their true colours and this makes you realise how one-sided this relationship happens to be.

Capricorn (December 22/January 20)

Supporting a good cause will feel rewarding and fulfilling. Sometimes the best way to put your own problems into perspective is to see the hardships other people are going through. A project can only move forward if financial support is received.

Aquarius (January 21/February 19)

If you’ve been looking for a new place to live but haven’t yet had any luck, an older friend will come up with the solution. Unconventional living arrangements might suit you quite well at this time. In friendship or romance you have found a kindred spirit.

Pisces (February 20/March 20)

You have been doing your best to show kindness and understanding to those who are closest to you. Because of this they will be showing you the same kind of consideration. The more you are willing to talk and to let your true feelings show, the more positive the consequences.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Life and Style
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Travel update latest: When is Grant Shapps next announcement?

Travel abroad is beloved by millions across Britain, but for more than a year, many people have been unable to take to the skies and visit new nations because of the coronavirus pandemic. International travel opened up again on May 17, but since that time a traffic light system has been in effect, categorising each country according to their Covid risk status.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed new details about the plans for Freedom Day on July 19 this week.

He revealed the final decision about the last stage of lockdown lifting will be made on July 12 according to the latest data, but that England is currently on track for restrictions to be eased.

Most legal limits will be removed from July 19 including the legal mandating of social distancing and face masks.

Nightclubs will also be permitted to reopen with capacity caps on businesses also removed.

The work from home guidance will end with limits on named visitors to care homes to be removed.

READ MORE: Will Turkey go on the Amber list? ‘Their time is about to come’

Symptomatic test and contact tracing will continue and there will still be a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid.

But from August 16, under 18’s in England will no longer need to self-isolate after being in close contact with a positive case.

Fully-vaccinated adults will also not have to self-isolate from then if they are in close contact with a case.

Mr Johnson also revealed later this month there would be announcements about removing the need for fully-vaccinated people to self-isolate upon return from an amber list country.

Hopeful holidaymakers looking to travel abroad from May 17 will be permitted to visit 12 countries quarantine-free according to the new green travel list announced today.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed a total of 12 countries will allow anyone returning from abroad to avoid a 10-day quarantine period.

Speaking from Downing Street, Mr Shapps said: “Today marks the first step in our cautious return to international travel, with measures designed above all else to protect public health and ensure we don’t throw away the hard-fought gains we’ve all strived to earn this year.

“This is a new way of doing things, and people should expect travel to be different this summer – with longer checks at the borders, as part of tough measures to prevent new strains of the virus entering the country and putting our fantastic vaccine rollout at risk.”

Free bus pass: Where you live could affect when you get one [INSIGHT]
Travel testing rules could be axed for fully vaccinated Britons [EXPLAINER]
Germany: Vaccinated Britons allow to visit in the ‘foreseeable’ future [ANALYSIS]

When is Grant Shapps next announcement?

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is expected to deliver a formal announcement about the Government’s plans to introduce quarantine-free travel restrictions.

The travel update is expected later this week.

Travel reviews and announcements tend to take place on Thursdays, but no official date has been confirmed by the Government as of yet.

Many travel experts believe the Transport Secretary will announce new measures related to quarantine rules this week.

The proposal to allow fully vaccinated people returning from amber list countries to skip the mandatory quarantine period would essentially equate these countries to green list destinations.

It is expected returning travellers will still be required to undertake testing as per green list rules currently.

But anyone who has received their second jab 14 days before entering the UK from an amber list country may be entitled to skip quarantine altogether.

Experts believe the hotel quarantine rules for red list destinations will however remain in effect.

Author: Kaisha Langton
Read more here >>> Daily Express

Horoscope: Weekly horoscopes from astrology Russell Grant – what's in the stars for you?

Aries (March 21/April 20)

You will be thanking your lucky stars for the good news that comes your way early in the week. This will confirm you have one foot in the door of your new destiny. You may have set your sights high but you also know your goals are realistic.

Taurus (April 21/May 21)

Your mood seems to be more purposeful than most people around you. Even so there will be times when you seem to blend into your environment quite nicely. You will be getting on with your own concerns while enjoying the carefree spirit of your friends.

Leo (July 24/August 23)

Financial rewards are heading your way as a consequence of your hard-working efforts of the past week or so. Someone close will come up with a hard luck story. This is a one you’ve now heard once too often so they won’t be fooling you.

Virgo (August 24/September 23)

A personal aim you never thought would come true is showing remarkable signs of promise. It will feel good to know your hopes weren’t unrealistic after all. Following on the heels of a favourable start to the week you might enjoy some fun times with friends later.

Libra (September 24/October 23)

If you are lonely and in need of some company or a little romance, don’t be too reluctant to let a friend do some matchmaking. Someone wants to play Cupid. At least give their ideas a chance. You could be glad you did.

Scorpio (October 24/November 22)

This will be a good time to further any intentions you may have to bring improvements into your life. Don’t be afraid to fill in that job application or to approach your boss for a pay rise. You will never get anywhere without trying.

Sagittarius (November 23/December 21)

Your ability to look on the bright side does a lot to keep you strong. There are some links with an institution during the back end of the week when you may be visiting a friend or relative who is sick or doing some charity work.

Capricorn (December 22/January 20)

Family life doesn’t seem to be fitting in with your career or vice-versa. A part time job may have slowly developed into a full-time commitment or your normal workload is increasing so rapidly you’re finding it hard to fit family commitments into your new schedule.

Aquarius (January 21/February 19)

Patience is called for when a friend or workmate will be so full of their own troubles they don’t seem to realise how depressed they are making other people feel. A gentle hint that they may be going on just a little too much may not be enough to get through to them.

Pisces (February 20/March 20)

Your love life is unsettled. You really won’t want to rock the boat but no matter what you do or say your partner picks up the wrong end of the stick. The best solution could be to keep well out of their way for the time being.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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When will SEISS grant five be paid out? Key timings to be aware of

Eligible claimants will be able to apply for one final grant from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) later this year. Those who wish to apply for the fifth grant should be aware that guidance for claiming the grant is expected to be rolled out at the end of June. The scheme opens again at the end of July for applications.

How much is the fifth SEISS grant worth?

The fifth SEISS grant is paid out in one lump sum and it is subject to tax.

Unlike the previous four SEISS grants, grant five will be determined based on the claimant’s turnover.

A claimant with a turnover reduction of 30 percent or more could get a grant worth 80 percent of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500 in total.

A claimant with a turnover reduction of less than 30 percent could get a grant worth 30 percent of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £2,850.

READ MORE: state pension: Voluntary NI payments may be restricted – why?

Robert Hayton, UK president of Altus Group, said leisure and hospitality firms will need more support, with nightclubs in a particularly precarious situation.

He said: “The deviation from the roadmap means Covid support, particularly rates relief, should be revisited as the largest operators will essentially be returned to normal level of business rates in just over two weeks’ time with the cap on help.”

He added: “1,167 night clubs have been unable to open their doors since the onset of the pandemic and the right to appeal citing the pandemic is retrospectively being removed which is just wrong.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Grant Kirkhope “Honoured” To Return As Composer For Mario + Rabbids Sequel

Mario + Rabbids Sparks Of Hope© Nintendo / Ubisoft

After a slip-up on Nintendo’s end, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope was officially unveiled during Ubisoft’s E3 presentation.

Being a sequel, a number of key figures have returned, and this includes the former Rare composer Grant Kirkhope. He was previously responsible for the first game’s soundtrack, and this time around he was even given the opportunity to score the trailers for the sequel.

Here’s what he had to say about the reveal of Sparks of Hope during a special Games Industry E3 podcast:

“I’m so pleased to get it out there, you know, it’s not a secret anymore. Yes, it’s great to get it out there… I got to score both the trailers, the gameplay and the cinematic trailers that a lot of the time you don’t get to do that…yeah, I feel I’m part of the launch which is nice.”

In a follow-up tweet, Grant revealed one of the more special moments working on the game, which was being able to do an arrangement of the Comet Observatory theme from the Super Mario Galaxy series:

Oh, and there’s apparently a neat reference to a Banjo-Tooie track in the Sparks of Hope trailer:

Creative director Davide Soliani also had a special message for Kirkhope during a developer discussion about the game:

“Honestly Grant is not only a composer to me, he’s a close friend. And I couldn’t imagine doing a game without him – even if he’s always complaining and whining about something, I want him on my side. That’s the best message I can send to him.”

Are you excited to hear more from Grant Kirkhope in Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope? Will you be adding this game to your Switch library when it arrives next year? Leave a comment down below.

This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Horoscopes: Russell Grant delivers your star sign's horoscope for next week

Aries (March 21/April 20)

You’ve been finding it hard to reach an understanding in an issue that’s causing problems in a work or family relationship.

You might suddenly conjure up an ideal way to get around someone. You will wonder why you hadn’t thought of this before.

Taurus (April 21/May 21)

You’ve got some thinking to do. It might seem as if you and a partner no longer share the same goals.

Is there a way of continuing with joint commitments or is it time to go your separate ways? A friend has some interesting and imaginative ideas for the future.

Leo (July 24/August 23)

You are enjoying a run of financial luck. Even so, you won’t drop your guard because of this and you will continue to be alert for any further opportunity to improve your finances.

An extremely inviting investment offer is about to be put to you.

Virgo (August 24/September 23)

It’s hard to concentrate on everyday business. An unusual amount of restlessness isn’t helping.

It may be out of the question to take to the open road because of financial or other restrictions but you will take this chance to spend more time outdoors.

Libra (September 24/October 23)

Keeping busy will help keep your mind off a matter that is causing strong emotions. There are ways to stay calm and thinking about other things is one of them.

Be sure you don’t commit yourself to anything more than you have to.

Scorpio (October 24/November 22)

After a slow start to the week, as the days wear on, the brighter and livelier the pace will be.

Although you may not be wandering too far away from your home ground, there will be a lot of fun through friendship and community activities.

Sagittarius (November 23/December 21)

You have your days carefully mapped out down to the last detail. Yet you might wonder why you took so much time arranging things when an unexpected stumbling block foils your progress. This can be overcome with a little patience.

Capricorn (December 22/January 20)

You may have left it a little late to make some travel arrangements. Work and other responsibilities have got in the way.

It is time now to devote more attention to your personal life for you don’t want to lose someone who is becoming to mean a lot to you.

Aquarius (January 21/February 19)

An invitation to join friends in a carefully arranged event will be just what you need to brighten your days.

You have an eye for a bargain and others will be glad to have you around when you save them some money too.

Pisces (February 20/March 20)

In love and money, don’t give in to temptation. Avoid taking risks and think about what you might lose rather than dreaming of all you could win.

There’s something restless and fidgety about your mood which tempts you to jump in without looking.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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£1million franchise grant fund launched to seed 200 new small businesses

Although the pandemic has changed the business landscape with many more firms struggling as recovery begins, demand for property-related services has boomed. Fantastic Services, which covers cleaning, gardening, handyman, pest control and removals, has expanded into 20 new areas in the past year.

The company’s grant initiative plans to meet the initial expenses for starting a home services business. Prime clients are those who have lost their job, the self-employed or those experiencing business struggles due to coronavirus.

Anton Skarlatov, the co-founder and CEO of Fantastic Services, explained: “The grant covers most of the expenses for starting a working franchise business with Fantastic Services.”

Rune Sovndahl, the co-founder and board chairman, added: “Since the start of the pandemic, we have looked for ways to give back to the community, offering free services to NHS and frontline workers. With the new grant programme, we provide a viable alternative to employment through franchising and help anyone restart their career or business in a high-demand sector.”

The Fantastic Services grant programme is suitable for tradespeople, technicians with experience in the services sector and people who are looking to change industries and will bring customer service skills to the table.

Franchisees can work on-site along with their team or manage several local ones in London and other areas across the UK. It’s geared for local service providers or self-employed tradespeople who offer one or a selection of services.

HQ’s emphasis is on generating sales leads leaving franchisees to deliver the service. The company says it has invested £20m in bespoke technology platforms to streamline the booking process and work allocation.

For more information and an application form, visit https://fantasticfranchise.com/fantastic-grant.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

SEISS grant 4: When is the deadline to apply for self-employed grant?

“I’ve spoken about this a lot before, it’s worth up to £7,500, three months average profit from February to April.

“You must declare a reasonable belief of significant Covid profit reduction.

“Remember, for this grant, because they [HMRC] are accepting the most recent tax returns, many people who weren’t eligible for the earlier grants have been eligible for this.”

He added: “If you haven’t checked, do it soon because that deadline is coming.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed