Friday, November 30, 2012

AIHCP Inc. Provides Substance Abuse Counseling Certification Applications

Solar, Y., & Li, Y. (2002). Kid's nicely-being all through parent's marital disruption process: A pooled time-collection analysis. Journal of Relationship and Household, 64(2), 472-482.

counseling

It is typically suggested that family members planning by way of main modifications discuss to a counselor. There are certain major adjustments in certain that usually connect with for some family link to source. Get to know a handful of of the most popular factors for this.

1 well-known vocation method is a master's diploma in relationship and family counseling. In this discipline pupils review how to appropriately get the job done with married partners and people. Family members advancement and sexual dysfunction are some subjects that a curriculum addresses. A family, couple, and little one counseling study course teach students the processes for intervention and remedy of kids and their households. College students explore the family members procedure by styles and diseases that are employed in the total counseling practice. College students find out the diverse perspectives, ways, and intervention tactics to correctly deal with a counseling session.

Six techniques of my marriage counseling processes are reviewed the various qualities of being a marriage counselor, a psychologist, a daily life coach and a relationship guidance supplier are outlined.

Medical related Counseling: If a person individual in the couple suffers from a bodily circumstance, sickness, or handicap that calls for remedy or unique treatment, the couple can show up at counseling periods to ascertain how to cope with the circumstance and how to function together as a loving, understanding couple.

There are a amount of distinct theories as to how and why divorce negatively impacts young children and adolescents. Disruption of the friends and family and trouble parenting appears to be to be the causes most supported by the research. When working with youngsters and developmental exploration these problems require to be factored into the total styles of child progress. Sunshine and Li (2002) did uncover that counseling assisted the youngsters deal with the developmental challenges caused by divorce. McConnell and Sim (1999) also locate that the method made it easier for little ones who received counseling.

Material abuse counselors also educate clientele about compound abuse and the recovery process. Topics incorporate the dynamics of dependancy, health and fitness hazards brought about by alcoholic beverages and drug use and abuse, tension administration, coping skills, problem solving skills, conversation techniques, wholesome associations and relapse prevention. Some treatment method systems also deliver instruction about details like diet and exercising, but dieticians and work out physiologists may possibly teach those people sessions as a substitute of substance abuse counselors.

Around all, the human staying, and lifetime alone, is hugely mysterious - and the quest gets to be, how to really keep that thriller as a doorway that invites new exploration. We use only a tiny element of our minds and souls in this dwelling practice.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

History Of Christian Religion

The first crusade started in the year 1096 and ended in 1099. It was a military mission by the Catholic in Europe to recover the Holy lands taken by Muslims. Pope Urban II launched the conquest who wanted to respond to an appeal made by Byzantine Emperor Alexios I, who asked for western aid to help him resist the Seljuk Turks invasion. The Holy Land belonged to Roman Empire, and hence the Byzantine Empire, until the Islamic conquest which drove Byzantines out of the land. However, the Muslims allowed Christians to visit their sacred places until 1071 when Seljuk Turks came in claiming to defend the Byzantines. Seljuk Turks conquered Jerusalem the same year from Egyptian Fatimid. After the conquest, they became unfriendly to Christian pilgrims subjecting them to harassments. This made Alexius I, the Byzantine Emperor, to call for help from Western Europe. The second goal was to rescue Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Islamic rule, which became the main objective of the crusade (Helibrium Timeline of Art History).

Peasants and knights from Western Europe travelled by sea and over land to Jerusalem. Peasants were more than the knights during the crusade. There was a division of the crusaders into different armies. Unfortunately, the peasants army did not reach Jerusalem because the peasants less trained in combat than the knights. However, the knights reached Jerusalem and initiated an assault on it, capturing it in July 1099. During the process, of rescuing Jerusalem, there was a massacre of many Muslims and Jews in the city. They established the crusaders states of Jerusalem, principality of Antioch, County of Tripoli and county of Edessa. The crusaders refused to return their respective countries, but instead established their states after conquer. This conquest remains controversial as either aggressive or defensive because instead of rescuing the city and giving it back to Christians, the crusaders decided to dominate it. The first crusade being a response by Christians to Muslim conquests, followed by other eight crusades (Runciman 35)

Effects of Crusades on Christianity
The crusades had more effect on the people who launched them than on the people who they were attacking. Contrasting the popular belief creating fear, crusades did not create Christian fear of Muslims. Christians regarded Muslims as a threat to Christianity even before the commencement of crusades. The crusades only proved these ideas about Muslims being true. Crusades discouraged trade practice between Muslims and Christians. This is evident because the papacy made threats of excommunication from trade to merchants who traded with Muslims. Theses trade threats had little effects because later, people started to trade with Muslims. Although the crusades were not a success, it changed the lives of many Christians. There was economic growth and exchange of ideas between the Muslims and the crusaders.

Modern Christianity does not consider crusades as crucial due to modern beliefs towards war and religion. They believe that religion is not a cause of violence. The crusades bring shame to modern Christians for they see it as the dark side of Christianity history. Many anti- Christian believers cite the crusades as a proof against Christianity. For this reason, crusades are not significant in modern Christianity. Therefore, they promoted trade between Asia and Europe. Politics also changed in Europe. Following the death of many knights and nobles during the process of the crusades, many kings increased their power. The crusades had long impacts on the relationship among people. Crusaders attack on Jews made Jews not to trust Christianity. Tension increased between Byzantines and Western Christians particularly after the crusaders attack at Constantinople.

Morgan D is an experienced freelance writer for 5 years now, he writes research papers, essays papers, thesis proposal and dissertation papers.He is currently working with uk best essay provider visist the site to view more articles on various topics

Source: http://articles.submityourarticle.com/history-of-christian-religion-304482

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Blogging my way to health and fitness: Types Of Eczema Natural ...

Eczema is a type of skin condition affecting about 10 to 20 percent of people. It comes as flaky, itchy, red skin that usually appears as an inflammatory response to various physical and environmental irritants. All people can get this skin condition but those with family history are more susceptible to getting the disease. Currently, there is no cure for the condition but eczema natural remedies can help in alleviating the symptoms.

Normally, it is the skin that will provide protection against infections and various diseases. However, this protection may be compromised once irritants trigger oversensitivity and bring about negative immune responses which result to an eczema reaction. Patches in the skin may turn flaky, itchy and also become red. Sometimes, the affected skin even starts oozing out liquids.

After your skin has healed, it will start becoming thicker and then radiate a somewhat leather-like appearance at all the affected spots. This specific process is called lichenification. Know that other factors may trigger the allergic reaction as well. These may include viruses, meat, soaps, fruit, dust and animal dander. Sometimes, an environmental trigger such as stress may cause reactions too.

You may want to try out several natural treatments to relieve you of the symptoms. For instance, you apply pastes or use special bath mixtures or homemade lotions to make your skin a lot more moisturized. You might also want to consider changing your eating habits. A common thing all these remedies have is that their ingredients or fragrances are not produced chemically.

It has been said that majority of people with the condition tend to be more sensitive to chemical substances. Unfortunately though, most products out on the market are chemically-induced. Hence, avoiding some over the counter body care lotions and prescriptions treatments will be necessary.

There are some people who change their dietary habits as a means to treat the troublesome skin condition. Avoiding artificial additives, preservatives and processed foods which are what usually cause allergic reactions often helps. Staying hydrated may also be vital to avoid getting severely dry skin. Taking in water daily usually helps in reducing skin disorders.

You might also want to prepare some topical mixtures of herbal or organic ingredients. Mix some dandelion and spearmint leaves with olive oil, jojoba oil, mashed avocado and papaya seeds. Try out combinations of camphor and sandalwood as well. Mix them into a paste and then apply this on to your skin surface. If you do not want to go through the preparing the ingredients on your own though, you may consider getting them off store shelves.

Oatmeal products have long been employed as eczema treatments as well. Many experts suggest grinding the oatmeal into very fine powder and then putting them into bathwater right before soaking in. They may also be filled into cloth packets and attached to the bathtub faucets. Soothing herbs such as chamomile may be used for this as well. Once water starts running through, their healing properties will be released.

Oatmeal has long been known to be among the best eczema natural remedies. This may also be used for various skin conditions including psoriasis and poison ivy. In addition, it can remedy skin which have become severely dry.

Source: http://bloggingmywaytohealthandfitness.blogspot.com/2012/11/types-of-eczema-natural-remedies.html

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Source: http://mcmillan5061.typepad.com/blog/2012/11/blogging-my-way-to-health-and-fitness-types-of-eczema-natural.html

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

imitable versify: Savannah GA Bed & Breakfast for Sale - Inn Partners

Savannah GA Bed & Breakfast for Sale

How does an Inn in Savannah Georgia, with so many outstanding hospitality properties achieve? TripAdvisors rating as the number three hotel in Savannah? Well, it isn?t easy.

In the first place, it needs a dynamite location overlooking one of the outstanding squares in the middle of the downtown historic district. Second, it needs a striking architectural presence among many fine historic B&B?s and other historic buildings. Third, it needs meticulously restored interiors and a rich balance of antiques and guest friendly furnishings. Finally, the Inn needs owners who put their guests? needs first.

This current offering fulfills those characteristics and this rating is a just reward. Another reward is a strong business, with sales approaching $1,000,000.00.

The Inn has 17 well appointed rooms, a high occupancy rate of 60%,? and a strong bottom line. It is a chosen member of Select Registry, has been chosen for BedandBreakfast.com?s Diamond Collection and is also a Four Diamond AAA Inn.
The price is $4,995,000.00. The cash flow will easily cover the debt service and provide a decent income for new owners. For those with the resources, this is a rare opportunity to own the best.

  • Select Registry?s only Bed & Breakfast Hotel in Savannah
  • Travel & Leisure Magazine voted this as one of America?s Most Romantic Hotels in 2012
  • AAA Four Diamond

?

Or you can click here for more information on multiple Inns.

Source: http://www.innpartners.com/savannah-ga-bed-breakfast-sale/

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Source: http://imitable-versify.blogspot.com/2012/11/savannah-ga-bed-breakfast-for-sale-inn.html

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Graphene/nanotube hybrid makes single-surface material for energy storage, electronics

ScienceDaily (Nov. 27, 2012) ? A seamless graphene/nanotube hybrid created at Rice University may be the best electrode interface material possible for many energy storage and electronics applications.

Led by Rice chemist James Tour, researchers have successfully grown forests of carbon nanotubes that rise quickly from sheets of graphene to astounding lengths of up to 120 microns, according to a paper published November 27 by Nature Communications. A house on an average plot with the same aspect ratio would rise into space.

That translates into a massive amount of surface area, the key factor in making things like energy-storing supercapacitors.

The Rice hybrid combines two-dimensional graphene, which is a sheet of carbon one atom thick, and nanotubes into a seamless three-dimensional structure. The bonds between them are covalent, which means adjacent carbon atoms share electrons in a highly stable configuration. The nanotubes aren't merely sitting on the graphene sheet; they become a part of it.

"Many people have tried to attach nanotubes to a metal electrode and it's never gone very well because they get a little electronic barrier right at the interface," Tour said. "By growing graphene on metal (in this case copper) and then growing nanotubes from the graphene, the electrical contact between the nanotubes and the metal electrode is ohmic. That means electrons see no difference, because it's all one seamless material.

"This gives us, effectively, a very high surface area of more than 2,000 square meters per gram of material. It's a huge number," said Tour, Rice's T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science and a co-author with former postdoctoral researcher and lead author Yu Zhu, now an assistant professor at the University of Akron.

Tour said proof of the material's hybrid nature lies in the seven-membered rings at the transition from graphene to nanotube, a structure predicted by theory for such a material and now confirmed through electron microscope images with subnanometer resolution.

Carbon has no peer as a conductive material in such a thin and robust form, especially in the form of graphene or certain types of nanotubes. Combining the two appears to offer great potential for electronic components like fast supercapacitors that, because of the massive surface area, may hold a great deal of energy in a tiny package.

Rice chemist Robert Hauge and his team made the first steps toward such a hybrid over the past decade. Hauge, a distinguished faculty fellow in chemistry at Rice and co-author of the new work, discovered a way to make densely packed carpets of nanotubes on a carbon substrate by suspending catalyst-laced flakes in a furnace. When heated, the catalyst built carbon nanotubes like skyscrapers, starting at the substrate and working their way up. In the process, they lifted the aluminum oxide buffer into the air. The whole thing looked like a kite with many strings and was dubbed an odako, like the giant Japanese kites.

In the new work, the team grew a specialized odako that retained the iron catalyst and aluminum oxide buffer but put them on top of a layer of graphene grown separately on a copper substrate. The copper stayed to serve as an excellent current collector for the three-dimensional hybrids that were grown within minutes to controllable lengths of up to 120 microns.

Electron microscope images showed the one-, two- and three-walled nanotubes firmly embedded in the graphene, and electrical testing showed no resistance to the flow of current at the junction.

"The performance we see in this study is as good as the best carbon-based supercapacitors that have ever been made," Tour said. "We're not really a supercapacitor lab, and still we were able to match the performance because of the quality of the electrode. It's really remarkable, and it all harkens back to that unique interface."

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Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Rice University, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yu Zhu, Lei Li, Chenguang Zhang, Gilberto Casillas, Zhengzong Sun, Zheng Yan, Gedeng Ruan, Zhiwei Peng, Abdul-Rahman O. Raji, Carter Kittrell, Robert H. Hauge, James M. Tour. A seamless three-dimensional carbon nanotube graphene hybrid material. Nature Communications, 2012; 3: 1225 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2234

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

Source: http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/~3/rB6NJZnJIoU/121127111342.htm

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Microsoft Says It Has Sold 40 Million Windows 8 Licenses To Date

windows8Microsoft just announced that it has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses so far. This is the first update the company has given since it announced that it had sold 4 million upgrades over the first weekend after Windows 8 went on sale earlier this month. According to Microsoft, "Windows 8 is outpacing Windows 7 in terms of upgrades."

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/wG9vRq_fsrw/

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Republicans oppose Senate vote on UN disability treaty during lame-duck session (Star Tribune)

Share With Friends: Share on FacebookTweet ThisPost to Google-BuzzSend on GmailPost to Linked-InSubscribe to This Feed | Rss To Twitter | Politics - Top Stories Stories, RSS Feeds and Widgets via Feedzilla.

Source: http://news.feedzilla.com/en_us/stories/politics/top-stories/266484455?client_source=feed&format=rss

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Black Friday online sales top $1 billion

23 hrs.

In a positive sign for the U.S. economy, shoppers took advantage of deep discounts?both online and in?stores over the?Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Black Friday?online sales topped $1 billion for the first time, according to?comScore, which measures online behavior.

Amazon.com was the most-visited retail website on Black Friday. Wal-Mart's website was second, followed by sites run by Best Buy, Target and Apple, comScore noted.

E-commerce accounts for less than 10 percent of consumer spending in the United States. However, it is growing much faster than bricks-and-mortar retail as shoppers are lured by low prices, convenience, faster shipping and wide selection.

More brick-and-mortar stores were open on?Thanksgiving this year, with retailers such as Target, Sears and Toys R Us joining in, while others including Wal-Mart and Gap either extended their operating hours or had more stores doing business.

Traditionally, stores had waited until Black Friday, the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, to make their big push. ?

U.S. retailers' sales over the four-day holiday weekend increased an estimated 12.8 percent, according to?a survey from the National Retail Federation.

More than?35 million Americans visited retailers? stores and websites Thursday ? up from 29 million last year,?according to the?survey. Despite concerns that the early?Thanksgiving hours would cut into Black Friday results, nearly 89 million Americans still shopped on Black Friday -- up?3.1 percent over the 86.2 million who shopped that day last year.

After years of belt-tightening in a tough economy, Americans this year were?apparently in the mood to shop.?An estimated 139.4 million adults visited U.S. stores and websites from Thanksgiving through Sunday, up from 131 million last year, according to?the National Retail Federation. Total spending for the weekend rose to $59.1 billion from $52.4 billion last year.

?From green beans to great deals, millions of Americans found time this Thanksgiving to make the most of retailers? promotions and enjoy a special family holiday,? said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.?

When accounting for people who shopped on more than one day, the total number of visits to stores and websites was 247 million, up from 226 million last year. Shoppers also spent more --?$423 compared to?$398 last year.

The survey, conducted Nov 23-24 by BIGinsight for NRF, polled 4,005 consumers and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.6 percent. The number of shoppers for Sunday is estimated.?

Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.?

?There?s no question that millions of people were drawn to retailers? aggressive online promotions this weekend, making sure to research and compare prices days in advance to ensure they were getting the best deal they could,? said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow in a statement. ?However, with shopper traffic increasing at department, discount, and clothing stores over the weekend, it?s clear that consumers still recognize Black Friday as one of the biggest shopping days of the year, as they have for decades.??

It's not clear yet whether strong Black Friday sales will weaken growth on Cyber Monday, which has been the biggest e-commerce day in the United States in recent years.

"Cyber Monday will be a big day, but not as much of a big day as it has been in the past," said Mia Shernoff, executive vice president for Chase Paymentech, a payment-processing unit of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. "Faster broadband Internet connections in the office used to drive this. But now many consumers have faster connections at home and smart phones and tablets -- they don't have to wait."?

Information from Reuters was included in this?report.?

Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/online-shopping-black-friday-tops-1-billion-1C7227559

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Health & Fitness Activities!

Though another city place like Toowong, located in Austria in the suburbs of Brisbane provides its people with entertainment, lavish lifestyle, and facilities, it infuses great deal on the health programs and fitness of the people. There may be facilities and attractions of lights and drinks, but most of all, they spread awareness among people about the health and good fitness to last long and be implemented by every citizen.

Activities like sporting events, football and leg movement games are recommended and encouraged to be played. Awareness of having outdoor activities, a good flexibility of arms and muscles as well as physiotherapy massage and treatment is successfully and popularly enjoyed by people. Moving legs regularly and not just shuffling from one room to the other, gives the health and height a good shoot up and boosts the blood circulation. These in turn, prevents all diseases that can result from taut and stiff muscles and that that need a good physio training to get them moving. Obesity and heart disease are one of an example from sitting too long at a place and thinking of exercise as a nuisance. Moreover, not having sports regularly and sleeping in late without a jog for a two miles even can lead to immobile muscles, pain in movement and back as well as joint aches at a much young age than the normal old one. Even intensive obesity and too rigid muscles can lead to paralysis! Hence, just an ignorance of physical activity can lead to so many complications in the later life, some that one can?t even imagine.

Toowong, a city in Australia is the place where they give you important, relevant and all details as well as drawbacks of not giving regular sport to the body, a physiotherapy session once a week, no physio training and exercise or body muscle treatment. Moreover, like Auchenflower and Milton, the experts encourages a patient to indulge into simple and basic exercise that could be adapted from a daily routine and not having the fuss of squeezing a lawn tennis sport in your tight schedule.? A child or an adult, a working man or a housewife, sport is a necessity for every person. Frequency of back pain and neck ache can even lead to neurological problems and spinal complications so why not accept the preventions, have a doctor do smooth massage to your shoulders, get a delicious physiotherapy session and acquire extensive physio exercise each morning to gear yourself up for the tiring working hours and abstain oneself from getting dangerous diseases that could result in poor life in the future?

Have a visit to either Toowong with its attractions and benefits, Auchenflower with its entertainment realm or Milton with education and alarming environment, but do keep an eye on your unusual tummy or joint and back pain. If you observe such, zoom down to these family practice homes for a physio exercise and a perfect physiotherapy session. Indeed, Toowong is a very nice place to visit if you really wish to have your holiday spent in Australia with keeping your fitness in hand!

Find more information relating to Milton, and sports here.?

Source: http://articlelib.org/health-fitness-activities/

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Statement Against High-Stakes Standardized Testing by ...

DEY?s Senior Adviser, Nancy Carlsson-Piage recently initiated a Statement against High- Stakes Testing? which is being signed by Massachusetts professors and researchers.? Below, read a ?call to action? letter aimed at all Massachusetts professors and researchers, explaining the why it is important and how to sign on.

Dear Professor,

There is a new sense of possibility for change in our outmoded high-stakes testing policies, thanks to a growing national movement of educators, parents and students. A National Resolution on High-Stakes Testing has gained more than 13,600 individual and 460 organizational signers. Thanks in large part to testing fiascos around the country, the mainstream press has started to take note and editorials have begun to question this approach to education ?reform.?

Inspired by recent statements by education professors in New York and Chicago, we have written a Massachusetts version of a statement against high-stakes testing that we hope would draw similarly large numbers of signers (New York?s has 1,160 ? http://www.nyclu.org/files/releases/testing_professor_letter.pdf; Chicago?s has 88 ? http://createchicago.blogspot.com/2012_02_01_archive.html; a new letter from Georgia professors has 38 ? http://www.empoweredga.org/Articles/greater-support.html).

We would greatly appreciate it if you would take the time to review this letter and consider endorsing it. If you are willing to sign this statement, please send an email to matestingstatement@gmail.com with the heading ?I Will Sign On? and your name and position in the body of the email. And if you do endorse it, will you help us reach additional signers? These could be colleagues at your college or at another college, in schools of education or in other departments.

Attached to this message is a copy of the statement with a list of the 32 original endorsers and four initiators.

Sincerely,

?Chris Buttimer, Ed.D. candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Professor Emerita, Lesley University

Lisa Guisbond, FairTest and Citizens for Public Schools

Monty Neill, Executive Director, FairTest

Below?read the statement in its entirety:

Statement against High-Stakes Standardized Testing

by Massachusetts Professors and Researchers

There has been a ground swell of opposition to the overuse and misuse of standardized testing across the United States. This includes statements from more than 670 Texas school boards, nearly one-third of all New York State principals, and hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals who have endorsed the National Resolution on High-Stakes Testing. Against this backdrop, two significant statements have come from groups of educators and researchers in Chicago, Georgia and New York.We applaud these actions and have come together in solidarity with their efforts.

We respectfully present this statement to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, the Secretary of Education and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) because you have it within your power to dramatically improve state assessment policies and thereby improve the learning opportunities and conditions for all of our students.? We also copy this to the Governor and key legislators, as they too have the power to enact positive changes.

As educators and researchers from across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, we strongly oppose our state?s continued overreliance on high-stakes standardized testing to assess student achievement, evaluate teacher effectiveness, and determine school quality. Given that standardized tests provide only one indicator of student achievement, and that their high-stakes uses produce ever-increasing incentives to teach to the test, narrow the curriculum, or even to cheat, we call on the BESE to stop using standardized tests in high-stakes decisions affecting students, teachers, and schools.

Researchers have documented, and a nine-year study by the National Research Council (Hout & Elliott, 2011) has confirmed, that the past decade?s emphasis on testing has yielded little learning progress. Further, testing experts and the test-makers themselves have consistently warned against using standardized tests for high-stakes decisions such as graduation or retention, or to hire, fire, or reward teachers (AERA, 2000).? The tests provide only a snapshot of a limited range of knowledge and skills, so they can provide only limited information to teachers. Because the tests are not designed to determine teacher effectiveness, no accurate conclusions can be drawn about an individual teacher from her students? test scores. Research indicates that a teacher?s impact on student learning cannot be reliably isolated from the myriad other factors that impact student learning (Baker et al., 2009). Finally, test experts have shown that test scores can be raised without increasing true student learning (Koretz, 2008), and that the higher the stakes attached to a test, the less trustworthy the test scores are.? Cheating scandals in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and dozens of other major cities dramatically illustrate this problem. Problems with the use of MCAS interact with other educational problems, such as continued funding inequities and the growth of poverty within the state (MassBudget, 2012). While MCAS may help identify the consequences of inequities, its high-stakes uses exacerbate these consequences. These MCAS problems include but are not limited to:

Disparate impact on students. Numerous studies document that the use of high-stakes testing ? including test barriers to high school graduation ? bears adverse impact on students and is accompanied by widening racial/ethnic and income-based gaps.? MCAS testing has not significantly reduced disparities in achievement or eliminated gaps, thus the negative consequences of the high-stakes tests fall disproportionately on the groups that most need help. In Massachusetts? low-income, urban districts, large numbers of students perform below proficiency on the MCAS. Twice as many urban as suburban public high school graduates fail college placement tests in math and English and must take noncredit, remedial classes (Massachusetts DESE, 2008). Results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show a failure to achieve significant reduction in the achievement gap separating Massachusetts? white students from African-American and Latino students since 2003. The negative effects of our high-stakes testing environment are perhaps most pronounced for English Language Learners (ELLs) ? for whom the tests were not designed ? who cumulatively and consistently fail to achieve proficiency within the limited school time of a year and a day before they are required to take the exam in English. According to a 2011 Gaston Institute report, ?In high school, about 18% of [ELL] students were retained in grade, many of them several times and many of them in the ninth grade to avoid having them fail the tenth grade MCAS graduation requirement.? In Massachusetts, ELLs are, on average, nine times more likely to drop out of high school than their peers. The disparate impact of the graduation requirement on students with disabilities also is striking. For example, of the 2,798 students who did not pass all the required MCAS tests by the end of their senior year in 2011, 75% were students with disabilities. The fact remains that Massachusetts has placed the most severe accountability on the backs of its most disadvantaged students.

Negative impact on curriculum and instruction. Surveys of teachers in Massachusetts (Abrams et al., 2003; Clarke et al., 2003) and nationally (McMurrer, 2007; Moon et al., 2003; Hinde, 2003) show a marked increase in teaching to the test and narrowing the curriculum to tested subjects as a result of high-stakes testing. In addition, research compiled by the NRC and others shows this comes with a negative impact on school climate, often creating an environment of intimidation, fear, anxiety and stress for both teachers and their students, including kindergarten children (Hout & Elliott, 2011). Further, investigators of the Atlanta cheating scandal identified high-stakes testing as a cause of the problem (Georgia Bureau of Investigation, 2011). Under such conditions, it becomes difficult for teachers to create a learning environment that promotes creativity, critical thinking, risk-taking, experimentation and a love of learning. Moreover, as with other negative consequences, there is a disparate impact: teaching to the test, curricular narrowing and damaging school climates more frequently affect low income and minority students.

Negative impact on educators. High-stakes testing creates adverse consequences not only for students but also for educators. Researchers have challenged the validity, reliability, effectiveness, and ethics of using high-stakes test scores to evaluate educators. Further, as argued in an open letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel by Chicagoland Researchers and Advocates for Transformative Education (CReATE, 2012), ?There is no evidence that evaluation systems that incorporate student test scores produce gains in student achievement? [and] Teachers will subtly but surely be incentivized to avoid students with health issues, students with disabilities, students who are English Language Learners, or students suffering from emotional issues. Research has shown that no model yet developed can adequately account for all of these ongoing factors.? Student growth measures are not capable of identifying with reasonable accuracy and consistency over time who is or is not an effective teacher. Already some highly effective teachers are leaving the profession. Further, Massachusetts? new system requires that ?measures of student learning? be developed as part of annually evaluating every teacher in every subject and grade. This could further inundate students with testing and test preparation.

Negative impact on schools. The problems discussed above harm many schools, as well as their students and teachers individually.? While federal law requires assessments, it does not require high-stakes standardized testing. There is nothing to prevent Massachusetts from using a very different assessment system, using multiple sorts of indicators gathered over time, as was proposed in the Education Reform Act of 1993.

Recommendations

Because of these and other problems with the high-stakes uses of standardized tests to evaluate students, teachers and schools, we call on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to:

  • Work with educators, parents and the public to craft a new assessment system that will more fully assess the many competencies our children need to succeed in the 21st century and that will avoid the current overreliance on standardized tests.
  • Stop using MCAS test results as a barrier to high school graduation.
  • Prohibit the use of test scores in educator evaluations and in decisions for hiring, firing, laying off or rewarding teachers.
  • Focus teacher evaluations on the appropriate use of evidence-based teaching practices and a comprehensive set of indicators of classroom and school-based student learning rather than one-shot test scores.
  • Stop using test scores to designate schools for punitive turnaround reform measures that mandate the firing of 50% or more of the staff.
  • Focus turnaround reform efforts on school-wide, research-based approaches.

We know that reforming the current high-stakes testing system will take time and political capital, but we believe that it is not only possible but also imperative if we want to improve the lives of all children and ensure their future success. Given the recent unprecedented attention focused on problems with current testing practice, this is exactly the right time to transform recommendations into reality. Therefore, we make ourselves available to the BESE to assist in these efforts in whatever ways are necessary.

Massachusetts Professors and Researchers

Statement on High-Stakes Testing

Endorsers

1. Jorgelina Abbate-Vaughn, UMass Boston

2. Laura Baker, Assistant Professor, Westfield State University

3. Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Professor Emerita, Lesley University

4. Steve Cohen, Education Department, Tufts University

5. Eric DeMeulenaere, Ph.D., Clark University
6. Robin DiAngelo, Ph.D., Westfield State University

7.? R. Clarke Fowler, Coordinator of Early Childhood Education, Salem State University

8. Ken Haar, Associate Professor, Associate Vice President for Government Relations, Westfield State University

9. Vanessa?Holford Diana, Westfield State University

10. Chris Gallagher, Northeastern University

11. Lisa Guisbond, FairTest

12. Jim Horn, Professor, Cambridge College

13. Jonathan King, MIT

14. Trudy Knowles, Ed. D., Westfield State University

15. Louis Kruger, Northeastern University

16. Diane Levin, Wheelock College
17. Aviva Liebert, Ph.D., Framingham State University
18. George Madaus, Boisi Professor of Education and Public Policy Emeritus at Boston College

19. Robin Marion, Westfield State U.

20. James E. McDermott, Ed. D., Assistant Professor, Jacob Hiatt Center for Urban Education, Clark University

21. Terry Meier, Associate professor of education, Wheelock College
22. Edward Miller, Wellfleet, Mass.; teacher and writer; former editor,?Harvard Education Letter

23. Linda Nathan, Ex. Director, Center for Arts in Education, Boston Arts Academy, Founding Headmaster, Boston Arts Academy.

24. James Nehring, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, UMass/Lowell

25. Monty Neill, Ed.D., FairTest

26. Floriz Wilma Ortiz, Westfield State University

27. Leigh Patel, Boston College

28. Erika Pilver, Westfield State University

29. Ricardo D. Rosa ? University of Massachusetts ? Dartmouth / Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

30. Dennis Shirley, Boston College Lynch School of Education
31. Elizabeth Stassinos PhD, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Westfield State University

32. Amanda Walker Johnson, UMass-Amherst

Initiators

Chris Buttimer, Ph.D. candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Professor Emerita, Lesley University

Lisa Guisbond, FairTest and Citizens for Public Schools

Monty Neill, Executive Director, FairTest

References

AERA, 2000. AERA Position Statement on High-Stakes Testing in Pre-K ? 12 Education. http://www.aera.net/AboutAERA/AERARulesPolicies/AERAPolicyStatements/PositionStatementonHighStakesTesting/tabid/11083/Default.aspx

Abrams, L.M., Pedulla, J.J., & Madaus, G.F. 2003. Views from the classroom: Teachers? opinions of statewide testing programs.?Theory into Practice 42(1), 18-29.

Baker, E. et al. 2009. ?Problems with the Use of Student Test Scores to Evaluate Teachers,? Economic Policy Institute Briefing Paper. Available at http://epi.3cdn.net/b9667271ee6c154195_t9m6iij8k.pdf

Clarke et al. 2003. Perceived Effects of State-Mandated Testing Programs on Teaching and Learning: Findings from Interviews with Educators in Low-, Medium-, and High-Stakes States. Boston: NBETTP. Available at http://www.bc.edu/research/nbetpp/reports.html

CReATE, 2012. ?Misconceptions and Realities about Teacher and Principal Evaluation.? Available at http://createchicago.blogspot.com/2012/03/misconceptions-and-realities-about.html

Uriarte, M., et al. (2011, November). Improving educational outcomes of English Language Learners in schools and programs in Boston Public Schools. Boston, MA: Mauricio Gast?n Institute. Available at: http://www.ccebos.org/ell_Uriarte_et_al_2011_Executive_Summary.pdf

Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). 2011. Special Investigation into CRCT Cheating at APS. Available at http://www.atlanta.k12.ga.us/cms/lib/GA01000924/Centricity/Domain/44/APS_CRCT_-_vol3_-_28455206.pdf

Hinde, E. R. 2003, May 27. The tyranny of the test: Elementary teachers? conceptualizations of the effects of state standards and mandated tests on their practice. Current Issues in Education [On-line], 6(10). Available at http://cie.ed.asu.edu/volume6/number10/

Hout, M. and Elliott, S.W. Editors. 2011. Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education (Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press), 30. Available at? http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12521.

Koretz, D. M. (2008). Measuring up: What educational testing really tells us. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. 2011. ?2010 Poverty Rate Increases in Both Massachusetts and Across the Country.? http://www.massbudget.org/report_window.php?loc=PovertyFacts_9.22.11.html

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2008.

Massachusetts School-to-College Report High School Class of 2005. Available at www.doe.mass.edu/research/reports/0208bhe.pdf

McMurrer, J. 2007. Choices, changes, and challenges: Curriculum and instruction in the NCLB era. Washington, DC: Center on Education Policy.

Moon, T. R., Callahan, C. M., & Tomlinson, C. A. 2003, April 28. Effects of state testing programs on elementary schools with high concentrations of student poverty-good news or bad news? Current Issues in Education, 6(8). Available at? http://cie.ed.asu.edu/volume6/number8/

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Source: http://deyproject.org/2012/11/24/statement-against-high-stakes-standardized-testing-by-massachusetts-professors-and-researchers/

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Learning Math The Fun And Exciting Way

Children often say that they don't complete their homework or don't pass their tests because the subject in question is "too boring." While children will eventually have to accept that not everything in life is extremely fun, you can help to make math a bit more intriguing to them.

Using Math in Everyday Life

The next time you're out to dinner, let your child be responsible for figuring out the bill. Show him or her how to use a calculator or how to figure out the numbers mentally. You can also have children help you bake at home and ask them to measure out the ingredients. Make a couple of cookies that have the wrong amount of ingredients in them to show how important math is in daily life.

Interdisciplinary Connections

Sometimes, children become bored because they would rather be studying a different subject. You could talk to the teacher(s) about his or her plans for making interdisciplinary connections. Chat with your child's English tutor and maths tutor too. For example, they might be able to come up with some word problems together that stress the importance of both reading skills and mathematical skills.

Math Games

Children generally love to play games, so invest in a few for your home game closet. They do not necessarily have to be all about math, but they can involve math components such as counting money. You could purchase some math flashcards or math trivia, and ask your children to quiz one another. You could also hold a weekly math trivia session in which all of your offspring compete. Offer a prize, one day off from chores for example, to the person who gets the most questions correct.

Field Trips

Even if the school doesn't have any such field trips scheduled, you can go on them independently. Find the home of a famous mathematician that is open for tours, or head to the local science museum. You'll find plenty of displays and experiments that rely upon math. Museums designed for children will likely have interactive activities for them as well.

If you feel that your child is struggling in math, have a talk with the teacher. Maybe he or she has suggestions for what you could do at home to improve your child's experience in math. Essentially, you want to create more of an interest in the subject to encourage your child to learn.

This article was provided to you by Numberworks Maths and English Tutoring. If you need any help on finding the right Maths and English tutor for your child, please visit us at our website for more information.

Source: http://articles.submityourarticle.com/learning-math-the-fun-and-exciting-way-303992

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PFT: Vick still out but getting better

Denver Broncos v New York JetsGetty Images

How bad was Thursday night?s loss by the Jets?? Fireman Ed left at halftime and deleted his Twitter account.

Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia says the impact of the very big Vince Wilfork comes from ?little things? that don?t show up on the stats sheet.

Bills DE Shawne Merriman is becoming more confident.

The Dolphins are considering various upgrades to their 25-year-old stadium.

The 17 rookies on the Browns? roster are learning about the Pittsburgh rivalry.

Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham is fueling his team?s recent run.

Ravens RB Ray Rice has only two 100-yard games this season, and he has averaged only 55.6 yards over the last five games.

The Steelers? home field will get ripped up on Saturday, with?four high-school games being played there.

Colts interim coach Bruce Arians calls Sunday?s visit from the Bills a playoff game; ?We have to take that approach because Buffalo is taking that approach,? Arians said.? ?They?re do-or-die, we better be do-or-die. That?s been our mindset all week.?

Titans RB Chris Johnson was happy to have a week off, but he ?wouldn?t have minded to keep on going,? given his recent run of success.

Jaguars QB Chad Henne knows that a key to getting the starting job beyond 2012 is to get the team?s first home win of the season on Sunday.

Texans coach Gary Kubiak didn?t regard getting kicked in the nuts to be a sufficient excuse for QB Matt Schaub?s failure to make the throw; ?He didn?t like that,? Kubiak said of Schaub.

Raiders FB Marcel Reece is finally getting the stats, but he?d prefer to be getting the wins.

Chiefs WR Dexter McCluster delivered Thanksgiving dinner to an elderly fan, and in return she gave him the business.

Broncos LB Von Miller is conjuring comparisons to Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas.

With Chargers LT Jared Gaither on IR, it?s time for undrafted free agent Mike Harris to step up.

Giants QB Eli Manning has a history of performing well after the bye week.? (So did Andy Reid.)

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is in ?awe? of Robert Griffin III.? (No one currently is in awe of the Cowboys.)

Redskins WR Pierre Gar?on ?suffered no setbacks? after a five-catch, 93-yard performance against Dallas.

With Eagles RB LeSean McCoy likely out, seventh-round rookie Bryce Brown is expected to get the bulk of the carries on Monday night.

Lions defensive end Willie Young loves fishing.? (He?ll have time to do plenty of it in January.)

Lost in the poor performance of the Bears? offensive line on Monday night is the fact that the Bears? defensive line wasn?t every good, either.

The unexpectedly good recovery of Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has left RB Toby Gerhart unexpectedly out of the mix for touches.

When the Packers face Detroit on December 9, Cory Uttech of Sheboygan will be the first non-player to perform the Lambeau Leap during a game.? (And then Ndamukong Suh will kick him in the crotch.)

Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy calls rookie S Mark Barron ?a silent killer.?? (Barron likely has used the phrase ?silent but deadly? in reference to McCoy at some point this season.)

Saints safeties Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins are trying to forget what Vernon Davis did to them the last time they faced San Francisco.

After being shredded by LaRod Stephen-Howling, the Falcons are hoping for better run support against the Muscle Hamster.

The Panthers get another chance to prove they?re ready for primetime.? (Or to prove they?re not.)

The 49ers? kick and punt coverage units have improved significantly in recent weeks.

Coach Jeff Fisher realizes something has to give when the Rams, who haven?t won in five straight games, face an Arizona team that has lost six straight.

Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton said that the intended message of the reduced use of S Adrian Wilson was ?do your job and do your job well.?

The Seahawks emerge from the bye week healthy and rested and ready for the stretch run.

Source: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/11/24/michael-vick-ruled-out-but-getting-better-lesean-mccoy-still-ailing/related/

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday shopping moves earlier in stores and online

CHICAGO/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Next week's Cyber Monday should still be the top online shopping day of the year but it may pack less of a punch because online sales, a growing number involving mobile devices, soared on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, shoppers continued to visit stores though the burst that began on Thanksgiving night had subsided.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, had traditionally been the kickoff to the holiday season for stores. This year, retailers such as Walmart and Target made their biggest push ever with special offers during the holiday itself.

"The Thanksgiving creep revitalized the thrill for people," said Wendy Liebmann, chief executive of WSL Strategic Retail. "It got people excited to go out. But it pulled a lot of sales forward."

Cyber Monday, which follows the long holiday weekend, has been the biggest day for online shopping for many years, as workers return to their high-speed Internet connections at the office.

Now, armed with mobile devices, particularly iPads, shoppers are no longer waiting.

Online sales increased 17.4 percent on Thanksgiving Day and 20.7 percent on Black Friday compared to 2011, according to IBM Smarter Commerce, a unit of International Business Machines Corp that analyzes e-commerce transactions from 500 U.S. retailers.

Mobile shopping is more common than ever, with sales from mobile devices accounting for 16.3 percent of online sales on Black Friday, up from 9.8 percent in 2011 and 3.2 percent in 2010, according to IBM data.

Apple Inc's iPads and iPhones led the charge, with owners using the devices to browse and make purchases.

SAVVY SHOPPERS

Mobile devices may have pushed more people to buy online, but shoppers did their homework. Many spent less and bought fewer items each time they clicked.

"We're seeing discounting along with free shipping really attracting some savvy shoppers," said Jay Henderson, strategy director for IBM Smarter Commerce.

The average order value on Black Friday declined by 4.7 percent to $181.22, and the average number of items per order dropped 12 percent to 5.6, IBM said.

Overall, the percentage of sales from online shopping is expected to rise. However, while retailers bring in more revenue from online shopping, they may also face some higher costs in terms of shipping a larger number of packages to more shoppers.

Among tablets, iPads were the clear leader, generating 88.3 percent of traffic to retailers' sites on Friday, followed by Barnes & Noble Inc's Nook with 3.1 percent, Amazon.com Inc's Kindle with 2.4 percent and the Samsung Galaxy with 1.8 percent, IBM said.

"It's either going to be a much bigger holiday or people are shopping earlier in the season," said Scot Wingo, chief executive of ChannelAdvisor, which helps merchants sell more on websites such as Amazon and eBay. "We won't know until later in the season."

Stores continued to use discounts to lure shoppers on Saturday, with Aeropostale Inc discounting items as much as 70 percent after a storewide 60-percent discount on Friday.

Rival American Eagle Outfitters Inc continued its two-day sale at 40-percent off, and Gap Inc's namesake chain was offering 60-percent discounts for the entire weekend.

"The discounts were reasonable but didn't take your breath away," said Liebmann. "Retailers are being cautious."

The real tests for retailers will be their levels of discounting over the entire season as well as the amount of online sales this weekend.

"American shoppers want to spend. Just give them a reason to come out," said Walter Stackow, portfolio manager with Manning & Napier. "They're trained to hold out for deals as Christmas gets closer."

The Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus, New Jersey, appeared to be crowded on Saturday, though much quieter than on Black Friday, clerks at several stores said.

Some people were just starting their holiday shopping.

John Dunlap of East Orange, New Jersey, bought bedding at Macy's and said he skipped Black Friday as it is "too crazy" and not worth it unless someone is shopping for electronics. He said he would shop throughout the season only if he finds good deals.

"They have to give good discounts because of the economy," Dunlap said.

Vanessa Crenshaw, a 45-year-old accountant shopping at JC Penney, said that if stores pull back on discounts she'll go elsewhere.

"You can always find a deal, someone will have a deal," she said.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago, Phil Wahba in Paramus, New Jersey, and Alistair Barr in San Francisco; editing by Xavier Briand)

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/holiday-shopping-moves-earlier-stores-online-200708956--finance.html

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Gas blast levels Mass. strip club; 18 people hurt

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) ? A natural gas explosion in one of New England's biggest cities on Friday leveled a strip club with a boom heard for miles and heavily damaged a dozen other buildings but didn't kill anyone, authorities said.

Firefighters, police officers and gas company workers in the area because of an earlier gas leak and odor report were among the 18 people injured in the blast, authorities said.

"This is a miracle on Worthington Street that no one was killed," Lt. Gov. Tim Murray said at a press conference.

The explosion in Springfield, 90 miles west of Boston, blew out all windows in a three-block radius, leaving three buildings irreparably damaged and prompting emergency workers to evacuate a six-story apartment building that was buckling, police said.

Police Sgt. John Delaney marveled at the destruction at the blast's epicenter, where a multistory building housing a Scores Gentleman's Club, evacuated earlier because of the gas leak, was leveled.

"It looks like there was a missile strike here," he said.

The victims were taken to two hospitals in the city. None of their injuries was considered life-threatening, officials said. Those hurt were nine firefighters, two police officers, four Columbia Gas of Massachusetts workers, two civilians and another city employee.

Firefighters responded to the scene at 4:20 p.m. and were investigating the gas leak when the blast happened about one hour later. The cause of the explosion hadn't been identified but was under investigation, they said.

Springfield, which has about 150,000 residents, is the largest city in western Massachusetts. It's known as the home of the Basketball Hall of Fame, which is not in the vicinity of the blast.

The city has been rebuilding from damage it sustained in a June 2011 tornado.

The explosion happened in an area of downtown Springfield with commercial properties and residences. Area resident Wayne Davis, who lives about a block away from the destroyed strip club building, said he felt his apartment shake.

"I was laying down in bed, and I started feeling the building shaking and creaking," he said.

The Navy veteran said the boom from the explosion was louder than anything he'd ever heard, including the sound of a jet landing on an aircraft carrier.

The blast was so loud it was heard in several neighboring communities for miles around. Video from WWLP-TV showed the moment of the explosion, with smoke billowing into the air above the neighborhood.

Mayor Domenic Sarno said it was through "God's mercy" that nobody had been reported killed in the explosion.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the individuals that have been injured and the people who have been displaced," he said, adding that emergency shelter was being set up for those unable to go home.

An official of the gas company said there were no signs of any additional gas leaks in the area but crews would be monitoring the area closely over the next two days.

___

Associated Press writers Bridget Murphy and Bob Salsberg in Boston contributed to this story.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/gas-blast-levels-mass-strip-club-18-people-032643950.html

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Scientists describe elusive replication machinery of flu viruses

Friday, November 23, 2012

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have made a major advance in understanding how flu viruses replicate within infected cells. The researchers used cutting-edge molecular biology and electron-microscopy techniques to "see" one of influenza's essential protein complexes in unprecedented detail. The images generated in the study show flu virus proteins in the act of self-replication, highlighting the virus's vulnerabilities that are sure to be of interest to drug developers.

The report, which appears online in Science Express on November 22, 2012, focuses on influenza's ribonucleoprotein (RNP). RNPs contain the virus's genetic material plus the special enzyme that the virus needs to make copies of itself.

"Structural studies in this area had stalled because of the technical obstacles involved, and so this is a welcome advance," said Ian A. Wilson, the Hansen Professor of Structural Biology at TSRI and senior author of the report with TSRI Professors of Cell Biology Bridget Carragher and Clint Potter. "The data from this study give us a much clearer picture of the flu virus replication machinery."

Unveiling the Mystery of RNPs

At the core of any influenza virus lie eight RNPs, tiny molecular machines that are vital to the virus's ability to survive and spread in its hosts. Each RNP contains a segment?usually a single protein-coding gene?of the RNA-based viral genome. This viral RNA segment is coated with protective viral nucleoproteins and has a structure that resembles a twisted loop of chain. The free ends of this twisted loop are held by a flu-virus polymerase enzyme, which handles the two central tasks of viral reproduction: making new viral genomic RNA, and making the RNA gene-transcripts that will become new viral proteins.

Aside from its importance in ordinary infections, the flu polymerase contains some of the key "species barriers" that keep, for example, avian flu viruses from infecting mammals. Mutations at key points on the enzyme have enabled the virus to infect new species in the past. Thus researchers are eager to know the precise details of how the flu polymerase and the rest of the RNP interact.

Getting those details has been a real challenge. One reason is that flu RNPs are complex assemblies that are hard to produce efficiently in the lab. Flu polymerase genes are particularly resistant to being expressed in test cells, and their protein products exist in three separate pieces, or subunits, that have to somehow self-assemble. Until now, the only flu RNPs that have been reproduced in the laboratory are shortened versions whose structures aren't quite the same as those of native flu RNPs. Researchers also are limited in how much virus they can use for such studies.

The team nevertheless managed to develop a test-cell expression system that produced all of the protein and RNA components needed to make full-length flu RNPs. "We were able to get the cells to assemble these components properly so that we had working, self-replicating RNPs," said Robert N. Kirchdoerfer, a first author of the study. Kirchdoerfer was a PhD candidate in the Wilson laboratory during the study, and is now a postdoctoral research associate in the laboratory of TSRI Professor Erica Ollmann Saphire.

Kirchdoerfer eventually purified enough of these flu RNPs for electron microscope analysis at TSRI's Automated Molecular Imaging Group, which is run jointly by Carragher and Potter.

Never Seen Before

The imaging group's innovations enable researchers to analyze molecular samples more easily, in less time, and often with less starting material. "We were able, for example, to automatically collect data for several days in a row, which is unusual in electron microscopy work," said Arne Moeller, a postdoctoral research associate at the imaging group who was the other first author of the study.

Electron microscopes make high-resolution images of their tiny targets by hitting them with electrons rather than photons of light. The images revealed numerous well-defined RNP complexes. To Moeller and his colleagues' surprise, many of these appeared to have new, partial RNPs growing out of them. "They were branching?this was very exciting," he said.

"Essentially these were snapshots of flu RNPs being replicated, which had never been seen before," said Kirchdoerfer. These and other data, built up from images of tens of thousands of individual RNPs, allowed the team to put together the most complete model yet for flu-RNP structure and functions. The model includes details of how the viral polymerase binds to its RNA, how it accomplishes the tricky task of viral gene transcription, and how a separate copy of the viral polymerase assists in carrying out RNP replication. "We're now able to take a lot of what we knew before about flu virus RNP and map it onto specific parts of the RNP structure," said Kirchdoerfer.

The new flu RNP model highlights some viral weak points. One is a shape-change that a polymerase subunit?which grabs viral RNA and feeds it to the polymerase's active site on a second subunit?has to undergo during viral gene transcription. Another is key interaction between the polymerase and viral nucleoproteins. Flu RNPs are long and flexible, curving and bending in electron microscope images; and thus the structural model remains only modestly fine-grained. "You wouldn't be able to design drugs based on this model alone," said Kirchdoerfer, "but we now have a much better idea of how flu RNPs work, and that does suggest some possibilities for better flu drugs."

###

Scripps Research Institute: http://www.scripps.edu

Thanks to Scripps Research Institute for this article.

This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.

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Source: http://www.labspaces.net/125443/Scientists_describe_elusive_replication_machinery_of_flu_viruses

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Small Business Saturday Los Angeles: Our Favorite Gift Shops ...

Small Business Saturday Los Angeles: Our Favorite Gift Shops (PHOTOS)
Small Business Saturday Los Angeles

Small Business Saturday in Los Angeles means lots of boutiques for holiday gifts.

After you're done stampeding the big box stores for Black Friday, consider showing some love to LA's mom-and-pops on Small Business Saturday -- American Express' push for folks to "shop small" and support local businesses during the holiday season.

In support of Small Business Saturday (and your gift list), we're highlighting our favorite boutiques around town. These stores cover everyone from on-trend fashionistas to gourmands to globetrotters, so finish eating those leftovers and pound the pavement in search of the perfect present!

  • For Trendy Friends

    Clare Vivier's minimalist leather clutches and totes are the essence of Los Angeles style. Pick up a clutch for your bestie and a matching one for yourself. <a href="http://www.clarevivier.com/stores.htm">Clare Vivier</a> 3339 Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles, California 90026 <strong>Hours</strong>: Monday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

  • For Gourmands

    Stuff yourself with cheese, bread and olive oil samples before deciding on some gourmet goods for your most discerning foodie friends. <a href="http://store.cheesestoresl.com/">Silverlake Cheese Store</a> 3926 West Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90029 <strong>Hours</strong>: Mon - Sat (10 a.m. - 6 p.m.), Sun (11 a.m. - 5 p.m.)

  • For Globe Trotters

    For traveling essentials you didn't even know you needed (hello, <a href="http://www.flight001.com/all-products/spacepak.html">Spacepaks</a>!) Flight 001 is the perfect place to stock up for your friends-only trip next year. <a href="http://www.flight001.com/locations">Flight 001</a> 8321 W. 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA 90048 <strong>Hours</strong>: Mon ? Sat (11a.m. ? 6 p.m.), Sun (11 a.m. ? 5 p.m.)

  • For The Host

    Parties will love you if you stop by at Short Cake beforehand. Little cakes (Chocolate Cardamom Cream is our pick!) are perfectly sized for dinner parties, and you'll never go wrong with a box of mini pies. <a href="http://www.shortcakela.com/">Short Cake</a> 6333 W. 3rd St. Stall #316 Los Angeles, CA 90036 <strong>Hours</strong>: Mon - Sat (8 a.m. - 9 p.m.), Sun (8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.)

  • For Style Mavens

    You don't have to be in the market for a major purchase when you come to the Jonathan Adler furniture store. Big spenders can choose from tufted velvet couches and head boards, but smaller budgets will love stylish and modern menorahs, animal sculptures and quirky match strikers. <a href="http://www.jonathanadler.com/locations.php">Jonathan Adler</a> 8125 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90046 <strong>Hours</strong>: Mon ? Fri (10 a.m. ? 7 p.m.), Sat (10 a.m. ? 6 p.m.) and Sun (Noon - 5 p.m.)

  • For Dapper Gents

    Ugh, gifts for guys. Amirite, folks? This old-fashioned gentlemen's store takes all guessing work out of it with luxe grooming products and stylish accessories on display. Angeleno die-hards will love the <a href="http://www.brightwell-shop.com/cartography">neighborhood cartography art</a> for sale, too. <a href="http://www.brightwell-shop.com/">Brightwell</a> 2876 Rowena Ave Los Angeles, CA 90039 <strong>Hours</strong>: Weds - Sun (11 a.m. - 6 p.m.)

  • For The Whole Family

    Shower little ones with love in the form of feather headdresses, owl masks and tear-drop mobiles from Lost + Found. <a href="http://lostandfoundshop.com/wp/info/contact">Lost + Found</a> 6320 Yucca Street Los Angeles, CA 90028 <strong>Hours</strong>: Mon - Sat (10 a.m. ? 6 p.m.)

  • For Bohemians

    Shop handmade, unique jewelry, textiles and ceramics at Baltic Crossroads. Perfect for all grown-up hippies. <a href="http://www.baltic-crossroads.com/">Baltic Crossroads</a> 3929 Fountain Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90029 <strong>Hours:</strong> Mon - Sun (11 a.m. - 7 p.m.)

  • For Home Makers

    LA-based designer D.L. Rhein boasts accessories for home owners that pride themselves on unique wares. <a href="http://www.dlrhein.com/category/vintage-treasures/">D.L. Rhein</a> 3303 Motor Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90034 <strong>Hours:</strong> Mon - Fri (10 a.m. - 6 p.m.), Sat (11 a.m. - 6 p.m.)

  • For Paper Plane Makers

    Make a <a href="http://www.urbanicdesigns.com/bridal.html">bridal appointment</a> for young lovers planning a wedding or make custom notecard sets for friends. Great for people who don't like using email for everything. <a href="http://www.urbanicdesigns.com/">Urbanic Paper </a> 1644 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice, CA 90291 <strong>Hours:</strong> Mon - Sat (10 a.m. - 7p.m.), Sun (10 a.m. - 6 p.m.)

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Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/23/small-business-saturday-los-angeles_n_2177742.html

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"Big Bang Theory" actress Mayim Bialik, husband divorcing

NEW YORK (Reuters) - "The Big Bang Theory" actress Mayim Bialik and her husband are divorcing after nine years of marriage, she said in a statement on her Facebook page.

Bialik, who starred in the 1990s sitcom "Blossom," and Michael Stone have two sons together.

"Divorce is terribly sad, painful and incomprehensible for children," Bialik, 36, said in the statement. "It is not something we have decided lightly."

Bialik, a proponent of "attachment parenting" who authored a book on the subject that was published in September, said it "played no role" in the couple's divorce.

Attachment parenting advocates the nurturing of strong bonds between parents and children, which can include extended breast-feeding and parents and children sleeping in the same bed until the children are as old as 7. A controversial Time magazine cover on the subject in May drew strong reactions across the United States.

"The main priority for us now is to make the transition to two loving homes as smooth and painless as possible," Bialik wrote in the statement, which was posted to her Facebook page on Wednesday. "Our sons deserve parents committed to their growth and health and that's what we are focusing on."

"We will be OK," the statement concludes.

Bialik is a former child star who appeared in the 1980s television series "Webster" and "The Facts of Life" before landing the title role in the coming-of-age television show "Blossom," which ran from 1991 to 1995. The show was about a smart teenage girl whose parents have divorced and is learning about life.

The actress attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she obtained a doctorate in neuroscience.

She met Michael Stone, a fellow graduate student, in calculus class, according to a description of her wedding she previously posted online.

In her most recent role on CBS comedy "The Big Bang Theory," Bialik plays Amy Farrah Fowler, a neuroscientist who dates one of the two main stars of the show, the socially inept but brilliant physicist Sheldon Cooper.

(Reporting By Chris Francescani; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Bill Trott)

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/big-bang-theory-actress-mayim-bialik-husband-divorcing-035608369.html

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