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$106,000 for northeast B.C. adult literacy programs

first_imgVirk points out that more education could mean management jobs later in life when labour is no longer an option, and suggests looking at dual credit programs instead of dropping out. At the same time, the Fort Nelson Family Literacy Drop In Learning Centre and the Dawson Creek CALP received around $22,000 each. All of the funded programs help adult learners with everything from basic literacy to getting their high school diploma. Speaking in Dawson Creek, Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk maintains that adult education can be just as important as kindergarten to grade 12. “How else can you help your kids through school if you can read well yourself?” he asks. “So this is the skills for that adult learner to help themselves, get that better job, perhaps go back to college, but also to help their kids make do with their own homework.” – Advertisement -Virk is touring Northern Lights College campuses in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and Tumbler Ridge this week. He’s also taking the opportunity to stress the importance of improving high school graduation rates, especially in the Peace Region, where it can be tempting for teenagers to leave early for a job. “I know there’s sometimes high paying jobs available in industry right away,” he admits. “The money may be good when you’re young, but maybe when you’re 35 or 40 years old you’re going to wish you had taken a little bit more school for when you’re not as tough anymore.” Advertisementlast_img read more

The Western Cape

first_imgIf three pyramids are the symbol of Africa’s far north, then a flat-topped mountain is the symbol of its far south. Cape Town nestles in the curve of Table Mountain at the start of the hook-shaped Cape Peninsula, which ends in the jagged cliffs of Cape Point.The Western Cape lies on southern tip of Africa. The most-southern point is not, as some maps suggest, at Cape Point; it is in fact at Cape Agulhas, some 200km east of Cape Town.The province is one of the country’s most beautiful, attracting the lion’s share of foreign tourists. It is a region of majestic mountains, colourful patchworks of farmland set in lovely valleys, long beaches and, further inland, the wide-open landscape of the semidesert Karoo.Two oceans meet on the coast of the Western Cape: the cold Atlantic Ocean is in the west, while the warmer Indian Ocean lies on the southern coast. The plankton-rich cold Benguela current flows along the west coast and is considered to be one of the world’s richest fishing grounds.Where the two oceans really meetThe land and its peopleWith a total area of 129 370 square kilometres, the Western Cape is roughly the size of Greece. It’s the country’s fourth-largest province, only slightly smaller than the Free State, taking up 10.6% of South Africa’s land area and with a mid-2006 population of 4.7-million people.A potpourri of diverse cultural backgrounds gives the province a cosmopolitan flavour, creating a demographic profile quite different from the national pattern. Centuries of trade and immigration have created a population with genetic and linguistic links to different parts of Europe, southeast Asia, India and Africa. Afrikaans is spoken by the majority, with isiXhosa and English being the other main languages.The Western Cape is topographically and climatically varied. It has a temperate southern coastline fringed with mountains; here the typical vegetation, especially in the western section, is the famed fynbos. To the north it stretches deep into the Karoo plateau, while the west coast is extremely dry.The Mediterranean climate of the peninsula and the mountainous region beyond it is ideal for grape cultivation, with a number of vineyards producing excellent wines. Other fruit and vegetables are also grown here, and wheat is an important crop to the north and east of Cape Town.South African wineA Cape Dutch style farmhouse in the Western Cape’s Hex River Valley (Image: South African Tourism)The southern coastal area is also fertile, while fishing is the most important industry along the west coast. Sheep farming is the mainstay of the Karoo, and other forms of husbandry take place in the better watered parts of the province.Visitors to the Western Cape can disembark at international airports in Cape Town and the city of George, or at the ports of Cape Town, Mossel Bay or Saldanha.Saldanha, north of Cape Town, is South Africa’s only natural harbour, and notable harbour for iron exports and the fishing industry. Other towns include Worcester and Stellenbosch in the heart of the winelands, George, a centre for indigenous timber and vegetable production, Oudtshoorn, known for its ostrich products and the world-famous Cango caves, and Beaufort West on the dry, sheep-farming plains of the Great Karoo.TourismThe Western Cape’s unmatched natural beauty, famous hospitality, cultural diversity, excellent wine and rich cuisine make it one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions.Perched between the ocean and the mountain, and with a national park as its heart, Cape Town is wild and wonderful. Among its attractions are climbing, surfing and diving along with vibrant nightlife, excellent wine and endless shopping.Destination Cape TownThe Western Cape is home to the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms, the Cape Floral Kingdom, which is characterised by fynbos and the protea family, and contains more plant species than the whole of Europe.Cape flora on World Heritage listThe kingdom is one of the Western Cape’s two Unesco World Heritage Sites, places of “outstanding value to humanity”. The other is Robben Island in Table Bay near Cape Town, used for centuries as a prison for dissidents and outcasts. Now an essential stop for visitors to the region, it was on this island that South African statesman Nelson Mandela spent the bulk of his 27 years in prison.Robben Island remembersTo the east, the region around Knysna and Tsitsikamma has the country’s largest indigenous forests, a fairyland of ancient tree giants, ferns and abundant birdlife. Products of the forests include sought-after furniture made from the indigenous yellowwood, stinkwood and white pear trees.IndustryThe Western Cape economy contributes roughly 14,5% to South Africa’s GDP, growing at an average of 3,2% a year. More sophisticated sectors such as finance, real estate, ICT, retail and tourism have shown substantial growth, and are the main contributors to the regional economy. The value of residential property has increased significantly.Many of South Africa’s major insurance companies and banks are based in the Western Cape. Most of the country’s petroleum companies and the largest segment of the printing and publishing industry are found in Cape Town.After Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape’s manufacturing sector is the third-largest contributor to the national manufacturing sector. The clothing and textile industry remains the most significant industrial source of employment in the province.Cape Town remains the economic hub of the province, encompassing industrial areas such as Epping, Montagu Gardens, Parow and Retreat.Investing in the Western CapeAgricultureThe sheltered valleys between mountains are ideal for the cultivation of export-grade fruit such as apples, table grapes, olives, peaches and oranges. A variety of vegetables is cultivated in the eastern part of the Western Cape, while the wheat-growing Swartland and Overberg districts are the country’s breadbasket.The inland Karoo region and the Overberg district around Bredasdorp produce wool and mutton, as well as pedigree Merino breeding stock.Other animal products include broiler chickens, eggs, dairy products, beef and pork. The Western Cape is the only province with an outlet for the export of horses, earning millions in foreign revenue.The province is also a leader in the export of ostrich meat to Europe, with its abattoirs turning out R1-billion in export products every year. In addition to meat, fine leatherware and ostrich feathers are also exported to destinations all over the world.The rich fishing grounds on the west coast are protected from exploitation by a 200km commercial fishing zone and a strict quota system. Snoek, Cape lobster, abalone, calamari, octopus, oysters and mussels are among the delicacies produced in these waters.South African agricultureSouthAfrica.info reporter, incorporating material from the South African Yearbook Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

EU and Japan working on trade deal

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Negotiators from the European Union (EU) and Japan are working to seal a trade deal that would lower tariffs on EU pork to levels discussed in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to travel to Brussels in July to meet with EU negotiators, including European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. The National Pork Producers Council continues to urge the Trump administration to initiate bilateral trade negotiations with Japan, the world’s third-biggest economy.last_img read more

Animate Your Text with Handwriting Motion Graphics

first_imgGrab a pen and learn how to easily animate text in your next project with this handwriting effect in Adobe After Effects.Digitally animating your text as if you are actually writing it couldn’t be easier. The handwriting effect can have many uses that will draw positive attention to your motion graphics projects. By creating the handwriting effect, your titles will draw viewers’ attention the text you’re spelling out. Moreover, you can create anticipation for your audience as the word slowly animates on.What To Take Away from This After Effects TutorialThis After Effects tutorial is jam-packed with several motion graphics techniques other than the handwriting effect. We will take a close look at 3D camera animation to create a dynamic scene. After Effects standard motion blur will not work with this effect, so we’ll use a separate effect to control the motion blur. Finally, we will stylize the scene with blurs and a textured background.Follow along with a free After Effects project file, which you can download by clicking the button below.Download NowCreating The Handwriting EffectFirst, type out your text, and make sure that it is your final design. After, use the pen tool to outline the text on a separate solid layer. Then, apply the stroke effect to get a rough, animatable outline of your title. Finally, use your original text layer as an alpha matte.last_img read more

Matthew Wright, Louie Alas hope OT victories strengthen Phoenix

first_imgMOST READ LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño “Phoenix of the past would’ve lost that game, especially after (Pogoy) hit that shot to tie the game. We would’ve crumbled by then,” he said. “But we stuck together, we’re becoming more experienced, and we’re becoming more of a veteran team,” With the victory, Phoenix now enjoys a 2-0 card, good for the top spot in the Philippine Cup. “We’re very happy with this win, but if we go 3-0, I think we’ll be happier since our upcoming assignment is a team coming off a great win,” Alas said.The Fuel Masters brace for a proud Columbian squad who are coming off a victorious outing over reigning champs San Miguel Beer. They lock horns on Jan. 23 at the Big Dome.ADVERTISEMENT “Hopefully they’ll be overconfident. It was their first game, they’re still young, so we’re gonna try and jump them early,” Wright said of the Dyip.“We’ve got more experience than them. We feel like we’re a better team, so hopefully it doesn’t go to overtime and we end the game in regulation,” he added.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte LATEST STORIES Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviñocenter_img SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Ginebra PBA provincial games ‘coincidental’ but Willie Marcial happy for them Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Phoenix head coach Louie Alas. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netANTIPOLO — It wasn’t the rosiest of outcomes, but Phoenix star Matthew Wright and his coach Louie Alas hope that their narrow win over TNT will pay dividends down the line.“I’m just happy we won. [But] we really have to dig down deep in those kind of situations,” Wright told the press shortly after their 93-84 overtime victory over KaTropa at Ynares Center on Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT “Two overtimes in two games,” said Alas as he heaved a sigh of relief during the post-game presser. “[M]ore than the win, [I’m happy] with the experience to play a close game,” he added, noting that it affords them an edge in whenever they figure in such tight, testy situations.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“Last conference, we would lose in such games,” he added.Wright, the gunslinger who was at the forefront of the Fuel Masters offense that spoiled a career performance by RR Pogoy, couldn’t agree more. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Big 12 a bust with early NCAA Tournament flameouts

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Google Philippines names new country director Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Kansas guard Devon Dotson (11) sits on the bench in the closing minutes of the team’s loss to Auburn in a second-round game in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Jeff Swinger)Bill Self stood in a room just off the court in Allen Fieldhouse on Selection Sunday and lamented that the Big 12 managed to squeak only six schools into the NCAA Tournament.The Hall of Fame coach of Kansas pointed to the impressive nonconference wins that the league racked up in November and December. He highlighted the fact that the league had four of the top seven teams when it came to strength of schedule, including his Jayhawks at No. 1.ADVERTISEMENT Auburn never gave the Jayhawks a chance in an 89-75 victory . Virginia shut down Oklahoma with its vaunted defense. Gonzaga had no problem with Baylor in advancing to the Sweet 16.That left Texas Tech as the lone Big 12 team in a regional final, matching the fewest the league has sent to the second weekend since getting shut out in 1998 — its second year in existence.And if the Red Raiders lose to the Wolverines? The last time the Big 12 failed to get a team to the Elite Eight was 2015, when both of its Sweet 16 entrants got knocked off.“The thing about it is, it’s been a challenging year,” Self said. “I thought our kids hung in there and did a great job, for the most part. Their attitudes and everything was terrific. We didn’t muster up enough momentum like some past teams have to probably go on a run like other teams have.”Self is right in that there were some things beyond the Big 12′s control.In the case of the Jayhawks, they lost star center Udoka Azubuike to season-ending wrist surgery, veteran guard Lagerald Vick left the team and Silvio de Sousa was rendered ineligible by the NCAA after his name surfaced in connection with the FBI probe into Adidas and college basketball corruption.Baylor had to reinvent itself after losing talented forward Tristan Clark to a season-ending knee injury, while Kansas State played long stretches without point guards Kamau Stokes and Cartier Diarra, then entered the postseason without leading scorer Dean Wade because of a foot injury.West Virginia dealt with injuries, defections and all manner of off-the-court strife.Part of the fallout was that the Big 12 failed to get the same kind of NCAA Tournament seeding that it has in past years, and that in turn resulted in tough early matchups. Gonzaga and Virginia are both No. 1 seeds, and Kansas lost to a team in Auburn that just won the SEC Tournament.“I got to be honest with you,” Self said, “when I saw Auburn as the five in our bracket, I’m going, ‘I just watched them play and they’re fast,’ and those are the teams we struggle most against.” MOST READ Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Well, so much for all of that.The first weekend of the NCAA Tournament was a slap in the face to a league that habitually considers itself the toughest in college basketball. Regular-season co-champion Kansas State was beaten by UC Irvine in the biggest first-round upset, and Big 12 Tournament champ Iowa State lost to No. 11 seed Ohio State in what may have been the second-biggest upset.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsAll told, the league managed to send only Texas Tech to the Sweet 16, one year after it made up a quarter of all teams in the regional semifinals and still had three left in the Elite Eight.“We’re not supposed to be here,” said Red Raiders coach Chris Beard, whose team is left carrying the banner for the entire league after sharing the regular-season crown with the Wildcats. “They picked us bottom of the Big 12 and we haven’t gotten much respect this year,” Beard continued, “but these guys have continued to keep a chip on their shoulder and just realize that we can do a lot of things if we continue to play as a team.”The Red Raiders have been impressive after limping into the tournament off a stunning loss to lowly West Virginia in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tourney. The No. 3 seed in the East Region cruised past Northern Kentucky, then routed sixth-seeded Buffalo to reach the Sweet 16.The rest of the Big 12 will be watching as they face No. 2 seed Michigan on Thursday night.“This means everything to me,” said star guard Jarrett Culver, who has led the Red Raiders to back-to-back Sweet 16s for the first time. “I’m glad to be part of it, making history like that. It’s a blessing to be something — be a part of something that special.”The entire conference actually got off to a pretty special start, winning its first four games in the opening round. But things went off the rails when the Wildcats and Cyclones went down in the first round, and the league continued to take its lumps over the weekend.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View comments Kansas expects to retool heading into next season, particularly if several of its players declare early for the NBA draft. Other schools are young enough that there is reason for optimism heading into next season, and several have solid recruiting classes already in the fold.For everyone but Texas Tech, the work toward next year’s NCAA Tournament already has begun.“I feel bad for whoever has to play us next year,” Baylor’s King McClure said, “because we’re going to be pretty good. The guys following up, another year of growth, summer of work. That is one thing I can say about this group. We work hard, we stay in the gym. The transfers we got coming in. I just feel bad for next year because I think we’re going to be very talented and be very special.” Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes01:283 Maguindanao cops nabbed in drug bust facing dismissal00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Magic shut down 76ers in 2nd half, close in on 8th spot For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgivinglast_img read more

Here is your horoscope for August 22

first_imgARIESGift yourself the knack of responding totally to whatever comes, as it comes in life! Avoid cruel people, as they tend to take up cudgels with you on non-issues. Loved ones are supportive. Your personal affairs may take time to resolve, be persistent. Lucky number 5. Colour yellow.TAURUSFriends, family and children gather around you to share some memorable moments today. Specialization in your field of activity adds to you professional expertise and gain. You can easily trust your feelings and intuition about people and situations. Lucky number 3. Colour cherry red.GEMINIThere is increase of wealth and income, which allows you to make gainful investments. Beware of theft or deception at work as an unknown person may invade your space. Be expansive and share your richness, wisdom, experience, feelings and expertise with others. Lucky number 9. Colour pink.CANCERYou may rebel against domination at work by people in power. You impress people with your talent and charisma. Relationships are sensitive and difficult for a time as both partners seek independence, space and appreciation. You are bold, courageous and frank. Lucky number 2. Colour red.LEOYour instinct and intuition lead you in a positive direction in personal and professional matters today. You are quiet, hardworking and practical when you need to deal with earthy details. Do not allow work to become a drudgery, but keep your enthusiasm alive. Lucky number 7. Colour green.VIRGODelay at work should be taken in your stride today. The temporary absence of a loved one could cause some anxiety. Expect your partner and family to be supportive during a trying time. Transactions are conducted honestly. A positive attitude brings fulfillment. Lucky number 3. Colour blue.advertisementLIBRAYou combine well with your partner and realize an ambitious goal. Your actions are based on accurate calculation and good planning. Goodwill and friendship enhance your social standing. You participate in and enjoy sport, theater and the Arts today. Lucky number 14. Colour soft pink.SCORPIOSorting out the important from the trivial adds to good management of professional and personal matters today. There is clarity about goals and participation of key people. You go beyond illusions and find your truths within. Don’t entertain gossip. Lucky number 20. Colour royal blue.SAGITTARIUS’The Moon’ brings Karmic situations and patterns to the fore today. Crazy people can create scenes to upset you, remain a witness rather than become a participator. Listen to your intuition. Guard against over indulgence in food, drink or work. Lucky number 18. Colour sea blue.CAPRICORN’The Universe’ opens another horizon with new opportunities today. Despite multifarious activity in varied aspects your security structure remains in tact. You assess relationships and realize who and what is important in your life. Health needs attention. Lucky number 21. Colour blue.AQUARIUSThings are changing as you step into new opportunities and dimensions. You play the role of consultant, sharing your knowledge and experience with others. You are caring in established personal relationships and can expect loyalty and support therein. Lucky number 4. Colour purple.PISCESForces and people at work who are powerful, selfish and destructive may surround you today. Side step them and avoid confrontations or you can be manipulated. Ignore and avoid cruel gossip or you may be involved in controversies. Celebrate with friends. Lucky number 10. Colour red.last_img read more

San Diego County Hepatitis A Flu Update

first_imgSan Diego County Hepatitis A & Flu Update Posted: January 23, 2018 Ed Lenderman, January 23, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSan Diego County Health and Human Services is expected to release the latest numbers of flu related deaths and cases today. Ed Lenderman is live at the County Administration center with more on this. Furthermore, The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has voted to end the state of emergency declaration over the hepatitis A outbreak. No new cases have been reported in the last month and the number of deaths has remained at 20 since late October. Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Ed Lenderman last_img read more

Quader asks protesters to listen to PM

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Your brain on mesh Injectable flexible probe melds with neurons causes little

first_img Fig. S2. Time-dependent histology of chronically implanted mesh electronics (A–C) and flexible thin-film probes (D–F) in mice brains (horizontal sections). Tissue slices are labeled with Iba-1 (magenta) to highlight microglia; mesh electronics and flexible thin-film probes were imaged by DIC and are pseudocolored blue. (Scale bars in all images, 100 μm.) Credit: Zhou T, Hong G, Fu T-M, Yang X, Schuhmann TG, Robert D. Viveros, RD, Lieber CM (2017) Syringe-injectable mesh electronics integrate seamlessly with minimal chronic immune response in the brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114(23):5894-5899. As mentioned earlier, the scientists’ 2015 paper initiated the concept of syringe injectable electronics, which Lieber notes opens up a new field with many opportunities awaiting further studies—an example being co-injection of electronics and cells where mesh electronics also functions as a tissue growth scaffold relevant to regenerative medicine. “In the paper being discussed herein we report systematic time-dependent chronic histology studies of the tissue-mesh interface after the mesh probes were implanted into rodent brains. Both horizontal (which contains cross-sections of implanted mesh probes) and sagittal (which contains nearly the entire implanted mesh probes) brain slices were used for immunohistochemistry and were stained with antibodies that can target neuron somata, axons, astrocytes and microglia. The results in this paper reveal the uniqueness of mesh probes in terms of minimal or absence of tissue response and neuron penetration when chronically implanted in the brain. , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further Fig. 2. Time-dependent histology of horizontal tissue slices containing implanted mesh electronics and flexible thin-film probes. Confocal fluorescence microscopy images of horizontal tissue slices containing mesh electronics/flexible thin-film probes at 2 wk (A and D), 4 wk (B and E), and 3 mo (C and F) postimplantation. In all of the panels the image labels were NeuN (I, green), NF (II, red), GFAP (III, cyan), and NeuN, NF, GFAP composite (IV). The mesh electronics and flexible thin-film cross-sections are pseudocolored blue. (Scale bars in all images, 100 μm.) Credit: Zhou T, Hong G, Fu T-M, Yang X, Schuhmann TG, Robert D. Viveros, RD, Lieber CM (2017) Syringe-injectable mesh electronics integrate seamlessly with minimal chronic immune response in the brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114(23):5894-5899. The minimal, recoverable acute damage and the absence of an immune response support the possibility that mesh electronics may be permanently viable. “According to our past and ongoing studies thus far, mesh probes can maintain a stable recording/stimulation interface with the brain tissue for at least one to two years,” Lieber says. “However, this time period does not represent the achievable life expectancy since ongoing studies are currently under way to demonstrate even longer-term stability.” Due to the limitation of the rodent two- to three-year lifetime, the scientists expect to find more extensive stability in longer-living mammals such as rhesus macaques and in studies currently under way. “In the case with absent immune response as demonstrated in our recent paper, the life expectancy of mesh electronics should only be determined by biocompatibility and lifetime of the materials, including the metal electrodes (gold and platinum, which are both inert), and the passivating polymer that has been studied extensively in previous publications (such as Nemani et al 2) to show long-term stability in physiological conditions). Therefore, we remain confident that mesh electronics will likely have a life expectancy with stable neural interface and recording/stimulation functions for years, and envision the mesh ultimately as lifetime implant.”However, Lieber adds, should the mesh need to be removed, it can be directly extracted with minimum force and damage to the brain. “While this could cause a small amount of damage due to seamless integration with neural tissue, we believe the unprecedented stability and absence of chronic immune response of our neural tissue-like mesh electronics will lead to a paradigm change where the probe is a lifelong implantation that does not require removal.”Moving forward, Lieber says that they are conducting ongoing studies of new mesh designs having high large numbers of electrodes and multisite injections. “Moreover, our next steps include implantations of mesh electronics into tissues and organs other than the brain—for example, in the eye for in vivo recording of single retinal ganglion cells, in the spinal cord, in the muscle for studying signal propagation at the neuromuscular junction, and so on. We’re also beginning studies exploiting the unprecedented stability and absence of chronic immune response of the mesh electronics in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease models, and are working on implantation of mesh electronics in non-human primates subjects and human patients.”They also see a wide range of current and potential applications benefitting from the use of their mesh probe, including spinal cord and neuromuscular junction implants, brain–machine interfaces, cyborg animals, natural and pathological aging (such as Alzheimer’s disease) with insight on how spatial memory and learning evolve as a function of age and disease stage. Moreover, by adding stimulation electrodes, being able to enable fine level feedback that can ameliorate or overcome the cognitive declines associated with aging and other neurodegenerative diseases.As to other areas of research that might benefit from their study, Lieber says that in general, most areas of fundamental neuroscience research could benefit from mesh electronics’ unique capabilities of long-term stability and single neuron resolution. “In addition, almost any clinical/medical application that involves electrical recordings and/or stimulations will benefit from our studies. In addition to that mentioned above,” he concludes, “the mesh electronics should provide unique opportunities for brain-machine interfaces for tetraplegic patients, deep brain stimulations for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, and neural prosthetics in general.” Citation: Your brain on mesh: Injectable flexible probe melds with neurons, causes little or no chronic immune response (2017, July 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-07-brain-mesh-flexible-probe-melds.html Fig. 1. Schematics of mesh electronics. (A) Schematics of the mesh electronics structure in 2D. (I) Overall design of mesh electronics structure, where the blue lines highlight the overall mesh structure, the black filled circles at left indicate I/O pads, and the red filled circles indicate recording electrodes. (II) A single unit cell of mesh electronics, where the orange lines, which are shown without top polymer layer, highlight the metal interconnects and blue lines correspond to polymer passivation layer; w1, w2, and wm indicate the widths of the longitudinal polymer, transverse polymer, and metal lines, respectively. The schematic in the green dashed box highlights the cross-section view, which shows the polymer encapsulated metal structure, at the position indicated by the green dashed line. (B) Schematic of free-standing mesh electronics floating in aqueous solution and ready to be loaded into a glass needle. (C) Schematic of mesh electronics injected into mouse brain, with part of the mesh sagging between the brain and the needle. (D) Schematic of mesh electronics implanted in brain tissue with horizontal (yellow plane) and sagittal (green plane) sectioning directions highlighted in the inset. (E) Schematics of the interface between mesh electronics and the brain tissue (Left, cross-section view) and that between flexible thin-film and the brain tissue (Right, cross-section view). Mesh elements and the flexible thin-film are highlighted in blue, neurons are in purple, and glial scar is in yellow. Credit: Zhou T, Hong G, Fu T-M, Yang X, Schuhmann TG, Robert D. Viveros, RD, Lieber CM (2017) Syringe-injectable mesh electronics integrate seamlessly with minimal chronic immune response in the brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114(23):5894-5899. The probe—which does not require a power supply—directly records neural voltage changes by being able to interface with all regions of the brain from the level of single neuron through circuits and networks, in which the mesh recording electrode is connected by passivated metal lines (that is, having a protective coating applied to its surface) to input/output pads located at the opposite end of the mesh structure. These I/O pads, in turn, are then connected to Flat Flexible Cables (FFC) and plugged in external system for recording. The researchers also conducted systematic post-implantation studies, finding minimal or absent neural immune responses, and moreover that brain tissue had penetrated and merged with the mesh probe. The scientists note that the mesh implant may never require removal—but if it does, doing so would be a straightforward if not issue-free procedure. They conclude that most areas of fundamental neuroscience research could benefit from mesh electronics providing long-term stability and single-neuron resolution—unique capabilities not found in conventional neuroprosthetics—and state in their paper that ultraflexible open mesh electronics probes could in the future enable a wide range of opportunities for in vivo chronic recording and modulation of brain activity.Chemical Biology Mark Hyman Jr. Professor of Chemistry Charles Lieber discussed the paper that he, Lead author Graduate Student Tao Zhou, Postdoctoral Fellow Guosong Hong, and their colleagues published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “The main challenge of designing and implanting an injectable ultraflexible open mesh probe is ensuring the design has four key features,” Lieber tells Phys.org. These factors are mesh openings larger than cell bodies to facilitate neuron penetration; mesh element features that are the same size or smaller than neurons; flexibility that in this study was many orders of magnitude greater than that of neurons; and mesh electronics that can be easily injected through very high-gauge needles to precisely control the mesh position. “By designing the mesh electronics such that all key properties are neuromorphically similar to neural tissue, we eliminate chronic immune response that is found with all other probes and medical implants, which are more like thorns in your tissue.” Fig. 4. Histology of a sagittal tissue slice containing nearly the full implanted mesh electronics probe. (A and B) Confocal fluorescence microscopy images of a sagittal tissue slice including the mesh electronics probe at 3 mo postimplantation. Each of the images are 3×3 composite images recorded directly in the Tile Scan mode, where each component image of the Tile Scan had a field of view of 425 μm × 425 μm. The tissue slice was stained with antibodies for NeuN (green), NF (red), and GFAP (cyan); the mesh is shown as pseudocolored blue. The images were recorded at an optical focal plane ca. 5 μm below the surfaces of side-A (A) and side-B (B). (C) Fluorescence intensity as a function of distance from the boundary of the mesh electronics in images of side-A (A) and side-B (B). The pink shaded regions indicate interior of mesh electronics on each side. The NF and GFAP fluorescence intensity was analyzed based on the entire images, and the NeuN fluorescence intensity was analyzed based on the regions shown in yellow dashed boxes in A and B. Error bars represent SEM. Credit: Zhou T, Hong G, Fu T-M, Yang X, Schuhmann TG, Robert D. Viveros, RD, Lieber CM (2017) Syringe-injectable mesh electronics integrate seamlessly with minimal chronic immune response in the brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114(23):5894-5899. More information: Syringe-injectable mesh electronics integrate seamlessly with minimal chronic immune response in the brain, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017) 114(23):5894-5899, doi:10.1073/pnas.1705509114Related1 Syringe-injectable electronics, Nature Nanotechnology (2015) 10:629-636, doi:10.1038/nnano.2015.1152 Stable long-term chronic brain mapping at the single-neuron level, Nature Methods (2016) 13:875-882, doi:10.1038/nmeth.39693 In vitro and in vivo evaluation of SU-8 biocompatibility, Materials Science and Engineering: C (2013) 33(7:4453-4459, doi.10.1016/j.msec.2013.07.001 A new window to understanding the brain The researchers used standard photolithography to fabricate the mesh electronics probes using a polyimide-based photoresist (polyimides are biocompatible) in a three-layer structure;1. the bottom mesh structure (typically ~400 nm thick) is defined per the specific design2. the metal interconnects, input/output pads, and brain electrodes are defined, these being ~100 nm thick3. the top layer of polyimide resist is defined such that all metal is encapsulated except for the I/O pads and electrodes, where the approach and subsequent polymer processing leads to a robust near-monolithic structure <1 um in thicknessLieber points out that the neuromorphic nature of the mesh electronics probes is related to the above three points, the bio/neural compatibility of the polyimide polymer used for the mesh, and the post-implantation open three-dimensional mesh structure. Together, he adds, these features make the injected mesh electronics quite similar to neural networks that comprise brain tissue, and therefore quite distinct from conventional probes. © 2017 Phys.org "The main challenges of demonstrating that the probes do not elicit inflammation or scarring—unlike the typical chronic tissue response—is to characterize the tissue-mesh interface at different times post-implantation," Lieber explains. To accomplish this, without removing implanted mesh probes the researchers sectioned mouse brains into both cross-sectional and longitudinal or sagittal (left/right) slices. "Investigations of both cross and longitudinal sections with the implanted mesh electronics probe provided detailed and global views, respectively, of probe/tissue interaction," he notes, stressing that in most cases conventional probes must be removed from tissue before sectioning, resulting in loss of some critical interface information."The horizontal and sagittal brain slices—which contain cross-sections of implanted mesh probes, and nearly the entire implanted mesh probe, respectively—were stained with antibodies that can target neuron somata, axons, astrocytes and microglia," Lieber continues, Moreover, he points out that these studies demonstrated that unlike conventional probes, neuron somata and axons around mesh probes were not harmed, and led to natural tissue levels at the mesh probe surface. "Similarly, the markers for immune response inflammation highlighting astrocytes and microglia showed that these species became background level after only a couple of weeks in the mesh electronics—but they proliferated and accumulated at the interfaces of conventional probes." The scientists also found that the ability of allowing the neurons and mesh to interpenetrate is universal for all meshes they injected and imaged at 6~12 weeks post injection, prompting them to initiate additional experiments to find out how the size of mesh electronics structural elements and other parameters might be tuned to enhance the capability of neuron interpenetration.It should be noted, Lieber tells Phys.org, that the researchers are being conservative when in their paper they write a minimal immune response pending more detailed marker analyses. "In fact, we believe there is no immune response from the mesh because our results show that any initial enhancement in astrocyte and microglia return to background with no measureable difference proximate or distal to the probe at 12 weeks—and, as shown in our 2016 Nature Methods paper1—up to at least one year. We thus believe that the response is due to acute damage that occurs when inserting the needle (or for that matter, any probe) into the brain—but given the lack of immune response from the mesh probe, this acute damage all heals over time, as opposed to worsening, as is the case with conventional probes." , Nature Methods (Phys.org)—Neuroprostheses, neural probes and other intraneural tissue implants have offered remarkable benefits to recipients in a number of areas in neuroscience research and biomedical applications, therapeutic examples being not only Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and other neurological/neurologically-related conditions, as well as cognition, memory, and sensorimotor disorders. However, current neural implants have several drawbacks, including neural tissue inflammation or scarring due to device micromotion, as well as longevity and the potential need for removal, and high power requirements. Devising electrical probes that seamlessly integrate within neural tissue has therefore been a coveted goal. To that end, scientists at Harvard University have reported the successful implantation of a neuromorphic (that is, having a structure similar to brain tissue) ultraflexible open mesh electronics neural probe that is delivered to specific brain regions via syringe injection (a protocol they published in 2015 in Nature Nanotechnology)1. Journal information: Nature Nanotechnology This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more