Phagocytosis was studied in vitro using coelomic fluid of the Antarctic starfish Odontaster validus at 0°C. The number of coelomocytes present was determined and the phagocytic activity of the phagocytic amoebocytes (PA) was quantified with yeast during incubations of 1 and 2 h. The percentage of PA phagocytosing increased significantly from 42.29 ± 10.50% (SD) at 1 h to 52.57 ± 13.96% at 2 h. Numbers of yeast per PA also rose significantly from 2.27 to 2.45 cells per amoebocyte, indicating that phagocytic activity was maintained. In vitro phagocytosis of an Antarctic invertebrate at 0°C is shown for the first time, and the types of amoebocytes involved identified. Rates of phagocytosis were similar to, or higher than, reported data for temperate starfish, although this conclusion must be treated cautiously because of scarcity of data and differences in methods used. However, the data suggest that phagocytosis in O. validus is well adapted to low temperature.
CenterPoint Energy will use the net proceeds of the deal to repay a portion of its debt CenterPoint Energy to sell CenterPoint Energy Services to Energy Capital Partners. (Credit: Pixabay/Gerd Altmann) US-based electric and natural gas utility company, CenterPoint Energy has agreed to sell CenterPoint Energy Services (CES), a natural gas retail business to Energy Capital Partners (ECP) for about $400m.Headquartered in Houston, CES has around 300 employees. The company provides natural gas sales, storage, supply, and other energy-related solutions to about 30,000 commercial and industrial customers, utilities and cities in more than 30 states.As part of the deal, CES will sign a structured long-term Preferred Supply agreement, where Shell Energy North America (SENA) will deliver gas supply, collateral support and receive equity warrants.CenterPoint Energy interim president and CEO John W. Somerhalder II said: “The sale of our gas retail business further positions CenterPoint Energy to focus on the long-term performance of our core electric and natural gas utility businesses.“At the same time, this sale will strengthen our balance sheet and improve our business risk profile.“When combined with our recent agreement to sell Miller Pipeline and Minnesota Limited, two businesses that comprised our infrastructure services segment, we expect our utility earnings contribution to approach 90% over the next several years.”CenterPoint Energy to use sale proceeds to reduce debtCenterPoint Energy said that it will use the net proceeds of the deal to repay a portion of its debt.Subjected to the satisfaction of closing conditions, which include the expiration or termination of the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period, the deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year.For the deal, Goldman Sachs & Co is acting as exclusive financial advisor to CenterPoint Energy, while Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is serving as its legal counsel.Earlier this month, CenterPoint Energy has agreed to sell Miller Pipeline and Minnesota to PowerTeam Services for $850m.The Miller Pipeline and Minnesota are claimed to be the two of the premier natural gas distribution and transmission pipeline contractors in the US and provide services to customers in 35 states.
McDougall’s range of snack mixes, from RHM Foodservice (Addlestone, Surrey), enables bakers to produce cookies, doughnuts and muffins easily, using McDougall’s Muffin Mixes, offered in three varieties: chocolate, toffee and plain. The mixes can be adapted with extra flavours and ingredients, such as fruit and chocolate.McDougall’s Cookie Mix allows bakers to create batches of American-style cookies, with a crunchy outside and chewy inside. RHM Foodservice also offers McDougall’s Doughnut and Bun Mix.
Industrial Easirobe Enrober, can be used for chocolate, fondant, jams and jellies – in fact any type of product in a bakery, says the Leeds-based firm. Made entirely from stainless steel, it features an air pump to transport the product from the tank to the dual-curtain coating reservoir, where various attachments can be fitted to the blower, enabling coatings of the top or sides of product – or indeed both.
HBO‘s hit series Game of Thrones has returned to dominate the pop culture landscape for its climactic final season. As any world-famous brand would do, the show’s producers are looking at all kinds of ways to expand the empire which Game of Thrones has become. The show’s latest project: working with Fender to develop a collection of guitars themed guitars inspired by the show and its characters.Fender Principal Master Builder Ron Thorn was the man in charge of crafting very detailed interpretations of the various family houses from the show. In doing so, Thorn has successfully created a line of unique guitars which creatively showcases the spirit of Westeros’ most powerful families with three different models. The themes of House Stark are worked into a Telecaster model, while House Lannister comes on a Fender Jaguar, and House Targaryen is displayed on a Stratocaster.Related: George R.R. Martin Went To Dead & Co’s Playing In The Sand And Kicked It With OteilThorn drew his inspiration from using the official family sigils, costume design, armor, weaponry, and geography in the show for the guitars’ artwork. For example, the House Stark Telecaster features inlaid silver purfling around the perimeter of its swamp ash body to symbolize the family’s “Gray Wolf” color scheme on the top and back, while using “Raven Black” on the sides. The House Lannister Fender Jaguar body features 24k gold leaf, in accordance with the fictional family’s wealth and prestige.“I just felt like I was the right guy for the job,” Thorn said in a statement about his work on the project. “This is really right in my wheelhouse. In fact, if any of the other builders had gotten this project, I would have been so jealous. I would have been popping in every day and you would have had to shoo me away. It couldn’t be more me, as far as what I’ve done with guitars.”You can learn more about the models in the video below, which also features an epic, all-star performance of the Game of Thrones theme on the aforementioned guitars with Anthrax’s Scott Ian, Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt, Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, and Game of Thrones showrunner/co-creator Dan Weiss.Fender Game of Thrones Sigil Collection[Video: Fender]As for the cost of the guitars, each of the three models is reportedly priced separately and runs between $25,000 and $35,000. Not bad if you’re a member of one of Westeros’ noble houses and need to trade in your lute for something with a bit more power.
Comedian Ali Wong will perform her new “Milk and Money” show in downtown South Bend as part of IDEA Week, the University announced in a press release Thursday. Wong joins numerous other artists who have already been announced as part of IDEA Week, including comedian Jim Gaffigan, magician Michael Carbonaro and country music artists Scotty McCreery and Tim McGraw. “Part of innovation is breaking down the walls that divide life into narrow categories so we have more opportunities for creative and serendipitous connections,” IDEA Week event coordinator Nick Swisher said in the release. “IDEA Week aims to unite all of these dimensions and model the energy that they can generate together.”Wong will perform at Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend on April 11. Cell phones will be banned from Wong’s performance, the release said. Ticket prices will range from $45 to $95 and will go on sale March 8 at the Morris Box Office either by phone at 800-537-6415 or online at www.morriscenter.org. Tags: Ali Wong, Comedy, Idea Week, IDEA week 2019, Morris Performing Arts Center
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 23-year-old Brooklyn man died in a motorcycle crash Monday afternoon on the Southern State Parkway, state police said. Troopers were dispatched at 1:38 p.m. after police received reports of a serious crash on the westbound side of the parkway at Exit 13, police said.Fayyaz Amir was operating a 2008 Yamaha at a “high rate of speed” as he approached a curve and crashed into the cement median, police said in a news release. Amir was ejected onto the roadway, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The parkway was closed for approximately two hours as police investigated the crash.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A suspect was arrested Tuesday for allegedly killing a 25-year-old man and wounding another man in a shooting outside of a bar in Deer Park last year, Suffolk County police said.Jhamek Daniels was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder.Homicide Squad detectives alleged that the 23-year-old Brentwood man fatally shot Jean Yves, of Wyandanch, in the parking lot of the Night Owl Lounge on Long Island Avenue at 2:22 a.m. on Jan.16, 2014. A second man identified as 23-year-old Javonne Mimms was wounded in the shooting, police said.The victims were taken to a local hospital, where Yves died and Mimms was treated for a gunshot wound to the chest.Police had said at the times that the two victims were in a Cadillac that pulled into the parking lot when two people in a group standing outside fired several shots at the vehicle. On Wednesday, police said they were still investigating whether there was a second shooter. The group that the suspect was with fled in two vehicles, authorities said. A third person in the victims’ vehicle was not struck by the gunfire.Police had also said at the time that they were investigating whether the shooting was gang-related. Upon the arrest of Daniels, investigators said that the shooting stemmed from a prior dispute at the bar. Investigators did not say what led them to Daniels.Daniels will be arraigned Wednesday at First District Court in Central Islip.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Kevin Deutsch Cesar Hernandez felt a bone in his cheek crack as the Brentwood gangsters pummeled his face, the sound reminding him of a “branch breaking, like a crunch.”It was a rainy afternoon in June 2013, and Hernandez, then 16, had just been attacked by four members of one of Long Island’s most notorious MS-13 sets: The Brentwood Locos Salvatruchas, also known as B.L.S.The reason for the “beatdown,” these gang members told him: Hernandez’s older brother had been spotted selling marijuana within MS-13’s sprawling territory. Since they’d been unable to track his brother down and retaliate for the territorial infraction, it was Cesar, they said, who’d have to pay the price.“I didn’t get a chance to say anything to them,” Hernandez recalled Wednesday, sharing his account of the gang assault with a reporter for the first time. “They jumped me when I was walking home and… just started pounding on me.”The blows rained down on Hernandez’s face, head, chest, arms, and ribs, leaving him with several broken bones in his face, two black eyes, and a handful of cracked ribs, he says. Hernandez was treated at a local hospital, and police took a report on the incident. The gang members responsible for the assault all ended up in jail or prison within a year, locked up on a host of weapons, drug, and assault charges unrelated to Hernandez’s case, he recalls.But it wasn’t long before those gangsters were replaced by more aggressive members—young men who’d risen rapidly through the B.L.S. hierarchy, and were anxious to make a name for themselves in the Long Island underworld.“They got too many [members] for the police to get rid of them completely,” Hernandez says of B.L.S., adding that the set’s members have long been involved in a small number of heroin, marijuana, and cocaine operations in Brentwood and surrounding areas. In addition, several of the gang’s leaders oversee protection rackets that extort illegal immigrants and off-the-books workers in the area. They also sell stolen cars, commit robberies, and fence stolen goods to fund their criminal enterprises, authorities and victims say.“If you don’t pay them, they beat on you, they cut you, they come after your people,” says Wilfredo Ortiz, 43, a Brentwood cook who says his food truck was vandalized by MS-13 members after he refused to pay them protection money in 2014.“They took away our family’s livelihood,” says Ortiz’s sister, Yvette. “They want to control people. They want to control through fear.”“We can’t be silent about it anymore,” she adds.Interviews this week with more than a dozen Brentwood residents who say they’ve had run-ins with B.L.S. highlight the extent to which members of MS-13 in general, and B.L.S. in particular, have ingrained themselves in the fabric of life in this community—and created a climate of fear.Brentwood residents’ fear is for good reason. The community was ranked as having the highest concentration of gang members in the county, according to a 2012 report by the Suffolk County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (SCCJCC). The study counted 4,103 gang members concentrated in neighborhoods with high poverty rates.MS-13 boasts numerous sets across LI, police officials say, but nowhere are the gang’s ranks larger—or its members more brazen—than in Suffolk County, which by some estimates has been home to more than 1,000 MS-13 members over the past decade, according to a retired law enforcement official with first-hand knowledge of anti-gang operations on the Island. That’s double the number of MS-13 members the SCCJCC study tallied.Adding to the problem in Brentwood are rival gangs such as the Bloods, Crips, and Salvadorans With Pride, whose members are locked in perpetual conflict with MS-13. Violence between the groups can break out for any number of reasons, ranging from an incident of perceived disrespect to an improper incursion onto another gang’s turf, authorities say.B.L.S. is considered particularly dangerous because of its routine targeting not just of rival gangs, but of civilians, suspected police informants, and even its own members.“If they think you might talk to the cops, to anybody with a badge, you’re not going to be around, believe me,” says one Brentwood 17-year-old, who spoke through a translator and asked to remain anonymous out of fear MS-13 members would harm him. “Even if you’ve been in [MS-13] for a long time, if you go against the rules or they don’t trust you…” Here, the teenager mimes cutting his neck. “That’s it.”The issue of gang violence in Suffolk returned to the spotlight in the past two weeks when police discovered the remains of four teenagers, all of whom authorities suspect may have been victims of gang violence linked to MS-13, sources say.The bodies of Brentwood High School students Nisa Mickens, 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16, were badly beaten, police said. In a wooded area about two miles from the elementary school near where the girls were found, police discovered the skeletal remains of 19-year-old Oscar Acosta, who was reported missing under suspicious circumstances in May, and Miguel Moran, 15.Police have not publicly confirmed that they suspect MS-13 is responsible for all four killings, but the retired law enforcement official with knowledge of local gangs said B.L.S. members are a focus of the probe. An active law enforcement official, also with knowledge of the probe, substantiated that information.“This is their MO,” the retired official said of B.L.S. “They consider themselves the baddest of the bad.”Suffolk Police Commissioner Timothy Sini has said authorities are doing “everything in their power” to solve the killings and target local gangs. They also scoured the grounds of Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center this week, which Sini called “doing our due diligence to fully investigate the area for evidence.”The commissioner put the gangs on notice while touting his department’s enhanced patrols, increased cooperation with the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force and having a gang member in federal custody. The crackdown, a host of community meetings on the issue and re-energized community watches are much like the reaction to an even deadlier spate of gang violence in the community seven years ago.“The only people in Brentwood who have something to fear are the criminals,” Sini said. “And we are going to do everything in our power to bring those accountable to justice.”For Yvette Ortiz and other locals long accustomed to gang violence, the commissioner’s words have brought little comfort.“I believe they’re doing everything they can” to stop B.L.S, Ortiz says of law enforcement. “But they’ve [gang members] been here a long time. It’s not going to be so easy.”