Hudson’s Hope RCMP report: Shots Fired, Poaching and Attempted Abduction

first_imgOn August 4th, Hudson’s Hope RCMP assisted Fort St. John RCMP with an abduction attempt on a flagger that occurred within the Fort St. John jurisdiction near the area of Szoo Road along Hwy 29. A blue Power Wagon van with a grey pinstripe down the side and tinted windows stopped by a flagger, and an unidentified person exited the van and attempted to abduct this flagger. The victim was able to fend off the assailant, with the van fleeing the scene. This file is still under investigation with the Fort St. John RCMP and anyone with any information pertaining to this incident is asked to contact your local RCMP Detachment. Anyone with information regarding current or past investigations can contact the Hudson’s Hope RCMP directly at 250-783-5241 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Visit http://crimestoppersnebc.ca for advice on submitting tips online and to browse the areas “Most Wanted” page. HUDSON’S HOPE, B.C. – Hudson’s Hope RCMP have released their monthly report that includes a report of shots being fired into the Peace River, allegedly poaching and a story we shared last week about an attempted abduction on Highway 29.The following report has been released by Constable Erich Schmidt.Hudson’s Hope RCMP responded to 51 calls for service between July 16th and August 12th.  51 written violations and warning tickets were issued to drivers between the above dates. Highway and road safety continues to be a big focus for the Hudson’s Hope RCMP. Police have received reports to the increasing number of vehicles speeding along Beattie Drive, therefore police will be monitoring this area especially into the following month with the school season just around the corner.  Speeding fines can range from $138.00 to $196.00, with excessive speeding resulting in a $368.00 fine and a seven-day impound of the vehicle. Please obey local speed limits within our community. – Advertisement -On July 20th, Hudson’s Hope RCMP received a report of shots being fired into the Peace River near the Farrell Creek Bridge. This occurred while boaters were out on the river, posing a serious public risk factor. Police attended the area and located several intoxicated persons camping along the creek. During the investigation, a firearm was located and seized, and one of the persons was arrested for possession of the stolen property after one of the associated vehicles was found to be bearing stolen licence plates. On July 21st, Hudson’s Hope RCMP conducted a roadside check stop along Hwy 29 at the Peace Canyon Access Road. During this check stop, police stopped and checked approximately 75 drivers and vehicles. Several violation tickets were issued for various offences, including expired insurance for travel trailers. Please take the time to verify that all vehicle registration and insurances are up to date prior to heading out for a weekend camping trip. On July 28th, Hudson’s Hope RCMP received a report of a possible poaching site located within a rural area of Hudson’s Hope. Police conducted an investigation and located the site in which it appeared that several deer were shot out of season. This file has been forwarded to the local Conservation Officers who are continuing with the investigation. Poaching is a serious offence that can cause dramatic negative effects to the local wildlife populations. Anyone who observes a poaching offence can contact the Report All Poachers and Polluters hotline: 1-877-952-7277. Poaching offences can come with fines ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 fines with six months to one-year imprisonment. Advertisementlast_img read more

Cell Quality Control Runs a Tight Ship

first_imgWithout the surveillance and rapid response of quality control, cells would collapse and die.  Here are some recently-published examples of nanoheroes in action.Plant checkpoints:  Picture a child watching the wonder of a seedling breaking through the soil into the light for the first time.  Within hours, the ghostly-white stem turns green, and a day later, leaves begin to appear.  Does he or she have any idea what is going on at a scale too small to see?  Not until that kid grows into a modern lab scientist with sophisticated equipment.  The transformation requires the coordinated transportation of key elements through specialized checkpoints, an international team reported in PNAS.1    Without boring the reader with technical terms, what basically happens is this.  The underground seedling contains pre-chloroplast parts in readiness for the arrival into sunlight, but saves its energy by not allowing the light-gathering factories to assemble until it’s time.  “Chloroplasts need to import a large number of proteins from the cytosol because most are encoded in the nucleus,” they reported.  Once there, they have a double membrane to get through.  Specialized gates permit entry of the authenticated parts.  One particular light-sensitive part has its own unique gate.  The team decided to see what happened when they mutated one gene in the process.  The results were not pretty: the light-sensitive molecules accumulated outside the plastid because they couldn’t get into the factory.  “After a dark-to-light shift, this pigment operated as photosensitizer and caused rapid bleaching and cell death,” they found.  “Our results underscore the essential role of the substrate-dependent import pathway” that this protein depends on.  Maybe this error resembles a chemical spill outside a pharmaceutical plant, or pistons firing before they get into the engine.Now hear this:  In a surprise finding that might provide hope for the deaf, scientists publishing in PNAS reported that “Restoration of connexin26 protein level in the cochlea completely rescues hearing in a mouse model of human connexin30-linked deafness.”2  Two protein partners are needed for healthy hair-cell formation in the cochlea of the inner ear.  Mutations in one of them, connexin26, account for about half of all cases of inherited human deafness.  Usually, connexin26 and connexin30 join together to form gap junctions, but if one is mutated, deafness results.  The gap junctions are essential for cell-to-cell communication.  Surprisingly, connexin26 (Cx26) appears able to bridge the gap when connexin30 (Cx30) is missing; therefore, “up-regulation of Cx26 or slowing down its protein degradation might be a therapeutic strategy to prevent and treat deafness caused by Cx30 mutations.”    The scientists suspected that these two isoforms of connexins regulate each other.  They also noted that this partnering occurs in the lens of the eye.  Losing one by mutation, therefore, affects the regulation of the partner.  On a hunch that one of the isoforms could compensate for the loss of the other if allowed to assemble, and could build functional gap junctions on its own, they tried up-regulating the remaining connexin.  To their surprise, hearing was completely restored in mice. Bad translator triggers SOS:  We’ve talked about the DNA translation team a number of times (e.g., 12/28/2006, 07/26/2005, 06/09/2003, 04/29/2003).  The team of 20 aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, as they are called, have rigid requirements.  “Mistranslation in bacterial and mammalian cells leads to production of statistical proteins that are, in turn, associated with specific cell or animal pathologies, including death of bacterial cells, apoptosis of mammalian cells in culture, and neurodegeneration in the mouse,” said Bacher and Schimmel in PNAS.3  “A major source of mistranslation comes from heritable defects in the editing activities of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases.”  This is because the protein machines, which snap the right amino acid onto the appropriate transfer-RNA (tRNA), cannot perform their vital role in protein synthesis if broken.    These researchers suspected that broken synthetases could also cause mutations.  They decided to test what happens when they caused an “editing defect” in one of them.  (These enzymes are usually able to proofread their own errors with a high degree of accuracy.)  The result, again, was not pretty: “A striking, statistically significant, enhancement of the mutation rate in aging bacteria was found.”  The bug was like flipping a fire alarm: “This enhancement comes from an increase in error-prone DNA repair through induction of the bacterial SOS response,” they explained.  “Thus, mistranslation, as caused by an editing-defective tRNA synthetase, can lead to heritable genetic changes that could, in principle, be linked to disease.”    Another press release from Ohio State also discussed the neurological disease that can result from mistranslated proteins caused by mutated aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. 1Pollman et al, “A plant porphyria related to defects in plastid import of protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase A,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0610934104, published online before print January 29, 2007.2Ahmad et al, “Restoration of connexin26 protein level in the cochlea completely rescues hearing in a mouse model of human connexin30-linked deafness,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0606855104, published online before print January 16, 2007.3Jamie M. Bacher and Paul Schimmel, “An editing-defective aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase is mutagenic in aging bacteria via the SOS response,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0610835104, published online before print January 30, 2007.Dear Darwinist, does this increase your faith that random accidents in working systems are going to make things better?  Is this a better way to build a plant, an ear, or a translation system?  If you think terrorism is the best way to build a civilization, reread the 12/14/2006 entry. (Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

What You Need to Know to Win Deals Faster

first_imgIt never hurts to ask directly what your prospect believes they need to do to make a decision. I might not ask what their process is, only because they may not think of the decision as a process. You might learn something that you can incorporate into the process you are leading.In many cases, it makes sense to ask about your dream client’s timeline for deciding and implementing. It always feels helpful to work backward from the date your prospect wants to go live. The milestones and a plan you both agree can help keep things on track when people are being pulled in different directions. This question works better if there are consequences for missing the deadline, all the better.It’s a good idea to ask who is going to participate in the decision and whom you are going to need to include. Your prospect may not think of the people on their team as a buying committee. I have heard task force more often than any other term used to describe the group of people leading an initiative. You might also ask who in leadership cares about the initiative and if you can brief them (even though this isn’t as much about speed as it is about winning when things get tricky).In some cases, it makes sense to ask about what might prevent your prospect’s company from being able to make whatever change you are recommending. You might be able to mitigate the challenge if you know what it is. If you know how your deal might stall, you can work to prevent it. Deals now are better than deals later. You would prefer to win now than, say, four months from now. Better results now are better than results later, something that is true for your dream client too. They would prefer to have their challenges dispatched sooner rather than some time in the future, and their opportunities realized earlier. Here is what you need to know to win deals faster.How You Slow Deals DownMuch of what salespeople do to speed up deals slow them down or kills them altogether. What seems to be efficient is so ineffective, it slows sales to a crawl, if it doesn’t cause the client to dark—or disengage completely. If you want your deals to move forward faster, there are things you have to stop doing.Stop speeding through the process: You have a great couple of meetings, and your dream client asks for a proposal and pricing. You believe the client knows what they want and they’re ready to make a decision now. The truth is that their request for pricing and a proposal was part of their discovery and exploration; they want additional information. The information wasn’t enough to compel them to buy, and you left your sales meeting without anything on your calendar.Give up the one call close: There are some sales where a discovery meeting might end with a pricing proposal and a contract. In most B2B sales, however, this is not often the case. A one-hour meeting with one stakeholder followed by an email with pricing and a contract may as well be the one-call close. The email isn’t a second sales call.Stop believing you can win deals over email: Because of the prevalence of this medium, some salespeople think they can conduct the entire sales process over email, beginning with prospecting, asking discovery questions, chasing the client to schedule follow up meetings, and trying to argue for their solution. The medium isn’t up to the task of delivering the outcomes many want from it.Don’t go through the process with a single stakeholder: There are deals where a single stakeholder will decide to buy. These deals tend to be smaller, even though this is less frequent than it once was. They also seem to be more common in small companies, where the decision will impact fewer people. It’s a good rule of thumb to assume the more people who will be affected by the change, the more people necessary to a deal.If you want your deals to move smoothly and as quickly through your pipeline, there are some things you can do to bend the curve in your direction.How You Speed Deals UpIn endurance sports, if you want to complete a race faster, you go slower. You try not to do anything that would cause your heart rate to get so high and exert so much energy early that it makes completion unlikely. The speed of winning deals has much in common with endurance sports. Here is what you can do to speed up:Implications of WaitingFirst, a disclaimer. If you are going to share the negative implications of waiting to take action, what you share must be real and compelling. The consequences have to be something your dream client wants to avoid, and your pricing increase next quarter may not be enough to compel action. With that disclaimer out of the way, if there are real implications, sharing them can create a sense of urgency to avoid adverse outcomes.I have to use an example where I failed to compel a client to change. The client was not making the necessary investment in the result they needed, and I shared it with them, explaining how it was going to cause them problems in the future, and likely damage the results they needed to provide their client. I failed to convince them of the implications, and they lost half their business because they failed their client.If you want your client to move faster, you have to share the consequences of inaction, and do so with great empathy and diplomacy.Control the ProcessThe sales conversation we have with our clients has gone nonlinear. More and more, it doesn’t line up with the sales process (a useful, orienting generalization as to what you need to get done to win a deal effectively), and it doesn’t look much like the buying journeys we pretend to be linear (another useful, orienting generalization). When we try to be sophisticated and line up these two views of the sales conversation, our attempt at linearity doesn’t change the reality of the difficulty human beings have making decisions—especially in groups.When it comes to opportunity creation and opportunity capture, you might think about it like this: sell the meeting, sell the process (the things you and your dream client need to do), and then sell the solution. The sequence here matters. When you skip over “sell the process,” to get to “sell the solution,” you expose yourself to all kinds of problems that may cause your deal to slow down or stall.In a decision as to who should control the process, believe that it is you. You should know better than your client what comes next and why. You can’t be like the salesperson I heard ask this question at the end of their first meeting, “Well, what would you like to do next?” The client responded, “Shouldn’t you know what I need to next? You do this all the time. I don’t?” You will have clients that need to insert their needs into your process, but part of controlling the process is understanding what they need and eliciting it so you can help them.The Lost Art of Closing is my roadmap for controlling the process. If you want speed to a deal, you will control the process.No more pushy sales tactics. The Lost Art of Closing shows you how to proactively lead your customer and close your sales. Build ConsensusNot only will you have to build consensus, but you are also going to have to do so among a group with divergent opinions and competing priorities. You suffer slow deals, stalled deals, and lost deals you might have won when you don’t take into consideration the stakeholders who need to part of the process–or who should be.In many cases where there is a single contact the salesperson allows to present on their behalf, at some point, they hear: “We’ve decided to go a different direction.” Who is this, “we?” No evidence of a “we” is not proof that there is not a “we” lurking inside your dream client’s company.The speed at which you win many deals depends heavily on how fast you can determine and engage the people who are going to part of your prospective client’s decision-making process (hopefully a process you are influencing). Deals don’t move faster when you leave out people who need to be seen and heard. If they are going to be part of the process, inviting them into it sooner means you win your deal sooner.Be Present and Pay AttentionYou compress the time by having a more significant presence (face-to-face is best, video face-to- video face is second best, the phone is next).Salespeople often say something like, “I asked the client this question, and they didn’t answer me. What should I do now?” How is it possible for you to ask your prospective client a question without answering? By asking your questions over email, that’s how. Email isn’t the right medium to replace meetings. If you want to move things faster, you will have a presence.The more your prospective client sees you, the better. More meetings are better than fewer, and fewer emails are better than more, generally. You get more done in meetings, where you have your prospective client’s attention, when you have their peers in the room, and where you can be seen and heard. You also want to be seen listening and taking notes. The more attention you give a deal, the sooner you close it.I don’t know anyone who would argue that you not share the implications of waiting, who would suggest you allow your dream client to control the process when the process has them do something that is not in their best interest, who would recommend you stay single-threaded, or who tell you not to have meetings to speed up the process. Though you don’t have control here, you can try to influence things in a way that serve both you and your dream client better.If you want to win deals faster, do what is necessary sooner rather than later.Afterword:Just a few more thoughts worth sharing and considering. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

A starring role for graphene

first_imgShare112/8/2011David [email protected] [email protected] AddThis Rice University’s functionalized graphene oxide plays part in next-generation oil-well drilling fluidsGraphene’s star is rising as a material that could become essential to efficient, environmentally sound oil production. Rice University researchers are taking advantage of graphene’s outstanding strength, light weight and solubility to enhance fluids used to drill oil wells.The Rice University lab of chemist James Tour and scientists at M-I SWACO, a Texas-based supplier of drilling fluids and subsidiary of oil-services provider Schlumberger, have produced functionalized graphene oxide to alleviate the clogging of oil-producing pores in newly drilled wells.The patented technique took a step closer to commercialization with the publication of new research this month in the American Chemical Society journal Applied Materials and Interfaces. Graphene is a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon that won its discoverers a Nobel Prize last year.Rice’s relationship with M-I SWACO began more than two years ago when the company funded the lab’s follow-up to research that produced the first graphene additives for drilling fluids known as muds. These fluids are pumped downhole as part of the process to keep drill bits clean and remove cuttings. With traditional clay-enhanced muds, differential pressure forms a layer on the wellbore called a filter cake, which both keeps the oil from flowing out and drilling fluids from invading the tiny, oil-producing pores.When the drill bit is removed and drilling fluid displaced, the formation oil forces remnants of the filter cake out of the pores as the well begins to produce. But sometimes the clay won’t budge, and the well’s productivity is reduced.The Tour Group discovered that microscopic, pliable flakes of graphene can form a thinner, lighter filter cake. When they encounter a pore, the flakes fold in upon themselves and look something like starfish sucked into a hole. But when well pressure is relieved, the flakes are pushed back out by the oil.All that was known two years ago. Since then, Tour and a research team led by Dmitry Kosynkin, a  former Rice postdoctoral associate and now a petroleum engineer at Saudi Aramco, have been fine-tuning the materials.They found a few issues that needed to be dealt with. First, pristine graphene is hard to disperse in water, so it is unsuitable for water-based muds. Graphene oxide (GO) turned out to be much more soluble in fresh water, but tended to coagulate in saltwater, the basis for many muds.The solution was to “esterify” GO flakes with alcohol. “It’s a simple, one-step reaction,” 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. “Graphene oxide functionalized with alcohol works much better because it doesn’t precipitate in the presence of salts. There’s nothing exotic about it.”In a series of standard American Petroleum Institute tests, the team found the best mix of functionalized GO to be a combination of large flakes and powdered GO for reinforcement. A mud with 2 percent functionalized GO formed a filter cake an average of 22 micrometers wide — substantially smaller than the 278-micrometer cake formed by traditional muds. GO blocked pores many times smaller than the flakes’ original diameter by folding.Aside from making the filter cake much thinner, which would give a drill bit more room to turn, the Rice mud contained less than half as many suspended solids; this would also make drilling more efficient as well as more environmentally friendly. Tour and Andreas Lüttge, a Rice professor of Earth science and chemistry, reported last year that GO is reduced to graphite, the material found in pencil lead and a natural mineral, by common bacteria.“The most exciting aspect is the ability to modify the GO nanoparticle with a variety of functionalities,” said James Friedheim, corporate director of fluids research and development at M-I SWACO and a co-author of the research. “Therefore we can ‘dial in’ our application by picking the right organic chemistry that will suit the purpose. The trick is just choosing the right chemistry for the right purpose.”“There’s still a lot to be worked out,” Tour said. “We’re looking at the rheological properties, the changes in viscosity under shear. In other words, we want to know how viscous this becomes as it goes through a drill head, because that also has implications for efficiency.”Muds may help graphene live up to its commercial promise, Tour said. “Everybody thinks of graphene in electronics or in composites, but this would be a use for large amounts of graphene, and it could happen soon,” he said.Friedheim agreed. “With the team we currently have assembled, Jim Tour’s group and some development scientists at M-I SWACO, I am confident that we are close to both technical and commercial success.”Other authors of the paper are Rice graduate student Gabriel Ceriotti, former Rice research associates Kurt Wilson and Jay Lomeda, and M-I SWACO researchers Jason Scorsone and Arvind Patel.-30-Read the abstract at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/am2012799An image is available for download at http://www.media.rice.edu/images/media/NEWSRELS/1207_starfish.jpgCAPTION:Microscopic, star-shaped flakes of functionalized graphene oxide plug holes in pores in a test of the material’s ability to serve as a filter cake in fluids used to drill oil wells. The single-atom-thick flakes of treated carbon are pliable but among the strongest materials known. (Credit Tour Group/Rice University)last_img read more