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Success in second language learning linked to genetic and brain measures

first_imgLinkedIn Share on Facebook Share If you’ve had disappointing results in learning a new language as an adult, your struggle may have to do with your genes and brain structure.A new study by researchers at the University of Washington shows that the final grades that college students received in a second-language class were predicted by a combination of genetic and brain factors.Genetic variations of the COMT gene and a measure of the strength of the brain’s communications network — known as “white matter”– jointly accounted for 46 percent of the reason for why some students performed better than others in the language class. Emailcenter_img Pinterest Share on Twitter “We are interested in understanding why individuals learn differently, including those who perform well and those who perform poorly,” said lead author Ping Mamiya, a research scientist at the UW’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS).“Our study shows for the first time that variations of the COMT gene are related to changes in the brain’s white matter that are the result of learning,” Mamiya said.The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences will publish the study this week.“We all know that human learning is highly complex and that a lot of factors play a role,” said co-author Patricia Kuhl, co-director of I-LABS. “Second-language learning as an adult is difficult, and we thought studying how people learn something difficult would be a good way to tease out the interactions between genes and brains in learning.”The research team recruited first-year college students — 20-years-old on average — who had just arrived in the U.S. from China. The 79 volunteers in the study had passed the university’s minimum English requirement, and 44 of them immediately entered a three-week immersion class intended to help international students improve their English skills.Over the course of the three-week language class and up to eight days after the class ended, the researchers performed brain scans of all the students, including a control group who had also just arrived from China but did not get into the class.The researchers used an MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which gives clues about the structure of the brain’s connections. Better structure helps signals transfer across the brain, which may lead to better learning.The brain scans suggest that within a day of the immersive English training, white matter had already begun to change. Foreign language exposure increased the connectivity of the brain’s language circuitry in enrolled students compared with students who were not enrolled in the language class. The increase went up over the course of the three-week training, and then reversed after the training ended.“Being able to document these associations between brain structure and environmental stimulation in young adult human brains is really exciting,” Mamiya said. “It is one of the highlights in this paper.”Since different forms of the COMT gene can have different effects on brain structure, the researchers suspected that the students’ COMT genotype would be related to how much white matter changed from the language class.Sure enough, using DNA samples taken from the students at the beginning of the language program, the researchers found that two specific forms of the COMT gene (Methionine/Valine or Valine/Valine) were linked to greater increases in brain connectivity in students who took the language class. Students with a third COMT genotype (Methionine/Methionine) did not show any white matter change in response to the language experience.The combination of the COMT genotype and the white matter measure was so powerful on language learning that it accounted for 46 percent of total variance in the students’ final scores.“Humans’ abilities in learning any particular skill vary tremendously, and we want to know why,” Kuhl said. “Knowing why answers a basic science question about how the environment, our genes, and our brains really work, but could also lead to interventions that improve learning.”last_img read more

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Future of Lloyds’ Worthing site hangs in balance

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Knight Frank’s Africa Report 2009

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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CDB’s EU-Funded Standby Facility Receives Positive Regional Response

first_img The Caribbean Development Bank is a regional financial institution established in 1970 for the purpose of contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs). In addition to the 19 BMCs, CDB’s membership includes four regional non-borrowing members – Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela and five non-regional, non-borrowing members; i.e., Canada, China, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. CDB’s total assets as at December 31, 2018 stood at USD3.24 billion (bn). These include USD1.75 bn of Ordinary Capital Resources and USD1.49 bn of Special Funds Resources. The Bank is rated Aa1 Stable with Moody’s, AA+ Stable with Standard & Poor’s and AA+ Stable with FitchRatings. Read more at caribank.org. Daniel Best, Director of Projects at the Bank, attributed the response of those seeking to access the EUR 8.75 million resource, to latent demand for such support across CARICOM. According to Calvin Manduna, the Facility’s Project Manager, “The onset of COVID-19 and its effect on trade in the Caribbean highlight the exigency of increased support to strengthen ­the private sector, intra-regional trade and increase utilisation of trade preferences under the CSME and the EPA.” The Facility targets organisations in the public and private sectors that promote integration of Caribbean economies into the global marketplace with a focus on European markets. Projects under review cover a broad spectrum of areas with the intent of improving competitiveness and market access, increasing exports and expanding and supporting the services and agro-processing sectors. Projects aimed at improving local and regional quality infrastructure and standards bodies and trade facilitation are also being evaluated. Also known as the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM)-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building, the Facility received close to 50 applications from 14 countries in the CARIFORUM region. CDB supported 28 trade-related projects under the 10th EDF. CMO says Saint Lucia at critical stage of COVID-19 outbreak Six Eastern Caribbean countries deemed safe for travel – CDC “CDB’s ongoing partnership with the EU continues to demonstrate the need for initiatives that can positively impact both the capabilities of regional entrepreneurs and national trading environments,” he stated. Barbados releases new COVID-19 Travel Protocols Evaluation of submissions will be completed in the upcoming months and all short-listed projects are subject to final approval by an oversight committee comprised of CDB, CARIFORUM, CARICOM and EU representatives. Implementation in the beneficiary countries is scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2020. Oct 15, 2020 Email: jamesca@caribank.org Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Best praised member countries for showing resilience and adaptability by ensuring the processing of projects continues despite disruptions brought on by the pandemic. Oct 16, 2020 Contact: About the Caribbean Development Bank CARPHA Partners with, PAHO to Ensure Caribbean States’… Cassie Ann James You may be interested in… Mobile: (246) 262-3982 Oct 16, 2020 (May 11, 2020, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Caribean Deveopment Bank Press Release) – The Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB’s) newest facility funded by the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) is oversubscribed. The high demand for financing of interventions focused on enhancing the regional trading environment was evident by the overwhelming response to a call for proposals issued by the Bank in February. Communications Officer CDB and the European Union, through the Standby Facility and similar projects, are building on a longstanding relationship focused on activities that advance implementation and trade under the CARIFORUM-EU EPA and the CSME. Oct 16, 2020 EU, CDB Launch Standby Facility for Capacity Building(CDB Press Release) – The European Union (EU) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) (on 14 February 2020) launched the new round of a EUR8.7 million programme designed to make Caribbean businesses better equipped to access new trade opportunities. The programme – the CARIFORUM-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the…February 23, 2020In “Business”Suriname signs historic agreements with CDBParamaribo – The Ministry of Trade and Industry last Friday signed two historic agreements with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for projects to improve Suriname’s implementation of both the CSME and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The two projects will assist in transforming Suriname into a more competitive economy, increasing…July 9, 2015In “Barbados”Through EU-CSME Standby Facility, Jamaica Standards Bureau to improve packaging centre and service to private sector(Bridgetown Barbados  – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has announced the signing of a grant agreement between the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and the CDB. The grant is valued at EUR213,820, and was approved under the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) – European Union (EU) CARICOM…June 5, 2015In “CARICOM”Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

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Haldex AB Announces Changes to Management Team

first_imgWith more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit.  STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Haldex AB has announced the departure of Jay Longbottom, EVP, Air Controls Business Unit, who resigned from the company.   Longbottom’s departure from Haldex will take place on April 15. During his 10-year tenure with the company, he served as head of the Commercial Vehicle Systems division, as well as the Hydraulics division.   Greg Vassmer, SVP, Research & Development and Quality, will act as the head of Air Controls until a successor is in place. Vassmer joined the Haldex Group in 2003 and has held several senior-level management positions within research and development, quality and operations.   Ulf Ahlén, Haldex CEO and President, said, “Greg’s comprehensive Air Controls product technology knowledge, along with his engineering and operations experience, will keep us focused on achieving our product development and operational improvement goals. I would also like to thank Jay for his service and valuable contributions to Haldex over the years.”     AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement LSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement DeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business.  DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain.last_img read more

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Western Hydrogen obtains federal funding for hydrogen production

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

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Fluid Components International release new flow meter

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

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EGAS books two April cargoes

first_imgThe Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) has reportedly managed to secure the two LNG cargoes for delivery in April despite initial difficulties. Khaled Abdel Badie EGAS chairman told Reuters the two cargoes for delivery in April 1-7 and April 27-28 windows, have been secured. He did not reveal the names of the winners.Last week it was reported that EGAS struggled to close the tender it had issued earlier in March, with suppliers unwilling to arrange cargoes on such short notice.Badie did say that talks over contracting the two 170,000 cbm cargoes are in the final stages.It was said last week that Trafigura was lined up as the supplier for the cargo to be delivered in the second April slot but no deal was signed as EGAS attempted to bring forward the delivery date. LNG World News Stafflast_img read more

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Support from The RICS

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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Sharing knowledge globally

first_imgINTERNATIONAL: The UK’s Rail Safety & Standards Board and UIC signed a memorandum of understanding last month to develop an online web portal known as Railway Research to foster global co-operation.The web application, which will be hosted by UIC’s International Rail Research Board, is an extension of the Spark platform developed for the UK by RSSB. Intended to allow rail industry researchers to ‘share knowledge more effectively online’, Spark is intended to enable findings to be shared more widely, or for existing results to be traced more rapidly, with the intention that duplication can be minimised. ‘Spark is like an online library and a social network all wrapped into one’, explained RSSB’s Head of Research Guy Woodroffe, adding that UIC members could use Spark ‘off-the-shelf to prevent wheel reinvention and duplication of existing extranets and libraries’. The international portal within Spark will be accessible from January 2013, along with a general-purpose ‘reader level’ function.last_img read more

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