The supergroup known as the Hard Working Americans have announced plans for the release of a new studio album, Rest In Chaos, the follow up to their 2014 self-titled album.Comprised of Todd Snyder, Neal Casal (Chris Robinson Brotherhood), Dave Schools (Widespread Panic), Duane Trucks (Widespread Panic), Chad Staehly and Jesse Aycock, HWA will release Rest In Chaos on May 13 through Melvin Records/Thirty Tigers, featuring 13 brand new original HWA songs.This news comes on the back of another announcement made by Snider via Facebook on February 1st, noting he will also be releasing a new live album and concert DVD to go along with a studio record sometime this year. Stay tuned for more details.Check out the track listing to Rest In Chaos below:1) Opening Statement2) It Runs Together3) Half Ass Moses4) Dope Is Dope5) Burn Out Shoes6) Roman Candles7) Ascending Into Madness8) Throwing The Goats9) Something Else10) Massacre11) The High Price of Inspiration (Guy Clark on guitar)12) Acid13) Purple Mountain Jamboree
“I wanted to explore issues beyond the boundaries of health and health care,” says Elorm Avakame, M.P.P./M.D. ’18.Avakame chose to pursue a concurrent M.P.P./M.D. degree at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and Harvard Medical School because “in Medical School, we are all training to be doctors, but here at the Kennedy School, people are training for so many different walks of life,” he said. “From anti-poverty policy to transportation and criminal justice, the Kennedy School has been a fertile environment for this exploration.“At HKS, I’ve had the opportunity to take courses in areas I’ve never studied before, such as safety net policy and behavioral economics.”During his time at HKS, Avakame was a Sheila C. Johnson Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership. “This fellowship has been what I had hoped it would be: a group of like-minded peers working on the issues I’m passionate about. It’s been really great to be around a group of smart, passionate African-American students who share not only my identity but also my aspirations and sense of obligation to our community.”It’s an obligation Avakame doesn’t take lightly.“My story is the story of what it means to have a community to lean on,” he says. “My parents were immigrants from rural Ghana, and now my dad is a tenured professor at Rutgers and my mom is a certified public accountant.”The family’s journey began when Avakame’s father, a subsistence farmer in his home country, went off to university with just two pairs of pants and one bar of soap. He later earned a scholarship to study in Canada for his Ph.D. but didn’t have the funds for the plane ride from West Africa. His family and community pooled their money so he could pursue his dream. “I don’t think about my work as creating solutions to other people’s problems. Instead, I think of empowering people to solve their own problems.” — Elorm Avakame, M.P.P./M.D. ’18 “My parents taught me and my brother that we are who we are not just because of our own efforts but because of the people who invested in us,” he says. “And the only way to pay these people back is to pay it forward. We owe it to them to invest in others.”Avakame wants to invest in underserved communities, particularly in black children.“I know that black children have worse outcomes across so many measures of health,” he says. “Beyond that, as a black person in America, I understand that the opportunities I have were won for me by the black people who came before me. Black people were once murdered for assembling to learn to read; they have died fighting for the right to earn an education and to vote. I am obligated to continue fighting for a better life for my people.”Racism is a fundamental public problem that, he says, should be more central to the curriculum at Harvard Kennedy School. While he is grateful to his black professors whose courses addressed racism as a deep-seated challenge affecting people’s health, well-being, and prosperity, he says the School must add to their ranks. Similarly, he is thankful for his fellow black students but says, “There aren’t enough of us to bear the burden of everything from the Journal of African American Public Policy to the Black Policy Conference. If the Kennedy School wants these things to continue, we need more African-American students to come.”As he prepares to move to Washington, D.C., to begin a residency program in pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center, Avakame says, “I don’t think about my work as creating solutions to other people’s problems. Instead, I think of empowering people to solve their own problems. It’s very easy to go into communities and impose what we think is the right answer. Over and over again at the Kennedy School, I’ve been reminded that public leadership is public service, and that this notion of service means assuming a position of humility relative to the people you’re trying to serve.“It’s clear to me that what makes people sick and unhealthy are things that happen far before they get to a doctor’s office,” he says.With his degrees from Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Medical School, Avakame is poised to influence the upstream factors that cause ill health among at-risk populations.This article was originally published on Harvard Kennedy School’s Student Life web page in May. It has been lightly edited.
In technology, having the right product, that provides the best capabilities, that solves a variety of business challenges, provides TRUE incremental value, and is timed to meet both customer and the market needs, are just some of the reasons that make products so successful. On the other hand, there are countless products that fail to meet customer needs, do not provide the value required and/or are niche in scope, and do not succeed. In IT infrastructure, the tech highway is littered with products that have received generous VC investment, but never seem to achieve widespread adoption and/or simply fail for a variety of reasons.At Dell EMC we are committed to meet customer and market needs, through rigorous innovation, continuous feedback and constant evolution. As a result, our products have the right combination of features, usability and support, and are backed by a world class and #1 leading IT company with thousands of employees that deliver on their commitments to our precious customers and partners.With that mind, at Dell EMC we are very proud of a significant milestone that validates our midrange storage products. This week, our Dell EMC Unity midrange storage array family reached a major milestone – $1B in cumulative bookings revenue. We’re very proud of this milestone for a variety of reasons. First, we achieved this in a very short period of time; just over one year from the date of release on May 2, 2016, or 419 days for those who are curious. We achieved this milestone quickly, yet it’s a level that some products in just about every industry never achieve, let alone entire tech companies in their entire span of existence. Our Dell EMC Unity family of All-Flash and hybrid storage arrays reached this measure in just over a year. It’s an incredible accomplishment and puts this product family in elite company as one of the fastest-growing storage products in Dell EMC history (including pre-merger).Second, the milestone is significant from a team perspective. At Dell EMC we have engineers, developers and support teams located in various worldwide locations working diligently to develop compelling new features and support our existing and prospective customers. These teams have worked hard to add features that matter to our customers to solve their business challenges while modernizing their infrastructure for IT Transformation. I personally want to thank our teams for their contributions to reach this milestone.Our sales teams and partners have an equal responsibility for this milestone based on driving the incredible momentum for Dell EMC Unity. They’ve worked tirelessly to help customers select and implement the right solutions for the right workloads in their data centers. To our delight, Dell EMC Unity has fit those needs for nearly 6,000 customers and growing!And speaking of customers, this is the fourth and MOST IMPORTANT reason for this milestone. They are the foundation for reaching this level of success. As customers embark on their digital transformation journeys, they depend on midrange storage products that provide value, simplicity, and performance to power their demanding workloads and applications. Features alone are no longer sufficient. Customers request, and rightfully so demand, products that can deliver both great technology and great value that are naturally intuitive to use and support. These ARE the things that matter to customers today!And our customers have spoken. Shouted is probably a better description. It is each and every customer that helped us reach this milestone so quickly. Nearly 6,000 customers around the world have selected Dell EMC Unity, deploying it in ways we couldn’t have even imagined during the development phase. Here are a few industry-specific examples:Colleges, universities and school districts that are looking for a unified and simpler approach to data storage, are turning to Dell EMC Unity to consolidate multiple disparate systems into a single system that is easier to install and manage.Non-profit organizations that utilize Dell EMC Unity to store digital archives to preserve cultural treasures.Supply chain companies that required significantly faster access to reports and data, have turned to Dell EMC Unity to achieve performance at least 10 times faster than their previous environment.Cyber security firms that demand high performance storage to store and process digital forensic evidence are deploying Dell EMC Unity because of its All-Flash performance and lower TCO than legacy hybrid storage products.Fortune 50 Financial company that dramatically lowered operational overhead based on the industry-leading simplicity of Dell EMC Unity, to allow focus on additional business value requirements, compared to their competitive offering. Dell EMC Unity All-Flash and hybrid storage array family – just over a year old and more than $1 billion strongThese are just a few of the many thousands of customer examples that have chosen Dell EMC Unity as their trusted platform of choice to modernize their data centers and embrace IT Transformation. As they grow their businesses, we’ll continue to add more features to Dell EMC Unity to help solve the needs of more customers. And along the way, we’ll share additional major milestones with you, our loyal customers, partners and employees.For now, I offer my thanks to our teams around the globe for their contributions and to our customers and partners for your endorsement, making it possible for Dell EMC Unity to achieve this important milestone. Thank you for allowing us to earn your business, and stay tuned for even greater Midrange value coming soon!!!
During the 2018 Global Partner Summit Keynote, our commitment to the channel was clear. Make it easier for our partners to do business with Dell Technologies is Priority #1.Part of that includes powerful new marketing tools, trainings and materials, created with you—our partners—in mind and based entirely on your feedback, as announced here on Direct2DellEMC by Cheryl Cook.“In today’s fast-changing world, your customers know they need to embrace Digital Transformation and evolve to stay competitive—it’s not a question of if, but when. IT Transformation is a key enabler of wider Digital Transformation,” Cook said. “And as Dell EMC partners with access to solutions across the Dell Technologies family, you are uniquely positioned to guide your customers through this transformation and become their “go-to” technology consultant.”One of the latest of those solutions partners can access is the new Dell EMC IDPA DP4400 which earned us a spot on CRN’s “5 Companies That Came To Win This Week” list, where they noted that nothing is being allowed to distract us “from delivering innovative products to its channel partners and customers.”Making our commitment to be easier to do business with real, however, often falls to the operations team behind the scenes, and they are all over that commitment.Darren Sullivan, senior vice president Global Partner Strategy and Business Operations, and Stephanie Mims, vice president Channel Operations are leading the way. Sullivan is a business transformation professional with a 25-year track record, and Mims is a seasoned executive with more than 20 years experience in strategic and operational line roles.They joined me in the Global Partner lounge at Dell Technologies World 2018 with some updates on what is happening, and how their four focus areas all tie to our #1 priority “Make it easier for our partners to do business with Dell Technologies.”Get Dell EMC The Source app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, and Subscribe to the podcast: iTunes, Stitcher Radio or Google Play.Dell EMC The Source Podcast is hosted by Sam Marraccini (@SamMarraccini)
‘Broadway.com Presents at the Tonys with Imogen Lloyd Webber’ View Comments Let’s prep for the Great White Way’s biggest night together! Broadway.com has joined forces with CBS to produce a pre-Tony Awards TV special. Broadway.com Presents At the Tonys, hosted by our own Senior Editor Imogen Lloyd Webber, will air on WCBS 2 in New York and across the country this weekend.The half-hour special is set to shine the spotlight on the Tony Award-nominated productions for Best Musical, Best Play, Best Musical Revival and Best Play Revival, as well as featuring behind-the-scenes interviews with the creative teams and actors who have received nods this year. Expect to see your favorites from Bright Star, Hamilton, School of Rock, Shuffle Along, Waitress, The Color Purple, Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me, Spring Awakening, Eclipsed, The Father, The Humans and many more.Broadway.com Presents at the Tonys with Imogen Lloyd Webber will debut on WCBS 2 on June 11 at 7PM in the New York metropolitan area, in addition to 38 markets nationwide. Check out the schedule below!ATLANTA, GA: CW69 on Saturday, June 11 at 3:30PMALEXANDRIA, LA: NALB-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 1PMBALTIMORE, MD: WJZ-TV on Saturday, June 11 at 1:37AMBILOXI, MS: ELOX-TV on Saturday, June 11 at 5PMBINGHAMTON, NY: WBNG on Sunday, June 12 at 2:30PMBOSTON, MA: WBZ-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 2.30PMBOWLING GREEN, KY: ENKY-TV on Saturday, June 11 at 1PM & Sunday, June 12 at 1:30PMCHICAGO, IL: WBBM-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 10:30AMCOLORADO SPRINGS, CO: KKTV on Sunday, June 12 at 12:30PMDALLAS, TV: KTVT-TV on Saturday, June 11 at 5PMDENVER, CO: KCNC-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 11:30AMDETROIT: WWJ-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 1PMEUREKA, CA: KVIQ-TV on Saturday, June 11 at 11AM & Sunday, June 12 at 3:30PMHOUSTON, TX: KHOU-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 1:30PMIDAHO FALLS, ID: KIDK-TV on Saturday, June 11 at 12:30PM & Sunday, June 12 at 1:30AMJACKSON, TN: GBBJ on Sunday, June 12 at 1:30PMJONESBORO, AR: NJNB-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 5PMKNOXVILLE, TN: WVLT-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 12:30PMLAFAYETTE, LA: KLFY-TV on Saturday, June 11 at 12:30PMLANSING, MI: WLNS-TV on Friday, June 10 at 7:30PMLEXINGTON, KY: WKYT-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 2:30PM & 6:30PMLOS ANGELES, CA: KCBS-TV on Sunday, June 12 4:30PMMACON, GA: WMAZ-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 2:30PMMERIDIAN, MS: WMDN-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 5PMMIAMI, FL: WFOR-TV on Saturday, June 11 at 7PMMINNEAPOLIS-ST.PAUL, MN: WCCO-TV Friday, June 10 at 2:05amNEW YORK, NY: WCBS-TV on Saturday, June 11 at 7PMPHILADELPHIA, PA: KYW-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 11:30AMPITTSBURGH, PA: KDKA-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 12PMPORTLAND, ME: WGME-TV on Saturday, June 11 at 7PMPORTLAND, OR: KOIN-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 5PMRALEIGH-DURHAM, NC: WNCN-TV on Saturday, June 11 at 7PMSACRAMENTO, CA: KOVR-TV on Saturday, June 11 at 4:30PMSAN FRANCISCO, CA: KPIX-TV on Saturday, June 11 at 7PM & Sunday, 6/12 at 4:30PMSEATTLE, WA: CW11 on Saturday, June 11 at 4PMSOUTH BEND, IN: WSBT-TV on Saturday, June 11 at 10:30PMSPRINGFIELD, MO: KOLR-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 1:30PMTUCSON, AZ: KOLD-TV on Friday, June 10 at 4:30PMWEST PALM BEACH, FL: WPEC-TV on Sunday, June 12 at 1PM
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Recharge:The state of Madhya Pradesh is planning a 1GW floating solar array that would be the world’s largest, according to reports from India.The floating solar plant is planned for India’s largest reservoir on the Indira Sagar Dam in Madhya Pradesh, in central India, said the Times of India, quoting the state’s renewable energy minister. “We have done preliminary studies and now [the] World Bank is preparing feasibility reports,” Manu Shrivastava told the newspaper.A 1GW plant would dwarf the world’s current largest floating PV array, a 150MW project in Anhui, China.Development would cost around 50bn rupees ($700m), according to Shrivastava, who hopes work on the project can start in about 8 months. The Madhya Pradesh would act as offtaker for 200MW from the plant, the report said.Floating solar arrays are an increasingly attractive option for large-scale PV deployment at reservoirs and alongside hydropower facilities, especially where land use is constrained elsewhere, according to a World Bank report on the sector published last year.About 1.1GW of floating solar was in place globally by mid-2018, the World Bank said.More: India plans world’s largest floating solar power plant at 1GW India planning 1GW floating solar project in Madhya Pradesh
With the crazy variable winter we’ve had, runners across the Blue Ridge are aching for a sunshine-filled spring, when we can dust off our running shoes and hit the trails for good. Or better yet, now could be the perfect time to upgrade some of your gear with these favorites. Race entry is open for some of the favorite spring runs, and when it comes to the list of things you need to keep track of on race day, your gear shouldn’t give you a headache.Here we’ve compiled an outfit to take you through your run, from a 5K to multi-leg race journey, these trail-tested items will carry you through, all while looking stylishly swift. 1 — Ambit2 (HR) by SUUNTOMaintaining your pace during a distance race is critical. While the excitement of race day can get your adrenaline pumping, resist the urge to race out of the gate by keeping an accurate eye on your pace and heart rate. The Ambit2 with the integrated Heart Rate system by Suunto makes it easy with a large pace display, lap comparisons by each kilometer/mile and scrollable options to view distance, speed, elapsed time, elevation, heart rate and calories burned. While you’re not out crushing it in a town race, the GPS-based watch offers an impressive bevy of other functions for outdoor adventurists.2 — Corsa Skort by ISISSlip into any piece by ISIS and you can instantly tell that it was designed by women, for women. Flattering cuts, styles, patterns and colors, backed by high performance materials, are what their pieces are known for. The Corsa Skort is no exception. The nylon and spandex short & skirt combination with stretch waistband is comfortable and chic, with a gusset crotch for movability. This will quickly become your go-topiece, having you feeling feminine yet fearless as you fly down the trails.3 — Unisex Ventilator Compression Support Calf Sleeves by CW-XCompression garments are all the rage, and with good reason. Why wait to sooth your legs until after the race, when you can begin the recovery process before you even begin? The Unisex Ventilator Compression Support Calf Sleeves by CW-X are engineered to provide muscle and joint support. The increase in blood circulation results in better endurance, less fatigue and faster recovery. The sleeve design allows you to pair them with your favorite running sock.4 — Women’s Running Ultra Light No Show by Point6Many a toenail was lost before the discovery of Point6 wool socks. The moisture wicking properties of wool prevent dampness from developing, keeping your toes dry and happy. The Running Ultra Light No Show by Point 6 is crafted of tightly knit merino wool, an antimicrobial, natural fiber that helps regulate your body temperature. The soft and snug fit stays put, alleviating blisters or hotspots, while the low cut ankle allows it to pair perfectly with any running shoe. After your run, slip on a pair of the Point6 Compression Ultra Lite OTC socks to aid in recovery. The “Over the Calf ” high rise sock, created with merino wool infused with Celliant fibers, aids in fatigue, reduces soreness and increases blood flow.5 – Women’s Coolest Cool Short Sleeve Top by ColumbiaThe intense midday sun in the Blue Ridge Mountains has become more bearable thanks to the Omni-Freeze Zero technology by Columbia. The sweat-activated cooling system in the Coolest Cool Short Sleeve top will keep you cooler than your competitors. While the Omni-Wick technology will keep you dry, pulling sweat away from your body, the Omni-Shade technology will keep you blocked from the Sun’s harmful rays. This triple action will keep you cool, dry and protected and you’ll coast stylishly down the trail while your fellow racers wondering what your secret is.6 — Bondi Speed by Hoka One One While the minimalist movement quickly saturated the market, Hoka One One made a push in the opposite direction. The first to pioneer the maximalist concept, the shoes are designed for runners of all levels. The oversized shoes are light, bouncy and nimble. Within the first hundred steps of wearing the Bondi Speed, you’ll be a believer. The cushioned midsoles deliver an almost trampoline-like effect. The large outsole footprint offers stability on trail or pavement, while minimizing impact, perfect for those with knee issues. Rather than hitting the pavement, you’ll feel as though you’re effortlessly running on vibrantly colored clouds. The fast-entry lacing system will get you out the door and onto the trial quicker than ever.7 — Jurek Endure by Ultimate DirectionPersonally designed by Scott Jurek, the Jurek Collection by Ultimate Direction provides runners with four hydration system options. The Jurek Endure is the perfect hydration belt for a mid-distance run. The belt comes with two ten-ounce bottles, for even weight distribution, keeping the belt from bouncing around. The construction of the bottle holsters is stiff enough to easily slide the bottles in and out, while still resting comfortably against your back. The front pocket allows for easy access to goos or gels, and the expandable back pocket can stash arm warmers or gloves. The waist belt is adjustable and comes with race bib clips.
By Dialogo March 26, 2012 The Caribbean’s escalating narco-trafficking problem could be alleviated by better treatment programs for addicts, said regional public health consultant Marcus Day. This would also reduce overcrowding in prisons, 60 to 70 percent of whose inmates are locked up for drug possession or petty drug-related crimes. Fueled in part by a crack cocaine explosion since the mid-1980s when traffickers began paying their local surrogates in kind, criminal justice systems across the Caribbean have been flooded with drug cases, said Day, director of St. Lucia’s Caribbean Drug and Alcohol Treatment Institute. “Some drug users engage in criminal behavior to support their drug use. Take away their drug use and their criminality goes away. Other users will be criminals, whether or not they use drugs,” said Day, whose institute was established in 2004. T he real criminals belong in a prison environment where punitive measures are called for, said Day, an advisor to the Association of Caribbean Heads of Corrections and Prison Services. On the other hand, non-violent addicts who feed their addiction through petty theft should be placed in treatment programs and reintegrated — perhaps through a halfway house, he said. “You have to be able to provide people with intervention for where they are [in the cycle of crime and addiction],” said Day. He noted that at least 60 percent of addicts have a concurring psychiatric illness, which makes an even more compelling argument for treatment and prevention programs. “Until you deal with the psychiatric problems, you aren’t getting at the real problem. Drug use is only a symptom.” Official attitudes slowly change across the region In Grenada, officials aimed for a greater balance between prosecution and treatment. But that program ended in 2004 after Hurricane Ivan destroyed the island’s only drug treatment center, said Dave Alexander, director of the Grenada National Council on Drug Control. Since then, magistrates have not had the option of sending petty drug offenders to treatment — and plans to rebuild the treatment center remain up in the air. Alexander said Grenadians find it easy to distinguish between the merely addicted and the true criminal because of the island has only 105,000 inhabitants. “We basically know everybody,” he said. “It’s relatively easy for us to know who is a hardened criminal and who’s just beginning with crime.” In Barbados, as official awareness of the social problems associated with drug addiction grows, magistrates have tended to be more open to treating offenders instead of punishing them, said Jonathan Yearwood, spokesman for the National Council on Substance Abuse. “There has been a movement toward a treatment response so that criminal justice officials have options where to send offenders,” he said. Too much cocaine — everywhere In the mid-1980s, drug traffickers began saturating the Caribbean — formerly only a trade route to the United States and Europe — with more cocaine than could be snorted by relatively affluent users of the powder variety. “I’ve heard of parties in rich neighborhoods where there were literally mounds of cocaine sitting on tables,” said Day. The excess supply gave island-based middlemen the motivation to create a market for a more affordable product. That gave rise to the crisis created by relatively cheap crack cocaine throughout the Caribbean. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in 2009 between 110,000 and 330,000 people in the Caribbean used cocaine —†about 1.2 percent of the population. That compared to the 440,000 to two million people who used marijuana, said UNODC. Even though the number of crack users is relatively small, that drug has taken a disproportionally high toll on island society due to gun violence and other crimes associated with its trafficking. In St. Kitts & Nevis, for example, the homicide rate now stands at 64 per 100,000 inhabitants — nearly as high as El Salvador’s and way higher than Guatemala’s, said UNODC. Treating drug victims rather than punishing them On the whole, the response by authorities has been long on criminal justice and short on public health, said Day, creating circumstances where cycles of addiction and criminality go unbroken. That leads to soaring crime rates, which feed social unrest, he said. “We need models of therapeutic communities with good strong integration programs that put into place social supports,” said Day. While proponents of prevention and treatment have had a hard time selling their point of view to a public unwilling to be “soft on crime,” a bitter irony is that on some islands, addicts get locked up while dealers higher up in the drug-running hierarchy — who don’t necessarily use drugs themselves — often go unpunished because of corruption and economic clout. Poverty is another contributing factor to addiction among kids who sometimes feel they have nothing else to live for, said Day. He said a reduction in foreign assistance to the Eastern Caribbean has translated into a corresponding cutback in social services, helping to create a cauldron of social and economic problems in which addiction can breed. Another obstacle to rehabilitation, said Day, is the lack of a substitute for cocaine of either the powder or crack variety. In short, said the expert, a focus on rehabilitation requires offering alternatives to addicts. “Our job,” he said, “is to keep people alive until they can help themselves.” Drug,alcohol is destroy our hope.Nice blog
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A Malverne volunteer firefighter has been indicted for allegedly shooting his 52-year-old friend to death on an upstate New York deer hunting trip five months ago.Robert Gerbino pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Otsego County court to criminally negligent homicide, prosecutors confirmed to the Press.Authorities said the 57-year-old man was hunting in Westford when he mistakenly shot fellow firefighter Charles Bruce to death on Nov. 16, 2013.Bruce was pronounced dead at the scene. Gerbina was released without bail and is due back in court next month.
May 19, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesia’s recent announcement that it would immediately begin sharing H5N1 avian influenza genetic sequences with a new public database is being hailed by experts as a promising development, though there is a concern that having actual virus isolates would be better.Indonesia’s decision, announced by Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari, was detailed in a May 15 report from the Associated Press (AP).In early 2007 Indonesia stopped sharing H5N1 virus samples with the World Health Organization (WHO) to protest what it perceived as a lack of access to costly pandemic vaccines that companies in developed countries produce from the shared samples. The government has shared only a few samples with WHO labs since then.Though Indonesia’s embargo has drawn support from some other developing countries and nongovernmental organizations, the country was widely criticized by global health officials and researchers, who have said sample sharing is crucial for tracking the evolution of the virus and developing treatments and vaccines.”We have always promoted the sharing of influenza data, all we ask for is that it be done in a fair, transparent, and equitable manner,” Supari said of Indonesia’s decision to contribute sequence data to the new database, known as the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID), according to the AP report.A WHO working group has met several times to resolve the virus-sharing dispute, but has made little progress. The issue is expected to surface at the annual World Health Assembly, which started today in Geneva. However, the working group’s next formal meeting is scheduled for November.Benefits, limitations of sequence dataTwo researchers who work with H5N1 viruses say they are pleased that Indonesia, which leads the world in human H5N1 cases and deaths, will share the genetic sequences from their virus samples. However, their opinions varied on how useful the genetic sequences will be without the actual H5N1 virus isolates, which are used to make seed strains for vaccines.Richard Webby, PhD, a virologist at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., told CIDRAP News that the sequences would allow researchers to track virus evolution.”It is absolutely a step in the right direction, and it allows everyone to see how the Indonesian viruses are evolving genetically,” Webby said. “Unfortunately, however, our ability to accurately predict antigenic and biologic properties from sequence data alone is embarrassingly poor. So, no, it [providing genetic sequence data] is not as good as sharing viruses.”Webby added that the most important aspect scientists can determine from a viral isolate that they can’t learn from a sequence is antigenicity—how well a virus will cross-react with antibodies generated against other strains. “Antigenic relatedness, not genetic relatedness, is key to vaccine strain selection,” he said.Also, sequence data alone can’t predict the transmission and pathogenicity changes that researchers depend on to make risk assessments, Webby said.Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, PhD, a virologist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, also welcomed the news about Indonesia sharing its viral sequences and voiced a more optimistic view on their usefulness.”Sequences are very important to understand antigenicity, and even if no viruses are shared, provide the basis to make reagents to experimentally test antigenicity and pathogenicity,” he told CIDRAP News. Garcia-Sastre is also principal investigator for the Center for Research on Influenza Pathogenesis, one of six National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance.GISAID launches data-sharing platformThe idea for the GISAID database was generated by a group of 70 scientists and health officials who signed a letter in the August 31, 2006, issue of Nature proposing the formation of a new consortium to promote greater sharing of H5N1 genetic sequences.Aside from concerns about potential social inequities, virus-sharing has been a flashpoint for other controversies, including intellectual property rights and published credits for virus sources in scientific papers.Supari had earlier signaled Indonesia’s support for the GISAID database when she announced its initial launch in March 2007, according to a Mar 28, 2007, GISAID press release. Her support for the GISAID database followed a technical meeting on the virus-sharing issue that was attended by health ministers of countries that have been hit by the H5N1 virus, GISAID’s statement said.An official with GISAID, who asked not to be named, told CIDRAP News that the database’s platform for sharing H5N1 genetic sequences went live on May 15. The official confirmed that Indonesia has committed to sharing its virus data and is currently uploading its sequences into the GISAID EpiFlu database. China, Russia, and other nations are also in the process of submitting sequences, the GISAID source said.”This global health research community will find that the GISAID platform provides a high standard of data and analysis tools that uniquely promotes responsible sharing of information,” Supari said in the 2007 press release.GISAID said the public can freely access the database, which includes both human and animal H5N1 sequences, after they register and agree to share and credit the use of others’ data, analyze findings jointly, publish results collaboratively, and refrain from pressing intellectual property rights issues that relate to diagnostic, drug, and vaccine developments.When the plan to form GISAID was announced in 2006, one of the global health officials who signed the Nature letter was Dr. Nancy Cox, head of the Influenza Division at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cox had told CIDRAP News that the GISAID database would be very useful because it would be linked with clinical and epidemiological data.The efforts of Peter Bogner, GISAID director, were instrumental in garnering the support of Supari and other officials, the AP reported. Bogner is a former broadcast executive who became involved in virus-sharing issues after attending a World Economic Forum in Switzerland 2 years ago, the report said.See also:Aug 25, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Scientists launch effort to share avian flu data”GISAID Web sitehttp://www.gisaid.org/WHO World Health Assembly agenda and proceedings