September 3, 2019 // Archive

Date based archive
03 Sep

Climate change is creating new challenges for Greek wine producers. The grape harvest is down 30 per cent since 2018 and 50 per cent from 2017, according to one Santorini winery’s chief oenologist.

Winemakers fear that Increasing temperatures are also changing the character of the remaining grapes – Santorini wines are famously sharp but higher temperatures could change the acidity of grape varietals and result in a more fruity, sweeter wine in the future.

Stella Papadimitriou at Hadjidakis winery says the harvest has been smaller every year for the past decade. She believes rising temperatures and changes in rain patterns are among the biggest factors for the decrease.

The wine industry worldwide has been rocked by the effects of climate change, with grape quality and vineyard production immediately impacted by the slightest change of temperature.

She said: “In 2019, the current harvest is 30 to 40 per cent less than what it was in 2018. But if we compared it to 2017, then we are talking about over a 50 per cent reduction.”

But it is the potential change in character rather than in yield that is the chief concern of Santorini winemakers.

“The actual vines will certainly continue to exist even in the most difficult areas, but the quantity of grapes will decrease and the quality will change. All we can do, since we cannot go against climate change, is to gradually change some of the techniques that we employ,” says Papadimitriou.

Papadimitriou believes those changes will have to be implemented in the vines – irrigation projects and protection against sunburn for grapes. In Santorini, the vines are pruned into a low circular basket allowing the leaves to grow around the grapes to protect them from the wind and the sun.

Santorini is thought to have some of the oldest vineyards in continuous cultivation in the world. Local wineries say some of the vine roots are centuries old. Thanks to volcanic soil and strong winds, the vines on the island are free from diseases and pests and most farmers cultivate their vineyards organically.

Gavalas Winery has been in the hands of the same family for five generations. The winery and its producers have slowly but steadily altered their harvest calendar in recent years.

“From year to year there are small differences, some years are hotter, some are less so. Last year we started [the harvest] around 28, 29 July. The year before last, it was 5 August and this year, we started around 8 August.

“But we have noticed that in general, compared to 30 or 40 years ago, we start about 2 weeks earlier because the temperatures have gone up and the climate is hotter,” says co-owner Vagelis Gavalas.

The island of Santorini measures 9,000 hectares, with 1,200 hectares dedicated to vineyards. The small number of farmers are in constant struggle with new hotels and construction projects being built on this island, which receives more than 2 million visitors every year. To add to the battle for space, producers fear that there there will be soon a fight for water.

Irrigation is currently only used by a tiny fraction of vineyard owners but as heatwaves become more frequent and rain patterns unpredictable, many are looking at this option.

Carved in the cliffs overlooking Santorini’s most iconic view, the Venetsanos Winery was the first winery to export Assyrtiko wines to foreign markets. Manager Petros Vamvakousis says he is is worried about rising temperatures and increased competition for valuable land plots and water with the powerful tourist sector on the island.

“The way we deal with the environment and the vineyard, in particular, is certainly very important here. I think we are at a turning point. The winemakers and the vineyard owners will need to come together in the next few years and identify the most important factors that are required to keep going,” he says.

“We definitely need water to help the crops, especially the vine. And water is not easy to find right now on the island,” says Vamvakousis.

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03 Sep

Granite (101)

Giorgio Armani Granite (101) Lip Maestro ($38.00 for 0.22 oz.) is a deep, muted peach with warmer undertones and a a glossy, cream finish. It had nearly opaque pigmentation in a single layer, which spread evenly and smoothly across my lips without emphasizing my lip lines or feathering beyond my natural lip. The texture was lightly creamy, not too thick or too thin, velvety, and comfortable to wear–flexible without being too slippery. The glossiness wore away after an hour or two, depending on how much drinking I did (of water). It stayed on nicely for five hours and felt moisturizing while worn.

Cedar (206)

Giorgio Armani Cedar (206) Lip Maestro ($38.00 for 0.22 oz.) is a rich, deep copper with warm, balanced red and orange undertones and a cream finish. There was the barest amount of micro-shimmer–so fine that I almost didn’t catch it, even in the close-up photo (should tell you how nearly invisible it is in person!). It had opaque pigmentation that adhered evenly and smoothly across my lips. The consistency was lightweight, velvety with moderate slip but didn’t feel too wet or slippery on my lips. It had more of moderate, glossy sheen initially, but it wore down to a more satin-matte finish with an hour or two (or blot once or twice to get it right off the bat). It wore well for six and a half hours and was hydrating over time.

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03 Sep

Getty

Transitioning into the NBA can be very difficult. For most of us, the problem is lack of talent. Saying that you are “results-driven” on your resume alone ain’t going to get you onto the roster of an NBA team. But even for those with the rare gift of having enough basketball talent, moving from the collegiate or elite club level to the NBA has its challenges, many of which are not physical.

That’s why the NBA has established its rookie transition program, which focuses not on developing physical skills but instead on improving mental, emotional, and other life skills. And this year, mental health, meditation, and mindfulness are playing even larger roles in the transition program. After all, if an NBA team drafted you or allowed you participate in its camps, chances are that you already fall into the elite level in terms of physical talent. What then will determine whether you subsequently survive and thrive will be what’s between your ears, who helps you, and, of course, how much luck comes your way. This is actually the case with many career transitions that don’t happen to begin with N, end with an A, and have a B in the middle.

Brandon Clarke is one of the players who participated in the recent NBA Rookie Transition program. He played for San Jose State and then Gonzaga at the collegiate level before being drafted in the first round (21st overall) of the 2019 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder and then immediately traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Clarke has already impressed, earning the most valuable player (MVP) award in the 2019 NBA Summer League. So, it wouldn’t be completely surprising if Clarke thought that he could handle the transition without help.

Nevertheless, Clarke has seen the value of the Transition Program. As he explained, “entering a world of fame and fortune is very different from what things have been. There is a lot more money and people watching you.” At age 22, going on 23, Clarke is actually older than many of his fellow rookies. “A number of the other rookies are only 19 years old. When I was 19, I was really immature so I can’t imagine going through all this that young. Going to college really helped me get ready and more prepared.”

Courtesy of the NBA

Jamila Wideman, the Vice President of Player Development for the NBA, knows what it is like to go from college to a professional career, having starred as a point guard for Stanford before being drafted third overall in the 1997 WNBA draft by the Los Angeles Sparks. “For the first time, players are asked to manage a significant amount of money. They are now constantly in the public eye. They are becoming professionals in a game that has been previously a game for them.”

She added that there may be “the general sense that ‘I’ve made it,’ when in fact this is simply the beginning of the next journey. Although making the NBA is an incredible achievement, you have to do more than you’ve done before to stay here. The grind is about to begin.”

Speaking of grind, Clarke mentioned an important adjustment will be “getting used to the length of the season, which is now 80-plus games.” Of course, every rookie probably hopes for an even longer season, one that will include as many playoff games as possible, but such a lengthy season can have its physical as well as mental and emotional tolls. Wideman added that “a long season can be a challenge not just for the players and also their families, who are on this journey as well. With all the traveling, balancing family relationships can be quite stressful, and maintaining physical and mental health isn’t always easy.”

Just as it takes a team to be successful on the court, it often takes a team to get through emotional and mental health challenges. The NBA brought in a team of people to talk to the rookies. This included current and former NBA players to relay their experiences and experts in career and financial management.

Additionally, as Clarke relayed, “The program discussed various mental health issues in a good way, presenting it as a normal thing. In the past few years, more and more athletes have brought more awareness about mental health issues and challenges.”

Getty

Wideman said that “players like Kevin Love and KeDemar DeRozen have helped expand conversations about mental health and helped them become more acceptable.” She emphasized that “mental health is not just the absence of illness. It is also the active engagement in their own wellness.” Even if you haven’t had mental health challenges in the past, many aspects of being an NBA player can change the game, so to speak. “You are uprooted from where you are to a community that you are not part of, from a college or overseas. Not only are you being asked to perform instantly at highest level, things like social media can amplify your mistakes. You can quickly become news, not just in the U.S. but globally.” Wideman said that you have to know, “what it is like grow and continue to grow when your every move is watched.”

Dr. William Parham, Director of Mental Health and Wellness, for the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) described the mental health and wellness program that has been up and running for a year and is going into its second year: “There are built in mental health services for all players in the league with a directory of mental health practitioners that have already been vetted. The services are confidential.”

Keyon Dooling, who had 13-year playing career in the NBA, helped put together the program. As Parham relayed, Dooling’s involvement “served as an important bridge for the players. Dooling could share his own experiences as an NBA player and know what the players would want.”

Courtesy of the NBA

Parham talked about the need to change the dialogue about mental health: “We have to promote the message that it is a sign of strength to take care of yourself. When dealing with mental health, you are not opening up a Pandora’s Box but instead of opening up treasure chest. The emphasis should be on the person before the performer.”

He said that “men, especially athletes, may be socialized to keep everything in.”

The Transition Program also provided the rookies with various mental health tools and resources. For example, Parham mentioned a “player access only website on mental health literacy and offering resources discussing mental health issues and other issues such as gambling and relationships.” As another example, Lindsay Shaffer, Head of Sports and Fitness at Headspace, described how the program introduced rookies to the Headspace app that offers them videos and interactive features to guide them through meditation.

Of course, not all rookies are the same. Each has his own background, experiences, and accompanying challenges, necessitating more tailored approaches to mental health. Parham talked about helping players across the continuum of mental health. “On one end of continuum, the players are managing their own mental and physical health, and their decision making is very good. Players in the middle of continuum are for the most part doing well but have some challenges popping up that require some attention. These may include suffering an injury, experiencing a relationship problem, or dealing with their career ending after average of just 4.7 years. At the other end of the continuum are those struggling with issues from past, the tattoos of trauma in the past.”

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03 Sep

There’s no denying that cookies are having a moment, but cookies deserve more—they deserve an era. That’s why our newest cookbook, The Cookie Collection, gives cookies the sophisticated reevaluation they merit with recipes every home baker should know. Featuring all-time favorites we ran in the magazine as well as 20 never-before-seen recipes, this collection runs the gamut from epic chocolate chip to oversize sandwich cookies and even FOMO-inducing cookies. We’ve got all your cravings covered with a glazed cinnamon roll cookie, a graham cracker-inspired sammie, a cereal-studded snickerdoodle, and so much more. Bake from these recipes and ring in the era of cookies. Scroll down to see some of our favorite recipes from the book, as well as an exclusive recipe share!

Apple-Cinnamon Cereal Snickerdoodles

Apple Jacks has always been one of our editor-in-chief Brian Hart Hoffman’s favorite cereals. He ate it for breakfast most mornings growing up, and as an adult, he’s made it the official treat of his birthday—the only day of the year when he eats as many bowls as he wants. With crushed cereal in the dough and a Cereal Milk Glaze, these chewy cookies are an ode to those birthday treats, but we recommend making them as often as you crave them!

Whiskey and Rye Cookies

With a splash of whiskey in the dough, consider this recipe the adventurous, grown-up version of a chocolate chip cookie. The rye flour brings earthy notes, and milk chocolate pieces round out the smoky whiskey with sweetness.

Oatmeal Creme Sandwich Cookies

Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies were hands down Brian’s favorite childhood snack. To this day, they’re one of his road trip essentials. Bigger and better than store-bought but just as nostalgia-inducing, these jumbo oatmeal cream pie cookies prove that you can never have too much of a good thing.

Sprinkle Sugar Cookie

When it comes to celebrations, it’s go big or go home. Packed with rainbow sprinkles and baked in a 9-inch springform pan, this giant cookie is birthday party-ready.

Chocolate Chip Graham Sandwich Cookies

Every time our editor-in-chief spent the night with his grandparents, his grandmother served him a bowl of graham crackers broken into pieces with milk poured on top, cereal style. Made with graham flour and honey, our cover star recipe was inspired by those flavor profiles and Brian’s love of a big ole chocolate chip cookie. The rich Vanilla Buttercream filling stands in for the milk in this epic sandwich cookie.

Our Best Skillet Cookie

When those weeknight cravings hit, this sweet and simple recipe will be there for you. With melted chocolate, old-fashioned oats, and rich peanut butter, this is the ultimate indulgent treat.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies

To give you a taste of the game-changing recipes in the book, we’re sharing a favorite of our editor-in-chief! Our Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies taste just like the PB&J sandwiches of your childhood (and are just as nostalgia-inducing), but now in cookie form! With creamy Peanut Butter Mousse and grape jelly layered between two chewy peanut butter cookies, these sandwich cookies are so indulgent, you won’t be able to have just one.

Ring in the era of cookies with us and get your copy The Cookie Collection, now on sale for a limited time!


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03 Sep

1 Cut thick chicken breasts in half horizontally: Chicken breasts come in different sizes. If you have chicken breasts that are around a half pound each or more, you will want to slice them in half horizontally, so that the center thickness is around 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick.

(We do not recommend pounding the chicken breasts, doing so will not result in the right texture/consistency for fajitas.)

2 Marinate chicken: Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a glass or plastic container. Add the chicken, mix well, cover and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or up to 8 hours in the fridge.

3 Remove the chicken from the marinade. Wipe off most of the marinade and sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt.

4 Sear chicken on high heat: Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large cast iron frying pan on high heat for a minute or so.

As soon as the oil begins to smoke, lay the chicken breast pieces in the pan. Depending on the size of the pan, and if you have had to cut the chicken breasts, you may have to work in batches.

Let the chicken cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes, until you have a good sear. Once seared well on one side, turn the pieces over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until well seared on the second side.

5 Stack seared breasts, cover with foil and let rest: Once seared on the second side, remove to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil to rest for 5 minutes.

If you want to test for doneness, cut into one piece with the tip of a sharp knife. It should be just done, if not, you can put it back in the hot pan for a minute or two.

Here’s a tip: Stack the seared chicken breasts and then cover them in foil. Together they will retain heat better as you cook the peppers and onions.

6 Sauté peppers and onions: While the chicken is resting, cook the onions and peppers. Add another tablespoon of oil to the frying pan. Heat on high. As soon as the oil is hot, add the onions and peppers to the pan.

Use a metal spatula to scrape up some of the browned bits from the chicken and stir to coat the onions and peppers with the oil and brown bits. Spread the onions and peppers in an even layer in the pan.

Let them cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. You want them to sear with some blackening. Stir the vegetables and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

7 Slice the chicken and serve: Slice the chicken across the grain into strips. Serve at once with the peppers and onions, some warm tortillas, and sides of shredded cheese, salsa, guacamole, and/or thinly sliced iceberg lettuce dressed with vinegar and salt.

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03 Sep

Citizen Cider’s latest is called For Shore, a “Gose inspired cider finished with coriander seeds and sea salt.” Citizen Cider is donating a portion of proceeds from sales of the cider to preserve and protect our home waters of Lake Champlain.

For Shore pours a deceptively pale yellow, and has the appearance of little more than Sprite. The depth of the cider quickly reveals itself once you dig in, though, its bold attack offering notes of mushroom, wet earth, and bay leaf, which give the moderate-to-heavy sourness of the cider a brooding character at the start. This combination takes some getting used to, but fans of sour beers will likely gravitate to the mouth-puckering sour apple character, the cider vinegar notes, and that dusting of coriander, a combination which takes me not to the beach but to a Turkish bazaar when I inhale its aroma deeply.

6% abv.

B+ / $10 per four-pack of 16 oz cans / citizencider.com

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Citizen Cider For Shore

$10

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03 Sep

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Chad H. Van Iddekinge of Florida State University and his colleagues reviewed 81 studies to investigate the link between an employee’s prior work experience and his or her performance in a new organization. They found no significant correlation between the two. Even when people had completed tasks, held roles, or worked in functions or industries relevant to their current ones, it did not translate into better performance. The conclusion: Experience doesn’t predict a new hire’s success.

Professor Van Iddekinge, defend your research.

Van Iddekinge: We were surprised. It seems so intuitive that applicants who have general work experience or have already done the job that they’re applying for would be at an advantage. But when we looked at all these studies—and we sifted through thousands to find the 81 with pertinent data—we discovered a very weak relationship between prehire experience and performance, both in training and on the job. We also found zero correlation between work experience with earlier employers and retention, or the likelihood that a person would stick with his or her new organization.

HBR: But isn’t experience the first thing companies look for when screening candidates?

Absolutely. We sampled 115 Monster.com job ads and found that 82% either required or stated a strong preference for experience. Most organizations think that it’s important, even for entry-level jobs. Unfortunately, the evidence doesn’t support the idea that applicants with more experience will be better or longer-tenured employees than those with less.

How did the studies measure performance?

It varied, but typically in two ways: either supervisor evaluations—such as annual reviews—or more-objective, quantifiable metrics, such as sales or, in one paper on sewing-machine operators, parts produced.

What types of jobs and industries are we talking about here?

The ones most represented were protective services (police, firefighters) and then sales and customer service jobs. Study participants mainly worked in frontline positions, though some were managers. None were at the senior executive level. But we captured 15 of the 23 job families listed by the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Information Network, so we felt it was a pretty good representation of the U.S. economy.

Why on earth wouldn’t people with experience—especially directly relevant experience—outperform those without it?

My coauthors—John Arnold of Florida State University, Rachel Frieder of the University of North Florida, and Philip Roth of Clemson University—and I have speculated about that. One possibility is that many measures of experience are pretty basic: the number of jobs you’ve held, tenure at your previous employers, years of total work, whether or not you’ve previously worked in a similar role. Those metrics tell us whether a candidate possesses experience but not about the quality or significance of that experience, which would probably have more bearing on performance. One of the basic premises in our area of research is that past behavior predicts future behavior. But prehire experience isn’t a measure of behavior. The person might have failed or stagnated in previous jobs. So we should take experience into account but maybe do a better job of delving into prehire performance. We also want to know whether candidates have learned from their prior experiences. People aren’t always good at that; they might forget things that have gone wrong or explain them away. And, last, we need to consider that experience in one organization might not help—and might even hurt—performance in another if they don’t operate the same way or have similar cultures.

Don’t interviews and reference checks help employers figure all that out?

Yes, especially when you ask behavioral questions like “How have you previously handled difficult clients? Tell me about a specific situation, what you did, and what the outcome was.” But not all employers evaluate candidates that way. And it’s possible that applicants who could answer well have already been screened out due to their lack of traditional work experience.

What factors beyond experience should we consider?

Well, another reason employers look for hires with experience is that they think previous jobs have helped those people build up knowledge and skills. They might even think that candidates who have done certain types of work have particularly desirable personality traits. But we’d recommend focusing on the knowledge, skills, and traits directly rather than using experience or even education as a proxy.

Are there any scenarios in which experience matters?

We did identify a couple of situations in which it does seem to have more of a benefit. First, we found a smaller set of studies within our data set that looked at prehire experience and performance on the job after three months, two years, and five years. Although the relationship was weak at the two- and five-year marks, it was stronger at three months, so experience appears to have helped some people as they were getting started. Maybe it’s because they were accustomed to employment and organizational life and could hit the ground running. Or perhaps managers gave the employees who came in with experience better ratings at first. But over time employees’ prehire experience became less and less important to performing their current job.

Second, again in a smaller number of studies, we saw measures of experience more at the task level. So, for example, instead of asking pilots or truck drivers how many years they’d worked in those jobs, employers would ask how many hours they’d logged flying or driving. Those metrics were better predictors of future performance.

Is it realistic to think that HR departments and hiring managers will stop screening for experience?

You can understand why so many organizations do it: Experience is easy to assess. Have you worked in sales for three years? Have you managed people before? It’s either a yes or a no. Past performance and existing knowledge and skills are more difficult to figure out, especially if all you have is an application or a résumé. But today, when everyone is complaining about the skills shortage and the war for talent, companies can’t afford to knock out candidates who would do really well but don’t have the experience that someone has chosen to put in the job description. You want to expand the pool of people you’re considering.

Are there any other simple screens we could use instead?

Probably, but they would vary by organization and job. The key thing is evidence of correlation with job performance. Let’s say there’s a role you need to fill in the sales department and you see over time that people who majored in marketing tend to stay longer and get better customer reviews than those who studied other subjects. That could be a viable screen. For another job it could be having some certification; the data might show that employees who have it outperform their peers, so you look for it when hiring. Companies could consider using other screening tools, too, like job-relevant tests. The problem is that most organizations don’t take those steps. They use data to make decisions about products, marketing, and finance, but they don’t use it to make decisions about people—at least not effectively.

Does experience within an organization matter?

We didn’t look at posthire experience, but other research suggests that there is a link between how long someone has been in the job or working at a company and how well they perform. It’s not a superstrong relationship, but it’s something companies might consider when deciding on promotions and transfers. Is experience more important for managers? That’s something we’re looking at now. If, say, a sales rep wants to be a sales manager, how much does his or her experience in that lower-level job predict success in the more senior one?

I’ve been a senior editor at HBR for nine years and a professional journalist for two decades. Do you think I’ll do a good job on this piece?

I have no idea.

A version of this article appeared in the September–October 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review.

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03 Sep

Caramel Apple

Tarte Caramel Apple Chrome Paint Shadow Pot ($22.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a medium-dark copper with warm orange undertones (that are slightly muted, almost brownish) paired with an intense, sparkling, metallic finish. It was loosely-pressed upon arrival, but the box contained a small, plastic tamper, which quickly presses it into a more compacted form. Because the tamper isn’t included in the pot to begin with, there was some messiness initially working it into the pot (and some product accumulated on the interior of the lid). The plastic insert fits inside the pot, so after you place it in, you can keep it there (they used to come inside upon arrival).

The texture was smooth, lightly creamy–the powder almost melted onto my skin as I blended and buffed it into place–but it definitely was easiest to work with when gently pressed with the tamping piece (so don’t lose it!). It had opaque pigmentation applied dry as well as wet, and I didn’t feel like applying the product with a dampened brush did much for it; at most, it stretched out the pigmentation and gave it a slightly smoother, more sparkly finish. I didn’t have any trouble getting the product to adhere evenly to my skin, and it blended out nicely without having much fallout. It wore well for nine hours before creasing slightly on me.

Formula Overview

$22.00/0.11 oz. – $200.00 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to have “rich, vibrant” color that comes in “loose pigment” form and will “melt instantly” and “stay put for hours” on the eyes. They feel like a heavier, creamier loosely-packed eyeshadow, which I think is illustrated well across the six shades I initially purchased (shown in the group shot): some arrived more crumbly and two arrived very smooth, densely and tightly packed. They brand recommends using these with a fingertip, but I was able to use brushes as well as fingertips to achieve very similar results.

Most of the shades were quite pigmented whether applied dry or wet, but wet application definitely intensified the vibrancy and shine of the finish. I found they applied a little better in practice (dry) than initially swatched, which might be due to applying to a smaller area and pressing/patting on without spreading across a larger area. They have a slightly thicker consistency, so I recommend using a patting/pressing motion to get them to adhere evenly and smoothly on the lid, but they did seem to “melt” (as described) as I worked with them on my skin and after a few minutes, so they had a very smooth sheen while worn.

I did get some fallout, especially with the shades that appeared more crumbly, and I had less fallout after I pressed the looser product down in the respective pot (effectively crushing everything together). They lasted between eight and nine hours on me before creasing faintly.

Browse all of our Tarte Chrome Paint Shadow Pot swatches.

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03 Sep

A signalling pathway

The study, led by the Universities of Plymouth and Geneva, shows how a ‘signalling pathway called Notch’, which is known to be activated in stem cells and cancer, is important for periodontal ligament development.

A signalling pathway describes how a group of molecules in a cell work together to control one or more cell functions, such as cell division or cell death.

After the first molecule in a pathway receives a signal, it activates another molecule. This process is repeated until the last molecule is activated and the cell function is carried out.

Abnormal activation or inhibition of certain signalling pathways can lead to cancer and other conditions, including problems with tissue regeneration.

A key finding in the new study, is that Lamin A, a cell nuclear protein, is a direct target of Notch pathway.

Lamin A is best known for its mutated form progerin, which causes fatal ‘early ageing’ disease, Progeria syndrome – but by uncovering its involvement in periodontal ligament formation, scientists have better insight into how molecules function during tissue regeneration, and how the process could be affected during disease.

Understanding tissue regeneration and repair

Corresponding author Dr Bing Hu, associate professor of oral and dental health research in Peninsula Dental School at the University of Plymouth, explains: ‘The periodontal ligament starts to properly hold the tooth in the jawbone when a tooth breaks out and becomes functional.

‘Understanding the mechanisms of how periodontal ligaments develop and the molecules that assist the tissue becoming mature is really important for our understanding of tissue regeneration and repair.

‘The next steps are for us to see if and how the molecules we have identified in this study can be translated into a human-only model and, in turn, how they are affected in both healthy and diseased conditions.’

This research is a part of the MD-PhD thesis of Dr Balázs Dénes of the University of Geneva.

Dr Dénes said: ‘We believe that our findings are an important stepping stone to better dental treatments in situations involving the periodontal ligament, such as gum disease (periodontitis), tooth restoration by dental implants or orthodontic tooth movement.’

The full study, entitled Notch coordinates periodontal ligament maturation through regulating Lamin A, is now available to view in the Journal of Dental Research (doi: 10.1177/0022034519871448).

This study was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation; the European Union Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions; the European Regional Development Fund and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

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03 Sep

ALBANY – A bill tightening mental health background checks for part-time residents of the state who seek a firearms license was signed into law Tuesday, nine months after the state Legislature adopted the measure.

The new law, which takes effect in 60 days, closes what its advocates say was a loophole over the background check process involving firearm license applicants who do not reside full-time in New York State.

“We don’t need any more empty gestures. What we need are more tools to keep weapons out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, and by closing this loophole we will ensure that all those applying for a firearm license in New York are subject to the same rigorous background check process,” said Sen. Anna Kaplan, a Long Island Democrat who sponsored the bill in the Senate.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the bill into law on Tuesday afternoon. Along with a half-dozen other gun-related measures, it was passed by both houses in January.

A 2013 state Court of Appeals decision permits people to get a firearm license in the county in which they reside, even if it is only a part-time residence. The law’s advocates said mental health background checks of part-time residents have sometimes been stymied by confidentiality laws in the states that the gun license applicants call their permanent home.

“It is unlikely that New York residents who are domiciled elsewhere, many of whom only have vacation homes and summer camps in New York, will have a mental illness record in New York. Thus, there is little chance under current law for a complete investigation of the mental illness history of a foreign domiciliary,’’ the bill’s sponsors said in a legislative memo in support of the law.

The new law requires a mental health background check of the state where the gun license applicant permanently resides; if needed by that state, a document waiving confidentiality protections must be signed by the applicant seeking a New York license.

In signing the bill, Cuomo said existing rules can keep information secret about a dangerous mental health background concerning a part-time resident who is seeking a firearms license in New York. That administration added that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System only flags mental health background concerns about an applicant who has been involuntarily committed.

Laws enacted earlier this year include additional background waiting periods for certain gun buyers, a ban on bump stocks and the addition of New York to other states that have OK’d “red flag” provisions to ban the possession of guns by individuals deemed by a court to be a danger to themselves or others.

Cuomo on Tuesday also signed into law a provision to make it easier for local law enforcement officers to obtain real-time information about handgun license-holders who may live, for instance, in a residence to which they’ve been called after-hours for a domestic violence incident.


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