Second Nurse to Contract Ebola from ‘Patient Zero’ Identified in Texas

first_imgA Twenty-nine year-old nurse, Amber Jay Vinson, who was a member of a team of nurses that worked on Liberian Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, known as ‘Patient Zero’ in the US media, has been identified as the second person to contract the Ebola virus.  Ms. Vinson works at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and was one of the nurses when ‘Patient Zero’ was diagnosed with the Ebola Virus Disease.   She worked on him, according to information reaching the Daily Observer yesterday.  Ms. Vinson’s step-father who did not want to be named, told journalists, “Right now she’s doing OK. Her temperature is going down. We don’t want to do a lot of talking about it now. The main concern is for her to get better.” The victim’s grandmother, Martha Schuler, added that family members had made a mercy dash from their home in Ohio to be with her. Mrs. Schuler said: “I spoke to my son and he said that she works in that hospital and that she was exposed. Amber’s mother has flown down to be with her.” Nurse Vinson is a registered nurse and was one of 76 medical staff members who cared for Mr. Duncan in Dallas. Duncan holds the record as the first person to die from the virus on U.S. soil.  Ms. Vinson reported to Texas Presbyterian Hospital with a fever last Tuesday and was isolated within 90 minutes, according to reports.  Information said a preliminary Ebola test was run late on Tuesday at the state public health laboratory in Austin, and results were received at about midnight.  Health officials later interviewed Miss Vinson to identify any contacts or potential exposures so that those people will be monitored.  Further testing was being conducted at the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, Daily Observer has learned.    Decontamination of Ms. Vinson’s Dallas apartment in the 6000 block, The Village Bend East began thereafter, as emergency responders surrounded the building and Dallas firefighters in hazmat suits were seen entering the home while it was still dark, according to reporters on the scene. City officials said they had contacted all 330 apartments in the complex where Miss Vinson lives.    Ms. Syad, a spokesman for the 6000 block apartment complex, known as The Village Bend East, told journalists that residents were appreciative that they were being kept informed of what was happening.   “We want them to be aware that if they see people in hazmat suits they know what is going on,” she said. “We are trying to get the message out as fast as possible” Within a four-block radius of Ms. Vinson’s apartment people had been alerted and given a leaflet warning them about the proximity of a victim carrying the Ebola virus.   The information sheet listing facts about Ebola had been distributed to residents and it is an attempt to quell fears among residents about the deadly virus, officials said. Precautions are already in progress to clean all known potential areas of contact to ensure public health.  Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told a news conference on Wednesday morning: “No one wants to get this more right than our hospital… where this insidious disease has now attacked two of our own.”  CDC director Tom Frieden said on Tuesday that he regretted not bringing in a specialized emergency response team from his agency on the day that Ebola patient Thomas Duncan, 42, was diagnosed.  “I wish we had put a team on the ground the day the first patient was diagnosed,” he said.   Dr. Frieden said new guidelines would lower the number of people who have contact with Ebola patients. Health authorities still do not know how 26-year-old nurse Nina Pham was infected but they suspect a breach in the hospital’s protocol.  Health officials in Dallas are working around the clock not to be overwhelmed by an insidious disease that seems to be more stubborn to overcome anyone who might become a victim.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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‘Dr. Gwenigale’s Blood Pressure Is 197/90’

first_imgOne of Liberia’s renowned medical doctors has written and informed the Liberian Senate that the blood pressure of Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. Walter T. Gwenigale, is currently reading 197/90, and the Minister has been advised to avoid stressful situations.According to a medical report dated October 27, 2014 under the signature of Dr. Robert M. Kpoto of the Medlink Kassas Clinic in Monrovia, Minister Gwenigale is suffering from hypertension cardiovascular disease, which is associated with cardiac-related complications.According to Dr. Gwenigale’s medical report read before plenary yesterday, Dr. Kpoto wrote: “I have monitored Dr. Gwenigale’s blood pressure since October 16, 2014, which according to him sky-rocketed during his briefing at the Senate the previous day October 15, 2014.”Dr. Kpoto noted in his report that his colleague, Dr. Gwenigale is a known hypertensive since 1985 (29 years ago), but his pressure has been under control on medications until his recent encounter with the Senate. The pressure he said has since been unstable still ranging between high and normal, inspite of medications.“This morning, I checked him and his blood pressure is 197/90; his pulse is 88 per minute, but irregularly irregular.I have therefore, asked him to avoid stressful situations, continue his medications and take it easy at work.”Dr. Kpoto, concluding the medical report, wrote: “I will continue to monitor him until his pressure is stable, hopefully within the next 14 days; if his condition is not improved, then I will recommend a cardiologist’s assessment.”Dr. Kpoko’s report indicated that the embattled Minister is currently on prescribed medication.In a brief communication that accompanied the medical report, Dr. Gwenigale, who turns 80 next February (1935) wrote: “Attached,  please find a medical report that shows that my blood pressure is still elevated, and my appearance will make it even worse. I am kindly requesting that you allow me to appear when my health improves. I thank you for your understanding and cooperation…”Dr. Gwenigale was recently cited by the Senate to appear before the Senate with his lawyer to show reason why he should not be held in contempt after he accused members of the Senate Committee on Health of being in support of health workers’ strike action.Since then, his blood pressure has interfered with schedules to appear before members of the upper house.Following yesterday’s communication, retiring Grand Kru County Senator Cletus Segbe Wotorson proffered a motion that the letter be sent to the Health Committee, which is headed by Senator (Dr.) Peter Coleman, who is a medical doctor and a surgeon, to better advise the plenary. “Senator Coleman will advise us so as not to put Dr. Gwenigale in a precarious situation and will caution us as to whether we need to continue with this process, because at 197/90, Dr. Gwenigale shouldn’t be walking around.”The motion was passed despite the expressions of un-readiness by Senators who were suggesting amendments.Bomi County Senator Sando Dazoe Johnson, before the final motion, warned his colleagues that the appearance of Dr. Gwenigale has become a political issue, and that there are attempts by the Executive to make the Liberian Senate look ridiculous. “In order to save our faces, I will suggest that instead of the Minister (Dr. Gwenigale) coming here, and since he says he is sick and can no longer make it, we just forget about him now and let him go on, because this is a delay tactic by Dr. Gwenigale and his boss…we’ve got many things to do for the Liberian people instead of wasting time behind somebody who is stubborn and arrogant.So please accept my amendments that the Liberian Senate drop all charges against Dr. Gwenigale and let him go and sin no more,” Senator Johnson recommended.       Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Time to get serious and stop the scourge of smuggling

first_imgDear Editor,Where is Guyana going when it comes to law and order? When will we, as a nation, get serious and stop the scourge of smuggling?Recently, the media reported that two Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) officers were shot with pellets by smugglers. From what I read, the two officers were part of a GRA team that attempted to intercept a vehicle and a boat suspected to be operated by smugglers transporting smuggled chicken and alcohol at Bee Hive, East Coast Demerara.Smuggling has taken root as a nasty part of Guyana’s underground trade. These ‘big shot’ smugglers plus a swarm of small-time hustlers doing the same wickedness do not give two hoots that their crimes cost Guyana countless millions of dollars in funds for social development. This loss deprives law-abiding citizens of much-needed benefits like improved health care, better education, proper roads and infrastructure etc.People hell bent on gorging themselves on the proceeds from crime have been smuggling fuel, gold, food, electronic equipment, alcohol, cigarettes and much more across Guyana’s borders for decades. Much talk and some anti-smuggling campaigns have done little to slow them down, much less stop them.Smuggling in Guyana reached its zenith in the 1970s when the Government of the day banned essential goods such as flour, onion, garlic, corned meat and salt. Even sugar was being imported in those days.In those days, many people believed that the External Trade Bureau was controlling imports at the behest of the then Government and many basic commodities were not readily available.Therefore, many citizens turned to smuggling to get essential goods for themselves and for resale. The Government back then obviously meant well and did not realise the extent to which people would go in order to get essential consumer items.Today, even though all these goods are available to everyone in great abundance, the reality of smuggling remains, and it is a thriving business.Smugglers pay no tariffs or taxes. Therefore, they undermine legitimate businesses that not only pay all tariffs, but also pay NIS and other legitimate operating expenses, thereby contributing to the coffers of this nation and enabling our Government to provide us with services that are essential to our people’s wellbeing.This is not the first-time smugglers have shot at GRA officials. Thank God, the injuries to the GRA officers were not life threatening. I wish them speedy recovery and hope they resume their duties fearlessly, when they are healed.Obviously, the team members were not cowards; actually, they were very professional in their approach to these criminals. Thankfully, arrests were made. Kudos to the officers and to GRA for having such committed personnel in the law enforcement department.I suggest that we set-up an intelligence gathering network around the country. This network can particularly target smuggling hotbeds such as Charity, Corriverton, Anna Regina, Mon Repos and Mahaicony.Our intelligence network could set up sting operations with officers infiltrating smuggling rings by pretending to be wholesalers or vendors willing to buy smuggled commodities.The GRA and Police can also set up a hotline to facilitate getting anonymous tips that would lead to the arrest of smugglers. Also, a reasonable reward can be offered in exchange for any information leading to the identification and arrest of smugglers.Sincerely,Roshan Khan Srlast_img read more

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Full compliance with constitutional provisions

first_imgDear Editor,I write this letter prompted by the letter entitled: “APNU and PPP/C must use this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for meaningful constitutional reforms” in Stabroek News, Friday, July 12, 2019, and “The prisoner’s dilemma and a call to extend and reform”, in Kaieteur News of the same date, by Terrence R Blackman and Thomas B Singh. I am responding because I think that they are both earnest and well-intended. And, I would say that taking account of the social peace and quiet in our country since the NCM, the overwhelming majority of us Guyanese of all races, classes, religions, and regions is all pondering our situation and looking for a way forward. This may well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grapple with the many things that have been holding us Guyanese back. We are all sensing that we are at an important juncture: I would draw notice to a number of recent letters from our former Prime Minister, Hamilton Green, and my appearance with him on the Internet GlobeSpan talk show of Wednesday, July 10, which you can find on YouTube and Facebook.Editor, in our current situation, full compliance with the spirit and the letter of the NCM and the related constitutional provisions, including those related to GECOM, is the gateway towards our desired ethnic-social-political harmony. I am aware that a number of persons argue that such compliance is insufficient for harmony, but it is an essential first step for everyone.Editor, if there is one thread that runs through our history from the mid-1950s, it has been the refusal of those who would have seen themselves as the elite of Guyana to accord full equal weight as fellow Guyanese citizens to the average Indo-Guyanese, Dr Jagan and the PPP. I am willing to acknowledge that this period has been a difficult and uncomfortable transitioning and learning period for us all; that the majority of us would have been confused, confounded and vulnerable to exploitation by the overlapping of the differences in our country, in race, class, city people, country people (urban/rural) and religion. Individual personalities and the international situation added more fuel to this already explosive mix.From mid-1950, many, who have gravitated to being supporters of the PNC and to the other third parties as they appeared, have to a greater or lesser extent spoken about and represented Dr Jagan and his PPP supporters as not being sophisticated, urbane, nimble nor smart; country, agricultural rice and sugar, people; leaning towards godless communism; our brothers and sisters – yes, but second brothers and sisters who must wait their turn; not ready for Government.Those sentiments provided fertile ground for the manipulative change from constituency First Past the Post to a Proportional Representative (PR) system for the 1964 elections – it was a calculated change to get Dr Jagan and the PPP/C out of office. Those same sentiments also motivated and enabled the active participation of a few and passive acceptance by many of our rigged elections from 1968-1985. People, however, became less wedded to this rigging approach as our social, political and economic situation continuously deteriorated during the 1970s and 1980s when we all suffered greatly and in many ways that we were not conscious of.The vacillating position of the leaders of the coalition Government since the NCM demonstrate that they are still having difficulty to do the right thing and accept us supporters of the PPP and PPP/C as equal brothers and sisters and citizens. We of the PPP and the PPP/C want to be nothing more nor less. We recall our Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo being moved not long ago to plead during a debate in our Parliament that we of the PPP and PPP/C are filled with “not one dollop less of patriotism” than they the leaders of the coalition Government.Editor, my fellow citizens, Messrs Terence Campbell and Thomas Singh, for us to go ahead without first the full acceptance of and compliance with the spirit and letter of the NCM would be for Guyana to put itself once again on the road of getting around the PPP/C and their supporters, the road of 1964-1992. On the other hand, It is my belief that full compliance with the NCM (and the Consequential Orders of the CCJ being delivered as I write) would open the minds of us all to the harmony that we all desire and which is necessary if our recent find of oil is to be a boon and not a damning of us. Let us take that first step.Sincerely,Samuel AA HindsFormer President andformer PrimeMinisterlast_img read more

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We need a visionary leader

first_imgDear Editor,Mr Irfaan Ali’s victory as the Presidential Candidate of the PPP is no coincidence. I’ve known Mr Ali for over a decade and never has he once failed to impress me with his crude astuteness. Guyana is soon to become a major oil-producing country. With a conservative estimate of over US$200 million in oil windfall for 2020, Guyana is well on track to become the next economic powerhouse of the Caribbean, if all goes well.The next Government in office will have the huge responsibility of ensuring the nation’s oil wealth not only benefits our current generation but the future. Failure to adhere to pragmatic macroeconomic policies will land us in the hands of the resource curse, and our dream of utopia will become our worst nightmare. Disappearing savings, high unemployment, hyperinflation, crime, corruption and deplorable public services could soon epitomise our nation. The curse, however, is not inevitable.To elude the curse, we need a visionary leader; one who is bestowed with economics and business shrewdness; one who will defend the rights of the people and ensure the safety of everyone. We need someone who would fearlessly pursue robust and pragmatic macroeconomic policies capable of withstanding any magnitude of economic volatility. We need someone who is capable of completely industrialising our country; and most of all, someone who would bring back hope to our nation. I’m confident that Irfaan Ali would right all the wrongs and set a new standard for statesmanship in Guyana.Sincerely,Roger Samuelslast_img read more

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Number 10 Village residents want electricity

first_imgResidents of Number 10 Village, Branch Road, De Hoop, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, have renewed their calls for the area are to be connected to the national grid to access electricity.During visits to the area on Wednesday, residents told Guyana Times that they were grateful for the potable water and roads which they received some time ago, but receiving electricity was a must.They said they were promised power more than 24 years ago.Purwantie HarriprashadNumber 10 residents say they have been promised light for decadesOne woman told this publication that they too wanted to enjoy luxuries like citizens in other parts of the country.“Abbe got to get washing machine, abbe hand get pain,” the woman lamented.Another housewife explained that she has been living in Number 10 Village for 19 years and the solar panel which she used to generate electricity cannot supply power to heavy-duty equipment such as a washing machine.“I would like to have some current because de children got to study to go to school de next morning and I have a lot of clothes to wash and I would like to have a washing machine,” another woman pointed out.“You nah get fo sleep properly in the night, de children clothes so plenty, you got to wash with yo hand,” observed Purwantie Harriprashad, another resident.last_img read more

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Old Fire Chunk Still not Hard to Catch

first_imgA. Ronald Freeman Jr., commonly known as Mighty Blow (formerly Nigga Blow) is one of the most talked about Liberian Hip-Hop/ Hip-Co rappers.Over the years, Mighty Blow has enlightened his audience with hit tracks such as “Old Fire Chunk (not hard to catch)” and “Strange Food In My Eating Pan”, gaining him a popularity and where he finds himself today as a international superstar/entertainer.Despite the many rumors and questions surrounding his music career and where he stands today in Liberia’s limitless entertainment industry, LIB LIFE caught up with the admired musician to find out the truth and to set the record straight once and for all about his career.LIB LIFE: Wow, I don’t know what to call you because I heard something about a name change, what’s up with that? (Laughter)Blow: Back in the days I was Nigga blow, but I changed it to Mighty Blow because of my manager. He told me to change it because of the general understanding that only a black man can call a black man “nigga”. It happened in Cellcom where I found white people calling me Nigga Blow and I understood what he was trying to say.LIB LIFE: Tell us things about Mighty Blow that we don’t know?Blow:  I was born and raised in Monrovia. I’m a Kpelle/Kru man from Bong County; my mother is a Kru woman while my father is a Kpelle man.  Back in the days in high school, I played football up to second division and thought that I would be a football player, but… (he laughs).  I’ve got skills up till now and plan on organizing a game with my crew Hip-Co All Stars and The State Runners Empire so people can see their musicians playing. From football I started break-dancing.  The dancing evolved into the whole entertainment business of music. I danced for 3-4 years.LIB LIFE: Wow, you’ve been entertaining people for quite awhile now, isn’t that so?Blow: Yes. Back in the day, even while I was playing football I used to like music. I’d rap at college shows imitating Tupac and Busta Rhymes, and it had everyone calling me Busta Rhymes in school. I listened to Tupac and learned his songs word for word. I used to listen to Biggie and Jay-Z, who’s my favorite rapper.LIB LIFE: With that said, how did you finally get noticed as an artist and into the recording studio?Blow: While dancing, a friend of mine named Ragga E, who works at Red Eyez Entertainment, heard me rapping freestyle one day and asked me if I had ever rapped in front of a crowd before. And I told him no. He actually inspired me to get into rap business because he said that I had a good voice.In that period of time, LIB records CEO Sammy Bokai Jr. came from London and opened auditions for fellas to come out and justify.  He wanted to form LIB records, and that’s how Ragga E took me to there and the CEO liked my voice. And I started to do my thing.LIB LIFE: I heard that your first track was prepared under troubling circumstances. Tell us about that.Blow: The 1st song I did was called “Tribute”. Our CEO along with George Weah took us to Sierra Leone (Salone) to record right after the war was over. While going to Salone, we had a serious accident and lost one of our friends named Tim. When we came back to Liberia we did a tribute song. After that incident, our CEO went back to London and LIB records split and everyone went solo.LIB LIFE: After going solo, what undertakings did you make?Blow: Well, “Strange Food In My Eating Pan” was my first single and also my very first hit song, which put me on the map. The track basically described me leaving my house with out giving my girl any food money, and then coming back home to meet chicken – chicken thigh in my pan – strange food in my eating pan. Where did she get it from because I wasn’t able to leave her with any money? (Laughter)LIB LIFE: That was your first hit single, but tell us a little about your second hit and how it led you to signing a contract with Cellcom?Blow: “Old Fire Trunk” made me popular and that’s when I signed a one-year contract with Cellcom.LIB LIFE: Must have been nice working with a GSM company, can you describe what it was like working with Cellcom?Blow: Working with Cellcom was straight up. But I only had problems with my own producers and manager.LIB LIFE: Rumor has it that Cellcom terminated your contract due to problems. Can you tell me about that?Blow: People contradicted the story saying that Blow had a problem with Cellcom. The truth is that people misunderstood this. I was with Cellcom and everything was fine. I signed a US$45,000 contract, was given a Nissan Pathfinder and we started operating. I used to travel and come back. The problem was with my manager and producer; they took a lot of money from me. Money I was to get from Cellcom. When they took the money and ran away with it, I went to Cellcom to ask about it when they told me they had already paid my manager. More contradictions came when one day I was in the crib when I heard my song off my album that I did with Cellcom being played by one of these street music vendors passing by. When I checked, I noticed that he had a duplicate CD of my stuff, and when I asked him about it, he confessed that he got it from the money exchange boys selling in front of Cellcom.  LIB LIFE: That really must have made you upset?Blow: I went to the boys that change money in front of Cellcom and met the duplicates there. I took the police for them and it had nothing to do with Cellcom. It was that scene that made people to contradict the story. In fact, my contract with Cellcom was already over by then, but I still used to visit the CEO and eat my small thing here and there. We were still cool.LIB LIFE: You just answered a major question that the Liberian community has always wanted to ask you. Now that we have that out of the way, what’s your relationship with Cellcom like now?Blow: I came recently and the CEO called me and told me to come over and sign another one-year contract and I’ve started doing the promotions and stuff. Cellcom is doing well for me, sponsoring me, taking care of my promotions, house, family and car.LIB LIFE: Now that you have again secured yourself and your career, what projects are you taking on right now?Blow: I’ve got my Hip-Hop and Hip-Co album coming out. Liberians only know me as a Hip-Co artist because of my two hit tracks that were done in Colloquia. But when it comes to Hip-Hop, I blow it as well. Liberia is my country and that’s why I do Hip-Co, but I want LIB to know that I can change my style and that’s why I decided to come out with a Hip-Hop album.LIB LIFE: That’s great and I wish you success in that. With the growing population of artists in the industry, do you think it will be a challenge to create a whole new image of your rap style?Blow: I just have to step up my game because in every area of life there is competition. When you look at music on the other hand, there is a lot of competition because if you sit there and don’t put any music out there and someone else does, people are going to listen to that other artist. As for me, I feel I have to work; being the best isn’t all about telling yourself you’re the best, you have to work towards it.LIB LIFE: Before we go, would you like to share anything with your fans?Blow: In the next five years I want to see myself hitting the world, not just Liberia, but internationally. I want to drop a song that will hit the whole market, that’s my focus right now. Keep on loving me because I am doing everything to strengthen my game to build up fire!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Police Arrest Asst. Finance Min. for Assault

first_imgOfficers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) have arrested and are investigating an Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), for allegedly publicly assaulting a female traffic police officer.Sources at the LNP headquarters told the Daily Observer that Assistant Min. Jeremiah Krah is now behind bars, pending arrangements for court trial.Assistant Min. Krah, according to the police, assaulted the traffic officer when she requested the documents of the vehicle he was operating, “at which time he refused on grounds that he was rushing for a meeting.”The officer who than requested that the vehicle be transferred to the Metro Deport was forcibly removed from the vehicle, in the tussle, “her official police uniform and accessories were torn off her in the public.”The incident which occurred at the interjection of Board and Buchanan streets Tuesday, September 23, drew several onlookers as the Minister was heard shouting that “noting will come out of his action,” according to the police.Meanwhile, the police said, Asst. Min. Krah has told police investigators that he regrets his action and pleaded for mercy, stressing that he was misled by the devil to flog the officer. They said he has also agreed to take responsibility of the damages incurred by the officer during the incident.Assistant Police Commissioner for Operations Gregory Coleman said the matter will be sent to court for proper adjudication, stressing that no Liberian is above the law regardless of position in the society.      Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Sime Darby Pursues Strategic Growth with Verdezyne Inc.

first_imgSime Darby Berhad is taking a stake in an industrial biotechnology company, Verdezyne Inc., as part of an initiative to pursue strategic growth areas for its plantation business. Sime Darby Renewables, a new unit under Sime Darby Plantation, will spearhead this initiative which essentially focuses on converting traditional and non-traditional palm-based commodities into products of higher value.This initiative with Verdezyne was launched in a ceremony witnessed by Malaysian Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri MohdNajibTun Haji Abdul Razak and United States President Barack Obama. Sime Darby Berhad was represented by Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Bakke Salleh while Verdezyne Inc. was represented by its President and CEO Dr. E. William Radany, PhD.California-based Verdezyne has proprietary technologies to competitively produce chemicals derived from sustainable materials, which can be found in the oil palm value chain. These chemicals are used to make everyday items like clothing, footwear and adhesives, as well as industrial products such as automobile parts. Currently, these chemicals are mainly derived from petroleum-based feedstocks such as benzene and butadiene.Verdezyne’s current products targeted for commercialisation have a potential combined market size of approximately RM37 billion with laboratory, pilot and demonstration-scale validation already carried out. Results so far have attracted favourable interest from the market.Sime Darby plans to emerge as the single largest investor in Verdezyne, together with existing investors BP Alternative Energy, Royal DSM, a global life sciences group; OVP Venture Partners and Monitor Ventures, subject to definitive documentation. Verdezyne has healthy financial prospects and the Company secured a strategic commercial relationship with Universal Fiber Systems, LLC to supply its bio-based adipic acid for certain exclusive fields of use. Universal Fiber Systems is a global multi-polymer fiber producer, and markets its yarn systems globally with operations in North America, Europe and Asia. Verdezyne is also actively pursuing other commercial opportunities with a diverse group of international chemical companies. “Sime Darby is taking strategically measured steps to build and nurture a sustainable portfolio of palm-related industrial biotechnology companies. There are exciting opportunities which can leverage on our substantial plantation assets and we are keen to capitalise these for future growth,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohd Bakke Salleh, President and Group Chief Executive, Sime Darby Berhad.Verdezyne began operations in 2005 and has chosen Malaysia as its manufacturing hub which motivated them to obtain the BioNexus status in September 2013. Its first own commercial plant, with an annual capacity in excess of 13,000 metric tons, is expected to generate approximately 140 knowledge workers in the fields of R&D and engineering.“Over the past year, with the invaluable assistance of the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation, Verdezyne’s management team researched the oil palm industry extensively. We believe that Sime Darby, with its commitment to sustainability, is the perfect partner to help lead the revolution in renewable products in the US, Malaysia and beyond,” said Verdezyne President and CEO Dr. E. William Radany.“We are proud that Sime Darby plans to acquire a significant stake in Verdezyne.  We hope more local corporations will seek out and bring cutting edge technology to Malaysia. This investment will ultimately create a high technology platform for Malaysia and bring huge benefits to the Malaysian bioeconomy sector.  It will also have a positive impact on the income and welfare of the people and the bio-based industry,” said Dato’ Dr. MohdNazlee Kamal, BiotechCorp’s Chief Executive Officer.Sime Darby’s investment in Verdezyne would also be expected to accelerate technology development in the US and create various job opportunities in Southern California. Furthermore, Verdezyne is able to receive multiple feedstocks, which would benefit the US vegetable oil market.“Sime Darby Renewables will be a new chapter in Sime Darby Plantation’s sustainable evolution. It will not only build a portfolio of palm-related industrial biotechnology companies but also strategically integrate these with our business activities. Our competitive edge is the availability of sustainable palm-based feedstocks in our plantation value chain,” said Datuk Franki Anthony Dass, Managing Director, Sime Darby Plantation.About Sime Darby PlantationSime Darby Plantation is one of the world’s largest listed palm oil producers, producing about 5% of the global crude palm oil (CPO) output. It is also the world’s largest producer of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO). It operates oil palm plantations in Malaysia, Indonesia and Liberia, and is one of the co-founders of the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a multi stakeholder grouping that oversees the industry. Sime Darby Plantation also has downstream operations across the globe, producing oils and fats products for various industries, as well as oleo-chemicals and palm oil-based bio-diesel. Alongside oil palm, the Company is also involved in agri-business activities and the cultivation of rubber. It is also present in the consumer goods sector, producing cooking oil and fruit juices, among others.About Verdezyne Inc.Verdezyne is an industrial biotechnology company that is leveraging the power of biology to produce chemicals from renewable, non-food sources. It has developed technologies and is commercializing processes that create a positive impact on the environment by replacing important consumer products with sustainable alternatives, at a lower cost.Verdezyne has assembled a team of top scientists from the biotechnology and chemicals industries who have, in a few short years, developed the company’s flagship products from concept through pilot demonstration. Its proprietary technologies use fermentation followed by unique separation techniques.The yeast used in Verdezyne’s process is specifically designed to produce chemicals used in everyday products that have large and growing markets. It is their mission to bring to the world sustainable and cost-effective alternatives to petrochemicals.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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UL Chemistry Dept. Honors Nation’s ‘First Chemist’

first_imgThe Chemistry Department of the Thomas J.R. Faulkner College of Science and Technology of the University of Liberia has organized a lecture series program in honor of Liberia’s “first Chemist,” the late Professor Victor Emmanuel Ward, who served the University for about 30 years prior to the Liberian civil war.Professor Ward was murdered at his Fendell office by a fighter, who reportedly failed to pass in Chemistry but blamed the late professor for not giving him a passing grade.The lecture series, according to Mr. James McClain, the Chemistry Department Chairman, is meant to spread teaching and learning of Chemistry throughout the length and breadth of Liberia in order to expose the discipline in a manner that fosters self confidence in the discipline.Mr. McClain in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer following the program on June 15 said this will help drive away fear in Liberian students about Chemistry, and will be acquainted with the subject before entering the University of Liberia or any higher institution of learning in the country.“It is our hope and aspiration that our objective of spreading the teaching of Chemistry will be achieved and Liberians wishing to enroll at the University of Liberia will be exposed to the subject before entering,” Mr. McClain noted.According to him, they see the application of the Sciences as one means of helping to address societal needs.He noted that while the Chemistry Department is faced with many challenges, including the lack of adequate and important laboratory equipment, they are confident that lessons taught in the area are in line with the curriculum and activities needed to be covered for undergraduate.Also a statement outlining similar views of the students, notes that they (students) see and inhale the stock pile of garbage at the Red-Light Market which they think could be used to produce energy or prepared as compost to facilitate Agriculture.For his part, the keynote speaker at the organized lecture series, Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation (LWSC) Managing Director, Charles Allen, Jr. expressed with deep concern that in spite of the teaching of Science and Technology in Liberia, finished products from existing resources undergoing technical process have remained insufficient.LWSC Managing Director Allen observed that the continuing constraints faced by institutions responsible for scientific knowledge in Liberia, whether the Liberia Institute for Biomedical Research, the Central Agricultural Research Institute or the TJR Faulkner Science College of the University of Liberia, all testify that the finished products and human resource produced are still low in Liberia’s hierarchy of needs.He contended that all advance economies today have engendered significant research and development regimes to ensure their continued advancement, questioning, “Do we place our scientists on an honored listing and count them among the nomenclatural?”He said Liberia has the resources including rubber and mineral, but wondered when will these raw materials be turned into finished goods to help Liberia be on par with other developed develop nations using Science & Technology.Mr. Allen then noted with emphasis that for Science & Technology to work in Liberia, those having the mandate to prepare the outputs need firstly to determine requirements needed to improve science and technology education.He also acknowledged that to achieve middle income status and escape the poverty trap requires a quantum of engineers and technicians of various categories within the next decade.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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