Agilent Technologies announced a new collaboration on Monday with the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience to develop an Agilent Center of Excellence in Biomolecular Characterization. The collaboration between the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience and Agilent Technologies will combine both the academic and industry aspects of science. Photo from USC NewsThe Agilent CoE, which will be housed in Michelson Hall, will provide students and local customers with access to scientific researchers, Agilent instrumentation and technologies all in one scientific environment.“Agilent’s collaboration with the Michelson Center is an excellent example of how academia and industry can work together, sharing knowledge and expertise to shorten the timeline between scientific discoveries and real-world applications,” Darlene Solomon, Agilent’s senior vice president and chief technology officer, said to BusinessWire. “Convergent bioscience research requires successful collaboration across multiple disciplines — a holistic approach that is central to Agilent’s view of the future.”Michelson Center principal investigator Valery Fokin is an essential member in Agilent’s collaboration with the state-of-the-art facility. The Fokin lab will continue to help develop collaborative drug discovery projects and focus on molecular level biological interactions and chemical reactivity. Projects include the chemical synthesis of screening and focused libraries and biological assay implementation as well as the development of targeted drug delivery systems, diagnostics and vaccines.This collaboration will involve some of the world’s most influential biomedical scientists, according to BusinessWire. Their research on structural biology and cancer metastasis have led to significant advances in medical treatments and pharmaceutical drugs.“As convergent bioscience becomes a major contributor to scientific knowledge … academic and industry collaboration will play a key role,” Stephen Bradforth, a Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences professor, said to BusinessWire. “I’m pleased that Agilent has the vision to support our efforts in this important emerging research field.”
Arsenal kept up the pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester United and maintained their title hopes with victory at Blackpool.Arsene Wenger’s side have reduced United’s lead to seven points with a game in hand, despite veteran 41-year-old keeper Jens Lehmann being thrust into his first start for the club in three years, after Manuel Almunia was injured in the warm-up.Lehmann had a relatively untroubled first half as Arsenal established firm control courtesy of two goals in three minutes from Abou Diaby and Emmanuel Eboue.The visitors could have built up an unassailable lead before half-time as Samir Nasri hit a post and was also denied by Blackpool keeper Richard Kingson.Blackpool launched an assault on the Gunners after the break as Gary Taylor-Fletcher pulled a goal back after 52 minutes and then appeared to be denied a clear penalty by referee Lee Mason when he was brought down by Laurent Koscielny.It was not the only incident Tangerines boss Ian Holloway will have regarded as pivotal, with Keith Southern somehow failing to even make contact with a header in front of an open goal as Arsenal suffered a serious wobble and frailties were exposed. Wenger introduced Theo Walcott to give Arsenal extra pace and thrust, and the ploy worked when he raced clear to set up Robin van Persie for the crucial third 14 minutes from time.There was still time for Lehmann – on a short-term deal at Arsenal and only a week shy of being the oldest player ever to play for the club by overtaking 1920s winger Jock Rutherford – to show some of the old instincts by saving with his legs as DJ Campbell looked certain to give Blackpool hope of a late recovery.Wenger’s frustration at Arsenal’s recent collapse was obvious before the game but this victory will lift the spirits of manager, players and supporters as they still retain hope of catching United.For Blackpool, this defeat increased their relegation worries and extended a dismal sequence of losing 11 out of 15 Premier League games since the turn of the year.There was drama even before kick-off when it became clear Almunia was struggling with a knee injury as he warmed up in the goalmouth, forcing a hasty rewrite of Wenger’s teamsheet and the return of former Germany keeper Lehmann to the colours. After that late change, it was inevitable that Blackpool would attempt to apply early pressure on Lehmann – but his only moment of discomfort came when he attempted to take a goal kick with a lace undone.Van Persie gave a sign of the problems to come for Blackpool when he escaped the offside trap to run on to Cesc Fabregas’s pass but his touch was heavy off his chest and Kingson raced from his line to claim.Blackpool’s reprieve was brief as their defensive shortcomings were brutally revealed when Arsenal took the lead. Van Persie was allowed too much time and space on the left flank and his cross was met by the easiest of finishes from Diaby.And three minutes later Arsenal doubled their advantage when Blackpool’s defence was once more nowhere to be seen as Eboue drove into the area before sending a thumping finish past Kingson.Holloway immediately moved towards the touchline to reorganise and attempt to lift his players, whose bright start had been totally undermined by their calamitous lack of composure and organisation at the back. Charlie Adam, predictably, was probing and trying to spark life into Blackpool – but the task was proving even beyond the player who has provided so much inspiration in this eventful season by the seaside.Arsenal threatened to unlock Blackpool’s defence every time they attacked and Nasri almost increased their lead twice in the space of seconds as the interval loomed. He brought a fine block from Kingson before striking the outside of an upright after collecting Fabregas’s clever lofted pass in the area.Lehmann was finally given an anxious moment in the dying seconds of the half when Taylor-Fletcher and Adam combined in the area and it needed desperate defending to keep Blackpool out in a six-yard scramble.Holloway had clearly delivered stern words to his players at half-time. They steamed into Arsenal on the resumption and Luke Varney should have done better than steer Adam’s free-kick wide.It was not long, however, before Blackpool did get the goal their renewed ambition deserved. And great credit must go to referee Mason, who twice played advantage before Taylor-Fletcher scored from close range. Jack Wilshere committed a foul for which he was booked and Lehmann hauled down Campell as he raced into the area but Mason waited – crucially – to see how the play developed, allowing Taylor-Fletcher to ignite the contest.Mason did not draw any credit from Blackpool or Holloway moments later when Taylor-Fletcher was clearly caught by Koscielny’s trailing leg in the area. It looked a certain penalty but to the home supporters’ fury – and Arsenal’s undoubted relief – he waved play on.And, as Arsenal rocked, Southern missed a header with the goal gaping in front of him and Lehmann unprotected.Wenger needed to restore a measure of order to proceedings and introduced Walcott for Andrey Arshavin, who had been very much on the margins of the game.Van Persie almost restored Arsenal’s two-goal lead as Blackpool pressed for the leveller, shooting just wide and then sending a spectacular volley over the angle from Fabregas’s pass. The Netherlands striker made no mistake when handed a third opportunity. It was a goal that owed almost everything to Walcott, who exploited time and space to leave Van Persie to complete a formality of a finish.Blackpool were denied a grandstand finish when Lehmann saved from Campbell – but Arsenal will have travelled back to the capital with their dreams of winning the title still alive.Source: BBC
The NFL is walking a fine line between competitive balance and watering down the accomplishments of teams such as the Packers (13-3) and Chiefs (12-4), who as strong No. 2 seeds under the proposed format would have been forced to play the Rams and Steelers, with home field being the only advantage shown for their far superior efforts.Adding playoff teams always cheapens the regular season to some degree. College Football Playoff enthusiasts would agree. In the FBS, however, a miniscule 3 percent of the teams make the playoffs, and expanding to eight teams would put it at only 6 percent. The NFL getting close to half the field making it is on the brink of saturation when multiple-game series aren’t involved in each round.Note that in the one-and-done NCAA Tournament, 68 teams do have a chance. But that’s still only 19.6 percent of Division I teams. The NFL is pushing past double that number.Pro: More teams involved in the playoff race through Week 17With that said, we know what an extra wild-card team in each league has meant for MLB, generating a new kind of excitement in September. The NFL equivalent of that is the one-month playoff push in December, the time when NFL fans are obsessed with the playoff picture and its many permutations.Had the Steelers made the playoffs last year at 8-8, the Jets, Colts, Broncos and Raiders, who all finished 7-9, would have approached the final month differently knowing they had real postseason chances. The Rams, Cowboys and Bears would have been joined by the Falcons and Buccaneers in a more competitive final surge.So although there would be only 14 playoff teams in the new format, roughly 20 teams would remain in viable playoff contention through the final few weeks.Con: More mediocre teams making the playoffsYou know how it is in the NHL and NBA. Some average teams make the field only to quickly become as irrelevant as they were in the regular season. Did we really need to see the Chiefs play the offensively challenged Steelers, too, on their way to winning Super Bowl 54? Also, given how Pittsburgh limped down the stretch, did it even deserve the opportunity?The danger here, unlike in the NHL and NBA, is that anything can happen in one game, while over the course of a best-of-seven series, anomalous upsets are less likely. So whether the Chiefs had either blown out or lost to the Steelers, it would have felt weird that they even had a chance to share the same playoff field. MORE: The NFL’s expanded playoffs, explainedThe NFL has had the dozen playoff teams since the 1990 season, when it increased the field from 10 teams to 12 with three division winners and three wild-card teams in each conference. In 2002, when the league expanded to 32 teams, it adjusted to four division winners and two wild-card teams.Why is the NFL doing this, and what are the pros and cons of the new format? Let’s break them all down.Pro: Two more games and a more action-packed wild card weekendThe current 12-team playoff format features two teams on a bye in each conference, creating consecutive opening playoff double-headers on the first Saturday and Sunday after the regular season.With 12 teams (six division winners, six wild-card teams) playing in the first round, the NFL can now give us back-to-back postseason triple-headers that resemble the usual progression of early afternoon, late afternoon and night games in the regular season.Divisional playoff weekend is arguably the best NFL weekend now. Wild-card weekend would rule the roost in the new format.Con: Two more games and a less relevant regular season With the NFL having 12 of its 32 teams make the playoffs, that meant only 37.5 percent playing beyond the regular season. By increasing the playoff field to 14, the number jumps to 43.8 percent. That’s probably the ceiling, given 16 of 32 (50 percent) puts the league too close to the NHL (51.6 percent) and NBA (53.3) percent, or using the season to eliminate only half the teams.Take last season for example. The Rams (9-7) would have been the last team in from the NFC, while the Steelers (8-8) would have been the last team in from the AFC. The Bears (8-8) and Cowboys (8-8) were the only other teams in the NFL at .500 or better. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/d6/43/patrick-mahomes-020520-getty-ftrjpg_1we5tomht32wx1dehscnmr1pg0.jpg?t=370735800&w=500&quality=80 In the NFC, the 49ers’ big win over the Seahawks in Week 17 earned them No. 1 vs. No. 5. That was a monstrous development that fueled their run, while the Seahawks were dusted in the divisional playoffs. The top seed in the new format would become more of a golden ticket, with No. 2 dropping all the way down to general admission.Con: Less incentive to fight for any other seedNFL teams that have poor chances to post a conference-best record won’t be as motivated to change their seeding. Being a No. 2 is not much different from being a No. 4 anymore. The same thing goes for No. 5 through No. 7, as they all will be playing road games in the first round regardless.There’s a chance for the competitive fire to be doused before the playoffs ahead of it being reignited. So there might be bit of a sacrifice on some level for the teams not fighting to get into the tournament late, but the NFL likely will be fine trading that for greater drama once the tournament begins and the stakes are raised. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/a5/1/mike-tomlin-120919-getty-ftrjpg_tacz1lwln3gm1oyn8k9axcv8r.jpg?t=-346634474&w=500&quality=80 Pro: More potential for teams overcoming stronger schedulesNot all 16-game slates are created equal. Some teams have distinct advantages based on the rotation of divisions they play outside their own, as well as the teams that finished in the same place as them the previous season.Having an extra playoff wild card provides a little leeway for a team navigating through a higher degree of difficulty.Con: More potential for teams taking advantage of weaker schedulesThe flip side is that extra playoff team in each conference adds one more layer to to the built-in parity parameters of the schedule.Consider that with only one bye seed in each conference, more surefire playoff teams will be less motivated to play their regulars in the final weeks. That will open the door to a few more non-competitive games that also inflate the wild-card resumes of potential No. 7 seeds.MORE: The best way to fix NFL’s playoff formatPro: More incentive to fight for the No. 1 seedsSpeaking of which, the No. 1 seed will carry a new level of significance. Think of how the Chiefs reacted when they were able to steal that No. 2 seed and first-round bye from the Patriots in Week 17. That was huge for their Super Bowl 54 run, as they got a much-needed extra week of rest and ended up playing consecutive home games with the Ravens being upset in the divisional playoffs.The single bye format forces a team to play with less margin for error, knowing only one strong playoff team in each conference can have the ultimate advantage of both home field and a bye. The NFL hasn’t changed its number of playoff teams in 30 years. With the new collective bargaining agreement in place, the 2020 season is set to usher in a brand-new era of the league postseason.A vote of NFL owners is set to expand the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams. There would still be four division winners, but an extra wild-card team would be added in both the NFC and AFC. Only two teams, the top seeds in both conferences, would enjoy first-round byes.
DONEGAL footballer Geraldine McLaughlin has been called into the Ireland soccer team to face Austria at Tallaght Stadium on Tuesday next because of injury to Aine O’Gorman.The 24-year-old Peamount United attacker has a stress fracture on her ankle and manager Sue Ronan has called up the uncapped Geraldine to replace her.McLaughlin, who previously played for Kilmacrennan Celtic, has just completed a successful season with IT Sligo and is in the Ireland squad for next month’s World University Games in Russia. “Aine is a big loss because she is an experienced player and key part of our attack but it does give me an opportunity to have a close look at Geraldine who has done well this season with IT Sligo and will be going to Russia next month with the Universities,” said Ronan.Donegal’s Ciara Grant was also named in the original squad.Next week’s game is part of the squad’s build up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying campaign which will kick off in September with a home game against Slovakia. Also in Ireland’s group are Germany, Russia, Croatia and Slovenia, who were beaten 3-1 on June 2 by Austria.Austria Head Coach Dominik Thalhammer has named an 18 strong squad that contains just three players over the age of 22. Nine of the squad are based in Austria with the remainder playing for clubs in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and America. The referee for Tuesday’s game will Morag Pieir from Scotland.Tuesday’s match in Tallaght Stadium kicks-off at 7.30pm and admission to the game will be €10 with U16s admitted free of charge.Republic of Ireland Squad: Emma Byrne (Arsenal), Eve Badana (Drexel University), Seana Cooke (Raheny United), Yvonne Tracy (Arsenal), Megan Campbell (Raheny United), Sophie Perry (Unattached), Meabh De Burca (Eskilstuna United), Louise Quinn (Eskilstuna United), Karen Duggan (Peamount United), Diane Caldwell (Avaldsness), Julie Ann Russell (Peamount United), Ciara Grant (Raheny United), Rachel Graham (Raheny United), Shannon McDonnell (Unattached), Mary Therese McDonnell (Chicago Red Stars), Fiona O’Sullivan (SC Frieburg), Denise O’Sullivan (Cork Women’s FC), Sara Lawlor (Peamount United), Ruesha Littlejohn (Glasgow City), Geraldine McLaughlin (IT Sligo).Austria Squad: Verena Aschauer (BV Cloppenburg), Nina Burger (SV Neulengbach), Laura Feiersinger (Bayern München), Virginia Kirchberger (BV Cloppenburg), Anna-Carina Kristler (SK Sturm Graz Damen / Stattegg), Lisa Makas (ASV Spratzern), Heike Manhart (SK Sturm Graz Damen / Stattegg), Jennifer Pöltl (ASV Spratzern) Nadine Prohaska (ASV Spratzern), Jelena Prvulovic (USC Landhaus), Sarah Puntigam (SC Kriens), Viktoria Schnaderbeck (Bayern München), Julia Tabotta (ASV Spratzern), Elisabeth Tieber (VfL Sindelfingen), Katia Trödthandl (Valencia CF Femenino), Carina Wenninger (Bayern München), Sarah Zadrazil (ETSU Buccaneers), Manuela Zinsberger (SV Neulengbach). DONEGAL’S GERALDINE McLAUGHLIN CALLED INTO IRELAND’S SOCCER SQUAD was last modified: June 15th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DONEGAL’S GERALDINE McLAUGHLIN CALLED INTO IRELAND’S SOCCER SQUAD
SANTA CLARA — In a quietly cool move last week, one of the 49ers all-time leading rushers helped orchestrate a family surprise for the man just below him on the list.The tale began when Ken Willard, a four-time Pro Bowl selection from 1965-73, was tapped as an honorary captain for the Nov. 1 game against the Raiders at Levi’s Stadium.His granddaughters, Tierney and Krista, decided to secretly fly in from South Carolina to surprise Ken for his big moment. But they did so on a limited budget …