Chinese Scientists Warn Danger of People-to-People Transmission of H7N9; Three “staircases” of the virus genome have been displaced; the fourth displacement will result in people-to-people transmission

Chinese Scientists Warn Danger of People-to-People Transmission of H7N9

04-27 11:11 Caijing

Three “staircases” of the virus genome, which is like a spiral stairs, have been displaced, Li said.

A group of Chinese scientists have warned the danger of H7N9 spreading from people to people as China has confirmed 120 cases of infection of the new strain of bird flu, with 23 fatal. A research group of professors from China’s top universities led by Li Lanjuan, a H7N9 expert, has found that the bird flu virus is increasingly apt to infect mammals, which adds to the risk of people-to-people contraction, according to a Friday’s report by Qianjiang Evening, a newspaper based in southeast China’s Zhejiang Province. Three “staircases” of the virus genome, which is like a spiral stairs, have been displaced, Li said. Stability of the stairs would be sabotaged and people-to-people transmission could become reality if displacement of a fourth should appear, she warned.   “Hopefully there won’t be a fourth displaced staircase,” said Li Lanjuan who vowed closer monitoring. An investigation group of the World Health Organization (WHO) Wednesday called for closer international and domestic cooperation as it said experts still have limited knowledge of the virus. The group reiterated that there’s not enough evidence showing the virus being transmitted from people to people.  No typical symptoms have been found in poultry carrying the virus, which makes it harder to track, the group said. Taiwan reported its first case of H7N9 infection Tuesday, someone who stayed in Suzhou, Zhejiang Province from March 28th to April 9th. Zhejiang is the most-hit area in the mainland, reporting 45 people infected by H7N9, with 6 of them being killed. The bird flu strain has been spread to 11 provinces including Taiwan.

H7N9 bird flu spreads to central China’s Hunan; total infections rise to 119 with 24 dead

H7N9 bird flu spreads to central China’s Hunan

AFP News – 51 minutes ago

China’s deadly outbreak of H7N9 bird flu has spread to the central province of Hunan, local health authorities said Saturday, the third announcement in three days of a case in a new location. A 64-year-old woman in Shaoyang City, who developed a fever four days after coming into contact with poultry, was confirmed to have the virus, the Xinhua state news agency reported. It follows the first confirmed cases in the eastern province of Jiangxi on Thursday and the southeastern province of Fujian on Friday. More than 110 people in mainland China have been confirmed with H7N9, with 23 deaths, since the government announced on March 31 that the virus had been found in humans. Most cases have been confined to eastern China. The island of Taiwan has also reported one case. A Chinese expert earlier this week warned of the possibility of more cases in a wider geographical area. “Until the source of H7N9 avian influenza is… brought under effective control, sporadic cases might continue to appear,” said Liang Wannian of China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission. Poultry has been confirmed as the source of the H7N9 flu among humans, but experts fear the prospect of such a virus mutating into a form easily transmissible between humans, which could then have the potential to trigger a pandemic.

Building A Culture That Works: The CEO As The Cultural Epicenter

Building A Culture That Works: The CEO As The Cultural Epicenter


posted 33 mins ago

Editor’s note: Peter Levine is a partner at Andreessen Horowitz. He has been a lecturer at both MIT and Stanford business schools and was the former CEO of XenSource, which was acquired by Citrix in 2007. Prior to XenSource, Peter was EVP of Strategic and Platform Operations at Veritas Software, where he helped grow the organization from no revenue to more than $1.5 billion, and from 20 employees to over 6,000. Follow him on his blogand on Twitter @Peter_Levine.

As a former CEO and senior executive, there was a time when I did not quite understand the profound impact a CEO has on the culture of a company, even though I always knew culture was important. The organization reflects the behavior and characteristics of the CEO, and that establishes the culture. Foster an environment of open communication and the organization inherits a culture of open communication. Operationally detailed? The organization becomes operationally detailed. Political? The organization becomes political. Curse a lot? The organization curses. Angry? The organization gets angry. Have a big office? Everyone wants a big office. It doesn’t matter what’s written on a coffee mug or on a “culture” slide, what you do as a CEO, day in and day out, and how you behave will define your company’s culture. Read more of this post

Invest in people, not resources; Most workplaces seem diabolically designed to kill creativity, intelligence, and productivity, and thus drive away talent

Invest in people, not resources

ON APRIL 26, 2013

There is a supply-and-demand paradox brewing in the software business, and it’s getting worse by the day. Companies are searching for rock-star talent, while at the exact same moment talented people are searching for great work. People on both sides of this issue are frustrated — companies can’t find the right workers, or enough of them and talented workers feel stifled, bored, and in many cases exhausted, and even oppressed, by the work they do find. It’s an easy field for employers to stand out in, and yet so few fail to create the kind of engaging workplaces that attract top talent. Most blame their troubles on the market or a lack of money, but it’s hard to take this argument seriously when Wikipedia attracted an army of volunteers with seemingly little effort, and then produced so much value it drove Microsoft’s well-funded Encarta out of business. How did Wikipedia attract and motivate so much unpaid talent, and how does this hugely popular project keep doing it?

The secret to hiring top talent is simple — but not easy. Most workplaces seem diabolically designed to kill creativity, intelligence, and productivity, and thus drive away talent. If you want to hire well, you need to first engage and inspire the talent you do have, and that’s not about money. It’s about treating people like people. It’s a matter of helping them align toward a compelling common vision, giving them the tools and environments they need, then getting out of their way.

Read more of this post

Sibling success: When brothers and sisters work together in a family business the scope for problems is huge. But if managed carefully these relationships can be both productive and fulfilling



There’s hardly a sadder tale of sibling problems than that of the Chadha brothers, the family behind Indian conglomerate Wave. The beginning of the story will be familiar to many families – a migrant father who started a small retail business and a second generation that took that company to a new level, turning it into a successful empire with interests in food processing, technology, distilling and real estate among others. But behind the scenes, things were far from rosy. Much has been reported recently about the problems between the second-generation brothers, although little has been confirmed. But it’s fair to say eldest brother Gurdeep Singh Chadha, better known as Ponty, who drove the changes at the family business, and younger sibling Hardeep didn’t always see eye to eye. And in an incident that grabbed headlines around the world, both ended up dead last year after a shootout, allegedly over the ownership of family assets (the funeral pictured, right). An investigation is ongoing. It might be an extreme case, but sibling rivalry is nothing new. Indeed, it’s in some of mankind’s oldest myths and most enduring and resonant stories. Think of Cain and Abel, or Joseph and his brothers. Think of the rivalry King Lear created among his daughters. More prosaically, look at the long-running and gruesomely fascinating slanging matches between musicians Noel and Liam Gallagher.

The world of family business is also full of stories of siblings who didn’t see eye to eye. There’s the very public and long-running spat between the Ambani brothers, Asia’s richest siblings, whose family business Reliance had to be split following their father’s death. In Europe, the brothers behind the Aldi supermarket empire decided to divide the company in two, rather than work together. In Canada, a similar story played out with McCain brothers Harrison and Wallace. Despite working well together in their frozen-food empire for years, a feud over succession saw Wallace forced out of the company in the 1990s. He later took over rival Maple Leaf Foods. Read more of this post

Made-in-Taiwan school still standing amid China’s Sichuan Ya’an earthquake rubble

Made-in-Taiwan school still standing amid Ya’an rubble

Hong Chao-chun and Staff Reporter, 2013-04-26


One of the school buildings. (Photo/Hung Chao-chun)

The quality of the Made in Taiwan brand has passed the test after a Taiwan-designed elementary school withstood the 7.0 earthquake that destoyed thousands of buildings and caused 193 deaths in southwestern China’s Sichuan province, our sister paper Want Daily reports.

Taiwanese architect Hsu Yan-chi designed and built the elementary school in Ya’an city after the May 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, which devastated the region and left 87,000 people dead or missing. Last week’s earthquake ocurred on the morning of April 20, with the epicenter just south of the provincial capital Chengdu. Public buildings in the city of Ya’an were almost completely leveled except for the school designed by the Taiwanese architect. The building was funded by donations from Taiwan’s public. Read more of this post

Meet The Accidental Designer Of The GitHub And Twitter Logos

Meet The Accidental Designer Of The GitHub And Twitter Logos



Simon Oxley was drinking beer and watching TV on his couch (like any good freelancer) when he noticed that a hot new startup called Twitter was using his art as a logo. At first, he thought he was drunk. “I checked the label on the beer I was drinking and called my wife to come see,” he says. “It was a total, surreal surprise.”

Oxley, who is British-born and Tokyo-based, was (and is) a freelance contributor to iStockphoto, one of the web’s most popular resources for stock photos and illustrations. He originally joined the service because Adobe Creative Suite came with a free membership. But since then, he’s become a power user, uploading almost 10,000 images and selling 100,000. He was even asked to design iStockphoto’s own logo, in 2009.

His biggest sales, though, have been from startups like Twitter, who paid “a relatively small amount of money” for a library of images including the bird and the robot, which still appears when you visit a broken link. The tweeting bird has since been replaced by a succession of avian variations, but thanks to the long memory of the Internet, it resurfaces every now and then. “It always makes me laugh when I still see organizations using my bird to link to their Twitter feed,” Oxley says. “Thank you!”

Shortly after his name emerged as the designer of Twitter’s original mark, Oxley was approached by GitHub, the open source code community. They purchased a package of graphics from Oxley’s stock library as well, including their Octocat logo, for a flat fee. As you might imagine, the GitHub community remakes the logo on a regular basis: there arehundreds of iterations, including a Homer Simpson version, a Shepard Fairey version, and–predictably–a Nyan Cat version. Read more of this post

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