Vitafoam Nigeria (VITAFO.ng) 2017 Annual Report

first_imgVitafoam Nigeria (VITAFO.ng) listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange under the Retail sector has released it’s 2017 annual report.For more information about Vitafoam Nigeria (VITAFO.ng) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Vitafoam Nigeria (VITAFO.ng) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Vitafoam Nigeria (VITAFO.ng)  2017 annual report.Company ProfileVitafoam Nigeria Plc manufactures and sells a range of flexible, reconstituted and rigid foam products in Nigeria. It is the largest foam manufacturing company in the country with an extensive distribution network which includes exporting to other countries in Africa. Vitafoam is a household name in Nigeria and known for its quality products and being a leader in innovation and advanced sleep technology. Mattresses can be custom-made to customers’ requirements using contour cutting equipment. The company also provides foam products for mothers with children including changing mats, baby cot mattresses and feeding pillows. Rigid polyurethane foam manufactured by Vitafoam Nigeria Plc is used in the oil and gas, refrigeration, air-conditioning, poultry and office partitioning sectors. In 200, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc became the first foam manufacturing company in Nigeria to be awarded the NIS 9002 Certificate for its flexible and rigid polyurethane foam, fiber pillows, underlays and adhesives. The company expanded its operations to include Vitafoam Ghana Limited (2008) and Vitafoam Sierra Leone Limited (2009). Vitafoam Nigeria Plc has a major stake in Vono Products and established Vitapur Nigeria which manufactures insulation products; and Vitablom which processes fibre and other material for the upholstery layer. Its company head office is in Lagos, Nigeria. Vitafoam Nigeria Plc is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchangelast_img read more

Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited (SBU.ug) 2020 Annual Report

first_imgStanbic Bank Uganda Limited (SBU.ug) listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange under the Banking sector has released it’s 2020 annual report.For more information about Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations visit the Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited company page on AfricanFinancials.Indicative Share Trading Liquidity The total indicative share trading liquidity for Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited (SBU.ug) in the past 12 months, as of 4th May 2021, is US$2.11M (UGX7.79B). An average of US$175.98K (UGX649.23M) per month.Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited Annual Report DocumentCompany ProfileStanbic Bank Uganda Limited is a leading financial institution in Uganda offering banking products and services to the retail, commercial and corporate segments. Its product offering ranges from savings, fixed deposits and call accounts to term loans, mortgage lending products and vehicle and equipment finance. The commercial division offers investment banking services ranging from corporate finance, debt primary market, securitisation and equity capital to exchange control advisory, credit trading, equity derivatives and interest rate trading and lending. Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited targets the oil and gas, power and infrastructure, public, consumer and financial institution sectors in Uganda. The company has an extensive network of branches, ATMs and customer service centres. Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited is a subsidiary of Stanbic Africa Holdings Limited. Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited is listed on the Uganda Securities Exchangelast_img read more

I’d buy these 2 FTSE 100 shares to retire on a growing passive income

first_img Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. I’d buy these 2 FTSE 100 shares to retire on a growing passive income Image source: Getty Images. We all want a passive income for when we retire. Money that we get paid automatically each month, long after we stop work.Pensions are a traditional source of passive income for retirees, but the State Pension age keeps rising, and company pensions don’t always add up to much. Increasingly, I think it makes sense to plan for your own retirement. A core part of my approach to retirement income is building a portfolio of FTSE 100 shares which offer reliable payouts. I think this is one of the safest and simplest ways to generate passive income.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…You might question how safe the stock market is, given this year’s crash. It’s true that some companies cut or suspended their dividends. However, the companies I’m going to look at today have continued to make dividend payments as usual this year. In fact, neither of them has cut their dividend for at least 20 years, providing over two decades of passive income to shareholders.Products we can’t live withoutMy first pick is consumer goods group Unilever (LSE: ULVR). We all know this company through its brands — names like Dove, Ben & Jerry’s, Persil, and many more. Unilever sells these everyday products to consumers all over the world.Most of these products are affordable, repeat purchases. But customer loyalty to popular brands means Unilever can charge a little more than own-branded rivals. As a result, profit margins are high, and the group generates plenty of surplus cash each year.Much of this spare cash is used to fund the group’s dividend. Unilever’s payout has not been cut for more than 50 years. That’s an impressive record, in my view.What kind of passive income would I get if I bought Unilever shares today?The company’s stock offers a forecast dividend yield of 3.3%. Analysts expect dividend growth to continue in 2021, giving a forecast yield for next year of 3.6%.This yield isn’t the highest that’s available from FTSE 100 shares. But because I’m planning for the future, I’m happy to accept a lower yield today in exchange for future growth.Shares in Unilever very rarely look cheap. But I’d be happy to buy the shares at their current level of around £43. I think that’s a fair price for an excellent business.Government-backed passive income?My next pick may be a little more controversial. Defence stocks aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But BAE Systems (LSE: BA) is one of a handful of FTSE 100 shares where the dividend hasn’t been cut for more than 20 years.The company’s business is well known, although perhaps a bit more diverse than many people realise. In addition to aircraft such as the Typhoon fighter jet, BAE also builds ships, military vehicles, and a wide range of other equipment. There’s also has a growing cybersecurity division.BAE relies on a fairly small number of large, government contracts to drive its profits forward. These contracts don’t always arrive exactly on schedule, so BAE’s profits don’t always rise every year.Despite this, my experience is that this business generates plenty of cash. Management protect the payout so it’s affordable, even in lean years.BAE shares offer a forecast yield of 4.4% at the moment. I think that’s a good starting point for a long-term passive income. I’d certainly be happy to buy (more) BAE shares for my portfolio today. Roland Head owns shares of BAE Systems. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Unilever. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Markets around the world are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic…And with so many great companies trading at what look to be ‘discount-bin’ prices, now could be the time for savvy investors to snap up some potential bargains.But whether you’re a newbie investor or a seasoned pro, deciding which stocks to add to your shopping list can be daunting prospect during such unprecedented times.Fortunately, The Motley Fool is here to help: our UK Chief Investment Officer and his analyst team have short-listed five companies that they believe STILL boast significant long-term growth prospects despite the global lock-down…You see, here at The Motley Fool we don’t believe “over-trading” is the right path to financial freedom in retirement; instead, we advocate buying and holding (for AT LEAST three to five years) 15 or more quality companies, with shareholder-focused management teams at the helm.That’s why we’re sharing the names of all five of these companies in a special investing report that you can download today for FREE. If you’re 50 or over, we believe these stocks could be a great fit for any well-diversified portfolio, and that you can consider building a position in all five right away. See all posts by Roland Head Roland Head | Saturday, 5th December, 2020 | More on: BA ULVR center_img Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Click here to claim your free copy of this special investing report now! I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. 5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50 Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Enter Your Email Addresslast_img read more

Syrian TV journalist reported missing in Eastern Ghouta

first_img February 3, 2021 Find out more March 12, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Syria (c) AFP News News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is very concerned about opposition TV reporter Hadi al Monajid’s reported disappearance in Eastern Ghouta, the besieged rebel enclave near Damascus, and calls on the international community to do everything possible to protect journalists caught in the fighting. March 8, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information March 22, 2018 Syrian TV journalist reported missing in Eastern Ghouta SyriaMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abuses Armed conflicts Newscenter_img to go further News Toll of ten years of civil war on journalists in Syria RSF_en Receive email alerts Organisation Wave of Kurdish arrests of Syrian journalists Hadi al Monajid is the Eastern Ghouta correspondent of Dubai-based Syrian opposition TV channel Orient News, which has had no news of him since 17 March. His colleagues fear he has been arrested. According to their information, government forces – which have regained control of more than 80% of the rebel enclave – arrested members of his family a few days before his disappearance and threatened to kill them in order to force him to surrender. Pro-government newspapers meanwhile claim that he surrendered of his own free will. “The Syrian authorities must shed all possible light on this journalist’s disappearance,” RSF said. “Like other civilians, journalists must be allowed to leave battles zones without fearing reprisals against themselves or their families. We call on the international community to put pressure on Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its allies to respect their categorical obligation to protect civilians, including journalists, at all times under international humanitarian and human rights law.” Like thousands of other civilians, journalists and citizen-journalists in Eastern Ghouta have been exposed to great danger by the regime’s push to regain control of the region. The Syrian Journalists Association estimated at the end of last month that around 75 journalists were in danger in Eastern Ghouta as a result of the military offensive and heavy bombardments. A total of 55 journalists have been killed in Eastern Ghouta since 2011, two of them since the start of the year. More than 230 journalists and citizen-journalists have been killed in connection with their work in the past seven years in Syria, and at least 24 are currently detained by the regime. Syria is ranked 177th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. SyriaMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abuses Armed conflicts Damascus TV presenter arrested under cyber-crime lawlast_img read more

Young boy who died in Buncrana incident named locally

first_img Facebook Renewed calls for full-time Garda in Kilmacrennan Google+ RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Publicans in Republic watching closely as North reopens further By News Highland – February 24, 2020 Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA AudioHomepage BannerNews Facebook Previous articleRenewed calls for tiered armed response unit in DonegalNext articleFinn Harps v Shelbourne – OFF News Highland WhatsAppcenter_img Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme Google+ A young boy who lost his life after being knocked down near Buncrana has been named locally as Dylan Kelly. The 11 year old was struck by a van on the Slavery road in Tullyarvan on Friday evening.He was seriously injured and was treated at the scene by emergency services personnel.The child was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, where he was pronounced dead yesterday evening.The driver of the van, a man in his 50s was uninjured.Superintendent Eugene McGovern is urging anyone with information to come forward:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/eugefgdfgdfgdfne-full.wav00:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Community Enhancement Programme open for applications Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows WhatsApp Twitter Pinterest Pinterest Young boy who died in Buncrana incident named locallylast_img read more

Noble art or just a job?

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article We need to fight against the ‘Big Shrug Generation’ schoolof thought that work is simply a means to an endThe sister-in-law is 20 and everyone is asking her what she wants to do. Butlistening to all the jaded sloggers around her, whatever noble motives andthrilling intentions they started out with, disappointment seems to be theuniversal narrative of working life. Most are busy incubating suspicions that they are worth more, others are ona strict diet of self-blame for their lot in life; all are living for theweekend. The dream of a worthwhile job with variety, gym membership and eccentriccolleagues, seems to inevitably dissolve during the daily grind. Her answer isto cut out the high hopes and avoid the let-down. She intends to do somethingshe expects will bore her to tears, but is steady, secure and money spinning.Law it is, then. Such worldliness in one so young. Despite better judgement, you findyourself suggesting pompous, headmasterly things such as: “well, what doyou feel passionate about?” (“nothing, really”), and “ifyou’re going to spend all those hours at it, you might as well enjoy it”(“yeah, but it doesn’t last”). It’s no good. The ‘Big Shrug Generation’ believes in Engels’ functionaltheory of work – using it as a means to an end, a temporary surrender ofliberty for the sake of material reward – but updated with millennial guile.She can point to multiple examples from people she knows to back up herargument; it’s just a job, they all say. I can think of one or two who aretruly passionate about their work – and even they have their reservations. So her plan has three steps: 1. Get dull job. 2. Work to finance fun. 3.Retire. It’s the kind of strategy you normally formulate after working for 15years, but maybe she’s precocious. I have no idea whether anticipating disappointment means you don’t suffer itlater or whether it merely bases a whole career on the expectation of it. But Ican see the attractions of the position. In one efficient stroke, work shrivelsin importance: it becomes purely an animal battle for status and cash, whileall the more human parts of life take place outside of it. Maybe many graduatesfeel the same way, but hide their feelings from the folk with clipboards fromGradfacts. And perhaps she’s right that work is over-sold. We expect too much from it,when we should really be more demanding of leisure time. As the sociologistRichard Sennett has written, “the spectre of failing to make something ofoneself in the world, to ‘get a life’ through one’s work… impels people to lookfor some other scene of attachment and depth.” The ‘other scene’ lacksspokespeople in our dutifully work-driven culture. Nevertheless, I still reckon the ‘just a job’ school of thought is wrong. Itis especially wrong among professionals and other workers with options. For a start, people underestimate just how much work shapes theirpersonality. Journalists, for example, with a generally detached, scepticalturn of mind, will soon take on the outlook of the publications they work for.I have a friend who once held The Sun to be the root of all evil, but came tosee it as the only trustworthy weather vane of the public mood after startingwork there. It is also true of employment lawyers. If they represent employers, theywill soon come to empathise with the managerial mindset and think plenty ofworkers are pushing their luck. There is no shame in this: it is the way weunconsciously seek to match our self-respect to our occupation. The point isthat jobs tend to leave a mark on people – just as people hope to leave theirmark on organisations. The phrase, ‘it’s just a job’ is often used as a kind of defensive tic – ameans of not seeming such a goody-goody. It does not exclude material ambition– you’re in it for the money, after all – yet it does exclude other ambitions,such as excitement, or fulfilment, or – less ambitiously – the avoidance ofself-betrayal. This is another good argument against ‘just-a-jobbers’: povertyof aspiration. It may be old-fashioned, but the theory that work can be life-enhancing,at least for the lucky or clever, is surely still worth preserving, even if theexperience falls short. If we were to draw up a model of ‘meaningful work’, we would factor in‘authority motives’ such as money and status, ‘craft motives’ such as satisfactionand success, and ‘moral motives’, dealing with job content, belief and calling.Whether we find work meaningful relies on the interplay of these sets ofmotives – between private aspirations and professional opportunities. The ‘justa job’ school only has authority motives to play with. That may be enough, butit seems unrealistically cynical. And finally, there is a roadworthy argument in the correlation betweenhappiness at work, and happiness in life. Admittedly, work is not the keydeterminant – family life, health and levels of debt are all more important.Yet, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, apositive psychological contract remains “strongly significant” in howgreat the chances are of being pleased with your existence. It is not just a job. Work is a highly potent force, whose influence spinsoff in all kinds of peculiar psychological directions. The trouble is thatafter a few years of selling your life to clients in six-minute chunks ofbillable time, you will have no inclination to think about it. Noble art or just a job?On 14 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

GOP CHAIRMAN WAYNE PARKES MAY 3 REPUBLICAN PRIMARY CANIDATES CHOICES

first_imgGOP CHAIRMAN WAYNE PARKES MAY 3 REPUBLICAN PRIMARY CANDIDATES CHOICES Dear Fellow Republicans–Many voters tell me they do not vote in the Primary because they do not know all the candidates and/or the qualifications needed for the various offices on the ballot.Below is a list of Republicans running on the 2016 Primary ballot. Many Republican voters have ask who I am going to vote for in the Primary. I have decided to publicly share who I think is the best Republican Candidate and who I will be voting for in the Primary. My choices are indicated below in “HIGHLIGHTED IN BLACK”.I suggest you take this list with you to the polls to use as a reference while voting.We are very fortunate to have many good Republicans running for office in 2016. Vote for the person you wish to be elected in November. You now know what the Republican Chairman thinks.It is OK to pass this email on to others.Be sure to encourage others to vote.Thanks.Wayne ParkeChairman [email protected] 3 Republican Primary CandidatesFOOTNOTE:  Vanderburgh County GOP Chairmen Wayne’s Parkes choices are shown “HIGHLIGHTED IN “BLACK”.President(vote for 1)Ted Cruz*John KasichDonald TrumpUnited States Senate (vote for 1)Marlin A Stutzman* Todd YoungGovernor (vote for 1)*Michael R PenceUnited States Representative 8th District (vote for 1)*Larry D. BucshonRichard MossState Senator District 50 (vote for 1)*Vaneta BeckerJeremy HeathState Representative District 64 (vote for 1)Ann Ennis*Thomas W. WashburneState Representative District 76 (vote for 1)*Wendy (Mac) McNamaraState Representative District 77 (vote for 1)Wm Billy D. GarrettHenrietta Jenkins*Johnny KincaidState Representative District 78 (vote for 1)*Holli SullivanClerk of the Circuit Court (vote for 1)Connie Carrier*Carla J HaydenCounty Recorder (vote for 1)*Debbie StuckiCounty Treasurer (vote for 1)*Susan K. KirkCounty Surveyor (vote for 1)*Jeffrey D. MuellerCounty Commissioner District One (vote for 1)Dale McCuiston (On the ballot but has withdrawn. We will replace Dale in a June Caucus)County Commissioner District Three (vote for 1)Brenda BergwitzCheryl A.W. Musgrave*Alex R. SchmittCounty Council at Large (vote for 3)*Joe Kiefer*Angela Koehler Lindsey*Nicholas Wildeman FOOTNOTES: Our next “IS IT TRUE” will be posted on this coming FRIDAY?Please take time and read our newest feature article entitled “HOT JOBS”. Jobs posted in this section are from Evansville proper.If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] “Readers Poll” question is: Do you feel that the Vanderburgh County GOP Chairman Wayne Parke should publicly endorse candidates running in the Republican primary?FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Cake Box store numbers and like-for-like sales grow

first_imgEgg-free cake supplier Cake Box has continued its expansion with the opening of nine franchise stores in the past six months.The business, which is now operating 122 stores, has seen total sales rise around 6% to £8.8m in the six months ended 30 September 2019. This is a £0.5m increase on the same period last year.Sales in stores trading for at least one full financial year rose 6.9% year-on-year.Recent store openings included Dartford, Derby and Slough, and the company said the pipeline of new stores remained strong and the group was on track to achieve its store opening target for the year. “I am very pleased with our performance over the first half, particularly our ongoing momentum in like-for-like sales,” said Sukh Chamdal, co-founder and chief executive officer.“Our new store roll-out was slightly lower than the comparative period last year. However, we already have a further three stores fitted out and, once the final legal processes are completed, will be open for trading, so will be recognised in the second half.“With a number of other developments under way to improve the Cake Box proposition, we remain confident in our prospects for the full year and beyond.”Launched in 2008 in East London, Cake Box supplies products that are all egg-free, which the company said enabled it to target a larger potential market. The business has a manufacturing site in Enfield and, last year, listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).last_img read more

Watch ‘The Allman Brothers’ Family Incident’ Perform A 17+ Minute ‘Jessica’ At Peach Fest [HD Video]

first_imgOn Friday night, the wonderful worlds of The Allman Brothers Band and The String Cheese Incident collided into an epic set of southern rock ballads. “The Allman Brothers’ Family Incident” came together at the very last minute, when Gregg Allman had to cancel his co-headlining set with the band, and members of Les Brers stepped in.The 2016 incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band, touring as Les Brers, includes founding members Jaimoe and Butch Trucks on drums, recent bassist Oteil Burbridge (Dead & Co.) and percussionist Marc Quiñones, and slide guitarist Jack Pearson (from 1997-99). In addition to these mushroom-official members, are vocalist Lamar Williams Jr. (son of bassist Lamar Williams who played in ABB after Berry Oakley) and keyboardist Bruce Katz, known as a regular member of Gregg Allman and Friends, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, and a frequent collaborator with ABB — making him the perfect fit for the B3 seat. In addition to these seven members of Les Brers, guitarist Scott Sharrard stepped in to help SCI perform the ever-expansive catalogue of the Allman Brothers Band, and has been assisting in the learning process over the past several weeks leading up to the epic tribute performance.The music of the Allman Brothers was both respected and enjoyed in a professional manner. The bluegrass-infused touch of the Cheese on an already southern book of songs made for a perfect cocktail to fans of either. The energy was at an all time high, with gratitude that the Peach Festival was able to pull off such a stellar replacement for Allman.Thanks to Rock, Roots, & Blues – Live! we can enjoy these high-definition videos below:Jessica w/ Butch Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Jack Pearson, Bruce KatzTrouble No More w/ Jaimoe, Lamar Williams Jr., Bruce KatzAin’t Wastin’ Time No More w/ Butch Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Jack Pearson, Bruce Katz Midnight RiderThe Allman Brothers’ Family Incident @ Peach Music Festival 8/12/16:Statesboro Blues w/ JaimoeMidnight Rider w/ Jaimoe, Marc QuiñonesTrouble No More w/ Jaimoe, Lamar Williams Jr., Bruce KatzSweet Melissa w/ Bruce KatzOutside And Inside w/ Marc QuiñonesAin’t Wastin’ Time No More w/ Butch Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Jack Pearson, Bruce KatzQuinn The Eskimo w/ Butch Trucks, Jack Pearson, Bruce KatzJessica w/ Butch Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Jack Pearson, Bruce Katzlast_img read more

How mosquitoes home in

first_imgThey have been a scourge for thousands of years, responsible for the spread of lethal diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, and, much less urgently, a threat to barbecues around the globe.What if there was a way to render humans invisible to mosquitoes?The notion isn’t as far-fetched as it might sound, say researchers who have identified a key genetic variation that helps mosquitoes “smell” humans. The study, which is described in a Nov. 13 paper in Nature, could open the door to new strategies to ward off the pesky insects.The work was led by Leslie B. Vosshall at Rockefeller University in New York and Carolyn McBride, an assistant professor at Princeton. Felix Baier, now a graduate student in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard, was also part of the team.“What’s emerging from this is a picture of exactly how mosquitoes are navigating their environment to locate humans, and in the end, we may able to use that knowledge to fine-tune a line of attack that distracts their preference for humans altogether,” Baier said.The gene researchers identified, Or4, encodes for receptors that detect sulcatone, a compound emitted at unusually high levels by humans. By varying the sensitivity and expression level of that gene, Baier said, ancient mosquitoes were able to zero in on a new food source — humans.As recently as 100,000 years ago, mosquitoes fed exclusively on animals, largely because there simply weren’t enough humans to make them worth targeting. But as humans spread around the globe, mosquitoes followed, hungrily.While animal- and human-preferring mosquitoes have diverged over thousands of years, the two can still be interbred, a fact Baier and colleagues exploited to examine how their genomes differ.“What we did first was to take the two different types of mosquito and look at their antennae, which is their most important smell organ,” Baier said. “We reasoned that there should be differences in the number and type of genes that are expressed there, and that was true. We found a huge list of genes that differed in their expression between the two types of mosquitoes — 959 in all.”To pare the list, Baier and colleagues bred the two types of mosquitoes to create hybrids, then bred the hybrids to create a second generation.“When you do that the genome gets reshuffled,” Baier said. “Just by chance, some mosquitoes in the second generation will have the gene that attracts them to humans, and some will have the gene that attracts them to animals. We subject those mosquitoes to behavioral tests to identify one from another, and then sequence the genes in their antennae again.”The team reduced the original pool of nearly 1,000 possibilities down to just 46, a list far more manageable, but still too large to identify candidate genes for further study.“We next compared the two lists of genes. If we found that a particular gene was upregulated in the human-preferring hybrids, we then looked to see if it was upregulated in the human-preferring parental strain as well,” Baier said. “If it wasn’t, we reasoned it was unlikely to be the gene responsible for the preference to bite humans.”By identifying genes that were different in similar ways in both the parental and the hybrid strains, the team was able to produce a list of just 14 genes that might be responsible for helping mosquitoes identify humans. The team then cut the list even further by looking at the identity of those genes — and found that two of them encoded odorant receptors.“We felt that odorant receptors in the antennae were the most likely to underlie this behavioral difference, because changing the input to the system is an easy way to change the behavior,” Baier said. “We then decided to look more deeply into one gene because it was very highly expressed — in fact, it was the second most highly-expressed odorant receptor in the antenna of human-preferring mosquitoes overall.”With their target identified, the team set about finding what the odorant receptor detects. The process is relatively simple in fruit flies, Baier said: Researchers bombard the insect with various compounds while monitoring the activity of particular neurons. When the receptors detect certain compounds, they cause neurons to fire. By tracking those neural patterns, researchers can determine which compounds the receptors detect.“But because these are mosquitoes and not model organisms like the fruit fly, we had to use a different strategy,” Baier said. That strategy was to transplant the Or4 gene from the mosquito into fruit flies, and then record their neural activity as they were confronted with different molecules.The receptor detects sulcatone, the researchers found.“Humans emit it much more than any of the other animals we tested,” Baier said. “And that makes sense — it’s something a mosquito could use to distinguish between human and other mammals.”The researchers said it could be possible to interrupt the process somehow, whether by attacking the genetic pathway or developing a compound that binds to the sulcatone receptors. Doing so would effectively render mosquitoes “blind” to humans.“Obviously, doing that is not trivial, but this opens the possibility of looking into it,” Baier said. “Of course, mosquitoes would still be able to locate humans through other cues, but they would probably have a harder time to prefer biting humans. The importance of this is that we’re learning more about the architecture of the olfactory system in mosquitoes in general, and how that mediates the recognition of humans.”last_img read more