Gut microbes eat our medication

first_img Ph.D. students explore the culture and science of food in the Veritalk podcast Microbes by the mile Related Exhibit shows the beauty, utility of microscopic universe around us Study unravels how microbes produce key compound used to fight cancer Microbial manufacturing The first time a young Vayu Maini Rekdal manipulated microbes, he made a decent sourdough bread, even if he gave little thought to the crucial chemical reactions involved.More crucial, he would later learn, is the role microbes play in helping our bodies break down foods so they can absorb the nutrients. Since we cannot digest certain substances — all-important fiber, for example — microbes step up to perform chemistry no human can.“But this kind of microbial metabolism can also be detrimental,” said Maini Rekdal, a Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Ph.D. student in the lab of Professor Emily Balskus, and first author on their new study published June 14 in Science.According to Maini Rekdal, gut microbes can chew up medications with often hazardous side effects. “Maybe the drug is not going to reach its target in the body; maybe it’s going to be toxic all of a sudden; maybe it’s going to be less helpful,” he said.In their study, Balskus, Maini Rekdal, and their collaborators at the University of California, San Francisco, describe one of the first concrete examples of how the microbiome can interfere with a drug’s intended path through the body. Focusing on levodopa (L-dopa), the primary treatment for Parkinson’s disease, they identified which bacteria out of the trillions of species is responsible for degrading the drug, and how to stop it.Parkinson’s disease globally affects more than 1 percent of those age 60 and above. The neurological disorder attacks nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine, without which the body can suffer tremors, muscle rigidity, and problems with balance and coordination. The cause of the disease is unknown.The primary treatment for Parkinson’s symptoms is L-dopa, a drug taken orally that delivers dopamine to the brain. To do so, it must first cross the blood-brain barrier. For most patients, only about 1 to 5 percent of the drug actually reaches the brain.,This number — and the drug’s efficacy — varies widely from patient to patient. Since the introduction of L-dopa in the late 1960s, researchers have known that the body’s enzymes (tools that perform necessary chemistry) can break down L-dopa in the gut, preventing the drug from reaching the brain. The pharmaceutical industry introduced aneffective supplemental drug, carbidopa, to block unwanted L-dopa metabolism.“Even so,” Maini Rekdal said, “there’s a lot of metabolism that’s unexplained, and it’s very variable between people.” That sets the stage for another problem: Not only is the drug less effective for some patients, but when L-dopa is transformed into dopamine outside the brain, the compound can cause side effects, including severe gastrointestinal distress and cardiac arrhythmias. If less of the drug reaches the brain, patients are often given more to manage their symptoms, potentially worsening the side effects.Maini Rekdal suspected microbes might be behind the L-dopa disappearance. Previous research showed that antibiotics improve a patient’s response to L-dopa, but scientists could only speculate that bacteria might be to blame. Still, no one identified which bacterial species might be culpable or how and why they eat the drug.So the Balskus team launched an investigation. The unusual chemistry — L-dopa to dopamine — was their first clue. Few bacterial enzymes can perform this conversion. But a good number bind to tyrosine — an amino acid similar to L-dopa. And one, from a food microbe often found in milk and pickles (Lactobacillus brevis), can accept both tyrosine and L-dopa.,Using the Human Microbiome Project as a reference, Maini Rekdal and his team hunted through bacterial DNA to identify which gut microbes had genes to encode a similar enzyme. Several fit their criteria, but only one strain, Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis), ate all the L-dopa every time.With this discovery, the team provided the first strong evidence connecting E. faecalis and the bacteria’s enzyme (PLP-dependent tyrosine decarboxylase, or TyrDC) to L-dopa metabolism. Yet a human enzyme can and does convert L-dopa to dopamine in the gut, the same reaction carbidopa is designed to stop. Then why, the team wondered, does the E. faecalis enzyme escape carbidopa’s reach?Even though the human and bacterial enzymes perform the exact same chemical reaction, the bacterial one looks just a little different. Maini Rekdal speculated that carbidopa may not be able to penetrate the microbial cells, or the slight structural variance could prevent the drug from interacting with the bacterial enzyme. If true, other host-targeted treatments may be just as ineffective as carbidopa against similar microbial machinations.But the cause may not matter. Balskus and her team already discovered a molecule capable of inhibiting the bacterial enzyme.“The molecule turns off this unwanted bacterial metabolism without killing the bacteria; it’s just targeting a nonessential enzyme,” Maini Rekdal said. This and similar compounds could provide a starting place for the development of new drugs to improve L-dopa therapy for Parkinson’s patients.The team might have stopped there. Instead, they unraveled a second step in the microbial metabolism of L-dopa. After E. faecalis converts the drug into dopamine, a second organism converts dopamine into another compound, meta-tyramine.To find the second organism, Maini Rekdal experimented with a fecal sample. He subjected its diverse microbial community to a Darwinian game, feeding dopamine to hordes of microbes to see which prospered.Eggerthella lenta won. These bacteria eat dopamine and make meta-tyramine as a byproduct, a challenging reaction even for chemists. “There’s no way to do it on the bench top,” Maini Rekdal said, “and previously no enzymes were known that did this exact reaction.”Knowing the microbial meals end with meta-tyramine, Maini Rekdal decided to test whether he could predict how a fecal sample’s bacteria would interact with L-dopa. What we eat and why we eat it He could. Based on meta-tyramine levels, Maini Rekdal determined how much of the drug a sample would consume. With this in mind, doctors could individualize Parkinson’s treatment based on a patient’s specific microbes and their byproducts.Meta-tyramine may also contribute to L-dopa’s noxious side effects, but until now, there was no reason to investigate the compound’s role.“All of this suggests that gut microbes may contribute to the dramatic variability that is observed in side effects and efficacy between different patients taking L-dopa,” said Balskus. Her work could help decrease this variability and allow the drug to work as intended, without microbial interference.last_img read more

Dom Madonna shines in net, gets assist on game-winner in triple overtime as No. 16 Syracuse downs No. 9 Army, 11-10

first_img Published on February 24, 2018 at 7:07 pm Contact Charlie: [email protected] | @charliedisturco In double overtime, Syracuse found itself in an eerily similar situation. The Orange was a man down after a push from Kevin Hutchings. As Army worked the ball around, David Symmes streaked into open space and caught a pass.Last year against Army, Syracuse had completed a comeback only to lose on a game-winner from Symmes. Though SU had not been down a man, Symmes put the nail in the coffin. On Saturday, he had that same opportunity.Symmes crow-hopped and fired past the outstretched stick of long-stick midfielder Austin Fusco. Goalie Dom Madonna quickly moved his stick low-to-high. The ball hit nylon. But unlike last year, that nylon was not the back of the net. It was Madonna’s stick.In its closest game of the season, No. 16 Syracuse (2-1) stormed back from a five-goal deficit to down No. 9 Army (3-1), 11-10, in triple overtime. Madonna’s save to effectively kill Army’s man-down was just one of seven for the goalie, who helped the Orange defense hold Army to four second-half goals. But his contribution on the defensive end was partially overshadowed by his offensive contribution: Madonna had the game-winning assist.Syracuse won the opening faceoff in triple overtime, but the ball had dribbled into SU’s defensive zone. The Orange struggled to get past midfield and successfully clear the ball. As time wound down, Madonna caught a pass and began to look for an outlet pass to push transition. Nothing was there.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We had a little bit of trouble there on that clearing situation,” SU head coach John Desko said. “We didn’t sub a defenseman out and they were pressuring us. I think Dom felt he had to find somebody open deep.”As the 30-second timer kept ticking away, Madonna scanned for his options. Then, he found his target. Redshirt senior Ryan Simmons cut behind both Army’s longpole and defensive middie and into open space.From the 35-yard line, Madonna fired and hit Simmons in stride. He put the ball in the back of the net. The fans clad in Orange erupted and the team charged Simmons. And then there was Madonna, jumping around and screaming from where he let off the pass.“Heck of a game,” Army head coach Joe Alberici said. “He makes a man-up save and then gets a game-winning assist. You don’t hear about that too often from goalies.”Syracuse struck first to open the game, a goal six minutes in from Nate Solomon. But then, the offense struggled to maintain possession. SU faceoff specialists Danny Varello and Seth DeLisle won two faceoffs the entire first half, giving Army time to work.That resulted in a six-goal run by Army and nearly 25 minutes of scoreless ball for Syracuse. Despite Army’s constant attack, SU’s defense remained a strength, much like it was for the first half of last week’s 15-3 blowout loss to then-No. 3 Albany.And just like last week, Madonna was there to make the stops when Syracuse needed it. Army tallied 17 shots in the first half and dominated possession time. But the Black Knights only mustered six goals — three while man-up.“Getting a few on you helps you settle in,” Madonna said. “… We had a lot of composure in the second half.”As he and the defense became more comfortable, Army struggled to replicate its first-half success. It turned the ball over nine times in the second half and scored just four times. Its man-up opportunity in the third quarter ended in a wide shot.In overtime, Army’s attack began to settle in. In all three extra periods, possessions often ended in a turnover or save by the team’s respective goalies.With just less than two minutes left in the first overtime, Ted Glesener fired a low shot wide. It looked like Madonna had been able to get a foot near or on the ball, but Army retained possession. Thirty seconds later, Symmes took possession and fired his sixth shot of the game. Madonna made the save, keeping the Orange’s hopes at a comeback win intact.Then, in double overtime, Symmes found himself open. And again, Madonna was able to make the stop.“He’s been making all the saves he should and a few that he shouldn’t,” Desko said.On Saturday, Symmes’ shot was arguably one that he shouldn’t have. Syracuse was man-down and Symmes had a wide-open look on net. But Madonna was quick enough to make the stop.And then not two-and-a-half minutes later, Madonna rifled the game-winning pass to Simmons.“Not only did we ask him to make all the saves, but he had to get the assist on the game-winning goal,” Desko said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

NBA free agency: LA Lakers finalized deal with Timofey Mozgov

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error While plenty of attention centered on LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in guiding Cleveland to the 2016 NBA championships, Mozgov averaged 6.3 points on 56.5 percent shooting and 4.4 rebounds. The Lakers are in dire need of upgrading their center position after deciding not to resign Roy Hibbert, who posted a career-low in points (5.9) and anchoring a defense that ranked 27th in points allowed (106.8). Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw also coached Mozgov with the Denver Nuggets.Other front-court candidates include Whiteside and Atlanta’s Al Horford. But Whiteside narrowed his choices down between Miami and Dallas, according to The Vertical. As of Thursday, Horford did not indicate any interest with the Lakers. Charlotte forward Nicolas Batum also has shown interest in the Lakers, though the versatile swingman is expected to seek a max offer from the Hornets. Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson has more affection for purple and gold after morphing from the 46th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft into one of the team’s starters. The Lakers extended a qualifying offer worth $2.7 million to Clarkson, though the rest of his free agency seems uncertain. The Lakers could immediately offer Clarkson a four-year deal worth $88.9 million. That would mark a higher upgrade than opposing teams offering him a maximum of $57.8 million over four years or $34.1 million over three years. The Lakers have the luxury of matching any offer sheet Clarkson receives. But the Lakers may not have the luxury of stomaching the consequences. Under the so-called Gilbert Arenas rule, the Lakers could pay Clarkson around $5.5 million through the next two seasons before paying him $22-23 million the following two years. But that could eat into the Lakers’ future spending power when they presumably have more to offer free agents. Things seemed less certain for the rest of the Lakers’ free agents. The NBA’s version of speed dating started at a frenetic pace. Executives from all 30 teams called prospective free agents beginning at 9:01 pm. PT on Thursday both to express interest and set up future meetings.Unfortunately for the Lakers, they were stood up before any first dates. First, the Lakers could not land a meeting with Kevin Durant, stripping them of any hope to land the seven-time NBA All-Star to replace Kobe Bryant. Second, the Lakers received no indication Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside would consider them. Third, it currently remains unclear if the Lakers can land a meeting with Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan or Atlanta’s Al Horford. So on the first night of free agency, the Lakers settled on something else. They aggressively pursued Cleveland center Timofey Mozgov, according to The Vertical. So much that Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak reportedly reached out to Mozgov when free agency began at 9:01 p.m. PT on Thursday. So much that the Lakers and Mozgov are reportedly nearing agreement on a deal worth four years at $65 million.center_img The Lakers expect veteran forward Brandon Bass to receive a lucrative offer elsewhere after opting out of his player option worth $3.1 million. The Lakers are unlikely to retain reserve forward Ryan Kelly and reserve center Robert Sacre. The Lakers extended $1.1 million qualifying offers to reserve forward Tarik Black and reserve guard Marcelo Huertas to make them restricted free agents, though their futures seem uncertain. The Lakers do not plan to resign veteran Metta World Peace, though are amenable toward inviting him for a spot on the training camp roster in September. Meanwhile, Boston free-agent shooting guard Evan Turner has expressed interest in about six NBA teams, including the Lakers and Celtics, according to league sources familiar with the situation. The 27-year-old Turner provided a jack-of-all-trades role through two seasons in Boston, averaging 10 points, five rebounds, and five assists over 27.8 minutes per game.Questions arose about Turner’s 3-point shooting after only shooting 24.1 percent last season. Yet, Turner made up for that with an efficient mid-range game by shooting 52.9 percent from shots within 12-14 feet, according to NBA.comlast_img read more

Gerardi leads 49ers past Princeton

first_img 49ers freshman Katy Williams won two singles matches and teamed with junior Sandra Rocha to win two doubles matches to advance to today’s semifinals in both competitions in the Cal State Fullerton Fall Intercollegiates. Williams, seeded third in singles, beat Rocha 6-3, 6-3 in her first singles match of the day, then defeated Merve Asimgil of Pepperdine, 6-1, 6-4. Williams will take on top-seeded Marielle Grueinig of UC Santa Barbara in a semifinal this morning. 49ers freshman Jessica Weeks lost in singles. In doubles, Williams and Rocha posted 8-1 and 8-4 wins over opponents from Loyola Marymount and UC Irvine, respectively. In the back draw of singles, 49ers junior Rachael Porsz beat her opponents by scores of 8-2, 8-3, 8-2, and in the back draw of doubles, Porsz and Weeks teamed to win two matches, one by default. Today they will play LBSU’s Emmanuelle Tabatruong and Krystina Katayama, who won a match after a bye. Against Cal Baptist, the 49ers led 8-3 after three quarters. McCleave was the only 49er to net more than one goal. Onyshko had eight saves in the win. The 49ers will play in the NorCal Tournament next weekend. Women’s tennis Jay Gerardi scored a career-high four goals to help the eighth-ranked Long Beach State men’s water polo team beat 12th-ranked Princeton, 12-7, on Saturday at Cal Baptist in Riverside. The 49ers (14-5) then beat Cal Baptist later in the day, 9-7, led by Brett McCleave’s four goals. Against Princeton, the 49ers led 5-4 at halftime before surging to an 8-4 lead after thee quarters. Brad Scoles, Reid Tomassi and Erik Geoffroy added two goals apiece for LBSU, and 49ers goalie Thomas Onyshko made seven saves. center_img The tourney winds up today. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

SA’s mergers boom continues

first_imgMerger and acquisition (M&A) activity rose sharply in South Africa in 2007, with total deal volumes up 81% over the previous year and the top 10 deals coming in at R208.1-billion, a 51.5% increase over the top 10 deals of 2006.“For M&A in South Africa, 2007 will go down as a phenomenal year,” Ernst & Young transaction advisory services director Dave Thayser said in a statement last week ahead of the 11 March release of the Ernst & Young Review of Mergers & Acquisitions Activity for 2007.“International trends were reflected in the continued presence of private equity deals, and the tapering off of these transactions by the end of the year,” Thayser said.“This trend was most evident in the sale of clothing retailer Edcon to a private equity consortium, which was the third-largest overall deal in South Africa last year and the largest private equity deal in emerging markets as a whole.”International trends were also reflected in the overall increase in the volume of transactions and increased presence of emerging market companies on the local scene, such as the sale of a 20% stake in the Standard Bank group to the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.Black economic empowermentThe major drivers of M&A that were evident during 2006 remained powerful forces during 2007. “Black economic empowerment (BEE) remained top of mind for corporate South Africa, and the effort to forge a new and inclusive society remains a work in progress,” Thayser said.“As we predicted last year, the finalisation of the codes of good practice for broad-based BEE during 2006 has resolved many of the grey areas, and encouraged the completion of many transactions that were waiting in the wings.”According to Thayser, South Africa’s largest deals were typically transnational, agreed deals between companies in the same sector, with the motivation for the deals being an attempt by firms to achieve a larger physical presence and achieve efficiencies through economies of scale.Though the increase in M&A activity in South Africa from 2006 to 2007 was impressive, Goldman Sachs’ SA head Colin Coleman pointed out that the South African market was “lumpy”, and that the tally of total deal flow could be affected by coincidence rather than a clear trend.Global boomAccording to Ernst & Young, research house Dealogic found that the volume of global M&A deals in 2007 rose to a historic level of US$4.83-trillion, some 23% more than in 2006 – which was itself considered to be a boom year.The year featured major deals such as a successful $95-billion bid for Dutch bank ABN Amro by a consortium led by the Royal Bank of Scotland, and a “mammoth” $152-billion bid by the world’s largest miner, BHP Billiton, for rival Rio Tinto in November.Yet Dealogic noted that there was a marked slowdown late in the third quarter which continued into the fourth quarter of 2007, with second-half volume dropping by 21% and the $216.2-billion transaction volume for September being the lowest monthly figure since November 2005.“Mega-deals are set to continue in the medium term, say a cross-section of M&A participants, but there may be a lull in the short term,” Thayser said.“Certainly, the contracting credit markets in the second half of 2007 put the kibosh on private equity transactions, since cheap and available credit is the lifeblood of private equity business. Yet local private equity companies remain cash-flush and hungry for targets.”SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

South Africa to seek solutions to electricity constraints

first_img26 March 2015A summit would be convened “soon” to discuss solutions to the current electricity challenges facing the country, according to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.Responding to questions for oral reply at the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on 25 March, he said Eskom had also deployed its most senior managers to power stations to ensure that plants were managed effectively to avert failure.The decision to hold the summit emanated from his meeting with representatives of Business Leadership South Africa in Pretoria on 20 March. They discussed the electricity supply constraints and other issues affecting the state power utility“When we met, we were able to hear their [business sector] proposals. One of the things that came out of that is that I am going to convene a summit with all the stakeholders and that summit will come up with a number of proposals to deal with the problems facing Eskom,” Ramaphosa said.The summit, which would involve business, labour and other affected stakeholders, would examine electricity challenges with the aim of coming up with proposals to further help in addressing the problems.War RoomAfter a Cabinet meeting in December 2014, the government established an energy war room to attend to Eskom’s short- and long-term energy challenges at a time when the country was faced with load shedding.Then, in his State of the Nation Address in February, President Jacob Zuma announced a five-point plan to assist the power utility. Ramaphosa said progress had been made in implementing the five-point plan.“Progress is being made with all elements of the five-point plan to address the electricity challenge that our country faces at the moment. Eskom has taken steps to improve the maintenance and operation of our power stations. including the deployment of senior managers to our power stations.“It was the process of the war room that a decision was taken that senior managers should be deployed to power stations and that they should not only be at air- conditioned offices in Megawatt Park,” he said.Over and above the announcement by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown on the successful synchronisation of the Medupi power plant on to the grid, the government was also renewing several cogeneration contracts with the private sector.This, he said, showed that Eskom was serious about dealing with the electricity problems in the short-term.Constrained supplyFriday’s meeting was held at the request of business with a view to helping the government to address difficulties arising from the constrained supply of electricity, as well as issues affecting Eskom, said Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Ronnie Mamoepa.The deputy minister would continue to meet “key stakeholders” to discuss Eskom, and he would provide feedback on interventions at Eskom to National Economic Development and Labour Council social partners soon.“The War Room on Eskom has held several meetings with stakeholders, including Business Unity South Africa, which counts the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry among its members. [It] will continue meeting with stakeholders and welcomes suggestions from all sectors regarding the way forward on Eskom,” said Mamoepa.The War Room was responsible for implementing Zuma’s five-point plan to deal with electricity challenges. Ramaphosa had appointed a six-member independent panel of experts to advise him on current challenges facing Eskom and to develop proposals for a way forward, his spokesman added.Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

The road to the National FFA Convention

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Meredith Oglesby, OCJ FFA reporterEach year, six individuals are chosen to serve the National FFA Organization for the coming year. The process of becoming a national officer is rigorous and the preparation begins months before. Koleson McCoy, of the Global Impact STEM Academy and past State President will represent Ohio as the national officer candidate at the 92nd National FFA Convention and Expo, Oct. 30- Nov. 2.Reflecting on the memories of his FFA experiences, McCoy is thankful for his decision to attend the STEM academy when it opened in Clark County, which gave him the opportunity to be involved in an agricultural education program.“Initially, being in the Clark Shawnee District, I was going to attend a high school that did not have an agriculture program,” McCoy said. “However, my freshman year there was a brand-new school that had opened and was focused on bioscience curriculum and applying agriculture to STEM based curriculum.”Through career development events (CDEs) such as extemporaneous public speaking, job interview and food science and technology as well as serving as a chapter officer and competing in the AgriScience Fair, McCoy fell in love with the opportunities available through the FFA organization.“As a young member in the FFA you always hear from older members how amazing the organization is, and how it had changed their life for the better,” McCoy said. “It really wasn’t until I had gone to national convention for the first time that I realized what I was a part of. The breadth and depth of the organization was so much more than I had realized in a very positive way.”McCoy is using what he learned while serving as the 2017-2018 State Secretary and the 2018-2019 State President to guide the preparation process.“I learned how to intentionally begin to look around me searching for ways to serve other people,” McCoy said. “Often, it is easy to focus upon the progression in our personal and professional lives but learning to seek after what we can to other people is the most fulfilling.”McCoy went through an interview process to be elected as Ohio’s national officer candidate and has spent the past several months studying and preparing. The preparation process has reinforced my belief in the purpose of our organization, McCoy said.“What the FFA embodies is the investment into those young student leaders, so everything from the agricultural educator in a classroom to the candidates running for national office I see that purpose shine through,” he said.If elected to national office, McCoy would serve more than 700,000 FFA members across the United States, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The national officers serve as student representatives for the National FFA Board of Directors, keynote speakers for state conventions while also facilitating workshops and engaging in industry sponsor tours.“I want to be an authentic advocate for our industry and partners, a driving force of our mission and progression as an organization, and a kind friend to those in and out of the blue jacket,” McCoy said. “That, I truly believe would be my greatest accomplishment as a national officer and it’s what pushes me to pursue leadership at the national level for FFA.”The FFA has been key in allowing McCoy grow, develop and define who he would like to become.“My involvement in this organization has led to a strong sense of self-knowledge, leadership self-efficacy, and set me up to pursue a career in the agricultural industry that I have some to have a deep sense of appreciation for,” McCoy said.Now, as a student at The Ohio State University studying agricultural business and applied economics with a minor in political science, McCoy is excited to study and pursue a career in the agricultural industry.“I have always told myself as long as I can be engaged in the agricultural industry, travel and interact with people, I am content,” McCoy said. “The aspiration of potentially working for Farm Bureau or the United States Department of Agriculture has always sparked my interest.”When McCoy isn’t busy with school or studying for national office, he enjoys traveling and meeting new people. Often times he can be found working on structural projects or landscaping around his farm.The Ohio FFA Association wishes McCoy the best of luck as the Ohio national officer candidate. The election results will be announced on Nov. 2 during the eighth general session of the National FFA Convention and Expo.last_img read more

With sights set on Tokyo 2020, PH skateboarding holds regional qualifiers

first_imgMonty Mendigora, the president of the Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines, announced on Wednesday that the start of the regional championships would start with the Luzon leg on March 23-24 at Robinsons Mall in Novaliches.Skateboarding chief Monty Mendigoria (right) presents a limited edition skateboard to sports patron and Go For Gold Philippines head Jeremy Go. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO“We will look for the best skaters in the regionals,” said Mendigora. “The top three participants from the regionals will get a chance to prove their worth in the national SEA Games qualifying championship.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesThe Visayas leg would be held in Cebu on April 6-7 while the Mindanao leg is set in General Santos on May 25-26.The top three skaters from the three regional legs will then compete in the National SEA Games qualifier in Sta. Rosa, Laguna on Aug. 24-25. P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed LATEST STORIES PBA: Pogoy, TNT remain in sharp form, crush Alaska PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash Gold medallist Margielyn Didal. AFP FILE PHOTOMANILA, Philippines—The Philippines isn’t just looking at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, which the country will host, it’s setting its sights on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.The Skateboarding and Roller Sports Association of the Philippines Inc., and Go for Gold have partnered up to find the best skateboarders that will represent the Philippines in the 2019 SEA Games and, if possible, in Tokyo.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy The Visayas leg, though, is the highlight of the qualifiers with 2018 Asian Games gold medalist Margielyn Didal expected to appear on the competition.“We feel that Margie and the skateboarding team will become our bright lights in the 2020 Olympics, and hopefully they can bring home our first Olympic gold medal,” said Go for Gold godfather Jeremy Go.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end MOST READlast_img read more

Minister Highlights Importance of Music Tourism

first_img Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says music tourism is a rapidly expanding market, which plays perfectly into Jamaica’s strength as the top entertainment destination in the region.Addressing the graduation ceremony for the DJ Capacity Building Training Programme at the Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, St. James, on June 21, Mr. Bartlett said to fully capitalize, “we are positioning” the tourism sector to work strategically with the music industry to create valuable products and experiences for visitors.“Our music continues to set Jamaica apart from rival destinations,” the Minister pointed out.“Each year more and more reggae music fans converge on the island to enjoy great music and the offerings of a remarkable destination. The resounding success of music festivals like Reggae Sumfest and Sting have helped to enhance our international profile significantly,” he added.Mr. Bartlett said that while the Ministry is committed to fostering the continued development of the entertainment industry and its full integration into the tourism product, he is fully cognizant that there is still more to be done to maximize the potential of “this important” sub-sector.“So, as we put in place the framework to further diversify our tourism product, we are well aware of the enormous benefits if we get this right,” Mr. Bartlett said.“We have to give visitors more things to do when they come to our island. We have to tap into their passion points, and music is a great way to start. Simply put, we are placing a special focus on developing entertainment tourism as part of our growth strategy,” he noted.Mr. Bartlett said that while the country’s goal of welcoming five million visitors annually remains on target, there is simply no room for complacency.He said that as good as the current offerings may be, stakeholders should always be looking to innovate and focus on growing earnings per visitor and retaining more of those earnings in Jamaica.“It goes without saying that entertainment is an area in which we are world beaters,” the Minister further added.“Therefore we are taking the necessary steps to capitalize on the tremendous potential Jamaica has in this area to significantly boost our arrivals and tourism earnings,” he said.The Minister commended the Head of the Ministry’s Sports and Entertainment Network, Entertainment Consultant and Promoter, Kamal Bankay, noting that “he is doing an excellent job leading this initiative.”“This is being done in collaboration with my colleague, Hon. Olivia Grange and her team from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport,” Mr. Bartlett said.“We will also be leveraging February’s Reggae Month to appeal to visitors. In addition, the month marks the birthdays of Jamaica’s most recognizable musicians, the King of Reggae Bob Marley and the Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Brown, both great selling points,” the Minister said. Story Highlights “Each year more and more reggae music fans converge on the island to enjoy great music and the offerings of a remarkable destination. The resounding success of music festivals like Reggae Sumfest and Sting have helped to enhance our international profile significantly,” he added. Addressing the graduation ceremony for the DJ Capacity Building Training Programme at the Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, St. James, on June 21, Mr. Bartlett said to fully capitalize, “we are positioning” the tourism sector to work strategically with the music industry to create valuable products and experiences for visitors. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says music tourism is a rapidly expanding market, which plays perfectly into Jamaica’s strength as the top entertainment destination in the region. last_img read more