By Mark GullickNARRE Warren claimed the ConnectEast premiership cup after it upset warm favourites Beaconsfield by 25 points in the…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.
Bord Gáis Energy sign a three-year deal with the GAA for senior sponsorship and will also continue sponsorship of U-21 Championship and GAA Legends ToursBord Gáis Energy will expand its range of exclusive offers to Bord Gáis Energy Rewards Club customers through the sponsorshipBord Gáis Energy also becomes the Official Energy Partner to the GAAGalway’s Joe Canning was at Croke Park today as Bord Gáis Energy was announced as the new official sponsor of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship for the next three years. The sponsorship expands the helpful energy company’s long standing association with the GAA. It will also continue to sponsor the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U-21 All-Ireland Championship and the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Legends Tours at Croke Park. The new sponsorship allows Bord Gáis Energy to develop even more great GAA rewards for customers all over the country who are members of the Bord Gáis Energy Rewards Club. This will include direct access to tickets for Senior Hurling Championship matches.The Bord Gáis Energy Rewards Club was established in 2012 as a way to reward customer loyalty and is open to all gas or electricity customers. It has grown to just under 250,000 members who can avail of a wide range of exclusive offers including pre-sale tickets and VIP experiences to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, competitions and money saving incentives through a partnership with Tesco.Current GAA rewards, which are offered around the U-21 Championship and Legends series, are amongst the most popular in the Rewards Club. Through this partnership, Bord Gáis Energy customers will now be able to get direct access to tickets for Senior Championship matches, as well as unique experiences and competitions. Further details will be announced ahead of the Championship launch in May.As part of the new sponsorship Bord Gáis Energy will also take on the role of Official Energy Partner to the GAA. In this role, Bord Gáis Energy will bring the expertise and innovation of the energy sector to life in Croke Park. The energy company will work alongside the GAA over the next three years to develop an energy efficiency strategy. This will include the introduction of smart energy controls and data metering within Croke Park and future GAA developments.Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Aogán Ó Fearghail was joined by Bord Gáis Energy Managing Director Dave Kirwan at Croke Park to make today’s announcement. Emphasising Bord Gáis Energy’s heritage as a hurling sponsor, five of the original Bord Gáis Energy Ambassadors for the U-21 Championship were also in attendance.Joe Canning was joined by Cork’s Patrick Horgan, Tipperary’s Seamus Callanan, Dublin’s Liam Rushe, and Kilkenny’s Paul Murphy at GAA Headquarters in 2009 when Bord Gáis Energy took over the title sponsorship of the U-21 Championship. Today they returned as Bord Gáis Energy made the step up to become a top tier GAA partner.Speaking at the announcement Dave Kirwan said; “This is a very proud day for everyone at Bord Gáis Energy and I would like to express my sincere thanks to all at the GAA and on the Bord Gáis Energy team who made today’s announcement possible. It really is a landmark day for our company.“There are two key components to this sponsorship; hurling and our customers. We will work hard to continue to shine a spotlight on hurling over the course of the next three years while also being able to reward our customers with exclusive offers and match access like never before. “This work will go hand in hand with our sponsorship of the U-21 Championship and the Legends Tour series and we’re very excited about having that link to hurling at all stages in the life-cycle of players. From U-21 to Senior to Legends, Bord Gáis Energy is there every step of the way.”GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaill added; “Bord Gáis Energy has been a loyal and committed sponsor to the GAA for many years and we now welcome them on board as a sponsor of our showpiece hurling competition, the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship. We hope to further build on what is already an excellent partnership over the coming years.“We’ve seen the transformative effect Bord Gáis Energy has had as sponsor of the U-21 Championship. From live television coverage, to all they do on match-day to add to the supporters’ experience, to the introduction of the Team of the Year, we have seen fresh ideas, innovation and dedication and we’re excited about now seeing how that will transfer to the senior grade.“Looking at the calibre of players we have here and the fact they have taken time out to support today’s event shows the relationships and goodwill Bord Gáis Energy have built up over the years among players and fans alike. We will do all we can to help them now as they join our team of senior sponsors.”Joe Canning is one of those players to have a long-term relationship with Bord Gáis Energy. He was among the original team of ambassadors for the U-21 Championship and has since gone on to be a judge for the Team of the Year.Speaking today Joe said; “I’ve seen at first-hand how committed Bord Gáis Energy are to hurling and the players. They put the players at the heart of everything they do and have been a great help to me during my playing career. “They also have great knowledge of the game that comes with the experience of being a sponsor at the U-21 grade. It will be great to see how they bring that understanding to bear on the Senior Championship.”Bord Gáis Energy will be announcing their plans for activity around the Senior Championship later in the year. An exciting, expanded range of Rewards Club offers for customers will also be announced to coincide with that launch.print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email 19 January 2017; Bord Gáis Energy was today announced as official sponsor of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship for the next three years. The sponsorship expands the companys long standing association with the GAA as they also continue to sponsor the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U-21 All-Ireland Championship and the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Legends Tours at Croke Park. The new sponsorship allows Bord Gáis Energy to develop even more great GAA rewards for customers all over the country who are members of the Bord Gáis Energy Rewards Club. This will include direct access to tickets for Senior Hurling Championship matches. Pictured at the launch is Dave Kirwan, Managing Director, Bord Gáis Energy, and Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Aogán Ó Fearghail, holding the Liam MacCarthy Cup, with players, from left, Galway star Joe Canning, Cork star Patrick Horgan, Kilkenny star Paul Murphy, Dublin star Liam Rushe, and Tipperary star Seamus Callinan. Croke Park, Dublin. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE *** Key Highlights
Dear Editor,I must commend ExxonMobil for being open with us by releasing the exciting news that the Stabroek Block will yield over four billion oil equivalent barrels, an increase from an earlier estimate of 3.2 billion oil equivalent barrels.This is fantastic, because ExxonMobil could have hidden this find; but it appears to me that they want to be open and fair with the Government and people of Guyana, and I compliment and thank them for adopting this approach.Exxon has reported that Liza Phase 1 will produce 120,000 barrels of oil per day, and Liza Phase 2 will have the capacity to produce 220,000 barrels of oil per day.This is monumental. To put it in perspective, Trinidad and Tobago does not have the capacity to produce oil at this daily rate with 100 wells. We have to understand what this means to Guyana economically. The Guyanese people need to prepare themselves for this flush of wealth, and learn how to invest money wisely and make more wealth.I sincerely hope that Guyana’s oil revenue will trickle down to the ordinary man. I also hope money from our oil bonanza goes towards noble initiatives, such as upgrading the University of Guyana to the highest level, to make it a world class institution where people from around the world, even from developed countries, would want to come and study. I look forward to Guyana having modern institutions of technology and top-of-the-line schools with the best laboratories and equipment to produce sterling minds.I also hope the oil wealth would be used to provide opportunities to those who have lost jobs through no fault of their own, such as the GuySuCo workers, who are now on the breadline.Some of the oil money should go towards improving and modernizing struggling sectors of our economy. A primary beneficiary should be agriculture, which has been a significant contributor to our economy for decades, and has provided several generations of people with food on their tables. It should be diversified and developed to a level that puts Guyana in contention once again to be the ‘bread basket of the Caribbean’.Our agriculture industry can benefit greatly from the incorporation of new initiatives such as hydroponics. We can also develop new breeds and seeds, initiatives to make agriculture more vibrant and efficient, so we can increase exports and get more foreign exchange, as well as create jobs in the sector for young and old persons.This would be a perfect opportunity to promote entrepreneurship among our people. Our manufacturing sector can also be expanded, allowing us to develop cottage industries and even larger manufacturing operations, so that we can make our own packaging materials and other inputs, which we are currently forced to import.But I am concerned about politicians being in control of our oil revenue, because I know how much some of them crave power and wealth. Just take a look at Equatorial Guinea, an oil producing nation in Africa that discovered oil about two decades ago. The average citizen is still poor, while the politicians have filled their pockets.The country’s oil riches have not, in any way, improved the lives of ordinary Equatorial Guineans, because the government has squandered enormous wealth on foolish projects like highways to nowhere and empty 5-star hotels, while filling the pockets of family members. The president’s son, Teodorin Obiang, is reportedly filthy rich, and his global assets are said to be in excess of US$300 million, while the people suffer.So, yes. Some politicians elevate their relatives and friends to positions of power and authority, where they can benefit for themselves. Some establish fake industries and businesses that are really under the control of greedy political powerhouses in government, who want the entire nation’s wealth for their personal benefit.Equatorial Guinea also fell victim to the infamous ‘Dutch disease’, which refers to countries letting their economies become overly dependent on boom-industries and neglecting other sectors. This leads to a massive imbalance in exports, and extreme vulnerability to oil market trends, which is what happened to the Dutch after the discovery of rich natural gas deposits.They relied too heavily on petroleum exports, and this reduced other exports disproportionately, with dire consequences for other sectors, especially manufacturing. In the case of Equatorial Guinea, oil accounts for more than 95% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Secondary sectors represent about 2 per cent of the GDP, and manufacturing represents less than 1 per cent.We don’t want this to happen here. We want the oil money to trickle down to the common man, and we want a diversified economy, with strong agricultural and manufacturing sectors. God knows, we deserve it after enduring many long, hard years in Guyana, despite our agriculture, despite our gold and other minerals.As I see it, there are enough questionable Government decisions and actions for patriots to be suspicious about allowing Government to have total control of the nation’s oil wealth. That is why I and other concerned Guyanese are so anxious for the nation to set up a proper Sovereign Wealth Fund that is not under political control; that is run by highly educated and experienced persons representing multiple interest groups; and with appropriate checks and balances in place to avoid corruption and mismanagement of our oil money.In fact, I believe Guyana’s ability to put in place a well-crafted and independently managed Sovereign Wealth Fund, with full accountability and transparency and full public support across all ethnic, political, religious and other divide, is the single most important factor that will save this nation from going down the same road as Equatorial Guinea and other nations infected with the dreaded Dutch disease.As I wrote several times before, Guyana’s vast reservoir of oil revenue will definitely fatten the eyes of every corrupt politician and official. Even those who are not yet corrupt will be exposed to enormous temptation. How many would be unable to resist? We need to bear this in mind when setting up our Sovereign Wealth Fund or any other agency that controls or monitors our oil funds.ExxonMobil’s apparent transparency is commendable, and that company has the opportunity to etch its name in Guyana’s history, and leave a legacy of honour and dignity not only for the credibility and welfare of the company itself, but also for the prosperity and happiness of the Guyanese people.To do so, the company must be a good corporate citizen and assist any administration in power to educate citizens about crime prevention, and help put in place mechanisms that ensure crime is not exacerbated, like in Trinidad and Tobago, where I believe oil riches became a curse and blight to the economy because it came with massive corruption and criminal violence that is now firmly entrenched.Sincerely,Roshan Khan Sr
― accuses President of using “device of deception” to conceal corruptionPresident David GrangerThe A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government is facing mounting criticisms over a number of contracts and other deals which many consider to be “shady” or “questionable” transactions, leading to fresh accusations that the 18-month-old Administration is mired in corruption.The most recent broadside came from People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary Clement Rohee, who lambasted President David Granger who he said was busy trying to create diversions to protect his Ministers from public scrutiny.PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee“When Mr Granger said there was corruption in the Private Sector, he was obviously shielding his Government from public scrutiny and encouraging the public to look elsewhere for corruption and not in his camp,” Rohee told a Monday morning press conference called by his Party.He added that the President’s claim was “another use of the device of deception by the President to obfuscate the rampant corruption in the APNU/AFC Administration”.Rohee sought to support his contention with examples, including recent questionable actions by the Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Water incorporated (GWI), Dr Richard Van West-Charles, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) procurement fiasco and the controversial single-sourcing of a makeshift pharmaceutical bond by the Public Health Ministry.Already, a number of independent anti-corruption campaigners have taken President Granger to task over his apparent inaction when it comes to accusations of corruption involving top Government officials.TIGI’s takeEarlier this year, the Transparency Institute of Guyana Inc (TIGI) issued scathing assessments of the Government, essentially concluding that the coalition was facilitating and proliferating corruption in the country, pointing to a number of questionable appointments by the Government and interference in the work of some autonomous agencies like the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).The TIGI had also criticised Junior Natural Resources Minister Simona Broomes for conflict of interest after it was revealed by this newspaper that she applied for and was issued a mining permit after she was appointed a Government Minister. She was also criticised for her significant mining interests, while having ministerial oversight of the mining sector.US State Department ReportFurther, in April 2016, the US Department of State said that corruption continued to be among the leading human rights problems facing Guyana.“There remained a widespread public perception of corruption involving officials at all levels, including the Police and the judiciary,” the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015, released by the Department, said.It noted, however, that the Government responded to the report, but did not elaborate.The report also stated that while the law required public officials to declare their assets to the Integrity Commission, the Commission has not been constituted.It added that the law set out both criminal and administrative sanctions for nondisclosure to the Commission by public officials, but, no such publication or convictions occurred during the year.However, President Granger in an effort to exculpate his Government has said that corruption in Guyana was more rampant in the Private Sector and non-State organisations than in his Government.He said the real contributors to corruption were those who committed crimes of tax evasion, smuggling, narcotics trafficking, trafficking in persons and money laundering, none of which really emanate from within Government, but rather, benefit the Private Sector, offshore banks and tax havens.“It is my view that corruption in Guyana is most widespread outside of Government,” the President had declared.
The junior forward is among the best in the Valley and is currently leading the Miramonte League with 26 goals and seven assists, despite the fact that her team is 9-8-2 overall and just 2-4-1 in league play. Six of her goals were scored on hat tricks in back-to-back games and five more were scored in Tuesday’s 7-2 victory over Charter Oak. “She is probably the most skilled player we’ve had, at least in the five years that I’ve been here,” Conquerors coach Chris Reeder said. “As far as what kind of impact she has had on this team, she is our leading scorer, but she has done a much better job of getting her teammates involved. “Last year she tended to focus more on her numbers, but this year she concentrating a little more on her teammates’ involvement.” Teams are double and triple teaming Cuellar, and Reeder is hoping to eventually take advantage of it. “I know I can’t do this alone,” Cuellar said. “We have a young team, but we have really good players. We have barely started to play together, but I feel that our connection is getting better. “We are getting comfortable playing together, which I think is really important because we all bring different things to this team. And if we can put everything together, I think we can come out here next year and win league.” It is widely known that a star player cannot carry a team alone. But if he or she can adapt their talent in a way that the entire team can benefit, then the results could be astonishing. For Los Altos High’s girls soccer standout Renae Cuellar, that is exactly what she is trying to do. “It is leaving other girls on the team wide open,” he said. “We have become a little one-dimensional at times and that has hurt us. But we are still learning how to use her presence on the field to enhance the whole team.” Outside of the initial rewards, being the star on a team can also generate a lot of unwanted pressure. “I don’t have the kind of pressure that makes me nervous, but I do have really high expectations for myself,” Cuellar said. “I know that everyone else knows what I can do, so I do put a lot of pressure on myself to go out there and make everyone proud.” Physical maturity has played a huge part in Cuellar’s progress and success this season. She gained nearly seven or eight pounds of muscle over last season, and feels that being older and stronger has made her a better player overall. “Being a junior now, I feel that I am better at competing and feel more confident when I am out on the field,” she said. “I feel that I have more skill and I am just a stronger player and am able to go up against the girls who are bigger than I am.” Cuellar trains outside of school at the Competitive Athletic Training Zone in Pasadena and she feels that extra training has helped her succeed, as well as stay healthy on the field. “I have been training there since I was 10 years old,” she said. “They focus on speed, quickness and strength training, but they also focus on injury prevention. “And that is my one fear, getting hurt. So I have to do what I can to make sure I am healthy.” Although Cuellar may be healthy and has no problem scoring goals, she thinks that communication may be something that helps turn around her team next season. “I like to have and I feel that I have a strong presence on this team,” she said. “On-field communication is something that I feel is very important because we all need to know what’s going on around us. “Constructive criticism is important and that goes for me as well. We just need to make sure we are all on the same page.” Aside of playing for the Conquerors, Cuellar also plays on the Laguna Hills Eclipse under-17 premiere team and two Olympic Development Program teams. “Balancing everything can be a challenge at times,” Cuellar said. “But I love doing it even though it is a lot work.” And balance is key for any student athlete. Cuellar has missed some school time for her love of soccer, but is carrying a 3.33 grade point average and has been a scholar athlete since her freshman year. And she expects nothing less going into her senior season next year. She is hoping to commit to a college soon, and is looking at Arizona State, Texas, Arizona and Portland. She said she wants to major in physical therapy and hopes to either become a physical therapist or an athletic trainer. But before she starts worrying about which university to attend, Cuellar wants to focus on the task at hand. “I want to keep my grades up and take care of my teammates,” she said. “I really look after my team because they are more than just my teammates on the field. “We have developed a relationship off the field and I just want them to know I’m there for them and without them, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.” email@example.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2239 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Thomas Muller in action for Bayern Munich 1 Bayern Munich’s chief financial officer Jan-Christian Dreesen has revealed the Bundesliga club once turned down a 100 million euro (£85m) offer for Thomas Muller from Manchester United.The 27-year-old Germany forward, a World Cup winner in 2014, was the subject of a big-money approach from the Red Devils, but Bayern rejected the bid as they did not want to “weaken” Muller.In an interview with Sport Bild on Tuesday, Dreesen said of the enquiry from Jose Mourinho’s Premier League side: “There really was such a thing. A fax came from England.“For us, however, selling Thomas Muller was never discussed. If a player fits here, we would be stupid to go for the short-term prospect of a record profit only to weaken him.”United did have a healthy transfer budget last summer, as evidenced by the re-signing of Paul Pogba for 105m euros (£89.3m), and the additions of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitarayan.Muller is the product of the Bayern youth system. He has scored 156 in all competitions for the Bavarians since making his senior debut in 2008.
AC Milan are hoping to pip Chelsea and Manchester United to the signing of Alvaro Morata by making an offer of £50million.The striker, who scored in Real’s 6-2 win iover Deportivo on Wednesday, is set to leave Real Madrid this summer after finding his path to the first team at the Bernabeu blocked.WATCH: All the goals as Real Madrid bounce back from El Clasico defeat with huge winMorata has been unable to displace Karim Benzema from the starting XI and he is now ready to look for playing time elsewhere.Chelsea and Manchester United have both been touted as possible destinations for the Spaniard, while he was linked with Arsenal last summer.READ MORE: Jose Mourinho readying big-money summer bid for striker Alvaro MorataHowever, according to reports in Italy, Milan are ready to blow the competition out of the water by splashing £50m on Morata.The Italian giants have money to spend after their new owners completed their takeover and they are ready to go big for a forward.Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge and Alexandre Lacazette of Lyon have been linked with moves to the San Siro, but it now seems Morata is their number one target. In-demand Real Madrid ace Alvaro Morata 1
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Services are expected to be held at Joshua Memorial Park in Lancaster, but no date has been set. Clark was the second serviceman from Lancaster to die from wounds suffered fighting in Iraq in eight days. Cpl. Christopher Leon, a 2004 Lancaster High School graduate, died June 20, Marine officials said. In keeping with Marine Corps policy, officials did not specify how or when Leon was wounded other than to say it happened during combat in Iraq’s western al-Anbar province, which contains Ramadi as well as the other insurgent hot spot of Fallujah. Leon, 20, had been serving with the 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, based in Okinawa, a unit that directs aircraft and artillery gunfire against enemy targets. LANCASTER – A Lancaster man serving in the U.S. Army has died of wounds he suffered from an explosion while fighting in Iraq, the Pentagon said. Cpl. Ryan J. Clark, a 2004 Antelope Valley High School graduate, died Thursday in an Army hospital in Texas, where he had been flown after his injury, the Army said. Clark, 19, had been injured June 17 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat operations in Ramadi, one of the insurgent hot spots in the “Sunni Triangle” west of Baghdad. Clark had been serving with the 40th Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, which is based in Germany. Clark was the fourth man who grew up in the Antelope Valley to die in Iraq, all in Al-Anbar province. Two local Marines died there in 2004. Staff Sgt. Allan Walker, a 28-year-old Highland High School alumnus, died leading an infantry unit in Ramadi in April 2004. Walker was one of a dozen Marines killed in combat in the area that day. Walker had been with a unit sent in to aid other Marines who had been ambushed. Cpl. Ian Stewart, a 2001 Quartz Hill High School graduate whose father is executive director of a Christian camp and conference center in Lake Hughes, died in a December 2004 gunbattle.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesHomeowners unpacked the treasures they had loaded earlier in their cars and swept away heaps of ash and debris from their yards. Crews from power, cable and phone companies repaired damaged lines. Black-winged birds circled high above, looking for their nests that once rested safely in the now-charred trees. Resident Shannon Bonfanti kept an eye on the birds and the smoke still trailing into the sky around them. It was 8:30 a.m. when she returned home after fleeing the fire on Monday with her family and horses. Now she pointed at the hazy hillsides with concern. “I’m afraid to unload the car. What if I have to load it all up again? That scares me,” Bonfanti said. In their rush out of the house, the family had accidentally left a window open. Now their home reeked of smoke, and Bonfanti wondered how long the smell would last as she put her home back together. SANTA CLARITA – The smell of smoke hung heavy in the air Tuesday in Placerita Canyon, now charred from Monday’s arson that burned more than 600 acres. Blackened stretches of land sat dead and still, ending just feet away in some cases from the sprawling ranches and estates along Placerita Canyon Road. Just 24 hours before, many residents had fled with their belongings and pets from the unpredictable fire that had skipped across their street and threatened their lives. Fire crews on Tuesday hosed down smoldering hot spots that pocked the vast canyon. By Tuesday afternoon, the fire was 70 percent contained and still under investigation. Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said the blaze was intentionally set. But life resumed its otherwise normal pace in the sleepy rural canyon, where horses and donkeys roam.
3 March 2014A group of South African scientists, working with scientists from the US, has discovered how a KwaZulu-Natal woman’s body responded to her HIV infection by making potent antibodies – called broadly neutralising antibodies – that could open up new ways of treating and preventing HIV.Details of the discovery of the antibodies – called broadly neutralising antibodies because they are able to kill multiple strains of HIV from across the world – was published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature on Sunday.The study describes how the research team found and identified these antibodies in a KwaZulu-Natal woman’s blood and then duplicated them by cloning the antibodies in the laboratory. The cloned antibodies were then used in a series of experiments to elucidate the pathway followed by the woman’s immune system to make these potent antibodies.The study was conducted by South African researchers in the Caprisa (Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa) consortium, working jointly with US partners based at the Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, and Columbia University in New York.Caprisa includes scientists from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Cape Town.‘Hope for future prevention, treatment strategies’Professor Salim Abdool Karim, leader of the Caprisa consortium, said in a statement on Sunday that the new insights gained from the study into immune responses against HIV “bring hope for future HIV prevention and treatment strategies”, adding that the woman whose antibodies were studied “is doing well on antiretroviral therapy and continues to attend the Caprisa clinic regularly”.Just over a year ago, the same team of South African researchers reported in Nature Medicine (also part of the Nature group of journals) on their discovery relating to two other KwaZulu-Natal women, that a shift in the position of one sugar molecule on the surface of the HIV virus led to the development of broadly neutralising antibodies against HIV.Professor Lynn Morris, who leads the research team at South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), commented: “In this new publication we have been able to isolate a broadly neutralising antibody from this Caprisa volunteer and trace its origins to understand exactly how it arose.“This could lead to new HIV vaccine strategies that are able to stimulate the rare precursors of these protective antibodies,” Morris said.Antibodies ‘with long arms’According to Caprisa, all HIV-infected people respond to HIV by making antibodies. While most people’s antibodies are not able to kill (neutralise) a wide range of HIV, a few infected people naturally make antibodies that kill many different kinds of HIV, in other words, broadly neutralising antibodies.“Broadly neutralising antibodies have some unusual features,” said Dr Penny Moore, one of the lead South African scientists on the study based at the NICD. “The outer covering (envelope) of HIV has a coating of sugars that prevents antibodies from reaching the surface to neutralise the virus. In this patient, we found that her antibodies had ‘long arms’, which enabled them to reach through the sugar coat that protects HIV.”In their study, the researchers found that these antibodies had “long arms” right at the outset. “We discovered that some HIV antibodies are born with ‘long arms’, requiring less time and fewer changes to become effective in killing HIV,” Moore said.The identification and successful cloning of these special antibodies has enabled the researchers to make sufficiently large quantities for further testing, similar to the way a medicine used to prevent or treat HIV would be tested.“Our goal is to test these antibodies, preferably in combination with other broadly neutralising antibodies, directly in patients with HIV infection or in patients at risk of getting infected,” said Karim. “But this will take some time, as the team is currently planning animal studies as a first step. Broadly neutralising antibodies have previously been shown to be effective in preventing and treating HIV infection in animals, but this has never before been shown in humans.”The future studies on animals and humans are being supported by the Strategic Health Innovation Partnerships, a unit of the South African Medical Research Council, with funding from the Department of Science and Technology.‘Importance of international scientific partnerships’Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom said in the Caprisa statement that the study “highlights the importance of international scientific partnerships and the contributions of South African researchers to world-class medical science. We are proud of the South African research team who conducted this ground-breaking study, and thank the US partners for their collaboration and support.”Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, announcing the new findings at a press conference in Johannesburg on Monday, said: “We are a step closer to the day where we eventually have a viable vaccine because of what has been announced today.“This announcement tells us a little more about the HI virus,” Motsoaledi said, adding: “These studies illustrate the importance of research and the need for patience and dedication.“In 2009, when we unveiled our 10-point programme, number 10 was research and development, and we were worried that research and development in South Africa was taking long in the past decades. But we are very proud that almost every year something is being announced by our scientists in that direction.”Motsoaledi said his department had more interest in this development than anyone else in the world, as South Africa has the largest burden of HIV infections globally.He thanked those people living with HIV who had willingly participated in the study. “Your selflessness has been helping the world to better understand the HIV virus so that we can prevent transmission and find the cure.”The research was primarily funded by the US National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center and the South African Department of Science and Technology. The South African researchers also have fellowships from the Wellcome Trust, the Fogarty International Center, the National Research Foundation and the Poliomyelitis Research Foundation.SAinfo reporter