Monthly Archives: January 2018

Alarm sounds for gene therapy toxicity, but was the concern legitimate?

Controversial new study briefly sends gene therapy stocks tumbling

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Animal-free meat, dairy firms raise funds

Memphis Meats, Ripple Foods attract corporate and venture investors

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Researchers Learn That Three More Mosquito Species Can Carry The Zika Virus

Researchers Learn That Three More Mosquito Species Can Carry The Zika Virus

The Zika virus has caused much heartache throughout the world. The aedes aegypti mosquito is now infamous for being the primary Zika carrier. However, the aedes aegypti is not the only mosquito that carries Zika. You may have already known this, but you probably do not know that the Zika virus has been discovered in the salivary glands of five different mosquito species. Researchers did not realize until a week ago that three of these five mosquitoes have never been identified as Zika carriers.

The three undocumented Zika carriers include Cx. coronator, Cx. tarsalis, and Ae. vexans. These three mosquitoes were collected in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, but it appears as though the Aedes aegypti is the primary Zika carrying species of mosquito. Health authorities in Guadalajara have reported one human case of Zika this year. As of September of 2017 there were nearly ten thousand Zika infected citizens of Mexico. Out of these ten thousand nearly six thousand were women.

The Zika virus is a part of the genus known as Flavivirus. The main vector of this virus is the aedes aegypti mosquito. Scientists have repeatedly observed the Aedes aegypti mosquito acquiring and then infecting different types of mammalian life with the Zika virus. Recent studies show that the Zika virus arrived in Mexico from Brazil in late 2014 or early 2015. The virus was first introduced to Mexico in the southeast region of the country in the state of Chiapas. Once the virus arrived in this region it moved on to twenty six more Mexican states. Researchers now have to test several more of these three mosquito species in order to determine how much of a threat these mosquitoes are to the public. The three undocumented Zika-carrying mosquitoes may not be much to worry about, but only further testing can determine this for sure.

Do you believe that the Zika virus is commonly spread by more than one species of mosquito?

The post Researchers Learn That Three More Mosquito Species Can Carry The Zika Virus appeared first on Arizona Pest Control.

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Lorde Breaks Her Silence on the Grammys Drama With an Open Letter to Fans

Following criticism for not offering her a solo performance spot a the 2018 Grammys, Lorde wrote an open letter to fans thanking them for their support.

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What Are Hashtags Really For? #Confused #Blessed #NoFilter

What Are Hashtags Really For?

What Are Hashtags Really For?

In late 2014, the hashtag #WhyIStayed was trending on Twitter. Frozen pizza slinger DiGiorno, known for being snarky and clever on social media, wanted to join the fun:

DiGiorno Hashtag Social Media Marketing Fail

There was just one problem: #WhyIStayed started in response to a video of domestic abuse. Women used the hashtag to tell their own story of abuse and talk about the societal pressures that led them to stay with their abusers.

At best, DiGiorno looked clueless. At worst, it looked like they were making light of a very serious issue. All they wanted was a little brand visibility…and they got it, but not in the way they were hoping.

Hashtags are an integral part of Twitter and Instagram (and Facebook, to a much lesser extent). As such, they should be part of our social media marketing on each platform. But as DiGiorno and many other brands have shown, it’s not enough to look at the trending tags and hop on board. Marketers need to understand what hashtags are for and how our audience is using them before we jump in.

Here are the #fundamentals you need to avoid invisibility or embarrassment with hashtags.


Hashtags started as a feature on IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channels back in 1988, when the internet still ran on steam turbine power. The “#” in front of channel meant that it was available for users across the internet, not just on a local area network.

Twenty years later, IRC fans who were early Twitter adopters proposed using the symbol to help classify common topics or groups. Twitter itself didn’t officially recognize hashtags for two more years. In 2009, the site started automatically hyperlinking hashtags to search results.

Facebook added hashtags in 2013, but they don’t see as much use on the platform. By contrast, Facebook-owned Instagram practically runs on hashtags. It’s not unusual to see a post with a four-word captioned followed by a paragraph of tags: #NoFilter #WokeUpLikeThis #BeachLife #SanDiego #ChihuahuaLove. Clicking any of the tags leads to a custom feed of images with the same tag, much like Twitter’s search functionality works.


Hashtags began as a way to categorize information for future searchers, much like the category or topic tags on a blog. In that case, using the right hashtags is more like SEO than anything else; it’s all about making sure your message comes up for the right query.

But hashtags aren’t really for search anymore. Hardly anyone is going to the search box on Twitter or Instagram and putting in a keyword to pull up a specific hashtag.

Hashtags are not really for marketers to boost their brand or their content, either. We can strategically use hashtags for that purpose, but we must remember that’s an off-label use. It’s important to tread lightly on using hashtags promotionally — as DiGiorno and many others can attest.

If it’s not about search or self-promotion, how should marketers think about hashtags? Or, better question, how does your audience think about hashtags?

Odds are, though, your audience doesn’t actively think about why they use or interact with a specific tag. There’s an innate understanding that makes some tags look “right” or “natural,” while others feel “forced” or “commercial.”

The best way I can think of to express that innate understanding is:


Social media feeds move fast. Hashtags are a way for users to block out space to have a conversation. “We’re telling this type of story in here.” “We’re sharing this type of picture in here.” Using a specific existing hashtag should come with the knowledge that you’re entering someone else’s conversation space.

The social media manager at DiGiorno likely wouldn’t go up to a group of people talking about a sad and serious topic in hushed tones and shout, “PIZZA!” But that’s exactly what they did on Twitter.

So before you jump into a conversation, make sure that:

  • You understand what’s being discussed
  • Your brand has (and should have) a position on the topic
  • You have something relevant to contribute

When you’re making your own hashtags, keep in mind that you’re starting a conversation. You can’t control who contributes to that conversation and what they might add to it.

For example, in 2012 McDonald’s used the hashtag #McDStories in a tweet, seemingly inviting users to share their own special memories of the chain. Instead, they got stories about food poisoning, diabetes, heart attacks, and animal cruelty.

It turns out McDonald’s had intended to use the tag to promote stories from employees and others affiliated with the brand. But they accidentally started a much wider conversation. With a little forethought, the mess could have been avoided.

So, when creating your own hashtag, keep in mind:

  • Who are you talking to?
  • What are you trying to say?
  • How else could your hashtag be interpreted?
  • What other conversations might it start?


Good hashtaggery starts with understanding that hashtags are a conversation. From there, the optimum tactics for using hashtags vary from platform to platform. The good folks at Buffer have an in-depth guide that touches on each of the major social media sites.

Here are some simple tips that I recommend to supplement Buffer’s advice:

  • Use hashtags sparingly on Twitter; no more than 2 per post, preferably just one
  • Don’t use tags on paid tweets. They’re proven to dilute your CTA
  • Go nuts on Instagram; 11 hashtags is the optimal number
  • Don’t bother tagging on Facebook. Research shows your post will do better without them
  • Use CamelCase to keep longer tags legible (Remember the “susanalbumparty” debacle?)


Hashtags started as a tagging tool for search. Today, they’re used to create a space for conversations, group people with similar interests, and fill Instagram feeds with puppies. To be most successful with your hashtags, respect conversations that exist already, and be cautious about the conversations you start.

Need to #LevelUp your social media marketing? TopRank Marketing can help.

The post What Are Hashtags Really For? #Confused #Blessed #NoFilter appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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Indian government official with chemistry degree claims Darwin theory ‘scientifically wrong’

Satyapal Singh rebuked but retains education post

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Cockroaches Cause Problems For Airbnb Users

Cockroaches Cause Problems For Airbnb Users

Airbnb is a fairly new company, but the international marketplace has exploded. In every major city there could be as many as thousands of homes that double as bed and breakfasts for international travelers. Airbnb is popular due to the low cost of lodging, and the complimentary breakfast that awaits each guest after they wake up in the morning. However, anybody who wishes to turn their home into a bed and breakfast for international travelers must follow specific rules outlined by the Airbnb company. Following these rules are not easy for homeowners that are located in certain regions of the world. For example, the island country of Australia is home to many creepy-crawlies that manage to gain access into people’s homes, and homes that double as bed and breakfasts are no exception. This is why many foreign visitors staying at bed and breakfasts in Australia sometimes panic upon finding insects in the rooms where they sleep. The most common insect sighting among Airbnb users are cockroaches.

One couple traveled by airplane to Sydney, Australia in order to find an Airbnb lodging. Soon after the couple checked-in, the owner of the bed and breakfast received a text from the couple explaining that they had to abruptly leave after finding roaches in their room. The two homeowners decided to describe the roach situation to their Airbnb customer service representative. The owners told the representative that roaches are an inevitable aspect of living indoors in Australia. Unfortunately, the representative responded by saying that the presence of roaches violates Airbnb’s rules concerning cleanliness. The representative advised the homeowners to refund nearly one thousand dollars to all present guests. This situation is far from being the only roach related problem that Airbnb hosts have experienced in Australia. An Australian Medical Entomologist, Dr. Cameron Webb, has stated that the presence of roaches is not an indicator of unsanitary conditions. Even in the cleanest of houses, roaches can still become a problem, and this is especially true in Australia. Roaches are particularly numerous in Sydney due to rapid urbanization coupled with the region’s climate. The roaches in Sydney are too abundant to be eradicated, and living with them is simply a part of life in Australia. So if you hate the rain then don’t take a vacation to London, and if you hate cockroaches then don’t take a trip to Sydney.

Do you think that Airbnb will eventually rethink their policy on roaches as being a sign of unsanitary conditions?

The post Cockroaches Cause Problems For Airbnb Users appeared first on Arizona Pest Control.

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Why Rep. Pramila Jayapal Is Skipping the State of the Union

Rep. Pramila Jayapal is skipping Trump’s State of the Union as means of protesting against a president she sees as a president fueling racism and sexism.

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Drug-releasing transplants combat rejection in mice

Researchers attach anti-inflammatory drug to the surface of pancreatic islet transplants using click chemistry

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Tiny pollutant particles strengthen thunder storms

Scientists find that long-ignored ultrafine aerosols can make storms rainier and windier

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