Dr. Kaushal’s NIH funded laboratory in the Department of Surgery atUniversity of Maryland School of Medicine has a postdoctoralresearch associate position immediately available. The major focusof our research projects is to determine the mechanism for cardiacregeneration using different cell-based preparations, includingexosomes, condition media, and the stem cells themselves andtesting these cell-based products in a variety of regenerativeassays. In particular, we are determining how mIRs present in theexosomes derived from the stem cells affect the regenerativeprocess to recover the injured myocardium. Several animal and cellmodel systems, including conditional gene knockouts, will be usedin these research projects, and many state of the art techniquesare available, such as real time PCR, CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing,confocal microscopy, real time imaging and advanced microscopy,multicolor flow and sorting, HPLC and mass spectrometry, andultrasonic and telemetric measurements of cardiovascular functionin rodents and large animals. The University Of Maryland School OfMedicine has a group of outstanding scientists in cardiovascularresearch, especially in cardiovascular cell signaling, diabetes,endothelial biology, and pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.Successful applicants will have the opportunity to work with themand get help in developing an independent career in this researchfield. To apply, send an application letter and CV, and the nameand contact information for three references to Dr. Sunjay Kaushal,MD, PhD, Director of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Department ofSurgery, 110 S. Paca Street, 7th floor, Baltimore, MD 21201,[email protected] :A pplicants must have a PhD, MD/PhD or equivalent degree and provenskills and experience in molecular biology.If accommodations are needed, contact Staffing & CareerServices at 410-706-7171, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm EST.Maryland Relay can be accessed by dialing 711 (in-state) or1-800-735-2258.Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Minorities, women,protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities areencouraged to apply.
Twitter You need to sign in or create an account to save Maryland, United States You need to sign in or create an account to save Johns Hopkins University Apply(This will open in a new window from which you will be automatically redirected to an external site after 5 seconds) Share The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to apre-employment background check.If you are interested in applying for employment with The JohnsHopkins University and require special assistance or accommodationduring any part of the pre-employment process, please contact theHR Business Services Office at [email protected] For TTYusers, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.The following additional provisions may apply depending on whichcampus you will work. Your recruiter will adviseaccordingly.During the Influenza (“the flu”) season, as a condition ofemployment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employeeswho provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care orclinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination orpossess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meetthis requirement may result in termination of employment.The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas,laboratories, working with research subjects, or involvingcommunity contact requires documentation of immune status againstRubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella(chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received theTdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may includedocumentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicellavaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratorytesting. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases areordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except forthose employees who provide results of blood tests or immunizationdocumentation from their own health care providers. Anyvaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no costin our Occupational Health office.Equal Opportunity EmployerNote: Job Postings are updated daily and remain online untilfilled.EEO is the LawLearn more:https://www1.eeoc.gov/employers/upload/eeoc_self_print_poster.pdfImportant legal informationhttp://hrnt.jhu.edu/legal.cfm LinkedIn Salary Not Specified Save Assessment & Evaluation Analyst Johns Hopkins University Research Data Analyst Save Research Technologist Salary Not Specified Research Technologist More searches like this Assessment & Evaluation Analyst Maryland, United States TheDepartment of Radiation Oncology is seeking a regulatory specialistthat will serve as a central resource for regulatory aspects offaculty conducting clinical research. Working closely with theProgram Manager, Research Nurses, Grants and Contracts staff, PIsand sponsors, this position will complete and submit the initialIRB submission for both prospective and retrospective protocols.Prior to the start of a study, will ensure all proper regulatorydocuments have been approved and that all documents, Case ReportForms, databases, monitoring/auditing requirements have beencompleted. Will produce and maintain an electronic regulatorybinder prior to the study initiation with all required documentsand additional sections for future documents. Will work closelywith the study coordinators to ensure all documents are submittedto the IRB in a timely manner. Keep up to date on new School ofMedicine and SKCCC regulatory guidelines and SOPs and advise theclinical trial team on theserequirements.SpecificDuties/Responsibilities:Workclosely with the Research Nurses and PI on new studies to ensuretimely, accurate submission to the IRB andsponsors.Assure protocols have complete, consistent language throughout,including proper SAE reporting requirements, SKCCC requirements,etc.Obtain all required documents for new submissions to theIRB.Trackeach protocol through the IRB/subcommittee approval process,evaluate for recurrent problems, develop and implement systems todecrease delay in the approvalprocess.Prepare reports and present updates on protocol submissionprocess.Complete new study IRBsubmissions.Ensure smooth implementation of regulatory aspects of new trialsfrom conception through studyactivation.Workclosely with the Protocol compliance team to ensure all documentsare ready prior to a studyopening.ForIND/IDE studies, maintain accurate and up-to-date documents andsubmissions.Coordinate and attend Clinical Trial Review Committeemeetings.Initiate all clinical trials in the CT.gov system and work withthe PI and Program Manager to maintain studyinformation.Produce and maintain a regulatory binder prior to study startingwith all requireddocuments.Workclosely with sponsors to ensure all documents are reviewed,approved and correct prior to a studyopening.Ensure that all continuing reviews are completed and submittedto the IRB in a timelymanner.Actas the lead resource for the clinical trials team in regulatoryaspects of clinical trials.Develop standard operating procedures asneeded.Assist in the auditing and monitoring of studies asneeded.MinimumQualifications:Bachelor’s degree in related disciplinerequired.Five(5) years of related experiencerequired.Additional education may substitute for required experience, tothe extent permitted by the JHU equivalencyformula.JHUEquivalency Formula:18graduate degree credits (semester hours) may substitute for oneyear of experience. For jobs where equivalency is permitted, up totwo years of non-related college course work may be applied towardsthe total minimum education/experience required for the respectivejob.PreferredQualifications:Related Master’s Degreepreferred.Special Knowledge, Skills, andAbilities:Musthave familiarity with NIH, GCP, OHRP, and federal regulations forhuman subject participation in clinicalresearch.Excellent verbal and communication skills arerequired.Technical qualifications or specializedcertifications:SOCRA, Certified IRB Professional or other clinical researchcertifications arepreferred.Classified title: Sr. Research Program CoordinatorIIWorking title:Sr.Research Program Coordinator II -RegulatoryRole/Level/Range: ACRP37.5/E/04/MCStarting Salary Range: $45,195.12 – $62,225.04 (commensuratewith experience)Employee group: Full timeEmployee Status: ExemptSchedule: Monday-Friday – 8:30am-5:00pm 37.5hrs/Wk-Location: CRB II, 4M – 1550 Orleans St., BaltimoreMDDepartment name: 10003153-SOM Rad Onc Clinical TrialsGroupPersonnel area (School): SOM – School ofMedicineThe successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject toa pre-employment background check.If you are interested in applying for employment with The JohnsHopkins University and require special assistance or accommodationduring any part of the pre-employment process, please contact theHR Business Services Office [email protected] For TTYusers, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.The following additional provisions may apply dependingon which campus you will work. Your recruiter will adviseaccordingly.During the Influenza (“the flu”) season, as a condition ofemployment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employeeswho provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care orclinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination orpossess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meetthis requirement may result in termination of employment.The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas,laboratories, working with research subjects, or involvingcommunity contact requires documentation of immune status againstRubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella(chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received theTdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may includedocumentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicellavaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratorytesting. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases areordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except forthose employees who provide results of blood tests or immunizationdocumentation from their own health care providers. Anyvaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no costin our Occupational Health office.Equal Opportunity EmployerNote: Job Postings are updated daily and remain online untilfilled.EEO is the LawLearn more:https://www.eeoc.gov/sites/default/files/migrated_files/employers/poster_screen_reader_optimized.pdf School of Medicine -East Baltimore Campus Administrative Not specified Full Time jobs in Baltimore Facebook Academic Affairs Not specified Full Time jobs in Baltimore Salary Not Specified Similar jobs You need to sign in or create an account to save Maryland, United States Johns Hopkins University Save Research Data Analyst Research Administration Not specified Full Time jobs in Baltimore
Eithne Bradley defends Hugh Grant’s acting talentPretty much any block-busting British film of the last decade will have featured one man: the wonderful, fluttery-eyed Hugh John Mungo Grant. Many people, the majority of them male, have some kind of in-built allergy to Hugh. A friend pointed out his undeniable slight squint. Huge swathes of the population cannot successfully identify any differences between his film roles. His stammer causes violent reactions in a few unlucky souls. However, he still manages to get work and, crucially, people go and watch his films. Who hasn’t seen Notting Hill? Who didn’t lie, overstuffed with mince pies, in front of Love Actually on Christmas Day? In spite of all this supposed antipathy towards him, thousands of people, every year, flock to his films. Therefore, there must exist a deep undercurrent of ashamed devotion to the quintessential floppy-haired Englishman, because he is, in fact, a gifted actor.Take, for example, his performance in Bridget Jones. How does he manage to be so unpleasant and yet so alluring at the same time? His shaded blue eyes pin Bridget to the spot, and his endlessly entertaining personality utterly eclipses that of stolid Mark Darcy. Nobody lies awake dreaming of the worthy human rights lawyer. They fantasise about the thoroughly immoral ravishing of a very bad man. Julia Roberts didn’t stand a chance in Notting Hill, as his lovable loser character exudes all the charm of a fairytale prince.It may be true that he hasn’t taken on many serious roles. But comedy is arguably a finer art than ‘serious’ acting: if jokes fall flat, so does the actor’s career. It is a credit to Hugh that he has played to his own strengths for so long. And what British film would be complete without him? As soon as his features appear on screen, the viewer settles into his or her comfort zone: it’s reassuring. You won’t be frightened senseless. People’s feelings may be hurt, but only temporarily. And you’ll watch most of it with a little smile on your face, happy and safe in the gentle glow of a British romantic comedy.Perhaps the man himself puts it best: ‘I’ve never been tempted to do the part where I cry or get AIDS or save some people from a concentration camp just to get good reviews. I genuinely believe that comedy acting, light comedy acting, is as hard, if not harder, than serious acting, and it genuinely doesn’t bother me that all the prizes and the good reviews automatically by knee-jerk reaction go to the deepest, darkest, most serious performances and parts. It makes me laugh.’
By Jon Zimney – March 14, 2020 0 268 Pinterest IndianaLocalMichiganNews Pinterest Previous articleSt. Joseph County creates info hotline for people without medical care providersNext articleHouse passes aid bill after Trump declares virus emergency Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. Google+ (Photo supplied/Cass County Sheriff’s Office) The investigation into a crash in while a Three Rivers, Michigan woman was hurt is underway.The collision happened just before 3:30 p.m. on Friday, March 13, on U.S. 12 near Vera Dr. in Porter Township.The investigation shows that a pick-up, driven by a 26-year-old Goshen man, was stopped to turn left into a driveway, when his vehicle was struck by a car, driven by a 30-year-old woman from Three Rivers.The woman failed to yield the right of way and didn’t appear to slow down before striking the other vehicle, according tot the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.Alcohol was not a factor and both drivers were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. WhatsApp Three Rivers woman hurt in crash on U.S. 12 in Porter Township Facebook WhatsApp Twitter Google+ Facebook Twitter
According to Irish economist and author David McWilliams, one solution to Ireland’s recent economic problems may come from the Irish but not from Ireland, it would come from what he calls the “great Irish tribe.” McWilliams gave a lecture titled, “Ireland, Europe and the Irish Diaspora – Re-imagining Ireland in the 21st Century,” in the Rare Book Room of the Hesburgh Library on Friday. McWilliams said Ireland’s current economic turmoil amidst the general problems of the Eurozone requires something drastic, but he believes this solution could be provided by the people worldwide who identify themselves as Irish. “The future of Ireland needs another shock, and that’s where you come in, where the diaspora comes in,” McWilliams said. He said the possibility of enlisting the self-identified Irish in places like the United States, Canada and Australia first came to his mind due to the comment of a mentor. McWilliams said he was assigned a very experienced Israeli mentor while working for a Swiss bank in Israel. One day, this mentor said he noticed that he dealt with many ethnically Irish people when working with American companies and asked McWilliams whether or not the Irish had any mechanism for bringing these people back to Ireland. McWilliams said he hadn’t given the subject much thought before then, but he didn’t think there was any such effort. “We’ve done nothing but repel the tribe as far as I can tell,” he said. McWilliams said he has since begun working on various projects to make use of the Irish overseas and his reason for coming to Notre Dame was to propose his ideas. “[Notre Dame] is an incredibly powerful place to start these projects. Notre Dame is a huge resource for the Irish in America and a brilliant center for Irish connections. You can use Notre Dame to champion some of the ideas and feed into its network of alumni,” he said. “This could be a huge project which Notre Dame could be involved in.” McWilliams said there are three elements of his overall proposal, a program resembling the “Birthright Israel” program, allowing Irish ex-patriots to vote in national elections and reaching out to the ethnically Irish based on town records. McWilliams said during his time in Israel he learned about the birthright program, which provides free 10-day educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults from 60 different countries. McWilliams said he is hoping to create a similar program for Irish young adults. The goal of the program is to instill a strong emotional connection with Ireland and their Irish heritage in the young adults, McWilliams said.”Emotional things that happen to you as a kid stick with you. Imagine as an American what it would mean to visit Ireland when you’re 15,” McWilliams said. McWilliams said he has seen Polish, Italian, American and other ex-patriot groups line-up to vote in their nation’s elections while living overseas. Similarly enfranchising Irish citizens who are living abroad could help to alleviate problems of provisionalism and clientalism present in current Irish politics, he said. McWilliams said those who have lived abroad for a while might have a better perspective on what is good for the Irish nation as a whole. McWilliams said he is also leading an effort to use town records and town gossips to trace the emigration stories of the world’s ethnically Irish and then reaching out to them with their own history. “We can email you, everyone’s contactable nowadays, with a Google Maps image of the specific field from which your relative emigrated from Ireland,” he said. “With tech we can bring all this together.” McWilliams said this idea that Ireland ought to do more to engage the ethnically Irish of the world, his “diaspora strategy,” was not initially as well received as it is now. He said the idea progressed through the three stages of reception from “open ridicule” to “violent opposition” to “everyone claims they were already on your side.” “The idea was fist considered risible, something to be laughed at, but now everyone has a diaspora strategy,” he said. McWilliams said this effort could be very successful because Ireland has one of the best “brand” names in the world, but it all depends on the cooperation of the Irish diaspora. “The power of the diaspora can be forged to improve the ‘product’ of Ireland, a country with the most powerful ‘brand’ in the world because every member of the diaspora is a salesperson for the ‘brand,’” he said. “We can only do this if we work together.”
The University announced Monday that nine students have been selected to receive funding through the United States Agency for International Development to study global development challenges.The nine students who were selected include five doctoral students, Tracy-Lynn Cleary, Jenna Davidson, Catherine Flanley, Kristina Hook and Emily Maiden; two Master of Science students, Lilian Ramos and Megan Wright; and two undergraduate seniors, Lauran Feist and Samuel Lucas.“Today’s global development challenges need bold, innovative thinkers and solutions,” Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) managing director, Michael Sweikar said in a statement. “NDIGD is thrilled to once again support some of the University’s most promising students in this opportunity to develop their research and create meaningful change.”According to the statement, the students will complete their research throughout 2017 and 2018.Tags: (USAID), Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development
This year’s commencement will include some graduates who have a little more experience under their belts — and a little more gray hair.The 2018-2019 academic year served as the inaugural year of The Inspired Leadership Initiative (ILI), a program that invites people who have completed their traditional career to spend a year at Notre Dame. Photo courtesy Christopher Stevens Members of the inaugural Inspired Leadership Initiative (ILI) cohort pose with Fr. Jenkins. The program aims to help retirees to discern their next steps in life after they have retired.Christopher Stevens, who co-founded the program with Thomas Schreier, said ILI finally makes the Notre Dame experience accessible to every age group.“There are plenty of opportunities for people who are in middle school, grade school, high school, college, executive MBA, whatever it may be,” he said. “Once people turn 55 to 60, there’s really no place for them to go if they’ve completed their traditional career but still have a lot of tread left on their shoes.”The ILI is part of a growing movement called “encore education” which affords retired people the opportunity to temporarily return to academia before deciding how they want to spend the rest of their life.The idea of encore education was first recognized by Harvard University, who started their post-retirement program in 2007, followed by Stanford University in 2015. Stevens said they researched these previously established programs and even met with the universities to build a successful version of their own at Notre Dame.“Fifteen amazing people … come to Notre Dame for an entire academic year,” Stevens said. “They can audit two to four courses with the help of a faculty advisor across the entire University — undergraduate, graduate, law, wherever it may be. There are weekly lunches with amazing guest speakers. [University President] Fr. John [Jenkins] was the final guest speaker himself. … There are weekly dinners with just the fellows so the cohort can build that bond even stronger.”Although the program was inspired by those at Harvard and Stanford, the ILI is unique to Notre Dame. The fellows take advantage of Notre Dame’s Global Gateway locations through two trips to Rome and Jerusalem. They are also able to experience the spiritual enrichment of Notre Dame with the help of a spiritual advisor.Tuck Hopkins, a lawyer who graduated from Notre Dame in 1974, said he was drawn to the program because it seemed like an opportunity to “look at yourself.”“I had been retired for about four or five months,” Hopkins said. “My interest was that it looked like it was completely a wonderful opportunity to look at yourself. To look at where you might go and that sort of thing. That’s what drove me to apply. I did not have any desire to figure out what my next job is going to be. It was never like that. It was always … a refreshing opportunity to look at my past life and look at where I am.”In the past year, Hopkins took as many classes as he could, ranging from history to business to photography.While he has not taken a single law course, Hopkins has been able to apply his expertise in various areas across campus. He has guest-lectured in undergraduate courses, served as a judge for mock trials in the law school and mentored students who are interested in law.Outside of academics, Hopkins said he and his wife have enjoyed experiencing an undefeated regular football season, going to women’s basketball games and seeing on-campus productions such as “Sorin.”In addition to Hopkins, this year’s inaugural cohort includes lawyers, doctors and businessmen and women from a variety of backgrounds.“There’s a man from Singapore who achieved great success in the financial market, but wanted to do something more with his life,” Stevens said.The oldest fellow is an 82-year-old banker from Chicago, who, Stevens said, has “more energy than most of us.”“We are absolutely as diverse as the dickens, but there is this commonality that is invigorating. It is really, truly amazing,” Hopkins said. “We’re just like brothers and sisters from the first day we met. It’s been absolutely phenomenal.”Since that first day, the experience he and the other fellows have had has only become better, Hopkins said.“Every one of us has had the time of our lives. When we talk now after the seven or eight months … we just talk about how this has transformed us, how it’s changed us, how we’re feeling better about ourselves spiritually,” Hopkins said. “Success does not even come close to describing how wonderful this has been. It’s life-changing.”While Stevens said he hesitates to use the word life-changing, he feels this year has been a successful pioneer year for the program.“I believe that our goal, in terms of providing the program, is to provide something that … truly is life-enhancing,” he said. “[I hope] people walk away from here with three things. One, inspired to be a greater force for good. Two, more educated about things that are really important to them that they never had before. And three, that they become advocates for the program because it’s been so important to them that they want to be able to spread the word about it.”Tags: encore education, Global Gateway, Inspired Leadership Initiative, post-retirement
The Colombian Army has killed alias ‘El Abuelo’ [‘The Grandfather’], the chief of security for the highest-ranking commander of the FARC guerrilla group, Alfonso Cano, in an operation in the department of Tolima (in western Colombia), President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed. Alirio Rojas Bocanegra, known as ‘El Abuelo,’ was the highest-ranking leader of the FARC’s Central Bloc, a structure that has Cano’s security as its fundamental mission. Cano, whose real name is Guillermo León Sáenz, took command of that communist guerilla group following the death of its founder Manuel Marulanda Vélez (Tirofijo) in 2008. ‘El Abuelo’ took over the control and finances of the guerrilla structure, made up of sixteen squads, following the death in combat of alias ‘Jerónimo Galeano’ in March, in the northern part of the country, according to the information provided by the Army. President Juan Manuel Santos, speaking at a public event in Sincelejo (in northern Colombia), praised the military operation and said that “the central command (of the FARC) is being systematically struck: it puts a leader up, we take a leader down.” Meanwhile, Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera affirmed to reporters that “every time, we’re closer to Alfonso Cano; we’re closing all the action and mobilization fronts to him.” Alias ‘Rubén,’ head of the Manuel Cepeda Vargas Commission, in charge of work among the masses and propaganda, and responsible for the Voices of the Resistance broadcast station, also died in the operation, which took place Friday afternoon in the mountainous area of Rioblanco, at an altitude of more than three thousand meters. Alias ‘Laura,’ a radio operator, was also killed, while a sixteen-year-old adolescent, apparently a member of the personal escort of ‘El Abuelo,’ was captured, according to the Army’s statement. Meanwhile, in another operation, in Cúcuta (600 km northeast of Bogotá), the police arrested Luis Castaño Estrada, alias “El Mono Einer” [“Einer the Monkey”], head of communications for the National Liberation Army (ELN, a Maoist guerrilla group), and Nafer Julio Julio, alias “Evert,” a leader of the subversive group’s José Antonio Galán Front. The FARC is Colombia’s oldest guerrilla group, with forty-seven years of armed struggle, and is believed to have around 8,000 fighters at present, according to government figures. The ELN is believed to have 2,500 members. By Dialogo June 07, 2011
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 34-year-old Queens man was fatally hit by a car while crossing a road in Carle Place on Friday afternoon.Nassau County police said Kristopher Flannery, of Astoria, was crossing Glen Cove Road when he was hit by a northbound Honda Accord near the corner of Fairfield Avenue at 1:47 p.m.The victim was taken to Winthrop University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The driver was not injured.Homicide Squad detectives determined the crash to be an accident.
Jan 8, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Hong Kong government officials recently announced that a wild bird found dead near a busy shopping district on Dec 31 tested positive for H5N1 avian influenza.The infection in a scaly-breasted munia, a species often imported from mainland China and released in religious ceremonies, marks the first case found in Hong Kong since February 2006, according to reports published by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Hong Kong has reported no human H5N1 cases since 1997, when the virus first jumped to humans.The Hong Kong government’s Jan 6 press release on the H5N1 finding doesn’t specify if the virus was the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain, but Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that it was.Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department (AFCD) announced Jan 4 that a preliminary test for the virus was positive and confirmatory tests were being conducted. AFP reported that the bird was the only one of 6 dead birds found that tested positive for the virus.A bird watcher from Hong Kong who posted an item yesterday on ProMED-mail, the Internet-based reporting system of the International Society for Infectious Diseases, said the scaly-breasted munia is not frequently seen in urban Hong Kong but is said to be one of the 2 species most commonly released during religious ceremonies at temples. The practice of releasing these birds is a concern, he said, because they’re not subject to the disease-prevention measures used with poultry, and sellers and buyers can come into contact with infected bird droppings.The Hong Kong AFCD, in a Jan 6 press release, advised the public not to release birds, because they have little chance of surviving in the wild. A department spokesperson said the AFCD has contacted community groups, including religious groups, to warn them about releasing birds.The statement did not refer specifically to the H5N1 case, but it said pet birds imported from mainland China must come from registered farms and be accompanied by a veterinary health certificate certifying that the birds have been quarantined and have tested negative for H5 avian flu viruses.Farms on the mainland that are allowed to export birds to Hong Kong are inspected by mainland authorities and occasionally by AFCD authorities and must have had no avian flu outbreaks in the past 180 days.The government said its records show that 38,000 munias, including white-backed and scaly-breasted ones, were imported into Hong Kong from the mainland in 2006. It added that the scaly-breasted Munia is a resident bird in Hong Kong and has been found all over the territory.A department spokesperson advised Hong Kong residents to avoid personal contact with wild birds and live poultry and to wash their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with birds.Meanwhile, in Vietnam, several ducks have died in the past few days in the southern province of Soc Trang, prompting concern about the further spread of avian flu. Xinhua, China’s official news agency, reported yesterday that specimens from the ducks were sent for avian flu testing.If tests are positive, Soc Trang will be the fourth province affected in the recent series of outbreaks, which started in early December in the south Mekong Delta provinces of Ca Mau and Bac Lieu, spreading to nearby Hau Giang province. OIE reports list 32 outbreaks during that period.Officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are in talks with the Vietnamese government about sending experts to investigate the source of the outbreaks, Voice of America News reported today.Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, a spokesperson for the FAO office in Hanoi, told VOA the outbreak isn’t surprising, because officials believe the virus is still present. “The information that we’ve got so far is that the recent outbreaks were triggered as a result of raising illegal ducks,” she said. In earlier news reports, officials blamed local animal health officials and farmers for not maintaining poultry vaccination programs and farmers for hatching poultry illegally.In December, an FAO-OIE crisis management team traveled to South Korea to investigate the H5N1 outbreaks in poultry that occurred south of Seoul in late November.See also:Jan 6 Hong Kong government press releasehttp://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/200701/06/P200701060189.htmJan 6 Hong Kong press releasehttp://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/200701/06/P200701060187.htmWikipedia photo of scaly-breasted muniahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaly-breasted_muniaJan 7 ProMed mail report on Hong Kong birdOIE reports on Vietnam 2006-07 outbreakhttp://www.oie.int/downld/AVIAN%20INFLUENZA/A2006_AI.php