Cement case detainees await space at San Sebastián prison

first_imgSan Sebastián has been described by inmates as “hell on Earth,” and a judge ordered in  August 2016 that the prison be closed within 18 months. The judge described its living conditions as horrific.Detainees at San Sebastián have complained to The Tico Times of inhumane conditions in overcrowded cells with minimal ventilation and so little sleeping space that some prisoners have to sleep on the floor next to urinals. Judge orders closure of overcrowded San Sebastián prison UPDATED: Court orders three months of prison for cement case detainees The daily La Naciónreported late Sunday that the seven men sentenced to three months’ preventive detention over the weekend in connection to the Chinese cement scandal will head to San Sebastián prison in San José.Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) Director Walter Espinoza told the daily Sunday evening that one of the detainees, suspended Banco de Costa Rica manager Mario Barrenechea, 67, will likely be the first to be transferred to San Sebastián because he is a senior citizen and will therefore enter the prison system in a separate Social Adaption track.The other men arrested, who included cement importer Juan Carlos Bolaños and five other Banco de Costa Rica management-level employees, will have to wait, since the historically overcrowded San Sebastián has a waiting list. A total of 40 prisoners are currently waiting for space at one of the country’s jails, according to La Nación.All of the men were in OIJ holding cells at the time of the report. A court ordered three months’ preventive detention for all seven men following a marathon hearing that began at 1 am Saturday morning.center_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Prosecutors requests six months of prison for seven cement case detainees UPDATED: Court orders three months of prison for cement case detainees Police arrest two key figures in Chinese cement case President Solís: ‘I’ve always told you the truth’last_img read more

Purdue startup to create sensor that provides early detection of mosquitoborne diseases

first_imgJul 13 2018A startup created by Purdue University professors is developing a sensor that can detect dangerous mosquito-borne tropical diseases faster and at a lower cost than current methods, giving health officials time to take action before the viruses are transmitted to humans.SMK Diagnostics has created biosensor technology to identify and monitor diseases such as Zika, which set off a global health crisis in 2015 and 2016, and dengue, which causes about 22,000 deaths a year worldwide, mostly among children. Dengue and Zika are from the same family of virus known as flavivirus.”The sensor provides early detection so you can intervene earlier,” said Lia Stanciu, associate head and professor of Materials Engineering at Purdue and one of the founders of SMK Diagnostics. “If local agencies know there’s a danger, they can intervene early to try to make sure it doesn’t get transmitted to people.”SMK Diagnostics was started by Stanciu, Ernesto Marinero, a professor or materials engineering and electrical and computer engineering at Purdue, and Richard Kuhn, the Trent and Judith Anderson Distinguished Professor of Science at Purdue. Kuhn was the first scientist to determine the structure of the Zika virus by cryo-electron microscopy.Related StoriesWar against mosquitoes saves lives and money in Sri LankaNitrogen-rich diet reduces mosquitoes’ ability to transmit ZikaFDA approves first vaccine for prevention of dengue disease in endemic regionsThe technology uses an electrode coated with a material that has a high surface area that immobilizes specific biological molecules able to bind to the RNA of the virus. When the DNA or RNA of a virus infected mosquito binds to the surface, it changes the surface resistance on the electrode. The sensor can determine if the virus is present.”Only the virus will bind to the surface, no other molecules. It is a recognition, like a key and lock,” Stanciu said.The sensor can differentiate between specific flaviviruses and works in less than an hour. Other technology to detect these diseases in mosquitoes are time-consuming, taking a week or longer to discover what the virus may be.Stanciu hopes to use the technology to place sensors where disease-carrying mosquitoes populate.”That way local agencies know there is a danger so they can take action to eradicate the virus before it spreads to people,” she said.The sensor detects viruses. It doesn’t work on bacteria-based diseases, such as malaria.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Zika can cause severe birth defects in babies whose mothers were infected during pregnancy and warns pregnant women from traveling to areas at risk for Zika. The CDC says more than one-third of the world’s population live in areas at risk for dengue, with up to 400 million people a year infected.The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization helped secure a patent for the technology for SMK Diagnostics, which started with the help of the Purdue Foundry.SMK Diagnostics is looking for funding to build a prototype and move the technology forward.Source: https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2018/Q3/purdue-researchers-developing-device-that-detects-mosquito-borne-diseases,-giving-health-officials-time-to-take-action.htmllast_img read more