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Daily Business Report-May 31, 2016

Daily Business Report-May 31, 2016

In this April 10, 2015 photo, General Atomics Chairman and CEO Neal Blue stands in front of a machine winding the first magnet coil of the ITER project. (Photo by Chris Jennewein/Times of San Diego)

General Atomics Applauds U.S. Energy

Secretary’s Support of Fusion Reactor Project

General Atomics is applauding a report by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz recommending continued support for ITER, the world’s largest magnetic fusion device designed to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale source of energy.

General Atomics is involved in the building of several components for ITER. The central solenoid, the super-magnet at the core of the ITER device, is currently being fabricated at the company facility in Poway.

“We are proud to be participants in this major international project whose goal is to demonstrate that nuclear fusion can be harnessed to provide a near limitless, safe source of clean energy for our world,” said Jeff Quintenz, senior vice president of General Atomics’ Energy Group. “The success of this important project requires continued U. S. support and the technical contributions of some of our best scientists and engineers.”

When completed, ITER will be among the most powerful magnets ever built with each of its six modules capable of containing the equivalent energy of 1,000 cars racing 100 MPH.  Each module is seven feet tall and 14 feet in diameter made from four miles of superconducting cable.

When completely assembled, the five-story, 2 million pound magnet will drive 15 million amps of electrical current, enough to light 15 million light bulbs, to create the forces necessary to compress ITER’s plasma producing approximately 500MW of fusion power. ITER’s success will prove that nuclear fusion can produce virtually limitless safe, clean and renewable energy.

General Atomics is also participating in other areas of ITER’s development including the design, development and manufacturing of several diagnostics to measure important parameters of the ITER plasma. In addition to these manufacturing efforts, General Atomics operates DIII-D, the largest magnetic fusion experiment in the U.S. to validate the scientific and technical basis for ITER. General Atomics’ work on DIII-D, and on pursuing the success of ITER, makes it an industry leader in fusion energy.


As honorees, Tom Denning, Ed Hoffman, and Tom Sofyanos — all representatives of SEA-Vista LLC — welded their initials into the keel of the ship.

As honorees, Tom Denning, Ed Hoffman, and Tom Sofyanos — all representatives of SEA-Vista LLC — welded their initials into the keel of the ship.

NASSCO Hosts Keel Laying

Ceremony for Tanker Liberty

On Thursday, May 25, General Dynamics NASSCO hosted a keel laying ceremony for the Liberty, one of three ECO Class tankers under the same construction contract with SEA-Vista LLC, a partnership between SEACOR Holdings, Inc. and Avista Capital Partners.

As honorees, Tom Denning, Ed Hoffman, and Tom Sofyanos — all representatives of SEA-Vista LLC — welded their initials into the keel of the ship.

The Liberty is a 610-foot, 50,000-ton, LNG-conversion-ready product tanker with a 330,000 barrel cargo capacity. The new ECO Class design symbolizes the emerging direction of the shipping industry in the U.S. toward cleaner, more fuel-efficient modes of transporting product. Once delivered, the tanker will be operated by Seabulk Tankers, Inc.

The construction and operation of the new ECO Class tankers are aligned with the Jones Act, requiring that ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports be built in U.S. shipyards. Construction on the Liberty began in October 2015.

As a complement to its government new construction and repair business segment, NASSCO has extensive experience in commercial shipbuilding. In the past decade, NASSCO delivered 16 commercial ships—including the world’s first LNG-powered containerships.


TSRI Scientists Discover

Cancer-Causing Mutation

Associate Professor Eros Lazzerini Denchi

Associate Professor Eros Lazzerini Denchi

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have caught a cancer-causing mutation in the act.

A new study shows how a gene mutation found in several human cancers, including leukemia, gliomas and melanoma, promotes the growth of aggressive tumors.

“We’ve found the mechanism through which this mutation leads to a scrambling of the genome,” said TSRI Associate Professor Eros Lazzerini Denchi, who co-led the study with Agnel Sfeir of New York University School of Medicine. “That’s when you get really massive tumors.”

The research, published May 26  by the journal Cell Reports, also suggests a possible way to kill these kinds of tumors by targeting an important enzyme.

Read more…


Powering up the circadian rhythm

Salk team first to discover protein that controls

the strength of body’s circadian rhythms

At noon every day, levels of genes and proteins throughout your body are drastically different than they are at midnight. Disruptions to this 24-hour cycle of physiological activity are why jet lag or a bad night’s sleep can alter your appetite and sleep patterns for days—and even contribute to conditions like heart disease, sleep disorders and cancers.

Now, scientists at the Salk Institute and collaborators have discovered a key player — a protein called REV-ERBα — that controls the strength of this circadian rhythm in mammals. The discovery is unusual in the field, as most circadian genes and proteins only shift the timing or length of the daily cycle.

“Whether it is Beethoven’s 9th Symphony on your stereo or the symphony of genes in our bodies, both require volume to be heard,” says senior author Ronald Evans, director of Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratory, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and holder of the March of Dimes Chair in Molecular and Developmental Biology. “Our recent work describes how REV-ERBα acts as a molecular conductor to allows the volume or activity of thousands of genes to be dialed up or down.”

Read more…


Bank of America Distributes $270,000

In County to Boost Workforce Development

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has awarded $270,000 in grants to 31 nonprofits dedicated to providing workforce development and education opportunities throughout San Diego.

Funding will help individuals living in low-income neighborhoods, who are disproportionately impacted by unemployment and other barriers to workforce participation, access opportunities that will advance long-term sustainable growth in San Diego.

“National Veterans Transition Services Inc. aka REBOOT, will receive support from Bank of America to help transitioning service members, veterans and spouses successfully reintegrate back to civilian life and find meaningful employment. Funds from the grant will be used to expand efforts to North County to offer monthly workshops for Marines from Camp Pendleton and veterans in the area.

Other organizations receiving grants include: Accion, Asian Business Association,  Barrio Logan College Institute, Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County, Cleantech Education Foundation, CONNECT, East County Economic Development Council, I Love A Clean San Diego, International Rescue Committee, Junior Achievement of San Diego, Just In Time For Foster Youth, Monarch, Ocean Discovery Institute, Promises2Kids, Psycharmor, Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation, Reality Changers, REBOOT, The Rosie Network, San Diego Mana, San Diego Regional Small Business Development Corporation, San Diego Second Chance, San Diego Workforce Partnership, South Bay Community Services, St. Madeleine Sophies Training Center, Teach For America, Urban Corps of San Diego, USS Midway, Voices For Children, Workshops For Warriors and YMCA of San Diego County.


General Atomics to Display Full-Scale

Predator B at ILA Show in Berlin

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. announced that it will have a significant presence at the upcoming ILA show in Berlin, Germany Wednesday through Saturday, including a full-scale, company-owned Predator B remotely piloted aircraft.

“The ILA Berlin Air Show marks the first time GA-ASI has publicly displayed our Predator B aircraft, and we’re honored to be featured at this world-class venue,” said Linden Blue, CEO.

The Predator aircraft family has amassed over 3.8 million flight hours. Predator B can fly up to 240 knots, carry extensive payloads and reach 15,240 meters in altitude. Aircraft endurance can exceed 27 hours, depending on configuration.


Illumina, ArcherDX to

Co-Develop NGS Diagnostics


Illumina and ArcherDx will collaborate on the development of in vitro diagnostics, the companies reported.

Under the terms of the agreement, ArcherDX will lead the development using its anchored multiplex PCR (AMP) chemistry to develop tests that will run on Illumina’s MiSeqDx instrument.

The collaboration “enables our vision of creating a companion test aligned to the current and next generations of targeted therapies, rather than a single companion diagnostic targeting a single targeted therapy,” ArcherDX CEO Jason Myers said in a statement. Myers added that the company plans to also work with pharmaceutical companies to bring a next-generation sequencing-based companion diagnostic through US Food and Drug Administration approval.

John Leite, vice president of market development for oncology at Illumina, said in a statement that the collaboration would enable “the development of companion diagnostics using NGS” and “expand IVD test offerings on the MiSeqDx.”


Personnel Announcements

Ryan Herrell Joins Zephyr as VP

Ryan Herrell

Ryan Herrell

San Diego-based real estate development and investment company Zephyr has hired Ryan Herrell as vice president of urban development. In his role, Herrell will manage Zephyr’s residential, mixed-use and hospitality real estate projects.

Zephyr’s current projects include The Park, 60 luxury condominiums and townhomes in Bankers Hill; SummerHouse Carlsbad, an enclave of 35 luxury ocean and lagoon view condos; and the $50 million South Cove nine-acre parcel in Dana Point, where the company is developing a mixed-use community.

Prior to joining Zephyr, Herrell was the director of preconstruction with Ledcor Construction, where he oversaw mixed-use, multifamily and hotel projects in urban areas with emphasis on design development and construction logistics. There, he managed strategic planning, project development and client relationships.

He was also previously the associate vice president at EDGE Development, and the regional manager at Fibwrap Construction, Los Angeles.


Norah Shultz to Join SDSU as Associate VP

Norah Shultz

Norah Shultz

Norah Shultz will become San Diego State University’s associate vice president for Academic Affairs, Student Achievement on June 27.

Shultz received her bachelor’s degree in social science from Rosemont College in 1978 and her master’s degree and Ph.D. in sociology from Bryn Mawr College in 1984 and 1988, respectively.

Shultz will join SDSU from Penn State Abington where she serves as the senior associate dean for academic affairs, providing leadership for the three academic divisions and an array of academic support services, while working with the senior team in providing fiscal management and planning for the college.

She began her academic career at Arcadia University, becoming the acting associate dean of academic affairs in the summer of 2000. Soon thereafter she became the dean of undergraduate studies and faculty development, eventually holding the positions of associate vice president for undergraduate education and founding dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

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