Press release: PM meeting with President of Nigeria: 16 April 2018

first_imgA Downing Street spokesperson said: The Prime Minister had a bilateral meeting with President Buhari of Nigeria at Downing Street today. They agreed that the UK and Nigeria were strong and enduring partners and that we would continue to champion our shared values of democracy, including the fight against corruption, and inclusive education. They agreed our defence and security cooperation was close and longstanding, particularly on issues of regional security where we were working together to tackle the threat of Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa, including through a new £1 million package of counter-IED equipment to protect troops and civilians in Nigeria. The Prime Minister said she was saddened so many girls had been affected by the security situation in Nigeria, and that the thoughts of the British people were with the girls and their families. They agreed on the importance of tackling climate change, and of fighting the scourge of modern slavery. They discussed Salisbury and Syria, agreeing on the vital importance of upholding international norms against the use of chemical weapons. The Prime Minister also congratulated the President on leading a successful business reform agenda in Nigeria, noting that as the UK leaves the EU, our bilateral trade and investment relationship would continue to go from strength to strength.last_img read more

4D-printed structure changes shape when placed in water

first_imgA team of scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has evolved their microscale 3-D printing technology to the fourth dimension, time.Inspired by natural structures like plants, which respond and change their form in response to environmental stimuli, the team has unveiled 4D-printed hydrogel composite structures that change shape when immersed in water.Mimicking nature in 4D Related Reported today in Nature Materials, the 4D printing advance combined materials science and mathematics through the involvement of the study’s co-lead authors: A. Sydney Gladman, a graduate research assistant advised by Lewis and specializing in the printing of polymers and composites at the Wyss Institute and SEAS, and Elisabetta Matsumoto, a postdoctoral fellow at the Wyss and SEAS advised by Mahadevan and specializing in condensed matter and material physics.By aligning cellulose fibrils during printing, the hydrogel composite ink is encoded with anisotropic swelling and stiffness, which can be patterned to produce intricate shape changes. The anisotropic nature of the cellulose fibrils gives rise to varied directional properties that can be predicted and controlled. Just like wood, which splits more easily along the grain than across it, when it is immersed in water the hydrogel-cellulose fibril ink undergoes differential swelling along and orthogonal to the printing path. Combined with a proprietary mathematical model developed by the team that determines how a 4D object must be printed to achieve prescribed transformable shapes, the new method opens up new potential applications for 4D printing technology, including smart textiles, soft electronics, biomedical devices, and tissue engineering.“Using one composite ink printed in a single step, we can achieve shape-changing hydrogel geometries containing more complexity than any other technique, and we can do so simply by modifying the print path,” said Gladman. “What’s more, we can interchange different materials to tune for properties such as conductivity or biocompatibility.”The composite ink the team uses flows like liquid through the printhead, yet rapidly solidifies once printed. A variety of hydrogel materials can be used interchangeably, resulting in different stimuli-response behavior, while the cellulose fibrils can be replaced with other anisotropic fillers, including conductive fillers.“Our mathematical model prescribes the printing pathways required to achieve the desired shape-transforming response,” said Matsumoto. “We can control the curvature both discretely and continuously using our entirely tunable and programmable method.”The mathematical modeling also solves the “inverse problem,” the challenge of predicting what the printing toolpath must be to encode swelling behaviors toward a desired shape.“It is wonderful to be able to design and realize, in an engineered structure, some of nature’s solutions,” said Mahadevan, who has studied phenomena such as how botanical tendrils coil, how flowers bloom, and how pine cones open and close. “By solving the inverse problem, we are now able to reverse-engineer the problem and determine how to vary local inhomogeneity, i.e., the spacing between the printed ink filaments, and the anisotropy, i.e., the direction of these filaments, to control the spatiotemporal response of these shape-shifting sheets.”“What’s remarkable about this 4D printing advance made by Jennifer and her team is that it enables the design of almost any arbitrary, transformable shape from a wide range of available materials with different properties and potential applications, truly establishing a new platform for printing self-assembling, dynamic microscale structures that could be applied to a broad range of industrial and medical applications,” said Wyss Institute Director Donald Ingber, the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and the vascular biology program at Boston Children’s Hospital and professor of bioengineering at SEAS.This work was supported by funding from the Army Research Office and the National Science Foundation’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. Using a 3-D printer, Harvard researchers create an autonomous soft machine And now, the hopping robot <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q_Fu1KlVac” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/7Q_Fu1KlVac/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> The method was inspired by the way plants change shape over time in response to environmental stimuli. This orchid-shaped structure is printed with a hydrogel composite ink containing aligned cellulose fibrils, which enable anisotropic swelling. A proprietary mathematical model developed by the team precisely predicts how the fibrils will swell in water. After printing, the 4D orchid is immersed in water to activate its shape transformation. Credit: A.S. Gladman, E. Matsumoto, L.K. Sanders, and J.A. Lewis / Wyss Institute at Harvard University “This work represents an elegant advance in programmable materials assembly, made possible by a multidisciplinary approach,” said Jennifer Lewis, senior author on the new study. “We have now gone beyond integrating form and function to create transformable architectures.”Lewis is a core faculty member at the Wyss Institute and the Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at SEAS. Another Wyss core faculty member, L. Mahadevan, the Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, professor of organismic and evolutionary biology, and professor of physics at Harvard University and SEAS, is a co-author on the study. Their team also includes co-author Ralph Nuzzo, the G.L. Clark Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.In nature, the tissue composition and microstructures of flowers and plants have dynamic morphologies that change according to their environments. Mimicking the variety of shape changes that plant organs such as tendrils, leaves, and flowers undergo in response to environmental stimuli such as humidity or temperature, the 4D-printed hydrogel composites developed by Lewis and her team are programmed to contain precise, localized swelling. Importantly, the hydrogel composites contain cellulose fibrils that are derived from wood and resemble the microstructures that enable shape changes in plants.last_img read more

Joel Obi: Hoping for an Injury-Free Season with Chievo

first_imgAfter winning the “Allievi Nazionali” Under-17 championship in 2008, Joel Obi was moved to the Primavera formation, where he had over 40 appearances and six goals in just under three years. In 2009, the then Inter Milan Manager, Jose Mourinho notice his immense talent and played him occasionally in the first-team. In 2010, even if without playing, he was registered to the club’s ‘A’ list of players, who won the UEFA Champions League against Bayern Munich.With the arrival of Rafael Benitez in summer 2010, he moved Obi with the first-team and he made his debut for Inter in a Champions League group stage game against Werder Bremen where he played the final 10 minutes of the match after coming on as a substitute in the 80th minute.After some cameo appearances in the Italian Serie A and Supercoppa Italiana injury came knocking and it was not until the 2012-13 season that Obi made another few appearances in the colours of the Nerrazzurri before he was sent on loan to Parma. His return to Inter two seasons later was not two impressive spending just a season before being shipped to Torino.Since then his football career has been bleated by injuries. However, since the beginning of the season, Obi had shown blinks of his old self which probably was what convinced the German-born Nigerian coach to invite him for the two-headed friendly matches against Poland and Serbia, perhaps for a first-hand assessment.His invitation will come four years after his last call-up to the national team, as his last game for the Super Eagles came in a friendly game in 2014 against Scotland.He earned his first call to the Super Eagles in a friendly game against Sierra Leone in Lagos in 2011 and was full of promise, playing 11 games in a row for the senior national team before an injury put paid to his Eagles’ ambition. His next stint with the national team was during the preliminary of the 2014 World Cup but he never made Nigeria’s squad to the Mundial. Surprisingly, Gernot Rohr recalled the midfielder for the friendly games against Poland and Serbia prior to the World Cup, though he was part of the Super Eagles team to Russia, he never featured in any of the team’s group matches before being eliminated.Obi indeed admitted that it would be tough breaking into the team with the calibre of players currently in the Super Eagles squad but felt he had something to offer.“It’s good competition there (Super Eagles) and that’s what you want as a player. It’s only normal to have one eye on the World Cup. Every Nigerian player will want to get into that squad, but it’s based on merit. So, you’ll have to play well for your club and I’m doing that. I’ll focus on doing that, and then if I get the opportunity to play, it would be a dream come true,” Obi said before the kickoff of the Mundial.In an interview with THISDAY, former Nigerian international, Friday Ekpo said his move to Chievo was good for him as long as he would enjoy his football there and an opportunity to still be relevant in the national team as he would always bring his experience to bear.“He’s a vastly experienced player and for injuries that have really punctured his career, he supposed to be one of the leading top midfielders in Europe if not the world by now.“For now, he seems to be injury free and enjoying his game. One thing I know for sure is that on his good day and if he’s injury free he would add value to the team and his vast experience would be a plus,” Ekpo said.The former Inter man, now 27, is presumably at the peak of his physical powers. He made nine appearances (eight of those starts) in all competitions for Torino last season, scoring three times and assisting twice. Then again, there has never been any uncertainty over his productivity and ability. What is rather less apparent is how consistently his skills can be harnessed.Last season, Obi missed five weeks due to injury. In 2016/17, that number was 13. In 2015/16, it was 20. This is the tragedy at the very core of a wondrous talent, the thorn in his flesh as it were: to be eternally buffeted by muscular injuries.Yet, so great is his talent and range that, when fit, he is impossible to ignore, and this is true both for club and country. Following that initial stumble, the reboot of the national team did eventually happen under the late Stephen Keshi, and when he had secured a ticket to the 2014 World Cup, it was to Joel Obi he turned to improve the then African champions.His slaloming brilliance and deft left foot would not have looked out of place in Brazil. Predictably though, just on the eve of the final squad announcement, he suffered yet another injury, drawing a long, plaintive sigh from all and sundry.For former Super Eagles defensive midfielder, Waidi Akani, Obi’s condition would determine whether he is still good for the national team.“Though Super Eagles midfield is not a department that the team is having many problems but Rohr could still use him in other areas. After all, he has been used as a defender for his Italian club at one point or the other. He could, therefore, explore other areas,” Akani said.The former NEPA of Lagos player, however, emphasised that it was not yet Eldorado for the former Torino midfielder, that what would really guarantee a place in the Super Eagles team is how well his body condition is.“His talent has never been in doubt. He is one player I admire so much and sympathisewith. The question has always been on his fitness,” he noted.The 26-year-old has played in the Italian Serie A for Inter Milan, Parma and Torino, he has made a total of 15 appearances for the Super Eagles and is yet to register a goal.Obi has made just 105 league appearances in the seven years since he jogged on to the San Siro pitch to replace Philippe Coutinho.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Super Eagles midfielder, Joel Obi, last week moved from Torino to fellow Italian side Chievo Verona ahead of the new Serie A Season after the 27-year-old put pen to paper on a three-year deal for an undisclosed transfer fee in what would be his fourth club for an Italian side. After just making the numbers at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the question on the lips of observers is whether his latest move was to make a statement for Super Eagles Manager, Gernot RohrAfter signing for Chievo Verona from Torino, Super Eagles midfielder, Joel Obi said, “A new adventure is about to begin, but first of all I would like to thank my Torino teammates and all the staff for the unique years spent together.”Chievo is his fourth Italian club after Inter Milan, Parma and Torino.last_img read more