Nominations Open for the Merkin Prize in Biomedical Technology

Merkin Prize Logo

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nominations are now open for the first award of the Richard N. Merkin Prize in Biomedical Technology, which recognizes novel technologies that have improved human health.

Each year, the prize will celebrate a novel technology and recognize up to four key individuals and/or teams who contributed to the development of the technology, with a cash award of $400,000 to be shared among each year’s recipients. The winning technology must have made a demonstrable real-world impact on human health by improving the treatment, diagnosis, or prevention of disease.

The Merkin Prize is administered by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, one of the world’s leading biomedical research institutes.

“The Merkin Prize will highlight the inventors of an important medical technology and will demonstrate how their work is transforming healthcare,” said Harold Varmus, chair of the selection committee. Varmus is the Lewis Thomas University Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, a senior associate at the New York Genome Center, and a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on the origins of cancer.

“Incentivizing outstanding researchers with prizes that recognize the importance of science and technology that continue to impact human health is a goal of mine and I’m honored to acknowledge such critically important work,” said Dr. Merkin. “Additionally, I hope it will inspire younger researchers as they move forward with exciting opportunities to transform and improve our health and the quality of our lives.”

Eligibility for receipt of the Merkin Prize extends to all living investigators from anywhere in the world, from any discipline in academia, the commercial sector, or the government. Anyone may submit a nomination, but self-nominations are not permitted. Nominations must be submitted by Jan. 30, 2023.

For further information, detailed instructions, and a nomination form, please visit

About the Merkin Family Foundation

The Merkin Family Foundation was founded by visionary healthcare executive Richard Merkin, MD.

Richard Merkin, MD, is the founder and CEO of Heritage Provider Network, Inc. (HPN). HPN is the largest physician-owned managed care organization in the country dedicated to value-based healthcare delivery improvements. HPN develops and manages coordinated, patient-doctor centric, integrated healthcare systems that offer some of the strongest solutions for the future of health, care, and cost in the United States. HPN and its affiliates operate in New York, California, and Arizona, providing high-quality, cost-effective healthcare with over one million patient members. HPN is dedicated to quality, affordable healthcare, and putting patients’ wellness first.

About Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard was launched in 2004 to empower this generation of creative scientists to transform medicine. The Broad Institute seeks to describe the molecular components of life and their connections; discover the molecular basis of major human diseases; develop effective new approaches to diagnostics and therapeutics; and disseminate discoveries, tools, methods, and data openly to the entire scientific community.

Founded by MIT, Harvard, Harvard-affiliated hospitals, and the visionary Los Angeles philanthropists Eli and Edythe L. Broad, the Broad Institute includes faculty, professional staff, and students from throughout the MIT and Harvard biomedical research communities and beyond, with collaborations spanning over a hundred private and public institutions in more than 40 countries worldwide.

Contact Information:
Karen Zusi-Tran

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The Richard N. Merkin Prize in Biomedical Technology is accepting nominations until Jan. 30, 2023.

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Alchip Technologies Q3 Revenue Sets Fiscal Year ’22 Record

Operating Income and Net Income Up Year-on-Year

Taipei, Taiwan, Nov. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Alchip Technologies set a fiscal year 2022 record with Q3 revenue reaching $117.5 million, reflecting a year-on-year increase of 28 percent over Q3 2021 revenue of $94.1 million, and a quarter-on-quarter increase of 16.2 percent over Q2 2022 revenue of $101.1 million.

Operating income for Q3 2022 is $18.6 million, representing a 21.9 percent year-on-year increase over Q3 2021 results of $14.4 million, but a decline of 3.6 percent from Q2 2022 operating income of $19.3 million.

Net income for Q3 2022 is $14.5 million, equating to a year-over-year increase of 12.6 percent over Q3 2021 net income of $12.9 million, and a slight 0.5 percent increase over Q2 2022 net income of $14.49 million.

Advanced technology, production and designs for 7nm and smaller line-width, accounted for 69 percent of Q3 2022 revenue and 66 percent of revenue for fiscal 2022 to date.  High-performance computing applications drove 78 percent of Q3 2022 revenue and 78 percent of revenue for fiscal year to date.

For the second consecutive quarter, North America, accounted for the largest share of Q3 2022 revenue at 39 percent, followed by Asia Pacific at 38 percent.  For fiscal year 2022, North America markets contributed 36% of revenue, after accounting for only 14 percent for all of 2021.

Management reports that Q3 revenue came mildly lower than expected because production revenue still suffered from tight ABF substrate supply constraints.

“On the other hand, design demand remained robust as most of the projected milestones came in on schedule, but profit margin was down due to a higher percentage of production revenue and other one-time expenses,” explained Alchip President and CEO, Johnny Shen.

Alchip is traded on the Taiwan stock exchange.  The company is extremely well respected in North America, Japan, Israel, Taiwan, and China for its high-performance ASIC design methodology, flexible business model, best-in-class IP portfolio and advanced packaging technology expertise.

For a more information on Alchip, go to

About Alchip

Alchip Technologies Ltd., founded in 2003 and headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, is a leading global provider of silicon and design and production services for system companies developing complex and high-volume ASICs and SoCs.  The company provides faster time-to-market and cost-effective solutions for SoC design at mainstream and advanced, including 7nm, 6nm, 5nm and 4nm processes. Alchip has built its reputation as a high-performance ASIC leader through its advanced 2.5D/3D package services, CoWoS/chiplet design and manufacturing experience. Customers include global leaders in AI, HPC/supercomputer, mobile phones, entertainment device, networking equipment and other electronic product categories. Alchip is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 3661), is a TSMC-certified Value Chain Aggregator and is a founding member of the new TSMC 3DFabric Alliance®.


Charles Byers
Alchip Technologies
+ (408)-310-9244

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China Owns 400 Nuclear Warheads, According to Pentagon Report

A Pentagon report warns that China now has more than 400 nuclear warheads, approximately doubling its nuclear arsenal in just two years, while its military has increased “unsafe” and “unprofessional” military behavior toward the United States and its allies in the region, especially Taiwan.
The pace of China’s accelerating nuclear expansion may enable Beijing to field a stockpile of about 1,500 warheads by 2035, according to the Pentagon’s annual “China Military Power” report to Congress that was released Tuesday.
The United States’ nuclear arsenal, with an estimated 3,800 warheads in active status, would still dwarf China’s.
The People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) launched approximately 135 ballistic missiles for testing and training in 2021, “more than the rest of the world combined, excluding ballistic missile employment in conflict zones,” according to the report. It also continued to construct three intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) silo fields, which will contain at least 300 new ICBM silos.
The Pentagon report was based on information about China’s military capabilities that was collected through December 2021, but it also accounted for some major events in 2022, including Russia’s war in Ukraine and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August, according to a senior defense official.
Bradley Bowman, a veteran and senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the “quantity and quality” of Chinese missiles is “particularly concerning.”
“If one looks at the capability and capacity of China’s missile arsenal, it’s breathtaking,” Bowman said, adding that China’s military modernization has “methodically and deliberately gone after capabilities specifically designed to defeat the United States.”
South China Sea
China also has increased the number of “unsafe and unprofessional” encounters with the U.S. military and its allies and partners in the region, including Australia.
“We’ve seen more coercive and aggressive actions in the Indo-Pacific region, including some of which we would highlight as being dangerous,” the senior defense official said, citing aircraft aerobatics, lasing and discharging objects as examples.
On Tuesday, China said it had “tracked and dispelled” a U.S. warship from waters near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Beijing considers much of the resource-rich sea its territory — despite the territorial claims of other nations — and has created hundreds of hectares of artificial islands to bolster its claims.
The U.S. Navy confirmed to VOA the USS Chancellorsville guided-missile cruiser conducted a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) near the Spratly Islands Tuesday but described China’s statement about the mission as “false.”
“USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) conducted this FONOP in accordance with international law and then continued on to conduct normal operations in waters where high seas freedoms apply,” the Navy said in a statement.
“The United States is defending every nation’s right to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, as USS Chancellorsville did here. Nothing the PRC says otherwise will deter us,” the Navy added, describing China’s claims to the Spratly Islands as “excessive” and “illegitimate.”
The U.S. frequently conducts these operations in the South China Sea to challenge the territorial claims of China and others and to promote free passage through international waters that carry half the world’s merchant fleet tonnage, worth trillions of dollars each year.
An international court ruling in The Hague held that China had no historic title over the South China Sea, but Beijing has ignored the decision.
‘New normal’ around Taiwan
China has stated it wants to have the ability to control Taiwan, by force if necessary, by 2027, and officials have seen an “elevated level of new, intimidating and coercive activity” around the island. China considers Taiwan a wayward province.
“I don’t see an imminent invasion. I think what we do see is sort of the PRC (People’s Republic of China) establishing kind of a new normal in terms of the level of military activity around Taiwan following the speaker’s visit,” a senior defense official told reporters at the Pentagon.
China executed a high number of missile launches and military demonstrations around the Taiwan Strait during and immediately after Pelosi’s trip, which the speaker said was made to “stand by” the democratic island and honor the U.S. commitment made to Taiwan under a 1979 law.
Since then, China has lowered the number of aggressive actions around Taiwan but has not reduced its aggressive behavior to the level it was prior to her visit.
“Strait centerline crossings have become increasingly, you know, sort of routinized. In contrast, those used to be something that the PRC reserved for relatively rare occasions where they wanted to send sort of more of a political signal,” the senior defense official said.
Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe told U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Cambodia last week that Beijing considers Taiwan to be a “red line,” according to a statement provided by the Chinese Ministry of Defense.
“Taiwan is China’s. Taiwan and the resolution of the Taiwan issue is China’s own affair in which no outside force has the right to intervene,” Wei said, according to the statement.
Russia and beyond
China has continued its military cooperation with Russia. In 2021, a large-scale joint exercise with Russia’s army was conducted on Chinese soil for the first time. The drills were known as Zapad/Interaction.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, a senior defense official said Beijing has not provided direct military assistance to Moscow but has supported Russia by amplifying Russian disinformation and propaganda.
“Russia’s value as a partner to the PRC remains high,” the official said.
China has the world’s largest navy in terms of ship numbers, with a battle force of about 340 ships and submarines. China’s army, according to the report, has 975,000 active duty members, and Beijing’s aviation force is the largest in the region and third-largest in the world, with more than 2,800 aircraft.
The report added that in addition to China’s base in the small African nation of Djibouti, Beijing has considered several other nations for future Chinese military facilities ranging from Cambodia to Tajikistan to Kenya.
Cyber-enabled espionage by China also remains a “sophisticated, persistent threat,” according to the report. The Pentagon accuses China’s military of attempting to take radiation hardened integrated circuits, gyroscopes, syntactic foam trade secrets, military communication jamming equipment, aviation technologies, anti-submarine warfare capabilities, and other technologies.
Responding to VOA at the Pentagon earlier in November, General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, “China is the one country out there that geopolitically has the power potential to be a significant challenge to the United States.”
He added that China wants to have the top military in the world by 2049 and has made gains in cyber, space, land, sea and air, but stressed that the United States’ military will not let the Chinese military surpass it.
“And as long as we remain No. 1, then we will deter the war that people worry about, a great power war between China and the United States,” Milley said.

Source: Voice of America

Twitter Rolls Back COVID Misinformation Policy

Twitter has rolled back a policy that was aimed at tackling misinformation related to COVID-19 on the social media platform, lending itself to the risk of a potential surge in false claims even as cases rise in China and some parts of the world.
The move also comes amid concerns of Twitter’s ability to fight misinformation after it let go about half of its staff, including those involved in content moderation, under new boss Elon Musk.
“Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy,” according to an update on its blog page. The update was first reported by CNN on Tuesday.
The specific measures that Twitter will drop were not immediately clear, and the company did not immediately respond to a request to share more information.
At the onset of COVID in 2020, Twitter instated a number of measures including labels and warning messages on tweets with disputed information about the health crisis and a framework to have users remove tweets that advanced harmfully false claims related to vaccines.
Meta Platforms Inc-owned META.O Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s GOOGL.O YouTube services employed similar measures, which are currently in place.
Early this year, Twitter said that since March 2021 it had stopped enforcing a “civic integrity policy” related to lies about the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Billionaire Musk took over Twitter on Oct. 27, paying $44 billion for the company, and has moved quickly to initiate a number of changes to product and staff. Musk said on Oct. 29 he would set up a content moderation council with “widely diverse viewpoints.

Source: Voice of America

Saravan underprivileged students receive aid package

Deputy Prime Minister Kikeo Khaykhamphithone’s family, Women Federation of Prime Minister’s Office led by Mrs Vienggneun Khaikhamphithoune, a spouse of Deputy Prime Minister Kikeo Khaykhamphithone and authorities of Saravan province have brought a number of consumers goods donated poor and underprivillaged students and people on November 26, in Saravan province.
Donated items including daily household utensils, clothes, dried food, and farming equipments cost over 200 million kip, were donated to villagers and students of Phao village, Saravan district, Toumlan village, Toumlan district and ethnic boarding school in Saravan province.
Mrs Vienggneun expressed concerned over the people’s live and asked for convenience and problem as well as praise the efforts of local authorities that paid attention to local development.

Source: Lao News Agency

Esmod Night Fashion showcased

Lao Fashion Week on last Sunday organized ESMOD Night fashions show to celebrate the diplomatic relation between Laos and France 2022.
“This evening we are celebrating the 69th anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Laos-France and Lao Fashion Week is part of France-Laos Festival, which Lao Fashion Week -ESMOD Night showcased collection of five Lao young designers who received scholarship to study in ESMOD Fashion Institute in Paris, France,” said Ms. Pany Saignavong, Founder & CEO of Lao Fashion Week and Lao Young Designers Project.
The ESMOD Night showcased special collection under theme on “The Lao with French Essence” in front of high-ranking officials, ambassadors, orgnisations and societies attended the event.
The five Lao young designers was included Mr Si-amphan Chanthavichit (Winner in 2015), Mr Viseth Sittilath (Winner in 2016), Nanthaveth Bubpha (Winner in 2017), Livana Koo (Winner in 2018), and Sunnantha Phanthapanya (Winner in 2019).
Since 2015, Lao Fashion week organized the fashion design contest to seek the top five of young talents to provide each of them scholarship to study in various fashion academies in abroad. The firstwinner of each year attends six-month intensive fashion design course in ESMOD Fashion Institute in Paris, France.

Source: Lao News Agency