Mayor Gray & DC Department of General Services launch partnership with BrightFarms Inc. to bring fresh, locally grown produce to the District. The new greenhouse farm will grow up to one million pounds of produce year-round.
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(Washington D.C.) - Mayor Vincent C. Gray launched a partnership with BrightFarms to build a 100,000 square-foot, state-of-the art greenhouse farm in Ward 8 designed to grow up to one million pounds of local produce per year. The greenhouse farm project – which also has the potential to create jobs for District residents – showcases the city’s position as a leader in sustainability and fresh-food initiatives.
“This greenhouse farm project is consistent with our Sustainable DC food goals,” said Mayor Gray, who in 2011 announced a plan to make D.C. the greenest, healthiest, and most livable city in the nation. “This project not only adds 2-1/2 acres of food-cultivating land within the District, but it helps put the city on the path to ensuring universal access to secure, nutritious and affordable food supplies.”
Among a host of other initiatives, Sustainable DC seeks to dramatically expand food production and access to healthy food within the city. The location of the farm, at the corner of South Capitol Street and Southern Avenue in Ward 8, has been underutilized and plagued by illegal dumping.
“Ward 8 has been a food desert for far too long,” said Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry. “This farm will not only provide a healthy food option for our constituents, but the greenhouse will also provide jobs, economic stimulus and greater access to fresh produce for residents citywide.”
By growing locally, BrightFarms delivers produce that is thousands of miles fresher, more flavorful and better for the community. This farm will:
“Using District land for this hydroponic greenhouse is emblematic of our commitment to the Mayor’s Sustainable DC goals.” said DGS Director Brian J. Hanlon. “We have a responsibility to the City and to future generations to be more intentional about prioritizing agricultural land use and healthy food access in urban environments.” Echoing Director Hanlon’s sentiments, DGS Sustainability Manager Mark Chambers said, “Locally sourcing our food is just one part of the challenge. It is equally critical we explain clearly and thoughtfully why this type of project is necessary to meet our needs as a species.”
BrightFarms grows local produce nationwide. By financing, building, and managing greenhouse farms at or near grocery retailers, BrightFarms eliminates time, distance, and costs from the produce supply chain. BrightFarms local produce is fresher, more flavorful, and better for the environment, enabling grocers to change their produce supply chain in a way that improves the planet and their profits.
“When it comes to sustainability, D.C. is a real player with an impressive long-term plan,” said BrightFarms CEO Paul Lightfoot. “The DGS, acting on behalf of Mayor Gray, has been a tremendous and extremely efficient partner. We cannot wait to bring millions of pounds of the freshest local produce to an innovative retailer in the nation’s capital!”
The groundbreaking for the greenhouse farm construction project is set for fall 2013, with completion in early 2014. A local partner on the BrightFarms project is the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation (AEDC).
“The Anacostia Economic Development Corporation is pleased to be in partnership with BrightFarms to provide quality, healthy and GMO-free vegetables to the residents of the District of Columbia,” said Stan Jackson, CEO of AEDC. “We are equally excited to create jobs for our residents that will pay a livable wage in recognition of our diversifying economy.”
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have designed a low-cost, long-life battery that could enable solar and wind energy to become major suppliers to the electrical grid.
“For solar and wind power to be used in a significant way, we need a battery made of economical materials that are easy to scale and still efficient,” said Yi Cui, a Stanford associate professor of materials science and engineering and a member of the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences, a SLAC/Stanford joint institute. “We believe our new battery may be the best yet designed to regulate the natural fluctuations of these alternative energies.
Cui and colleagues report their research results, some of the earliest supported by the DOE’s new Joint Center for Energy Storage Research battery hub, in the May issue of Energy & Environmental Science.
Currently the electrical grid cannot tolerate large and sudden power fluctuations caused by wide swings in sunlight and wind. As solar and wind’s combined contributions to an electrical grid approach 20 percent, energy storage systems must be available to smooth out the peaks and valleys of this “intermittent” power — storing excess energy and discharging when input drops.
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Mar. 14, 2013 — Seasonal epidemics of influenza result in nearly 36,000 deaths annually in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Current vaccines against the influenza virus elicit an antibody response specific for proteins on the outside of the virus, specifically the hemagglutinin (HA) protein.
Yearly vaccines are made by growing the flu virus in eggs. The viral envelope proteins, including HA, are cleaved off and used as the vaccine, but vary from year to year, depending on what flu strains are prevalent. However, high mutation rates in envelope HA proteins result in the emergence of new viral types each year, which elude neutralization by preexisting antibodies in the body (specifically the HA proteins’ specific receptor binding sites that are the targets of neutralizing antibodies). On the other hand, other immune cell types are capable of mediating protection through recognition of other, more conserved parts of HAs or highly conserved internal proteins in the influenza virus.
E. John Wherry, PhD, associate professor of Microbiology and director of the Institute for Immunology at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues, report in PLOS Pathogens that influenza virus-specific CD8+ T cells or virus-specific non-neutralizing antibodies are each relatively ineffective at conferring protective immunity alone. But, when combined, the virus-specific CD8 T cells and non-neutralizing antibodies cooperatively elicit robust protective immunity.