[Video: RexAVision]The String Cheese Incident w/Rayland Baxter – “Hey Larocco” The String Cheese Incident kicked off their first night of the 2018 Hulaween Music Festival with something borrowed, something bluesy & something new! After seeing some stellar action all over the festival Thursday preparty including a stellar if soggy set from Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and our friends from Lettuce, Hulaween opened the festival proper on the main stage with a Chris Wood “double feature” including sets by The Wood Brothers and Medeski Martin & Wood. Dr. Dog kept the main stage schedule moving before The String Cheese Incident took the reins for two sets on their first of three nights at their annual celebration.Among the highlights of Cheese’s first set were wild renditions a couple of recent escapees from the SCI Sound Lab including “Magna” and the first live rendition of “Gone Crooked”, with track co-writer Rayland Baxter onstage as a special guest. String Cheese even favored the jamming crowd by backing Baxter on his own new track, “Hey Laracco,” from his new disc, Wide Awake! It was a genuine love fest and a wonderful sight to behold.Below, you can check out a selection of videos from The String Cheese Incident’s first of three nights at Suwannee Hulaween 2018 below:The String Cheese Incident – “Magna”[Video: RexAVision]The String Cheese Incident w/Rayland Baxter – “Gone Crooked” [Video: RexAVision]Stay tuned for more on-the-ground updates from Suwannee Hulaween as the weekend continues tonight with Jamiroquai, Vulfpeck, Tipper, and more, as well as three sets of Cheese including their “Celebrating Women of the Galaxy” Hula Incident.Setlist: The String Cheese Incident | Suwannee Hulaween | Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park | Live Oak, FL | 10/26/18Set One: Texas, Manga, Gone Crooked+*, Hey Lorocco*, One Step Closer > Turn This Around > > Let’s Go OutsideSet Two: Black and White, BollyMunster, Illegal, Rivertrance > Drums, Joyful Sound > Search, Colliding+ = First time played* = w/ Rayland Baxter
The String Cheese Incident Brings Fresh Love, Welcomes Rayland Baxter To Kick Off Hulaween 2018 [Videos]
Did You Know: A Pre-Fame Donald Glover Appears In The Crowd In A Beastie Boys Concert Film Shot In 2004
Today, Donald Glover is one of the most successful new figures in the entertainment industry. From writing for 30 Rock to his acclaimed work as recording artist Childish Gambino to his high-profile acting roles in films like Solo: A Star Wars Story and the upcoming live-action The Lion King remake to his Emmy-winning TV show, Atlanta, Glover has executed an impressive climb through the ranks of the entertainment industry over the last decade-plus. However, back 2004, Glover was just a student at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts who loved the Beastie Boys. It was around that time, on October 9th, 2004, that Donald Glover attended a Beasties concert at Madison Square Garden.Donald Glover & Rihanna To Star In New Hiro Murai-Directed Film, Reportedly Titled ‘Guava Island’ [Trailer]The Beastie Boys show in question was later released as a 2006 concert film. dubbed Awesome; I F-ckin’ Shot That!, directed by Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch under the pseudonym Nathaniel Hörnblowér. The footage used in the unconventional film was captured by 50 camcorders distributed to various audience members during the performance. The 50 lucky members of the audience entrusted with camcorders were instructed to keep their cameras rolling at all times, and the film was cobbled together using the crowd-shot footage.You may have seen the film before, but chances are you missed one particularly notable face in the crowd (that is, aside from Ben Stiller). Don’t blame yourself—he wasn’t particularly notable at the time, just another kid rapping along. As Reddit user Interracialpup recently pointed, Awesome; I F-ckin’ Shot That! features a brief clip of young Donald Glover enjoying the show from the audience during “Three MC’s And One DJ”. Check out the clip below:Young Donald Glover Raps Along At 2004 Beastie Boys Show[Video: Mattacular]50 cameras running all night long, and one of the shots from the final cut culled from the hours of footage just happens to feature one of today’s biggest stars, long before we knew his name. Many thanks to the Internet for turning up such an unlikely gem.[H/T Billboard]
Last month, Chris Robinson Brotherhood released the latest installment of their Betty’s Blends live series via Silver Arrow Records. Betty’s Midwestern Magick Blends is the fourth volume from the series recorded by iconic Grateful Dead sound engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson, and features highlights from three shows in Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago in October 2016. While also promoting Barefoot In The Head, the band’s sixth full-length record that is due out in 2019, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood are on their way toward completing 200 shows across the U.S. and Europe this year for the fourth year in a row.Today, Chris Robinson Brotherhood has shared a new psychedelic music video for their live take on “New Cannonball Rag”, chock-full of trippy animation and enchanting graphics. Watch CRB’s new video for “New Cannonball Rag” below:Chris Robinson Brotherhood – “New Cannonball Rag” [Video: Chris Robinson Brotherhood]See below for a full list of upcoming Chris Robinson Brotherhood tour dates. For more information, head to the band’s website.Chris Robinson Brotherhood Upcoming Tour Dates:December 12 – Crystal Bay, NV – Crystal Bay Club CasinoDecember 14 – San Francisco, CA – The FillmoreDecember 15 – San Francisco, CA – The FillmoreDecember 16 – San Francisco, CA – The FillmoreJanuary 25 – Chicago, IL – Thalia HallJanuary 26 – Chicago, IL – Thalia HallJanuary 27 – Des Moines, IA – Wooly’sJanuary 29 – Frisco, CO – 10 Mile Music HallJanuary 31 – Crested Butte, CO – Center For The ArtsFebruary 1 – Crested Butte, CO – Center For The ArtsFebruary 2 – Grand Junction, CO – Avalon TheatreFebruary 3 – Durango, CO – Animas City TheatreFebruary 5 – Fort Collins, CO – Washington’sFebruary 8 – Denver, CO – Ogden TheatreFebruary 9 – Aspen, CO – Belly Up AspenFebruary 10 – Telluride, CO – Sheridan Opera HouseFebruary 11 – Telluride, CO – Sheridan Opera HouseFebruary 14 – Billings, MT – The Pub StationFebruary 15 – Bozeman, MT – The Rialto BozemanFebruary 16 – Missoula, MT – Top HatFebruary 17 – Jackson, WY – Pink Garter TheatreFebruary 19 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Commonwealth RoomFebruary 22 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades[H/T Jambase]
Jack White recently announced the return of The Raconteurs, one of his former projects, for a new album slated for release 2019. The Raconteurs consists of White, Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence, and Patrick Keeler. The new album will mark The Raconteur’s first release in more than a decade, serving as a follow-up to 2008’s Consolers of the Lonely.Today, the band has released their first two tracks from the upcoming release: “Sunday Driver” and “Now That You’re Gone”. The album name and release date remain unknown.“We’re knee deep in the trenches of our first new album in a decade,” White recently said to Mojo Magazine. “We have a vast amount of genre-pushing songs that bridge the gap between Detroit and Nashville rock and roll. The album sounds like a World War. It’s great to be co-writing songs with Brendan Benson again, the man is a song craftsman.”Two vastly different songs, the new tracks by The Raconteurs are an exciting glimpse of what’s to come from the supergroup that was active from 2005-2011. Watch the newly released accompanying music videos below:“Sunday Driver”“Now That You’re Gone”The Raconteurs’ “Sunday Driver” and “Now That You’re Gone” will be included on the upcoming special 10th-anniversary reissue of Consolers of the Lonely, marketed as the 38th installment in Third Man Records‘ Vault Package series.Jack White has long been known to frequently change up his band lineups. This fall, White wrapped up his world tour with the new band he convened for his most recent album, 2017’s Boarding House Reach. Jack White currently has no upcoming tour dates.
TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND 2019 TOUR DATES1/17/19 – Cedar Rapids, IA – Paramount Theatre SOLD OUT1/18/19 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre1/19/19 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre1/22/19 – Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Theatre1/23/19 – Chattanooga, TN – Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Auditorium1/25/19 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre1/26/19 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre1/28/19 – New Orleans, LA – Saenger Theatre1/29/19 – New Orleans, LA – Saenger Theatre1/31/19 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium2/1/19 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium2/2/19 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium2/15/19 – Washington, D.C. – Warner Theatre2/16/19 – Washington, D.C. – Warner Theatre2/17/19 – Hershey, PA – Hershey Theatre2/20/19 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Academy of Music – Howard Gilman Opera House2/22/19 – Washington, D.C. – Warner Theatre2/23/19 – Washington, D.C. – Warner Theatre2/26/19 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia2/28/19 – Birmingham, AL – Alabama Theatre3/1/19 – Augusta, GA – William B. Bell Auditorium3/2/19 – Asheville, NC – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium4/2/19 – Paris, FR – L’Olympia4/4/19 – Eindhoven, NL – Muziekgebouw4/5/19 – Winterbach, DE- Salierhalle Winterbach4/7/19 – Copenhagen, DK – Amager Bio4/8/19 – Stockholm, SE – Cirkus SOLD OUT4/10/19 – Oslo, NO – Sentrum Scene4/11/19 – Copenhagen, DK – Amager Bio SOLD OUT4/12/19 – Randers, DK – Vaerket4/14/19 – Bochum, DE – Rurhcongress4/15/19 – Hamburg, DE – Mehr! Theater4/17/19 – Milan, IT – Teatro degli Arcimboldi4/18/19 – Trieste, IT – Politeama Rossetti4/20/19 – Zurich, CH – Theater 114/23/19 – Brussels, BE – Ancienne Belgique4/24/19 – Utrecht, NL – Tivoli Vredenburg4/26/19 – London, UK – The London Palladium SOLD OUT4/27/19 – London, UK – The London Palladium SOLD OUT5/10/19 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater5/11/19 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater5/12/19 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Civic Theatre5/14/19 – Tucson, AZ – Tucson Convention Center5/16/19 – Los Angeles, CA – Orpheum Theatre5/17/19 – Los Angeles, CA – Orpheum Theatre5/18/19 – Mesa, AZ – Mesa Amphitheatre5/21/19 – Sacramento, CA – Memorial Auditorium of Sacramento5/23/19 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theater of Seattle5/24/19 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theater of Seattle5/25/19 – Salem, OR – LB Day Comcast Amphitheatre6/28/19 – Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s Place *6/29/19 – Boca Raton, FL – Mizner Park Amphitheater *6/30/19 – St. Petersburg, FL – Al Lang Stadium *7/03/19 – Orange Beach, AL – Wharf Amphitheater *7/05/19 – Charleston, SC – Volvo Car Stadium *7/06/19 – Simpsonville, SC – Heritage Park Amphitheater *7/07/19 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion *7/09/19 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek *7/13/19 – Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion *7/14/19 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center *7/16/19 – Canandaigua, NY – CMAC *7/19/19 – Cincinnati, OH – PNC Pavilion *7/20/19 – Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center at the Heights *7/23/19 – Rochester Hills, MI – Meadow Brook Amphitheatre *7/24/19 – Indianapolis, IN – Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park *7/26/19 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks *7/27/19 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks *7/30/19 – St. Louis, MO – Fox Theatre *7/31/19 – Brandon, MS – Brandon Amphitheater *8/02/19 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre *8/03/19 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre ** 5th Annual Wheels of Soul tour with Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope (Additional dates to be announced)View All Tour Dates Tedeschi Trucks Band spent their first week of the new year teasing out new music with mysterious audio clips in hopes of building some anticipation around their first studio release since 2016’s Let Me Get By. It was already known that the rock band had a still-untitled album project in the works heading into the closing weeks of 2018, but it wasn’t until Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning that their release plans became a bit clearer. According to the announcement shared to their Facebook on Wednesday, the band’s next album will be titled SIGNS, and is scheduled to arrive next month on February 15th via Fantasy/Concord Records.The band also announced early Wednesday that they plan on celebrating the arrival of Signs with a show at Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday, February 20th.The 11-track album was co-produced by TTB leader and guitarist Derek Trucks along with Jim Scott and Bobby Tis, and will include all original songs which were all recorded live on two-inch analog tape at their Swamp Raga Studio. TTB brethren Warren Haynes, Oliver Wood, Doyle Bramhall II, and Marc Quiñones also appear on the record. Some of the tracks to be included on the album are titled, “Strengthen What Remains”, “Still Your Mind”, “All The World”, and “Hard Case”. The latter was debuted as the album’s soulful lead single on Wednesday and can be heard in the audio-only video below.Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Hard Case” – Official Audio[Video: TTBFromTheRoad]“SIGNS reflects on the losses suffered by the band in the past few years while still finding cause for hope and celebration in the beauty of life and nature,” the band shared in a statement to their Facebook on Wednesday, dedicating the album to their friend and mentor Col Bruce Hampton (Ret.). Other losses include the recent deaths of TTB mentors like Leon Russell and Allman Brothers Band members Butch Trucks and Gregg Allman.“It’s great to finally have it out, after recording it off and on over the last year and a half,” singer Susan Tedeschi also added to go with the premiere of “Hard Case” via NPR. “It’s time to turn it loose. We’re pretty excited to have our fans hear it, and to start playing it out live.”In addition to the new album details, Tedeschi Trucks Band has added a series of dates to their spring calendar. The group will tour the west coast from May 10th through 25th, before heading back east for their “Wheels Of Soul” summer tour alongside Blackberry Smoke and Shovels & Rope.These updates should be a silver lining for what’s been an interesting couple of weeks for the popular rock band. On Christmas Eve, the band announced that bassist Tim Lefebvre would be leaving the group. They also revealed a week later that keyboardist Kofi Burbridge will be taking time away from the band as a result of a recent follow-up procedure to a 2017 surgery, with Gabe Dixon coming on to fill the role until his return. On a lighter note, the band is also charging into the new year with their first-ever official fan community with the newly-established “Swamp Family” fan club.Tickets for the album release show at Brooklyn Academy of Music go on sale this Friday, January 11th, at 12 p.m. ET. Every pair of tickets purchased for this show will come with a digital download of the new album.SIGNS Tracklisting1. “Signs (High Times)”2. “I’m Gonna Be There”3. “When Will I Begin”4. “Walk Through This Life”5. “Strengthen What Remains”6. “Still Your Mind”7. “Hard Case”8. “Shame”9. “All The World”10. “They Don’t Shine”11. “The Ending”
Shpongle Live Mounts 2-Night Psychedelic Expedition At Red Rocks Featuring Joe Russo, Tom Hamilton, More [Photos/Videos]
On May 3rd and 4th, Shpongle mounted a pair of shows billed as the final live band performances by the psychedelic electronic project at Morrison, CO’s iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Headed by Simon Posford, also known as the producer Hallucinogen, and Raja Ram, the duo helped pioneered the “psybient” genre, which fuses hints of world music with the ambient and trance genres. The May 3rd performance featured support from Tipper, Desert Dwellers, and Leo P (Too Many Zooz), while May 4th featured opening performances by CloZee, Desert Dwellers, and Leo P.While Posford has frequently performed Shpongle DJ sets around the country, it’s rare that the full Shpongle LIVE experience comes together with both Posford and Raja Ram and a slew of other performers, including drummer Joe Russo. The Shpongle live band concerts are known for their immersive experience, which also includes trippy dancers and artists to supplement the performance.However, while these shows will certainly close a chapter of Shpongle’s enduring history, this does not mean that the project will totally be coming to an end. Per a statement on Shpongle’s website, “Although this is their last full public concert, Shpongle will continue to enchant and delight with future studio recordings and album releases.”Below, you can watch a selection of videos from last weekend’s two-night Shpongle Live run at Red Rocks. You can check out an extensive gallery of photos from the performances courtesy of photographer Adam Straughn (ATS Photography)Shpongle Live – 5/3/19 – Set Opener [Pro-Shot][Video: nugsnet]Shpongle Live – 5/4/19 – Show Opener [Pro-Shot][Video: nugsnet]Setlist: Shpongle Live | Red Rocks | Morrison, CO | 5/3/19Set:Strange PlanetThe Aquatic Garden of Extra-Celestial DelightsElectroplasmThe Magumba StateWhen Shall I Be Free?Celestial IntoxicationNothing is Something Worth DoingJuggling MoleculesDorset PerceptionRemember the FutureAround the World in a Tea DazeEncore:Dr. VinkelsteinDivine Moments of TruthMy Head Feels Like a FrisbeeView 5/3/19 SetlistSetlist: Shpongle Live | Red Rocks | Morrison, CO | 5/3/19Set:Invisible Man in a Fluorescent SuitDivine Moments of TruthThe Aquatic Garden of Extra-Celestial DelightsSound BarrierBeija FlorNothing is Something Worth DoingJuggling MoleculesHow the Jellyfish Jumped Up the MountainShlumutzCelestial IntoxicationRemember the FutureDorset PerceptionEncore:Dr. VinkelsteinPeriscopes of ConsciousnessMy Head Feels Like a FrisbeeAround the World in a Tea DazeView 5/4/19 SetlistShpongle Live | Red Rocks | Morrison, CO | 5/3–4/19 | Photos: ATS Photography Load remaining images
The global dimensions of hip-hop, a thriving subculture of art, music, and dance, was at the heart of a two-day Harvard panel last week aimed at helping educators use the genre as a teaching tool in the classroom.“The Language of Global Hip-Hop Culture: Africa and the Middle East Region” used hip-hop — which was born in New York’s Bronx neighborhood in the 1970s and is based on themes such as urban life, social issues, and politics — to explore contemporary art, culture, language, and society in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.Sponsored in part by the Outreach Center at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Harvard’s Committee on African Studies, the April 30-May 1 sessions included a live performance by Syrian-American artist Omar Offendum and Cape Verdean-American artist Shokanti. Other panels explored hip-hop’s North American roots, its influence in countries such as Egypt and Israel, and tips for attendees on using the art form in the classroom to explore global studies and cultural diversity.In a Friday opening panel moderated by Harvard history professor Caroline Elkins, who also chairs the Committee on African Studies, Harvard scholars explored the historical, political, and musical context of the hip-hop genre in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular Mali and South Africa.Using samples of videos by Mali musician Neba Solo, Ingrid Monson discussed how artists, particularly those in more remote rural villages, appropriate forms of hip-hop into their traditional music. Solo, whose work was influenced by reggae, said Monson, Quincy Jones Professor of African-American Music, combines social themes and messages about AIDS, vaccination, the environment, and politics, with the balafon, a type of wooden keyed percussion instrument, to develop his own musical genre.“One of the reasons that [Neba Solo] is much beloved is that he took a humble village instrument … and created a new, widely danceable and virtuosic style,” said Monson.Understanding hip-hop in Mali requires listening to the ways in which “hip-hop is in dialogue with the larger musical culture and countryside” surrounding Mali’s capital, Bamako, she added.With his comments, Adam Haupt, Mandela Mellon Fellow at Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, said the development of hip-hop in South Africa corresponded with protests against apartheid and became a way for activists to fight for social justice.In the 1980s, as apartheid was beginning to fall, informal educational systems arose outside the classroom that informed people about issues such as South African history, activism, class analysis, current affairs, and race and gender politics, said Haupt.One such system was political hip-hop.“The story of hip-hop’s introduction to Cape Town actually coincides with a particular sort of social activism,” Haupt said.Haupt, who is the author of “Stealing Empire: P2P, Intellectual Property and Hip-Hop Subversion,” also warned that in South Africa state-controlled and corporate-backed media can subvert the important social messages and themes conveyed through hip-hop. But he acknowledged there is hope.He offered the example of Black Noise, a South African group that opted to function like a nonprofit instead of signing with a major record label. It receives funding as a nonprofit, offers educational workshops, and has founded an activist international network.“This is the most successful model in our country around activism,” he said.
Harvard University is extending medical and dental benefits to eligible employees’ dependents who otherwise would become ineligible for continued coverage. This extension, which began June 1, provides seamless coverage for dependents until the new federal health reform guidelines take effect on Jan. 1, 2011.Harvard’s extension of coverage applies to employees’ dependents ages 19 to 26 who graduated this spring or who will “age off” of coverage between June 1 and Dec. 31, 2010. Dependents will not need to obtain COBRA or alternative health and dental coverage. Neither employees nor their dependents need to take any action to continue to receive these benefits. Dependents who are currently covered (including full-time students between the ages of 19 and 25) will continue to be eligible for coverage during this time.This change is motivated by the new federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which will require private health insurers to allow dependents to remain on their parents’ plans through their 26th birthdays.By extending benefits early, Harvard ensures continuity of coverage for hundreds of graduating students during the months before the dependent care provision of the new law takes effect. Harvard will also save its faculty and staff the necessity of having to re-enroll family members in the upcoming calendar year.The extension applies only to those dependents covered by a Harvard health plan as of June 1. Dependents who were disenrolled from plans prior to June 1 will be able to re-enroll in their parents’ health plans beginning Jan. 1, 2011.Harvard employees can find more detailed information in a list of frequently asked questions on the password-protected HARVie Web site, in an online Resource article, or by contacting the HHR Benefits office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harvard researchers have uncovered a mechanism through which caloric restriction and exercise delay some of the debilitating effects of aging by rejuvenating the connections between nerves and the muscles that they control.The research, conducted in the labs of Joshua Sanes and Jeff Lichtman, both members of the Center for Brain Science at Harvard and professors of molecular and cellular biology, begins to explain prior findings that exercise and restricted-calorie diets help to stave off the mental and physical degeneration of aging.Sanes said their research, conducted through laboratory mice genetically engineered so their nerve cells glow in fluorescent colors, shows that some of the debilitation of aging is caused by the deterioration of connections that nerves make with the muscles they control, structures called neuromuscular junctions. These microscopic links are remarkably similar to the synapses that connect neurons to form information-processing circuits in the brain.In a healthy neuromuscular synapse, nerve endings and their receptors on muscle fibers are almost a perfect match, like two hands placed together, finger to finger, palm to palm. This lineup ensures maximum efficiency in transmitting the nerve’s signal from the brain to the muscle, which is what makes it contract during movement.As people age, however, the neuromuscular synapses can deteriorate in several ways. Nerves can shrink, failing to cover the muscle’s receptors completely. Sanes said the intersections between the nerves and muscles can go from a continuous network that looks like a pretzel to one that resembles a bunch of beads — broken into discontinuous individual lumps, interfering with transmission of nerve impulses to the muscles. This loss of activity can result in wasting and eventually even death of muscle fibers.The work showed that mice on a restricted-calorie diet largely avoid that age-related deterioration of their neuromuscular junctions, while those on a one-month exercise regimen when already elderly partially reverse the damage.“With calorie restriction, we saw reversal of all of these things. With exercise, we saw a reversal of most, but not all,” Sanes said.Because of the study’s structure — mice were on calorie-restricted diets for their whole lives, while those that exercised did so for just the month late in life — Sanes cautioned against drawing conclusions about the effectiveness of exercise versus calorie restriction in preventing or reversing synaptic damage. He noted that longer periods of exercise might have more profound effects, a possibility he and Lichtman are now testing.The research, much of it conducted by postdoctoral fellows Gregorio Valdez, Juan Tapia, and Hyuno Kang, was published online by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and financed through grants from the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the Ellison Medical Foundation.Though much of the work in the Sanes and Lichtman labs focuses on understanding synapses in the brain, both scientists have investigated neuromuscular synapses for many years because they are far easier to study than brain synapses. Neuromuscular junctions are large enough to be viewed by light microscopy, and can be a jumping-off point for brain study, highlighting areas of inquiry and potential techniques.“There’ve been quite a few reports that caloric restriction and exercise delay cognitive decline, but people don’t know much about the cellular reasons behind them,” Sanes said. “These findings in neuromuscular synapses make us curious to know whether similar effects might occur in brain synapses.”Beyond the ease of study, neuromuscular junctions are important areas to understand because the gradual loss of muscle mass and strength, known to scientists as sarcopenia, is a problem in the elderly, debilitating otherwise healthy individuals who can lose their balance and break a hip or other bones, leading to a cascade of physical ills.“The effects of exercise and caloric restriction on innervation may help explain their beneficial effects on sarcopenia,” Sanes said.Lichtman and Sanes have been collaborating to study age-related changes in synapses for five years and began focusing on caloric restriction and exercise two years ago.While the changes to the synapses through caloric restriction and exercise were clear in the images the researchers obtained, Sanes cautioned that their work was structural, not functional, and they have not yet tested how well the synapses worked.Sanes said the research may help to advance research aimed at increasing the time that people spend healthy, termed “healthspan.”“Caloric restriction and exercise have numerous, dramatic effects on our mental acuity and motor ability,” Sanes said. The research “gives us a hint that the way these extremely powerful lifestyle factors act is by attenuating or reversing the decline in our synapses.”
Students aren’t the only ones getting good grades for all their hard work. The entire Harvard University community recently received high grades for its commitment to sustainability from two prominent national rating organizations. The Princeton Review ranked Harvard as one of 18 schools in its 2011 Green Rating Honor Roll for receiving one of the highest scores among its tally of over 700 schools. The Sierra Club Magazine also recently ranked Harvard in the top 10 on its 100 greenest “Cool Schools” list. Harvard was the only Ivy League school to receive top recognition from both organizations.The good grades are the result of a wide variety of initiatives underway that have been created by students, staff and faculty to reduce energy use and conserve resources while saving money and changing the culture of how we work, live and learn. Their work is guided by the University’s commitment to curb greenhouse gas emissions 30% by the year 2016, including all new growth, comprehensive Green Building Standards, and a set sustainability principles to further reduce the University’s environmental impact.The Office for Sustainability (OFS) collaborates with Schools and units throughout the University to engage students, staff and faculty in implementing these commitments. In April 2010, OFS announced that Harvard is making good progress on its greenhouse gas reduction goal, having already achieved a 7% overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from FY06-FY09. When the 2 million square feet of new labs, offices and dorms that Harvard has added since FY06 are excluded, we reduced emissions by 14% University-wide. Harvard is also a national green building leader with over 76 registered or certified LEED Green Building projects.Every single action, large or small, from staff, students and faculty at every level of the University makes a difference. To learn more about Harvard’s sustainability initiatives and how you can get involved visit www.green.harvard.edu.