Friday, April 8, 2011

Harrisburg University Virtusphere Can Take Users Almost Anywhere

At first glance it may look like a giant hamster ball, but it is really an amazing new tool for exploring virtual environments.

Harrisburg, PA, April 07, 2011 - At first glance it may look like a giant hamster ball, but it is really an amazing new tool for exploring virtual environments. Known as the Virtusphere, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania is home to one of only four of these tools in the United States.

The state-of-the art simulation platform has endless possibilities as students work to develop virtual worlds to be explored on campus and off, says Charles Palmer, executive director of the school’s Center for Advanced Entertainment and Learning Technologies.

The Virtusphere is a 10-foot hollow sphere that is placed on a special platform that allows the sphere to rotate freely in any direction according to the user’s steps. Wearing a wireless, head-mounted display, users can step inside the sphere to fully interact in immersive virtual environments. The Virtusphere enables 6 degrees of freedom - one can move in any direction; walk, jump, roll, crawl, run over virtually unlimited distances without encountering real-world physical obstacles.

The movement by the user is replicated within the virtual environment. The same hardware set can be used for different applications by changing only the software applications. This state-of-the-art simulation platform provides infinite space for the most immersive experience ranging from entertainment to medical training.

"One of the things we like to do here is to make everything very experiential so when we give our students experiences, we want them to be other than just a classroom and a lecture What we want to do is really look at places that people can't be and places that people can't go. So what if I could ride or walk thought the blood stream of a person, what if I could actually watch a cancer cell as it mutates or what if I could walk around the solar system?"

It's not just science; the Virtusphere could be a time machine and take you back to Gettysburg in 1863.

Palmer said that is very easy to show. "You can imagine let's say you want to put someone in the role of a frontline solider, right there in the battle itself and someone sit in here with the goggles on and sort of look left and right and see other soldiers and look across the battle field and see the charging enemy coming at them."

Anything that is spatial and could be explored is a possibility, making the Virtusphere ideal for simulation training for military, law enforcement, fire safety, and counter terrorism, entertainment & gaming, health and fitness, museums & education, architecture and construction walk thrus, events and shows, virtual travel & tourism.

Harrisburg University undergraduate student Todd Baker plans to use the Virtusphere to develop a robot that can be controlled by a person in the sphere for his senior project.

"Let’s say, for instance, Three Mile Island had an accident. Someone could use one of these to drive a robot from anywhere, even Washington, D.C., for instance. They wouldn’t have to put any humans in danger, and you would still be able to handle the situation," Baker said.

The STEM-focused private comprehensive university has been in contact with businesses and organizations in the community, pitching ideas for practical uses of the sphere. Faculty and students at the University are creating customized virtual environments for use in the Virtusphere. To learn more about the Virtusphere, to request a tour, to discuss a project, or to meet with faculty about the device, email Visit online at

Founded in 2001 to address Central Pennsylvania’s need for increased opportunities for study leading to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, Harrisburg University is an innovative and ambitious private institution that produces graduates who provide increased competence and capacity in science and technology disciplines to Pennsylvania and the nation. Harrisburg University ensures institutional access for underrepresented students and links learning and research to practical outcomes. As a private University serving the public good, Harrisburg University remains the only STEM-focused comprehensive university located between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

For more information on the University's demand-driven undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs in applied science and technology fields, call 717.901.5146 or email

Steven Infanti
AVP Communications
326 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Oxford Expression Technologies Launches Optimized Insect Cell Transfection Reagent

Oxford Expression Technologies, the award-winning specialist provider of baculovirus-based protein expression solutions, has launched baculoFECTIN.

Oxford, UK, April 04, 2011 - Oxford Expression Technologies, the award-winning specialist provider of baculovirus-based protein expression solutions, has launched baculoFECTIN. This new non-toxic transfection reagent has been optimized for use in insect cells and proven to produce greater levels of transfection - leading to high level protein expression.

The transfection spectrum comprises various established cell lines and primary cells. baculoFECTIN consists of two components, a positively charged polymer with DNA-binding capacity that is embedded into a novel porous nanoparticle. The complete nanoparticle complex protects the bound DNA from degradation by nucleases. Only the DNA nanoparticle complex with its unique size can be preferentially taken up by the cells. Within the cells, the released DNA-nanoparticle complexes are protected against DNA degradation.

"The main benefits of baculoFECTIN compared with lipid-based products are that it has a quick, effective and easy protocol, from co-transfection to high titre seed stock; it is non-toxic so cell health and viability is maintained; and the nanoparticle/polymer duplex optimizes entry into cells and stabilizes the DNA within transfected insect cells," said Richard Broadhead, sales and marketing manager at Oxford Expression Tehnologies. "Stable for up to a year, baculoFECTIN is the perfect companion to our leading baculovirus expression system flashBAC. It is ideal for high-throughput transfection experiments."

For more information, visit:

About Oxford Expression Technologies:
Oxford Expression Technologies is a biotechnology company and centre of excellence for baculovirus protein expression. Specializing in the use of the baculovirus expression vector system, a eukaryotic expression system that can express a large variety of recombinant proteins, Oxford Expression Technologies provides protein expression products, services and consultancy to many global pharmaceutical companies. The Company’s proprietary flashBAC technology enables large amounts of a given protein to be produced in culture. Its internationally renowned expertise and products enable proteins to be produced faster, more easily and cost-effectively using automated and high-throughput methods compared with other baculovirus expression systems. This contributes to the development of new drugs and research targeted towards understanding how proteins work in health and disease.

The company was founded in 2007 as a result of collaboration between Oxford Brookes University and the Natural Environment Research Council to provide researchers with custom proteins for research purposes.

For Further information or an illustrative image: Media contact - Mathew Taylor, Director, Algorythm Solutions Ltd, mobile: +44 (0)773 403 2112, email:, website:

Mathew Taylor
Algorythm Solutions Ltd
10 Torkington St
Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 2UY
+44 (0)773 403 2112

AuraPortal to Exhibit at Microsoft Convergence 2011

AuraPortal to demonstrate their latest product release at Microsoft Convergence to be held in Atlanta, GA, April 10th - 13th

Woburn, MA, April 07, 2011 - AuraPortal (, a global provider of Business Process Management (BPM) software, today announced it will be an exhibitor at the Microsoft Convergence 2011 customer and partner event in Atlanta, GA, from April 10th to 13th at the Georgia World Congress Center. AuraPortal will be exhibiting the latest AuraPortal BPMS product at booth 227 during the conference, highlighting their new release, version 4.1, as well as several new product modules.

Product Highlights Include:
A complete e-Commerce (Online Commerce) Module, which includes Content Management, a Shopping Cart, and a Payment Gateway, allowing companies to link internet sales with their internal business processes workflow (BPM).

With the new release, companies will be able to start their own Online Commerce site without the need of any IT programming. AuraPortal allows business employees to easily and rapidly design a totally customized system, using the Content Management Module, with all transaction activity able to be monitored by the AuraPortal BPM System.

Own Defined Families, allowing companies to define new categories of data to be included in business processes.

Extended Multi-language Module supports all features and all types of users: employees, vendors, suppliers, customers, and registered visitors to the Web, who will communicate and manage tasks in their own language. The system identifies the user’s language and displays form fields, instructions, etc. in their desired language. The already available languages are: English, French, Spanish (European and Latin American), Dutch, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Greek, Arabic, Romanian, Chinese, Catalan and Galician.

About AuraPortal:
AURA is a global BPMS (Business Process Management Suite) provider, delivering a solution that creates Business Process Workflow Execution Models without the need of IT programming. AuraPortal is 100% Web-based, and is complementary to existing Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM systems.

AuraPortal was the first BPM vendor to integrate CRM features into its BPM Suite (Business Process Management), creating the first fully customizable CRM application based on business processes that are auto-executed, (and without programming), in the international market.

AURA has a presence in 50 countries with more than 350 customers including, among others: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, Toyota, Yamaha, PetrĂ³leos Mexicanos (PEMEX), Carrefour, ArcelorMittal, EletrobrĂ¡s, Saras, Royal KPN, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sodexo, etc., as well as many Government Agencies and Departments in several countries. For more information, please visit our Website:

About the Microsoft Convergence 2011 Event:
Microsoft Convergence is the premier Microsoft Dynamics event where attendees can experience first-hand how they can optimize their business and improve their bottom line. This event serves as the annual meeting point for the Microsoft Dynamics Customer and Partner business community. Additional information is available at

Scott Rich
400 Trade Center
Woburn, MA 01801-7472

AAA: Chinese investment in Canadian Forestry is Soari

AAA analyst forecasts significant growth in Canadian forestry investment from China.

Boston, Mass, April 06, 2011 - AAA analyst forecasts significant growth in Canadian forestry investment from China.

After several miserable years of mill closures and staff layoffs, totaling as many as 1,000 in a single month, Canada is now looking forward to a brighter future for its forestry industry, according to an alternative investment expert.

The major surge in the desire for Canadian timber from China has marked a turn-around for Canada, whose forestry industry suffered greatly as a result of the US property slump and the global recession as a whole.

Anthony Johnson, an analyst partner at Alternative Asset Analysis (AAA), says that there are several factors that have prompted major investment from China in the Canadian forestry industry.

China traditionally sourced its timber from Russia, but the introduction of Vladimir Putin’s decision in 2008 to apply a 25 per cent log wood tax on exports resulted in inevitable changes. Although this was intended to increase investment in Russia’s domestic forestry industry, its main effect was to drive Chinese buyers elsewhere. Johnson claims that it was Canada’s timely move to launch major trade delegation in late 2008 that won it the business.

It is not just this decision that has had such an impact on Canadian forestry. China had the misfortune of suffering a major earthquake in Sichuan Province in May 2008, which saw many of the area’s buildings razed to the ground, and they obviously needed rebuilding. Mike Richmond, an analyst from Canada’s Salman Partners Inc, explained, "The wooden homes held up a lot better [than structures built with other materials] during the earthquake, so I think Chinese officials took a look at this and gained a more favourable view of lumber."

As a result of this new-found respect for timber, the building codes in Shanghai were altered and the demand for timber soared.

Anthony Johnson has many years experience as an investor in the alternative asset classes. He agrees that Canadian forestry is sitting on the edge of a resurgence with investment in lumber increasing from all over the wider Asian continent, prompted by the initial interest from China. "These are exciting time for forestry investors," stated Johnson. He added, "Canada has seen exports to Chinese double in the past year, while its reliance on the US market has reduced considerably."

Another forestry market that is worth talking about, according to Johnson, is Brazil, which has seen plantation managers, such as Greenwood Management, reap the benefits of legislation primarily intended to protect indigenous forests.

Anthony Johnson
Alternative Asset Analysis
71 Commercial St
Boston, MA 02109-1320