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Conscientious Consumers Misled by Humanewashing Food Certifications According to New Farm Forward Report

Farm Forward

American shoppers encounter a wide range of welfare claims on animal products, from loosely regulated terms like “humanely raised” and “free range,” to third-party certifications like Global Animal Partnership (GAP). Farm Forward’s new survey is the first of its kind to look at consumer expectations of animal welfare certifications, and its results demonstrate the demand for higher welfare animal products, including chickens who are not genetically modified for fast growth—which GAP has pledged to address. The survey results showed that there is a huge gulf between what consumers expect certifications to mean and what they actually mean. The vast majority of American consumers are impacted by humanewashing: deceptive marketing tactics used by meat producers and retailers to mislead shoppers about animal welfare. Conscientious shoppers who regularly seek humanely raised meat are the most susceptible to the effects of humanewashing. “All certifications, from the industry-aligned American Humane Certified, to the independent Global Animal Partnership, in our survey fell short of consumers’ beliefs about them,” said Andrew deCoriolis, Farm Forward’s Executive Director. “Many shoppers believed that all of these certifications guaranteed that animals were raised outdoors or weren’t genetically modified, when they don’t. The unfortunate reality is that, today, most certifications are marketing tools for factory farms.” Key Findings Americans largely cannot distinguish between independent certifications and those devised by industry. Survey findings paint a disturbing picture of rampant humanewashing by even the most trusted retailers, like Whole Foods, whose products are GAP-certified. Those who reported buying humane-labeled meat more often were also more confused about the meaning of certain labels. For virtually all certifications examined, consumers who purchased humane-labeled products at least once per month agreed with incorrect statements more, often by at least 20 percent, than those who never purchased them. There is a stark difference between what consumers believe to be true, what they believe should be true, and what is actually true with GAP, American Humane Certified (AHC), and One Health Certified (OHC) welfare labels. On measures like whether animals are raised on pasture, whether animals are genetically modified for rapid growth, physical mutilations, and more, Americans want higher welfare standards on farms and overestimate how much these certifications ensure. Cage-Free Confusion Over the past 10 years, hundreds of restaurants, retailers and food companies have committed to shifting toward cage free eggs. Farm Forward found that more than 50 percent of Americans believe that cage-free should mean that hens spend their whole lives on pasture, while 62 percent believed cage-free labels should at least guarantee consistent outdoor access (notably, only 9 percent disagreed with this statement). Regarding what the cage-free label actually guarantees, 38 percent believed it ensures that birds spend their whole lives on pasture, and 47 percent believed they have consistent outdoor access. In reality, cage-free merely refers to the absence of battery cages within an indoor, industrial-scale operation. Consumers expect that the "cage free" eggs and corporate pledges are much more meaningful for welfare than they are. These findings are particularly concerning when considered alongside the premium prices consumers pay for cage-free eggs that fail to meet their expectations. According to the USDA egg market report (Dec. 3, 2021), the average price for one dozen cage-free eggs (white/brown) was $2.63, versus the average price of one dozen conventional eggs at $0.97. Consumers are paying, on average, two and a half times as much for cage-free eggs expecting them to mean the animal welfare is meaningfully higher than conventional when in many cases, it’s not. In reality, producing “cage free” eggs costs approximately 25% more than conventional eggs, but retailers are banking on consumer misunderstanding of the “cage free” label and charging 200% more. It’s clear that consumers want hens to be given, at least, access to pasture and expect the “cage free” label to guarantee those standards. Retailers must do more to meet consumer expectations for welfare and animal advocates need to do more to educate the public that the modest improvements in systems like cage free still fall far short of their expectations. Methodology Farm Forward’s online survey was conducted by YouGov from September 3 through 7, 2021. The total sample size was 1,219 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+). Participants were asked a series of questions about three certifications, GAP, AHC, and OHC, as well as the label claims to ascertain their expectations for products bearing these labels as well as their beliefs about what these labels actually mean. About Farm Forward Farm Forward works to improve the lives of more than 400 million farmed animals annually. Since 2007, its mission has been to end factory farming by changing farming, changing policy, and changing the stories told about animal agriculture. Contact Details Susan Peters susan@farmforward.com Company Website https://www.farmforward.com

December 16, 2021 02:20 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Journalists to discover new tech for work, home & play at ShowStoppers press event during CES 2022

ShowStoppers

Journalists will discover new tech for work, home and play at ShowStoppers® at CES, the press event scheduled for 5 Jan. 2022 during the CES tradeshow in Las Vegas. For press registration, please contact Steve Leon, sl@showstoppers.com, +1 310-936-8530. Stern, https://sternpinball.com/, will change the game of pinball as we know it. Boogie Board, https://myboogieboard.com, will push the envelope with new analog writing technology that supports efficiency and wellbeing. Sleep sensing earbuds from Kokoon, https://kokoon.io, will help wearers sleep easier and deeper. Vasco Electronics, https://www.vasco-electronics.com, will show an AI-based, award winning electronic translator. ViewSonic, https://www.viewsonic.com, will show new monitors and projectors for gaming, home entertainment and professional content creators, including the first reveal of the flagship ELITE XG321UG 32-inch, 4K gaming monitor. The press event organizes product launches, sneak previews and hands-on demonstrations of new tech for work, home and play for journalists, industry and financial analysts, venture capitalists and business executives -- from AI to 5G to cloud, VR to digital health; to better, safer, healthier tools for working from home or going back to the office; to future mobility and autonomy, robotics or smart cities; to apps and hardware that drive mobile and desktop innovation; to wearables, IoT, appliances, entertainment, and more. About ShowStoppers Now in its 26th year, ShowStoppers, https://www.showstoppers.com/, is the global leader in producing press and business events spanning the U.S., Europe and Asia. Each event organizes product launches, sneak previews and demonstrations for selected journalists, bloggers, industry and financial analysts, venture capitalists and business executives. Industry leaders, innovators and startups exhibit to generate news coverage and product reviews, make new connections, promote brand and open new markets. ShowStoppers produces official press events at CE Week, IFA and NAB; partners with CTA, IFA, GSMA and CEATEC; and produces events during CES, IFA, MWC, NAB, CE Week, CEATEC and other tradeshows. ShowStoppers streams online, broadcasting live events, month after month. To learn more about how you and your company can meet the press at ShowStoppers press events in person and online at ShowStoppers TV, contact Lauren Merel, lauren@showstoppers.com, +1 908-692-6068, or Dave Leon, dave@showstoppers.com, +1 845-821-6123. Contact Details Steve Leon +1 310-936-8530 sl@showstoppers.com Company Website https://showstoppers.com

December 16, 2021 09:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

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METER Group Unveils Major Update to AQUALAB Vapor Sorption Analyzer Software

METER Group, Inc.

Moisture Analysis Toolkit enables food and pharma manufacturers to address ingredient source changes, accelerate product formulation, extend shelf life, and employ the most cost-effective packaging using research-tested predictive models that present complex isotherm and water activity data as clear, actionable insights METER Group, Inc. USA (METER) today unveiled a major update to the AQUALAB Vapor Sorption Analyzer (VSA) Moisture Analysis Toolkit, enabling food and pharma companies to harness analytics and predictive modeling that accelerates product formulation, maximizes cost-efficiency of packaging, and extends shelf life. The AQUALAB VSA Moisture Analysis Toolkit (MAT) is a first-of-its-kind, intuitive, full-featured modeling solution that transforms moisture data into solutions using research-tested predictive models. This software helps overcome key water-related research and development challenges. It is particularly relevant as food manufacturers turn to high-tech solutions to increase profitability in the face of supply chain issues and consumer concern over safety and sustainability. Like most manufacturers, food producers are increasingly impacted by supply chain shortages. The pandemic has exacerbated existing ingredient sourcing problems caused by climate change. With the Moisture Analysis Toolkit, manufacturers can use high-resolution moisture data to predict the effect of new ingredient candidates on moisture in the final product. “In a new supplier situation, our clients rely on the toolkit to make faster decisions and react quickly to new ingredient sourcing,” says METER Executive Vice President Takuya Ohki. “That’s what the toolkit is all about—faster, data-driven decisions that allow our clients to stay competitive in a fast-changing marketplace.” Ohki says that data-driven decision making is at the heart of the MAT, which includes tools for selecting the correct packaging and determining shelf life. “Historically, companies have tended to over-package and set a conservative best-by date. Now consumers are pushing companies to address issues of 30-40 percent waste in the food supply—while still demanding a mold-free product. Tackling safety and sustainability in tandem requires our best use of science. Too much of this research is still not implemented in industry. The Moisture Analysis Toolkit is something designed to make this science immediately accessible, to allow food manufacturers to solve these problems today.” The MAT takes advantage of a unique moisture map created by METER Group’s AQUALAB VSA. The VSA generates a high-resolution isotherm called a Dynamic Dewpoint Isotherm (DDI) curve. DDI curves can save companies months spent identifying a critical water activity in low and intermediate moisture food and pharmaceutical products, because they clearly illustrate the change in sorption properties. While competitor instruments use just the DVS method, METER Group’s MAT not only delivers DVS isotherms, but it also provides truly dynamic high-resolution DDI isotherm curves, uncovering granular details which have never been seen before. Unlocking access to these critical insights allows for more precise formulation, more accurate predictions, and more complete product knowledge. The business benefits and value are significant. For example, a dry ingredients company struggling with excessive labor, time, and space spent on shelf-life studies reduced the amount of physical shelf-life tests by 75 percent, cutting expenditures on testing from $300,000 to less than $50,000 per year. METER’s Moisture Analysis Toolkit also lets manufacturers work backward, picking a final water activity that maximizes shelf life and then getting guidance on specific formulation decisions around ingredient selection. This not only makes the formulation process more precise, but also speeds it up. A cold press bar company used the MAT with VSA-generated DDI isotherms to assess moisture migration during the R&D process, allowing them to release new products 5x faster and bring new flavors to market before competitors. “We see our clients succeeding from a profitability standpoint, but to me, that’s only part of the equation,” says Ohki. “The Moisture Analysis Toolkit empowers food and pharma companies to eliminate waste and inefficiencies across their respective supply chains on an unprecedented scale. That’s about more than profitability—it’s about putting existing science to work on the big problems we have to tackle as a society.” About METER Group METER Group, a Decagon and UMS combined company, delivers real-time, high-resolution data that fuels production and processes for the food quality, environmental research, urban and agriculture sectors. Through the power of its employees, METER combines science, engineering, and design expertise to turn physical measurements into useful information. Learn more at www.metergroup.com. Contact Details JMRConnect Mostafa Razzak +1 202-904-2048 m.razzak@jmrconnect.net

December 16, 2021 08:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Instant Grocery Startup VOLY raises one of the largest seed rounds in Australia at $18m

VOLY

Australia's first instant online grocery supermarket, VOLY, has raised AU$18M in one of the nation’s largest ever seed rounds led by Sequoia Capital India, with increased backing from Global Founders Capital (GFC) and Australian-based Artesian Capital. This funding round will enable VOLY to continue to scale, expand the team, rapidly increase operations across key urban centres and start the national rollout. Following its launch in July 2021, VOLY has been preparing to take on the rapid food delivery market by delivering groceries to customers at incredible speed. It aims to make ordering groceries as easy and engaging as browsing Instagram and get them to you faster than you could do a trip to the supermarket yourself. Employing its own riders, delivery centre and store staff, VOLY does away with the need for customers to spend time in physical retail environments by giving people the power to order and receive their groceries in minutes. With a delivery promise of 15 minutes or less; VOLY is set to disrupt the +$122bn local grocery industry. Mark Heath, Co-CEO and Co-founder of VOLY, said: “VOLY is here to completely change the way people shop for groceries by giving Australians back their most precious resource, time. Our model, from a fully employed delivery and dispatch team to the way we use electric bikes to deliver, is designed around the way people live. We firmly believe that our customers have a better experience when our riders and other staff are part of the company, working with us.” VOLY retails most key household products available at any major supermarket - from fresh produce to baby formula and cleaning products - everything you could possibly need, available online seven days a week from 8am-10pm. The winning recipe is instant and free delivery, together with the best quality fresh produce; all sold at retail prices. “We’re doing away with the need to do a weekly grocery shop by providing convenience alongside reliability in a market that offers some of the slowest delivery times in the world. By owning our own supply chain, VOLY delivers at blazing fast speed without compromising on price, quality or availability. We source directly from suppliers, store in our own micro-fulfilment centres and deliver using fully employed and mostly full-time staff. VOLY is the supermarket of the future that is built around our customers, not the other way around,” said Thibault Henry, Co-CEO and Co-Founder. The seed funding announcement sets a new record for a food delivery company in Australia with support from Sequoia Capital India, a renowned venture capital firm. The interest in VOLY follows a new wave of investment in Aussie startups seen as world-class tech companies with potential to scale globally. "Australia's grocery market, which sees $90B in annual spends, is a large and profitable space that continues to be dominated by offline retail. The Sequoia Capital India team was impressed by the strong consumer love for VOLY, their compelling value proposition, and an impressive team of repeat founders that has blitzscaled businesses in Australia before. With on-demand models traditionally scaling very successfully in the country, the decision to lead their seed round and help them scale their business across Australia was an easy one to make," said Abheek Anand, Managing Director, Sequoia India. VOLY was co-founded by Mark Heath and Thibault Henry, who are also co-CEOs of the company and have experience working with on-demand technology brands across the food supply and logistics industries. Mark Heath helped launch Uber in Australia after a career at Goldman Sachs and Thibault Henry built, scaled and sold Balto which was a B2B last-mile business with clients such as HelloFresh, Marley Spoon and YouFoodz. VOLY’s management team includes Chief Technology Officer, Anthony Rey, Head of Procurement Lyana Labrode and Head of Marketing, Josh Peacock. VOLY has been an early hit with customers flocking to the app, spiking a rise of new users and incredibly strong week-on-week growth in sales. While currently available in Sydney across 42 suburbs - VOLY has plans to rapidly expand its offering from January 2022 to reach millions more Australians around the country in the coming months and year ahead. The VOLY application is available on both iOS and Android and at https://www.getvoly.com/ Ends Additional media images can be found here. About VOLY VOLY is an online supermarket and delivery service committed to disrupting the Australian grocery market by offering instant grocery delivery to millions of Australians through its mobile app. Setting new standards in the delivery industry, VOLY employs its own people and riders across micro fulfillment centres around Australia, offering household items to its customers in less than 15 minutes of placing an order. The move to employ riders full-time together with a strategy of vertical integration sets VOLY apart from the ‘gig economy’ and enables it to offer speed and quality without compromising on price. For more visit: https://www.getvoly.com/ About Sequoia Capital India Sequoia helps daring founders build legendary companies, from idea to IPO and beyond. Sequoia India operates in Southeast Asia and India where we actively partner with founders from a wide range of companies, across categories, including BYJUs, Carousell, Druva, Gojek, OYO Rooms, Tokopedia, Truecaller, Zilingo, Zomato and more. We spur founders to push the boundaries of what’s possible. In partnering with Sequoia, startups benefit from over 49 years of tribal knowledge and lessons learned working with companies like Airbnb, Alibaba, Apple, Dropbox, Google, LinkedIn and Stripe early on. From the beginning, universities, endowments and other non-profits have been the backbone of our investor base, which means founders’ accomplishments make a meaningful difference. For more information on Sequoia’s work in India and SE Asia, visit sequoiacap.com/india Contact Details VOLY Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 b.mahmood@stockwoodstrategy.com Company Website https://www.getvoly.com/

December 16, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Michelin Guide 2022 advances to Southern Taiwan Tainan actively prepares to host the world’s key leaders and let the world taste and see Tainan

Shape Advertising Co., Ltd.

TAINAN, TAIWAN - Media OutReach - 16 December 2021 - Having been in Taiwan for 3 years, the Michelin Guide has since become the growth motivation for local food culture, giving aspiring food and beverage operators a better international arena. Michelin Guide will be reviewing Tainan, the food capital, for the first time in 2022, lighting up Fucheng’s gourmet uniqueness. Facing a trend of globalization of food and beverage, Tainan specially hosted the “2021 International Gastronomy Forum” December 3, inviting 6 elite experts to speak on various topics, and share the unique insights of world- famous chefs and cross-disciplinary experts. The international and local gourmet forum and feast was attended by international ambassadors and representatives in Taiwan, with virtual participation by Japan’s Kyoto City and Yamagata City, Chinese Restaurant Association of Arizona, and sister city, Columbus. Tainan City Mayor, Huang Wei-che, said that Tainan is Taiwan’s famous ancient city with unique historical and cultural backgrounds, thus giving rise to the abundant source of delicacies, making it a top choice for domestic tours and delicacies for many people. Tainan’s attractions and delicacies have global potential. Besides winning the “Michelin Green Guide” 3-star travel in 2011, a Wall Street Journal’s food writer also praised and described Tainan City as the world’s gourmet museum; while CNN recommended 19 local must-eat street foods in 2015 for travelers to try out if they come to Tainan. The rapidly rising Southern Taiwan Science Park in recent years is creating the largest wave of south-drifting engineers in history, driving new demands, such as housing, transportation, education, etc. This is hence the perfect time to talk about the upgrade of food and beverage. The forum was led by foreign elite chef, Nicholas Pena Alvarez CMC, and Michelin-starred restaurant chef, Lam Ming Kin, who discussed the world’s overall objective definition of food ingredients, quality, aesthetics, service, etc., and the future trend of fine dining, and also analyzed Tainan’s unique advantages. Cross-disciplinary experts then continued to share various perspectives, such as product abundance, unique characteristics, local customs, quality and safety, etc., and how Tainan’s delicacies elegantly changed in the past four hundred years with the integration of culture. The event continued into the night, where the host led the guests in a feast by opening Tainan’s gourmet treasure box, which included the unique nine-square dish presented by an old local restaurant, ASHA Restaurant: Hua Wei Hsiang Stewed duck thick soup, Lily Fruits’ seasonal fruits, and the champion Swiss roll, “Irresistible”, by Shangri-La's Far Eastern Plaza Hotel Tainan. Key leaders from all over the world gathered in Tainan and learned about Tainan through the delicacies, declaring to the world: “Michelin Guide 2022”, Tainan is ready! https://youtu.be/YoAMR0nCN34 Contact Details Chen Zhaohong dana.tang@e-shape.com.tw

December 16, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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HowToBet.com continues to deliver great NFL picks through it’s HowToBet Podcast

HowToBet.com

Stay hot! If you have ever attended a sporting event at almost any level, you will have heard these two words at some points. It might be when a batter steps into the box, a three-point sniper continues to rain in baskets, or a quarterback completes everything that he throws. Maybe you call it a heat check. Right now, the How to Bet podcast pairing of Sean Miller and Daryl Fein are, as they like to say, “En fuego!” After a few weeks in the middle of the National Football League season where the underdogs wreaked havoc, the top teams are back to ruling the roost of late, and the How to Bet duo have shined brightly of late. Take NFL Week 14 for an example: Miller hit his Parlay Power Play of the Week, and actually did something that was a first for the two on the show. He took the Baltimore Ravens in his original three-team play (which ended up covering by a point when the line moved during the week), but also gave out a caveat because of injuries: Miller said you could take the Kansas City Chiefs in the Ravens’ place. Well, all four of the games won, so if you took either of the three-team parlays, or even a four-teamer, you won some big money. “Yeah, I was a little worried about that Baltimore game after I chose it early in the week, because of all the injuries,” Miller said. “I was still over in Manchester going to Premier League and UEFA Champions League games, so I was trying to check in to see the injury report in my Thursday Night Football Bets, Sunday Night Football Bets, and Monday Night Football Bets stories. “I decided to throw out the Chiefs in there as well to help the bettors out, in case the Baltimore team was so banged up by Sunday. It ended up working out really well! Both games came through, as well as the other two, so I won some money betting parlays this weekend. “Hopefully, a lot of the people listening and watching the How to Bet podcast did as well. I will be honest: if I can help someone make some money, that is a pretty good feeling.” Fein and Miller have been very good as well with the over/under totals on the NFL games, with Fein going a perfect three-for-three in Week 14, and Miller going two-for-three, missing a sweep by one point. For Week 15, there is something new for bettors and fans of the NFL and of How to Bet: Saturday games. The next two weeks will see multiple games on the docket, with the two this week potentially huge in the AFC playoff race: Las Vegas (6-7) at Cleveland (7-6), and New England (9-4) at Indianapolis (7-6). With the new night, Miller added another section to his ever-growing portfolio on the How to Bet website: Saturday Night Football best bets and odds. He is hoping that the new story does as well as the other primetime games have done, with the Thursday, Sunday, and Monday night pages all near the top of SEO search pages. “This Saturday night game is going to be fantastic for fans and bettors,” Miller said. “I think it is pretty cool that the stories have been doing well in the search pages. I guess I am doing something right!” There is also some good news on the horizon for NCAA College Football fans. Fein and Miller will be gearing up next week to start picking the bowl games, which kick off this weekend and culminate in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Monday, January 10, the day after the NFL regular season ends. “It is a good time to be on the How to Bet show,” Miller said. “We are getting down to the final few weeks of the regular season, we have the bowl games, and then the playoffs. And I am hearing maybe some new stuff on the horizon as well, so keep tuning in to the podcast.” There was also some other big news for the How to Bet team. Along with the original How to Bet YouTube channel, which shows the shorter podcasts separately, a new YouTube channel launched this week: the How to Bet podcast channel. The longer podcast, with the accompanying shorter shows, such as the Parlay Power Plays of the Week, Top 5 Bets of the Week, and NFL Betting Lines- Odds and Line Comparison, as well as the NCAA Football and over under segment, have all proven to be big hits for much of the season. Along with the podcasts, Miller also posts stories on the How to Bet website for the Thursday Night Football Bets, the Sunday Night Football Bets, the Monday Night Football Bets, and an overview of the whole week’s upcoming NFL Betting Lines, including all the opening lines and the current spreads, so bettors can have up to date lines all the way up until kickoff. About HowToBet.com HowToBet.com offers one of the world’s most comprehensive betting guides that can be accessed via a user-friendly web app. Its mission is to help make online betting safe, fun and as easy as performing a search on the web. There are already more than 400+ how-to guides freely available, all written by seasoned betting professionals. More guides are being added on a weekly basis in a continued effort to educate anyone interested in what is now a $199 billion betting industry. For more details, visit: https://www.howtobet.com/about-us/. Contact Details HowToBet.com Cristian Campan +45 50 30 42 66 cristian.campan@raketech.com Company Website https://www.howtobet.com

December 16, 2021 07:45 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Completed Redwood Genome Sequence Reveals Genes for Climate Adaptation and Offers Insights into Genetic Basis for Survival

Save the Redwoods League

Save the Redwoods League, University of California, Davis, Johns Hopkins University, University of Connecticut and Northern Arizona University today announced new research that identifies the makeup of the coast redwood and giant sequoia genomes. The information helps scientists and conservationists better understand the genetic basis for these species’ ability to adapt to their changing environments. Through comparative analysis, the research also indicates that the coast redwood genome evolved from a single ancestral species. Today’s announcement follows the official publication of the coast redwood genome research this week in G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics. The researchers previously made available the completed giant sequoia genome sequence, published in G3 in November 2020. The coast redwood and giant sequoia genome sequence data is available to the scientific community on Neale Lab’s UC Davis website. “It’s remarkable how far genomics research has come since we undertook this challenge in 2017,” said David Neale, Ph.D., plant sciences professor emeritus at UC Davis and lead author on the new coast redwood genome research. “Our work on the coast redwood and giant sequoia genomes will enable us to develop modern genetic tools that can be used in the restoration and conservation of these ecologically important tree species.” The League and its research partners launched the Redwood Genome Project in 2017. Project partners outlined an ambitious plan to fully sequence the coast redwood and giant sequoia genomes for the first time, using new conifer genetic sequencing techniques. The genomic resources and screening tools that can now be developed will allow researchers to quickly assess evolutionary adaptive potential in these forests and ultimately inform forest restoration and management plans. The Coast Redwood Genome The coast redwood is the world’s tallest tree, and its genome is among the most complex sequenced. Nearly nine times larger than the human genome, it is also the second-largest genome sequenced. The redwood genome has 26.5 billion base pairs of DNA, and it is hexaploid, meaning redwoods have six sets of chromosomes. Humans have 3 billion base pairs of DNA and are diploid, with two sets of chromosomes. When comparing the coast redwood genome sequence to that of other conifer species, researchers found hundreds of gene families that are unique to the coast redwood. Many of these are genes that help the trees respond to stress and play a role in resistance to fungal disease, detoxification, repair after injury and the synthesis of flavonoids, which help fight stress on the cellular level. The new research also sheds additional light on the origin of the rare and large hexaploid genome of the coast redwood. Multiple genes exist in triplicate, and those copies share more similarities to each other than to the sequences of other species. This analysis supports the hypothesis that the redwood genome originated from a single ancestral species (autopolyploidy), rather than through hybridization with other conifer species. The Giant Sequoia Genome The giant sequoia is the world’s largest tree species and among the oldest on the planet. As reported by the research team in November 2020, its genome contains 8.125 billion base pairs of DNA. Similar to the human genome, the giant sequoia genome is diploid. The reference genome produced for this study represents the first genome sequenced in the Cupressaceae family, and it lays a foundation for using genomic tools to aid in giant sequoia conservation and management. The genomes of conifers are three to 10 times larger than the human genome. They are highly repetitive and complex. The first conifer genomes ever sequenced were the Norway spruce in 2013 and loblolly pine in 2014, 10 years after the human genome was completed. Sequencing conifer genomes was not previously feasible due to economic and technological limitations. With technological advancements that also reduced the cost, 10 conifer genomes have now been sequenced, including the coast redwood and giant sequoia. The reference genome sequences of coast redwood and giant sequoia enabled the preliminary identification of genes that determine drought-related traits and those that determine adaptation to the environment. These discoveries are reported in papers published in The Plant Journal and Genes. About the Redwood Genome Project Save the Redwoods League has provided strategic guidance and funding for the Redwood Genome Project specifically to inform forest restoration and stewardship activities that will maintain the adaptive genetic diversity of the coast redwood and giant sequoia forests. In the last 160 years, commercial logging and clearcutting claimed 95% of the coast redwood range and about one-third of the giant sequoia range. In 2020, an estimated 10% to 14% of giant sequoia died from high-intensity wildfires, and in some areas, the seedbank also died. Two wildfires also burned through large sections of the giant sequoia range in 2021, and mortality from those is currently estimated to impact another 5% of the mature trees. As a result, both forests have experienced significant losses in total acreage and potentially a loss of genetic diversity as well. With these significant impacts to both populations, the League is leading restoration projects in both forest ranges. It aims to use this and future genetic research to inform efforts to restore and maintain genetic diversity and bolster the resilience of these species in the face of rapid, unprecedented environmental change. “This ambitious scientific research provides a critical foundation for the League and the entire redwoods community. It will ultimately help us understand the incredible range of responses that coast redwood and giant sequoia species have exhibited in the face of climate change and how native genetic diversity has informed these responses,” says Joanna Nelson, Ph.D., director of science and conservation planning for Save the Redwoods League. “The Redwood Genome Project helps us see, for the first time, the full genetic diversity that has allowed these forests to adapt and survive for millennia — and could protect them against a suite of conditions they have never experienced.” The Redwood Genome Project is made possible by Save the Redwoods League, University of California, Davis, Johns Hopkins University, University of Connecticut and Northern Arizona University. Generous donors of Save the Redwoods League have contributed more than $1 million to the project through Forever Forest: The Campaign for the Redwoods, including a significant lead gift from Ralph Eschenbach and Carol Joy Provan. In addition, genomic services companies Illumina, Oxford Nanopore Technologies and Dovetail Genomics contributed in-kind. To learn more about and support this groundbreaking initiative, visit the League’s website at SaveTheRedwoods.org/Genome. *** To schedule an interview, contact Robin Carr at (415) 971-3991 or redwoods@landispr.com. Save the Redwoods League One of the nation’s longest-running conservation organizations, Save the Redwoods League has been protecting and restoring redwood forests since 1918. The League has connected generations of visitors with the beauty and serenity of the redwood forest. The nonprofit’s 29,000 members have enabled the organization to protect more than 216,000 acres of irreplaceable forest in 66 local, state and national parks and reserves. For information, please visit SaveTheRedwoods.org. University of California, Davis UC Davis is a public institution, land-grant university and pioneer in interdisciplinary problem-solving. Its four colleges, five professional schools, more than 100 academic majors and 90 graduate programs make it the most comprehensive of all the University of California campuses. Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins is America’s first research university. For more than 140 years Johns Hopkins has been a world leader in both teaching and research, with nine academic divisions — the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Whiting School of Engineering, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Carey Business School, the Peabody Institute, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, and the schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Education — plus the Applied Physics Laboratory, a nonacademic division that supports national security and pursues space science. The University of Connecticut The University of Connecticut is a national leader among public research universities, with more than 32,000 students seeking answers to critical questions in classrooms, labs, and the community. A culture of innovation drives this pursuit of knowledge throughout the University’s network of campuses. Connecticut’s commitment to higher education helps UConn attract students who thrive in the most competitive environments, as well as globally renowned faculty members. Our school pride is fueled by a history of success that has made us a standout in Division I athletics. UConn fosters a diverse and vibrant culture that meets the needs and seizes the opportunities of a dynamic global society. Northern Arizona University Northern Arizona University is a high-research institution providing exceptional educational opportunities in Arizona and beyond. NAU delivers a student-centered experience to its nearly 30,000 students in Flagstaff, statewide and online through rigorous academic programs in a supportive, inclusive and diverse environment. Dedicated, world-renowned faculty help ensure students achieve academic excellence, experience personal growth, have meaningful research opportunities and are positioned for personal and professional success. ### Contact Details Landis Communications Inc. Robin Carr +1 415-971-3991 redwoods@landispr.com Company Website https://www.savetheredwoods.org/

December 16, 2021 12:15 AM Pacific Standard Time

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Article thumbnail News Release

STATHERO DAILY FANTASY SPORTS PLATFORM SEES 5X REVENUE GROWTH, CLOSES A $4 MILLION SERIES A FUNDING ROUND LED BY BFG SPORTS BET

StatHero

This release issued on December 15, 2021 is being replaced with the following corrected version due to multiple revisions. The updated release reads: STATHERO DAILY FANTASY SPORTS PLATFORM SEES 5X REVENUE GROWTH, CLOSES A $4 MILLION SERIES A FUNDING ROUND LED BY BFG SPORTS BET StatHero, the fast-growing head-to-head Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) app with unprecedented winning percentages and player spend, has raised $4 million in Series A Funding led by BFG Sports Bet. StatHero is the ONLY independent fantasy sports company playable in 34 states StatHero lets DFS players go up against house lineups instead of long odds contests with unknown users. The fantasy sports and sports betting hybrid has become a game-changing force in the DFS space with 400% month-over-month growth in deposits and players betting an average of $1,500/yr; THREE TIMES the average spend of industry leading apps DraftKings and FanDuel. It’s this type of explosive growth that drew the attention of Illinois-based BFG Sports Bet, a venture capital fund with over a decade of experience in the highly regulated gaming industry. BFG is leading StatHero’s $4 million Series A Round of funding that caps a year of 5x revenue growth. The prospect of high-growth potential is obvious, and this marks a significant next step. Monica and Robert Breslow of BFG Sports Bet: “We believe StatHero is the most innovative, exciting, user-friendly DFS platform available on the market today and has potential for tremendous growth. The combination of the gaming market, passion of the founders and the clear innovation of the gameplay itself really set them apart in our eyes. Not to mention the disruption that StatHero has been able to bring to this industry over such a short period of time.” Following a $2 million seed round investment in June of 2020 (also led by BFG) StatHero focused its energy and resources on innovation and development. It has fueled a considerable rise in users and has seen the company’s valuation more than double in the time since. Jason Jaramillo, Founder of StatHero: “ This Series A round is so special to me because our original investors made it a priority to double up on their investment of StatHero. 2022 is going to be very big for us.” StatHero’s combination of next generation technology, skill-based games and low barrier of entry is disrupting the gaming space and enabling players to dive deeper into games while claiming a well over 50% winning percentage. As the company focuses on the future, a Series B round of funding is on the horizon for next spring. Until then, new products, new leagues and new features will be added to complement the slate of head-to-head contests and PARLAYS are next up. About STATHERO Combining the best of fantasy sports and sports gaming, StatHero is a first of its kind daily fantasy sports platform. The company has exploded in growth since founded in 2019 in large part due it’s simple gameplay, low commitment and instant gratification. Stathero uses the familiar fantasy sports based format to allow players to compete against posted lineups across a variety of professional sports and game types including Survivor Pools, Head-to-Head and Fantasy Parlays. Their patent pending gameplay gives players an advantage unlike any other in fantasy sports. It’s truly daily fantasy the way it was meant to be played - one-on-one. For more information, visit: www.stathero.com and follow us on Twitter @StatHeroHq. For media/press inquiries on, please contact: Dianne Quirante, dianne@emcbowery.com About STATHERO Combining the best of fantasy sports and sports gaming, StatHero is a first of its kind daily fantasy sports platform. The company has exploded in growth since founded in 2019 in large part due it’s simple gameplay, low commitment and instant gratification. Stathero uses the familiar fantasy sports based format to allow players to compete against posted lineups across a variety of professional sports and game types including Survivor Pools, Head-to-Head and Fantasy Parlays. Their patent pending gameplay gives players an advantage unlike any other in fantasy sports. It’s truly daily fantasy the way it was meant to be played - one-on-one. For more information, visit: www.stathero.com and follow us on Twitter @StatHeroHq. Contact Details Dianne Quirante +1 323-654-0001 dianne@emcbowery.com Company Website https://stathero.com/

December 15, 2021 02:38 PM Eastern Standard Time

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How a Mountain Was Made by Greg Sarris Now Available on Audible

Greg Sarris

About the Book: How a Mountain was Made by Greg Sarris Narrated by Tanis Parenteau Length: 5 hours 39 minutes In the tradition of Calvino’s Italian Folktales, Greg Sarris, author of the award-winning novel Grand Avenue, turns his attention to his ancestral homeland of Sonoma Mountain in Northern California. In 16 interconnected original stories, twin crows Question Woman and Answer Woman take us through a world unlike yet oddly reminiscent of our own: one that blooms bright with poppies, lupines, and clover; one in which Water Bug kidnaps an entire creek; in which songs have the power to enchant; in which Rain is a beautiful woman who keeps people’s memories in stones. Inspired by traditional Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo creation tales, these stories are timeless in their wisdom and beauty, and because of this timelessness, their messages are vital and immediate. The figures in these stories ponder the meaning of leadership, of their place within the landscape and their community. In these stories we find a model for how we can all come home again. At once ancient and contemporary, How a Mountain Was Made is equally at home in modern letters as the ancient story cycle. Sarris infuses his stories with a prose stylist’s creativity and inventiveness, moving American Indian literature in a new and emergent direction. “These are charming and wise stories, simply told, to be enjoyed by young and old alike—'stories need us if they are to come forth and have life too.'” – Kirkus Reviews “Stunning.... Neither an arid anthropological text nor another pseudo-Indian as-told-to fabrication. Instead, Sarris has breathed new life into these ancient Northern California tales and legends, lending them a subtle, light-hearted voice and vision.” – Scott Lankford, Los Angeles Review of Books About the Author: Greg Sarris is author of the anthology Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to American Indian Texts, the novel Watermelon Nights, and scripts for screen and stage. He is Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and holds the Endowed Chair in Native American Studies at Sonoma State University. ### Contact Details Landis Communications Inc. Brianne Miller +1 650-575-7727 brianne@landispr.com Company Website https://greg-sarris.com/

December 15, 2021 07:15 AM Pacific Standard Time

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