See it, clean it, clean up!

first_imgHome » News » See it, clean it, clean up! previous nextProducts & ServicesSee it, clean it, clean up!Clean Up aims to ensure faster rental deposit repaymentsThe Negotiator14th January 20160531 Views Clean Up, the new handy video guide for cleaning rental property to professional rental standards, has been widely welcomed by the lettings industry. It is seen as a breakthrough in addressing the biggest problem in the way of repaying deposits quickly and in full: what is clean and by whose standards? The film guides the way to saving significant amounts of money for tenants and landlords and will help the deposit dispute schemes where up to 60% of their workload is caused by cleaning disputes.A large proportion of tenants have said they would willing clean to the right standard and save themselves money if they knew the standards required and the best way to achieve them.Launched today by Joanna White (left), Managing Director of Property Principles Ltd, Clean Up provides the benchmarks for cleaning to lettings industry standards. It is not a lesson in how to clean but a series of practical, clear explanations of the standards of cleaning expected in the rental market. These are generally higher and more comprehensive than those of even the most house proud.Clean Up comes at a time when rents are rising and therefore the potential cost of a  disputed amount on deposit is higher. It has, says Joanna, been welcomed by the front line professional organisations involved at the beginning and end of tenancies: the Association of Residential Letting Agents, ARLA, and the Association of Professional Inventory Providers, APIP.“Time and time again large sums of money are deducted – correctly – from deposits only because a property has not been cleaned to the professional standards that will have applied when a tenancy started,” said Joanna White, who was, for many years, a disputes adjudicator for the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.She says that there is a world of difference between a good daily domestic clean and the full professional standard of cleaning required for professional properties. “Industry bodies constantly point out that the number of deposit disputes caused by not understanding what is clean? is far too high. It is generally believed that up to 60% of all disputes are over the standards of cleaning while the vast majority of tenants have said they would willingly clean to the right standard and save themselves money if they knew and understood the standards required,” Joanna White added.The Clean Up video guide and booklet is available on propertyprinciplesltd.com at an introductory launch price for rental of £1.50 or £5.99 to buy outright.  It is the first in a series of guides to be published for the benefit of landlords and tenants.Clean Up video guide cleaning cleaning film cleaning rental properties to professional rental standards tenants’ deposits January 14, 2016The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Read More →

Negative plus

first_imgFor years, researchers have worked to develop novel molecules for therapeutic or research purposes, and have relied on directed evolution as a powerful technique for generating molecules that exhibit the properties they want.Led by David Liu, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, a team of Harvard researchers recently developed the first system for enabling proteins to evolve continuously in the laboratory, without researcher intervention. That system, called PACE (phage-assisted continuous evolution), allowed for protein evolution to take place approximately 100 times faster than previously possible.Now Liu and colleagues have added a powerful new tool to their arsenal — the ability to eliminate molecules they don’t want during continuous directed evolution.The researchers have equipped PACE with a negative selection — the ability to drive evolution away from certain traits — to enable the rapid evolution of molecules with dramatically altered properties. That ability, Liu said, could help researchers to evolve proteins to selectively perform surgery on only one exact part of a human genome, or bind only one disease-causing protein in a sea of beneficial proteins. The work is described in a paper published online this month in Nature Chemical Biology.In addition to negative selection, Liu said, “we developed a way to modulate the selection stringency, so we can change the threshold that’s needed for a given population member to survive versus die.”Using the new tools, Liu and colleagues were able to evolve T7 polymerase proteins — enzymes that bind to specific DNA sequences, called “promoters,” and begin transcribing DNA into RNA — to recognize new sequences, and to reject the sequences they initially evolved to recognize in nature.“Traditionally, in protein evolution, it’s been quite difficult to evolve enzymes with truly altered specificities,” Liu said. “It’s much easier to evolve enzymes with broadened activities, ones that can process a new target in addition to their original target. There have been far fewer examples of enzymes evolved to recognize a new target and completely reject the target that nature evolved them to recognize.”To accomplish their goal, Liu and graduate students Jacob Carlson and Ahmed Badran turned to a variant of the protein that forms the backbone of the PACE process.That process, Liu explained, begins with a virus, called a phage, that infects bacteria. The phage use E. coli host cells as factories to produce both proteins and new generations of phage, and to perform the key selection step that allows phage-carrying genes encoding proteins with desired properties to flourish.“Until now, those phage propagate only if they have a desired action,” Liu explained. “To develop the negative selection capability we explored strategies to do the opposite — to penalize those phage that encode genes with undesired activity.”The solution, he said, came from Carlson, who identified a variant of the P3 protein used in PACE that inhibits phage reproduction, rather than allowing them to propagate. By linking the production of that form of the protein to undesired actions, the team was able to create a system that punishes genes encoding proteins with undesired activities.“Now, if phage have undesired activities, they poison their own ability to reproduce,” Liu said. “And we can integrate both the positive and negative selections to simultaneously select for desired activities while also selecting against undesired activities.”Using the system to evolve RNA polymerase molecules is only the tip of the iceberg, Liu said, pointing to a range of therapeutic possibilities his lab is already working on.“Laboratory evolution really comes down to navigating your way through what evolutionary biologists call a ‘fitness landscape,’” he said. “If you imagine that the landscape is all the possible mutations of a protein, and the elevation describes how desirable they are — we’re trying to find our way to the highest summits while avoiding the valleys.“These new capabilities — negative selection and stringency modulation — allow us, in a much more precise way, to sculpt the way we travel through that landscape, and to tailor the evolution in a way that’s more likely to succeed and more likely to reach the fitness peaks that are of interest to us.”last_img read more

Read More →

Colombian Army Accuses FARC of Deadly Attack

first_imgBy Dialogo December 11, 2012 A man died and three women were injured on December 8, in an attack that the Colombian Army attributes to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), accusing them of not respecting the truce they announced. “The FARC threw two ‘tatucos’ (improvised grenades) in the rural area of Caloto. One of them did not explode, but the second one hit a house,” General Jorge Humberto Jerez, commander of Task Force Apolo, operating in the north of the Cauca department, explained to AFP via phone. The explosive device thrown against a house in Caloto, Cauca, “caused a 32-year old man to die, and injured two women and a girl,” explained Jerez. The FARC, currently in peace talks with the Colombian government in Havana, Cuba, announced a two-month unilateral truce on November 19. In Havana, the spokesman for the FARC assured that the unilateral ceasefire has been maintained, except for a few “unimportant minor incidents,” but the Colombian Army claims it hasn’t been respected on several occasions. “The FARC continue to attack the civilian population,” confirmed Jerez, who also accused them of the death of an Army non-commissioned officer. Colombian General Jerez claims that no combat between the military and the guerrillas was registered before the improvised explosive attack against the household in Caloto, a town located in an area historically influenced by the FARC. On its part, the government of Juan Manuel Santos mantains that the military offensives will continue against the guerrillas, until a peace agreement is reached. Last weekend, the Colombian Army attacked three FARC camps in the municipality of Ricaurte, Nariño, where at least six rebels died. In Havana, the government and the guerrillas resumed the peace talks on December 5 after a five day recess, looking for a solution to the Colombian conflict, the oldest in Latin America, that has caused 600,000 deaths, 15,000 missing and four million displaced people, according to official numbers.last_img read more

Read More →

The financial benefits of living with less

first_imgWhen people think about “living with less,” visions of cramped living quarters and hipster couples espousing the virtues of straw-based plumbing may spring to mind. Condensing your belongings to fit into less than 250 square feet isn’t for everyone; the financial freedom associated with tiny living, however, definitely has universal appeal.Even if you don’t have plans to downsize, there is wisdom in living with less stuff. According to recent statistics, the average household has more than $130,000 in debt, $15,000 of which is on credit cards. What’s more, consumers are spending 9 percent of their household income on interest, to the tune of nearly $6,700 each year. It’s obvious we can’t afford the stuff we insist on accumulating.Still, escaping the siren song of the American dream is no small feat. “There are a lot of contributing factors to why and how we spend, from personality to life context and necessities,” says Dave Herman, director of applied sciences for Payoff, a financial wellness company. Herman asserts that the more you buy, and the more you design your life around spending, the more you associate your lifestyle with the items you own. “The more your thoughts and behaviors are focused around the hedonic experience of the immediate gratification,” he continues, “the less you’ll focus on the long term, such a saving $100 dollars every time you get paid.” continue reading » 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Read More →