MIT biologist Richard Hynes wins Lasker Award

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MIT Professor Richard Hynes, a pioneer in studying cellular adhesion, has been named a recipient of the 2022 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award.

Hynes, the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research and a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, was honored for the discovery of integrins, proteins that are key to cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in the body. He will share the prize with Erkki Ruoslahti of Sanford Burnham Prebys and Timothy Springer of Harvard University.

“I’m delighted, and it’s a pleasure to be sharing it with them,” Hynes says. “It’s great for the field, and for the trainees who did much of the work.”

Hynes’ research focuses on proteins that allow cells to adhere to each other and to the extracellular matrix — a mesh-like network that provides structural support for cells. These proteins include integrins, a type of cell surface receptor, and fibronectins, a family of extracellular adhesive proteins. Integrins are the major adhesion receptors connecting the extracellular matrix to the intracellular cytoskeleton.

During embryonic development, cell adhesion is critical for cells to move to the correct locations in the embryo. Hynes’ work has also revealed that dysregulation of cell-to-matrix contact plays an important role in cancer cells’ ability to detach from a tumor and spread to other parts of the body, in a process known as metastasis.

“Professor Hynes’ contributions to the field of cancer biology, and more broadly, cellular biology, are numerous,” says Nergis Mavalvala, the Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics and the dean of the School of Science. “His investigations of fundamental biological questions — How do cells interact? How do they stick together? — changed how scientists approach cancer research and opened up avenues in developing potential therapeutics to disrupt metastatic disease.”

Born in Kenya, Hynes grew up in Liverpool, in the United Kingdom. Both of his parents were scientists: His father was a freshwater ecologist, and his mother a physics teacher. Hynes and all three of his siblings followed their parents into scientific fields.

“We talked science at home, and if we asked questions, we got questions back, not answers. So that conditioned me into being a scientist, for sure,” Hynes says.

After earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biochemistry at Cambridge University, Hynes decided to head to the United States to continue graduate school. Colleagues at Cambridge suggested MIT, so he came to the Institute and earned his PhD in 1971. After doing a postdoc at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories in London, he returned to MIT in 1975 as a faculty member in the Department of Biology and a founding member of MIT’s Center for Cancer Research (the predecessor of today’s Koch Institute).

Hynes began his career as a developmental biologist, studying how cells move to the correct locations during embryonic development. As a postdoc, he began studying the differences in the surface landscapes of healthy cells and tumor cells. This led to the discovery of a protein called fibronectin, which is often lost when cells become cancerous. 

He and others found that fibronectin is part of the extracellular matrix, the network of proteins and other molecules that support cells and tissues in the body. When fibronectin is lost, cancer cells can more easily free themselves from their original location and metastasize to other sites in the body. Cells bind to the matrix through cell surface receptors known as integrins. In humans, 24 integrin proteins have been identified. These proteins help give tissues their structure, enable blood to clot, and are essential for embryonic development.

“These cell-matrix adhesion proteins hold us all together,” Hynes says. “If we didn’t have them, we’d be a pool of cells on the floor. And they’re contributors to lots of diseases: fibrosis, cancer, thrombosis, immune and autoimmune diseases. So, cell adhesion has become a huge field at both the basic science level and the therapeutic level.”

Since joining the MIT faculty, Hynes has also served as head and associate head of the Department of Biology, and as director of the Center for Cancer Research. He has also served as scientific governor of the Wellcome Trust in the United Kingdom, and as co-chair of National Academy committees establishing guidelines for stem cell and genome editing research.

His many awards include the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Distinguished Investigator Award from the International Society for Matrix Biology, the Robert and Claire Pasarow Medical Research Award, the E.B. Wilson Medal from the American Society for Cell Biology and the Paget-Ewing Award, Metastasis Research Society. Hynes is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the Royal Society of London, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Lasker Award comes with a $250,000 prize, which will be shared between the three recipients.

Source: MIT biologist Richard Hynes wins Lasker Award

Through mentorship, a deeper understanding of brain cancer metabolism grows

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Alejandra Rosario’s enthusiasm for research is infectious. When she talks about studying cancer cells, or the possibility of getting a PhD, her face lights up. “It’s something I’m really passionate about,” she says.

As a Bernard S. and Sophie G. Gould MIT Summer Research Program in Biology (BSG-MSRP-Bio) student this past summer in the lab of Matt Vander Heiden, MIT's Lester Wolfe (1919) Professor of Molecular Biology, Rosario worked to understand cancer metabolism. MSRP-Bio is a 10-week, research-intensive summer program intended to introduce non-MIT undergraduates to a research career. Rosario, who is a senior at the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey this fall, was one of two MSRP-Bio students this year who were the first from their campus to attend the program. “It’s a really great opportunity for us,” she says.

Rosario had always been interested in research and understanding natural systems. As a child growing up in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, she was surrounded by nature, and got involved at a young age in environmental activism. She also has a special passion for the beach, which contributed to her eventual interest in science and, more specifically, in biology.

Medical connections

When her mother developed thyroid cancer, she focused on cancer research. To support her mother, Rosario tried to learn as much as possible about the type of cancer she was fighting, as well as the treatments available. She noticed the impact of basic cancer research on the therapies her mother was receiving.

As a result of her experience watching her mother battle cancer, too, Rosario has a special interest in translational medicine: working to determine how fundamental discoveries can have specific relevance to human disease treatment. “In cancer research,” she says, “small strides can be huge strides.”

Delving into a career in cancer research became a focus for Rosario, who sought out opportunities to advance her connections to the field. During a virtual conference held by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, Rosario met MIT Department of Biology lecturer and science outreach director Mandana Sassanfar, who invited Rosario to visit MIT for a January workshop on computational skills. During the workshop, she met MIT professors, explored possible research ideas, and decided to apply to the MSRP-Bio program.

Rosario, who would like eventually to pursue a PhD or MD/PhD, was especially drawn to the Vander Heiden lab because of its focus on connecting research to medical applications. “I’m really fascinated about that connection, and how that works,” she says.

She especially liked the diversity of research happening in the lab, where projects range from cancer metabolism to genetics to stem cell research. “They’re all exploring different questions,” she says. “But at the end of the day, they all have conversations with each other and help each other out in a collaborative way.”

New insights into brain cancer

This summer, Rosario contributed to that diversity of research by continuing some of the core experiments of the Vander Heiden lab with a new cell line: glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer with a poor prognosis. The lab had never worked with this type of cancer before, so Rosario worked to understand its metabolism and process of cell division.

The main characteristic of cancer cells is that they divide very quickly. In order to do so, they need a lot of new material, like proteins, lipids, and nucleotides. A cancer cell has two options to obtain this new material: it can take it from the environment, or it can produce that new material itself. Glioblastoma occurs in the brain, a microenvironment that provides very little access to the materials necessary for cell division. In order to divide, then, glioblastoma cells must reprogram themselves in order to produce the materials necessary for growth.

Rosario’s research this summer sought to determine how glioblastoma cells survive in the environment of the brain by limiting the cells’ access to certain substances, like certain proteins or amino acids, and then measuring how the cells react. Understanding the cell’s reactions to such changes in the microenvironment could eventually inform cancer therapies.

“Our goal is to understand metabolically how these brain cancer cells are surviving everything we throw at them in order to possibly find a more specific target for treatment,” she says. Rosario presented her research in August in the MSRP-Bio poster session.

Shaped by mentorship

Overall, Rosario really enjoyed her experience as a summer researcher. The collaborative and open atmosphere in the lab, says Rosario, has helped her grow. For example, the lab holds occasional meetings called “Idea Club,” where researchers in the lab bring a question they’re struggling with or an idea they’re excited about, and other lab members give their input. “There’s a lot of scientific independence and curiosity,” says Rosario.

Rosario has especially enjoyed getting to know the graduate students in the lab, like Ryan Elbashir, a rising third-year doctoral student. Elbashir was also an MSRP-Bio student in 2018 and was one of the reasons Rosario chose the Vander Heiden lab. After a discussion with Elbashir about the importance of diversity in research, they formed a connection. “Alejandra is very inquisitive and comfortable around other people in the lab,” says Elbashir.

Rosario’s formal mentor, fourth-year MD/PhD student Sarah Chang, has also supported Rosario’s research goals by helping Rosario design research protocols and understand lab jargon. “Sarah’s been nothing but amazing,” says Rosario. “She’s teaching me how to think like a scientist.”

Rosario plans to build on the research she completed this summer in an MD/PhD program. She’d love to return to MIT or the Vander Heiden lab to carry out her future research and would like to continue to find ways to contribute to the development of cancer therapies. She’s very committed to studying cancer biology and wants to continue exploring the different sub-fields of cancer research during her senior year.

She plans to be a mentor to other young scientists, as well, and “pay it forward” to a new generation of underrepresented researchers. Mentoring, she says, creates a “chain reaction” of scientists supporting other scientists, which leads to better advances in research.

“By doing research and pursuing a question to the best of my abilities, I can impact as many people as possible,” she says.

Source: Through mentorship, a deeper understanding of brain cancer metabolism grows

Soft robots that grip with the right amount of force

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Tool use has long been a hallmark of human intelligence, as well as a practical problem to solve for a vast array of robotic applications. But machines are still wonky at exerting just the right amount of force to control tools that aren’t rigidly attached to their hands. 

To manipulate said tools more robustly, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), in collaboration with the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), have designed a system that can grasp tools and apply the appropriate amount of force for a given task, like squeegeeing up liquid or writing out a word with a pen. 

The system, dubbed Series Elastic End Effectors, or SEED, uses soft bubble grippers and embedded cameras to map how the grippers deform over a six-dimensional space (think of an airbag inflating and deflating) and apply force to a tool. Using six degrees of freedom, the object can be moved left and right, up or down, back and forth, roll, pitch, and yaw. The closed-loop controller — a self-regulating system that maintains a desired state without human interaction — uses SEED and visuotactile feedback to adjust the position of the robot arm in order to apply the desired force. 

This could be useful, for example, for someone using tools when there’s uncertainty in the height of a table, since a pre-programmed trajectory might miss the table completely. “We've been heavily relying on the work of Mason, Raibert, and Craig on what we call a hybrid force position controller,” says Hyung Ju Suh, a PhD student in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, CSAIL affiliate, and lead author on a new paper about SEED. “That’s the idea, that if you actually had three dimensions to move in when you're writing on a chalkboard, you want to be able to control position on some of the axes, while controlling force on the other axis.”

Rigid-bodied robots and their counterparts can only take us so far; softness and compliance affords the luxury and ability to deform, to sense the interaction between the tool and the hand.

With SEED, every execution the robot senses is a recent 3D image from the grippers, thereby tracking in real-time how the grippers are changing shape around an object. These images are used to reconstruct the position of the tool, and the robot uses a learned model to map the position of the tool to the measured force. The learned model is obtained using the robot's previous experience, where it disturbs a force torque sensor to figure out how stiff the bubble grippers are. Now, once the robot has sensed the force, it will compare that with the force that the user commands, and maybe say to itself, “it turns out the force that I'm sensing right now is not quite there. I need to press harder.” It would then move in the direction to increase the force, all done over 6D space. 

During the “squeegee task,” SEED was provided the right amount of force to wipe up some liquid on a plane, where baseline methods struggled to get the right sweep. When asked to put paper to pen, the bot effectively wrote out “MIT,” and it was also able to apply the right amount of force to drive a screw. 

While SEED was aware of the fact that it needs to command the force or torque for a given task, if grasped too hard, the item would inevitably slip, so there’s an upper limit on that exerted hardness. Also, if you’re a stiff robot, you can simulate softer systems than your natural mechanical stiffness — but not the other way around. 

Currently, the system assumes a very specific geometry for the tools: it has to be cylindrical, and there are still many limitations on how it may generalize when it meets new types of shapes. Forthcoming work might involve generalizing the framework to different shapes so it can handle arbitrary tools in the wild. 

“Nobody will be surprised that compliance can help with tools, or that force sensing is a good idea; the question here is where on the robot the compliance should go and how soft it should be,” says paper co-author Russ Tedrake, the Toyota Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Mechanical Engineering at MIT and a principal investigator at CSAIL. “Here we explore regulating a quite-soft six degree-of-freedom stiffness directly at the hand/tool interface, and show that there are some nice advantages to do that.” 

Suh wrote the paper alongside Naveen Kuppuswamy, a senior research scientist at Toyota Research Institute; Tao Pang, mechanical engineering PhD student at MIT and CSAIL affiliate; Paul Mitiguy and Alex Alspach of the TRI; and Tedrake. They will present the work at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems conference in October.

Toyota Research Institute provided funds to support this work.

Source: Soft robots that grip with the right amount of force

As New York museums acknowledge Nazi-looted artwork, possible disagreement is raised

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In the wake of last month's legislation requiring museums in New York to acknowledge art stolen by Nazis, a possible disagreement over a certain piece has been brought up, according to one report.

In August, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a law that requires museums to put up signs identifying pieces that were looted by the Nazis from 1933 to 1945, the Associated Press (AP) reported. 

It is estimated that 600,000 paintings were stolen from Jewish people during World War II, according to a press release from the New York Department of Financial Services.


Approximately 53 pieces in New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art have been identified by the museum as having been taken or sold under duress by the Nazis, according to the museum website. 

Despite the fact that those objects were returned to their rightful owners before they were obtained by the museum, the Met will still put up signs explaining their history, the AP reported.


Andrea Bayer, the Met's deputy director for collections and administration told the AP: "People should be aware of the terrible cost to people during World War II as these confiscations took place, and how these peoples' treasures that they loved and had been in their families, had been torn from them at the same time their lives were disrupted."


The Met told the AP that it does not plan to put up a sign on "The Actor," a painting by Picasso that the museum received in 1952 as a gift. 

The painting was owned by Jewish businessman Paul Leffmann, who sold the painting for $13,200 in 1938 to a Paris art dealer as he was fleeing Germany, AP reported.

In 2016, Leffmann’s great-grandniece, Laurel Zuckerman, sued the museum for $100 million because the painting was allegedly sold under duress, Reuters reported at the time. 

A court later dismissed the lawsuit, but Lawrence Kaye, one of the lawyers who represented Zuckerman, told the AP that the Met should still publicly recognize the painting's disputed past.

"I believe the law would cover this piece," Kaye told the AP. "It was dismissed on technical grounds and I believe under the broad definition of what this law means under the statute, it should be covered."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Source: As New York museums acknowledge Nazi-looted artwork, possible disagreement is raised

Universal Orlando's 'Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle' returns ahead of Halloween

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Universal Orlando in Florida is celebrating fall by bringing back its "Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle" event.

The annual event – held in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade area of the theme park – will run on select nights starting Sept. 16 through Oct. 31, according to a press release.

The "Dark Arts" experience – which will begin at dusk – includes a light show with special effects and projection mapping on the Hogwarts castle.


Guests will be able to see images of "unspeakable creatures and sinister villains" – such as dementors, mountain trolls and even Lord Voldemort – appear on the castle, the press release said.

Meanwhile, Death Eaters – the name of Lord Voldemort’s followers – will appear in Hogsmeade and walk among guests.


The spectacle will end when a Patronus, "a powerful defense charm of concentrated happiness and hope" appears on the castle, the press release said. 

Fans can also buy Dark Arts-themed merchandise – including a Death Eater mask – when they visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, according to the press release.

Source: Universal Orlando's 'Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle' returns ahead of Halloween

Dolly Parton's Dollywood wins 3 Golden Ticket Awards

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Dollywood is bringing home the gold. 

Dolly Parton’s theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, recently won three awards from industry magazine Amusement Today. 

Amusement Today awarded Dollywood with Golden Ticket Awards for three categories: Best Kids' Area, Best Guest Experience and Best Christmas Event of 2021, according to a press release from Dollywood.


"We’re proud of the recognition we receive because it means we’re doing well at what we want to do – take care of the great folks who come to visit our park year after year," Dolly Parton said in a statement. 

Dollywood has won the Best Guest Experience category – which focuses on friendliness, cleanliness and value – three years in a row, with the exception of 2020 when awards were not presented, the press release said. 


Similarly, the theme park has won the Best Kids’ Area, for the Wildwood Grove area of the park, for the last three years that Golden Ticket Awards were given out.

The Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood event – an annual Dollywood tradition – has won 14 consecutive Golden Tickets for the Best Christmas Event, the theme park press release said. 


In total, Dollywood was a finalist in seven categories, according to the theme park's press release.

Aside from the top three prizes, Dollywood took runner-up for the Most Beautiful Park category, second place for the Best Food, and second place in the Best Park category.

Two of Dollywood’s roller coasters were also recognized by the Amusement Today Golden Ticket Awards. 

The Lightning Rod ride was ranked in 11th place on the list of top 50 steel roller coasters of 2022, while the Thunderhead ride was ranked in 10th place on the list of top 50 wooden roller coasters of 2022, according to the rankings on the Golden Ticket Awards website.

Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Awards were announced on Saturday at a ceremony at Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, according to a press release from Dollywood.

The Golden Ticket Awards are calculated based on a detailed, international survey conducted by Amusement Today, according to the press release. 


Source: Dolly Parton's Dollywood wins 3 Golden Ticket Awards

Beginner Guide to CJ Affiliate (Commission Junction) in 2022

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Cj affiliate
Image by vectorjuice on Freepik
In this CJ Affiliate guide, I will share with you everything you need to get started on the platform, I will give you an in-depth look at the network and how it works.
You will learn how to earn money with the platform. If you're not interested, I'll share some of the best CJ affiliate programs and alternatives. By the end of this post, I will also answer some of the FAQs on the platform and give my quick CJ review. 
Sounds Good So let’s start

What is CJ Affiliate?

Commission Junction is an online advertising company that offers affiliate programs for various retailers. Since 1998, it has been known as one of the oldest and most popular affiliate networks. 
 Commission Junction has consistently ranked among the top 10 affiliate networks 
With in-depth data analysis and an unmatched understanding of clients needs, CJ has established itself as a leader in performance marketing.

For Advertiser:

CJ provides advertisers with a variety of tracking, management, and payment options. As an affiliate network, CJ can help you launch multiple affiliate programs from a centralized network. 
 CJ's experienced team of account managers is available to help at every step—from program set-up to optimization.

For Publishers: 

CJ offers a  variety of well-paying affiliate programs. You can find affiliate programs in almost every niche at CJ. With CJ, you can also find promotional tools such as banners and product feeds, which help you promote your website. 
 The reporting tools are unparalleled and provide granular data that can assist you in fine-tuning your campaigns for maximum results.


First things first, CJ is free to join! If you are new to the world of affiliate marketing, don't worry—you'll be able to join right away. 
The requirements for joining CJ are almost similar to other networks. For example, you must have a blog or social media follower.
Isn't it obvious? Let's explore the details.
  • High-quality, unique content.
  • Non-gated content, of course.
  • Site privacy policy.
  • No software, coupon/deal, or incentive models
  • Your traffic must be from US and Canada. 
  • The main traffic source must not be paid
  • 10K+ monthly trafic on your website.

How Does CJ Affiliate Work?

Between advertisers and publishers, CJ Affiliate acts as a middleman.. Advertisers sign up on CJ to promote their products or services, while publishers sign up on CJ to find and join affiliate programs to make money. CJ then tracks the sales or leads generated by the publisher and pays them a commission according to the terms of the affiliate program.
CJ provides a win-win situation for both sides: advertisers get more sales and publishers make money. 
In order to free up both parties to concentrate on their job, CJ also handles payments and other technical issues. Now that you know how CJ works, let's learn more about how to sign up and start making money with it.

How to Start Making Money Online Using CJ Affiliate

To get started using CJ's affiliate network, you'll need to register for an account. To do this, you must have a website or social media profile with relevant content and an audience from the US or Canada.  
Create a CJ account, complete the application process, and then wait for approval. You shouldn't worry CJ is not strict as other network in approving applications.
Here's how you can signup for Cj 
  1. Visit to register as a publisher. 
  2. Fill in information such as your nationality, email, password, and more.
  3. Verify your email address now.
  4. You will be transferred right away to your CJ Account Manager, which contains crucial data including network statistics and performance summaries.
  5. Now from the Account menu, head to Network Profile. And to sign up for any affiliate programme offered on CJ, complete this profile separately.
When applying for CJ, you need to share these two pieces of information 
  1. Description of the website (include statistics for your site and more)
  2. Promotion methods (Traffic sources)
The process of setting up a CJ Affiliate account is a way for you to prove to CJ and the merchants that you're a serious affiliate marketer. Your CJ account is complete once you've added or edited your payment information; now you need to add or edit your tax certificates if required. You are now prepared to start making money on CJ Affiliate program apply for product when approved start promting and earn commissions on every sale.
Click on "Advertisers" and then select a category to go to  your niche advertiser area. You can apply for it by clicking the 'Join the Program' button and analysing three months' earnings per click and overall earnings! After you're approved, you'll get links from all over the Internet.
After you've completed the steps above, you can share your affiliate links in your blog post. You can view performance reports for your affiliate links by visiting the CJ account dashboard. Click "Clients" to see details about clicks, sales, and commissions earned by each client.
With CJ, you can make money promoting great products and services in any niche imaginable! So start joining CJ programs now and watch your business grow.

Best CJ Affiliate Programs in 2022

On CJ, you can find thousands of affiliate programs in almost any niche. Some of the top affiliate programs enlisted on CJ include:
  • Contabo VPS 
  • Fiverr 
  • Hostinger 
  • Godaddy 
  • Namecheap 
You'll find a lot of programs to join at CJ, depending on your niche. Just enter your keywords in the search bar, and CJ will show you all the relevant programs that match your criteria. You can further filter the results by commission type, category, or country.

A Quick CJ Affiliate Review: Is It Good Enough?

CJ Affiliate is one of the oldest and most well-known affiliate networks. The platform has been around for over 20 years and has a massive network of advertisers and publishers. The features on CJ Affiliate are easy to use, and it offers advertisers a wide range of tracking, management, and payment options. 
CJ offers some great features for publishers too—promotional tools like banners, links, and social media are available to help boost your site's visibility. The only downside is that CJ has a bit of a learning curve, and the approval process can be strict. But overall, CJ Affiliate is an excellent platform for advertisers and publishers.

Top Alternatives and Competitors

CJ Affiliate is a great place to earn an income from affiliate marketing. It offers a wide range of features and options for advertisers and publishers. But if CJ doesn't work for you, plenty of other options are available. Here are some of the top competitors and alternatives in the market today:
  • ShareASale
  • AWIN
  • Impact 
  • Rakuten Marketing
  • PartnerStack 
  • Partnerize 
  • ClickBank 
Here are some of the best CJ Affiliate alternatives that you can try. Each platform has its own set of features, so make sure to choose one that best suits your needs. Regardless of which CJ alternative you choose, remember that quality content is key to success as a publisher, so ensure to focus on providing high-value, engaging content to your readers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cj Affiliate Marketplace 

Is the Cj AffilIs late Network legit?
CJ Affiliate is a legitimate affiliate platform that has earned the trust of many marketers because of its vast network of advertisers and publishers.
How much do CJ affiliates make?
It's not just about CJ; it's about how much effort you put into making money. It is possible to earn a few dollars to a few thousand dollars 
How much does it cost to join Cj?
Joining CJ is free of charge. There are no monthly or annual fees. You only pay when you make a sale, and CJ takes a commission of 5-10%.
What are the payment methods accepted by Cj?
You can receive payment via direct deposit or check, as well as through Payoneer. CJ pays out within 20 days of the end of the month if your account has at least $50 worth of deposits ($100 for those outside America).
How to get approved for CJ affiliate?
CJ is friendly to both beginners and advanced affiliates. You need a website or social media profile with a solid organic traffic source and make yourself known using your profile description. Be honest, and you'll get approved for CJ's affiliate network. 
How to find programs on CJ affiliates?
CJ affiliate offers a straightforward and user-friendly interface. All you need is to log in to your CJ account and click on ‘Advertisers' from the menu. Depending on your niche, you can then search for any affiliate program on CJ 
What are the Pros of CJ Affiliate for advertisers?
CJ Affiliate is one of the most advanced affiliate programs available, providing advertisers with a range of features and options including advanced tracking, management, and payment options. 
 The platform is also easy to use and provides promotional tools like coupons, banners, and widgets that can help increase our sales.

Final Saying 

Choosing Commission Junction as your affiliate program isn't easy. CJ is a big company and they have a wide range of affiliates, big and small. They offer everything from banner ads to text links and so much more. The sheer amount of choices can seem intimidating at first, especially to new Affiliates, which is why we've put together this simple guide for people looking for a successful CJ affiliate program to join. If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments.

Source: Beginner Guide to CJ Affiliate (Commission Junction) in 2022

Jung Jae Kwon: Questioning the nuclear umbrella

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Many of America’s allies have little faith that huddling under America’s nuclear umbrella will keep them safe. “The conventional wisdom has been that the threat of nuclear retaliation by the U.S. is enough to defend our junior non-nuclear allies,” says Jung Jae Kwon, a political science doctoral student at MIT. “But this threat is not as credible as is often believed, and the allies do not simply want to depend on it for their security.”

Kwon has been researching defense strategies of American client states, gathering data to analyze the security policy and military postures of frontline states that came to rely on U.S. nuclear protection during and after the Cold War.

Scholars in the security field argue that reliance on nuclear deterrence makes sense in a world full of uncertainties, and that formal treaties invoking this deterrent offer ample reassurance to junior allies. But Kwon’s historical studies show that “many allies want enough capability of their own to prevail when a conflict begins.”

His dissertation illuminates an area of security studies that has not been deeply investigated: what America’s allies believe they need to guarantee their survival.

“The literature on extended nuclear deterrence tends to focus on only the American perspective,” he says. “No one has advanced the argument that America’s allies want to be sure they have a plan and can respond to an immediate threat.”

In an era increasingly rocked by superpower jockeying, climate, energy, and pandemic crises, Kwon believes that his research “has immediate implications for today’s most pressing security questions.”

Nuclear: not a one-stop solution

Kwon arrived at MIT in 2017 broadly interested in the drivers of war and conditions that bring peace. With the guidance of security studies faculty Barry Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science; Vipin Narang, the Frank Stanton Professor of Nuclear Security and Political Science (now serving in the Biden Administration as principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy); and Taylor Fravel, the Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science, Kwon sharpened his focus.

“I wanted to understand how non-nuclear states achieve security,” he says. “As a devastating threat to human civilization, nuclear weapons represent an ongoing challenge that must be faced, especially as nations like Iran and North Korea continue to develop their own nuclear programs.”

To understand the security perspectives of America’s non-nuclear allies and how their military postures shift in response to heightened levels of risk, Kwon decided to investigate South Korea, Taiwan, West Germany, and Norway — nations that began sheltering under the U.S. nuclear umbrella during the Cold War. Digging into these countries’ diplomatic records, and other archival sources, he has learned that these states did not embrace nuclear deterrence as a one-stop solution to their security needs.

“When conflicts arise, these allies don’t want to give up territory or lose anything,” says Kwon. “They ask for plans where they have a viable option for victory.”

One example Kwon cites is South Korea, where the U.S. stationed tactical nuclear weapons. “But the U.S. didn’t give South Korea any control over the deterrent, no mechanisms for coordination when it came to nuclear planning,” he says. As a result, South Korea tries to maintain superiority in conventional power against North Korea. “It’s their fate; they don’t just want to rely on the U.S. for security,” he says.

And West Germany, America’s most important ally in Western Europe during the Cold War, “wanted assurance from the U.S. that nuclear weapons would be used first,” says Kwon. “They were overwhelmed by conventional Soviet military power, and wanted to assert more control over the U.S. nuclear threat.”

With the end of the Cold War and dissolution of the Soviet Union, European allies grew less concerned about attacks from their neighbors, and more content to rely on the U.S. nuclear deterrent. But recently, the war in Ukraine has shifted defense postures, says Kwon, prompting allies’ calls for greater conventional military presence along Europe’s eastern border. In East Asia, North Korean nuclear buildup has led to South Korean demands for a greater U.S. commitment and a more visible nuclear presence. “If South Koreans feel they are not provided with sufficient capability, you’ll see more tensions surface in the relationship.”

Military service and a personal reckoning

Although Kwon grew up in Seoul, South Korea, he did not become interested in international relations and security matters until much later. His family business was front and center, and like other South Korean households, they were desensitized to the “constant danger represented by North Korea,” says Kwon. He attended a boarding school in the United States, then Harvard University, where he concentrated in government and contemplated a career in law.

All that changed with Kwon’s mandatory military service, which began after his sophomore year. Initially placed with an infantry division as a mechanic, Kwon sought out and won an opportunity to serve as a translator on a South Korean unit of a U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan in December 2013. Then civil war broke out.

“It suddenly became a huge humanitarian mission, with tens of thousands of refugees flooding in to escape the shooting, and all hell broke loose, literally,” he says. “We were caught in the middle of it, with shells falling into our compound, and I was caring for patients, and then we were helping to bury the dead.”

Shaken by this experience, with a newly awakened interest in matters of war, peace, and international relations, Kwon returned to Harvard for his junior year. He turned his attention to China and its expanding impact on the world. Immediately after graduation, Kwon left for a master’s program at Peking University, where he wrote a thesis on Chinese peacekeepers in United Nations missions. He arrived at MIT straight from China, to pursue East Asian politics and security issues, and his dissertation topic on the security of non-nuclear allies of the United States.

While the Covid pandemic slowed his research, Kwon has been methodically excavating historical records for useful data. “Reading diplomatic records is my biggest pleasure, because history comes to life,” he says. “Examining correspondence between Eisenhower and Chiang Kai-Shek makes the topics I’m studying more real.”

Extracting historical data for his case studies has been slow, painstaking work, but based on the research he’s completed to date, Kwon believes that both scholars and security experts will find his insights useful.

“My biggest takeaway is that allies won’t be assured simply by gestures of solidarity, formal alliance treaties, or even the huge nuclear arsenal the U.S. possesses,” he says. “Allies face specific security challenges and will seek the capability to enable them to prevail when conflicts arise, raising the likelihood of arms races.” If the U.S. fails to provide the capability they seek, “which won’t happen on the cheap,” he says, “we might see attempts by these allies to build their own nuclear weapons.”

Source: Jung Jae Kwon: Questioning the nuclear umbrella

A ‘Period Dignity Officer’ Seemed Like a Good Idea. Until a Man Was Named

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The job in the Scottish region of Tayside was eliminated after a groundswell of anger that a man would be overseeing, or ‘mansplaining,’ menstruation policy.

Source: A ‘Period Dignity Officer’ Seemed Like a Good Idea. Until a Man Was Named

American woman killed by shark while snorkeling in the Bahamas

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An American tourist was killed by a shark during a vacation in the Bahamas, according to local authorities.

The 58-year-old woman was on a snorkeling trip with her family when she was fatally maimed by a bull shark.

"It is further reported that family members observed a bull shark attacking the female," police said, according to Reuters. Tour company employees and family members rushed to rescue the woman.

The victim, who was a Pennsylvania resident, was taken a local hospital and declared dead. Police say that her upper body sustained injuries.


The woman and her family were passengers on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas cruise. According to Royal Caribbean International, it was an independent shore excursion.

The incident took place off the island of Green Cay, which is a half mile away from Rose Island – where a 21-year-old American woman was killed in a shark attack in 2019.


Royal Caribbean International confirmed the incident to Fox News Digital. 

"It's just an unfortunate situation," Royal Bahamas Police Superintendent Chrislyn Skippings said at a news conference.

"Royal Caribbean International is providing support and assistance to the guest’s loved ones at this time," a spokesperson told Fox News Digital. "Harmony of the Seas is currently on a 7-night cruise that sailed from Port Canaveral, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 4."

The incident comes a month after an 8-year-old British boy was attacked by three nurse sharks in the Bahamas. 

"My son could have been killed," the boy's father, Michael Downer, said. "It was like a scene out of Jaws."

Reuters contributed to this report.

Source: American woman killed by shark while snorkeling in the Bahamas

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