Malaria in 3-D

first_imgAlong with being the hottest thing at the local multiplex, 3-D imaging has entered the laboratory as an important research tool.Using an imaging technique known as high-speed holographic microscopy, Laurence Wilson, a fellow at Harvard’s Rowland Institute, worked with colleagues to produce detailed 3-D images of malaria sperm — the cells that reproduce inside infected mosquitoes — that shed new light on how the cells move. The work was described Nov. 5 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.“The working assumption was that this structure moved through a consistent clockwise beating,” Wilson said. “But what we found was, if you look at the malaria swimming, it doesn’t just move in a ‘right-handed’ way — it actually turns out to be a very general motor.“The only way we could identify this was because we could see the 3-D structure,” he continued. “We could never do that before, and we found that there’s a whole zoo of shapes and waveforms it uses. What stuck out, however, was the idea that it does a right-handed stroke, then a left-handed stroke — so it relies on the strict alternation between the two.”The hope, Wilson said, is that the research might illuminate how other, similarly constructed cells — such as cilia inside the lungs — are able to move. In addition, understanding how malaria parasites move may one day help scientists develop new strategies for combating the disease by halting its ability to reproduce.Holographic imaging of malaria sperm Holographic microscopy creates a “stack” of images that can be processed by computers to create 3-D models. The raw data is acquired rapidly, allowing the sample to be imaged thousands of times per second in 3-D. This ability was key to imaging a fast-moving object such as the malaria sperm.For researchers such as Wilson, the structure of malaria sperm is most compelling as an area of study.As in similar cells, the malaria sperm is primarily built from a grouping of protein microtubules — nine pairs of tubes are arranged in a circle around a central pair, all of which are connected through radial spoke proteins. As the tubules move lengthwise against each other, the cell is able to produce waves along its length, propelling it forward.“That’s how you get a sperm tail beating, or cilia beating in your lungs,” Wilson said. “The nice thing about malaria, however, is that from a mechanical point of view, it’s relatively primitive. Unlike other model systems we looked at — all of which have a head or cell body attached — malaria has no accessory mechanical structures. There’s only a cell membrane and some DNA arranged along its length.”Holographic microscopy creates a “stack” of images that can be processed by computers to create three-dimensional models. The raw data is acquired rapidly, allowing the sample to be imaged thousands of times per second in 3-D. This ability was key to imaging a fast-moving object such as the malaria sperm.“Holographic microscopy has been used for some time, but no one has tried to do exactly this sort of imaging before,” Wilson said. “No one has ever used it to look at the shape of something in this way, or in the same level of detail that we have.”While the study gives researchers the clearest picture yet of how such cellular motors work, Wilson said studies are already in the works to get a better understanding of how they can go wrong, and what the consequences may be.“The hope is if we know how this malaria sperm works, then when similar cellular motors go wrong, we can say why they’ve gone wrong,” Wilson said. “When these things go wrong in the human body, it can lead to problems like infertility and polycystic kidney disease — all sorts of unfortunate things can happen if these structures don’t work properly.”last_img read more

Campus Sustainability Innovation Fund announces call for research proposals

first_img Read Full Story The Harvard Office for Sustainability has announced a call for proposals for the 2018 round of grants through the University’s Campus Sustainability Innovation Fund (CSIF). The Fund, created in 2016, supports projects that use Harvard’s campus or the neighboring community as a test bed for envisioning and piloting innovative solutions to sustainability challenges, including, but not limited to, climate and health. The deadline for applications is Feb. 20, 2018.CSIF provides support for both research assistantships and original projects, and is the centerpiece of Harvard’s Living Lab initiative aimed at bringing students, faculty, and staff together to use the campus and surrounding community as a test bed to incubate exciting ideas and pilot promising new solutions to real-world challenges threatening the health of people and the planet — at Harvard and across the world.Projects must tackle real-world challenges faced directly on campus or in the community, and lead to the practical application of emerging technologies or strategies that can be used to inform the University’s implementation of its Sustainability Plan. Successful projects will aim to have an impact on operations and decision-making at Harvard’s campus, but should also provide scalable solutions that can be applied to other organizations or lead to a commercialized venture.Five innovative and multidisciplinary student research projects were awarded funding in CSIF’s inaugural round of grants. The diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral fellows, are using the funding to leverage their expertise in public health, design, psychology, and chemistry to research healthier buildings, vibrant public spaces, behavior change, and green agriculture.last_img read more

Committee studies worker participation

first_imgKeri O’Mara | The Observer Since 2013, a committee of students, faculty and staff has been compiling data and researching the impact of the freedom of association policy in Notre Dame’s Licensing Codes of Conduct, more commonly called “the China Policy.”“This began in the late 90s when there was a lot of activity around sweatshops, and the previous president, Fr. [Edward] “Monk” Malloy instituted a campus-wide committee to look into what Notre Dame’s response would be,” University Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves said. “That committee met and wrote a report with a series of recommendations.“The major recommendation in it was Notre Dame should not allow products produced with Notre Dame’s logo on it to be manufactured in countries which didn’t have complete freedom of association.”This week, the Worker Participation Committee will put forth its findings to the Notre Dame community through a series of events focused on explaining the current policies and proposed alternatives. The following week, students and faculty will have an opportunity to respond in an open forum with committee members.“The question on the table is to engage or not to engage, and I think the question we’re going to explore [this] week is: does engagement make sense as a way to improve the experience of workers in these factories?” Christine Cervenak, associate director of Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights, said. “Or, I think it’s very possible that a lot of the conversation will be around why not to engage and to allow the existing policy to continue.”Worker participation refers to factory workers’ right to freely associate, including their ability to form unions, Cervenak said. Under current rules, apparel companies like Under Armour, which the University currently licenses to create apparel, cannot produce Notre Dame products in factories where workers cannot freely associate.“The right of association is the right that the initial policy focuses on, and this committee is really focusing on what we’re now calling workers’ participation,” she said. “If you’re unhappy with your wage or your safety or environmental issues, you should be able to complain to your employer.”According to the Worker Participation Committee’s website, the current Freedom of Association policy, enacted in 2001 after Malloy’s committee released its recommendations, stipulates, “University licensed products cannot be manufactured in countries lacking a legal right for workers to organize and form independent labor unions of their own choosing.“Since then, China and 10 other countries (Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Laos, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Turkmenistan and United Arab Emirates) have been on a list of countries where licensees were prohibited from producing Notre Dame-licensed products.“Notre Dame is the only university with such a policy.”Affleck-Graves said the policy was born out of the University’s desire to lead peer institutions like Duke and Stanford in demonstrating the possibility of doing ethical business abroad in countries where working regulations and human-rights laws differ.“It’s very important that Notre Dame always does things that it feels comfortable with and that it meets the values and morals and ethical standards that we would be proud of,” he said. “And at the same time, our mission is to be a source for good in the world and to encourage and foster change for the better wherever we can.“That’s what’s driving this project. Is there a way where we can be an example to others of how to do ethical business in a country like China? It’s one thing to talk about it, but it’s another thing to actually do it and provide a proven and tested model that then other people can implement.“… If we can’t, then we won’t do it. But if we can, I think it would be an exciting opportunity for Notre Dame to take the lead in this area.”Affleck-Graves said the office of the executive vice president typically reviews each of Notre Dame’s policies about every 10 years to ensure their continued relevance. Cervenak said Affleck-Graves and Notre Dame administrators realized in their review of the licensing codes of conduct that, though well intentioned, the sanctions against China and nine other countries had not yielded a substantive positive impact.“As I understand it, there was a hope that Notre Dame would be at the forefront of getting other universities to get behind a movement that would put pressure on China to change its labor policies,” Cervenak said. “I think there was some hope, real hope, tangible hope that that would happen, and in the end, the universities that might have joined with us did not do so.”Student body president Lauren Vidal, who served on the panel with student body president emeritus Alex Coccia, said the fact that many Notre Dame students come from China and that the University itself has fostered a strong presence in China encouraged Affleck-Graves to review the licensing policy.“It’s a unique opportunity because when the committee met to discuss this initially, we realized that although we banned production in China, we’ve seen no change due to the ban,” Vidal said. “… We think that this may be a unique and very constructive way to approach improving the lives of workers in a deliberate way.”Besides compiling research, the Worker Participation Committee’s responsibilities have included considering alternatives to the China Policy. A proposed pilot program would allow “three or four” audited Chinese factories that meet certain standards of working conditions and agree to a “rigorous analysis” to begin producing Notre Dame apparel, Affleck-Graves said.“We’ve done an audit of six factories,” he said. “To get a sense of what we could do in an audit, we took a team over to China including Lauren and Alex to visit four of the factories. We were trying to verify that the company that was doing the audits for us had actually got the message on what we thought was important.”“So now the question is, would we actually be comfortable applying that program, and how would the companies operate under that system?” Affleck-Graves said.Notre Dame enlisted the help of Verité, a non-profit consulting firm, to identify and assess factories in China that might participate in such a program if the current policy were to change, Cervenak said.Last September, Vidal toured four potential factories in China with seven other individuals, including Coccia and assistant provost for internationalization Jonathan Noble, who also directs Notre Dame’s Beijing Global Gateway.“We visited four factories, two of which were pretty phenomenal in terms of worker representation,” Vidal said. “We also visited two other factories which we decided we wouldn’t be comfortable manufacturing in. I was very happy to see that the delegation all agreed on that.”Affleck-Graves said the Worker Participation Committee’s work and recommendations offer the campus community a chance to engage in meaningful dialogue about an issue that matters not just to the University’s mission and operations but also to concerns of the global economy.“China is the focus of the committee because it’s the second-largest economy in the world,” Affleck-Graves said. “Within the next few years, it will probably be the largest economy of the world.”“China is a very, very important country and so the ability to go into a country like that and influence behavior is something I personally think Notre Dame should be trying to do,” he said. “This can become a model not just for China. … By tackling one of the biggest countries, I think you have the biggest opportunity to create a role model for others.”Tags: China, China policy, Christine Cervenak, John Affleck-Graves, labor, Lauren Vidal, Notre Dame, Worker Participationlast_img read more

If I Forget Taps Director Daniel Sullivan

first_img View Comments If I Forget Daniel Sullivan(Photo: Bruce Glikas) Related Showscenter_img Tony winner Daniel Sullivan will helm Steven Levenson’s new play If I Forget off-Broadway. The Roundabout Theatre Company production will begin performance on February 2, 2017 (instead of the previously announced January 19) at the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. The play is now scheduled to open officially on February 22 and run through April 30.Sullivan earned a Tony Award in 2001 for directing Proof. His recent credits include Sylvia, The Country House, The Snow Geese and Orphans. He will also helm the upcoming revival of The Little Foxes this spring at Manhattan Theatre Club.The play takes place in July 2000, immediately following the failed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at Camp David. Three adult siblings and their families gather in a D.C. suburb of DC for their father’s 75th birthday. When it’s revealed that the middle son, a Jewish studies professor, is at work on a book that is both dedicated to his Jewish WWII veteran father and argues an incendiary point about American Jews, Israel, and the Holocaust, familial responsibility quickly resorts to familial resentment.Casting and additional creative team members will be announced at a later date. Show Closed This production ended its run on April 30, 2017last_img read more

The Benefits of Bicycle Commuting

first_imgStreet view of biking to work in Asheville. Photo: Jakob Kafer The petroleum IV drip that we as Americans have bothers me more and more every day.  I am as guilty as anyone about using petroleum to access my favorite playgrounds in the outdoors, but one important goal for me in my career is the ability to ride my bike to work daily.  That is part of the reason why I love living in Asheville, NC so much.  This city is very accessible from a variety of neighborhoods surrounding the town, and the enabling infrastructure is improving every day with the help of organizations such as Asheville on Bikes.I did some Internet searching recently on the actual benefits of bicycle commuting from a variety of different standpoints, and the supportive factors were staggering!Apparently, riding a bicycle is the most energy efficient form of transportation ever invented.  By biking instead of driving a car, you are saving on a myriad of expenses that you would have otherwise incurred.  These include fuel, tire wear, fluids, maintenance and parking.  Although the distances traveled may seem inconsequential at first, these savings can add up very quickly.When you ride to work, you are getting a great workout and kick-starting your metabolism for increased fat burning and productivity throughout the day.  It is widely accepted that new full-time bicycle commuters can expect to lose an average of 13 pounds their first year of bicycle commuting if they maintain the same eating habits!  This exercise leads to clearer skin, better muscle tone, and bone mass improvement.  It also decreases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.There are many other hidden benefits to this form of transportation.  In many cities, riding a bike is actually faster than any other option, and it usually carries with it a predictable commute time that is not susceptible to traffic jams, and other problems.  Increased bike use also aids in the generation of bike infrastructure, which drives up property values.  Biking commuters were also added to the list of those eligible for transportation tax benefit in 2010, so tax-free subsidies are available in addition to the cost savings!If you aren’t convince yet, check out this bicycle commuting infographic.What do you think… ready to give it a shot?last_img read more

Guatemala Declares ‘State Of Siege’ After Massacre

first_img Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom has declared a “state of siege” in the Peten region along the Mexican border where 27 people were killed over the weekend in an alleged drug gang massacre. The state of emergency will allow authorities to restrict demonstrations and police to carry out raids at night, among other things, media reported. Colom said the order would last through Tuesday to allow authorities to try to track down the killers, adding that police had captured a suspect and killed two others in an operation in which two policemen were wounded. “Guatemala must confront this aggression, which is not only in this country, but in the entire region,” he said in a televised address late Monday. Guatemalan authorities have identified 15 of 27 migrant farm workers beheaded in the weekend massacre they blamed on Mexico’s Zetas drug gang. The killings at “Los Cocos” farm in La Libertad, in the Peten region some 600 kilometers (370 miles) north of the capital Guatemala City, were the worst in the violent Central American nation’s recent history. Three minors and two women were among the victims, authorities said. Among those identified, the youngest victim was 13 years old. By Dialogo May 18, 2011last_img read more


first_img January 1, 2005 Regular News briefs BriefsPANZA, MAURER & MAYNARD are shown here with many of the gifts contributed by attorneys and staff to benefit foster children of Broward County. The firm provided gifts to Childnet, an organization that oversees the needs and wishes of foster children and their families during the holiday season. HACKETT AND CARR celebrated its 80th anniversary by giving 80 new, classic hardbound books to each of the 10 elementary schools in Charlotte County. The 800 books were hand-delivered to schools in December and volunteers from the firm read their personal favorites to classes throughout each elementary school. The county’s elementary schools alone lost roughly $800,000 worth of books to this year’s hurricanes. CORAL GABLES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CEO/president and Army Reserve Col. Lettie J. Bien recently returned to Miami after a year serving in Baghdad. Col. Bien, a University of Miami law graduate, is a civil affairs officer and was assigned as the U.S. Government’s senior advisor/consultant to the Iraqi Ministry of Industry and Minerals, which is responsible for the majority of Iraq’s state owned enterprises. Col. Bien was also appointed by Prime Minister Ayad Allawi to the Iraqi Privatization Commission, a national level organization formed to review and advise on the transition toward privatization of the over 200 state owned enterprises. The Coral Gables Chamber is hosting an official welcome home gala for her January 22 at the Country Club of Coral Gables, which is open to the public. Bien is pictured in Iraq with U.S. Ambassador John Dimitri Negroponte. THE FLORIDA BAR’S Tallahassee staff again donated hundreds of toys to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, one of the nation’s flagship Christmas charitable endeavors and the U.S. Marine Corps’ premier community action program. Over the past 56 years, U.S. Marines have distributed more than 15 million new toys to 6.6 million needy youngsters throughout the nation. The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help needy children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable natural resources ­—­ our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future. THE CUBAN AMERICAN BAR FOUNDATION recently presented Leonard P. Strickman, dean of Florida International University College of Law, with a check for $30,000 to endow a Cuban American Bar Merit Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to Cuban American law students who distinguish themselves through outstanding academic achievement or any law students who distinguish themselves through outstanding academic achievement and scholarship on the subject of human rights violations in Cuba or the re-establishment of a democratic rule of law in Cuba. Jennifer Remy was selected as the 2004 recipient. Last year, CABF created a similar merit scholarship at FIU in honor of Mario Goderich, retiring member of the Third District Court of Appeal and the first Cuban American circuit court judge in Florida. “We are very excited to be able to provide FIU with two merit scholarships in order to assist in their efforts to make legal education available to a broader cross-section of our community,” said Victor M. Diaz, Jr., CABF’s president. “Our goal is to raise sufficient funds to create merit scholarships at every public law school throughout Florida.” CABF endowed the first Cuban American Bar Scholarship at the University of Miami School of Law in 2002. Pictured from the left are Ramon A. Abadin, president of CABA; Remy; Strickman; and Diaz.Hillsborough Bar gets $1.5 million gift The family of Chester H. Ferguson has contributed $1.5 million to help fund a permanent home for the Hillsborough County Bar Association and HCBA Foundation. The two-story Mediterranean-revival building will be located on North Tampa Street, just north of Interstate 275, adjacent to the new Stetson University College of Law, Tampa Campus. The 17,000 sq. ft. facility will provide administrative offices for the HCBA and foundation, meeting rooms, a small pub, and a great hall complete with catering facilities. Materials for the exterior will be similar to and compatible with the Stetson architecture, which includes a barrel-tile roof, second-story balustrades and columns, arched windows, and a rusticated stone base.FSU gets $700,000 endowment gift Florida State University College of Law alum Jeff Stoops and his wife Aggie Stoops have made a commitment of $700,000 to fund the Jeffrey A. Stoops and Agnes Flaherty Stoops Endowment at the school. Once the commitment is fulfilled, the gift will be eligible for a 70 percent match from the state, bringing the total endowment to almost $2.2 million. One half of the earnings from the endowment will go toward the Jeffrey A. Stoops Professorship at the college of law, designed to attract or to retain a highly productive professor specializing in the areas of corporate, business, or securities law. The other half will fund the Agnes Flaherty Stoops Professorship at the School of Social Work and will be awarded to a professor whose focus is in the area of child welfare. Aggie Stoops received her master’s degree in social work from FSU in 1983. Jeff Stoops, who graduated from law school in 1984, said the gift, which will be made over a period of time, is a way to express appreciation for the “wonderful and enriching experiences” he and his wife had at Florida State. Jeff Stoops is president of SBA Communications Corporation in Boca Raton. As a Florida businessman, Stoops said he is keenly aware of the need for quality business lawyers. “As a former practicing corporate and securities lawyer, I was thrilled with the opportunities but also witnessed at times a large amount of work from Florida corporations going to out-of-state lawyers,” he said. “making this gift, we hope to facilitate the further development of the corporate and securities bar within Florida.”Jacksonville Legal Aid gets $50,000 Jacksonville Area Legal Aid has received a $50,000 grant from Wayne and Patricia Hogan through The Hogan Foundation to fund the Hogan Fellowship in Children’s Advocacy and Mental Health. The fellowship provides salary, benefits, and related expenses for an attorney dedicated to preserving the rights of the Jacksonville’s emotionally and mentally ill. The agency will provide to the mentally ill a dedicated advocate to assist in cases of neglect, discrimination, and dependency. Effective immediately, JALA is accepting applications for the fellowship by mail. “This project, which to my knowledge is the first of its kind in Florida and possibly the nation, will allow us to specifically serve mentally ill adults and children with a dedicated attorney who can offer quality representation for a variety of legal situations,”said JALA Executive Director Michael Figgins. Those interested in the one-year Hogan Fellowship in Children’s Advocacy and Mental Health position must submit a cover letter, resume, two letters of recommendation, and a 500-word essay explaining his or her interest in the position by January 8 to be considered for the fellowship. Applicants, including recent law school graduates, must be licensed to practice law in the state of Florida or, if from out of state, be willing to sit for the next Florida bar exam. Candidates should be high-energy, self-motivated individuals who can demonstrate a commitment to working with economically disadvantaged people. More information is available by contacting the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid office at (904) 356-8371.St. Thomas U. law school to honor Chief Judge Levy St. Thomas University School of Law will host a reception January 7 honoring Third District Court of Appeal Chief Judge-elect David L. Levy, beginning at 3 p.m. at the Third DCA’s Miami courthouse at 2001 S.W. 117th Ave. Judge Levy is also an adjunct professor of law at St. Thomas University and the recipient of the school’s 2003 Jurist of the Year Award given by the law school alumni.Dirmann to lead ABOTA chapter The Sarasota/Bradenton Chapter of ABOTA recently held its annual Christmas party and installation its new officers, including President Jim Dirmann. Other officers include President-elect Bob Lyons, FLABOTA and National Board Representative Gary Wilkins, Treasurer Teresa Jones, Secretary/Historian Steve Brannan, and Membership Chair Geoffrey Morris.last_img read more

Letter from Dilbertville

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Konstantinos Mavropanos to leave Arsenal on loan with medical scheduled for Monday

first_imgAdvertisement The Greek defender is one of a number of players who could leave this month (Picture: Getty)Arsenal have decided to loan out young defender Konstantinos Mavropanos, with the Greek centre-back scheduled to undergo a medical with FC Nurnberg on Monday.The 22-year-old has predominantly featured for the Under-23s this season, though made the bench in Mikel Arteta’s first two Premier League matches in charge and played 90 minutes against Standard Liege in the Europa League.However, Arsenal are well stocked in central defence – with Mavropanos effectively sixth choice – and are keen for him to get game time elsewhere. Advertisement Comment Metro Sport ReporterSunday 12 Jan 2020 12:25 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link3.2kSharescenter_img The Greek defender’s last appearance was against Standard Liege in December (Picture: Getty)Mavropanos was one of the final signings made under Arsene Wenger’s reign in charge of Arsenal, though he was unearthed by ex-head of recruitment Mislintat.He has often impressed when given cameos, though has featured just seven times in the Premier League and the Gunners are keen for him to get more consistent, regular game time elsewhere before returning to the club.January promises to be a busy window for Arsenal, who are also on the verge of loaning out both Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith-Rowe.MORE: Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang breaks silence after red card against Crystal PalaceMORE: Mikel Arteta plans to play Dani Ceballos in an advanced role for ArsenalMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Arsenal will loan out Mavropanos but still believe he has a big future (Picture: Getty)According to German publication Bild, Nurnberg have won the race to land the defender ahead of Werder Bremen, Dusseldorf and Hanover and he will have a medical and pen terms on Monday.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTInterestingly, Stuttgart also made an approach which would have been led by director of football Sven Mislintat, who previously worked for the Gunners and was responsible for signing Mavropanos back in 2018.The young defender’s move should be announced at the start of the week and he will then join up with Nurnberg’s squad in their warm-weather training camp in Marbella.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalAlthough Mavropanos has been allowed to leave the Emirates by Arteta, he is still well liked at the club and they rejected any suggestion of including a purchase option in the loan.Nurnberg sporting director Robert Palikuca revealed on Saturday that the club had agreed a ‘short-term agreement’ for a defensive player but did not want to name him until the deal had been signed off. Arsenal defender Konstantinos Mavropanos to have medical with FC Nurnberg ahead of loan movelast_img read more

Paul Merson backs Chelsea to win Premier League title in ‘next four years’ after Timo Werner agrees deal

first_img Comment Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 16 Jun 2020 9:39 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link10.6kShares Paul Merson backs Chelsea to win Premier League title in ‘next four years’ after Timo Werner agrees deal Paul Merson has hailed Chelsea’s decision to sign Timo Werner (Picture: Getty / Sky Sports)Paul Merson expects Chelsea to win the Premier League title in the ‘next four years’ after they agreed a deal to sign Germany striker Timo Werner.Chelsea have seen off competition from Premier League rivals Liverpool to secure a deal for Werner, with the RB Leipzig star set to sign a long-term contract at Stamford Bridge worth around £150,000-a-week.Werner has scored 92 goals in 156 appearances for Leipzig and Merson says his signing is a ‘game-changer’ for Chelsea, who are currently fourth in the Premier League.‘Signing Timo Werner shows Chelsea are back – and I’d be shocked if they don’t win the league in the next four years now,’ the Arsenal legend wrote in a column for Starsport.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘It’s a sign of what a great businessman Roman Abramovich is that he’s doing this now, when other clubs are going to be hit hard by the coronavirus.‘I think over the last few years he’s looked at it and wondered if there was any point to trying to compete with Manchester City and Liverpool.‘The way things were going it would have cost £400-500m just to get close to them. But he’s looked at what’s happening financially with the virus and thought: “This is the time.” Advertisement Frank Lampard is set to welcome Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech to Chelsea (Picture: Getty)‘He’s a winner. He wants Chelsea to be a threat again. And he’s realised if he spends now, they have a chance to close the gap. I think it’s clever.‘I think they will challenge now. I think they will close the gap. Abramovich believes they will be major challengers or he wouldn’t be spending the money.’As well as signing Werner, Chelsea are also set to welcome Morocco international Hakim Ziyech to Stamford Bridge this summer, and are now turning their attentions to Leicester City defender Ben Chilwell.Merson added: ‘This is a young Chelsea team as well. Werner is 24, Hakim Ziyech is 27. The young players who are already there will only get better.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘But Werner is a game changer. He’s a massive signing. If you look at the way Chelsea play, they like to break quickly – and he has got pace.‘With Werner, I think Chelsea become major players again, at just the right time. I’d be shocked if they don’t win the title in the next four years.’Lampard’s side travel to relegation-battlers Aston Villa on Sunday for their first game back following a lengthy break due to the coronavirus pandemic.Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page.MORE: Bayer Leverkusen chief opens door for Kai Havertz to leave club amid Chelsea linksMORE: Timo Werner gives up Champions League glory to speed up Chelsea transferlast_img read more