Fossils may provide tantalizing clues to human history, but they also lack some vital information, such as revealing which pieces of human DNA have been favored by evolution because they confer beneficial traits — resistance to infection or the ability to digest milk, for example. These signs can only be revealed through genetic studies of modern humans and other related species, though the task has proven difficult.Now, in a paper appearing in the Jan. 7 edition of Science Express, researchers describe a method for pinpointing these preferred regions within the human genome that offers greater precision and resolution than ever before, and the possibility of deeply understanding both our genetic past and present.“It’s clear that positive natural selection has been a critical force in shaping the human genome, but there are remarkably few examples that have been clearly identified,” said senior author Pardis Sabeti, an associate member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and an assistant professor of organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard University. “The method we’ve developed makes it possible to zero in on individual genes as well as the specific changes within them that are driving important evolutionary changes.”Positive natural selection is a process in which advantageous traits become more common in a population. That is because these traits boost an individual’s chances of survival and reproduction, so they are readily passed on to future generations. Identifying such traits — and the genes underlying them — is a cornerstone of current efforts to dissect the biological history of the human species as well as the diseases that threaten human health today.“In the human genome, positive natural selection leaves behind very distinctive signals,” said co-first author Sharon Grossman, a research assistant at Harvard University and the Broad Institute. Yet earlier methods for detecting these signals are limited, highlighting relatively large chunks of the genome that are hundreds of thousands to millions of genetic letters or “bases” in length, and that can contain many genes.Of the hundreds of these large genomic regions thought to be under positive natural selection in humans, only a handful have so far been winnowed to a precise genetic change.“Finding the specific genetic changes that are under selection can be like looking for a needle in a haystack,” said Grossman.Sabeti, Grossman, and their colleagues wondered if there might be a way to enhance this genomic search. Because existing methods for detecting natural selection individually measure distinct genomic features, the researchers predicted that an approach that combines them could yield even better results.After some initial simulations to test their new method, the research team applied it to more than 180 regions of the human genome that are thought to be under recent positive selection but where the specific gene or genetic variant under selection is unknown.The researchers’ method, called “Composite of Multiple Signals,” or CMS, enabled them to dramatically narrow the size of the candidate regions, reducing them from an average of eight genes per region to one. Moreover, the number of candidate genetic changes was reduced from thousands to just a handful, helping the researchers to tease out the needles from the haystack.“The list of genes and genetic loci we identified includes many intriguing candidates to follow up,” said co-first author Ilya Shlyakhter, a computational biologist at the Broad Institute and Harvard University. “For example, a number of genes identified are involved in metabolism, skin pigmentation, and the immune system.”In some cases, the researchers were able to identify a specific genetic change that is the likely focal point of natural selection. For example, a variation in a gene called protocadherin 15, which functions in sensory perception, including hearing and vision, appears to be under selection in some East Asian populations. Several other genes involved in sensory perception also appear to be under selection in Asia. In addition, the team uncovered strong evidence of selection in East Asians at a specific point within the leptin receptor gene, which is linked to blood pressure, body mass index, and other important metabolic functions.The researchers also localized signals to regions outside of genes, suggesting that they function not by altering gene structure per se, but by changing how certain genes are turned on and off.While the findings in the Science paper offer a deep glimpse of evolution’s handiwork, the researchers emphasize that further studies of individual genetic variations, involving experiments that explore how certain genetic changes influence biological function, are necessary to fully dissect the role of natural selection and its impact on human biology.“This method allows us to trace evolution’s footprints with a much finer level of granularity than before, but it’s one piece of a much larger puzzle,” said Sabeti. “As more data on human genetic variation becomes available in the coming years, an even more detailed evolutionary picture should emerge.”
As of this week, students with morning classes in DeBartolo Hall no longer need to get their coffee fix in another building and then rush across campus. A brand new Au Bon Pain coffee cart opened in the middle of DeBartolo Hall on Monday. The coffee cart, located next to the 101 DeBartolo auditorium in DeBartolo Hall, delivers on a campaign promise Alex Coccia and Nancy Joyce made during their 2013 election bid. The stand, known as the “DeBart Coffee Cart,” is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and offers both hot beverages and pastries to students and staff on their way to and from DeBartolo classes. Student Government partnered with Notre Dame Food Services to make the coffee cart a reality, student body president Alex Coccia said. Coccia said he appreciates the support from Food Services and other University departments. “Food Services has done a tremendous job putting together the coffee cart to ensure that it runs smoothly,” Coccia said. “We cannot thank them and John Affleck Graves’ entire office enough for their service to the students.” The manager of Au Bon Pain, Christina Ryan, said she was impressed with the success of the coffee cart so far. “[Tuesday] is only the second day that the cart has been open for business, and we have already doubled the number of students served. We served 171 yesterday, which was pretty amazing,” Ryan said. “As expected, we have been going through a lot of coffee, six gallons after only a couple of hours today.” Ryan also said students have voiced their appreciation and she hopes to add to the menu in the future to best serve students. “I’ve heard a lot of good feedback from students,” Ryan said. “We’re here for the students. Maybe next fall we’ll be able to offer more.” Coccia said the “DeBart Cart” is the result of a simple idea but has the potential to help a lot of people. “In our 2013 campaign, we promised to get hot caffeine in DeBartolo Hall,” Coccia said. “We proposed something simple but that would serve the needs of students who have multiple classes a day in DeBartolo and are stressed for time between them.” Student body vice president Nancy Joyce said any future changes or expansion of the coffee cart would be based on the student response. “This semester’s coffee cart is a pilot, which will be adjusted at the end of the semester to better suit the needs of students,” Joyce said.
For the past decade, demographers have predicted that the world would have to double its food supply by 2050 to feed the growing population.Progress is being made toward that goal, but scientists, farmers and policymakers still have a lot work to do to meet the goal of ensuring food security for the projected global population of 9 billion people.“Perhaps the single greatest challenge that our students will face is feeding a global population that is expected to exceed 9 billion people in a relatively short period of time,” said Sam Pardue, dean and director of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES). “It’s a goal that drives everything we do at CAES — from the plant breeders looking for more productive varieties to entomologists working on sustainable ways to protect crops — because it’s a goal we have to meet.CAES is convening leaders from academia, agriculture, global development nonprofits and government to discuss the roles that UGA and the state of Georgia will play in meeting this goal. The college’s inaugural Global Food Security Summit will be held on Nov. 8 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Georgia Museum of Art on the UGA campus.Rep. Sanford Bishop; Rep. Austin Scott; Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation; Scott Angle, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture; CAES-based U.S. Agency for International Development Feed the Future researchers Soraya Leal-Bertioli and Dave Hoisington, and many others, will discuss the importance of U.S. leadership in the fight against global hunger, highlighting advances in nutrition and agriculture made possible by UGA researchers.Students, faculty and community members who are interested in the future of food security should plan to attend. More information can be found at caes.uga.edu.
The day after Tropical Storm Irene struck Vermont and severely damaged more than 500 miles of state road and some 200 bridges, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) quickly learned that its usual method of conveying information about road and bridge closures via the Internet was not going to be adequate. A new tool was needed, and it was needed fast. Early the next day, the phone rang. Former Vermont State Senator Matt Dunne, who heads up Community Affairs for Google, was on the line. A resident of Windsor County, which was hit particularly hard by the storm, Dunne was reaching out to all states that were impacted by Irene to offer Google’s services ‘ free of charge. VTrans quickly accepted. Within hours of Dunne’s call, VTrans formed an in-house team of IT technicians and GIS mapping gurus to meet ‘ virtually, of course ‘ with Google staff in California. Working through the night, the joint high-tech team coordinated with VTrans’ scouts who were working in the field to identify the specific locations where highway damage had occurred. In the wee hours of the morning, the team developed and then created a GIS database of Vermont bridge closures and roadway damage. By the end of the next day ‘ just the third day following Irene’s devastating blow ‘ Google published the first of what would be many easy-to-use maps depicting real-time road and bridge damage throughout the entire State of Vermont. ‘Part of Google’s mission is to help communities in crisis with information tools,’ Dunne said. ‘We were happy to partner with the Vermont Agency of Transportation in the aftermath of the flooding. We hope this map was helpful to Vermonters in the months following Irene.’ Helpful is an understatement. The new map not only identified which roads ‘ such as Route 9 or Route 100 ‘ that were impacted, but the map was so detailed that it identified the specific locations along each road that were damaged. Each location was then color coded to help the traveling public understand whether that location was closed, or just limited in some capacity.As road conditions changed and once impassible sections were repaired, VTrans staff continually worked with Google to update the map, a new version of which was published twice daily to ensure travelers had virtually up-to-the-minute information on how to navigate the state. ‘The Vermont Google Map has been a tremendous help to Vermonters and visitors in the aftermath of Irene,’ said Vermont Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Megan Smith. ‘Roads and bridges around the state were repaired in a remarkably short period of time, and the map’s seamless and real-time updates greatly supported our message that Vermont is open for business and that you can get here from there. The updated map was especially helpful to staff at Vermont’s information centers, as well as to our 1-800-Vermont call center in Newport, whose staff counseled hundreds of travelers.’ The tool was so powerful and easy to use that VTrans quickly reworked its Internet homepage to prominently display the color-coded, traveler information tool. ‘The map was the tool we used to tell our story both to Vermonters and to those looking to visit Vermont,’ said VTrans Secretary Brian Searles. ‘Thousands of people used the map to help plan their travels during a time when it was not intuitive on how to get around. Considering the economic constraints that face all state agencies, we are most grateful to Google for providing us such a valuable service.’ The need for such a service, however, has ended. With all but two bridges and nine miles of state roadway open to public travel, VTrans today will cease publishing its Irene-related Google map. The agency beginning Friday, November 18, 2011 also will return the look and feel of its website’s homepage to the way it functioned before the tropical storm struck on August 28, 2011.Information regarding the remaining Irene-related road and bridge closures will be rolled into VTrans’ long-standing 511 travel information website, which also documents all other closures to the Vermont State Highway System. VTrans will continue to publish information related to Irene, including its popular Facebook page that provides timely information regarding Irene-related events. But beginning November 18, the agency will house Irene information in a designated place within its overall website at www.aot.state.vt.us(link is external) rather than presenting storm-related information as the centerpiece to the agency’s homepage. Tropical Storm Irene severely damaged more than 500 miles of state highway, including some 200 state bridges. Today, only 2 bridge locations remains closed, and all but nine miles of state roadway are open to public travel. Road closures remain on Route 12A in Roxbury, Route 106 in Weathersfield and Route 107 between Bethel and Stockbridge. Questions regarding storm-damaged roads and bridges related to Tropical Storm Irene can be answered by calling VTrans’ Irene Storm Center at 1-800-Vermont. People can also visit VTrans’ website at www.aot.state.vt.us(link is external) where they can follow the agency’s progress on both Facebook and Twitter. VTrans. 11.18.2011
By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo June 06, 2017 The Chilean Navy and the Acrux Foundation, a Chilean nonprofit that provides medical care in remote areas, conducted a joint operation in several communities from April 28th to 30th. The team of 76 physicians, assisted by nurses and technicians, treated nearly half of the people on waiting lists in the nation’s southern region. “This medical, surgical, and telemedicine initiative has reduced the waiting list in Chiloé by 47 percent. Currently, there are huge healthcare inequities; 1.8 million Chileans are waiting to be seen by a specialist,” Chilean Navy Reserve Lieutenant Commander Roberto Levín, executive director of the Acrux Foundation, told Diálogo. The service members ferried health specialists to the islands of Laitec, Mechuque, and Maulin, in the Chiloé Archipelago, on the patrol ship PSG-71 Micalvi, in order to aid people unable to afford medical care. Meanwhile, another team of specialists provided care at medical centers in the communities of Ancud, Castro, and Quellón, also in Chiloé, according to a press release published by the organization. “It was an enriching experience because we collaborated with those remote communities and hundreds of people were served,” Lieutenant Commander Mario Valenzuela, the captain of PSG-71 Micalvi, told Diálogo. The deployment of personnel, logistics, and equipment allowed for more than 4,000 free medical services to be provided, including consultations, surgeries, and other medical procedures in specialties such as cardiology, endoscopy, ophthalmology, gynecology, otorhinolaryngology, dermatology, traumatology, geriatrics, and neurology. An essential component “We could not have moved ahead with this mission without the help of the Navy. Its collaboration is vital,” Lt. Cmdr. Levín stated. The medical mission also had the support of the Ministry of Health, the regional government of Chiloé, the University of Concepción, and several private businesses. “It is greatly satisfying to be a part of [these] healthcare operations, and to be the nexus between entities seeking to aid the most vulnerable population in the region [of Chiloé], who have been waiting for medical evaluations for some time,” Captain Leonardo Chávez Alvear, director of communications for the Chilean Navy, told Diálogo. The Navy has the personnel, equipment, and infrastructure, as well as the capacity and the organization, to carry out a range of medical support actions. This mission is made possible thanks to several units, such as the ship LSDH-91 Sargento Aldea, also known as a floating hospital, which led the first humanitarian aid exercise in the region of Arica, in northern Chile in 2015. On that occasion, the Chilean Navy and the Acrux Foundation provided free healthcare to 10,000 people. They also worked together in the first Acrux 2015 healthcare operation in Chiloé. The cooperation effort between the Navy and the nonprofit began in 2005 with the signing of an agreement. Since that time, the institutions have carried out 67 operations of this kind, conducting 76,000 medical consultations in several regions of the country. In 2016, they worked together on seven healthcare missions that provided medical care to more than 10,000 patients. “The Acrux Foundation trains civilian physicians in the military culture so that surgeries can be performed aboard the ships,” Lt. Cmdr. Levín said. For its part, the Navy is carrying out a range of medical and dental support actions in the region. The patrol ship PMD-74 Cirujano Videla provides monthly medical and dental assistance in Chiloé and in the southern channels, as far as the Puerto Edén area. “In times of peace, the Armed Forces must be prepared to assist the civilian community. An example of that is the Chilean Army’s work with the foundation,” Lt. Cmdr. Valenzuela said. “The people feel a closer relationship to the Navy and they are grateful for the aid that it provides in bringing in naval doctors, former officers, and civilian physicians to participate in these kinds of activities.” A glance into the future In 2017 the institutions are scheduled to conduct five healthcare operations: two on Robinson Crusoe Island, one in Arica, another on Mocha and Santa María islands, and in December, in Natales, Porvenir, and Port Williams. Additionally, the civilian foundation plans to acquire a hospital ship with the support of the Navy to increase its medical care capacity. In addition, a virtual hospital is in the works. Through telemedicine, specialists can serve patients on an ongoing basis, contributing to a greater reduction in outpatient waiting lists.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York President Barack Obama gave his second inaugural address in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Jan. 21, 2012.Long Island played a supporting role in the presidential inauguration from offering musical talent before the big day to supplying celebratory libations afterward—plus local residents that went to Washington, D.C. for the occasion.Bedell Cellars winery in Cutchogue provided a 2009 Merlot for the 2013 Inaugural Luncheon on Monday. The Stony Brook School’s Chamber Singers sang a South African song called “Bonse Aba” during a pre-inauguration celebration Saturday. And countless Long Islanders braved the cold to watch President Barack Obama’s second inauguration live.“Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life,” Obama said from the steps of the Capitol Building. “It does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time—but it does require us to act in our time.”The president gave his second inaugural address Monday after a ceremonial oath. Chief Justice John Roberts had sworn Obama shortly before noon Jan. 20, as is legally required, but his swearing in ceremony was redone publicly Monday for the full day’s events, which coincided with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Whenever Inauguration Day falls on a Sunday, it is rescheduled for the following day.U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, said the caterers for the 2013 Inaugural Luncheon chose Bedell, the North Fork wine.“Serving Long Island’s own Bedell Cellars Merlot at the Inaugural luncheon shines a spotlight on one of New York’s world-class wine industry,” said Schumer. The senator was reportedly pushing for Long Island duck on the menu, but the Merlot will be served with bison instead.The 16-member Stony Brook School Chamber Singers had received an invitation to sing in an inauguration event at the National City Christian Church as well. They were among 40 ensembles invited to perform from across the country.In addition to LI residents who drove down to the nation’s capital on their own, some organized bus trips, including an NAACP-chartered coach to D.C. from Lakeview that left early Monday morning destined for the National Mall.Comparing the Founding Fathers to the partisan gridlock in today’s Congress were dominant themes woven throughout Obama’s speech as he nudged the Republican majority that has blocked his legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.“Decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay,” the president said. “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and 40 years, and 400 years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.”
While Mr. Obama was swept in with a clear majority of the popular vote, Mr. Biden, who served two terms as his vice president, is on track for a narrower margin in the nationwide results, reflecting a more divided electorate, said Rogers Smith, a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania“This was an extraordinary election that appears to have spurred one of the highest turnouts in a century,” he said. “That means that both candidates are going to receive larger vote totals than they would have in the past.” – Advertisement – While the outcome of the presidential race remains undecided, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has notched one clear milestone: He has collected more votes than his old boss Barack Obama did in 2008, to set a new record for the popular vote.Powered by the enormous turnout, Mr. Biden has received more than 71 million votes, and still counting, nationwide, exceeding the 69,498,516 collected by Mr. Obama in another year with enormous voter enthusiasm that held the record until this year.- Advertisement – This means that Mr. Obama received the votes of a greater percentage of Americans — about 23 percent, to Mr. Biden’s 22 percent. Mr. Obama also drew a higher percentage of the country’s registered voters, 48 percent to Mr. Biden’s 45 percent.- Advertisement – Democrats are likely to point to the vote total as evidence that they continue to represent the majority of the country in presidential elections. They have won the popular vote in every presidential election since 2000 with the exception of 2004.But there are some caveats: The population of the country has grown since 2008 from 304 million to more than 330 million people in 2020.
In cooperation with the Nigerian agriculture ministry, the FAO will study the incidence, spread, and impact of H5N1 avian flu in the hope of eradicating it in Nigeria, according to the report. Low-pathogenic flu viruses are common in wild birds and typically cause only minor illness or none. Federal officials reported finding the mild “North American strain” of H5N1 in some Maryland ducks and Michigan swans in August. Montana wildlife officials said the samples were collected Sep 15 at Benton Lake, near Great Falls, during routine research on the movements of migratory birds, according to an Associated Press report. In other avian flu news, the World Bank today announced a $13 million grant to minimize the threat to humans from avian flu in the West Bank and Gaza strip. The disease struck poultry at eight sites in Gaza last April. “These grants will assist the PA [Palestinian Authority] to improve their readiness and protect their citizens from a potentially devastating outbreak as the [bird] migration season is around the corner,” Arif Zulfiqar of the World Bank said in a news release. Confirmatory testing in Ames will identify the virus subtypes and their level of pathogenicity, the agencies said. The testing should be completed in 2 to 3 weeks. He said the United States also is training first responders in how to use protective equipment, collect and ship samples, detect disease, and provide emergency response. The money includes $3 million from the World Bank’s Avian and Human Influenza Facility, a multidonor financing mechanism, and $10 million from the bank’s own resources, officials said. Viruses containing H5 and N1 surface proteins (hemagglutinin and neuraminidase) were found in samples from healthy northern pintail ducks in west-central Montana’s Cascade County, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of the Interior said in a news release. Sep 22, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Wild ducks in Montana were found to be carrying what may be an H5N1 avian influenza virus, but not the lethal Asian strain of H5N1, US officials announced yesterday. USAID has sent 93,000 personal protective equipment kits to 66 countries this year and is building a stockpile of 1.5 million protective kits, 100 lab kits, and $15,000 decontamination kits for use by surveillance and outbreak-response workers, Tobias said. “Initial tests confirm that these samples do not contain the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain that has spread through birds in Asia, Europe and Africa,” the statement said. A Colorado State University laboratory tested 66 samples taken from the ducks and sent 16 samples on to the USDA’s national laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for further testing. One of 16 samples tested positive for both H5 and N1, but that doesn’t necessarily mean an H5N1 virus is present, officials said. It could point to two different viruses, one containing H5 and another containing N1. Sep 22 World Bank announcement USDA-DOI news release on avian flu in Montana ducks Avian flu first cropped up in Nigeria last February and has since been found in about 13 states and the capital city, the story said. The FAO study will cost $667,000 and will be funded by the EU. In other developments, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have launched a study of avian flu in Nigeria, according to an Agence France-Presse report yesterday. See also: Also yesterday, Randall L. Tobias, head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), said the US has provided a total of $191 million in foreign aid to combat avian flu. Northern pintail ducks are among hunted species, but there is no known health risk to hunters or hunting dogs from contact with low-pathogenic avian flu viruses, federal officials said.
The dining and living room at 33 Numbat St, North Lakes.The living areas are open plan including the lounge area, dining and rumpus room. There is also a separate formal lounge room.The home has ducted airconditioning, ducted vacuum and there are ceiling fans throughout as well as high ceilings and plantation shutters.The fully fenced yard is 640 sqm and the home is within walking distance of schools. There is easy access to the Bruce Highway, Westfield North Lakes, Ikea, Bunnings and the North Lakes Bus Terminal. The home at 33 Numbat St, North Lakes.BARRIE Titheridge and his wife Yanming Wang bought their home at 33 Numbat St, North Lakes, three years ago.Mr Titheridge said it was an existing house and the size really appealed to them.“It is a very large house on a large block which is unusual for North Lakes,” he said.He said it had four bedrooms, a large entertainment area and media room, and ticked all their boxes.“And it is tiled throughout, which certainly was a plus,’’ he said. “I really like the rumpus room; it is so airy and spacious and the large triple-fold doors open out onto the balcony.’’Mr Titheridge said the home was a bit big for them now and they were downsizing to an apartment at Kangaroo Point. More from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019The kitchen at 33 Numbat St, North Lakes.He said the thing he liked about North Lakes was there were so many facilities.He said there was also a really good golf course in the area.“It (the house) would be a great place to raise a large family, plenty of room,’’ he said.The main bedroom has a large walk-in wardrobe as well as an ensuite which has a stone vanity, his and hers basins and a double-size shower.There is a study nook and the kitchen has stone benchtops, and plenty of bench and storage space. The floorplan of 33 Numbat St, North Lakes.
The 4 GW IJmuiden Ver zone is one of the three areas identified by the Dutch Offshore Wind Energy Roadmap 2030. TenneT will install two 2 GW direct current connections at the wind farm zone to transfer electricity generated by IJmuiden Ver offshore wind farms to land. The deadline for submitting bids is midnight on 13 October, with the contract(s) coming into effect on 3 December. As announced in July, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), has now issued an invitation to tender for geotechnical soil investigations at the IJmuiden Ver Wind Farm Zone (IJVWFZ), located some 62 kilometres off the Dutch coast. The Dutch government will issue two tenders for the permits to develop the zone. In 2023, developers will bid for IJmuiden Ver I and II sites, and in 2025 for IJmuiden Ver III and IV. The tender is divided into two lots, one to be awarded for seabed Core Penetration Testing (CPT) and the other one for a borehole campaign.