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Epigenetics in the News

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first_imgEpigenetics has gone mainstream. Processes “above” genetics are showing to have more control over life than previously thought.The science of epigenetics burst the dam of the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology, the view that DNA is a “master molecule” over genetics. This 1960’s-era dogma claimed that information flows down from DNA to protein, not the other way around. Epigenetics (“above genetics”) is now acknowledged as a contradiction to the Central Dogma. Evolutionary explanations that fail to take this into account risk being badly skewed, if not incorrect. There’s no longer just a genetic code in DNA; there are epigenetic codes, membrane codes, molecular machine codes, histone codes, splicing codes and numerous other sources of information flowing in all directions. The information in these codes is often heritable. A cell is now seen as a system of codes and regulators that operate on the DNA library. Here are some news articles about epigenetics.Functions and mechanisms of epigenetic inheritance in animals (Nature Reviews Molecular Biology). Knowledge of epigenetic processes has been percolating up the scale of organismal complexity. It is showing up in more and more higher organisms.The idea that epigenetic determinants such as DNA methylation, histone modifications or RNA can be passed to the next generation through meiotic products (gametes) is long standing. Such meiotic epigenetic inheritance (MEI) is fairly common in yeast, plants and nematodes, but its extent in mammals has been much debated. Advances in genomics techniques are now driving the profiling of germline and zygotic epigenomes, thereby improving our understanding of MEI in diverse species. Whereas the role of DNA methylation in MEI remains unclear, insights from genome-wide studies suggest that a previously underappreciated fraction of mammalian genomes bypass epigenetic reprogramming during development. Notably, intergenerational inheritance of histone modifications, tRNA fragments and microRNAs can affect gene regulation in the offspring.Introns are mediators of cell response to starvation (Nature). The reasons for those mysterious introns—non-coding stretches within genes that need to be cut out by spliceosomes before messenger RNAs (mRNA) can be send out of the nucleus to the ribosome for protein assembly—have been slowly coming into focus. No longer part of “junk DNA” from our evolutionary past, introns are being seen as functional. In at least one case, they appear to regulate the level of protein production during stress. The authors explain:A systematic deletion set of all known introns in budding yeast genes indicates that, in most cases, cells with an intron deletion are impaired when nutrients are depleted. This effect of introns on growth is not linked to the expression of the host gene, and was reproduced even when translation of the host mRNA was blocked. Transcriptomic and genetic analyses indicate that introns promote resistance to starvation by enhancing the repression of ribosomal protein genes that are downstream of the nutrient-sensing TORC1 and PKA pathways. Our results reveal functions of introns that may help to explain their evolutionary preservation in genes, and uncover regulatory mechanisms of cell adaptations to starvation.The intelligent design community is viewing this as confirmation of a prediction that introns are functional and beneficial (Evolution News & Science Today). Notice that “their evolutionary preservation in genes” commits circular reasoning in thinking that they evolved in the first place.Epigenetics: what impact does it have on our psychology? (The Conversation) Here’s where epigenetics gets down and close to us individually. Kevin Mitchell, Associate Professor of Genetics and Neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin, begins:In the battle of nature versus nurture, nurture has a new recruit: epigenetics – brought in from molecular biology to give scientific heft to the argument that genes are not destiny. The overwhelming evidence for genetic effects on our psychological traits conjures up a fatalistic vision for many people, one in which we are slaves to our biology, not in control of our own psyche and our own behaviour. Epigenetics, a mechanism for regulating gene expression, seems to offer an escape from genetic determinism, a means to transcend our innate predispositions and change who we are.Research reveals gene regulation can be digital and stochastic (Science Daily). This article likens the genome to hardware, and the epigenome to software. It also likens the epigenome to a thermostat. The digital part is the program that switches a gene on under specified conditions. The stochastic (random) part is the probability that a switch will throw when the condition is reached; the stronger the condition, the higher the likelihood of response. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health take epigenetics seriously. Their discussion sounds much more like intelligent design than evolution:Every cell in our body has the same set of genes, or genome, and can potentially become any type of cell. During development, the epigenome mediates the process that leads a cell to become a skin cell or a neuron, for instance. If the genome is like computer hardware, then the epigenome is the software that turns certain genes on and others off to give rise to a skin cell, and turns other genes on or off to set the cell on a path toward becoming a neuron.Epigenetics and DarwinismInterestingly, none of these papers or articles have much to say about evolution, or about how epigenomics will effect views on Darwinian processes. The second article in Nature about introns merely suggests that their ability to regulate metabolism during stress might be advantageous, without specifying how, when, or why:We argue from these data that, in nature, being able to control cell metabolism as a function of nutrient availability represents a major evolutionary advantage that may well compensate for the losses in growth rate in nutrient-rich environments.Why must it be an “evolutionary advantage” instead of a designed advantage? A good designer would allow for possible fluctuations in resources. Power circuits, for instance, have built-in switching networks to prevent damage during spikes, surges and brown-outs. Inherent in the quote is an assumption that anything that exists and survives must have been a consequence of the Stuff Happens Law (natural selection) acting on chance mutations. They give all the credit to chance! CEH is like the spliceosome taking the word evolutionary out of secular jargon so as to create useful, clear explanations.As for nature vs nurture, that is a false dichotomy. Both are stochastic and deterministic, leaving us at the mercy of either heredity or environment. Mitchell says, “We can still control our behaviour. We can work to overrule and reshape our habits. We can to some degree transcend our own subconscious inclinations.” Who is speaking? When he says that, he imports something beyond nature and nurture into his equation: Free will. Choice. Responsibility. Those indeed transcend the stale worldview of the physicalist. To think otherwise undermines his own words. Did he choose to write about epigenetics and psychology? Did he transcend his own nature and nurture to do so? Surely nature and nurture influenced his words, but they did not determine them. He chose his thoughts. Then he used his nature (fingers) and nurture (education) to state them in his own unique way. We do that, too. We cannot claim to be victims of our genetics or environment. We are responsible for our thoughts and actions. (Visited 666 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Disaster Aid Questioned

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Chris ClaytonDTN Ag Policy EditorWASHINGTON (DTN) — House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson said Tuesday he sees the need to help farmers with losses in grain bins from Midwest floods. But he said the notion $3 billion is needed for Midwest disaster aid is “baloney.”Peterson, D-Minn., met Tuesday with members of the North American Agricultural Journalists and spoke about several topics. On disaster aid, Peterson said inserting Midwest aid into a current disaster bill in the Senate could potentially hold up needed aid for Southern farmers whose farms were hit hard by hurricanes last year.“The Southerners need this,” Peterson said. “They have a lot of crops that don’t traditionally get into crop insurance that were damaged during a tough time in the cycle. Pecan trees and peaches and so forth that are not in the normal farm-program disaster deal. So they need this $3 billion deal they have been working on for the South.”Now, the Midwest flooding has come into play. “That’s getting tangled up with this because people are playing politics with it and making it sound like the government’s got to come in with a big disaster deal and save people,” Peterson said.The states of Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and Missouri were hit by a powerful storm in mid-March that caused rapid flooding of several rivers that are tributaries to the Missouri River. Dozens of communities were flooded in those states, causing extensive damage to roads, bridges and levees. Both livestock and grain farmers suffered major financial losses.Now a similar storm, dubbed “bomb cyclones,” is expected to again develop in the Rockies and turn into a blizzard and heavy rains across Plains states and the Midwest. The storm will bring snow, rain and high winds across several states. Beyond hitting those areas already hit by floods, the latest cycle of storms will likely further delay fieldwork and spring planting.Midwest lawmakers have pushed to include disaster aid for floods into legislation in the U.S. Senate.For farmers hit by those storms and floods, Peterson said the 2018 farm bill deals with most of their needs already.“The truth is, for farmers, everything that was damaged was covered in the farm bill,” Peterson said. “Ninety-eight percent of those people have crop insurance. We have the Livestock Indemnity Program. We have the Livestock Forage Program. We have all of these other programs that kick in now that we didn’t used to have.”The congressman did note that farmers who lost crops in grain bins should be eligible for an indemnity payment and Congress should work to make that happen.“The only thing that’s not covered is this grain that was damaged,” Peterson said. “And we have more grain being stored now than we’ve ever had because of these low prices and these tariffs.”Peterson added, “I think we can do a one-time thing to try to help people with that. But one thing that should come in here is you could have bought insurance. So this is something that is going to come up, but you could have bought insurance.”But Peterson said of the notion of spending $3 billion in disaster aid for the Midwest, “That’s a bunch of baloney.”Nebraska and Iowa officials have pegged disaster losses from infrastructure and agriculture at around $1.5 billion in each state. Missouri officials have not detailed the total losses.Peterson added that farmers who lost grain in bins likely could have bought a property and casualty insurance policy for stored grain, though he noted it would likely have been expensive to purchase. Farmers who lost crops have repeatedly also expressed worry that they will have to rely on prevented planting insurance on their fields, and prevented planting indemnities may only cover a small portion of their lost income from 2019.Bill Northey, USDA’s undersecretary for farm production and conservation, told reporters Monday that Congress is looking at a disaster bill to allow some coverage for those grain losses, though it’s unclear just how that disaster coverage will look.“We don’t have anything in our programs now,” Northey said.To help with the Midwest disaster, the Emergency Conservation Program and programs like it probably need more funding, Peterson said. “The rest of it is in the farm bill, and that’s something a lot of people don’t understand.”In the South, Peterson said, hurricanes hit right before the pecan harvest, and there are farmers who lost 70% to 80% of their trees. Those farmers will take years to reestablish their orchards, he said.“Now you have got people saying, ‘Well, unless we do something for Iowa, we can’t do anything for these other people.’ In the South, you have got a lot of people who are going to go out of business because there’s no help for them and they are supposed to be planting right now. You are going to see a lot of these farmers go out of business.”Peterson suggested Congress should finish legislation with Southern disaster aid separately, then work on a program for stored grain losses in the Midwest.“I’m for it, but I don’t want to hold up the Southern disaster aid for three months while we’re fighting over this Midwest thing,” he said. “And some of it is not even real. Some people are making it seem like we’re not doing anything for Midwest farmers. Everything is covered except for this grain bin thing. The rest of it is covered by the farm bill.”In the Red River Valley, where Peterson noted there is often flooding, he got the Natural Resources Conservation Service director in 2009 to fund ring dikes around farms in the valley. “So we don’t flood anymore and the grain bins are protected, along with the house,” Peterson said.It’s common that anytime there is a disaster bill, another disaster strikes, said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan.“Anytime you do a disaster program and you try to address the problems of each state or each crop or each region, then you have another disaster or area that has been affected, as well, and there are hard feelings in terms of ‘Wait a minute, we’re not being covered by that bill,’” Roberts said.Before the Midwest floods hit, the disaster package moving through Congress primarily was meant to help farmers and businesses in Georgia, Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico that were hit by hurricanes, as well as funding for recovery from wildfires in California. The disaster package got held up in the Senate because Democrats still want more aid for Puerto Rico and Senate Republicans are resisting that funding.Roberts added, “Time is of the essence, and we have to get it done.”The Army Corps of Engineers is holding meetings this week about flood risks in major communities along the Missouri River, including meetings in Fort Pierre, South Dakota; and Sioux City, Iowa; on Wednesday, as well as Smithville, Missouri; and Nebraska City, Nebraska, on Thursday. For more information about the meetings, visit http://www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/….State officials have said they want more control over flood protection along the Missouri River. The United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is planning to hold a field hearing from 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, April 17, in Glenwood, Iowa. The hearing will focus on Missouri River management and the current flooding situation in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska.Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.comFollow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN(AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Cloud Poll: How Disruptive Is Cloud Foundry to the Platform Market?

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first_imgVMware surprised a lot of people this past week with the unveiling of Cloud Foundry. Shrouded in secrecy, the announcement left competitors a bit flat footed as they soaked in the news.It’s a significant development. Cloud Foundry has the potential to disrupt the platform market. Why? If nothing else, the price is right. You can download the software and set up your own cloud platform if you like. Plus, it’s not a lock-in like you see with most platforms.CloudBzz frames the issue this way:But PaaS before this week meant lock-in. Developers, and the people who pay them, don’t like to be locked into specific vendor solutions. If you write for Azure, the fear (warranted or not) is that you can only run on Azure. Given that Microsoft has totally fumbled the opportunity to make Azure a partner-centric platform play, that means you need to run your Azure apps on Microsoft’s cloud. Force.com is even worse – with it’s own language, data model, etc. there’s not even the chance that you can run your code elsewhere without major rework. Force.com got traction primarily for people building extensions to Salesforce’s SFA and CRM offerings – though some people did do more with it. VMforce (Spring on Force.com) was supposed to change the openness issue by providing a framework for any Java apps to run. Google AppEngine is also proprietary in many respects, and when it launched with just a single language (Python!), a lot of developers shrugged. Even the proprietary PaaS components of AWS have been a problem. I could not get my developers to use SimpleDB back in 2008 because, as the rightly pointed out, we’d be stuck if we wanted to move off of EC2 at some point.It’s fair to say that many believe VMware has created something that is open and viable for the enterprise. It allows for the flexibilities that developers demand but has the controls in place to satisfy the enterprise guards.What does Cloud Foundry represent? Do you think it will it be a disruptive force in the market? alex williams 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Tags:#cloud#cloud computing Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts last_img read more

2015 Defence Nationals

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first_imgDefence Teams from across the country will travel to Newcastle this week to take part in the 2015 Australian Defence Force Touch Association National Championships.15 teams, across Men’s, Women’s and Senior Divisions will be competing for the title of National Champions, to be decided on Thursday – October 8th at Lakeside Sports Complex. Regions represented include: »         North Queensland»         South Queensland»         ACT/Country»         Sydney Metro»         Northern TerritoryPlayers will not only be aiming to take out the Championship CB, but also vying for positions on the Defence National Sides who will compete in the 2016 Harvey Norman National Touch League. With ACT/Country looking to defend their title as the Championship CB.Round games tap off this afternoon, with the finals taking place on Thursday. »         Mens 40’s Grand Final – 10:40am»         Mens 30’s Grand Final – 11:40am»         Womens Open Grand Final – 1:00pm»         Mens Open Final 2:00pmTo keep up to date with all the results and ladders, head to: www.defence.mytouchfooty.com. Related LinksDefence Nationalslast_img read more

9 months agoSancho urges Hudson-Odoi to think carefully about Chelsea split

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first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Sancho urges Hudson-Odoi to think carefully about Chelsea splitby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBorussia Dortmund whiz Jadon Sancho has urged Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi to do what he feels best.Hudson-Odoi is now keen to follow Sancho to Germany with Bayern Munich tabling a £35million offer for the 18-year-old Chelsea starlet.Sancho told the Daily Mail: “Everyone has different pathways. Me and Callum are close friends. I know what he’s all about.”He’s the next one I would say. He’s very good and talented, fast, good dribbling skills.”And I’ve told him the Bundesliga is a nice league. I just told him to do whatever is best for him.” last_img read more

Texas Commit Cecil Cherry Shows Off Congratulatory Longhorn Cake

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first_imgA general view of Texas Longhorns fans during a game.AUSTIN, TX – SEPTEMBER 22: A general view taken during the game between the Texas Longhorns and the Rice Owls on September 22, 2007 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. Texas won 58-14. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)Texas lost a commitment from four-star Miami (Fla.) athlete Tim Irvin over the weekend, but it looks like the Longhorn faithful has nothing to worry about in the case of Lakeland (Fla.) linebacker commit Cecil Cherry, a four-star prospect according to Rivals.After an in-home visit with Texas head coach Charlie Strong and linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary last night, Cherry tweeted a picture of his Longhorn loyalty in the form of a cake, presumably made for him by his family.Hook em pic.twitter.com/EJintsuUqj— Cecil Cherry (@cecil__cherry3) January 20, 2015Goodmorning LONGHORNS FANS I had a great home visit and my fam love coach strong HOOK EM pic.twitter.com/HUndWZ1WSU— Cecil Cherry (@cecil__cherry3) January 20, 2015Cherry is one of 18 current verbal commitments for the Longhorns, who finished 6-7 in Strong’s first season, including a 31-7 loss to Arkansas in the AdvoCareV100 Texas Bowl. National Signing Day 2015 is set for Wednesday, February 4.last_img read more

Bale picks up another muscular injury with Real Madrid

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first_imgIn a new bad development for Gareth Bale’s physical condition, the Welsh forward picked up a brand new muscular injury during the Madrid Derby.There are three certainties in life, one is death, the other one is that you can’t avoid paying taxes, and the last one if that Gareth Bale will get a muscular injury for Real Madrid at least two or three times during the season. It had been too long since the Welshman had picked up a new injury given the awful track record that he has, this was one of the main reasons why Zinedine Zidane never really trusted him in big matches because we never knew when he would suffer a new muscular problem, only that he was going to get on for sure.It’s a real shame that Bale has this horrible stigma that he has to deal with throughout his whole career, but players with his speed characteristics usually can’t avoid this fate and need a specific method of preparation to get the least injuries they can during a whole year. Other great players in recent memory have suffered this as well, Real Madrid even had Arjen Robben in the past and they ultimately decided to sell him because it was just too much to handle.But Bale’s situation is a lot different compared to the Dutchman because he has always been fit for big occasions, Gareth Bale has delivered great performances in Champions League finals and during the final stages of the season in spite of his predisposition to get injured so often.🙌🔥⚽ #RMDERBI pic.twitter.com/2RlPnb6gyw— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) September 29, 2018But the Welshman must know that by this point in his career, the Real Madrid board must be quite tired of always getting bad news from him and he can’t really afford to get injured that often now because Ronaldo is no longer in the club. The man who is supposed to be the top player in the squad is now him, so this new injury he just picked up during the Madrid Derby against Atletico must have hit him hard.This new setback is just another bad score on his long history with muscular problems, this time it was an adductor problem what kept Gareth Bale from coming back to the pitch after halftime and Spaniard Dani Ceballos took his place on the field right after. There is still no confirmation about how grave the problem is, all we know by now is that his participation in next week’s Champions League against CSKA Moscow and La Liga match against Deportivo Alaves are a certain miss for him.After those two matches, all football in Europe will go on hiatus due to the last international break of 2018 and this should be a great time for the player to recover in order to help his squad compete for all the trophies during the last three months of the year.🔁 | 0-0 | We made our first change at the break with @DaniCeballos46 coming on for @GarethBale11. #RMDerbi pic.twitter.com/9ebT2R1qPWDavid Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) September 29, 2018But Bale’s problems go beyond just a new injury, as during the match there was a loud jeer from the fans who kept yelling Ronaldo’s name and sent the Welshman a clear message that he is far from being considered the club’s most important player right now. It’s unclear if Gareth will be able to withstand so much pressure that keeps mounting on him, it must suck for him to imagine how many goals he would have scored by now if he hadn’t fallen injured that many times in the past with Los Blancos.Also, Florentino Perez needed a day like this Saturday to realize that he urgently needs to sign a major star player who doesn’t get injured that often and can be as reliable as Cristiano Ronaldo was during the nine seasons he played for the club. While Gareth Bale was suffering a new injury for Real Madrid, Cris was far away in Italy destroying defenders in Serie A and reminding everyone how much Los Blancos are missing him right about now.Even if they won’t admit it, losing Cristiano Ronaldo is the biggest blow that a club like Real Madrid could’ve gotten for the start of this new season, especially knowing that players like Bale simply can’t live up to the challenge. Poor Gareth, how long can he take this pressure?Full focus on el derbi madrileño at the Bernabeu. Let’s bring it on! 👟💪#X18 #HalaMadrid #HereToCreate pic.twitter.com/OBtraOJFu9— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) September 28, 2018How many more muscular injuries do you think Gareth Bale will pick up during the season for Real Madrid? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

Investigation underway into fatal officerinvolved shooting outside Kohls in Oceanside

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Borough Extends Emergency Declaration For Local Wildfires

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first_imgAccording to the resolution, the declaration seeks state assistance as the borough has expended significant resources relating to the response to these fires in coordinating with the State of Alaska. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly held a special meeting on Thursday in order to introduce a resolution aiming to extend the ’emergency declaration’ for local wildfires burning on the peninsula. Currently, the Swan Lake and Caribou Lake fires are not yet contained and require the ongoing use of borough resources, it is appropriate to extend the disaster declaration, according to the resolution. Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce issued a declaration of disaster emergency on August 21, related to the Swan Lake fire now near Cooper Landing, the North Fork fire near Homer, and the Caribou Lake Fire near East End Road.center_img The resolution to extend the disaster declaration, which was only in effect until August 28, was passed unanimously by the assembly and is now extended for 45 more days. The resolution was adopted without any discussion from the assembly.last_img read more

Digital Storms latest custom gaming desktops are a sight to see

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