Category: octvpcjc

Institute of Politics celebrates spring open house

first_img Read Full Story Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP) kicked off the spring 2016 semester with its biannual open house event. Undergraduates filled the halls of the JFK Jr. Forum at Harvard Kennedy School, looking to register for programming and catch a preview of the year to come.Students were greeted with patriotic decorations and tri-fold project boards, which detailed the finer points on all 14 IOP programs. IOP Student Advisory Committee (SAC) members, with red, white, and blue flair in stock, engaged the crowd, making pitches and sharing their enthusiasm for the new term. On a secondary stage toward the back of the hall, selfies were snapped with cardboard cutouts of every 2016 presidential candidate.In her opening remarks to the student body, IOP Director Maggie Williams said, “You do not have to be a government concentrator to feel at home at the IOP.” She went on to say, “Current IOP participants and alums span the range of concentrations – from music to mathematics; from pre-med to philosophy.” Invoking the mission of the institute, Williams closed by saying, “The IOP is a gift to you. It is a gift to everyone interested in politics.”last_img read more

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A step forward in DNA base editing

first_img <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DoFALYv7X4″ rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/-DoFALYv7X4/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Rwft3tairE” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/4Rwft3tairE/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> The road that led to the adenine base editor required more than just evolving the starting material. After a year of work and several initial attempts that resulted in no detectable DNA editing of A•T base pairs, the team began to see the first glimmers of success, Liu said. Following three rounds of evolution and engineering, the adenine base editors were working deceptively well, until the team discovered that the system would only work on certain DNA sequences.“At that point we could have pulled the trigger and reported a base editor that works well only at certain sites, but we thought the sequence requirements would really limit its usefulness and discourage others from moving the project forward, so we went back to the well of evolution. We changed the selections to force a base editor that would process all sites, regardless of their sequence,” Liu said. “That was a tough call, because at that point we had been working well over a year on the project, and it was very exciting that we were seeing any base editing on A•T base pairs in DNA at all.”The team restarted its efforts with several additional rounds of evolution and engineering, now testing their adenine base editors against 17 genetic sequences that included all possible combinations of DNA bases surrounding the target A, Liu said. The final ABE7.10 variant edited sites with an average efficiency of 53 percent, and produced virtually no unwanted products.To demonstrate the adenine base editor’s potential, Liu and colleagues used ABE7.10 to correct a mutation that causes hereditary hemochromatosis in human cells. They also used ABE7.10 to install a mutation in human cells that suppresses a disease, recreating the so-called “British mutation” found in healthy individuals who would normally develop blood diseases like sickle cell anemia. The mutation instead causes fetal hemoglobin genes to remain active after birth, protecting them from the blood diseases.While the development of the adenine base editor is an exciting development in base editing, more work remains before base editing can be used to treat patients with genetic diseases, including tests of safety, efficacy, and side effects.“Creating a machine that makes the genetic change you need to treat a disease is an important step forward, but it’s only one part of what’s needed to treat a patient,” Liu said. “We still have to deliver that machine, we have to test its safety, we have to assess its beneficial effects in animals and patients and weigh them against any side effects. We need to do many more things. But having the machine is a good start.” Scientists at Harvard University and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have developed a new class of DNA base editor that can alter genomic structure to help repair the type of mutations that account for half of human disease-associated point mutations. These mutations are associated with disorders ranging from genetic blindness to sickle-cell anemia to metabolic disorders to cystic fibrosis.A team of researchers led by David Liu, professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University and a core institute member of the Broad, developed an adenine base editor (ABE) capable of rearranging the atoms in a target adenine (A), one of the four bases that make up DNA, to resemble guanine (G) instead, and then tricking cells into fixing the other DNA strand to make the change permanent. The result is that what had been an A•T base pair is changed to a G•C base pair. The new system is described in a paper published online today in the journal Nature. In addition to Liu, the study was led by Nicole Gaudelli, a postdoctoral fellow in Liu’s lab; Alexis Komor, a former postdoctoral fellow in Liu’s lab who is now an assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego; graduate student Holly Rees; and former postdoctoral fellows Ahmed H. Badran and David I. Bryson.The new system transforms A•T base pairs into G•C base pairs at a target position in the genome of living cells with surprising efficiency, the researchers said, often exceeding 50 percent, with virtually no detectable byproducts such as random insertions, deletions, translocations, or other base-to-base conversions. The adenine base editor can be programmed by researchers to target a specific base pair in a genome using a guide RNA and a modified form of CRISPR-Cas9 that no longer cuts double-stranded DNA.Being able to make this type of conversion is particularly important because approximately half of the 32,000 disease-associated point mutations already identified by researchers are a change from a G•C base pair to a A•T base pair.Liu said that particular change is unusually common in part because about 300 times a day in every human cell, a spontaneous chemical reaction converts a cytosine (C) base into uracil (U), which behaves like thymine (T). While there are natural cellular repair mechanisms to fix that spontaneous change, the machinery is not perfect and occasionally fails to make the repair. The result can be the mutation of the G•C base pair to an A•U or A•T base pair, which can lead to certain genetic diseases.First authors Holly Rees (left), David Liu, and Nicole Gaudell. Photo by Casey Atkins“Because of this slight chemical instability of the Cs in our genome, about 50 percent of pathogenic point mutations in humans are of the type G•C to A•T,” said Liu said. “What we’ve developed is a base editor, a molecular machine, that in a programmable, irreversible, efficient, and extremely clean way can correct these mutations in the genome of living cells. For some target sites, that conversion reverses the mutation that is associated with a particular disease.”A major addition to genome-editing technologies, the adenine base editor joins other base-editing systems recently developed in Liu’s lab, such as BE3 and its improved variant, BE4. Using these base editors, researchers can now correct all the so-called “transition” mutations — C to T, T to C, A to G, or G to A — that together account for almost two-thirds of all disease-causing point mutations, including many that cause serious illnesses that currently have no treatment. Additional research is needed to enable the adenine base editor to target as much of the genome as possible, as Liu and his students previously did through engineering variants of BE3.At first glance, Liu said, it might appear as though developing the adenine base editor would be a straightforward process: Simply replace the enzyme in BE3 that performs the “chemical surgery” to transform C into U with one that could convert A into I (inosine), a nucleotide that behaves similarly to G. Unfortunately, he said, there is no such enzyme that works in DNA, so Liu and colleagues made the unusual choice to evolve their own DNA adenine deaminase, a hypothetical enzyme that would convert A to I in DNA.“This wasn’t a small decision, because we’ve had a longstanding rule in the lab that if step one of your project is to evolve the starting material that’s needed for the rest of the project to begin, that’s not a very good project, because it’s really two major projects,” Liu said. “And if you have to spend years just to get the starting material for the rest of your project, that’s a tough road.“In this case, we felt the potential impact was significant enough to break the rule, and I’m very fortunate that Nicole [Gaudelli] was brave enough to take on the challenge.”The stakes were particularly high for Gaudelli, Liu said, “because if we weren’t able to complete step one and evolve a DNA adenine deaminase, then step two wouldn’t go anywhere, and we would have little to show for all the work.”“Protein evolution is still largely an art as much as it is a science,” Liu said. “But Nicole has amazing instincts about how to interpret the results from each stage of protein evolution, and after seven generations of evolution, she succeeded in evolving a high-performance A base editor, which we call ABE7.10.”last_img read more

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Project aims to connect ND with local music scene

first_imgA benefit concert on Friday will kick off The Bridge Project, a new initiative to increase connections between members of the Notre Dame and South Bend communities.The Notre Dame Student Expo, featuring five student bands and one South Bend group, will take place at 6 p.m. at The Pool, a venue located in the Central High/Stephenson Mills apartments.According to its Facebook page, The Bridge Project is an effort to increase interactions and friendships between the South Bend community and its college campuses by exposing students to the local music scene.Junior Will Murray, a student founder of initiative, said the idea for the project arose from his and others’ experiences studying abroad, where he said other universities’ campuses were more integrated into their cities.“They [students studying abroad] really just had an amazing connection with the city they were staying in and the campus they were on, just really benefitting from that connection and having a lot more to do on the weekend that Notre Dame really doesn’t have,” Murray said. “We weren’t sure there was a lot to do in South Bend, but sure enough there is, and we’ve been exploring it through our contacts in the community.”Murray said he collaborated with several other students and two community members, Pool operators Dena Woods and Lt. Gus Bennett, to create and maintain a Facebook calendar that comprehensively lists upcoming concerts and events. He said that donations from Friday’s concert would go towards developing the calendar further.“There’s tons of awesome bands in South Bend that no one really knows about,” Murray said. “Now it’s allcentralized, and people will be able to explore that and really benefit.”Dena Woods, an operator of The Pool who is working with The Bridge Project, said she hopes the Students Expo will bring the initiative to students’ attention and encourage them to explore local music.“Every time I’ve interacted with students, they don’t seem to know what we’re doing,” she said. “It’s a bit harder for students to find out about these events because they’re so isolated … we want to expose them to the space and … create an awareness of what’s going on downtown.”Woods said The Bridge Project is currently focused on developing the music scene, but the group hopes to expand into other areas, such as art, film and poetry.“Right now the easiest way, I think, to connect with college students is the music scene, so that’s definitely the driving force behind it, but we’re certainly looking to open it up to many more events,” said James Bachmayer, another founder of the project. “I just went to the farmer’s market yesterday, actually, and brought a couple friends, and there was a nice post on the website. When I was there a lot of vendors were talking about these events that aren’t music-related that are happening throughout the month, so we definitely want this to be a catalyst for future growth.”Murray said he hopes the concert will encourage students from all college campuses in South Bend to get involved with the project and apply their majors to aspects of the campaign, such as graphic design. He said he also wants students to attend events on the calendar and form bands to perform at local venues.“Once we pop this bubble and get the connection flowing, we can just accomplish so many things,” he said.For more information on The Bridge Project and the Students Expo, visit the group’s Facebook page or contact them at [email protected]last_img read more

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Chinese Fishing Vessels Continue to Hound Latin America

first_imgBy Gustavo Arias Retana/Diálogo June 21, 2019 In late March 2019, the Ecuadorean Navy detected 245 Chinese fishing vessels in their maritime border, near the Galapagos Islands. The situation, far from the first incident of its kind, put the country on alert. Chinese vessels fish indiscriminately, taking advantage of insufficient surveillance in the area to decimate the marine fauna. Ecuador had already detected 60 Chinese industrial fishing vessels near the Galapagos in 2018. In 2017, authorities intercepted cargo ship Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999 inside a marine reserve. The ship was carrying 300 tons of shark fins, hammerhead sharks, and silky sharks. The crew was prosecuted for environmental crimes. Other countries, such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay have also suffered from voracious Chinese fishing in their seas. Juan Carlos Sueiro, head of the international nongovernmental organization (NGO) Oceana, said the problem is growing in Latin America, and authorities’ response is weak. “These Chinese vessels work in the same way: they fish in international waters, near the maritime border of Latin American countries,” Sueiro told Diálogo. “Almost every country has detected Chinese vessels entering their waters illegally. It’s not new and happens on a daily basis.” Rodrigo García Píngaro, head of the Organization for the Conservation of Cetaceans, an Uruguayan NGO, said that Chinese vessels fish regardless of species’ endangered status. They seek mass shoals and prey for species that garner high prices in Asia for their alleged medicinal effects. Some of the most affected species are the giant squid, cod, tuna, black hake, shark, and the totoaba. “China is hungry for seafood that can’t be found in other seas; here there are still stocks of valuable fish,” García told Diálogo. “They use ghost nets to catch everything without distinction, whatever species they can, hoping they’ll be well paid.” Ghost nets are nets left behind by fishermen, or lost in the high seas. Marine Destruction Guillermo Caille, executive director of Natural Patagonia Foundation, says that the situation in Latin America is part of a systematic attack China conducts in the world’s seas to sustain the Asian nation’s consumption and exports. In its 2018 report, “State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture,” the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said that China is the main producer of fish and fish products worldwide, and, since 2002, the main exporter. This not only implies that the Asian nation seeks areas rich in resources to meet its needs, but also intends to set up logistics bases, such as ports, shipyards, and fish processing plants near areas to be exploited. In Latin America, for instance, Chinese company Shangdong Baoma intends to develop an economic free zone with a port, shipyard, and processing and packaging plant for frozen fish in the region of Punta Yeguas, east of Montevideo, Uruguay. The company seeks to begin construction before the end of 2019. “The main reason for China to attempt to develop the port in Montevideo is that these fleets lack a fishing base on land, outside Asia. They depend on foreign companies to repair their fishing vessels, stock and supply, as well as planning for and making their captures. This causes loss of efficiency and benefits, which increases production costs,” says the NGO Oceanosanos in its report, “Background on the Chinese Terminal Investment Project at Montevideo Port 2016-2019”. U.S. Support Faced with the Chinese threat, the United States supports Latin American authorities to avoid greater damage to the ecosystem. For example, the Ecuadorean and U.S. navies conducted exercise PASSEX in the Pacific Ocean on November 22, 2018, which focused on preventing, dissuading, and eradicating illegal fishing. “Combating unreported, and unregulated fishing is a top international priority,” said to the press U.S. Navy Commander Jamie Hopkins, commander of the USS Wayne E. Meyer, one of the vessels that participated in the exercise. “It’s a worldwide problem estimated to cost the global fishing industry billions of dollars a year.” However, the fight is not an easy one. China is decimating marine species and seeking to expand onto land by setting up ports and fish processing plants. Confronting China’s intentions requires a regional commitment to increase surveillance and prevent the Asian country from destroying the marine resources in the region.last_img read more

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West Babylon Man Charged With Murdering Brother

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York John BeaumontA man was arrested for stabbing his 57-year-old brother to death in their father’s West Babylon home where all three live on Saturday evening, Suffolk County police said.Officers responded to their Densfield Road after John Beaumont, 54, called 911 to report that he stabbed his brother, Thomas, during an argument while their father was home at 5:33 p.m.., police said. The father was not injured.Thomas Beaumont was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, where he later died.John Beaumont was charged with second-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty Sunday at First District Court in Central Islip.last_img read more

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Bellmore Crash Leaves Motorcyclist Dead

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 34-year-old motorcyclist was killed in a crash with an SUV in Bellmore on Sunday afternoon.Nassau County police said the motorcyclist was riding a Harley Davidson westbound on Merrick Road when he collided with an eastbound Mazda SUV that was making a left turn into the shopping center at Winthrop Avenue at 12:13 p.m.The victim as taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead .Neither the other driver nor her passengers were injured. The victim’s identity was not immediately released.Homicide Squad detectives found no apparent criminality and impounded both vehicles.last_img read more

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The most annoying things brands do on social media

first_imgConsumers say posting too often is the most annoying thing that brands do on social media, according to recent research from Sprout Social.The report was based on data from a survey conducted in July 2016 of 1,022 social media users in the United States.Survey respondents say the most annoying actions that companies take on social media are sharing too many posts/promotions (57.5% cite), using slang/jargon (38.4%), not having any personality (34.7%), trying to be funny when they’re not (32.3%), and not replying to messages (24.7%). continue reading » 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Zan Vimbela to miss 2021 Vitality Superleague season after suffering knee injury | Netball News

first_imgZan Vimbela (l) has been ruled out of the 2021 Vitality Superleague season after suffering a knee injury in South Africa Vimbela, who was confirmed as a returnee earlier in the off-season, suffered the injury while on duty at the recent TNL tournament in South Africa and scans have confirmed the extent of the problem.A ruptured ACL will require surgery and a significant rehabilitation period that means she will not be ready for the Superleague season, which is due to get underway in February next year.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – South Africa international Vimbela dazzled during the curtailed 2020 season and had returned for the Scottish franchise but a ruptured anterior cruciate knee ligament will keep her out of action Last Updated: 06/11/20 12:31pm – Advertisement – Now TV now just £25 a month Save over 25% and grab a NOW TV Sky Sports Month Pass for just £25 a month for 3 months. Cancel anytime – Advertisement –center_img Strathclyde Sirens’ star goalkeeper Zan Vimbela will miss the 2021 Vitality Superleague season after the franchise confirmed she suffered a serious knee injury.Squads for the new season were finalised last Friday when the deadline for registrations closed amid a flurry of activity from the franchises, but Sirens’ news will be a blow to the team. Zan Vimbela (l) has been ruled out of the 2021 Vitality Superleague season after suffering a knee injury in South Africa
Zan Vimbela (l) has been ruled out of the 2021 Vitality Superleague season after suffering a knee injury in South Africa

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‘See you soon, mate’: Australian presenter Matt Wright returns home despite failing to rescue Palu crocodile

first_imgAfter a week of attempting to rescue a crocodile trapped in a motorcycle tire in the Palu River, Central Sulawesi, Australian presenter Matthew Nicolas Wright has excused himself from the rescue mission despite the lack of progress in saving the animal.The presenter had to return to his home country as his work permit to participate on a local rescue mission with a wildlife rescue team to save the trapped crocodile expired.“Give the [crocodile] a rest. We’ll be back soon to continue operations,” Wright wrote on a caption of video uploaded to his official Instagram account, @mattwright, on Monday. “Thanks [for] helping us. We’re happy to work with you. See you soon mate,” BKSDA Central Sulawesi wrote on its official Instagram account, @bksdasulteng, on Monday.The agency added that the rescue team would continue to monitor the crocodile and carry out rescue efforts if necessary.BKSDA Central Sulawesi rescue team leader Haruna said the efforts to free the trapped crocodile from its rubber shackle would continue, although the two Australian experts had gone back to their home country.Read also: See you later, alligator: Crocodile rescue contest in Palu cancelled as no takers emerge“However, the rescue operation might not be as intensive as before. We’ll try to attract the animal’s attention first so his behavior won’t change significantly,” Haruna said on Monday, as quoted by kompas.com.He added that the team would give the animal more space because they had hunted and chased it for several years. The team worried that an extensive rescue effort would stress out the crocodile, prompting it to attack other crocodiles or surrounding communities.Haruna said he would not invite more people, especially non-experts, to take part in the upcoming mission, as it would pose big risks to those involved. (syk)Topics : The Australian presenter also appreciated members of the rescue team in the video who had been working together with him in the rescue mission.Read also: ‘We are up to plan D or E’: Australian rescuers still have no luck catching crocodileBefore returning to their home country, Wilson and Wright had carried out various tricks to attract the crocodile’s attention, including hanging a living duck from a drone that was later flown over the crocodile. Such tactics, however, failed to attract the crocodile, which swam away before disappearing without a trace.BKSDA Central Sulawesi admitted that Wright’s role during the rescue mission had been substantial, especially in providing training to members of the rescue team on how to tame wild animals without hurting them. Fellow crocodile observer, Chris “Willow” Wilson, also joined earlier this month with the team formed by the Central Sulawesi Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA Central Sulawesi). Wilson returned to Australia on Saturday.The 4-meter-long crocodile, regularly spotted swimming in the Palu River, has had a used motorcycle tire stuck around its neck for years and has foiled repeated rescue attempts from various parties.Wright said he promised to come back to Palu in May after setting up new strategies, while adding that the crocodile was in a healthy state and his condition would not be threatened by the tire stuck around its neck for at least a few years to come. In the video, he said he was planning to meet several parties in Australia to set up new plans as well as technologies to catch the crocodile.last_img read more

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Suspected COVID-19 patient in Maluku tests negative

first_img“We received the results earlier than expected. We received information from Jakarta that the result is negative,” Tomasoa said. “We have yet to receive the written results, but we received the information directly from the lab.”Edwin said BN was in good condition and that the 19-year-old no longer showed symptoms of being sick.Read also: University student becomes first suspected case of coronavirus in Maluku“He is no longer having difficulty breathing, he has no fever or back pain as he did before when being treated at the hospital,” he said.BN arrived in the Maluku provincial capital of Ambon in poor health on Feb. 7, following a visit to Malaysia, which has had a number of confirmed coronavirus cases. He has been treated at the Magretty Saumlaki public hospital in the Tanimbar Islands since last Wednesday. (gis)Topics : A university student identified as BN who was quarantined at Magretty Hospital, Maluku, after showing symptoms of the new coronavirus, has tested negative for COVID-19, a local health agency has announced.According to Tanimbar Islands Health Agency head Edwin Tomasoa, tests on BN’s sputum samples sent to the Health Ministry’s laboratory in Jakarta showed that BN was not infected by the deadly coronavirus.He added that he had expected the test to take five days.last_img read more

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