domenica, maggio 25, 2014
That recent study on active learning continues to generate some press, including a new interview with Carl Wieman about why traditional lectures are problematic. Wieman is pretty blunt about his opinions on the subject, which will come as no surprise to people in the AMO physics community… Anyway, while most of the rest of the…
See on scienceblogs.com
Possible Dark Matter Detected at Milky Way’s Core Could Hint at New Force of Nature — NOVA Next | PBS
Abstract – “A research team led by a cell biologist at the University of California, Riverside has generated a 3D model of the human malaria parasite genome at three different stages in the parasite’s life cycle — the first time such 3D architecture has been generated during the progression of the life cycle of a parasite .”
See on ucrtoday.ucr.edu
domenica, aprile 06, 2014
The large-scale blast score ratio (LS-BSR) pipeline: a method to rapidly compare genetic content between bacterial genomes
Background. As whole genome sequence data from bacterial isolates becomes cheaper to generate, computational methods are needed to correlate sequence data with biological observations. Here we present the large-scale BLAST score ratio (LS-BSR) pipeline, which rapidly compares the genetic content of hundreds to thousands of bacterial genomes, and returns a matrix that describes the relatedness of all coding sequences (CDSs) in all genomes surveyed. This matrix can be easily parsed in order to identify genetic relationships between bacterial genomes. Although pipelines have been published that group peptides by sequence similarity, no other software performs the rapid, large-scale, full-genome comparative analyses carried out by LS-BSR.Results. To demonstrate the utility of the method, the LS-BSR pipeline was tested on 96 Escherichia coli and Shigella genomes; the pipeline ran in 163 min using 16 processors, which is a greater than 7-fold speedup compared to using a single processor. The BSR values for each CDS, which indicate a relative level of relatedness, were then mapped to each genome on an independent core genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) based phylogeny. Comparisons were then used to identify clade specific CDS markers and validate the LS-BSR pipeline based on molecular markers that delineate between classical E. coli pathogenic variant (pathovar) designations. Scalability tests demonstrated that the LS-BSR pipeline can process 1,000 E. coli genomes in 27–57 h, depending upon the alignment method, using 16 processors.Conclusions. LS-BSR is an open-source, parallel implementation of the BSR algorithm, enabling rapid comparison of the genetic content of large numbers of genomes. The results of the pipeline can be used to identify specific markers between user-defined phylogenetic groups, and to identify the loss and/or acquisition of genetic information between bacterial isolates. Taxa-specific genetic markers can then be translated into clinical diagnostics, or can be used to identify broadly conserved putative therapeutic candidates.
See on peerj.com
sabato, marzo 08, 2014
Viruses versus cancer. Who’s your money on?
With [oncolytic viruses] OV cancer therapeutics entering advanced-stage trials and showing clinical efficacy, strategies that further broaden OV targeting and replication capacity to address the heterogeneous nature of tumours and their associated vascular and stromal architecture will be extremely useful. Since such heterogeneity not only exists between patients but also within a given tumour/patient, where the metabolism, signal transduction, and antiviral states of cancer cells can be variably abnormal and, therefore, variably support OV replication, combinatorial strategies will be essential to promoting reliable tumour control and regression. Finally, continued efforts to identify components innate to the complex tumour microenvironment that promote OV replication will be critical to further improving OVs and developing new engineering strategies.
See on http://bit.ly/PcJVpW
The ultimate goal of nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery, especially with regard to cancer therapy, is to ferry most of the administered drug to the target, while eliminating the accumulation of the drug at any non-target tissues.
Nanomedicine applications with targeted nanoparticles are expected to revolutionize cancer therapy. The use of such nanoparticles to deliver therapeutic agents is currently being studied as a promising method by which drugs can be effectively targeted to specific cells in the body, such as tumor cells.
See on www.nanowerk.com
The treatment is considered radical, and the results were drawn from a small scale human trial, but for the first time in medical history, researchers have boosted their patients’ ability to fight HIV by replacing some of their natural immune cells with genetically modified versions.
See on io9.com
lunedì, febbraio 24, 2014
I thought you’d be interested in the following article. Click the link to read it in full:
SunPower Continues to Drive Down the Cost Curve
Inviato da iPhone
mercoledì, febbraio 19, 2014
A synchronized global sweep of the internal genes of modern avian influenza virus : Nature : Nature Publishing Group
Zoonotic infectious diseases such as influenza continue to pose a grave threat to human health. However, the factors that mediate the emergence of RNA viruses such as influenza[thinsp]A virus (IAV) are still incompletely understood. Phylogenetic inference is crucial to reconstructing the origins and tracing the flow of IAV within and between hosts. Here we show that explicitly allowing IAV host lineages to have independent rates of molecular evolution is necessary for reliable phylogenetic inference of IAV and that methods that do not do so, including /`relaxed/’ molecular clock models, can be positively misleading. A phylogenomic analysis using a host-specific local clock model recovers extremely consistent evolutionary histories across all genomic segments and demonstrates that the equine H7N7 lineage is a sister clade to strains from birds[mdash]as well as those from humans, swine and the equine H3N8 lineage[mdash]sharing an ancestor with them in the mid to late 1800s. Moreover, major western and eastern hemisphere avian influenza lineages inferred for each gene coalesce in the late 1800s. On the basis of these phylogenies and the synchrony of these key nodes, we infer that the internal genes of avian influenza virus (AIV) underwent a global selective sweep beginning in the late 1800s, a process that continued throughout the twentieth century and up to the present. The resulting western hemispheric AIV lineage subsequently contributed most of the genomic segments to the 1918 pandemic virus and, independently, the 1963 equine H3N8 panzootic lineage. This approach provides a clear resolution of evolutionary patterns and processes in IAV, including the flow of viral genes and genomes within and between host lineages.
See on www.nature.com
mercoledì, febbraio 12, 2014
A new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says the renewable energy industry is responsible for 615,000 jobs in the United States. That’s hundreds of thousands of Americans working to provide this country with clean energy from wind, sun and plants. It’s the military vet in Kansas putting her hydraulics knowledge to work in her new job servicing 300-foot-tall wind turbines. It’s the former glass maker in Toledo, Ohio, who’s now manufacturing solar panels. It’s the farmer who’s got a new buyer in the biofuel plant just across the county line. It’s engineers and managers and truckers and technicians in nearly every state in the nation.
Renewable energy development is making a difference in this country, bringing sorely needed jobs and revenue to communities, while protecting clean air and clean water. Clean, renewable energy is working for us. That’s why so many Americans, from all political stripes, want to see more of it.
A recent national poll found that voters preferred investing in clean energy and efficiency over traditional fossil fuel energy by a margin of nearly 2-to-1. In Kansas, arecent poll found overwhelming support for clean, renewable energy and the government policies that encourage its growth. Roughly three-quarters of Republicans and Independents, and 82 percent of Democrats, support the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires that utilities generate 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. In fact, two-thirds of voters said they would support increasing the state’s standard to 25 percent. Nine out of ten poll respondents believed that using renewable energy is the right thing to do for the future of Kansas and the country.
image via Shutterstock
Communities in Kansas are not alone in reaping the benefits of clean, renewable energy. According to preliminary analysis from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), more than 78,600 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced across the country in 2013. Over the past two years combined, E2 has tracked announcements that could create more than 186,500 jobs.
Federal tax policies–such as the production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy, as well as energy efficiency tax incentives for buildings, equipment and appliances— are saving money and creating tens of thousands of jobs while also reducing dangerous carbon pollution that causes climate change and health problems. Congress allowed clean energy tax credits to expire last year: it needs to renew them.
In addition to creating thousands of jobs in the wind energy industry alone, clean energy tax credits save billions of dollars for taxpayers by helping make our homes, schools and office buildings more efficient, and making everyday appliances and equipment use less energy. Energy efficiency, of course, is the cleanest energy of all—there’s nothing cleaner than the energy we don’t use—and it drives job growth as well. In Ohio, for example, utility efficiency efforts alone have created 3,800 jobs , and are expected to create 32,000 jobs by 2025. Federal energy efficiency standards for appliances have generated 340,000 jobs as of 2010, according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.
Clean energy is one of those issues that we can all rally around. We all want to breathe clean air and drink clean water. We all want to keep the lights on. We’d all like to avoid a future of more frequent, costly extreme weather, from crippling snowstorms in the South, and exhausting drought in the West, to dangerous hurricanes in the East and deadly floods in the Midwest. And we want a strong economy with good jobs, too.
Americans are looking to clean renewable energy because it provides so many of the solutions people are looking for—jobs, environmental protection, reliability, security. With the right policies in place to support the growth of renewable energy, we can continue to move toward a future of 100 percent clean energy.