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Do you also want to travel to Mars? NASA offers a special opportunity to search for “mission” candidates, do you know who can apply?


Mission to Mars: The US space agency has issued a call for applications for a special mission related to Mars. In addition, who can request it? The agency provided information about it by tweeting.

NASA launches a mission to Mars (NASA Simulated Mars Mission) Photo – NASA

NASA Mission to Mars: The US space agency NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has launched a call for applications for a special one-year mission. What type of training is given to people who wish to travel to Mars? Four people will be selected keeping in mind the real difficulties of future missions to Mars, and they will have to live in an atmosphere similar to Mars. Selected applicants must stay on the 1700 square foot Mars Dune Alpha Atmospheric Module for one year.

Marsdon Alpha was created using the Icon 3D printer installed in the Johnson Space Center building in Houston, Texas. According to NASA, this simulated mission will begin in 2022 (September 1-November 30). In preparation for the real challenges of future missions to Mars, NASA said in a statement it will study how long people can live in such environments and what changes they see there.

What challenges will you face?

NASA announced on Twitter that it had solicited applications for a mission related to Mars. It is a one-year mission in which life in other worlds will be emulated. It will start from 2022. Selected candidates will face the same challenges associated with Mars. Lack of resources, equipment failure, communication problems and other environmental barriers.

Important scientific information can be drawn from the result

In addition, these people of the crew will have to perform mock spacewalks and scientific research. They also have the opportunity to exchange virtual reality, robotic controls and communication. NASA said it will receive important scientific data regardless of the outcome of the mission. NASA is currently planning three missions, including Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog. One of the three missions starts next year.

Who can apply?

  1. The age must be between 30 and 55 years old.
  2. The applicant must be a US citizen.
  3. Stay in good physical health and don’t smoke.
  4. Graduate degree completed in STEM subject. For example, you must have a master’s degree in engineering, biological sciences, physical sciences, computer science, or mathematics.
  5. Must have at least two years of professional experience in a STEM discipline or at least 1000 hours of pilot-in-command experience on a jet aircraft.

Read also- In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly passed a resolution condemning the attack on a Hindu temple in Pakistan.

Read also- Big insult to Imran once again! Educated young people in the name of the Olympics, then people said – study Indian Prime Minister, Sir

UTSW doctor volunteers to Tokyo Olympics: newsroom


Dr Stephanie Tow, MD, Director of the Adaptive Sports Medicine Program at UT Southwestern, is a volunteer physician at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics responsible for providing general medical support in the Olympic Athletes’ Village and the Isolation Hotel. designated for all participants who test positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. Dr Tow is one of 16 foreign doctors to hold this post, along with many other Japanese doctors. Credit: Dr Michael Fredericson

DALLAS РAugust 8, 2021 РDr St̩phanie Tow, MD, director of Adaptive Sports Medicine Program at UT Southwestern who is a team doctor and medical director for several adaptive / para sporting organizations and events in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, completed her first week of volunteer caregiving at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Dr. Stephanie Tow, MD, standing in front of the Olympic rings

Dr. Stephanie Tow, MD, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at UT Southwestern, is among those providing volunteer care at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, is the team’s chief medical officer and national medical classifier for the United States National Paralympic Swimming Team. Credit: Dr Steven Isono

Dr. Tow, the team’s chief medical officer and national medical classifier for the U.S. National Paralympic Swimming Team, is a two-week volunteer physician responsible for providing general medical support in the Olympic Athletes’ Village and Hotel D Designated isolation for all participants who test positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. Dr Tow is one of 16 foreign doctors to hold this post, along with many other Japanese doctors.

“A lot of sports physicians are striving to work in the Olympics at some point in their careers, so it’s an honor to be in demand and to be able to go so early in my career,” said Dr Tow, assistant professor of Physical medicine and rehabilitation, ranked n ° 17 in the country by American News and World Report and part of UT Southwestern Brain Institute Peter O’Donnell Jr.. “It is such a privilege to be able to work with international leaders on this side of sports medicine.”

Dr Tow has strictly followed the Olympics’ COVID-19 protocol, which includes testing for COVID-19 every day at work to keep himself and others safe. She spent her first week caring for Olympic athletes and delegation staff around the world in the Athletes’ Village and the COVID-19 isolation hotel.

“I am confident with what is in place to control the spread of the COVID-19 infection. With the protocols in place, we have been very effective in keeping the number of COVID-19 infections low and essentially creating an Olympic bubble to protect everyone from COVID-19 as best we can, ”added Dr. Tow.

Dr Tow has extensive experience covering sports medicine events, including serving as medical director for the World Para-swimming Series in Lewisville in 2021 and as a volunteer physician with numerous youth sports teams, high school , universities and professionals. events during his career.

Dr Tow, also a member of the Southwestern UT Pediatric Group who sees pediatric patients at Center specializing in children’s healthâ„  Cityville in Dallas and Scottish Rite for Children Sports Medicine in Frisco, is one of only four physicians in the United States to have completed dual training in the subspecialties of pediatric rehabilitation medicine and sports medicine. She completed her Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Fellowship at the University of Colorado / Children’s Hospital Colorado, her Sports Medicine Fellowship at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, and is now certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in sports medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Dr Tow received her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University, after which she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in Hong Kong from 2008 to 2009. She received her medical degree from the University of Medicine and New Jersey dentistry (now Rutgers University). – New Jersey Medical School and completed residency and chief residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at UT Southwestern in 2016 and 2017 before joining the faculty of physical medicine and rehabilitation at UT Southwestern in 2020.

Dr. Stephanie Tow, MD, standing in front of the Olympic rings

Dr. Stephanie Tow, MD, Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Dr Tow is a member of several national, institutional and departmental committees and has assumed leadership roles for several of them, most notably as elected chair of the Adaptive Sports and Recreation Committee of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine. . She has given dozens of lectures and presentations and is involved in several research projects related to her clinical interests in adaptive / para sports medicine, concussion, pediatric sports medicine, pediatric rehabilitation medicine and medical education. Among many other honors, she was recognized as having a leading original research abstract at the 2019 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Annual Meeting in San Antonio.

“It has been inspiring to finally be able to bring the world together and show many of our athletes in the Olympic and Paralympic movements,” said Dr Tow, who grew up playing multiple sports, including being a competitive swimmer who has done so. helped lead it. high school team in the New Jersey State Championship its final year. She has also been on the Johns Hopkins University Ultimate Frisbee Women’s Team, has competed in multiple triathlons, and enjoys skiing, cycling, yoga, traveling, cooking, camping, and hiking.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has been awarded six Nobel Prizes and includes 25 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine and 13 researchers of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The full-time faculty of over 2,800 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advancements and is committed to rapidly translating science-driven research into new clinical treatments. Doctors at UT Southwestern provide care in approximately 80 specialties to more than 117,000 inpatients, more than 360,000 emergency room cases and supervise nearly 3 million outpatient visits per year.

Finding Mark: Memory of deceased friend attracts Nilgiri advocate to “Cheetal Walk”


In happier times: it was Mark who nursed and fed Rivaldo when he lost part of his trunk. Photo: NA Naseer

The release of the elephant Rivaldo into the Nilgiris wilderness, after three months in captivity, was a cause for celebration among forest officials and environmentalists as it was the first time that a tusker kept in captivity had been released in the forest. But some challenges remain. Chief among them is the hiccups that authorities still face in preventing Rivaldo from entering human dwellings – the reason he was taken captive in the first place.

Although it is suspected that Rivaldo will return to the human habitation in search of his human friend Mark Dravidar, conservationists say his visits could be phased out if locals stop feeding him and others. elephants, often in a gesture of affection.

An article published in First line in 2011 claims that elephants frequent the area surrounding ‘Cheetal Walk’ (a forest shelter on the edge of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, owned by marine biologist Mark Davidar, son of famous conservationist ERC Davidar) and have become accustomed to to the presence of humans there since the 1980s. Rivaldo, who was found on the Sigur Plateau in the Nilgiris district, was one of them. It has been fed by locals since 2008.

However, his frequent contact with human habitations cost him dearly. In 2013, Rivaldo lost 30 cm of his trunk. The story of the loss of his trunk, however, has two versions: the first says that the defender could have been injured begging for food in the streets while the second says he was caught in a trap set by hunters. to kill wild boars.

The Marc case

It was Mark Dravidar who looked after Rivaldo when he was injured and gave him food and medicine. After his proboscis had healed, Mark stopped feeding Rivaldo to wean him from the food supply and encourage him to switch to coarse vegetation. Rivaldo would visit the premises where he was being treated and wait to be fed, sometimes for hours.

“When no food came, he left. His visits have become sporadic and shorter. After six months it would stop for a few minutes and then leave, ”noted conservation biologist Priya Davidar, daughter of ERC Davidar, a renowned wildlife advocate, in the recent issue of the journal. Trumpet.

Mark moved to Cheetal Walk – established in 1967 – after stint with the Bombay Natural History Society and Madras Snake Park. The house is located near the Sigur Corridor, one of the important corridors of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

Mark’s house was a usual haunt for Defenders, and the biologist ended up befriending many of them, including Rivaldo as well as two others named Ronaldo and Roberto.

Marc said in the First line article that says Rivaldo “is smart, but gets unnecessarily violent.” Yet he is a peace loving animal.

A nature lover, Mark passed away in 2013 due to health issues. However, many locals say he was injured and died after an elephant chased him.

Priya, however, dismisses the claim.

After Mark’s death, Rivaldo was again injured in 2015 by a savage defender.

“Again, he was treated in the same place without strain, and the same pattern of violation was recorded after the feeding was stopped,” Priya explains in her article.

It was after his second injury that Rivaldo became a roadside tourist attraction. However, when tourism was affected during COVID-19, Rivaldo stopped begging for food along the route. Priya says it was a healthy indication that he can be disused and sent back to fend for himself in the wild.

Rehabilitate Rivaldo

Although Rivaldo has never attacked humans, it is claimed that he has already been attacked by a few locals who injured his right eye, rendering him partially blind.

“The inhabitants feared that the elephant would enter their village, because they feared that it would damage their mud houses. It was also around the same time that another elephant died in a fire. So there was an increased demand to take Rivaldo captive, ”said K Kalidasan, an environmentalist and one of the eight members of the expert committee formed after the Madras High Court order to decide on the release. by Rivaldo.

After another elephant, suspected of being Ronaldo, died in a fire in January this year, forestry department officials lured Rivaldo on May 5 into a kraal under the pretext of feeding him, in the buffer zone of MTR. He was taught to obey commands inside the kraal.

After he was taken prisoner, conservationists and animal lovers seized the Madras High Court, demanding the elephant’s release. They alleged that even after the treatment, the elephant was kept in captivity for no reason. Even MPs like Maneka Gandhi and MPs like Vanathi Srinivasan wrote to the state government for the elephant’s release in the forest.

“Rivaldo was perfectly capable of surviving in the jungle without human assistance and ‘rehabilitation’ cannot involve captivity since captivity is a dead end for a male elephant in the prime of life,” Priya explains.

Considering that elephants have excellent memories, Priya says it is Mark’s memory that draws Rivaldo to human habitation.

“The elephant cannot adapt to the forest overnight. It takes time. If people stopped feeding him, his entry into human habitation would become less. But yes, Rivaldo still visits Cheetal Walk sometimes ”, says Priya Federal.

Agreeing with Priya, Kalidasan says people need to stop feeding the elephant. “They do so with love and sympathy for his condition,” he says.

“Rivaldo is already in good health. He cannot be healthy just by eating the food offered by people. It can also forage in the wild and get by without human addiction. So, to keep it permanently in the forest, people have to stop feeding it, ”he adds.

Problems of mistrust and misunderstanding exist between community members and healthcare researchers


Problems of mistrust and misunderstanding exist between community members and health care researchers.

This is the main reason why two local leaders – the Reverend Dr Deborah Thomas and Dr Carol Williams – are working together to launch a unique program to address these issues.

Known as the Cancer Disparities Curriculum for Research and Community Academics, their program will intentionally bring together members of the Milwaukee community and early career biomedical researchers to engage in shared learning.

Academics and researchers in the community will not only examine the origins, causes and factors that promote cancer disparities, but will also design potential solutions.

Cancer-related disparities are differences in outcomes (eg, incidence, diagnosis, and mortality) between groups of people.

Significant disparities occur depending on where people live, their race or ethnicity and gender, among other factors.

Biomedical cancer research often does not take into account these disparities and their biomedical impact (e.g. trauma, stress, nutrition, sleep), which limits advances in care for a greater diversity of people.

This program aims to reduce cancer-related disparities and remove barriers to health equity by increasing understanding of why disparities exist; address issues of mistrust, prejudice and racism head-on; and fostering relationships within communities to develop projects that meet their unique needs.

“Distrust of the field of health and biomedical research is widespread among community members,” said Rev. Deborah Thomas, retired MATC faculty member and founder and pastor of Kingdom ministry by House of Grace.

“Researchers may be unaware of the reasons for this mistrust and have a poor understanding of the social determinants behind cancer disparities. We want to eradicate these misunderstandings and help community members and researchers work together.

The program will provide opportunities for academics to learn, work effectively with each other, and build trust and equitable partnerships while developing a common understanding of the factors that promote cancer disparities. Fellows will participate in courses and conferences and create a project to present to other community members and researchers.

“Over the next few years, we hope to increase interest and enthusiasm for this program so that we can enroll more investigators,” said Dr. Williams, senior investigator in the MCW Cancer Center Biology Program.

The first cohort will meet in the fall of 2021 and will consist of eight to twelve academics – with an equal number from the community and biomedical research departments of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Application documents can be obtained from [email protected].

The program is fully funded by Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment.

Bio-Techne announces organic revenue growth in Q4


The company announced that its revenue increased to $ 259 million and that the increase was due to the acceleration of the company’s long-term growth strategy combined with the one-time impact of customer site closures. during the comparative period related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Net sales for the full year 2021 increased 26% to $ 931 million, the company also said.

The Protein Science segment, through which the company supplies specialized proteins such as cytokines and growth factors, immunoassays, antibodies and reagents, reported net sales of 192.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase of 51% from the $ 127.3 million in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year. 2020.

Bio-Techne also reported fourth quarter Fiscal 2021 net sales of $ 67.1 million in its Diagnostics and Genomics business, an increase of 38% from $ 48.7 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020. This segment provides blood chemistry and blood gas quality controls, controls, immunoassays, in situ hybridization products and exosome-based diagnostic products.

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Winter could bring more deaths to an already tense manatee population


Wildlife biologists fear another cold and harsh winter for starving Florida sea cows.

They worry when Florida’s waters cooler and seagrass beds recede in a few months, manatees will die again in the hundreds the day after a year in which 890 sea cows have already perished, mostly from starvation.

So they’re scrambling to figure out how to spend $ 8 million in the state’s manatee salvage money and to streamline the permits that rehab facilities like SeaWorld are needed to save more sea cows.

“We are working to expand the facility and we are doing it in case we have more mortality this winter,” said Larry Williams, manatee biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. “There is a very high number of abandoned calves. So in preparation for next winter, we are working with groups to grow and make sure they have the permits.

Manatees are crashing in 2021 like never before. Already, deaths have broken the 2013 record of 830 and more than doubled the five-year average of 396 deaths, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. And while the death rate appears to have declined in recent weeks, winter is yet to come, with countless emaciated and debilitated survivors and orphans in general.

Stress from cold water has killed an average of 42 manatees (11% of all deaths) over the past five years. of manatee deaths. But harsh winters can kill many more.

The story continues below the graph:

Read more: Hungry manatees overwhelm Florida rescuers

FWC met in Bonita Springs on Wednesday to discuss the federally declared unusual fatality event that left 316 sea cows in the Brevard stretch of the Indian River Lagoon, or 36% of the total fatalities This year. The death toll became so severe that in April, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared the death an unusual mortality event, freeing up federal funds and other resources for the response.

Yet, little more is known to biologists than manatees starve to death due to the loss of seagrass that has occurred over the decades, caused by polluted runoff, fertilizers, septic tanks that have occurred. leaks and sewage spills, especially in the lagoon.

“What is hindering this investigation is the hot summer,” Martine deWit, the FWC veterinarian who heads the agency’s autopsy lab in St. Petersburg, said late last month. “They’re breaking down so quickly, so we’re not even shipping across the state yet.” (An autopsy is an examination on a dead animal).

To add to the problem, in mid-July the FWC cold room that contains manatee carcasses and remains at the St. Petersburg laboratory broke down, complicating the logistics of examinations. The expensive new condenser they need won’t be ready until the end of this month.

“So we are currently doing on-the-fly autopsies, with the use of dumpsters and landfills, and additional complicated logistics,” deWit said via email.

While manatees appear to be doing better recently, deWit said the long-term impacts of malnutrition could lead to future reproductive and other health issues, especially this winter. “Obviously, we can expect sublethal effects,” said deWit.

Read more: Florida, federal government brace for another deadly winter for manatees

Gil McRae, FWC’s director of personnel, told commissioners the problem went beyond the recent disappearance.

“At the end of the day, it’s not a manatee problem,” McRae said. “It’s more complicated than that. And we want to make sure the commissioners understand the sense of urgency.”

The legislature this year approved $ 8 million to restore manatee access to springs and improve habitat in other manatee hotspots. The agency has 18 months to figure out how to spend the money and five years to complete the projects. FWC staff are in the process of identifying and prioritizing these restoration projects.

FWC plans to complete seven eelgrass restoration projects in the tributaries of the lagoon this year. Staff are also carrying out restoration of aquatic vegetation near the springs of the St. Johns River and a restoration project at Blue Spring State Park.

With a population close to 8,900, some at Wednesday’s meeting said the overall manatee story should be positive and should focus on how the animal has recovered over the past three decades.

The annual winter counts that 20 years ago there were typically only a few thousand manatees in recent years, exceeding 6,000 sea cows.

Advocates of boating in the lagoon region have long argued that the population of the species has exceeded the capacity of estuaries like the lagoon to support such large numbers in the long term. Runoff and sewage pollution cause an excess of algae that suffocates seagrass beds, which has done far more harm to manatees than their boats, they say.

McRae said death rates have returned to more normal levels on the east coast, noting the state has seen a year of manatee deaths in six months.

“We have had manatee deaths along the entire Atlantic coast, from lower St. Johns to southeast Florida,” McRae said. “By May 2021, the carcass count was back to normal levels. But because of this big manatee slug on the east coast, we’ve already set a record six months in the year.”

McRae said the agency is trying to care for a large number of calves that are often in poor health after losing their mothers.

“One thing unique to this particular event that we’ve never seen before is a number of orphaned calves,” McRae said. “These calves require a lot of care and they often have to be bottle-fed and it can take two years before they are ready to be released from captivity.”

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Jim Waymer is an environmental journalist at FLORIDA TODAY.

Contact Waymer at 321-242-3663

or jwaymer@floridatoday.com.

Twitter: @JWayEnviro

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BaseBit.ai Completed Over HK $ 350 Million Series B + Strategic Funding Round And Will Continue To Strengthen Data Collaboration And Privacy Computing Solutions


HONG KONG, August 6, 2021 / PRNewswire / – BaseBit.ai Announced Series Completion B + round of financing, with a scale equivalent to more than HK 350 millionD. BaseBit.ai declined to disclose new investors and the rating for this round. Drift Cloud Capital is the Company’s exclusive financial advisor for this financing.

Founded in 2016, BaseBit.ai is a thriving IT privacy technology company committed to providing services to the medical, pharmaceutical, government, financial, insurance, marketing and other industries. Also, is the precursor of “the Internet of data and computing (IODC) “, BaseBit.ai has also established its own IT privacy platform BaseBit.ai XDP “. The Company has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Yichang, Chengdu, and several other cities.

This round of funding will be used for research and development on computer privacy technologies, radiation platform industry expansion and application scenarios expansion, to further develop the internet of data and computing, the ecological network of data and artificial data. intelligence.

Zhen Luo, CEO of BaseBit.ai, commented on the funding: “We are very grateful for the support of our investors and the trust of our customers and partners. It is your recognition and support in this field that has helped to promote the rapid development of Privacy computing today is a growing field and still faces many challenges, including ‘setting standards, promulgating national policies and regulations, which requires attracting more talent to join this field, capital investment and efforts of our friends. Only in this way can we together create a bright future for the industry. ”

Andy A. Liu, President of Basebit.ai added, “We have seen a growing interest in privacy computing solutions across all industries including healthcare, finance, insurance, telecommunications, and more. We look forward to expanding our technologies and solutions to our customers. “

A look back at the year 2020, which is called “the inaugural year of private computing” in China, BaseBit.ai has taken the lead by gaining excellent hands-on experience in IT privacy across different industries. BaseBit.ai has deployed several city-level privacy IT application use cases.

BaseBit.ai not only realized the potential of opening up city-level big data applications through privacy computing, but also put into practice the areas of intelligent hierarchical diagnosis and treatment, scientific research clinical, multi-point trigger surveillance and intelligent early warning of infectious infections. diseases, regional digital industrialization and promotion of digital investments for the benefit of people’s livelihoods through the open platform of city-wide Big Data applications. These achievements have won several corresponding awards and distinctions.

BaseBit.ai and Intel have also jointly released a multi-stakeholder and multimodal privacy preservation platform for biomedical research, to open the link between data ingestion, data cleansing and data mining, in-depth exploration, authorized sharing, and help unleash the value of data in bioinformatics research fields through privacy computing. In addition to expanding further in the healthcare industry, BaseBit.ai is also actively developing the value of data by unleashing other industries.

BaseBit.ai has been developing its IT privacy technology for many years. In 2020, former chief researcher of MSRA, global partner Dr. Lin Tao Zhang joined BaseBit.ai as Chief Scientist and dedicated himself to important scientific research activities and building projects for privacy computing and AI. He leads the company’s scientific advancements in data security, data privacy protection, AI and big data enforcement. BaseBit.ai has also established a university-level technology advisory board. The founding members of the committee are Academician Kai Li, Academician XiaoYun Wang and Professor Dawn song. The committee brings together world-renowned IT experts, cryptography experts and IT security experts, with the aim of achieving technological innovation by formulating technical strategies, driving companies to apply better product service standards. and integrate technical capacities. BaseBit.ai aims to achieve optimal resource allocation, technological innovation and development, and to establish an authority in the global industry. In addition, the company is also actively recruiting talent from leading AI companies as well as industry experts across all industries.

Hong Kong office address:
47 / F, Lee Garden One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Contact Person: Ada YU
Contact email:

SOURCE BaseBit.ai

The oldest fossilized forest in the world is found in Greene County. He needs to be saved.


The oldest forest in the world is not in a museum. It’s not in a national park. The fossilized remains lie behind a municipal building outside of Greene County.

Land surveyors accidentally discovered the area in 2009, and over the next decade scientists discovered fossilized root systems from three separate plant species. The fossils, which predated the first dinosaurs by 140 million years, were the oldest of their kind, pushing back 2 million years from when the ancestors of modern trees would have developed.

The city of Cairo, which owns the land, is now struggling to find a way to preserve the find before the unsecured site falls victim to the elements and souvenir seekers. But city leaders have competing visions for the site’s future, potentially making the problem worse.

Discovering the oldest forest in the world

The site looked much different during the life of the Cairo forest. The climate was subtropical and the region was covered with wetlands.

The Catskills were not a group of smooth mounds, but rather a large plateau. To the east rose a jagged mountain range, the Acadian Mountains, as high as today’s Himalayas. To the west was a giant inland sea – the Appalachian Basin.

According to the findings of researchers at Binghamton University and Cardiff University in England, who have spent years reviewing the site and published their findings in Current Biology, floodwaters swept over the forest 385 million years ago, pushing sediment onto the trees, killing them, but preserving their roots.

The researchers completed their work in 2019, but the priceless land remained in the hands of the city of Cairo.

Joe Hasenkopf, a resident of Cairo, is the chairman of a municipal committee formed to study the issue of preserving the site.

“Basically what we want to do is build an education center… a building all over the site, with glass on top of it. [the fossils] so you can walk on the site without stepping on it, ”he said.

“It’s an old quarry, so there could be parking for schoolchildren, students and tourists, but also a full lab for graduate students to actually study, with the glass high enough that they can go in there and study things, but low enough that it’s protected and people don’t try to cut up little pieces and take them home as keepsakes, which are unnecessary.

Fears that the fossils might be damaged are not unfounded: City supervisor John Coyne said people were already coming to the site.

There were two distinct groups, Coyne said: People drawn to the science and history of fossils, who ask the city for permission to visit. And then there are all-terrain vehicle enthusiasts.

“Unfortunately, we have people in our community who think they can drive their four-wheelers on the [site] and that’s okay, “he said.” That’s why it’s so important to try to get funds to protect and preserve it. “

Small town, great find

Cairo, with a population of 6,400 and a budget of less than $ 3 million, doesn’t have enough money to even begin securing the find. Boulders have been pushed in a ring around the part of the site to prevent vehicles from crushing them, but outside funding must be sought to go further.

The city is currently pursuing two grants to help preserve the site.

The first would help pay for a series of concrete barriers that would be placed around the entire site to prevent ATVs from entering, Hasenkopf said.

The grant was not yet obtained, according to Hasenkopf, so he did not want to say where it came from, but the installation of the barriers is still a long way off. As a municipal enterprise, the project is expected to issue a tender before the barriers can be installed.

The second is a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for a feasibility study on building a permanent education center on the site. The city applied for the grant last March.

The end goal was to partner with a college in the center, Hasenkopf said, adding that he had spoken about the project to several universities, but “no one wants to do anything without a feasibility study.”

Preservation of the site has led to infighting within the city government.

When city council met with state assembly member Chris Tague in March 2020, council member Jason Watts skipped the meeting, Coyne said.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t have the support of the whole board – we had enough to come up with a resolution and things like that, but with a project like this it would be great to have the full support. community, ”he said.

Watts, who is posing as city supervisor – Coyne is not seeking re-election – wanted to sell the site at the time.

Watts said he has since changed his mind mainly because the site cannot be sold.

To sell it, the site has to be rated, but “there is nothing to rate it against,” Watts said – the site is unique in the world and therefore invaluable.

Watts said as recently as the May city council meeting that he wanted to sell it, according to HudsonValley360, and claimed in a previous meeting that he received an estimate on the site between $ 500,000 and $ 1 billion.

Any sale he might have made would have been made to an educational institution, Watts told The Times Union on Monday.

“They are the ones who can find the funding; we can’t find the funding for that, ”he said. “We could have some kind of fundraiser, a chicken barbecue or something, and then we only have a few thousand dollars to spend on that. “

Coyne scorned Watt’s change of mind. “It just bothers me how people change their tone when the tide changes,” he said.

The first trees in the world

There are three distinct species found at the Cairo site, according to the Current Biology article.

The first one, Eospermatopteris, appears a dozen times on the site. The palm-like plant was first identified at a nearby site in Gilboa, which held the title of the world’s oldest forest before the discovery of Cairo.

The second set of root fossils, those of Archaeopteris, are over 30 feet in diameter and consist of 10 to 15 branching primary roots from what were probably the central trunks.

Researchers also discovered an “enigmatic” third root system at the Cairo site, according to the article.

William Stein, professor emeritus of biology at Binghamton University and one of the site’s principal researchers, called this root system a “very interesting puzzle”.

The system was “instantly recognizable” as a lycopsides– like a plant – but it was believed that these plants did not exist for tens of millions of years after the preservation of the Cairo site.

Lycopsids originate from the Carboniferous Period, a time when the biomass of growing and dead plants was greater than the amount of clastic matter – grains of rock – on the earth’s surface, making rotting plants giant bogs. Peatlands have been buried and compressed over time, creating modern coal deposits.

Cairo’s root systems date from the Devonian period, around 60 million years before the Carboniferous, Stein said, but more research had to be done to prove lycopsides existed so long ago.

“Anyone who understands plant paleontology would recognize these things for what they are,” said Stein, referring to lycopsides. “But what we can’t say is what they absoutely are – so we always call them ‘enigmatic’.

Whether or not this plant is a lycopsid, the Archaeopteris the specimens found at the Cairo site are the oldest tree found.

Stein points out another reason why securing the site is crucial: there may be more fossils to be discovered.

“We only surveyed part of the area,” he said. “The difficulty was the discovery; it takes a long time to remove all the gravel from the site and map it properly etc.

“It could be nothing, it could be a lot,” Stein added, but the researcher, who spent nearly 10 years studying the site, said it was up to other scientists to pick up the baton.

An economic windfall?

Coyne said a science center could help everyone.

The economy of Greene County, with its skiing, hiking and resorts, depends on tourism, and a science center could benefit Cairo and surrounding towns.

“We see it as a global destination,” Coyne said – European tourists visiting this summer had already requested to visit the site.

Cairo contains the Round Top community, which includes three all-inclusive resorts. Researchers and others interested in the site could stay there, Coyne said.

“It’s just an economic benefit for the whole community,” he said.

Warren Hart, deputy administrator for Greene County and chief economic development, tourism and planning for Greene County, agreed.

“An important segment of tourism is the journey through history,” he said, “so [the forest] presents a very lucrative opportunity for additional travelers to the county and this translates into additional direct and indirect visitor spending.

If the science center were developed, Hart’s office could promote it through advertising and social media “to get people to see the fossil forest and stay here, and make it part of their itinerary,” he said. he declared. “We would make it part of our regular business of attracting tourists to the county.”

However, the city must act quickly. In the age of geolocation on Instagram, nothing remains a secret for long, and the city also fears what winters could do to fossils.

“Water and ice is seeping underneath, and it’s shale,” Watts said, fearing the fossilized prints would crack like potholes.

“We are going to lose this,” he added. “I would like to hope someone would step in and help us with something to protect it – it is a very precious piece of land.”

Headaches are largely outsourced among racial and socio-economic groups


Newswise – DALLAS – August 5, 2021 – Significant disparities exist in the diagnosis and treatment of headaches by race, socioeconomic level and insurance status, despite the fact that headaches affect almost all racial and ethnic groups at the same rate, according to research conducted by UT Faculty of the Southwestern Medical Center.

Latinos are 50% less likely to be diagnosed with migraine than whites, and African American men receive the least care for headaches nationwide, according to a review the article published in the journal Neurology.

The undertreatment of headache in black patients is consistent with the available data on the undertreatment of pain in these people and is believed to be partially influenced by the misconception that African Americans are biologically more tolerant of pain. This mistaken belief has historically led to disparities in health care, according to the study.

“We need to see ourselves as health professionals and think: what can we do to help eliminate these disparities and inequalities? ” said Jessica Kiarashi, MD, assistant professor of neurology, lead author of the article and chair of the Underserved Population in Headache Medicine section of the American Headache Society.

Dr. Kiarashi worked with 15 other headache experts to review more than 50 studies on headache disorders and health care disparities.

Part of the problem is the shortage of doctors specializing in headache disorders, but major flaws nationwide include systemic and institutional racism and the lack of health care in some geographies.

Other findings included:

  • Non-white children were less likely to receive headache medication, and they were three times less likely to receive imaging than white children.
  • Black children are less likely to have emergency room visits for sports-related pediatric head injuries.
  • Low-income groups have a 60 percent higher rate of migraines.
  • Uninsured adults with migraine headaches are twice as likely, and publicly insured adults one and a half times more likely, to not receive evidence-based treatment compared to commercially insured adults with migraine headaches.

Dr Kiarashi said there was very little data on Asian Americans.

Headaches are also stigmatized, Dr Kiarashi said. Headaches can dramatically erode a person’s quality of life, making it difficult to concentrate in the workplace, and negative social selection of people with headaches can further disadvantage minority groups in society, she declared.

Other researchers who contributed to the study include Juliana VanderPluym, Christina L. Szperka, Scott Turner, Mia T. Minen, Susan Broner, Alexandra C. Ross, Amanda E. Wagstaff, Marissa Anto, Maya Marzouk, Teshamae S. Monteith, Noah Rosen, Salvador L. Manrriquez, Elizabeth Seng, Alan Finkel, and Larry Charleston.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has been awarded six Nobel Prizes and includes 25 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 16 members of the National Academy of Medicine and 13 researchers of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The full-time faculty of more than 2,800 is responsible for revolutionary medical advancements and is committed to rapidly translating science-driven research into new clinical treatments. Doctors at UT Southwestern provide care in approximately 80 specialties to more than 117,000 inpatients, more than 360,000 emergency room cases and supervise nearly 3 million outpatient visits per year.

Digital genome market statistics in Europe, CAGR, Outlook,


Digital genome market

The digital genome is a complete, advanced digital arrangement of genetic material that occurs in a cell or organism. It is a simpler way to accumulate information on chronic diseases and used by experts to gain better insight into genetic disorders. Digital genomics deals with genes and their roles and aims to identify and treat the factors that cause chronic disorders to resolve them. This technology has sparked a revolt in research focused on invention and systems biology to accelerate understanding of the most complex genetic systems.

The European digital genome market is expected to reach US $ 5,994.09 million by 2027, compared to US $ 3,250.04 million in 2019. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.1% during the period 2019-2027. way. The reader can simply perceive the impressions of organizations by having data on their revenue, value, share of the pie, current turn of events and creation during the speculated period up to 2027. The study point by point advances a crucial minute understanding. of the European digital genome market in full knowledge of the facts.

to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the European digital genome market | Get a sample copy of the report, click here: https://www.businessmarketinsights.com/sample/TIPRE00012194

The main companies listed in the report are-
• Illumina, Inc
• bioMérieux SA

The Europe Digital Genome research report further takes into account the market presentation and incorporates characterizations, definitions, and applications. In addition, it contains a comprehensive survey of various angles, for example, openings, limitations, drivers, challenges and dangers, and major miniature business lines. Moreover, the report isolates the Europe Digital Genome market on the basis of few parts and subsections as well as past, current, and imaginable figure development patterns for each fragment and subset wrapped in the report.

By product
• Sequencing and analysis instruments
• DNA / RNA analysis
• Sequencing and analysis software
• Sequencing chips
• Sample preparation instruments
By application
• Diagnostic
• Drug discovery
• Academic research
• Personalized medicine
• Agricultural
• Other
By end user
• Diagnostic and forensic laboratories
• University research institutes
• Hospitals
• Other

Key points covered in the digital genome research report in Europe:
• Overview: In this section, the significance of the Europe Digital Genome Market is given throughout the thorough review of the report to present a comprehensive perspective on the quality and substance of the exploration study.
• Analysis of industry players’ strategies: This review will benefit economic players to gain the upper hand over their rivals.
• Fragmentary analysis: A solid and precise figure has been given for the share of the pie of important market places.
• Regional Analysis: The Europe Digital Genome Market report covers the top five districts and their nations. This review will help market players to guess about undiscovered local industries and different focal points.
• Key Market Trends: The top-down examination of the latest and future models in the market is covered in this section.
• Market Forecast: Review experts give legitimate and accurate estimates of market size in terms of value and volume. The use, creation, offerings and different estimates of the Europe Digital Genome market are also recalled for this report.

Browse the full report with TOC @ https://www.businessmarketinsights.com/reports/europe-digital-genome-market

The European digital genome market comprises 15 key chapters:

Part 1, industry overview of the European digital genome market;
Section 2, Classification, Specification and Definition of Europe Digital Genome Market Segment by Regions;
Part 3, Industry Suppliers, Manufacturing Process and Cost Structure, Chain Structure, Raw Material;
Part 4, Specialized information and analysis of European digital genome manufacturing plants, limit and commercial production rate, distribution of manufacturing plants, state of R&D and analysis of sources of innovation;
Part 5, Comprehensive Market Research, Capacity Analysis, Sales and Selling Prices with Company Segment;
Part 6, Analysis of the regional market which contains the United States, Europe, India, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan;
Parts 7 and 8, Europe Digital Genome Market Analysis by Major Manufacturers, Europe Digital Genome Segment Market Analysis (by Type) and (by Application);
Part 9, Regional Market Trend Analysis, Market Trend by Product Type and Application:
Part 10 and 11, Supply Chain Analysis, Regional Marketing Type Analysis, Trade Type Analysis;
Section 12, Buyers Analysis of Europe Digital Genome Industry;
Section 13, Research Results / Conclusion, Europe Digital Genome Channel for Good Business, Brokers, Wholesalers, Vendor Review;
Part 14 and 15, Annex and information source for the European digital genome market.

Contact us:
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Phone: +442081254005
Email ID: sales@businessmarketinsights.com
Web URL: https://www.businessmarketinsights.com/
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About Us:
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This version was posted on openPR.

Unravel the mysteries of the brain with the remarkable biology of the squid


But to investigate these and other mysteries about cephalopods, scientists need to be able to do genetic research on them. This requires three key elements: the complete genetic code of an organism, the ability to manipulate that code, and the ability to grow the organism in the laboratory.

For decades, this has been possible in mice and other classic model organisms, such as fruit flies and nematode worms, enabling countless advances in biology and medicine. But cephalopods – with their treasure trove of evolutionary quirks – have proven less conducive to genetic research (and not just because of the octopus’ notorious ability to escape reservoirs).

The difficulties encountered by the Rosenthal team in editing a single gene in a species of squid illustrate the challenges involved.

Cephalopod Operation

The first obstacle was the sequencing Doryteuthis pealeii’s genome, which the team needed to know where to cut, says Marine Biology Laboratory neurobiologist Carrie Albertin, who led the squid genome sequencing work. “Cephalopod genomes are large and complicated,” she says.

Where the human genome is made up of about 3.2 billion letters, or bases, the squid genome has about 4.5 billion letters, more than half of which are made up of repeating sequences. Linking these letters together, says Albertine, is like putting together a huge puzzle that represents an empty blue sky. “Every time you develop something new,” she says, “you have to find a way to overcome the weird challenge that biology decides to throw at you. “

After a costly effort to sequence these billions of squid DNA fragments and put them together, biology threw another curve ball at the team. Unlike other squids, Doryteuthis eggs have a thick, rubbery outer layer, or chorion, which cannot be easily punctured by the fragile needles used to inject the CRISPR-Cas9 molecular editing tool into the egg. It’s an embryonic operating game: if the needle doesn’t pierce far enough, the CRISPR-Cas9 won’t hit its target, but if the needle pierces too far, the egg won’t develop.

“I failed miserably for years,” says the embryologist and member of the St. Mary’s College Squid Editing Team. Karen crawford.

After much trial and error, made possible by the constant supply of squid eggs from Atlantic catches, Crawford found a way to use micro-scissors to make a slit in the chorion enough large so that the needle can pass through, but small enough to close behind the needle and leave the egg intact. “I got really good at pitting,” Crawford says.

For the first knockout, the team chose a gene responsible for pigmentation in squid. They selected the pigmentation gene because it would be easy to see if the modification worked. And he did. In September 2020, the group reported in the newspaper Current biology that the gene had been disrupted in 90 percent of the cells of the edited squid, which represents a key advance in making squid and other cephalopods suitable for genetic research. While the unmodified squids were speckled with colored chromatophores, the knockout squids were crystal clear.

Since then, the group has experimented with removing other genes, Rosenthal says, such as the two genes that enable RNA editing. While the function of this genetic trick is not yet clear, it appears to be essential for squid: larvae lacking RNA-editing genes die soon after hatching.

This summer, the group focused on adding, or “introducing” a gene into the squid to produce a protein that fluoresces green when it binds to calcium, which flows into the squid. axon when a nerve is triggered. Combined with the pigmentation knockout, this would allow researchers to literally observe the development of nerves and start working in transparent squid.

Squid culture

Despite these advances in Dorytheuthis pealeii research, and the species’ distinguished career in the service of science, the squid has a serious drawback as a genetic research organism: it cannot be easily cultivated in the laboratory. “He’s such a big adult,” Crawford says. “And he likes deep, cold sea water.”

Marine biologists discover real SpongeBob Squarepants and Patrick Star on the seabed of the Atlantic Ocean | Life


Unlike best friends in cartoons, their real-life counterparts don’t get along. – Photos via Twitter / NOAA, Christopher Mah, Instagram / SpongeBob Squarepants

KUALA LUMPUR, August 3 – Marine researchers have spotted the real-life versions of Nickelodeon’s famous duo SpongeBob and Patrick Star during a recent deep dive.

Only it wasn’t the pineapple under the sea at Bikini Bottom but somewhere on the seabed of the Atlantic Ocean.

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) were controlling a remote control vehicle when they came across the square-shaped yellow sponge and a pink five-pointed starfish at the Seamount Retriever off the coast of New England last week at a depth of 1,885 meters, Live Science reported.

Images of the sea sponge and the star were shared by NOAA as part of a live stream on Facebook.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History marine biologist Christopher Mah immediately thought of the popular Nickelodeon characters when he saw the footage.

“Normally I avoid these (references), but wow. SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick in real life, ”tweeted Mah, a starfish expert.

Mah said Live Science he made the comparison as soon as he saw them on video.

The images quickly took to social media, and even the official SpongeBob Squarepants Instagram account stepped in to share an image of the cartoon characters alongside their real life versions.

Mah said the scientific name for the sponge is Hertwigia and the starfish is Chondraster, adding that the exact species is unclear and may even be brand new to science.

Smithsonian magazine said the find was interesting to scientists because bright yellow sponges are rarely found at this depth and most deep-sea sponges are either white or neutral in color.

While the Nickelodeon icons are the best friends of the cartoon, the same can’t be said for their real-life counterparts.

Although they appear to hang out in the photo, the two creatures don’t get along.

“This species of starfish has been observed feeding on sponges,” Mah said.

Created by marine scientist and host Stephen Hillenburg to help children learn about marine life, SpongeBob Squarepants was established in 1999 and remains a success today.

“I am happy that the photo has delighted so many people,” said Mah.

“I hope this will also raise awareness of the deep sea as a habitat, which has been threatened by mining and fishing on the high seas.”

GA DNR improves and restores reefs in Glynn County with 213 tonnes of oyster shells


The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) continues to improve and restore oyster reefs on the coast of Peach State, most recently in a public shellfish harvesting area in Glynn County.

In June, contractors working for MNR’s Coastal Resources Division (CRD) placed approximately 140 tonnes of bulk oyster shells in Jointer Creek, west of Jekyll Island. This brings the total oyster shells returned to Georgia estuaries over the past 14 months to 213 tonnes.

“Oysters, in particular, are very important because they are ecosystem engineers who provide vital services in addition to being a harvested species,” said Cameron Brinton, marine biologist at CRD. “Oysters help stabilize shorelines, improve water quality and create critical habitat for commercially and recreationally important fish.

CRD’s Habitat and Artificial Reefs program also receives significant support from ordinary Georgians, Brinton said. This support comes in the form of volunteers who help package the oyster shells for deployment, donate oyster shells to area restaurants and funds from non-profit organizations.

In recent months, CRD has focused on three specific projects in Glynn County: a new artificial reef on the Back River near the Torras Causeway containing 68 tonnes of oyster shells in 7,200 bags; 140 tonnes of loose shells in the Glynn County Public Shellfish Harvesting Area on Jointer Creek; and five tonnes of shellfish in the South Brunswick River near Blythe Island Regional Park.

“The goal of this year’s projects was not only to create new reefs, but also to test new deployment methods,” said Brinton. “In the Back River we used bagged oyster shells, a method we have used successfully at a number of sites, and at Jointer Creek and Blythe Island we used loose shells, which require less labor-intensive and have been used with great success in other states.

Although the Blythe Island site has only five tonnes to date, CRD marine biologists will return to the site and see how effective the free-shell deployment has been. If the reef is stable, CRD plans to add more seashells in the future.

All oyster deployment sites will be monitored over the next several years by examining several biological and physical parameters to ensure the reefs are stable and self-sustaining.

“The first thing we look for is the establishment of juvenile wild oysters, called ‘spat’, which attach to the shell that we deploy and are the first sign the reef is starting to grow,” said Brinton. “Later, we measure the population size and density of adult oysters, and seasonally, we conduct aerial surveys to measure the reef footprint.”

A healthy reef should have an imprint that does not shrink. In established reefs, this is usually not a problem, Brinton said, but can be a challenge in newly established reefs due to sedimentation caused by Georgia’s eight-foot tidal cycle.

“With over 3,400 miles of creeks and tidal rivers in Georgia, we have a lot of work ahead of us,” Brinton said. “If you would like to help us, support the restaurants that partner with us for shell recycling, donate the shell of your own roast oyster and consider getting a marine habitat conservation license plate. for your vehicle or trailer.

For more information on artificial reefs in Georgia, visit www.CoastalGaDNR.org.


Barbara Thompson | Obituaries

Always taking care of her family’s needs first, she also found time for other adventures. She was active in her church, Petroleum Wives, DAR, Little League, Girl Scouts and many other organizations. Need help… there was Barbara. His passions were bridge, knitting, genealogy, cross stitch, collecting antiques and bowling. Barbara was passionate about sports. Win or lose, she loved her Red Sox and Celtics. Most of all, Barbara loved being with people and just talking to them. She made friends everywhere she went.

Family was everything to Barbara. She was devoted to Eric for 66 years of marriage before Eric passed away and took great pride in raising two children, Jan and Brad. She cherished her time with her four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Barbara lived a life full of passion and devoted all of her love and being to her family. It was a life well lived.

Barbara is predeceased by her husband. She is survived by her daughter, Jan Thompson of Kennewick, Washington; her son, Braden (Allison) of Edmond, Oklahoma; grandchildren Chad Nicley of Kennewick, Cari Tobias (Gerald) of Pasco, Washington, Hunter Thompson of Los Angeles, Logan Thompson of Edmond; three great-grandchildren (Owen, Carter and Ashton); and angelic friend Lori Kraft and her family, who were essential to Barbara’s end-of-life care and well-being.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday July 30 at the Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park.

SJSU’s Olympic legacy continues at Tokyo Games

Seven SJSU Spartans will compete in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo from July 23 to August 8. Not in the photo: coach Greg Massialas.

The state of San José has been a part of almost every Olympic Games since 1924. The university will be well represented at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which runs from July 23 to August 8.

Seven former Spartans will participate in five sports:

  • Suzy Brookshire Gonzales, softball in Mexico – first Olympics
  • Colton Brown, United States Men’s Judo – Second Olympics
  • Michelle Cox, Australia softball – first Olympics
  • Emma Entzminger, Softball of Canada – First Olympics
  • Clara Espar Llaquet, Spain Women’s Water Polo – Second Olympic Games
  • Robyn Stevens, United States women’s athletics (20km race) – first Olympic Games
  • Coach Greg Massialas, United States Head Fencing Coach – Seventh Olympics, Fourth as Head Coach (2008, 2012, 2016, 2020)

The five female Olympians are the most for SJSU in a single Olympics. Stevens is the first Spartan female Olympian since American shot and discus thrower Margaret Jenkins competed in the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932..

It is also the first time that a former SJSU student will appear in softball, which is returning to the Olympic Games program for the first time since 2008.

Colton Brown continues SJSU’s impressive judo legacy that began with former student Yoshihiro “Yosh” Uchida, ’47 Biological Science, head judo coach at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Brown shared his thoughts on the participation in his second Olympics and his quest for gold medal in a Q&A before leaving for Tokyo.

athletics events

Type 1 diabetes study points to new treatments


New research is producing results for a team at the University of Virginia studying type 1 diabetes.

CHARLOTTESVILLE – Scientists at the University of Virginia recently completed the largest and most diverse genetic study of type 1 diabetes never undertaken.

Through the study, the researchers identified new drug targets to treat the disease, which affects 1.6 million American adults and children.

According to a Study 2017-18 the Virginia Department of Health published, type 1 diabetes accounts for only five percent of all diabetes cases in the United States.

What is type 1 diabetes?

You’ve probably heard of diabetes. But did you know that there are two types?

As a rule, people with Type 2 diabetes have the ability to rid their bodies of the disease. Often times, treatment involves lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise.

For those with type 1 diabetes, there is no cure. However, people with the disease manage their condition with insulin.

Dr. Stephen Rich, one of the study researchers, is the director of the Center for Public Health Genomics within the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He is also professor of public health sciences and professor of biochemistry, microgenetics and biology.

Rich explained that the immune system is responsible for type 1 diabetes. Normally, the immune system fights viruses and pathogens. With type 1 diabetes, instead of attacking the virus or pathogen, the immune system attacks the body.

“There is a whole host of autoimmune diseases. Type 1 diabetes is probably the most common, but it is also rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease. There’s a whole series of myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, ”Rich said. “And in fact, these autoimmune diseases tend to cluster together. So sometimes you can have families where someone has type 1 diabetes and a family member can have autoimmune thyroid disease like Graves disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or whatever.

For people with type 1 diabetes, their bodies attack and destroy the insulin-producing beta cells.

“There is no insulin production and because there is no insulin production, insulin is what translates glucose into energy for the body. So when there is no insulin, the body attacks its own cells, systems and organs to try to get that energy, ”says Rich. “And that’s why without insulin people die.”

A large study

The UVA research team doubled participation in the largest previous study on type 1 diabetes. They ultimately looked at 61,427 people of North European, African, Asian and Latino descent.

Rich explained how studying tens of thousands of participants helped shape the research.

“There are a few approaches that we use in genetics to try to identify what factors in the genome really affect disease risk. One of these approaches is called genome-wide association analysis. And so you have sites in the genome, along the entire genome, ”Rich said. “We have done this previously and identified about 40 areas that were important.”

The professor compared the information gleaned from genomes to knowing someone lives in Charlottesville, but not knowing what house they reside in.

The large participation helped the team identify a narrower region in which to search for specific genetic variants. It also gave the team significant opportunities to identify more areas of the genome out of the 186 regions.

In total, the scientists identified 78 regions on the chromosomes where genes reside, which influence the risk of type 1 diabetes. Of these, the researchers found 36 previously unknown regions.

New discoveries

Researchers have identified specific and natural genetic variations that influence risk. They also determined how these variations act on particular types of cells. Using their findings, the team identified and prioritized potential drug targets.

Drugs targeting 12 genes identified in the diabetes study are underway or scheduled for clinical trials for autoimmune diseases. This could speed up the reuse of drugs to treat or prevent type 1 diabetes, the researchers say.

“One of the beautiful things that has happened over time is that there has been a whole series of drugs developed for autoimmune diseases. And so there is a drug based on an interleukin 23 alpha gene that is available for rheumatoid arthritis, and it seems to be working well, ”Rich said. “Previously the gene for rheumatoid arthritis – it’s one of many genes for rheumatoid arthritis – but this gene was not a type 1 diabetes gene. But with our study, we now find that it is is the case. And if all of a sudden we have drugs for other autoimmune diseases that are on the market that are being used that haven’t been used before for type 1 diabetes. Now that points to drugs that might be. used. “

Rich spoke about Yale University The discoveries of Professor Kevan Harold delay the onset of type 1 diabetes by almost two years.

“This suggests that there are compounds based on the immune system. And it’s a lot of our genes that we’re discovering, including this IL23A gene, that could be used now to slow progression and, in fact, maybe. even slow it down enough that it doesn’t happen, “Rich said.” And so if you can intervene early enough with those at risk, then that’s important. “

Amie Knowles reports for The Dogwood. You can reach her at ami@couriernewsroom.com

Unknown bird disease: why you should take your bird feeders apart


Reports of dead or stumbling birds with crusty, puffy eyes are pouring into wildlife agencies in DC, Maryland and Virginia. No one knows what causes it.

WASHINGTON – A porch, a cup of coffee, a newspaper and a feeder full of birds: this is one of the few reliable experiences that got us through the 2020 pandemic.

But as people flock to bistros and concerts, the birds of the DMV face their own epidemic.

In June, wildlife organizations advised the public to take down their bird feeders and dry their birdbaths to contain potential contagion killing and infecting young birds. Their ads described birds falling dead or found stumbling with crusty, swollen eyes and signs of neurological problems.

Weeks passed without any conclusion as to what made these chicks sick. That’s when viewer Ralph from Gaithersburg contacted the Verify team.


Do you have to put your bird feeders back in place?


  • Meagan Thomas, observable wildlife biologist at the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources
  • Dan Rauch, Fisheries and Wildlife Biologist in the DC Department of Energy and Environment
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources press release
  • US Geological Survey (USGS) press release
  • Bill Mulvihill, ornithologist at the National Aviary


Wildlife officials in DC, Maryland, and Virginia all say no; keep your bird feeders down for now.


In late April, early May, Meagan Thomas said she recalled receiving calls about sick and dead birds.

“Really puffy or crusty eyes, a lot of discharge,” said Thomas, an observable wildlife biologist. “In many cases, there was also evidence of neurological issues … balance issues or they were just going around in circles.”

Species at risk include starlings, blue jays, common blackbird and robins, and the disease has been reported in chicks or young birds.

RELATED: Wildlife Groups Investigate Bird Deaths in DC Area

While the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources has received more than 1,400 reports of dead or sick birds, Thomas says about 400 to 500 birds exhibited these specific symptoms.

Most of the reports came from northern Virginia, including hot spots in Arlington, Fairfax, Alexandria and Loudoun County.

Without a specific cause, those responsible for wildlife do not have a specific name for it. For now, authorities are calling it a “fatal event”.

“We’re not labeling it as ‘disease’ or anything like that at this point,” Thomas said.


In the District there is a similar situation.

“It sort of started when the district area was the epicenter of what we call a ‘bird mortality event’ at the moment,” said Dan Rauch, fisheries and wildlife biologist at the Department of DC Energy and Environment.

It didn’t take long for local and federal agencies, like the US Geological Survey, to partner with university labs.

So far, according to the USGS, these labs have been able to rule out a number of pathogens as the cause, including Salmonella and Chlamydia (bacterial pathogens); avian influenza virus; West Nile virus and other flaviviruses; Newcastle disease virus and other paramyxoviruses; herpes virus and poxvirus; and Trichomonas parasites.

Bob Mulvihill, an ornithologist at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, says he hasn’t seen the phenomenon up close. Yet, he said, “I get hundreds of phone calls and emails about this every day.

He explained that until scientists come to definitive conclusions, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

“Keep your feeders down,” Mulvihill said. “Wait until there is an announcement from one of the credible news sources.”

This is the same recommendation made by wildlife officials across the DMV. They also ask the public to keep their birdbaths clean, using a 10% bleach solution (1 part bleach: 9 parts water).

  • In Maryland call the Department of Natural Resources and USDA wildlife hotline: (877) -463-6497
  • In virginia use this report form of the Department of Wildlife
  • In the District of Columbia call the Humane Rescue Alliance at (202) -723-5730
  • The National Smithsonian also collects reports on birds

RELATED: CHECK OUT: Can This Backyard Plant Kill Songbirds?

Jane E. Jeffrey | Obituary


Jane passed away peacefully on July 21, 2021 in Red Cedar Canyon, Hudson, WI, from dementia. Jane was born September 20, 1940 in Cleveland, Ohio to Herbert G. and Margaret L. Stannert and raised in the Cleveland area, a graduate of Berea High School. She attended Bowling Green State University (Ohio) with a major in biology, where she met her 58-year-old husband Robert (Bob) Jeffrey. The adventure of a lifetime began in LeSueur, MN, where Bob worked for the Jolly Green Giant. They ended up on a small farm south of LeSueur in Ottawa, MN, where they had a number of horses, one of Jane’s main loves in life. Sons Paul and David were born in Ottawa, along with half of the county’s mosquitoes! In addition to a deep love for all creatures, Jane also enjoyed gardening and feeding birds. Jane showed her courage in the winter of 1967 when Bob had to undergo basic training and AIT Army for six months, leaving Jane at home with a one month old baby (Paul), 8 horses that we had boarded to try out to earn money to pay the bills, and no neighbor for almost a mile! The temperatures got well below freezing and she used our old tractor and old loader to move the snow. She was able to get a good neighbor to look after Paul while she worked nights at the bank, to help her make ends meet. A strong and determined woman! On a larger farm in Belle Plaine, MN where Jane was a mother, farmer, rural mailman, renovator, gardener and wife, along with many other activities and adventures. The couple then made several other moves to St. Charles, IL, Dousman, WI, ending up in rural River Falls with, wait… more horses, cats and birds! Jane loved the peaceful calm of country life. She loved to share her country universe with her grandsons Ian and Isaac and her granddaughter Kelsey. She grew lots of pumpkins to share and had wonderful pumpkin parties for the grandchildren and their friends. Jane is survived by her husband, Bob, her sons Paul (Sheree) of Belle Plaine, MN, David (Darcy) of Lake Elmo, MN, brothers Herb and Jim and their grandchildren. An event to celebrate Jane’s meaningful life will take place at the family home on Sunday August 8, 2021 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The address is W11167 County Road MM, River Falls, WI. Three miles east of the Clifton Highlands Golf Course on MM in Pierce County. Cremation Services provided by Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.

Watertown’s real estate market booming thanks to life science companies

This spring, as Massachusetts reopened after the pandemic, Phase I of the Arsenal Yards project was nearing completion and a population eager to get out of their homes flocked to the new destination of Watertown. The mixed-use development offers a balance between retail stores, restaurants, preservation of green spaces, history of the Arsenal, new residences and affordable housing.

Soon, Phase II will consist of the construction of a 12-story, 108,000 square foot life sciences building. And across the street, the 17.8-acre Watertown Mall was recently sold to Alexandria Real Estate for $ 130 million. In short, the need for office space, research and development in the life science industry is the driving force behind Watertown’s development.

The proximity of Watertown to Cambridge and Boston and its available commercial space has been the main reason for these recent megaprojects. However, beyond the sheer luck of the location, the residents of Watertown can be proud of their small town’s deserved success. Watertown enjoys a high percentage of commercial areas within its 4 square miles and very efficient city management. To the envy of neighboring towns, Watertown can build schools on budget, with no tax breaks.

The residents of Watertown have also seen their property values ​​increase. In the past six months, 56 single-family homes have sold for an average price of $ 864,000, or $ 490 per square foot. The best-selling property was 100 Garfield St., which sold in about a week for $ 1.9 million, $ 200,000 more than asking price.

100 Garfield St., Watertown sold for $ 1.9 million

During the same period, 164 condominiums sold for an average price of $ 664,000, or $ 457 per square foot. A condo at 22 Common Street sold for $ 1,200,000, or $ 55,000 above demand in just five days.

22 Common Street, Unit 2 sold for $ 1.260 million

While the trading volume is roughly the same as a year ago, the values ​​are around 30% higher. In the multi-family market, Watertown had 32 properties selling at an average of 2,715 square feet and an average selling price of $ 960,5,000 or $ 354 per square foot. The best-selling multi-family building, 64 Commonwealth, closed at a whopping 32% above demand of $ 1,260,000 in just four days.

64 Commonwealth Road, Watertown sold for $ 1,260,000.

“Salespeople are individuals and families who experience life changes. These are needs-based sales, not people cashing in on their home equity, ”said Bob Airasian, a broker at Coldwell Banker. “Like most of the Greater Boston market, we are seeing properties going above asking price. buyers are motivated by low stocks and low interest rates.

With the highest percentage of millennials in the country, Boston millennials are the lifeblood of the local market. This is particularly true in condominiums, where amenities and living conveniences (laundry room, dog walking, activity trails) are highly valued. You rarely see young couples looking for a top repairman and willing to invest some equity. Most buyers are willing to pay a premium for a well-finished home.

Airasian is a longtime resident of Watertown and co-founder of the 600-member Watertown Business Coalition. He said: “After the dissolution of the Belmont-Watertown Chamber of Commerce, there was a need to support and strengthen the Watertown business community. Our original focus was on small businesses, but commerce exploded. There are currently five or six projects underway, all planning to develop lab space for life science and biotechnology companies. “

It wasn’t that long ago that the financial services industry dominated Boston’s economy. In the 21st century, biotechnology is clearly the forerunner, intended to stimulate economies and lifestyles. Technology has made it possible for financial institutions to work in a distributed fashion, and the pandemic has proven they can reduce their office space. The life sciences, however, have a strong need for in-person collaboration and large modern laboratories. Watertown is well positioned to meet this need and reap the benefits.

Recent sales

  • Single-family home at 119 Russell Ave., Watertown, listed for $ 1.865 million, sold for $ 1.8 million June 28, on the market for 21 days
  • Single-family home at 80 Standish Road, Watertown, listed $ 875,000, sold for $ 1.118 million July 16, on the market for 16 days.
  • Single-family home at 40 Merrill Road, Watertown, listed for $ 919,500, sold for $ 1.150 million on June 7, on the market for three days.
  • Single-family home at 38 Lincoln St., Watertown, listed for $ 1.395 million, sold for $ 1.25 million, on the market for 19 days.
  • Single-family home at 100 Garfield St., Watertown, listed for $ 1.7 million, sold for $ 1.9 million, on the market for 12 days.
  • Condominium at 9 Pearl St., Unit 9, Watertown, listed for $ 1.399 million, sold for $ 1.399 million on February 1, on the market for 61 days.
  • Condominium at 85 Summer St., 85A, Watertown, listed $ 1.449 million, sold for $ 1.434 million on March 16, in the 143-day market.
  • Condominium at 87 Summer St, 87A, Watertown, listed for $ 1.499 million, sold for $ 1.499 million on March 31, in the market for 23 days.
  • Condominium at 63 Holt St., Unit 63, Watertown, listed for $ 1.595 million, sold for $ 1.5 million May 20, on the market for 70 days.
  • Condominium at 18 Bridgham Avenue Unit 18, Watertown, listed for $ 1.525 million, sold for $ 1.5 million on June 28, on the market for 88 days.
  • Multifamily at 134 Cypress St., Watertown, listed $ 975,000, sold for $ 1.1 million May 25, in the market for 23 days.
  • Multi-family at 81-83 Union St., Watertown, listed for $ 1.049 million, sold for $ 1.1 million June 2, in the market for two days.
  • Multi-family at 13 Oakley Road, Watertown, listed for $ 989,500, sold for $ 1.170 million on July 12, in the six-day market.
  • Multi-family at 148 Irving St., Watertown, listed for $ 1.075 million, sold for $ 1.180 million on June 18, in the five-day market.
  • Multifamily at 64 Commonwealth Road, Watertown, listed for $ 948,000, sold for $ 1.260 million on May 3, in the 19-day market.

John Kolis is a longtime Belmont resident, a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker and a frequent contributor to local newspapers. He can be contacted at john.kolis@cbrealty.com.

Virginia Tech’s In-House Development of New SARS-CoV-2 Test Shows the Power of University Labs

At the start of the pandemic, scientists at Virginia Tech created a COVID-19 testing lab and a new test for the virus from scratch.

They not only developed an in-house test that avoided reagent shortages that hampered nationwide testing efforts, but also used 3D designed supplies and stable storage media, allowing samples to be transported to rural locations in Virginia without the need for constant refrigeration.

This new protocol to turn a research lab into a testing operation capable of processing more than 130,000 tests for the communities of the Commonwealth of Virginia and Virginia Tech since April 2020, was described in a new article published on July 20 in Nature Communication.

Carla Finkielstein, Associate Professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC and Scientific Director of the Virginia Tech Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, is the corresponding author of the article.

Since testing began, the Molecular Diagnostics Lab has analyzed samples from eight health districts in Southwest Virginia and more than 650 businesses, retirement homes, medical and dental practices, construction sites, and schools.

This publication in Nature Communication provides insight into the tremendous dedication of people, including Dr. Finkielstein and his colleagues, and the successful business they have put into serving not only Virginia Tech, but the entire community. The partnership of faculty, staff, students and academic leaders at Virginia Tech working closely with the leaders of our healthcare services to meet the scientific, regulatory, legal, financial and infrastructural needs necessary for the implementation This program’s artwork represents the Virginia Tech spirit of Ut Prosim at its best. “

Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, vice president of health science and technology at Virginia Tech and author of the article

At Virginia Tech, Finkielstein, who is also an associate professor of biological sciences at the College of Science, helped scientists at the university develop a new test. Award-winning cancer researcher, Finkielstein has turned her attention away from her lab and enlisted “a small army of volunteers” at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute to work around the clock to develop a reliable RT-qPCR-based test that could be validated and submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization review, while avoiding faulty test kits and potential reagent supply chain challenges to the horizon for the nation, Friedlander said.

The Virginia Tech COVID-19 Lab was launched on April 20, 2020, after submitting its emergency use clearance request from the FDA and receiving approval to begin testing. The initiative has helped expand the testing capacity of public health laboratories in southwest Virginia – a critical step in monitoring the spread of the virus in the Commonwealth and slowing the pandemic.

The Virginia Tech Visitors Council has since awarded Finkielstein its highest honor for faculty – the Ut Prosim Scholar Award – for his service to humanity and his work to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of COVID testing. 19 in support of Virginia Tech and the Department of Virginia. of health.

“Dozens of dedicated and caring people have contributed – it’s always more than just an individual effort,” said Finkielstein, who is also affiliated with the Fralin Life Sciences Institute. “I am grateful to work with people who cared about their well-being and came forward when needed. It is an honor to see teamwork making a contribution to people’s lives. “

Virginia Tech is located on the edge of southwestern Virginia, a rural part of the state that includes some counties facing economic challenges. The region’s population is older and lags behind the rest of Virginia in terms of income and access to health care, according to U.S. Census data, making it particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

Paige Bordwine, Southwest Virginia Regional Epidemiologist in the Virginia Department of Health Office of Epidemiology, and Noelle Bissell, Director of the New River Health District, who worked closely with the Virginia Tech team to validate and implement the tests, are co-authors of the paper.

The Virginia Tech team has developed a test assay that in many cases is more sensitive and specific to SARS-CoV-2 than other molecular tests available. While most other tests target one or two regions of the same gene to identify the virus, the Virginia Tech test targets three, making it more precise and enhancing its ability to detect viral variants. The test can analyze a variety of types of clinical samples, including nasopharyngeal, nasal and throat swabs, and saliva.

To guard against errors, the molecular diagnostic laboratory, located in the new research building of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute in Roanoke, was designed with physically separate processing stations, controls to report sources of contamination, monitors human error and strict criteria for reporting a sample. as positive.

Because the test was developed in-house, scientists can adapt it quickly to detect new mutations in the virus genome and virus variants and implement it within hours, allowing for faster assessment and better public health response to viral mutations. The laboratory has the capacity to process 7,500 tests per week.

Deborah Birx, former White House coronavirus response coordinator, praised Virginia Tech’s work to develop its own coronavirus testing site and open its campuses amid the global pandemic. In September, she told university officials that only a handful of universities nationwide were performing their own COVID-19 tests.

On November 10, 2020, state officials announced that Virginia Tech’s COVID-19 lab had been selected as one of three exclusive Tier 2 labs in the OneLab network to expand virus testing capability across the Virginia. The laboratory is called upon to receive samples from any health district in the state, based on the most important needs.

The first authors of the article are Alessandro Cela, an analyst in the molecular diagnostic laboratory of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute; and Carmen Muñoz-Ballester, postdoctoral associate in the laboratory of Stefanie Robel, assistant professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute.

Other authors include Friedlander; Allison Tegge, assistant research professor in statistics at the Virginia Tech College of Science; F. Marc Michel, associate professor of geosciences at the Virginia Tech College of Sciences; Harald Sontheimer, former professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute; Robyn Umans, former postdoctoral associate in Sontheimer’s laboratory at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute; Dipankumar Patel, former researcher at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute; Tewari, former assistant research professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute; Oscar Alcoreza, former graduate research assistant in Sontheimer’s laboratory at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute; and Thomas Maynard, associate research professor in the laboratory of Anthony-Samuel LaMantia, professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute; and Daniel Martinez-Martinez, postdoctoral researcher at the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences.

The document serves as a model that could help research institutes act quickly to speed up viral testing protocols, navigate regulatory requirements and support testing in rural communities – in the event of another global pandemic.

“By openly sharing our experience in the development and implementation of a diagnostic test born out of the need of our community, we hope to inspire other university labs to overcome obstacles and provide assistance to their communities if they arise. Infectious disease problems arise in the future, ”said Finkielstein. .


Journal reference:

Céci, A., et al. (2021) Development and implementation of a scalable and versatile test for COVID-19 diagnostics in rural communities. Natural communications. doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24552-4.

It’s a wonder: R&D tax credits for the film and television industries

By the engineering tax services.

Of all the arts, the film and television industries are the most technology-dependent. It is therefore not surprising that it is the forms of creative activity that can benefit the most from research and development (R&D) tax credits.

Provisionally created by Congress in 1981 as research and experimentation credits, R& D tax credits are now permanent federal and state tax incentives designed to stimulate innovation, technical design, product development and improvement, and to keep the United States at the forefront of innovation. These tax credits reimburse companies that develop new products, processes or inventions and offer a significant percentage to the company for qualified research activities and qualified research expenses.

The problem is that many executives in the film and television industry are unaware of the substantial tax credits available to them, or do not understand which activities qualify. Think of the addiction of movies and TV shows to special effects alone, after the 1977s. Star wars revolution that unleashed dazzling special effects on enthusiastic moviegoers around the world. In addition, the film and media industries are constantly investing in new technological advancements which can take the form of improved camera lenses, sound recording technologies, and lighting systems. Production companies can save substantial amounts simply by claiming these tax credits.

There is a company specializing in helping film and television production companies to benefit from R&D tax credits: 1913 Media Group, which describes itself as “a vertically integrated film and television studio focused on the creative development and financing of pre-sold film projects.”

“We do a tremendous amount of financial engineering as part of our film production,” said Joey DiFranco, President and Chief Operating Officer of 1913 Media Group. “WeThey are project engineers who design film productions for tax purposes, and the use of tax credits is one of them. Big studios like Marvel are big financial engineers, but we’re bringing that knowledge to the independent film space. We found a sweet spot for this level of engineering: the production base of less than $ 10 million [independent films that cost less than $10 million]. No one in our space benefits from incentives like R&D tax credits. Our job is to ask our creative clients, “How do we remove the barriers? This is why we offer financial engineering such as the R&D tax credit.

DiFranco cited several examples of where film and television production companies could use R&D tax credits. He explained that each movie is represented by its own short-cycle LLC, which shields the parent organization (Marvel, for example) from liability.

“Filmmakers are constantly undertaking technology development, software development, and process development, not necessarily for a specific movie, but for the parent organization,” he said. “This is classic research and development for better processes and products. You literally reinvent the wheel for every movie with visual effects, practical effects, and custom gear and gear. You go through an ideation process that is traceable, which you return and use on other productions. Our clients are always inventing ways to create some type of cinematic print and then applying them to these different projects.

He added, “For example, you could develop new check-in / check-out software for your movie. You can license beyond that and sell your new software tool to others in the film and television industry. There are very reproducible R&D tax credits, but manufacturers don’t realize this. This is the advantage of working with a partner like Engineering taxationservices, who are experts in the field.

If you work in the film and television industry, how do you know if you are eligible for R&D tax credits? Just take this simple four-part test set out by the IRS:

1. Authorized objective: Activities should relate to components, functions, performance, reliability and quality.

2. Technological in nature: The activity carried out must be fundamentally based on the principles of physical or biological science, engineering and computing.

3. Elimination of uncertainty: The activity should aim to uncover information in order to remove uncertainty about the ability, method or design of developing or improving a product or process.

4. Experimentation process: The taxpayer must engage in an assessment process that can identify and assess more than one alternative to achieve an outcome. This may include modeling, simulation, or a systematic trial and error methodology.

“If you’re in the film and television business, don’t leave money on the table,” DiFranco said. “These millions of unclaimed dollars could go a long way towards financing your next production!

A marine biologist dives where blue gives way to black


The shining abyss. By Helen Scales. Atlantic Monthly Press; 304 pages; $ 27. Bloomsbury Sigma; £ 16.99

MALL VISITORS only scratch the surface of the ocean – swim from the beach or slice off white hats on a sailboat. In “The Brilliant Abyss,” Helen Scales, a marine biologist whose previous books have explored the shallower parts of the sea, dives deep and revealingly into the realm below 660 feet where the sunny blue begins to give way. place in black.

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As Ms. Scales notes, it is often said that we know more about the surface of the Moon, exposed to anyone with a telescope, than about the geography of the seabed, which a dark mantle of water obscures. It is a rugged, complex and moving terrain, subject to earthquakes precipitated by the movement of tectonic plates, and punctuated by seamounts (mountains formed by volcanic activity) and hydrothermal vents that emit sulphurous fluids and burning.

In these dark and cold submarine extremes, and the boiling waters disgorged by the vents, life survives and even thrives. It features sea cucumbers that peel away from their illuminated skins to distract predators, yeti crabs as hairy as their name suggests, fish masked with ultra-black skin that makes them almost invisible, and a sponge that looks like to a glass of frozen milk in the middle – spread. In addition to its role as a climate regulator and carbon sink, the abyss, in its vibrant profusion, invites us to reflect on the possibility of life on other planets.

Less alluring things are lurking there too. Plastic bags and wrappers have been spotted by submersibles in the seven-mile-deep Mariana pit. Nuclear waste, chemicals and oil spills, like that from the Deepwater Horizon platform in 2010, have turned sections of the seabed into toxic dumps. Exploitation adds to the scourge. Orange roughy, a white-fleshed fish that congregates around seamounts (also known, less appetizingly, as slimehead) has been dangerously overfished.

Another threat is an experimental push to harvest nodules from the seabed containing manganese, nickel, cobalt and other metals. According to Ms Scales, the potential damage to the seabed by remote-controlled machinery is analogous to the most toxic mining operation on land. But the income could be huge. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis calculated that a single seabed mine could bring in $ 1 billion a year.

And an ecological case for the initiative can be made. “I’m very uncomfortable when people describe us as deep-sea miners,” says Gerard Barron of DeepGreen Metals, a deep-sea mining company targeting metals used in electric car batteries. “We want to help the world move away from fossil fuels.” Because the long-term impact is unknown, Ms. Scales is skeptical; his argument is convincing, even if his explanation of car batteries is a daunting task. Another marine biologist doubts that mining will be prevented “even if we find unicorns at the bottom of the sea”.

Early European cartographers often used sea snakes to mark unknown depths. Hic sunt dracones– Here be dragons – reads the inscription of unfathomable water on a globe made in 1510. But perhaps the most menacing sea monster of all is man. â– 

This article appeared in the Books and Arts section of the print edition under the title “Beyond the Blue”

Platt receives AAUW CT Shoreline Branch scholarship

By AAUW CT Shoreline Branch Press Release • 07/15/2021 04:00 EST

The CT Shoreline branch of AAUW (formerly American Association of University Women) awards a grant of $ 2,000 to a young woman who has completed 60 credit hours at an accredited college or university. Eligibility is also balanced based on the candidate’s accomplishments, service and leadership experiences, and financial needs. This year, the Shoreline Branch awarded a second prize in the amount of $ 1,500.

Among a group of several highly qualified women, Sarah Platt of Madison was unanimously chosen as the recipient of the $ 2,000 AAUW CT Shoreline Branch Fellowship. Elaina Griffiths of Guilford was unanimously selected as the recipient of the $ 1,500 award.

A graduate of The Country School and Choate Rosemary Hall, Platt is a senior student in the Honors Program at the University of Connecticut, pursuing a BS in Biological Sciences and a Minor in French with the goal of attending medical school in 2023. During While at UConn, Platt devoted much of her time to leadership, mentoring and volunteering, as president of UConn’s French club, as a ground mentor for her WiMSE (Women in Math, Science , and Engineering), biochemistry tutor and volunteer at Windham Hospital, among other roles. Last summer, she created the intergenerational edible gardening program “Sow, Grow, Savor” with the support of a UConn IDEA grant. Her program’s mission is to bridge generational gaps and promote the long-term community health of Madison residents and she looks forward to continuing to grow the program this summer. She is currently leading a summer undergraduate research fund project for her honors thesis at UConn Health, studying a protein from the parasite that causes African sleeping sickness, and volunteering for the UConn Health Leaders program. Platt is an avid runner and reader, and enjoys fishing the Strait and the Hammonassett in her spare time.

evolutionary approach reveals impact of missense variants in autism | Spectrum


Harnessing cross-species data on protein evolution can help understand subtle genetic variants in people with autism and identify hundreds of new genes that may contribute to the disease, new analysis shows.

The work focuses on ‘missense’ variants, which alter a single amino acid in a protein and often have mild effects. Although researchers have identified thousands of missense variants in people with autism, analyzing which ones contribute to the disease has been difficult.

“The impact of a mutation that turns one amino acid into another in a protein is difficult to interpret,” says Olivier Lichtarge, professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, who led the recent research. This could alter the way the protein folds, breaks down, is transported, or interacts with other molecules, and predicting this outcome is complex, he says.

To identify autism-related missense variants, Lichtarge and his colleagues used an approach known as “evolutionary action,” which involves comparing the amino acid sequences of a protein across different species. to infer the likely impact of a missense variant.

Using this strategy, the team identified missense variants in 398 genes that could contribute to autism. Some are known genes linked to autism, such as RELN, PTEN, and SYNGAP1, but others have not been previously linked to the disease.

The approach “does indeed seem to identify important mutations in the context of autism,” explains Ivan Iossifov, associate professor at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, who was not involved in the work. Although researchers have developed many ways to assess the impact of missense variants, spotting autism-related ones is still a big problem in the field, he says, and “it seems like a good way to go. approach it “.

Evolving experience:

Lichtarge and colleagues looked for uninherited, or de novo, missense variants in 2,384 people with autism and 1,792 of their unaffected siblings. The data came from the Simons Simplex Collection, a repository of genetic and trait information from families with an autistic child. (The dataset is funded by the Simons Foundation, Spectrumparent organization of.)

Participants with autism have 1,418 de novo missense variants that affect 1,269 genes, and their siblings have 976 missense variants that affect 911 genes, the researchers reported in May in Science Translational Medicine.

The team calculated the evolutionary action score for each variant on a scale of 0 to 100; the higher the score, the more likely a variant is to damage the corresponding protein in the gene. The score takes into account two factors: the sensitivity of a particular point in a protein’s amino acid sequence to variants and the severity of the disturbance caused by an amino acid change.

To measure sensitivity, the team used existing databases to compare amino acid sequences in proteins from various species to the protein associated with each mutated gene. They then measured the evolutionary distance associated with a change at a specific location in the sequence. If an alteration was associated with a large evolutionary distance, variants at this site were considered likely to alter the function of the corresponding protein.

To assess the severity of a disturbance caused by an amino acid change, the team measured how often a particular amino acid is swapped for another in any protein from one species to another. A change that rarely occurred in evolution suggested that the new amino acid has different properties than the one it replaced and that the alteration may have been damaging.

Although people with autism have more de novo missense variants than their siblings, the distribution of scores in the two groups was not significantly different, and the researchers say that without relying on existing knowledge about them. genes linked to autism, they would have been unable to identify which of the affected genes contributes to the disease.

So the team pooled variants based on 368 biological pathways – focusing on variants in the 1,792 people with autism who have matched siblings – and examined the distribution of evolutionary action scores. Only 23 pathways were skewed toward high-impact variants, many of which are related to neurodevelopment, neural signaling, and the development of neural projections called axons.

High-impact pathways include 398 genes, many of which appear in the SFARI Gene database of genes linked to autism. (SFARI Gene is funded by the Simons Foundation.) Of these 398 genes, 28 were not classified as “high confidence” in 2017, but were listed as such in 2020.

These results suggest that the evolutionary action approach could help identify candidate genes for future research, the researchers said.

Severity score:

In a more in-depth analysis, the team divided people with autism into three groups based on their intelligence quotients (IQs). For each person, they counted the evolutionary action score of the variants within the 398 genes.

People with the lowest IQs have the most impacting variants in priority genes, supporting a link between the variants and autism, the researchers say. Scores plus rare and inherited missense variants are also tracked with IQ, according to another test.

Previous studies have not found a statistically significant link between rare and hereditary missense variants and the severity of autism traits, says Yufeng Shen, associate professor of systems biology and biomedical informatics at the University. Columbia, who was not involved in the research. So, the evolutionary approach may be useful in discovering the role that these variants play in disease, he says.

One limitation of the study is that the researchers did not systematically compare the evolutionary action approach with other methods commonly used to identify harmful missense variants, Shen says. “Without comparison with other methods, it is very difficult to assess the contribution of this method to autism research.”

The researchers also warn that IQ is only a measure of the severity of autism traits and that a person’s impact score is not necessarily predictive of their IQ.

The results are just the “tip of the iceberg,” says Lichtarge. As researchers analyze more data, they can potentially use evolutionary action scores to find out how a person’s variants affect their genetic traits in more individualized ways.

Quote this article: https://doi.org/10.53053/VESX6574

How to be a good ancestor


In 2015, 20 residents of Yahaba, a small town in northeastern Japan, went to their town hall to take part in a unique experiment.

Their goal was to design policies that would shape the future of Yahaba. They would debate questions typically reserved for politicians: Would it be better to invest in infrastructure or child care? Should we promote renewable energy or industrial farming?

But there was a twist. While half the citizens were invited to be themselves and express their own opinions, the remaining participants were asked to put on special ceremonial robes and play the part of people from the future. Specifically, they were told to imagine they were from the year 2060, meaning they’d be representing the interests of a future generation during group deliberations.

What unfolded was striking. The citizens who were just being themselves advocated for policies that would boost their lifestyle in the short term. But the people in robes advocated for much more radical policies — from massive health care investments to climate change action — that would be better for the town in the long term. They managed to convince their fellow citizens that taking that approach would benefit their grandkids. In the end, the entire group reached a consensus that they should, in some ways, act against their own immediate self-interest in order to help the future.

This experiment marked the beginning of Japan’s Future Design movement. What started in Yahaba has since been replicated in city halls around the country, feeding directly into real policymaking. It’s one example of a burgeoning global attempt to answer big moral questions: Do we owe it to future generations to take their interests into account? What does it look like to incorporate the preferences of people who don’t even exist yet? How can we be good ancestors?

Several Indigenous communities have long embraced the principle of “seventh-generation decision making,” which involves weighing how choices made today will affect a person born seven generations from now. In fact, it’s that kind of thinking that inspired Japanese economics professor Tatsuyoshi Saijo to create the Future Design movement (he learned about the concept while visiting the US and found it extraordinary).

But most of us probably haven’t given much thought to how we can become good ancestors. As a quote attributed to Groucho Marx puts it: “Why should I care about future generations — what have they ever done for me?”

It’s also just genuinely hard to focus on the future when we’re struggling under the weight of our day-to-day problems, and when everything in society — from our political structures (think two- and four-year election cycles) to our consumerist technologies (think Amazon’s “Buy Now” button) — seems to favor short-term solutions.

And yet, failing to think long term is a huge problem. Threats like climate change, pandemics, and rapidly emerging technologies are making it clear that it’s not enough to adopt “sustainability” as a buzzword. If we really want human life to be sustainable, we need to break out of our fixation on the present. Training ourselves to take the long view is arguably the best thing we can do for humanity.

Why we should care about people who don’t exist yet

Picture this: A child is drowning in front of you. You see her desperate limbs flailing in a pond, and you know you could easily wade into the waters and save her. Your clothes would get muddy, but your life wouldn’t be in any danger. Should you rescue her?

Of course you should.

Now, what if I told you that the child was on the other side of the world, in a village in Nepal. She’s drowning in a pond there right now. An adult just like you is passing by the pond and sees her flailing. Is it just as important for that adult to save her as it is for you to save the child near you?

Hilary Greaves, a philosopher at the University of Oxford, thinks you should answer yes. “I’d hope that most reasonable people would agree that pain and suffering on the other side of the world matter just as much as pain and suffering here,” she said. In other words, spatial distance is morally irrelevant.

“And if you think that, then it’s pretty hard to see why the case of temporal distance would be any different,” Greaves continued. “If there’s a child suffering terribly in 300 years’ time, and this is completely predictable — and there’s just as much that you could do about it as there is that you could do about the suffering of a child today — it’d be pretty strange to think that just because it’s in the future it’s less important.”

This hypothetical an adaptation of a classic Peter Singer thought experiment — highlights the idea that future lives matter, and that we should care about improving them just like we care about improving those of people alive today.

Roman Krznaric, a research fellow at the Long Now Foundation and the author of the new book The Good Ancestor, offers an even starker analogy. “If it’s wrong to plant a bomb on a train that kills a bunch of children right now, it’s also wrong to do it if it’s going to go off in 10 minutes or 10 hours or 10 years,” he told me. “I think we shouldn’t be afraid of making that moral argument.”

And, increasingly, people are making that moral argument. “Legal struggles for the rights of future people are exploding around the world,” Krznaric said.

In 2015, 21 young Americans filed a landmark case against the government — Juliana v. United States — in which they argued that its failure to confront climate change will have serious effects on both them and future generations, which constitutes a violation of their rights.

In 2019, 15 children and teens in Canada filed a similar lawsuit. That same year, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands issued a groundbreaking ruling ordering the government to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, citing its duty of care to current and future generations.

This past April, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court likewise ruled that the government’s current climate measures weren’t good enough to protect future generations, giving it until the end of 2022 to improve its carbon emissions targets.

Also in April, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled against the expansion of the cement industry, which is terrible for the climate, in certain areas of Punjab. In the decision, the presiding justice wrote: “The tragedy is that tomorrow’s generations aren’t here to challenge this pillaging of their inheritance. The great silent majority of future generations is rendered powerless and needs a voice. This Court should be mindful that its decisions also adjudicate upon the rights of the future generations of this country.”

Krznaric, who was surprised and delighted to find his book cited in the court proceedings, told me, “These lawyers and judges are trying to find a language to talk about something they know is right, and it’s about intergenerational justice. Law is generally slow, but stuff is happening fast.”

How to nudge society to care more about the long term

The push to embrace this kind of thinking isn’t limited to the courts. A few countries have already created government agencies dedicated to thinking about policy in the very long term. Sweden has a “Ministry of the Future,” and Wales and the United Arab Emirates both have something similar.

Prominent figures in other countries are pushing their governments in that direction. For example, philosopher Toby Ord, who spearheads a British nonprofit called the Centre for Long-Term Resilience, published a report in June urging the UK to appoint a chief risk officer who would be responsible for sussing out and preparing for extreme risks.

“By my estimate, the likelihood of the world experiencing an existential catastrophe over the next 100 years is one in six — Russian Roulette,” Ord said. “We cannot survive many centuries operating at a level of extreme risk like this.”

Ord emphasizes that humanity is highly vulnerable to dangers in two realms: biosecurity and artificial intelligence. Powerful actors could develop bioweapons, and individuals could misuse advances in synthetic biology to create man-made pandemics that are much worse than those that occur naturally. AI could outstrip human-level intelligence in the coming decades and, if not aligned with our values and goals, could wreak havoc on human life. These are potential existential risks to humanity, and we need to devote a lot more time and money to mitigating them.

On both sides of the Atlantic, intellectuals in recent years have formed organizations dedicated to cultivating long-term thinking. While Ord has been busy building the Centre for Long-Term Resilience in the UK, for example, Ari Wallach has been working on Longpath in the US. Operating under the motto “Be Great Ancestors,” Longpath gathers together CEOs, academics, and other individuals to do exercises meant to counter short-term thinking, from practicing mindfulness to writing letters to their future selves.

There’s a story in the Talmud that Wallach likes to tell participants: “One day, a man named Honi was walking along and saw a man planting a carob tree. Honi asked him, ‘How many years will it take until it will bear fruit?’ He said, ‘Not for 70 years.’ Honi said, ‘Do you really believe you’ll live another 70 years?’ The man answered, ‘I found this world provided with carob trees, and as my ancestors planted them for me, so I too plant them for my descendants.’”

What the man expresses in the story is gratitude toward his ancestors, and it’s that emotion that propels him to look out for his future descendants. The story captures a truth about human psychology that has since been validated in scientific studies: Eliciting gratitude in people is an effective behavioral nudge for getting them to act in the best interests of future generations.

“When people evoke feelings of gratitude (through prayer, counting blessings, etc.), the result on decisions is one of patience and value for the future relative to the present. We find they become more generous and even extract fewer resources from common resource pools,” David DeSteno, a psychology professor at Northeastern University, told me. “If gratitude makes you willing to extract fewer resources in the present (e.g., fish), they (e.g., fish stocks) can replenish or remain for future generations. Of course, this reduces immediate profit.”

DeSteno’s words highlight a fundamental tension: If we really care about creating a sustainable future for humanity, we may need to be willing to sacrifice some short-term gains.

But Wallach doesn’t think we need to frame this as a tough trade-off at all. He doesn’t ask people to sacrifice the concrete pleasures of today for the abstract rewards of tomorrow. Instead, he’s found it more effective to highlight how acting altruistically toward future generations can actually bring us pleasure now.

“When we ask people if they want to be the great ancestor that the future needs them to be, as part of what gives them meaning and purpose, they are no longer under the spell of lifespan bias,” he told me. “They see themselves as part of something larger. They are no longer being asked to sacrifice for the future, but to enhance their own sense of meaning and purpose in their present.”

Is caring for the future more important than caring for the present?

If you’ve gotten this far and you’re convinced that you should look out for future generations, you’re already ahead of lots of people. But it might interest you to know that some philosophers think longtermism — the idea that we should be concerned with ensuring that the future goes well — doesn’t actually go far enough.

Both Greaves and another Oxford philosopher, Will MacAskill, advocate for strong longtermism, which says that impacts on the far future aren’t just an important feature of our actions — they’re the most important feature. And when they say far future, they really mean far: They argue we should be thinking about the consequences of our actions not just one or five or seven generations from now, but thousands or even millions of years ahead.

Their reasoning goes like this: There are going to be far more people alive in the future than there are in the present or have been in the past. Of all the human beings who will ever be alive in the universe, the vast majority will live in the future.

If our species lasts for as long as Earth remains a habitable planet, we’re talking about at least 1 quadrillion people coming into existence — 100,000 times the population of Earth today. (Even if you think there’s only a 1 percent chance that our species lasts for as long as Earth is habitable, the math still means the number of future people outstrips the number of present people.) And if humans settle in space one day, we could be looking at an even longer, more populous future for our species.

Now, if you believe that all humans count equally regardless of where or when they live (remember the drowning-child-in-Nepal thought experiment?), you have to think about the impacts of our actions on all their lives. Since there are far more people to affect in the future — because most people who’ll ever exist will exist in the future — it follows that the impacts that matter most are those that affect future humans.

That’s how the argument goes, anyhow. And if you buy it, it might dramatically change some of your choices in life. Instead of donating to soup kitchens or charities that save kids from malaria today, you may donate to researchers who are figuring out how to ensure that tomorrow’s AI will be aligned with human values. Instead of devoting your career to being a family doctor, you may devote it to research on pandemic prevention. You’d know there’s only a tiny probability your donation or actions will help humanity avoid catastrophe, but you’d reason that it’s worth it — if your bet does pay off, the payoff would be enormous.

But you might not buy this argument at all. You might object that you can’t reliably predict the effects of your actions in one year, never mind 1,000 years, so it doesn’t make sense to invest a lot of resources in trying to positively impact the future when the effects of your actions might wash out in a few years or decades.

That’s a very reasonable objection. Greaves acknowledges that in a lot of cases, we suffer from “moral cluelessness” about the downstream effects of our actions. “But,” she told me, “that’s not the case for all actions.”

She recommends targeting issues that come with “lock-in” opportunities, or ways of doing good that result in the positive benefits being locked in for a long time. For example, you could pursue a career aimed at establishing national or international norms around carbon emissions, or nuclear bombs, or regulations for labs that deal with dangerous pathogens. These actions are almost certain to do good — the kind of good that won’t be undone quickly.

“It’s in the nature of a lock-in mechanism that the effects of your actions persist for an extremely long time,” Greaves said. “So it gets rid of your concern that the effects will keep getting dampened and dampened as you get further into the future.”

You might object to strong longtermism on different grounds, though. You might think, perhaps not unfairly, that it smacks of privilege — that it’s easy to take such a position when you live in relative prosperity, but that people living in miserable conditions today need our help now, and we have a duty to ease their suffering.

In fact, you might reject the premise that all humans count equally regardless of when they live. Maybe you think we have an especially strong duty to humans who are alive in the present because aggregated effects on people’s welfare aren’t the only things that matter — things like justice matter too. We might owe it to disadvantaged groups today to help them out, possibly as reparations for harm done in the past through colonialism or slavery.

When I voiced this objection to Greaves, she admitted it’s plausible that thinking, utilitarian-style, only about what would be the better outcome doesn’t exhaust the moral story — that maybe we should take virtues such as justice into account. But she said it’s still a mistake to think that that obviously sways the balance in favor of present people. If justice is in the picture, she rebutted, why shouldn’t justice also apply to future people?

“Take the case of reparations. If you think that there are some people we owe reparations to because of wrongs done in the past that are affecting their interests now, and in some of those cases you’re talking about wrongs that were done hundreds of years ago, that quite nicely makes the point that bad things we do now can — via the route of justice — have adverse impacts in a couple hundred years’ time,” Greaves said. “So you might think it’s a matter of justice that we owe it to future generations to bequeath them both an existence in the first place and the conditions for their flourishing.”

It’s worth noting that Greaves does not find it easy to live her philosophy. She told me she feels awful whenever she walks past a homeless person. She’s acutely aware she’s not supporting that individual or the larger cause of ending homelessness because she’s supporting longtermist causes instead.

“I feel really bad, but it’s a limited sense of feeling bad because I do think it’s the right thing to do given that the counterfactual is giving to these other [longtermist] causes that are more effective,” she said. “The morally appropriate thing is to occupy this kind of middle space where you’re still gripped by present-day suffering but you recognize there’s an even more important thing you can do with the limited resources.”

Not everyone will agree with this reasoning, and that’s perfectly okay. You can agree with longtermism without agreeing with strong longtermism.

You can also decide that strong longtermism is pretty intellectually convincing, but you’re not confident enough in its claims that you want to devote 100 percent of your charitable donations or your time to exclusively longtermist causes. In that case, you can split your money (or time) into different buckets: You might decide that 50 percent of your donations go to longtermist issues and 50 percent go to causes like poverty, homelessness, or racial justice.

If you feel safer hedging your bets this way, you’re not alone. Even Greaves admits that it’s scary to commit fully to her philosophy. “It’s like you’re standing on a pin over a chasm,” she told me. “It feels dangerous, in a way, to throw all this altruistic effort at existential risk mitigation and probably do nothing, when you know that you could’ve done all this good for near-term causes.”

A few things about the future we can all probably agree on

If you care about helping both present and future generations, you might want to think about things that check both boxes. This is the strategy Krznaric recommends. “Let’s find the sweet spot between our self-interest today and the future that even Groucho Marx might be happy with,” he said.

While Krznaric isn’t confident in our ability to predict the knock-on effects of technological shifts, he thinks it’s easier to say for sure that certain ecological shifts would be good. For example, if we donate to groups that make a positive difference in staving off climate change and preventing pandemics, that’s really good for us today and in the near future — and highly likely to be positive for the long-run future too.

“What do we know about human life, whether it’s today or in 200 years or 300 years?” he said. “We know that if there are any creatures like us, they’ll need air to breathe and water to drink. If you want to think long term, one of the best ways to do it is, don’t think about time, think about place.”

He cited biologists such as Janine Benyus, who explains how some creatures have managed to survive for 10,000 generations and beyond: by taking care of the place that will take care of their offspring. They live within the boundaries of the ecosystem in which they’re embedded. They don’t foul the nest.

This focus on safeguarding place for both the present and the future could end up being an important line of research within longtermism. One advantage of this approach is that it’s not excessively morally demanding, whereas it’s maybe too demanding to say that we ought to devote most of our resources to improving the far future even when it comes at a serious cost to current interests.

Mind you, Greaves and MacAskill make a good point when they write that “even if, for example, there is an absolute cap on the total sacrifice that can be morally required, it seems implausible that society today is currently anywhere near that cap.”

Ultimately, the world doesn’t need everyone to focus all of their resources on the far future all the time — but we’re a long way from a situation where even a fraction of us are focusing even a fraction of our resources on it. Because long-term thinking is so neglected, it would probably do a lot of good if more of us were to direct more attention to making human life sustainable.

And if we think human life in the future might be full of awesome things like happiness and knowledge and beauty — or even if we think there’s just a decent chance it could be more good than bad — then thinking about how to increase the odds of such a future for later generations is really worth our time.

In fact, our lives may start to feel much more meaningful if we regularly pause to ask ourselves: How can I shape the larger story of humanity into something fruitful? What carob trees am I planting?

Further reading:

  • Nick Beckstead’s 2013 philosophy dissertation, “On the Overwhelming Importance of Shaping the Far Future,” set the groundwork for more recent philosophical work on longtermism.
  • Hilary Greaves and Will MacAskill’s original working paper, “The Case for Strong Longtermism,” frames the case in very strong terms: “For the purposes of evaluating actions, we can in the first instance often simply ignore all the effects contained in the first 100 (or even 1000) years, focussing primarily on the further-future effects. Short-run effects act as little more than tie-breakers.” The revised version, dated June 2021, leaves this passage out.
  • Hilary Greaves explains “moral cluelessness” on the 80,000 Hours podcast.
  • Toby Ord argues the long-term future matters more than anything else, also on the 80,000 Hours podcast.
  • Roman Krznaric has a running list on his website of organizations promoting long-term thinking, as well as an interesting Intergenerational Solidarity Index, a measure of how much different nations provide for the well-being of future generations.

How removing your feeder could stop mysterious bird deaths


We have all become too familiar over the past year and a half with the idea of ​​social distancing to prevent the spread of the disease. Now, environmental officials in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and other states are urging residents to eliminate places provided by people for birds to congregate as a mysterious disease is killing our feathered friends.

Jordan Terrell, an environmental specialist and wildlife biologist from Delaware, said the state began receiving calls from mid-May to the end of May from people who found dead birds.

“What we are seeing in the field is actually that these birds have neurological symptoms that cause erratic flight and strange behavior, and we also see scabs and swelling in the eyes which are usually associated with almost blindness. . Their eyes encrusted, it gets so bad that they can’t see what they’re doing, ”she said.

The birds die almost immediately after exhibiting these symptoms, Terrell said.

The State Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control sends samples of dead birds to the animal diagnostic laboratory at the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Kennett Square.

“In Delaware, we see this mainly in blue jays, starlings and robins. It has also been seen in brown grouse, ”Terrell said.

Delaware has received 50 reports so far. The Pennsylvania Game Commission says dead birds have been found in 27 counties, including 15 cases in Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery and Chester counties. There have also been limited reports in New Jersey.

Birds with similar symptoms have been found in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC

Even though the cause of the birds’ deaths is unclear, Delaware environmental officials have issued a public notice for bird watchers to limit places where birds congregate. That means taking that bird feeder apart and emptying the birdbath until scientists can figure out what’s going on.

New microscopy method examines future of cell biology


Reto Fiolka, PhD and Kevin Dean, PhD, are Assistant Professors of Cell Biology and in the Department of Bioinformatics at Lyda Hill.

UT Southwestern Medical Center

What if a microscope allowed us to explore the 3D microcosm of blood vessels, nerves and cancer cells instantly in virtual reality? What if it could provide views in multiple directions in real time without physically moving the sample and operated up to 100 times faster than current technology?

Scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) collaborated with colleagues in England and Australia to build and test a new optical device that converts commonly used microscopes into multi-angle projection imaging systems. The invention, described in an article in Natural methods, could open new avenues in advanced microscopy, according to the researchers.

“This is an entirely new technology, although the theoretical foundations for it can be found in old computer literature,” explains corresponding author Reto Fiolka, PhD. He and his co-author Kevin Dean, PhD, are both Assistant Professors in Cell Biology and in the Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics at UTSW.

“It’s like holding the biological sample with your hand, rotating it and inspecting it, which is an incredibly intuitive way to interact with a sample. By quickly imaging the sample from two different perspectives, we can view the sample interactively in virtual reality on the fly, ”says Dean, director of UTSW Microscopy Innovation Laboratory, which works with researchers across campus to develop custom instruments that take advantage of advances in optical microscopy.

Currently, acquiring 3D image information from a microscope requires a data-intensive process, in which hundreds of 2D images of the sample are assembled into what is called a stack of images. To visualize the data, the stack of images is then loaded into graphics software that performs calculations to form two-dimensional projections from different viewing perspectives on a computer screen, the researchers say.

“Both of these steps are very time consuming and can require a very powerful and expensive computer to interact with the data,” says Fiolka.

The team realized that they could form projections from multiple angles by optical means, without having to acquire stacks of images and render them with a computer. This is achieved by a simple and economical unit consisting of two rotating mirrors which is inserted in front of the camera of the microscope system.

“As a result, we can do all of this in real time, without any noticeable delay. Surprisingly, we can look at our samples from different angles ‘live’ without spinning the samples or the microscope,” says Fiolka. “We believe that this invention may represent a new paradigm for the acquisition of 3D information via a fluorescence microscope.”

It also promises blazingly fast imaging. While an entire stack of 3D images may require hundreds of camera images, the new method requires only one camera exposure.

Initially, the researchers developed the system with two common light-sheet microscopes that require a post-processing step to make sense of the data. This step is called misalignment and basically means rearranging the individual images to remove some distortion from the 3D image stack. Scientists originally sought to perform this rectification optically.

While experimenting with the optical straightening method, they realized that when they used the wrong amount of “misalignment”, the projected image appeared to rotate.

“That was the moment aha !. We realized that this might be more important than just an optical misalignment method; that the system might work for other types of microscopes as well,” Fiolka said.

“This study confirms that the concept is more general,” says Dean. “We have now applied it to a variety of microscopes, including confocal light sheet and spinning disc microscopy.”

Using the new method under a microscope, they imaged calcium ions carrying signals between nerve cells in a culture dish and examined the vascular system of a zebrafish embryo. They also quickly imaged moving cancer cells and a beating zebrafish heart.

– This press release was originally posted on the UT Southwestern Medical Center website.

Sleep Junkie: Here’s How You Could Get Paid $ 1,500 To Go Camping


How Does Outdoor Camping Affect Your Sleep?

This is what society Addicted to sleep hopes to find out – and he will pay a family $ 1,500 to help with the research.

Get paid to go camping

Mattress manufacturing company Addicted to sleep explores how external factors such as temperature, humidity and sounds of wildlife can affect people’s sleep, according to an email sent to Deseret News.

As part of this research, the company will pay a family $ 1,500 for a three-night trip to a campsite of their choice. Travel costs will also be covered.

During the camping trip, family members should write a report on their sleep experience, detailing what type of sleeping gear they brought and how it helped them sleep outside, and how various external factors affected their sleep, according to Addicted to sleepthe website of.

How to Apply for a Sleep Junkie Camping Trip

To apply for this position you must be at least 21 years old and fluent in English. The request, which can be completed on Addicted to sleepwebsite, requires a portrait, 60-second intro video, and links to social media profiles.

Only one entry per family is allowed. People have until August 12 to enter the contest, and a winner will be notified by email within 14 business days of the closing date, depending on the company website.

The advantages of camping

Research has shown that camping can be good for your health and improve sleep, Time the magazine reported. A 2017 study in the journal Current biology found that spending more time outdoors, even for a single weekend, can send people to bed earlier and help reset your internal clock.

You’re also less likely to be distracted by your phone and other tech while camping, which can also lead to better sleep at night, according to Outdoors Online.

Penn State Arboretum’s Pollinator and Bird Garden opens to the public


(State College) – The Penn State Arboretum opened its long-awaited pollinator and bird garden to the public on Monday after nearly two years of construction.

The addition of 3 acres, a decade in the making, increases the Arboretum’s HO Smith Botanical Gardens by 60%.

Forest biologist Kim Steiner, founding director of the Arboretum, retired Wednesday after nearly 50 years at Penn State. He spent his last day in the garden and hopes you too.

“You can just walk around here and enjoy the plants and features, ponds, etc.,” Steiner said. “Or you can take a close look at what’s going on with the flowers, bees and butterflies, etc., and really get down to it. “

Among the novelties of the Pollinator and the Bird Garden are several “bee hotels” which aim to attract pollinators with nesting sites.

Birds should feel at home thanks to the birdbaths, feeders and nesting boxes in the garden. Two dead Table Mountain pines were harvested and mounted to also serve as perches.

The garden has more than 140,000 plants scattered over its land. Shari Edelson, Arboretum’s director of operations, said more than 620 volunteers have helped plant them throughout the spring and summer.

The Pollinator and Bird Garden is located entirely within the HO Smith Botanical Gardens in the Arboretum at the corner of East Park Avenue and Bigler Road. See this map for the full garden layout.

The Arboretum is open daily from dawn to dusk. Visitors do not need to pay for admission or parking.

Rocky Mountain Power Announces Lower Prices and Pilot Savings Program | Energy Journal


“The company has been very successful over the years in proposing projects that result in very competitive consumer prices compared to other energy suppliers nationwide, and we want to maintain this position, where we are generally in the bottom 25% of suppliers. across the country, ”he said.

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Rocky Mountain Power’s higher general tariffs will allow it to reimburse investments in new energy sources made over the past five years, such as the development and replenishment of Wyoming wind projects through the Energy Vision initiative. 2020 from parent company PacifiCorp.

As a major supplier of both coal and wind power, “there are significant benefits to Wyoming being part of the PacifiCorp multi-state system,” Eskelsen said. “These resources serve the entire six-state system. And so customers in those other states help pay for the costs of building and operating these facilities, but Wyoming, because these facilities are located in Wyoming, gets all the benefits of property taxes in those years. . “

In addition, a pilot consumption hours program announced alongside the new pricing will allow 500 taxpayers – including households – to sign up for a new program to encourage the use of electricity during off-peak hours. Standard electricity meters only measure the amount of electricity consumed by customers. Thanks to the pilot program, the utility will also monitor when this power is used.

“The price of electricity in the wholesale market tends to fluctuate every day, and this energy is more expensive at peak demand times than at off-peak demand times,” Eskelsen said. “But it’s also thanks to the electricity the utility provides from the resources it owns and operates, because typically the way we decide which resources to run throughout the day is based on cost. “

UO biologist receives Alec and Kay Keith chair


Kelly Sutherland, Associate Professor of Biology, received the Alec and Kay Keith Chair for her research on the movement of gelatinous zooplankton.

His research has led to a large number of well-cited works as well as external funding to support graduate students. Sutherland’s work analyzing the movement of jellies and his contribution to the Oregon Sea Grant’s Field Guide to Oregon Jellies led to his nomination for the Keith Professorship.

The Alec and Kay Keith Chair was established in 1994 to support senior professors in biology, chemistry and physics at the University of Oregon. Alec Keith was a UO alumnus in 1966, earning his doctorate in biology.

Evan Keith, son of Alec and his wife Kay, received three degrees from UO: a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1988, a doctorate in physics in 1994 and a master’s degree in mathematics in 2005. The Keith Chair is awarded to a faculty member in biology, chemistry or physics.

The Keith Professorship provides recipients with a salary allowance and research support for six years. Sutherland said the chair will allow his research group to continue their work on jet propulsion, a method used by aquatic animals to propel themselves through water, in marine plankton.

The team focuses specifically on colonial organisms called siphonophores, which resemble a string of pulsating jellyfish, and how they coordinate multiple swim units to swim effectively. Compared to simple jellyfish, colonial jellies are able to swim better than their solitary counterparts, and Sutherland’s group wishes to identify which aspects of body movement and swimming explain such efficient swimming in colonies.

“It is an honor to have been selected for this chair from among my creative and inspiring colleagues in the natural sciences,” said Sutherland. “In addition to the hard work, I appreciate the ingenuity. My favorite part of the science process is coming up with a good question and then figuring out how to approach the question and where to dive into the work.

The frost colonies can migrate hundreds of meters each day, which is equivalent to a human running a daily marathon. In order to determine which aspects explain the jelly’s successful swimming ability, the Sutherland team will develop diver-operated camera systems to observe the animals.

Oceanic plankton are fragile and difficult to access. Sutherland said the chair would allow him to explore new field sites, giving him more access to the frosts. As travel restrictions lift over the next year, Sutherland plans to examine field sites along the Kona Coast in Hawaii and Palau.

“We often bring the lab to the animals because they live in places far from the ocean,” she said. “This chair will allow me to try things that might be too risky for grant funding agencies, so I look forward to further research.”

—By Victoria Sanchez, University Communications