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Skin pigmentation is far more complex than thought

first_imgMany studies have suggested that the genetics of skin pigmentation are simple. A small number of known genes, it is thought, account for nearly 50 percent of pigment variation. However, these studies rely on data sets that heavily favor northern Eurasian populations — those that reside mostly in higher latitude regions.Reporting in the today’s issue of Cell, researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Stanford University, and Stony Brook University report that while skin pigmentation is nearly 100 percent heritable, it is hardly a straightforward, Mendelian trait. By working closely with the KhoeSan, a group of populations indigenous to southern Africa, the researchers have found that the genetics of skin pigmentation become progressively complex the closer populations reside to the equator, with an increasing number of genes — known and unknown — involved, each making a smaller overall contribution.“Africa has the greatest amount of phenotypic variability in skin color, and yet it’s been underrepresented in large-scale endeavors,” said Alicia Martin, a postdoctoral scientist in the lab of Broad Institute member Mark Daly. “There are some genes that are known to contribute to skin pigmentation, but by and large there are many more new genes that have not been discovered.”“We need to spend more time focusing on these understudied populations in order to gain deeper genetic insights,” said Brenna Henn, assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook University and, with Martin, a co-corresponding author.The paper is a culmination of seven years of research that spanned several institutions, starting with a collaboration between Stellenbosch University in South Africa and Carlos Bustamante’s lab at Stanford, where Martin and Henn trained. Martin, Henn, and their colleagues spent a great deal of time with the KhoeSan, interviewing individuals, taking anthropometric measurements (height, age, gender), and using a reflectometer to quantitatively measure skin color. In total, they accumulated data for approximately 400 individuals.The researchers genotyped each sample, looking at hundreds of thousands of sites across the genome to identify genetic markers linked with pigmentation measure, and sequenced particular areas of interest. They took this information and compared it to a data set that comprised nearly 5,000 individuals representing globally diverse populations throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe.What they found offers a counter-narrative to the common view on pigmentation.The prevailing theory is that “directional selection” pushes pigmentation in a single direction, from dark to light in high latitudes and from light to dark in lower latitudes. But Martin and Henn’s data showed that the trajectory is more complex. Directional selection, as a guiding principle, seems to hold in far northern latitudes. But as populations move closer to the equator, a dynamic called “stabilizing selection” takes effect. Here, an increasing number of genes begins to influence variability. Only about 10 percent of this variation can be attributed to genes known to affect pigmentation.In addition, the researchers found some unexpected insights into particular genes associated with pigmentation. A derived mutation in one gene, SLC24A5, is thought to have arisen in Europe roughly 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. However, in the KhoeSan populations it appears at a much higher frequency than recent European admixture alone would suggest, indicating that it has either been positively selected in this population, actually arose in this population, or entered the population through gene flow thousands of years ago. “We’re still teasing this apart,” said Martin.They also found that a gene called SMARCA2/VLDLR, which has not previously been associated with pigmentation in humans, seems to play a role among the KhoeSan. Several different variants are all uniquely associated with pigmentation near these genes, and variants in these genes have been associated with pigmentation in animals.“Southern African KhoeSan ancestry appears to neither lighten nor darken skin,” said Martin. “Rather, it just increases variation. In fact, the KhoeSan are approximately 50 percent lighter than equatorial Africans. Ultimately, in northern latitudes pigmentation is more homogenous, while in lower latitudes, it’s more diverse — both genetically and phenotypically.”“The full picture of the genetic architecture of skin pigmentation will not be complete unless we can represent diverse populations worldwide,” said Henn.Martin is a member of both the Program in Medical and Population Genetics and the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute. This work is part of the Stanley Center’s global initiative to ensure that data sets increasingly represent individuals from developing countries.This research was funded by the Stanford Center for Computational, Evolutionary, and Human Genomics.last_img read more

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Džeko, Pjanić, Hajrović and Baljić Called Turkey to Support B&H in Brazil

first_imgTake a look at this brilliant video.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvHT4x3Y_FQ Representatives of BH team, led by Izet Hajrović, in a great way urged Turkey to cheer for Bosnia and Herzegovina at the forthcoming Mundial.Specifically Izet Hajrović, Edin Dzeko, Miralem Pjanic and a member of the coaching staff Elvir Baljić invited all fans in Turkey to support our Dragon at Mundial in Brazil. (Source: Sport Centar)center_img Turkey does not participate on the World Cup this year, and before this decision, media in this country wrote that people will support Dragons.last_img read more

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WATCH LIVE: AG Bill Barr Testifies Before House Judiciary Committee

first_imgAttorney General Bill Barr testifies during a House hearing today. He is expected to vigorously defend President Trump’s surge of federal agents into several cities that have been wracked by violence. Barr will be pressed about the controversial ouster of Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. The office is reportedly involved in a number of ongoing investigations of Trump associates. Barr will also be asked about his role in clearing a protest in a park across from the White House in June. Tear gas and rubber bullets were deployed to end the protest that led to the torching of the President’s church. President Trump later walked through the park to display a Bible outside the vandalized church. Meantime, Barr will be quizzed about a federal judge’s failure to drop the charges against Michael Flynn after both the DOJ and prosecutors withdrew all charges. Flynn is the former national security adviser who was force to plead guilty to lying to FBI agents about contacts with Russian officials.Barr is expected to accuse Democrats of trying to discredit him over his investigation into the Russia investigation when he. His opening statement, released to media Monday, says President Trump has never interfered in how he handles criminal cases. Read Bill Barr’s opening statement here.The last time AG Barr was summoned in front of this House committee he declined. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) branded Attorney General William Barr as “Chicken Barr” after Barr did not appear for a House Judiciary Committee hearing.last_img read more

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Transition Studies at SPSCC Recognized as a National Leader

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by South Puget Sound Community CollegeSouth Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) has emerged as a state and national leader in Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language (ESL). According to 2016-17 Basic Education for Adults (BEdA) performance data, SPSCC ranks number two of out 44 participating adult education programs in Washington State.  Additionally, the college’s Transition Studies faculty have been invited to present at national conferences in 2017 and 2018.SPSCC’s second place ranking from the BEdA Annual Performance Report is based on federal measurements such as skill gain, pass rates, attendance, and headcount.  While state targets are to improve at least 2% each year, SPSCC has an average performance increase of 44% across all programs and has improved gains by as much as 122%.Dawn Murphy, Associate Dean of Transition Studies, attributes much of the programs’ successes to dedicated and nationally recognized faculty members.Heather Williams and Julie Williamson were selected to present their work in launching Guided Pathways through ESL instruction at the 2017 national conference of Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE), the premier adult educator member organization in the United States.Annamary Fitzgerald will be presenting at the 2018 national conference of COABE regarding High School 21+, SPSCC’s competency-based high school completion program.Shanon Millman, Tribal Programs Director, presented on native high school completion (High School 21+) at the 2017 Native American Student Advocacy Institute.Annamary Fitzgerald, Stephen Sadlier, and Joan Lasseter presented at the 2017 national ProLiteracy Conference to promote adult literacy through content development, programs, and advocacy.“This level of involvement and presentation at national conferences is exceptional.  This means that our entire team of full-time tenured faculty—and some of our adjuncts—are leaders nationally,” said Murphy.In Dec. 2017, the college opened the Center for Transition Studies with four classrooms, two computer labs, conference and study rooms, and faculty offices.  Located in the heart of the Olympia Campus, the center is dedicated to serving ABE and ESL students.Since 2014, Transition Studies has helped nearly 750 adults complete their high school diploma and move toward college and career goals.last_img read more

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Breaking: Donegal has a new €500,000 lotto winner!

first_imgDonegal has a new lotto winner.The latest €500,000 Euromillions winner was sold in Glenties.Well-known local shop the Paper Post confirmed they sold the winning ticket. The shop congratulated the winner but said they did not know who the lucky ticket holder is.Last night’s winner adds to a great run by Donegal players.Breaking: Donegal has a new €500,000 lotto winner! was last modified: April 29th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:euromillionsGlentieslottowinnerlast_img read more

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Donegal public warned about the dangers of illegal bonfires as Halloween approaches

first_imgDonegal County Council has reminded the public that bonfires are illegal and urged residents to report any stockpiled materials.The local authority said they are promoting a safe Halloween that all the community can enjoySuzanne Bogan, Waste Awareness Officer with the Council, said: “While traditionally wood and straw were used on bonfires in recent times materials such as tyres, mattresses, furniture, plastics, metal etc are burned on bonfires. “This type of activity is illegal. It is also an offence to supply waste materials to parties collecting for ‘Bonfire Night’.“The burning of waste such as rubber, aerosols, plastics, foam, mattresses, couches and household waste material in bonfires is very damaging to our health and environment.“When waste materials are burned on a bonfire harmful dioxins are created and released into the air that we breathe.”She added: “Donegal County Council is currently monitoring a number of locations were waste materials have been supplied as bonfire material over the past number of years and we are undertaking an audit of certain businesses to ensure that there is compliance under the relevant legislation and to ensure that waste materials are not supplied for burning on bonfires.” The council also said bonfires can also very often be built close to houses and other property and can cause serious damage and injuries, particularly where the burning of highly combustible materials is taking place.Tips for a safe Halloween night:Parents, businesses and householders should not provide any materials for bonfires.Do not leave material lying around that may be taken for use in a bonfire; many garage or garden shed items such as petrol, white spirits, diesel, aerosols, batteries, tins of paint, bottles and tyres are especially dangerous if set on fire.Explain the dangers of illegal bonfires to children and teenagers.Keep pets indoors on bonfire night – they are sensitive to noise.Respect the work of the Emergency Services, Council Staff and the Gardaí.Contact the Fire Service by calling 999 or 112 if you see a bonfire being lit close to buildings, trees, overhead cables, underground services or car parking areas.Donegal public warned about the dangers of illegal bonfires as Halloween approaches was last modified: October 29th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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KSU to Study Low-Lignin Alfalfa

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Russ QuinnDTN Staff ReporterOMAHA (DTN) — Research being done on low-lignin alfalfa could help producers in many ways. The benefits include having more flexibility on when they cut their alfalfa, growing the forage with less water, and earning higher prices as cattle can better digest the alfalfa.Researchers from Kansas State University Extension, as well as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), received $500,000 from USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for a two-year study. They will explore how the low-lignin alfalfa grows in different field conditions, such as in drought. In addition, feeding trails will be conducted to study increased digestibility, an advantage of the alfalfa.“Animal performance, especially milk and meat, is heavily related to digestibility,” said Doohong Min, KSU assistant professor of agronomy, in a KSU press release (https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/…). “That’s why it’s so critical to lower the lignin content in alfalfa.”WHAT IS LIGNIN?Lignin is the component of plants that forms key structural materials in the support tissues. Lignins are important in the formation of cell walls.While it helps to give plants strength, lignin also limits digestion of alfalfa in ruminant animals. Low, or often called reduced, lignin varieties of alfalfa will allow higher rates of digestibility.There are two main varieties of reduced lignin alfalfa, according to the University of Minnesota Extension: https://extension.umn.edu/…The first is HarvXtra, a genetically-engineered variety produced by a joint effort of Forage Genetics International (FGI), the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center. It contains about 12% to 18% less whole plant lignin and has improved cell-wall digestibility.The other variety is Hi-Gest 360, by Alforex Seeds. It is the first-patented reduced-lignin alfalfa variety developed through conventional plant breeding. Hi-Gest contains 7% to 10% less lignin than conventional alfalfa varieties.LOW-LIGNIN ADVANTAGESThe advantage of low-lignin varieties of alfalfa is mainly three-fold, according to Jeff Jackson, alfalfa and forage specialist for CROPLAN by WinField United.The first two advantages, increased forage quality and widened harvest window, are somewhat related. Its improved forage nutritive value may lengthen the time period when alfalfa can be harvested by livestock producers, Jackson told DTN in an interview.Quality should be increased considerably with the same amount of production, he noted. Whereas 10% blooms is an important time to cut alfalfa to maintain quality in conventional production, this visual benchmark is not that important in low-lignin, he said.“This technology can give producers some harvest flexibility they don’t have with conventional alfalfa,” Jackson said.In addition, widening the harvest window could result in fewer cuttings in a growing season — this gains higher forage quality with the same tonnage, yet lowers harvest costs, he explained.The last advantage of low-lignin alfalfa would be the increased feeding value. Jackson said he has seen a 30-point increase in quality in a relative feed quality (RFQ) test with these varieties of alfalfa.“This increase in quality very easily could be a $30/ton increase in the value of the hay,” Jackson said. “Commercial hay growers could almost certainly benefit from growing it.”However, forage producers should also consider low-lignin alfalfa seed will be more expensive than conventional alfalfa, and some additional management practices will need to be done with these varieties, he added.FIELD, FEEDING TRIALSKSU research includes growing low-lignin alfalfa varieties to see how well they do under a variety of environmental conditions.Krishna Jagadish, KSU associate professor of agronomy, will grow alfalfa under rain shelters, where the amount of moisture can be controlled. The goal is to determine if the plant can maintain low levels of lignin in all moisture conditions, she said.“If farmers are able to reduce a certain amount of water, especially in southwestern Kansas (where two-thirds of the state’s alfalfa is grown), then there is a potential for water savings,” KSU’s Min said.Barry Bradford, a KSU professor of animal science, and Paul Kononoff, a professor of dairy nutrition at UNL, will study the nutritional value of low-lignin alfalfa in cattle. The duo will do feeding trails with 60 lactating Holsteins and 12 lactating Jerseys to determine if low-lignin alfalfa has an impact on diet digestibility or on yields of milk, milk fat and milk protein.Bradford said these feeding studies are important because there has been limited studies in the U.S. on the effects of feeding low-lignin alfalfa.“What nutritionists have been forced to do is take what we know about feeding corn silage and apply that to feeding (low-lignin) alfalfa,” Bradford said.Low-lignin alfalfa could be sold at a higher price if it can be shown it does indeed improve an animal’s production, he said.Russ Quinn can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN(ES/BAS)Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.FD Source:FD Page :Page Member(s): 08045E37, 06001306, 06001418, ,Slash Commands: RR:00RC:00HP:Summary Page Member:(AG/CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Benjamin Logan FFA hosted Leadership Night

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Benjamin Logan FFA hosted Leadership Night on December 2. State FFA Officers Holly McClay, State President, and  Noah Smith, State Secretary, were able to coordinate the event for the members. A combination of 56 students from North Union FFA, OHP-Graham FFA, and Benjamin Logan FFA attended the leadership night hosted at Benjamin Logan High School, and together collected a total of 46 sets of hats and gloves to donate to the Benjamin Logan Elementary School Students. Holly and Noah led many activities that was meant to teach the students about followership and what makes a good follower. Following the leadership activities some of the students stayed and learned line dances from Holly and Noah. Benjamin Logan High School and Middle School students also had the privilege of Holly McClay joining them Monday and Tuesday for a state officer visit where she talked about how we can use our beliefs to leave our mark on the world. The students enjoyed learning more about both of the officers and the insights they had for them.last_img read more

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First Peek at Path.io: Stealth Startup From Facebook’s Dave Morin & Sean Fanning of Napster

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification marshall kirkpatrick The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Three weeks ago Facebook Platform Manager Dave Morin announced he was leaving the company to start a stealthy new startup with Napster founder Sean Fanning. The new company is called Path and you can sign up to request access to the closed beta at Path.io. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell Google that the new company was in hiding and so tonight we have a fair amount of information about what these internet veterans are up to, courtesy of Google’s cache of the otherwise locked-up site. The company describes itself as “a tool that facilitates the creation, sharing and correlation of lists.” List creation is nothing new, but that’s not a problem. When world-class social technologists tackle an age-old problem, the results can be quite interesting. Check out what this team has developed so far.Morin and Fanning appear to be collaborating on the startup with Numair Faraz, an old friend of Napster, Plaxo and Facebook co-founder Sean Parker, and with some mysterious person named Fernando/L.C. from Portland, Oregon. The site so far is a list of lists. You make a list, give it a name and add items to it. Then you can see who else has made a list with the same name, what’s on their list and what the most popular items are across all lists with the same name. Lists are things like “best coffee in San Francisco,” or “evil corporations.” Faraz started a list with that title, but Facebook is the only company on it so far. Much like Delicious, there’s a nice clean URL structure like this: path.io/CharlesF/list/best_games or path.io/list/cute_videos or path.io/list/restaurants_in_sf/greens . The site appears aimed to have an API with advanced features like exposing geolocation, priorities and consensus.It looks pretty basic so far, but there’s a long list of beta users who have created lists titled “Features that Path needs to add.” Some of those beta list builders are some very serious heavy-hitters, like Robert Kissinger (Director of Product Management & Interaction Designer at Electronic Arts), Joi Ito (CEO of Creative Commons) and Jordan Mendelson (Senior Product Manager, LinkedIn). That Path team has put together a great list of beta testers, so when the company says it doesn’t know yet what exactly it’s going to launch, that has to be taken with a grain of salt.Can a service for building lists really be that exciting? Many people asked the same question about a social Q&A site when another ex-Facebooker, Adam D’Angelo, recently launched Quora. (Which we also published the first screenshots of.) That site turned out to be amazing in terms of design and user experience. We have high hopes for Path. It’s another example of a basic human experience turned exciting by the network effects, location awareness, APIs and other features of the new social web. Just like Twitter and Facebook asked you what you were doing and made that the foundation for a world-changing technology platform, now services like Foursquare and Gowalla are trying to do the same with where you are, Plancast with what you’re planning on doing in the future and, we suspect, Path with what you like to bundle together in a list. We look forward to seeing what this All-Star team puts together.We don’t know yet when Path will launch. We’ll update this post with more information from the founders as we receive it and we’ll take a much closer look once we get access to the site itself.center_img A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Related Posts Tags:#Features#news#NYT#social networks#web last_img read more

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