This year’s BottleRock Festival has been announced and boy does it have a little bit for everyone. Among some of the headlining acts are Robert Plant, The Avett Brothers, Imagine Dragons, No Doubt, and even Snoop Dogg. The festival will be held from May 29-31 at the Napa Valley Expo. Along with this superbly diverse musical lineup, the festival will feature great food and a plethora of beers and wine. It’s sure to be one of the highlights of the early festival season in 2015. Take a look below to see who else will be playing at BottleRock this year.Early bird specials on tickets are sold out, but tickets to the public will go on sale January 8 at 10 am and can be purchased here.
A large international research team has decoded the genome of the notorious organism that triggered the Irish potato famine in the mid-19th century and now threatens this season’s tomato and potato crops across much of the United States Published today in the online edition of the journal Nature, the study reveals that the organism boasts an unusually large genome size — more than twice that of closely related species — and an extraordinary genome structure, which together appear to enable the rapid evolution of genes, particularly those involved in plant infection. These data expose an unusual mechanism that enables the pathogen to outsmart its plant hosts and may help researchers unlock new ways to control it.“This pathogen has an exquisite ability to adapt and change, and that’s what makes it so dangerous,” said senior author Chad Nusbaum, co-director of the Genome Sequencing and Analysis Program at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. “We now have a comprehensive view of its genome, revealing the unusual properties that drive its remarkable adaptability. Hopefully, this knowledge can foster novel approaches to diagnose and respond to outbreaks.”“Our findings suggest a ‘two-speed’ genome, meaning that different parts of the genome are evolving at different rates,” said co-lead author Sophien Kamoun, head of the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, U.K. “Future sequencing of additional strains and close relatives of this pathogen will help test this hypothesis and could transform our understanding of how it adapts to immune plants.”The potato famine that gripped Europe, particularly Ireland, in the mid-1800s was the work of an insidious organism known as Phytophthora infestans. Long considered a fungus, it is now known to be a member of the oomycetes or “water molds,” which are more closely related to the malaria parasite than to fungi. P. infestans thrives in cool, wet weather, and can infect potatoes, tomatoes, and other related plants, causing a “late blight” disease that can decimate entire fields in just a few days.Not only swift in its destruction, the pathogen is also remarkable in its ability to change. For example, it can quickly adapt to new plant hosts, attacking even genetically resistant potatoes that have been painstakingly bred to fend off P. infestans infection. How the pathogen can adapt so rapidly to these immune potatoes has long puzzled scientists.To understand the genetic basis for the pathogen’s adaptive success, the researchers, led by scientists at the Broad Institute and the Sainsbury Laboratory, decoded the P. infestans genome. They produced a high-quality genome sequence and compared it to the genomes of two relatives: P. sojae, which infects soybeans, and P. ramorum, which prefers oak and other trees and causes a condition known as sudden oak death.One of the most striking findings to emerge from these comparisons is the expanded nature of the P. infestans genetic blueprint: It is two and a half to four times the size of its relatives’ genomes.But perhaps even more surprising than the genome’s large size is the source of its added bulk. Nusbaum and his colleagues determined that the additional genomic real estate does not reflect more genes per se, but instead stems from a massive expansion in the amount of repetitive (once considered to be “junk”) DNA. In fact, this type of DNA accounts for about 75 percent of the entire P. infestans genome.“Such a large amount of repetitive DNA is pretty surprising, since there is a metabolic cost to maintain it,” said Nusbaum. “As a genome biologist, I have to wonder how the organism benefits from having it.”The researchers gained some key insights into the potential advantages of carrying this glut of repetitive DNA by probing its genomic structure. They made three critical observations:• The P. infestans genome comprises alternating repeat-rich (and gene-poor) regions and gene-dense regions; • These gene-dense regions are shared among other Phytophthora species, preserved over millions of years of evolution, whereas the repeat-rich regions are undergoing relatively rapid changes; • The repeat-rich regions contain fewer genes compared to other genomic regions, yet those genes they do contain are enriched for those that play crucial roles in plant infection.Taken together, these findings suggest an unusual genomic strategy to support the rapid evolution of critical genes, known as “effector” genes. Effector genes can disrupt plants’ normal physiology, enabling the pathogen to establish a foothold. However, some can also trigger plants’ immune responses, making them prime targets for combating P. infestans infection.“We think this could be a tactic that enables P. infestans to rapidly adapt to host plants,” said co-lead author Brian Haas, manager of genome annotation, outreach, bioinformatics, and analysis at the Broad Institute. “In contrast to the well-conserved regions where most genes are found, the repeat-rich regions change rapidly over time, acting as a kind of incubator to enable the rapid birth and death of genes that are key to plant infection. As a result, these critical genes may be gained and lost so rapidly that the hosts simply can’t keep up.”Importantly, the new P. infestans genome sequence enabled the researchers to identify many previously unknown effector genes, particularly those that belong to two key groups, known as RXLR genes and CRN genes. The research team identified more than 500 RXLR genes and nearly 200 CRN genes, significantly more than are found in the pathogen’s relatives.These findings not only expand the catalog of known P. infestans genes, they also highlight a critical subset of genes undergoing rapid turnover. Further studies of these genes will foster a deeper understanding of plant infection and help identify potential targets for fighting back.
BRIDGEVILLE, Del. – A 47-year-old man died this morning when a trench he was working in collapsed in Bridgeville, an official said. His body was recovered this afternoon by dozens of emergency responders brought in from across Kent and Sussex counties.
Manchester-based Sports Tours International, ‘the UK’s leading sports tours operator’, is on the look-out for two marketing executives to bolster its digital activities.Marketing Executive – offlineSports Tours International is looking for a marketing professional to join the team, primarily managing the offline marketing activities, such as print advertising, planning expos, preparing outdoor marketing events and working directly with the company’s PR agency.The successful candidate will work closely with the rest of the marketing team, especially the digital and social media elements, plus liaise with the Sales and Operations teams. Some of the role may involve travelling overseas to events or within the UK at weekends. Ideally, candidates will have a proven marketing background. To apply for this role, send a covering letter and CV to Brendan Fox by email brendan[at]sportstoursinternational.co.uk.Marketing Executive – digitalSports Tours International has a position available for a digital marketing executive to take an active role in managing and developing the company’s websites, email communications, SEO and PPC activity. Here, the successful candidate should have a good understanding how to analyse digital data and propose actions as a result.The role involves working directly with the rest of the marketing team, plus liaison with the Sales and Operations teams to further the digital side of the business. For those who wish to be considered for this role, send a covering letter and CV to Brendan Fox by email brendan[at]sportstoursinternational.co.uk.Sports Tours International is a leading sports tours operator and has over the past 40 years taken thousands of its customers to some of the world’s biggest sporting events to participate and spectate. Travelled to events include: the Tour de France, the TCS New York City Marathon and the Virgin Money London Marathon.www.sportstoursinternational.co.uk Related
As more and more people motivate themselves to achieve their fitness goals and take up new challenges in lockdown – Red Bull is harnessing the power of community by encouraging runners across the UK and Ireland to run 1.5 million miles in 28 days… racing the Moon around the Earth over the course of a lunar cycle.On 21st June, the new moon marked the start of Red Bull’s Race The Moon challenge. The objective is to encourage people to make the most of their miles, for example, using the time challenge to discover new green spaces and local routes, or focusing on specific aspects of their running.Through the dedicated Red Bull running group on Strava, participants will receive training tips and help, using the unique community spirit to motivate each other to help complete the challenge.Participants have 28 days – the same as an average lunar cycle – to complete the challenge, finishing on 19th July and earning themselves a virtual challenge badge (and bragging rights) on Strava.One of Britain’s top ultrarunners and Red Bull athlete Tom Evans, a former winner of the 101km Courmayeur Champex Chamonix race will also be participating in the challenge. He’ll be offering tips and insights into how to make the most out of miles, as well as training tips to keep runners going throughout the month.There are also prizes up for grabs for people taking part. The athlete that tops the leaderboard and completes the most miles in the 28 days will win the ultimate prize, a trip to the Red Bull Athlete Performance Centre in Austria. Located just outside of Salzburg, it’s home to Red Bull’s high-performance lab, designed to help athletes regain or improve their fitness.www.redbull.co.uk/racethemoon Related
by. James AltucherA) Don’t get a salary. A salary will never make you money.B) Don’t invest any of your money. Investing is for wealth preservation, not wealth creation, so first you have to make wealthC) Come up with ten ideas a day. This doesn’t seem like “personal finance” but it is.D) Don’t try to save money by not buying expensive coffee or taking subways instead of cabs. That’s a myth. The best way to save money is to make more.E) Learn how to copywrite.F) Come up with ten ideas for how two people can help each other. Introduce them and stay out of the way. This is real networking. Not fake networking where people hand business cards to strangers.G) When you have wealth, never invest more than 2% of your wealth in any one idea.H) Don’t enter a business with a lot of competition. Enter a business with a monopoly. This means high profits, high perks, great education.I) Read a lot about things that have nothing to do with finance. Then combine them.J) Sleeping 8 hours a day might be the most important personal finance rule. continue reading » 13SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Robert McGarveyIn a universe where Apple Pay has won headlines along with substantial retailer, financial institution and consumer buy-in, can CU Wallet survive?Opinions are mixed, but some credit unions strongly believe that the better path for them is CU Wallet, which currently serves 84 credit unions, according to Chris Otey, chief revenue officer for the mobile technology, payments and security firm in Woodland Hills, Calif.“At present, there is plenty of room for new entrants in the mobile digital services space. This includes, but is not limited to, CU Wallet,” Jim Laffoon, president/CEO of the $8 billion Security Service Federal Credit Union in San Antonio, said. “Apple Pay is causing everyone to elevate their game.” continue reading »
Pinterest Share on Twitter But the processes of how amyloids form and clump together are not well understood. This is due in part to the fact that there’s currently not a good way to study them. Researchers say current methods are expensive, time-consuming and difficult to interpret, and can only provide a broad picture of the overall level of amyloids in a patient’s system.The University of Michigan and University of Fribourg researchers who developed the new technique believe that it could help solve the problem by measuring an individual molecule’s shape, volume, electrical charge, rotation speed and propensity for binding to other molecules.They call this information a “5-D fingerprint” and believe that it could uncover new information that may one day help doctors track the status of patients with neurodegenerative diseases and possibly even develop new treatments. Their work is detailed in a paper published in Nature Nanotechnology.“Imagine the challenge of identifying a specific person based only on their height and weight,” said David Sept, a U-M biomedical engineering professor who worked on the project. “That’s essentially the challenge we face with current techniques. Imagine how much easier it would be with additional descriptors like gender, hair color and clothing. That’s the kind of new information 5-D fingerprinting provides, making it much easier to identify specific proteins.”Michael Mayer, the lead author on the study and a former U-M researcher who’s now a biophysics professor at Switzerland’s Adolphe Merkle Institute, says identifying individual proteins could help doctors keep better tabs on the status of a patient’s disease, and it could also help researchers gain a better understanding of exactly how amyloid proteins are involved with neurodegenerative disease.To take the detailed measurements, the research team uses a nanopore 10-30 nanometers wide–so small that only one protein molecule can fit through at a time. The researchers filled the nanopore with a salt solution and passed an electric current through the solution.As a protein molecule tumbles through the nanopore, its movement causes tiny, measurable fluctuations in the electric current. By carefully measuring this current, the researchers can determine the protein’s unique five-dimensional signature and identify it nearly instantaneously.“Amyloid molecules not only vary widely in size, but they tend to clump together into masses that are even more difficult to study,” Mayer said. “Because it can analyze each particle one by one, this new method gives us a much better window to how amyloids behave inside the body.”Ultimately, the team aims to develop a device that doctors and researchers could use to quickly measure proteins in a sample of blood or other body fluid. This goal is likely several years off; in the meantime, they are working to improve the technique’s accuracy, honing it in order to get a better approximation of each protein’s shape. They believe that in the future, the technology could also be useful for measuring proteins associated with heart disease and in a variety of other applications as well.“I think the possibilities are pretty vast,” Sept said. “Antibodies, larger hormones, perhaps pathogens could all be detected. Synthetic nanoparticles could also be easily characterized to see how uniform they are.” In research that could one day lead to advances against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, University of Michigan engineering researchers have demonstrated a technique for precisely measuring the properties of individual protein molecules floating in a liquid.Proteins are essential to the function of every cell. Measuring their properties in blood and other body fluids could unlock valuable information, as the molecules are a vital building block in the body. The body manufactures them in a variety of complex shapes that can transmit messages between cells, carry oxygen and perform other important functions.Sometimes, however, proteins don’t form properly. Scientists believe that some types of these misshapen proteins, called amyloids, can clump together into masses in the brain. The sticky tangles block normal cell function, leading to brain cell degeneration and disease. Share Email LinkedIn Share on Facebook
A new analysis based on data from seven countries hit hard by Zika virus found a strong link between Zika infection and Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), a complication marked by numbness, weakness, and sometimes paralysis of the limbs.In other Zika research developments, scientists published new reports on co-infections with other mosquito-borne viruses and fatal encephalitis.GBS elevated up to 10-foldFor months now, global health officials have said there’s a scientific consensus about a link between Zika virus and GBS. The syndrome is a rare complication of other virus infections, including other members of the flavivirus family.Today’s letter to the New England Journal of Medicine reviews Zika and GBS patterns in seven countries: Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Suriname, and Venezuela. Authors include health ministry officials and experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).According to data submitted by the countries for Zika and GBS, changes in Zika incidence in 2015 and 2016 were closely associated with the rise and fall of GBS. Differences from GBS baselines for some countries, however, were much higher than others, with the greatest percentage rises reported in Suriname and Venezuela.The team explored a possible link between dengue infection and GBS incidence but didn’t find one.Women had a 75% higher incidence rate of Zika than men, especially those in the 20- to 49-year-old age-group, which could reflect differences in exposure, more severe symptoms, or differences in healthcare-seeking behavior, the report said. The GBS incidence, though, was 28% higher in men and increased with age, consistent with findings for other similar diseases.The investigators concluded that the levels they found—2.0 to 9.8 times as high as baseline—shows that GBS poses a substantial burden on health systems in the region. They added that more studies are needed to show that Zika infection is a cause of GBS.Zika, chikungunya, dengue co-infectionsMultiplex testing for Zika, chikungunya, and dengue viruses in Nicaragua found that coinfections are common, a research group from the United States and Nicaragua reported yesterday in Clinical Infectious Diseases.They based their findings on 346 serum samples submitted by healthcare providers and tested from Sep 1, 2015, to Apr 3, 2016. Of 263 that were positive for one or more viruses, 192 tested positive for one of the three mosquito-borne viruses and 71 had evidence of co-infection involving two or all three viruses.The researchers concluded that co-infections are common and that because the diseases have similar clinical presentations, multiplex tests are needed to help with patient care and surveillance.Fatal encephalitis in an adultBrazilian researchers, meanwhile, reported the first known case of fatal encephalitis in an adult infected with Zika virus.According to their report in the Journal of Clinical Virology, the patient was a previously healthy 47-year-old woman who wasn’t pregnant. She sought care for an itchy rash in joint pain in early January. Four days later she experienced lower limb weakness, dysarthria, and confusion.The next day she was admitted to the hospital, where her condition deteriorated rapidly, requiring mechanical ventilation. Cerebrospinal fluid was positive for Zika antibodies and her urine tested positive for Zika virus. Her doctors saw massive brain swelling on computed tomography. Despite aggressive treatment, the woman died 11 days after she was admitted.The authors said the case is a reminder for clinicians to consider Zika virus as a cause of encephalitis and to be aware of how severe the infections can be.See also:Aug 31 N Engl J Med letterAug 30 Clin Infect Dis studyAug 29 J Clin Virol report
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