One Wrong-Handed Amino Acid Can Cause Vertigo

first_img(Visited 717 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The rocks in your head that give you a sense of balance are finely tuned to spiral in a certain way.We’ve mentioned chirality before in articles on the origin of life. One of the difficulties for secular scientists is explaining how life ended up with one-handed (chiral) building blocks, like amino acids and sugars, when both are equally likely to form by the laws of physics. That remains a major unsolved problem in origin-of-life studies, because proteins cannot work unless 100% one-handed.Another case of chirality just turned up in the human body: inside the inner ear, little crystals of calcium carbonate will fail to work if one amino acid goes right-handed instead of left-handed.Tiny crystals of calcium carbonate help us keep our balance.In a press release from McGill University on “Chirality Switching in Biomineral Structures,” researchers found one reason why some people develop vertigo. We all have little rocks in vestibules (sacs) within our inner ears, called otoconia. Those crystals are not just chips off the old block; they are carefully constructed by “proteins that guide the biomineralization process.” When otoconia grow correctly, they spiral in a certain direction. The scientists found that a single wrong-handed amino acid can make them spiral the opposite way, leading to failure in the balance organ.Remarkably, they could also make the helicoids turn clockwise or counterclockwise by simply using only either the left-handed or right-handed version of the amino acids aspartic acid and glutamic acid – these being abundant in proteins that guide biomineralization processes in many organisms.“This work provides key information towards understanding how organisms can have biomineralized structures rotating in opposite directions,” says McKee, senior author of the study. “Our findings also give insight into pathologic chiral malformations that might arise in human otoconia, structures in the inner ear whose normal functioning maintains balance by gravity sensing and by detecting linear acceleration. Our work predicts how pathologic chiral malformations might arise in human otoconia and could one day be used to develop therapies for vertigo (loss of balance) based on this understanding”.Snail (DFC)The paper in Science Advances, the open-access journal of the AAAS, gives the details of how the crystals grow. They spiral one way, then at a certain point, the spirals switch and grow the other way, overlapping as they grow. Adsorption of the one-handed enzyme on the crystal explains how the crystal can start growing with a left-handed spiral, and then switch to a right-handed spiral as layers build up. The outcome is finely dependent on the enzyme’s sequence. The authors say that “chiral switching” operates not only in the inner ear otoconia, but in snail shells that on rare occasions spiral the opposite way from normal.This layer-by-layer rotational circular growth model for vaterite structures, which also provides a chiral switching mechanism, may be part of organic contributions to chiral switches observed in mineralized structures in biology, where biomineralized shells and other structures such as coccolith skeletons and pathologic human vaterite otoconia have chiral structures. Not only do the data support the postulate that simple acidic amino acids are potentially involved in producing chiral mineralized architectures both large and small, but they also additionally suggest that more complex chiral biomolecules may provide additional hierarchical instructions for extended structure in biomineralization.The paper calls science’s lack of understanding of the origin of chirality an “Achilles’ heel” of biology, but ends on a biomimetic note:In summary, this work demonstrates that two imperfect oriented attachment growth mechanisms operate in establishing chiral hierarchical vaterite helicoids induced by the adsorption of a single chiral enantiomer of an acidic amino acid onto a vaterite crystal, and whose helicoid chirality can be switched. These findings advance our understanding of why, despite a lack of d-enantiomer [right-handed] amino acids in biology—the “Achilles heel” of understanding the origin of enantiomeric pairs of biominerals from chiral amino acids—various enantiomorphs of biomineral may indeed be formed by homochiral biomolecules (more specifically l-acidic amino acids, as found in nature). The findings also describe a new organizational function involving mineral crystal-biomolecule interactions over different length scales that may prove useful in the development of novel composite/hybrid functional materials. The findings also allowed us to build a growth model for pathologic human inner ear otoconia that predicts other pathologic forms—as yet to be discovered—whose formation may one day be modified by therapies based on this understanding.A sidebar in the press release explains chirality in molecules.How about that; another fine-tuning example in biology, and a clever trick that scientists want to imitate! Your body is more wonderful than you can possibly imagine. It makes you dizzy just thinking about it. Be thankful today if you can bend over without losing your balance. Be thankful anyway, even if you do lose your balance. You can read this, can’t you?last_img read more

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Imperial in €270m German acquisition

first_imgLehnkering operates in defensive customer industries, focused mainly around chemicals, and will provide Imperial with an ideal opportunity to expand into global emerging markets that are served by German exports. South African industrial group Imperial is to acquire German logistics firm Lehnkering from Lukas Sweden AB for €173-million, in order to grow and diversify its international logistics business and strengthen its position in Germany, its second home market. The transaction will also see Imperial assume debt of €97-million, taking the total enterprise value to €270-million. Lehnkering also provides outsourced services where it synthesises, mixes and packages chemical products on behalf of its clients. The effective date of the acquisition is expected to be at the end of 2011 or in the first quarter of 2012, subject approval from the necessary regulatory authorities. 3 October 2011 “The management team of Imperial Logistics International is highly experienced and competent players in the European logistics market, and as a result, our base in Germany is ideally suited to be the hub of our international activities outside Africa,” Imperial said in a statement last week. “The Lehnkering acquisition will further improve Imperial’s competitive position in European inland shipping, ports and terminals operations, warehousing and distribution and contract logistics,” the company added. Imperial has experienced a similar evolution in its contract logistics business, Panopa, which started as purely a logistics service provider and over the years became more entrenched in its customer base through sub-assembly on behalf of motor manufacturers. Outsourcing in the chemicals industry SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material The trend to outsourcing in the chemicals industry is expected to grow as chemicals suppliers tend to focus on their core business of product development and marketing. “Imperial wished to increase their presence in this industry based on the know-how and experience we have in shipping, contract logistics, distribution and warehousing.” The acquisition will be funded from new euro denominated banking facilities secured for the acquisition for a period of five years. Imperial has in addition obtained permission from the South African Reserve Bank to fund a portion of the acquisition from its South African operations. “The German operations have traditionally delivered excellent returns on capital for the group.”last_img read more

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Tri State Small Ruminant Summit

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office, Indiana Sheep Association, and Ohio Sheep Improvement Association are proud to present the 2016 KIO Tri State Small Ruminant Summit – Let’s Grow Together conference, aimed at herd improvement for sheep and goat producers.The Summit is an event that brings together producers and experts from different states all with similar goals and obstacles.  The topics, spoken on by experienced university professors, veterinarians and Extension specialists, specifically target how to integrate health, genetics and nutrition to enhanced efficiency and productivity. There will also be hands on workshops and live demonstrations. “This provides a great opportunity to create connections between small ruminant producers and the academic types,” said Robert Van Saun of Penn State University who is speaking at the conference.  “It is a chance to learn new, reliable scientific information as these industries begin to grow.”The Summit aims to expand and improve the industry for consumers as well.“Being exposed to new developments in technology that will directly benefit sheep producers is a must,” said Mike Corn, vice president of the American Sheep Industry speaking of the conference. “We must all be willing to make changes as needed to provide exactly what our consumers are asking for on a continuously changing consumer base.”The event will be held at the Boone County Enrichment Center in Burlington Kentucky on Oct. 1, 2016.  Registration begins the morning of at 8 a.m. with the Summit going until 4 p.m.  Pre-registration is available online now through Sept. 19. More information can be found at the Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office’s website- www.kysheepandgoat.org.The KSGDO, ISA, and OSIA aim to improve the sheep and goat industries of within their states through promotion and education.last_img read more

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Current: Meme Tracker With Data Visualizations

first_imgWhile in New York earlier this month, I attended New York University’s annual ITP Spring Show. ITP is a graduate program for communications studies and the Spring Show is a chance for students to showcase their interactive projects. I saw everything from Matrix-like interactive squiddies, to a woman on stilts powered by an iPhone app, to a paint brush that made music. Probably the most impressive thing I saw, though, was a media project by a student named Zoe Fraade-Blanar. Current: A News Project is a prototype meme tracker using data visualization.Current tracks the lifecycle of internet memes over 24 hours, using data visualization of U.S. news media coverage. It makes it easy to identify when a meme is starting, trending, at its peak, or dying. The tool is aimed at newspaper editors and writers, as it tells them which stories have the best chance of success. The underlying data of Current comes from Google Trends, in particular the Hot Searches section. So it is ultimately powered by Google search queries. That data is cross-referenced with the five largest newspapersin the United States, using Google News.“…it is not theplacement but the thickness and volume of each line thatrepresents the fluctuating level of interest.”Creator Zoe Fraade-Blanar has a noble goal for the project. In an explanatory paper, she explains that the goal is to “spotlight missed opportunities innews coverage, and, potentially, recover news readershipthat has been lost to more sensational sources.” Current is Fraade-Blanar’s third attempt to use data visualization “totackle the question of what topics news media should becovering.”Fraade-Blanar did a stint with the New York TimesAnalytics Group in the summer of 2009, helping to analyze incomingtraffic behavior. She discovered then that it often wasn’t ‘hard news’ like politics or economics which drew the most traffic, but ‘soft news’ such as celebrity gossip or entertainment news. Here at ReadWriteWeb, we’re well aware of this issue. Some of our best posts are ones that our writers sweat over for hours, yet probably won’t hit the Digg frontpage because of the topic. Whereas a top 10 list about YouTube videos can draw hundreds of thousands of visitors!“Each of these circles is a news item. So every time you see a circle inside this information stream, that’s a successful news item.” – Zoe in an On The Media interview. While Current has a noble aim, curiously it’s the exact same goal that motivates content farms like Demand Media and the newly Yahoo-acquiredAssociated Content. In the words of Fraade-Blanar’s white paper: “Each highlighted meme represents untapped traffic that could bechanneled to a specific news site if only an article existedon the topic.”As we’ve noted before on ReadWriteWeb, content farms aim to supply content to meet demand – usually perceived to be what people are searching for on Google. Demand Media, for example, has a sophisticated analytic engine that identifies topics that will be most attractive to Google.So although Current aims to mediate between a writer’s “need to drive trafficto [their] website and the need to cover important, albeit lesssensational topics,” in reality it would most likely be used to identify high traffic topics (the ones that will make money).Regardless of how it might be deployed in the real world, Current is a beautiful tool that nicely illustrates trending stories on the Web. Although currently it is based on Google Trends, it may add other sources like Yahoo,Technorati, Twitter and Bing. Congratulations to Zoe Fraade-Blanar for a smart and well-designed project! There is definite potential for Current to become a useful commercial product. Check it out for yourself on the project website. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… richard macmanus 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Data Services#New Media#Visualization#web center_img Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

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An NZEH in Surf City, an AltBuild Expo in Santa Monica

first_imgSouthern California this weekend will play host to two events with green appeal for builders, designers, and consumersHuntington Beach, the Southern California town that markets itself as Surf City, has some impressive housing stock, which is one reason the Huntington Beach Educational Foundation’s Annual Home & Garden Tour, the foundation’s biggest fundraiser, has entered its eighth year.One green highlight of the upcoming tour, which is scheduled for Saturday, is a net zero energy home (not yet completed) only two blocks east of Pacific Coast Highway, which separates the town’s residential and commercial areas from its impressive beach and the cold, rugged waves that attract surfers to the area.Being built by Living Green Homes Construction & Development, based in Huntington Beach, the two-story home is aiming for a GreenPoint rating – Huntington Beach’s first – under Build It Green guidelines. Living Green Homes expects construction to be completed in July and, before the home is sold, likely will use it as a showcase for green construction techniques and products.Amy Dryden, GreenPoint rated project manager for Build It Green, told the Orange County Register the home is one of nine such projects she is aware of in Orange County, including two other single-family homes, two subdivisions of single-family homes, and four multifamily developments.Meanwhile, farther up the coast, the 2009 Alternative Building Materials & Design Expo will be held 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.Build It Green, along with more than 150 other exhibitors who specialize and green building design and materials, energy efficiency, alternative energy, water conservation, environmental plumbing, sustainable landscape, waste management, and utility and municipal services.And you can’t beat the admission price, which is free.last_img read more

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Rain adds to misery of Odisha’s cyclone-hit

first_imgWith pre-monsoon showers lashing the coastal districts of Odisha, thousands of families, who lost their houses in cyclone Fani, are in deep distress.Although the Odisha government has started releasing housing building assistance to the affected families, repair of houses is unlikely to be completed before monsoon in many parts of the Puri district, which was the worst affected in the cyclone that hit the State on May 3.As per the damage assessment and enumeration conducted by the Puri district administration, houses and huts of as many as 2,87,762 families were damaged in the cyclone. “While 9,059 pucca and kutcha houses have been fully damaged, 1,04,715 houses have suffered severe damage. Similarly, 1,13,221 pucca houses and 49,529 kutcha houses have been partially damaged,” the assessment report says.The State government, as per the norms of the State Disaster Response Fund and the National Disaster Response Fund, announced ₹95,100 for a person whose house (pucca or kutcha) has been fully or severely damaged. Similarly, ₹5,200 is to be paid for partial damage of pucca house, ₹3,200 for partial damage of kutcha house and ₹4,100 for damage to hut.First instalment givenThe first instalment of the house building assistance has already been disbursed. The State government had released ₹197.59 crore to the Puri district administration on June 10. Subsequently, ₹10.21 crore was released. “Prior to the disbursement of house building assistance, we had asked suppliers of roofing sheets to make the material available at the panchayat level so that people don’t face difficulties in getting them,” said Puri District Collector Balwant Singh.According to villagers, the magnitude of the damage is such that roofing material alone would not suffice. “We are facing difficulties in mobilising building materials, masons, carpenters and labourers,” said Sudarshn Behera of Bhagabatipur under Nimapara block of Puri district. Farmers were facing a twin challenge – protecting their family members and household articles from rain and taking up farming in the rainy season, Mr. Behera said.The Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre says monsoon is likely to hit Odisha within a week. But, widespread pre-monsoon rains have been recorded in almost all coastal districts, including Puri.last_img read more

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TORONTOS MENA MASSOUD FACES A WHOLE NEW WORLD AS ALADDIN STAR

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Facebook Mena Massoud, left, and Will Smith in Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin, opening in theatres on May 24. (Daniel Smith / Disney) Twitter “I was going to go on the path my parents chose for me,” said Massoud. But after a course correction 10 years ago, it all changed. When he spoke with the Star last month on the phone from Los Angeles, he was about to set out on an international press tour alongside Will Smith for the remake of the 1992 animated classic.It’s a stunning position for the relatively unknown 27-year-old actor, who was born in Cairo, Egypt, and raised in Markham. The original Aladdin grossed more than half a billion dollars at the global box office — in 1992 dollars — as part of Disney’s animation renaissance. The remake is projected to pull in upwards of $80 million US in its opening weekend in North America.“I’m taking it in stride,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I have a lot of pressure, but I feel the value of the responsibility I’ve been given.”It’s a responsibility Massoud never would have had if he didn’t cut his degree short, having enrolled in the University of Toronto to pursue neuroscience in 2009, and auditioned for Ryerson University’s theatre performance program after a year. But he was miserable in science. His adolescent experience acting in high school left an impression that he couldn’t shake.center_img Advertisement Login/Register With: Long before he would ride a CGI magic carpet, Mena Massoud’s world was all nerves and neurons.The Toronto-bred actor, poised to catapult into global stardom Friday as the lead in Disney’s live-action Aladdin, was a budding doctor. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

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TCI Engineering Works update at Cheshire Hall Medical Centre

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, November 30, 2017 – Providenciales – TCI Hospital provides a 24-hour service, and therefore, both health care facilities are maintained throughout the year with an aim to provide minimal disruption to clinical services during engineering works.   Specialist engineers continue to work expeditiously to repair any outstanding mechanical issues at Cheshire Hall Medical Centre sustained as a result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September.These issues are connected to water pressure, internal supply and return feeds, which support the cooling system within the facility.   As a result, a temporary reduction in cooling capacity took place over recent days to facilitate a replacement of some internal supply/return pipes on the chilled water closed loop system at the Providenciales facility.A temporary reduction in the cooling capacity is unavoidable under these special circumstances due to the nature of the repairs, and specialist engineers have worked swiftly to complete these essential repairs to support the seamless delivery of routine clinical services.Emergency Services continue to function at full capacity and the department continues to serve all levels of acuity. However, the Operating Theatre and Diagnostic Imaging Departments at Cheshire Hall Medical Centre were placed in emergency mode due to temperature sensitive equipment. Any changes to routine clinical services and scheduled appointments have been communicated to patients and staff.To date, 40 joints/elbows along with multiple stretches of pipe work have been replaced. This work has been completed promptly and efficiently whilst working around our patient base in some cases as departmental services continue. The work continued throughout the bank holiday weekend, and upon retesting the system this past Sunday, further pipe breaches were detected in areas that were previously unaffected.All repairs are projected to be completed by today, Wednesday 29th November 2017 followed by a reactivation and analysis of the system. If there are no further breaches to the chilled water closed loop pipe system, normal cooling temperatures should resume by late this afternoon.A strategic range of measures were activated to ensure safety and some level of comfort to both staff and patients during this period. These measures include, but are not limited to the following protocols:All external doors are opened at 7.30a.m. to allow for fresh air ventilation and closed at 6.00p.m. to minimise impact of dawn/dusk and mosquitoes.All public areas and departments are ventilated with the exception of any areas which would result in Infection Prevention Control or security issues such as special precaution rooms.Portable floor standing fans have been allocated to all areas with instruction for use and location for best efficiency, cooling and airflow.Communications have been consistently disseminated to all building users with regard to minimising the use of equipment on standby, and stopping use of some non-essential lights during the day to reduce internal building temperatures.Environmental Health and Safety inspections take place throughout the day starting at 6.45a.m. by the Facilities Department Duty Manager who conduct environmental scans for leaks, floor surfaces, temperature analysis, and continued management of the building for patients and staff.Since the adjustment in cooling capacity across the building, there has been no reported issues of condensation slips, trips or falls due to humidity in the building. Floor surfaces are safe and maintained for staff and patients.The Ministry of Health clinic waiting room has been relocated to the main corridor to allow persons to take full advantage of the natural air inflow.The Catering Team recently commenced routine water distribution rounds for patients, InterHealth Canada and Ministry of Health staff throughout the day in Outpatient and In-patient areas to ensure hydration. Coconut water has also been distributed to staff to ensure the replenishment of electrolytes.All front of house departments have been issued with Mosquito repellant spray for use of staff and public. There has been increased vigilance with waste management across the hospital and additional environmental checks to prevent any inflow of flies.A request has been made to TCI’s Ministry of Health for external areas around the facility perimeter to be fogged in an effort to reduce any potential mosquito population growth. This is particularly important whilst external fire doors are used for ventilation during the daytime hours. Fogging took place around 7:00pm on Tuesday 28, November 2017.The facilities team continue to provide and monitor support services particularly those in high temperature areas such as the laundry, kitchen and plant works. Staff are monitored for hydration, and rested within the building periodically throughout their shift, allowing for further hydration breaks as required.We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank our patients and staff for their understanding. Related Items:last_img read more

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SoccerCity opens campaign headquarters in Kearny Mesa

first_img Steve Bosh September 4, 2018 Posted: September 4, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics Tags: Decision 2018, SoccerCity, Stadium Site FacebookTwitter Updated: 11:40 AMcenter_img Steve Bosh, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsMISSION VALLEY (KUSI) – SoccerCity has opened its new campaign headquarters in Kearny Mesa.It will run a multi-million dollar campaign in competition with SDSU West for control of the Mission Valley stadium site.SoccerCity’s campaign will include reaching out to City of San Diego voters via text, email, knocking on doors in all neighborhoods, radio, and TV advertising. They will use all means available to educate voters about what is at stake.This November, voters will make the final choice to choose the SoccerCity, SDSU West, or neither initiative.KUSI’s Steve Bosh has the details. SoccerCity opens campaign headquarters in Kearny Mesalast_img read more

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