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Specialized Molecules Make Cells Work

first_imgWalker with muscle:  A paper by Kaya and Higuchi from the University of Tokyo discussed how myosin motors, the active force-generating machines in muscle, adjust their walking steps with non-linear elasticity.1  Myosins work together in muscle.  Their ability to reduce stiffness and adjust their walk is essential: “the load-dependent changes in the step size are an essential property of skeletal myosin,” the authors said.  Their last sentence explained why this contributes to their effectiveness: “Such molecular properties may be inherent in the assembly of molecular motors and may reduce molecular interference, leading to the high mechanical efficiency of muscle contraction.”  You have your elastic myosins to thank for every simple or complex move you make.  For more stories about myosin this year, see 04/19/2010, 02/19/2010, and 01/19/2010.Junk with control:  It wasn’t long ago when any non-coding region of the genome was considered junk.  No longer; lincRNAs are emerging as stars of regulation and control (see 08/02/2010).  Another finding to that effect was published in Science by an international team from Stanford, Harvard and the Weizmann Institute in Israel.2  They studied one lincRNA called HOTAIR that has two specific binding domains for making histone modifications.  Histone is the protein on which DNA winds.  It contains molecular tags that affect translation – the “histone code” (see 12/22/2009, bullet 5, with its embedded links).    The team found that HOTAIR, an RNA generated from non-coding DNA, is intimately involved with the regulation of histone by forming a scaffold for PRC2 and LSD1 proteins: “The functional consequence of coordinate targeting of PRC2 and LSD1 by HOTAIR is gene repression,” they said.  What they found may apply to other cases: “Some lincRNAs may be ‘tethers’ that recruit several chromatin modifications to their sites of synthesis while other lincRNAs can act on distantly located genes as ‘guides’ to affect their chromatin states,” the concluded.  “On the basis of their dynamic patterns of expression, specific lincRNAs can potentially direct complex patterns of chromatin states at specific genes in a spatially and temporally organized manner during development and disease states.”Repairmen with teamwork:  A team at Zheijiang University in China studied the partners in DNA interstrand cross-link repair, one of many repair pathways active in the genome.  Fanconi anemia is a disease caused by mutations in 13 Fanc genes.3    “Here, we characterize a previously unrecognized nuclease, Fanconi anemia?associated nuclease 1 (FAN1), that promotes ICL repair in a manner strictly dependent on its ability to accumulate at or near sites of DNA damage and that relies on mono-ubiquitylation of the ID complex,” they said, referring to the tagging of a repair site with ubiquitin, a “ubiquitous” cellular tag signaling a site for repair or demolition.  “Thus, the mono-ubiquitylated ID complex recruits the downstream repair protein FAN1 and facilitates the repair of DNA interstrand cross-links.”    For more on DNA repair teams in the cell, see the 07/18/2001, 07/26/2002, 01/30/2003, 02/13/2004, 03/31/2005, 08/14/2007, and 03/14/2010 entries.These three papers are examples of many that are continuously being published in leading journals that (1) explore highly-specific molecules involved in vital cellular processes and (2) say nothing about evolution.  Examples could be easily multiplied.1.  Kaya and Higuchi, “Nonlinear Elasticity and an 8-nm Working Stroke of Single Myosin Molecules in Myofilaments,” Science, 6 August 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5992, pp. 686-689, DOI: 10.1126/science.1191484.2.  Tsai, Manor et al, “Long Noncoding RNA as Modular Scaffold of Histone Modification Complexes,” Science, 6 August 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5992, pp. 689-693, DOI: 10.1126/science.1192002.3.  Liu, Ghosai, Yuan, Chen and Huang, “FAN1 Acts with FANCI-FANCD2 to Promote DNA Interstrand Cross-Link Repair,” Science, 6 August 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5992, pp. 693-696, DOI: 10.1126/science.1192656.Who needs evolution?  Not these authors.  Not medical science, genetics, or cell biology, either.  Let’s move along, and leave Darwinism to rust in pieces.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Reports continue to show that vital cell processes depend on finely-tuned proteins and RNA molecules.  Most of the papers that discuss these specialized molecules fail to mention how they might have evolved, as shown in three papers in the recent issue of Science.last_img read more

What It’s Like To Write For Demand Media: Low Pay But Lots of Freedom

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#New Media#user-generated content#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market guest author 1 Editor: This is a guest post by Andria Krewson, a freelance journalist who has written for Demand Media. Given our recent focus on Demand Media and so-called content farms, we thought it would be interesting to get the perspective of a Demand Media writer.I made $37.50 at Demand Studios in November. That money went directly into my Paypal account, on time, with no billing hassles. But it probably took me about six hours of filling out a profile, studying a style guide and learning how to navigate the system. So my hourly pay was about $6, for a writer new to the system.Andria Krewson is a freelance journalist and consultant in Charlotte, N.C. She has worked at newspapers for 27 years, focusing on design and editing of community publications. She blogs for her neighborhood at Under Oak and covers changing culture at Crossroads Charlotte. Reach her on Twitter as @underoak.I had heard about Demand Studios from former co-workers before Wired wrote about Demand Media (Demand Studio’s parent company) in October, and media pundits like Jay Rosen followed up with comments on Twitter and an interview with the company’s CEO at ReadWriteWeb. [Ed: ReadWriteWeb’s first analysis of Demand Media was in August.] Demand Media has been criticized for producing low-quality content designed for search engine optimization. It’s not journalism, critics say, and it’s clogging up Google searches, making good stuff hard to find.But I suspect much of that criticism has come from people who haven’t gone inside the Demand Studios part of Demand Media to see how it really works, or they haven’t thought enough about what kind of content it provides, or they haven’t thought enough about how it feels to swallow your pride and make a little money with your strongest knowledge and skills, no matter the global hourly rate.There are differences between the user-generated content at sites Demand Media feeds, and the content generated by Demand Studios.So let’s get to it.How it worksPeople sign up as writers, editors or filmmakers. I signed up as a writer. Contributors study the style guide, which gives specifics on allowed citations, and why citations are needed, and how to write for search-engine optimization without sounding too clunky. New writers can also consult forums and connect with other contributors with social-networking tools. Writers can then use keywords, pay rates and general content areas to search through available assignments. Generally, enough assignments exist that writers can find subjects of personal interest.Fact sheets get $7.50 an assignment. I fulfilled one of those before I realized that rate of pay wasn’t worth the effort. The next two assignments, for $15 each, both dealt with the same topic, with slightly different angles, and I chose them because I knew the subject well. Still, I had to do some research, to back up my statements and provide links to .edu or .gov sites. No Wikipedia allowed.Once accepting assignments, I had a week to submit them to editors. While I could have written each piece without any research, citations and outbound links are required, as well as a summary (a nut graf, essentially, in newspaper terms). Frankly, the discipline of filling out boxes with words could help some professional writers improve the focus of their pieces. Certainly new writers can learn from the system. And the SEO tips in the style guide are worth study.One piece I wrote was bounced back for further editing. The editor’s comments were gentle but clear. I made fixes, resubmitted, and got paid, through Paypal, no invoices necessary.What’s the content?The stories are usually how-to pieces, often broken into steps. They’re evergreen, designed to be as relevant in a year or two as they are now. They’re the kinds of questions I would usually get answered through a phone call to my contractor father, or my brother the car genius, or my mother the seamstress/cook/homemaker/gardener/early computer geek.You can tell by the assignment headlines that they’re generated from search engine queries, and sometimes those search terms provide some amusement. People are actually turning to Google to ask these questions? What happened to asking basic questions from friends and family?But indeed, we’re in a different world, and the criticism of Demand Media by some pundits strikes me as a bit elitist, as if the Internet weren’t for everyone. A personal example:(Daughter, 19, volunteers to help me with my eye shadow for a special event.)Me: Where’d you learn this technique?Her: Youtube.(And indeed, eHow videos, supplied by Demand Media, show how to apply eye shadow.)Swallowing my prideMy friends who first told me about Demand Studios are wordsmiths, copy editors of the highest skill levels, who worked for Demand Studios for $3.50 a story.Yes, $3.50 a story. But one friend, once he had the hang of the system, managed to work fast enough to raise his rate to about $20 an hour, from his couch, on his schedule, while waiting to get a full-time job elsewhere.Another friend also edited for Demand Studios, as a supplement to a part-time job before eventually getting full-time work, after about a year of underemployment.Demand Media doesn’t need help with public relations from me. They’re compiling comments in an internal forum from their writers about why they love Demand Studios. And plenty of people have commented. They appear to be overwhelmingly women, often with children, often English majors or journalism students, looking for a way to do what they love and make a little money at it.Compare those demographics to Wikipedia: more than 80% male, more than 65% single, more than 85% without children, around 70% under the age of 30.Admittedly, working for Demand Studios isn’t a point of pride for most professional journalists. But the interface and the editing allow people with other expertise to share knowledge. I recommended the site to my father the contractor. It could be a good way for a retiree with a lifetime of knowledge to document life lessons for others.People with disabilities, or people who have to fit their work around children’s schedules, or people between jobs have a place to earn some money, from their living rooms. It’s not the only “writer mill” out there, but it has been under fire lately, and a look inside might add a little light.Jay Rosen’s interview with the CEO of Demand Media, Richard Rosenblatt, done via IM, included this quote from Rosenblatt:“What’s more like a sweatshop: someone’s living room working their own hours or a typical newsroom?”Certainly some people in newsrooms are feeling pressure these days, but perhaps that quote isn’t quite fair. For a newsroom copy editor to earn $28 an hour (not factoring in benefits), at the Demand Studios rate of $3.50 a story, they would have to “edit” 64 stories in an eight-hour shift. I don’t know of newsrooms that are quite at that point yet, but then again, we’re in a global economy, with global pay rates.Some wordsmiths will choose to work from their couches. Take a good, broad look at what they produce before criticizing.Check out ReadWriteWeb’s entire coverage of Demand Media and content farms:Content Farms: Why Media, Blogs & Google Should Be WorriedHow Google Can Combat Content FarmsJay Rosen Interviews Demand Media: Are Content Farms “Demonic”?Demand Media Is a Page View Generating Machine – And it’s WorkingAnswers.com: 31 Million Copied and Pasted Web Pages Can’t Go WrongThe Age of Mega Content Sites – Answers.com and Demand MediaHow Demand Media Produces 4,000 Pieces of Content a DayAd-Driven Content – Is it Crossing The Line?last_img read more

How to Use the Psychrometric Chart

first_imgWhen you drive a borrowed car, it takes a few moments to figure out how to operate the windshield wipers and the headlights. But in your own car, your hand reaches for these switches without thinking.Using the psychrometric chart is a little like driving a car. If you use the psychrometric chart every day, you don’t have to orient yourself. But if you are like me, and you only consult the psychrometric chart two or three times a year, it’s useful to refer to a cheat sheet every time you use it.The psychometric chart (see Image #2, below) is a graph that shows (among other things) the relationships between air temperature, relative humidity, and dew points under a variety of conditions. The psychrometric chart is your friend. Like the periodic table of the elements, it’s a very useful invention. It organizes a lot of information and presents it graphically, allowing builders, HVAC contractors, and building scientists to answer certain questions quickly.Remember: if you need an answer to a question involving dew points or relative humidity, consulting the psychrometric chart is much easier than making calculations using a formula.Here is my list of the top five things that builders need to know about air and water vapor.1. Cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air. When the outdoor air is at 10°F, it isn’t holding much moisture — even if the relative humidity (RH) of the air is 90%. (In Comment #1 below, Bill Rose notes that “Saying that cold air can hold less water is convenient shorthand.” He goes on to note that in some instances — for example, when air in a stud bay is bounded by surfaces of different temperatures — the shorthand rule doesn’t apply. For more information… This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

Kickout Flashing: Often Overlooked and Under Appreciated

first_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img We were building a new deck on the back of a house when we had to break for a couple days because of heavy rain. When we returned, the client asked us about a puzzling problem that two roofers had been unable to solve. Occasionally, after a day of rain, the garage floor had a puddle of water that seemed to weep out from the bottom of the back wall where the garage joined the rest of the house. I had a sense after looking in the back of the garage that the leak was at the first piece of step flashing where the garage eave joined the main house wall.I had to remove only two pieces of lap siding where the drip edge on the garage roof met the house wall to see the saturated and decaying plywood sheathing. And the damage only got worse as we removed more clapboards and housewrap further down the wall. When the 25-year-old house was built, the first piece of step flashing was installed against the wall and the housewrap was installed over it, which makes sense for every other piece of step flashing—lap the water-resistive barrier (WRB) over the wall leg of the flashing, shingle style. But the first piece of step flashing in cases where the main body of the wall continues beyond the eave of a lower roof needs to be turned away from the wall, and the WRB has to be sliced so it covers the wall leg of the step flashing and goes behind the turned out leg.We removed the siding on both the back wall of the garage and the adjoining wall of the house. The water damage was more severe and wider lower down on the wall. The insulation was saturated, the outer… last_img read more

Japanese student found dead at IIT-Guwahati

first_imgA Japanese student on an exchange programme at IIT-Guwahati has been found dead inside a hostel room, police said. The body of the student, identified as that of Kota Onoda (22) was found hanging from the ventilator of a bathroom in Lohit hostel at 3.30 p.m. on Thursday, a spokesperson of IIT-Guwahati said. After receiving information, a police team reached the spot and recovered the body. The body has been sent for post-mortem examination to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital and the Japanese Embassy in New Delhi has been informed about it, the spokesperson said. Onoda, a masters programme student at Gifu University in Japan, was doing internship in the Bio-Sciences and Bio- Engineering department of IIT-Guwahati for a semester, as part of the exchange programme. His internship was scheduled to end on November 30. A delegation of Gifu University that was in Guwahati on Thursday and the Ministry of External Affairs were also informed by the IIT authorities about the incident. Assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts is available on the State’s health helpline 104 and Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050.last_img read more

1st or 2nd Best Middle Blocker ‘doesn’t matter’ for Oliver Almadro, title-seeking Ateneo

first_imgUST legend Venus Bernal proud of Sisi Rondina, feels it’s the Tigresses’ year Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Almadro said that he explained it to Madayag and that his graduating middle blocker understood what happened.“First or second Best Middle Blocker, it doesn’t matter. At least, we got one and that’s what we’re thankful for that one of our players were still recognized,” said Almadro Saturday just before the start of Game 1 of the UAAP Finals between University of Santo Tomas and Ateneo.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsAteneo fans cried foul after Doria was given the higher nod than Madayag after a couple of sports reporters, who cover the UAAP questioned the awarding process.Doria was second in blocking with an average of 0.69 blocks per set or a total of 37 kill blocks but it was Madayag who led the league, numbers-wise, with 0.86 kill blocks per frame and a total of 44 kill blocks. Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Almadro said it’s not a big deal for them if Madayag was the first or second since they’re more concerned with the championship than with anything else.“It’s not a big deal, the important thing for us is the championship,” said Almadro, whose Lady Eagles are searching for their first title since 2015.“What we want is to become the champion. If there’s an award on our side, then, that’s just a bonus.”ADVERTISEMENT Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power gridcenter_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro cleared the air following the unwarranted controversy surrounding this season’s individual awards.National University’s Roselyn Doria was named the first Best Middle Blocker while the Lady Eagles’ Maddie Madayag took home the second Best Middle Blocker plum of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte View commentslast_img read more