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The lady’s ape: Extinct gibbon discovered in royal ancient Chinese tomb

The lady’s ape: Extinct gibbon discovered in royal ancient Chinese tomb

A new genus and species of gibbon has been identified in the most unexpected of places – interred in the tomb of an ancient Chinese noble-woman. The remains of this now extinct Holocene gibbon represent the first documented evidence of ape extinction following the last ice-age, and according to this report by Sam Turvey et al., the gibbon may have also been the first to vanish as a direct result of human activity; the findings thus challenge the notion that ape species haven't been rendered extinct by humans, throughout time. The remains of the gibbon were discovered amidst the grave-menagerie of an approximately 2200-2300 year-old tomb in in the ancient capital city of Chang'an, in modern Shaanxi China. At the time, gibbons were perceived as 'noble,' and also kept as high-status pets. The tomb in which the remains were found – and perhaps the gibbon itself – may have belonged to Lady Xia, the grandmother of China's first emperor. Consisting primarily of a partial facial skeleton, the mysterious gibbon's remains were compared to known living and extinct hylobatids. Their gibbon, which the authors named Junzi imperialis, is a new genus and species, the authors say, based on detailed analyses of cranial and dental measurements. Their results suggest that until recently, eastern Asia supported a previously unknown, yet historically extinct population of apes, and, too, that human-caused primate diversity loss in the past may be underestimated. Historical accounts describe gibbons being caught near Chang'an into the 10th century and inhabiting Shaanxi Province until the 18th century. These recent accounts may represent other undescribed, now extinct, species.

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https://www.eurekalert.org/jrnls/sci/summaries-06-22-18.php#B

Related Journal Article

http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aao4903

Source: New feed

Hundreds of thousands of genomes shed light on psychiatric disorders

Hundreds of thousands of genomes shed light on psychiatric disorders

A massive undertaking by the Brainstorm Consortium to analyze the genomes of nearly 900,000 people has revealed important insights into the genetic overlap among some psychiatric diseases, as well as among personality traits. Here, Verneri Anttila and colleagues sought to explore the genetic underpinning of 25 brain disorders (both neurological and psychiatric) by analyzing the genomes of about 215,500 patients and 650,000 healthy participants. Three additional disorders (epilepsy, migraine, and ischemic stroke) were also included. While the researchers found almost no genetic overlap among neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis, they found much overlap among psychiatric diseases. Anorexia nervosa, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia demonstrated the most overlap, the authors say, and schizophrenia was found to correlate with most of the psychiatric disorders in general. Notably, the common variant risk of both Autism Spectrum Disorder and Tourette syndrome (TS) appears to be distinct from the influence of other psychiatric disorders, the authors say. The only non-psychiatric disorder that overlapped with psychiatric disorders was migraine, the authors report; migraines may share some of their genetic architecture with TS, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The data further reveal several personality traits that are associated with specific psychiatric diseases; for example, neuroticism was linked to MDD, anxiety disorders, TS and more. Intriguingly, the data also uncover a significant correlation between coronary artery disease, as well as the two stroke-related phenotypes ischemic stroke and early onset stroke, with MDD. In five out of eight of the psychiatric disorders they studied, Anttila et al. identified a genetic correlation with at least one or more cognitive measures (i.e., college attainment, intelligence), possibly suggesting the existence of a link between cognitive performance in early life and the genetic risk for psychiatric disorders, the authors say.

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Media Contact

Science Press Package Team
scipak@aaas.org
202-326-6440
@AAAS

http://www.aaas.org

https://www.eurekalert.org/jrnls/sci/summaries-06-22-18.php#D

Related Journal Article

http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aap8757

Source: New feed

First ancient syphilis genomes decoded

First ancient syphilis genomes decoded
An international research team has recovered the first historic genomes from the bacterium Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis. It was previously not thought possible to recover DNA of this bacterium from ancient samples. In the study, the researchers were able to distinguish genetically between the subspecies of the disease that cause syphilis and that cause yaws, which are not readily distinguishable in skeletal remains.

Source: Sciencedaily

Engineering bacteria to exhibit stochastic Turing patterns

Engineering bacteria to exhibit stochastic Turing patterns
A new study has brought science one step closer to a molecular-level understanding of how patterns form in living tissue. The researchers engineered bacteria that, when incubated and grown, exhibited stochastic Turing patterns: a ‘lawn’ of synthesized bacteria in a petri dish fluoresced an irregular pattern of red polka dots on a field of green.

Source: Sciencedaily

4 New Biotech Podcasts: 1) Dr. Tian Li onTransparent wood, 2) An Advocate for Antimicrobial resistance, 3 ) Sam Arbesman Author and Scientist in Residence at Lux Capital, and 4) Sanjoy, Astrobiologist, Director at Blue Marble Space Institute

4 New Biotech Podcasts: 1) Dr. Tian Li onTransparent wood, 2) An Advocate for Antimicrobial resistance, 3 ) Sam Arbesman Author and Scientist in Residence at Lux Capital, and 4) Sanjoy, Astrobiologist, Director at Blue Marble Space Institute

I didn't want to do 4 separate posts, so I put them all together with all of the pertinent links. I hope this is easier for everyone. Let me know what you think.

Find the episodes here, itunes, or google play.

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Dr. Tian Li, Forbes 30 under 30 for Energy, and I discuss Transparent Wood, See through Boats, Wood Insulation, and A lot More

Dr. Tian Li, Forbes 30 under 30 for Energy, and I discuss Transparent Wood, See through Boats, Wood Insulation, and A lot More

“Tian Li, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering, has been named to Forbes‘ prestigious “30 Under 30 2018: Energy” list in recognition for her contributions to what the magazine describes as the “remarkable scientific breakthrough” of transparent wood.

Li and a research team led by Clark School Associate Professor Liangbing Hu removed the molecule in wood that makes it rigid and dark in color (lignin), and replaced it with epoxy, which reinforces the wood’s channels—making it stronger and colorless. This new “transparent wood” material, which is a highly efficient insulator and more biodegradable than plastic, could eventually replace glass in building materials and optical equipment.

“Dr. Li has been extremely innovative in inventing wood-based emerging technologies, including in the application of transparent wood in energy-efficient buildings that is better than glass” said Hu.

Li received her bachelor’s degree in engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China. She completed her Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering at UMD in 2015, and has also published several recent papers on solar-cell technology.

This is the seventh year that Forbes has issued their “30 Under 30″ list to acknowledge the top talent in 20 different industries.

WATCH to learn more about transparent wood:” Source

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#39: Susan Vaughn Grooters, Consumer advocate, PhD student, Policy Analyst, & Research Associate Centered on Antimicrobial Resistance and I Discuss Her Life, Resistance, and Ways to Get Involved

Antimicrobial resistance, how she got started, what she is passionate about, examples of work she and others have done to curb resistance, advice/suggestions, and more are all things you’ll find in this episode!

Linkedin Profile

Twitter

Work History

  • Research Associate
    The Ohio State University
  • 📷Policy AnalystKeep Antibiotics Working Coalition
  • Food Safety Research and Policy Associate
    Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • 📷Director of Research and Education
    STOP Foodborne Illness
  • 📷Independent Contractor
    Vermont Department of Health

Post Episode Content

Food labeling website, Consumer’s Union: https://www.consumerreports.org/overuse-of-antibiotics/what-no-antibiotic-claims-really-mean/Maryn McKenna’s book, Big Chicken: https://marynmckenna.com/books/big-chicken/ also has a link on the page to her Ted talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/maryn_mckenna_what_do_we_do_when_antibiotics_don_t_work_any_morePurdue’s decision: https://www.perduefarms.com/news/statements/antibiotics-position-statement/Keep Antibiotics Working non-profit Coalition: https://www.keepantibioticsworking.org/Alternatives to Antibiotics: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/2017/07/alternatives-to-antibiotics-in-animal-agricultureOIE: http://www.oie.int/en/An “okay” definition of competitive exclusion: https://www.britannica.com/science/principle-of-competitive-exclusionAmericorps: https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps or Americorps VISTA: https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorpsvistaIdealist: https://www.idealist.org
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Dr. Sam Arbesman Author and Scientist in Residence at Lux Capital talks about His Journey, Startups, and Thoughts on Being a Generalist vs a Specialist

“Samuel Arbesman is a complexity scientist, whose work focuses on the nature of scientific and technological change. He is currently Scientist in Residence at Lux Capital, a venture capital firm investing in emerging science and technology ventures. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Boulder and Research Fellow at the Long Now Foundation.

Arbesman’s training is in complexity science, computational biology, and applied mathematics. His scientific research has been cited widely and has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. His essays about science, mathematics, and technology have appeared in such places as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Wired, where he was previously a contributing writer, and he has been featured in The Best Writing on Mathematics 2010. Arbesman is the author of two award-winning books, Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension (Current/Penguin, 2016) and The Half-Life of Facts (Current/Penguin, 2012).

Previously, Arbesman was a Senior Scholar at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and a Research Fellow in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. He completed a PhD in computational biology at Cornell University in 2008, and earned a BA in computer science and biology at Brandeis University in 2004.

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Dr. Sanjoy, Astrobiologist, Director at Blue Marble Space Institute of Science

His non linear path to finding his way to Astrobiology, the projects he is working on, discussion on planets and moons, and his love of sharing science are just some of the topics we will cover in this episode.

Biography:

“Welcome! As an astrobiologist, my research broadly investigates how the rock record can preserve properties of an ancient atmosphere, and how the rocks can create or contribute to an atmosphere; a discipline I like to call “Atmospheric Geology”. Atmospheric gases and/or gases released in water-rock reactions are fundamental in metabolic processes, and so I enjoy thinking about the role life has in modulating the concentration of gases (atmospheric or not), and how the concentration of those gases modulate biological “lifestyle” (survival, maintenance, growth). As examples, I investigate how ancient raindrop craters can record atmospheric density, how gas bubbles trapped as amygdales in ancient lava flows can record atmospheric pressure, and how channel morphology can be an indicator of flow sustainability (the latter in the context of Mars). I’m also very interested in the topographic evolution of Mars. At Ames, I focus on the latter part of this interest: how rocks can create or contribute to an atmosphere. Specifically, I am investigating the connection between geology, geochemistry, and microbiology in serpentinizing systems, through a combination of field, laboratory and theoretical studies. Deep-sea exploration has been a growing interest of mine, overprinted on the space exploration passion that has fueled my career. To that end, I have been involved with research cruises on-board the r/V Atlantis, and have explored the sea-floor both robotically (ROV Jason), and physically (DSV Alvin).” Source

About Sanjoy:

Education:

Ph.D. Planetary Sciences & Astrobiology (University of Washington 2010) and Stanford Ignite (Stanford Graduate School of Business 2012)

Research:

Atmospheric geology, Geomorphology, Aqueous Geochemistry, Bioenergetics, Astrobiology Education

Where Dr. Sanjoy Som can be found:

Exobiology Branch
NASA Ames Research Center
http://spacescience.arc.nasa.gov/
&
Research Scientist & Director
Blue Marble Space Institute of Science
http://www.bmsis.org/

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Find the episodes here, itunes, or google play.

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Source: Reddit

DNA enzyme shuffles cell membranes a thousand times faster than its natural counterpart

DNA enzyme shuffles cell membranes a thousand times faster than its natural counterpart
A new synthetic enzyme, crafted from DNA rather than protein, flips lipid molecules within the cell membrane, triggering a signal pathway that could be harnessed to induce cell death in cancer cells. This is the first such synthetic enzyme to outperform its natural counterpart — and it does so by three orders of magnitude.

Source: Sciencedaily