Neanderthals’ DNA legacy linked to modern ailments

first_imgRemnants of Neanderthal DNA in modern humans are associated with genes affecting type 2 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, lupus, biliary cirrhosis, and smoking behavior. They also concentrate in genes that influence skin and hair characteristics. At the same time, Neanderthal DNA is conspicuously low in regions of the X chromosome and testes-specific genes.The research, led by Harvard Medical School (HMS) geneticists and published Jan. 29 in Nature, suggests ways in which genetic material inherited from Neanderthals has proven both adaptive and maladaptive for modern humans. (A related paper by a separate team was published concurrently in Science.)“Now that we can estimate the probability that a particular genetic variant arose from Neanderthals, we can begin to understand how that inherited DNA affects us,” said David Reich, professor of genetics at HMS and senior author of the paper.In the past few years, studies by groups including Reich’s have revealed that present-day people of non-African ancestry trace an average of about 2 percent of their genomes to Neanderthals — a legacy of interbreeding between humans and Neanderthals that the team previously showed occurred between 40,000 to 80,000 years ago. (Indigenous Africans have little or no Neanderthal DNA because their ancestors did not breed with Neanderthals, who lived in Europe and Asia.)Several teams have since been able to flag Neanderthal DNA at certain locations in the non-African human genome, but until now, there was no survey of Neanderthal ancestry across the genome and little understanding of the biological significance of that genetic heritage.“The story of early human evolution is captivating in itself, yet it also has far-reaching implications for understanding the organization of the modern human genome,” said Irene A. Eckstrand of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which partially funded the research. “Every piece of this story that we uncover tells us more about our ancestors’ genetic contributions to modern human health and disease.”Deserts and oasesReich and his colleagues — including Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany — analyzed genetic variants in 846 people of non-African heritage, 176 people from sub-Saharan Africa, and a 50,000-year-old Neanderthal whose high-quality genome sequence the team published in 2013.The most powerful information the researchers used to determine whether a gene variant came from a Neanderthal was if it appeared in some non-Africans and the Neanderthal, but not in the sub-Saharan Africans.Using this and other types of information, the team found that some areas of the modern non-African human genome were rich in Neanderthal DNA, which may have been helpful for human survival, while other areas were more like “deserts” with far less Neanderthal ancestry than average.The barren areas were the “most exciting” finding, said first author Sriram Sankararaman of HMS and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. “It suggests the introduction of some of these Neanderthal mutations was harmful to the ancestors of non-Africans and that these mutations were later removed by the action of natural selection.”The team showed that the areas with reduced Neanderthal ancestry tend to cluster in two parts of our genomes: genes that are most active in the male germline (the testes) and genes on the X chromosome. This pattern has been linked in many animals to a phenomenon known as hybrid infertility, where the offspring of a male from one subspecies and a female from another have low or no fertility.“This suggests that when ancient humans met and mixed with Neanderthals, the two species were at the edge of biological incompatibility,” said Reich, who is also a senior associate member of the Broad Institute and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Present-day human populations, which can be separated from one another by as much as 100,000 years (such as West Africans and Europeans), are fully compatible with no evidence of increased male infertility. In contrast, ancient human and Neanderthal populations apparently faced interbreeding challenges after 500,000 years of evolutionary separation.“It is fascinating that these types of problems could arise over that short a time scale,” Reich said.A lasting heritageThe team also measured how Neanderthal DNA present in human genomes today affects keratin production and disease risk.Neanderthal ancestry is increased in genes affecting keratin filaments. This fibrous protein lends toughness to skin, hair, and nails and can be beneficial in colder environments by providing thicker insulation, said Reich. “It’s tempting to think that Neanderthals were already adapted to the non-African environment and provided this genetic benefit to humans,” he speculated.The researchers also showed that nine previously identified human genetic variants known to be associated with specific traits likely came from Neanderthals. These variants affect diseases related to immune function and also some behaviors, such as the ability to stop smoking. The team expects that more variants will be found to have Neanderthal origins.The team has already begun trying to improve their human genome ancestry results by analyzing multiple Neanderthals instead of one. Together with colleagues in Britain, they have developed a test that can detect most of the approximately 100,000 mutations of Neanderthal origin they discovered in people of European ancestry; they are conducting an analysis in a biobank containing genetic data from half a million Britons.“I expect that this study will result in a better and more systematic understanding of how Neanderthal ancestry affects variation in human traits today,” said Sankararaman.As another next step, the team is studying genome sequences from people from Papua New Guinea to build a database of genetic variants that can be compared to those of Denisovans, a third population of ancient humans that left most of its genetic traces in Oceania but little in mainland Eurasia.last_img read more

Asia Today: Taiwan quarantines 5,000 after hospital cluster

first_imgTAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Health authorities in Taiwan are quarantining 5,000 people while looking for the source of two coronavirus cases linked to a hospital. Officials said they have not been able to identify how the husband and wife became infected after a brief hospital stay. Those asked to quarantine include patients who were discharged from Taoyuan General Hospital from Jan. 6 to 19 and their caregivers. The cluster has grown to 15 cases. Taiwan has been applauded for its swift and sustained efforts to contain COVID-19, with just seven deaths and fewer than 900 confirmed cases, despite its proximity to China, where the pandemic began.last_img read more

Dale Carnegie Training® presents its Highest Achievement Award to Stacey Steinmetz

first_imgMay 5, 2008 – Stacey Steinmetz, Supreme Dreamer and Schemer at Magic Hat Brewing Company, received the Highest Achievement Award upon graduation from the Dale Carnegie Course. The class voted Steinmetz the recipient of this award for demonstrating professional development, outstanding presentation skills and interpersonal competence. Dale Carnegie Training® offers public courses, seminars and workshops, as well as in-house customized training, and one-on-one coaching. For more information on what Dale Carnegie can do for you and your business, please visit is external) or call 800-639-1012.last_img read more

New Horizons in Haiti

first_img The U.S. Southern Command-sponsored humanitarian and civic assistance exercise New Horizons was conducted in Haiti during a four-month stint which ended in September 2010. The mission provided medical assistance and engineering know-how while the country continues to rebuild from a powerful earthquake that struck January 12, 2010. About 150 to 200 U.S. troops from the National Guard and Reserve rotated through the Caribbean nation to help build or improve three schools, a sports recreation area and water wells. Medical troops also conducted 10 medical readiness and training exercises at five sites and provided free general and specialized medical and dental services to thousands of citizens. An annual program that began in the mid-1980s, New Horizons has provided an opportunity for the United States to work side-by-side with partnering nations. By Dialogo July 01, 2010last_img read more

Cracking the code of digital marketing for credit unions

first_imgDigital marketing is such an obtuse term. There are so many variables to it that it can send your mind spinning. To bring this topic to its deserved acuteness, we invited CU Consulting Group’s Ryan Rudd — who brings his outside-the-industry perspective to credit unions looking for a clear path in this virtual realm. continue reading » 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img

Canada confirms avian flu outbreak on turkey farm

first_imgJan 26, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Canadian authorities have confirmed that an H5 avian influenza virus, probably low-pathogenic, has surfaced on a turkey farm in southern British Columbia.Canadian news agencies said authorities were preparing to cull up to 60,000 turkeys on the farm near Abbotsford, southeast of Vancouver in the Fraser Valley.In a Jan 24 news release, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) confirmed that an H5 virus was found on the farm and said initial tests indicated that it is low-pathogenic. Further tests were under way to determine the precise subtype and strain, the agency said.A private veterinarian submitted turkeys from the farm to British Columbia’s Animal Health Centre for testing because of a “respiratory problem with no significant mortality,” according to a report that Canada filed with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on Jan 24.Canada’s National Centre for Foreign Animal Diseases in Winnipeg, Man., confirmed that the virus was an H5, the OIE report said. It said gene sequencing showed that the virus was 99% similar to an H5N2 virus recovered from a green-winged teal in California in 2007.The CFIA said all birds on the farm would be euthanized and disposed of and that the agency would oversee cleaning and disinfection of the barns, vehicles, equipment, and tools.A CBC News report said the CFIA planned to kill the birds by sealing the barns and flooding them with carbon dioxide. Workers will then mix the carcasses with organic material in the barn to raise the temperature as high as 50°C during decomposition and thereby kill the virus, the story said.The OIE report said the affected barn contained about 28,000 turkeys. But the CBC report and other news stories cited plans to cull up to 60,000 birds.The CFIA said it was restricting the movement of poultry and poultry products within 3 kilometers of the outbreak site. The restrictions affect 23 other farms, according to the CBC report.The Fraser River Valley had a large outbreak of highly pathogenic H7N3 avian flu in March 2004, which affected as many as 40 commercial farms and led to the culling of 17 million birds. In addition, a low-pathogenic H5 virus was found on a poultry farm in the area in November 2005.In other developments, two new outbreaks of the deadly H5N1 virus have been reported in backyard poultry flocks in Egypt, according to online information from the Egypt-based project Strengthening Avian Influenza Detection and Response (SAIDR).Both outbreaks occurred in Alexandria governorate, SAIDR reported. An outbreak in Khorshid district involved 100 chickens and 10 ducks, and one in El Mamoura district affected 10 chickens and 5 ducks.See also: Jan 24 CFIA news release on British Columbia outbreak 24 OIE report on Canadian outbreak read more

La casa di Matiki from Zminj the best bed & breakfast in Croatia according to TripAdvisor

first_imgAccording to the criteria of the TripAdvisor portal (service, position, price-quality ratio, cleanliness and even sleep quality) La casa di Matiki, a facility in the Municipality of Žminj, was named the best Bead & breakfast in Croatia in 2019. Namely, the owner offers guests a complete experience of nature and life in it; domestic animals, homemade bread, the possibility of sleeping on hay, imaginative and rich breakfast prepared from local ingredients, great outdoor chess, an authentic experience of an old Istrian farm, as well as a swimming pool in the vineyard and olive grove. It is a place where guests become friends, and Mrs. Sonja dedicates herself to them for the entire stay.  ANDREW ALEY, TRIPADVISOR: ONLINE BOOKING SHOULD BE SIMPLIFIED AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, BECAUSE AT THE CURRENTLY ONLY 20 PERCENT OF CLIENTS BOOK SERVICES OUTSIDE THE HOTEL OVER THE INTERNET The guest must feel royal, says Glavić, whose staff greets guests every morning with a smile and a fragrant breakfast, and the imperative is original, own and local Žminj products. The evenings offer a view of the magnificent starry sky, with plenty of peace and quiet. Chickens, donkeys, dogs and cats are an indispensable part of life in Casa Matika, a place that laid the foundations in 1995, and in 1997 the first guests came, so it can be rightly said that Mrs. Sonja is a pioneer of this type of offer in the heart of Istria.  This is the fifth year that Trip Advisor ranks Mati Mati among the 25 best Bed & Breakfasts in Croatia, and in 2019 she will be on the throne.center_img RELATED NEWS: My dream was to host people from all over the world, and the dream came true, says Mrs. Sonja Glavić, owner of La casa di Matiki. And her guests are domesticated to such an extent that, she says jokingly, sometimes she feels like a guest herself and considers her guests the hosts.  See the list of TOP 25 best bed & breakfast facilities in Croatia according to TripAdvisor HERElast_img read more

Industrial: City of industry

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Trump says OPEC+ planning to cut production 20 mn bpd

first_imgYet traders remained nervous about a supply glut, and the US benchmark WTI oil price finished down 1.5 percent at $22.41 in New York trading, while Brent ended up 0.8 percent at $31.74.OPEC members dominated by Saudi Arabia and other producers led by Russia have been negotiating a deal to cut production and support prices for days. Mexico balked at an agreement on Friday, leading Trump to step in and say the US would help Mexico meet its end of the bargain.After a Sunday videoconference, the top producers agreed to slash daily production by 9.7 million barrels from May, according to Mexican Energy Minister Rocio Nahle, down from the 10 million barrels a day envisioned earlier. The agreement between the Vienna-based Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers foresees deep output cuts in May and June followed by a gradual rise in production until April 2022.But with demand down by about 25 million barrels per day and North American producers shutting down their rigs because they don’t have space to store their crude, Dan Pickering, chief investment officer at Pickering Energy Partners, told AFP the deal’s benefits are likely to be seen only later in the year.”The reality is things are bad. They are going to stay bad for a couple of months,” he said. Topics : Top global oil producers are considering slashing output by 20 million barrels a day under the terms of a deal to boost prices, US President Donald Trump said on Monday.Trump’s remarks came after OPEC producers and their allies agreed on Sunday to cut production by 9.7 million bpd, which some analysts feared would be too little to stem the damage from the combination of plunging demand amid the coronavirus pandemic and a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.”People are saying 10 million but we think the number they will actually hit is going to be closer to 20 million barrels a day,” Trump said at a press briefing about the coronavirus, referring to how much oil production would be cut.  Not enough? Trump cheered the agreement Monday, saying, “It’s a very monumental agreement.”With countries putting their populations under lockdown, the coronavirus pandemic has caused an economic decline and a global demand slump that has sent oil prices to two-decade lows.Meanwhile, Russia and Saudi Arabia ramped up output in a price war to hold on to market share and undercut US shale producers.Calling Trump’s goal “aspiration,” analyst Andy Lipow said the market reaction to the OPEC+ deal has been “muted,” as uncertainty remains over the degree to which producers will comply with the cuts.”Lots of questions… remain, as far as compliance and ultimately how much oil is actually taken off the market,” he said. “Any increase in prices over the next few months is going to encourage producers to keep on producing.”Storage tanks have also rapidly filled up, and Lipow said markets are watching major economies like China and India to see whether they will make more purchases for their national reserves to free up capacity.Trump announced last month the US would buy “large quantities of crude oil” for storage in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.Producers have resigned themselves to tough times, with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak saying he did not expect oil markets to recover before “end of the year, in the best case,” according to Russian news agency TASS.Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman suggested on Monday further cuts could come when OPEC meets in June.”Flexibility and pragmatism will enable us to continue do more if we have to,” he told Bloomberg. “We have to watch what’s happening with demand destruction or demand improvement, depending on how things evolve.” And he said such a deal could protect millions of US jobs. “This historic action will help nearly 11 million American workers who are supported by the US oil and gas industry.”Trump had already tweeted about the deal earlier in the day.”Thank you to all of those who worked with me on getting this very big business back on track, in particular Russia and Saudi Arabia,” he wrote.last_img read more

AGO names new suspect in prosecutor Pinangki’s bribery case

first_imgNasDem deputy chairman Ahmad Ali said the party had dismissed Andi after he was named a suspect. The party would not provide legal assistance to him either, Ahmad said on Wednesday as reported by KPK also said it had received the suspect from the AGO.“The suspect will be subjected to self-isolation for 14 days at lot C1 of the detainment center,” spokesperson Ali Fikri wrote in a statement on Tuesday.The antigraft agency had previously said it would be ready to take over Pinangki’s case as long as it met certain requirements of the KPK Law. The statement came amid public pressure on the KPK to take over the case, believing that the antigraft agency could handle the case more objectively.However, Hari said the AGO would not hand over the case to the antigraft agency, promising to work optimally and transparently to solve the case.In the case, Djoko allegedly conspired with Pinangki to get the Supreme Court to acquit him and overturn the court’s decision from 2009 declaring him guilty of involvement in the high-profile Bank Bali corruption case. (mfp)Topics : The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has named NasDem politician Andi Irfan Jaya a new suspect in a bribery case implicating prosecutor Pinangki Sirna Malasari and detained him at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) detention facility as part of coordination between the two legal forces.Andi was named a suspect on Tuesday for allegedly being the middleman in Pinangki’s case. The AGO named Pinangki a suspect in a bribery case as she was accused of receiving a US$500,000 bribe from graft convict Djoko Soegiarto Tjandra.“We are detaining the suspect today at the KPK’s detention center. This is a form of our coordination,” AGO spokesperson Hari Setiyono told reporters Wednesday, as quoted by read more