Mutations Accelerate Each Other’s Damage

first_imgAs reported in our 10/14/2004 entry, mutations do not work in isolation; even the good kind usually conspire against the host.  This fact has been largely ignored by neo-Darwinists.  Some researchers at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, writing in Nature,1 tested the interaction of mutations (epistasis) on proteins.  They found, in short, that harmful mutations usually accelerate the loss of fitness above what would occur in isolation.  Some organisms exhibit robustness against mutations, though, as in well-known cases of antibiotic resistance.  The team tested the robustness of E. coli while mutating a gene for a lactamase (TEM-1) that confers some resistance to ampicillin.  They found that, at best, the organisms could hold out at a threshold level of fitness only temporarily.  Beyond the threshold, death was speedy and inevitable.  This was even after they removed the bad mutations:Subjecting TEM-1 to random mutational drift and purifying selection (to purge deleterious mutations) produced changes in its fitness landscape indicative of negative epistasis; that is, the combined deleterious effects of mutations were, on average, larger than expected from the multiplication of their individual effects.  As observed in computational systems, negative epistasis was tightly associated with higher tolerance to mutations (robustness).  Thus, under a low selection pressure, a large fraction of mutations was initially tolerated (high robustness), but as mutations accumulated, their fitness toll increased, resulting in the observed negative epistasis.  These findings, supported by FoldX stability computations of the mutational effects, prompt a new model in which the mutational robustness (or neutrality) observed in proteins, and other biological systems, is due primarily to a stability margin, or threshold, that buffers the deleterious physico-chemical effects of mutations on fitness.  Threshold robustness is inherently epistatic—once the stability threshold is exhausted, the deleterious effects of mutations become fully pronounced, thereby making proteins far less robust than generally assumed.Their study also casts doubt on the ultimate survivability of so-called “neutral” mutations.  These initially have no obvious effect on the fitness of the organism.  This may be due to backup copies of a gene, suppressors of the mutated gene, and other mechanisms the cell uses to mask the damage.  Eventually, however, the threshold is exceeded and the system collapses just as rapidly as a cell toppled by interacting harmful mutations.    The authors of this study gave no indication that beneficial mutations can add up and help an organism.  In fact, they failed to say anything about evolution that would provide hope for progress.  By contrast, they offered a “new model” that sounds distinctly anti-evolutionary: cells are programmed to hold off the damage of mutations as long as they can, but will ultimately collapse under a mutational load.  They concluded that “proteins may not be as robust as is generally assumed.”  Their real-world experiment on bacteria showed robustness to mutations only to a certain point, then everything raced downhill:Thus, theory and simulations have predicted a tight correlation between robustness and epistasis.  Our work provides an experimental verification of this correlation and proposes a mechanism that accounts for it.  Our model implies that any biological system that exhibits threshold robustness, or redundancy robustness, is inevitably epistatic.  In such systems, mechanisms that purge potentially deleterious mutations, such as recombination (through sexual reproduction and other mechanisms) are of crucial importance, as they help to maintain this threshold.  In this way, recombination, threshold robustness and negative epistasis may be interlinked—each being an inevitable by-product of the other.They seem to be saying not only that mutations are not sources of positive fitness gains, but other proposed mechanisms like recombination are only stopgap measures to protect against the death spiral that would result when “randomly drifting proteins” gang up (negative epistasis) to cause a terror attack in the organism.1Bershtein et al, “Robustness-epistasis link shapes the fitness landscape of a randomly drifting protein,” Nature 444, 929-932 (14 December 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature05385.It is extremely important that followers of the creation-evolution debate understand this story and the earlier one (10/14/2004), because they cut to the heart of Darwinist claims that mutations and natural selection can create brains out of atoms given millions of years.  This is where the rubber meets the road: can mutations and recombination under selection act in concert to produce evolutionary progress, including wings and eyes and sonar and powered flight?  Complex systems need an explanation at the genetic level.  The modern synthesis of evolutionary theory (neo-Darwinism) maintains that mutations are the source of evolutionary novelty, and that natural selection preserves the rare beneficial mutations in a cumulative way.  This is the machine room from which “endless forms most beautiful” (06/29/2005) emerge without a Designer.  Two scientific papers reported here, that would likely be little noticed otherwise, have essentially falsified neo-Darwinism in the lab.  Theory and experiment both show it does not work.    In the previous entry (10/14/2004) we likened the situation to a victim held up by robbers but protected by guardian angels.  The bad news was that the robbers either shoot each other or shoot the victim simultaneously, and the guardian angels fight each other instead of helping the victim.  It’s like a Murphy’s “Non-Reciprocal Laws of Expectations” that state, (1) Positive expectations produce negative results, and (2) Negative expectations produce negative results.  The neo-Darwinists have put all their hope in positive expectations, but real-world experiments show that mutations do not and cannot add up for good.  They conspire for bad!  Only the built-in safety mechanisms in the cell hold off mutational catastrophe.  This same lesson should have been learned from the important 03/17/2003 entry almost four years ago; presumed benefits actually cause “slippage on the treadmill” to keep the organism, at best, just running in place.    Another analogy may illuminate what this new outwardly dry, boring, technical paper said.  Picture a large, well-run factory with numerous modern systems for safety, backup and security.  Along comes a motley gang with no plan other than to wreak havoc at random.  Some are blocked by the entrance controls.  Those that get inside start overturning tables, knocking out factory workers, setting off alarms and creating general mayhem.  The security systems each come into play as planned, trying to isolate the damage, restore backups, and start the redundant processes.  Workers scramble to copy off the important data to other sections of the factory where the work can continue.  Security guards manage to neutralize some of the attackers, but more keep coming in.  Some gangsters plug the real workers then steal their lab coats and badges, wandering around to do their harm by stealth.  To an outsider, it may not be apparent that anything is wrong – for awhile – because the factory continues to function; supplies come in, goods go out.  In time, however, the best-prepared factory may not be able to carry on.  Fires are set at random.  Automatic sprinklers respond as designed, but now they have damaged the computers.  Gangsters pull fire alarms here and there, confusing workers who don’t know whether to ignore them or run outside.  Security forces are eventually overwhelmed.  Backup systems are damaged as soon as they are brought online.  It’s too much; the factory implodes in a catastrophe, and everything shuts down.    If this is really the way mutations work in a cell, it should be obvious to everyone that trusting any random mechanism to produce order is a vain hope and supreme folly.  This, of course, is what anti-Darwinists have been maintaining since 1859.  That it would take two research teams with no ties to creationist organizations or the intelligent design movement, published in two of the most adamantly anticreationist scientific journals in the world (PNAS and Nature) to finally figure this out should be of great interest to historians and sociologists.  What is it about Darwinian faith that generates negative epistasis against common sense?    Evolutionary theory is coasting downhill on a dead-end track with no fuel in the engine, while the passengers are being served cheese and wine, not knowing anything is wrong.  Creation-Evolution Headlines is like the tattler running down the aisles warning everybody about bad news only the engine crew is aware of, despite the pleasant announcements on the intercom.  We think the customers who paid for the trip deserve to be told the truth: despite how smoothly things appear to be running, they just got sold a dead-end trip to destruction.(Visited 73 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Naspers makes moves in Brazil

first_imgCity Press and Daily Sun are some of the newspapers produced by Media24, a Naspers subsidiary. (Image: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS Meloy Horn Head of Investor Relations +27 11 289 3320RELATED ARTICLES • R2.4 workers’ recession fund • SA, US tighten trade relationshipBongani NkosiSouth Africa’s leading media conglomerate Naspers is expanding its business interests in Brazil, having acquired a major stake in the country’s e-commerce group BuscaPe.com.In a deal worth $342-million (R2.5-billion), Naspers bought 91% of BuscaPé’s share capital. The acquisition will be funded from available resources, Naspers said.BuscaPé, with headquarters in Sao Paulo, is Latin America’s top e-commerce services provider. “Its various properties enable consumers to make informed purchase decisions and transact on the internet,” affirmed Naspers in a statement.E-commerce, short for electronic commerce, is the trading of goods and provision services via the internet, especially on websites whose sole business is advertising other businesses and products.BuscaPé is the exclusive provider of internet shopping solutions for more than 100 portals and websites in Latin America. It also provides services to leading companies Microsoft, Globo and Abril, with more than 10-million products and 320 000 online and offline stores.“BuscaPé gives us a fast-growing business in line with our e-commerce focus,” Antonie Roux, head of internet at Naspers, said. “It’s a diversified internet platform [with] a whole spectrum of business models within the e-commerce value chain across core Latin American markets.”In recent years BuscaPé acquired a stake in leading e-commerce competitor Bondfaro and bought shares in QueBarato, a leading free-classifieds network in Latin America. The group also runs an e-commerce research business, eBit, and a fraud risk assessment service, FControl. Naspers already owns significant shares in two Brazilian groups. It owns 30% of media and publishing corporate Grupo Abril, and 54 % of Compera nTime, one of the largest mobile value-added services companies in that country. Compera nTime is estimated to have an excess of 25-million users across Brazil.E-commerce is one of the most prospective areas of the internet, Naspers said in a statement. Through the acquisition of e-commerce business units Allegro and Ricardo groups in Eastern Europe, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed corporate has built considerable knowledge in this field.“Given Naspers’s extensive experience in the internet, they can help us grow to the next level. Some future collaboration between Allegro and BuscaPé is likely,” BuscaPé CEO Romero Rodrigues said.Latin America of key interestNaspers said Latin America is of particular interest to it, as it’s home to more than 550-million people. The group lists the continent’s “favourable demographics, rising disposable incomes, underleveraged consumers and a less-penetrated internet market” as providing a “good investment backdrop”.“After investments in [Grupo] Abril and Compera nTime, Naspers has developed a good understanding of the fast-growing Brazilian market,” said Hein Brand, CEO of Naspers’s operations in Latin America. “BuscaPé is one of the few established players in the industry, and can grow further,” he added.Naspers was founded by Die Nasionale Pers (The National Press) in 1915 in Cape Town and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in September 1994. The conglomerate also has a listing on the London Stock Exchange.It has transformed from a traditional print media player to dominating television and the internet. Naspers owns 85% of Media 24, a company responsible for a number of successful national and community newspapers and magazines in South Africa.It owns broadband operator MWeb and MultiChoice Africa, which has more than two-million pay-television subscribers in Africa.In addition to Brazil and Eastern Europe, Naspers has significant business interests in China, Russia, the Netherlands, India, Singapore, Thailand and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.Queries or comments? Contact Bongani Nkosi at bonganin@mediaclubsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

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6 Reasons Why IoT Leaders Are Focused on Tampa

first_imgHow Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities Tags:#automation software#community#energy#Florida#Investment#smart city#tampa How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … James is a marketing, communications, and PR professional specializing in B2B and B2C software in healthcare, software, and technology.He is an innovative and proactive builder focused on bridging C-level business demands with the creative side of marketing with product and content marketing. Recently leaders from technology and the multifamily gathered in Tampa, Florida for an event called “Building Cities of the Future”, A CRE and Urbantech Summit.Tampa is already on its journey to becoming a smarter city, and thus was the perfect setting for this event. The one day event was designed to bring together executives and founders who are reshaping the Built Environment was produced by Bisnow and Dreamit.Some of the featured speakers from technology included Dan Doctoroff Chairman and CEO of Sidewalk Labs and  Felicite Moorman, CEO and co-founder of STRATIS. As well as business leaders like Jeff Vinik Chairman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and partners of Strategic Property Partners, LLC, James Nozar, CEO of Strategic Property Partners, Steve Barsh, CIO of Dreamit and more.The event featured 35 speakers and 4 keynotes speeches aimed at driving development in commercial real estate through innovative means.“No great city was ever completely and truly planned,” Doctoroff said. “The neighborhood of the future can look a lot like the city of the past – teeming with life. Safe, defense, diverse places with a hyper-dynamic sense of community.”InsightsMoorman had the following insights for the audience about IoT, Smart Cities, and software as a servicer (SaaS).a)    IoT – The return on investment for technology investment is faster and more accessible than ever, oft times weeks, and the time to start is NOW!b)  Smart Cities – The commercial residential footprint of NYC is nearly 60%. Anyone who thinks they’re going to create a Smart City without enabling MultiFamily Owners and Residents is missing half the puzzle!c)  Access, Energy, and Automation software –Access applications for Smart Cities are endless, and the privacy and security concerns must remain front of mind, but they are not insurmountable. Understanding when people are leaving residences is a tremendous data point from a city planning perspective.According to the Tampa Bay Times, “Vinik outlined plans for create a venture capital fund with as much as $50 million or more to support startup entrepreneurs, some with direct grants. That, he believes, would make it the largest fund of its kind in Florida.”The Times also reported that “Vinik outlined plans to build an “innovation hub” on the second floor of Channelside Bay Plaza. He expects it to occupy 40,000 to 75,000 square feet of space — or 20 to 40 percent of the building — and take 12 to 18 months to create.”The UrbanTech Summit reflects the commitment of its participants to increase the adoption rates of technology, which currently stand at less than 10%, in an industry with over $40 trillion in the US alone.“If STRATIS could flip a switch and install ubiquitously across the globe, we could immediately reduce energy savings by 15-20% and more, while providing a real and near immediate return on investment,” Moorman said. “Today. There should be a greater urgency in installing and embracing that which we know works today. The single digits of savings we’ll achieve as we continue to progress are minuscule compared to what we can do right now.”Insurers & IoTMoorman added that Insurers are finally getting interested in IoT.“Insurers may be the biggest winners in the short term. Consider that in MultiFamily, if a Resident doesn’t immediately catch an incident of fire or water damage, that incident will affect other units,” she said. “Leak sensing and smoke detection are tremendous opportunities to mitigate those damages and reduce loss.”Bisnow, the world’s largest commercial real estate news and events platform, and Dreamit Ventures, a top-10 global accelerator, have committed to leveraging their reach within the commercial real estate industry to impact change through driving collaboration across commercial real estate ecosystem. James Calder Related Posts last_img read more

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Twitter Chats: A Professional Development Tool

first_imgUse these icons when you are tweeting: This allows you to Tweet at, or respond to, someone directly.This allows you to ReTweet someone else’s tweet; i.e., send it to your Twitter followers.This allows you to Favorite someone’s Tweet; i.e., indicate that you like what they have shared. (Note: This function is now represented by a heart instead of a star.)Happy tweeting! I hope to see you on a personal finance Twitter chat soon. You can then Tweet or Retweet whatever you wish, and the http://www.tchat.io/ application will add the hashtag on for you so that you too can join the conversation! By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®Rutgers Cooperative ExtensionIn early June, as part of the 3-Day Virtual Learning Event (VLE), the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) held a series of three Twitter chats using the hash tag #MFLNchat. The MFLN VLE information page with archived webinars is  located here. The purpose of the Twitter chats was to extend conversations in the “chat” section of the webinars about encouraging positive financial behaviors through motivation, coaching, and counseling.Prior to the three Twitter chats, a “Lite” Twitter Cohort was held to introduce chat participants to the basics of using Twitter. Each day for two weeks, cohort 36 cohort participants received e-mailed messages about using Twitter. Materials for the cohort are available here. Participants used the hashtag #twittercohort to hold asynchronous conversations with one another.Twitter chats, on the other hand, involve synchronous conversations. As the number of Twitter users has grown since its inception in 2006, so has the use of Twitter for financial education. An increasingly outreach method is Twitter chats, which use the hashtag (#) symbol to hold a “conversation” through an organized stream of tweets from people interested in the same topic (e.g., credit).The formatting convention used to organize Twitter chat threads is Q1 for Question 1 and A1 for participant responses to that question, with 8 to 10 different questions per one-hour chat. All users have do is log in to a Twitter application such as Tchat.io or Twubs.com at a designated time and time zone, type in the hashtag for the chat, and start responding to and/or asking questions to engage with others.The MFLN plans future professional development Twitter chats and encourages Personal Financial Management Program (PFMP) staff to participate. Feel free to “lurk” for a while, if you’d like, and then jump in. Another good idea is to observe, and then participate in, these regular personal finance Twitter chats: #creditchat (Experian, 3 p.m. ET on Wednesdays), #wbchat (WiseBread, 3 p.m. ET on Thursdays), #cashchat (@MsMadamMoney, 12 noon ET on Fridays), and #mcchat (Money Crashers, 4 p.m. ET on Fridays).Below are some screen shots that further explain how to navigate a Twitter chat:Go to as http://www.tchat.io/In the top, right corner click on “Sign In”If you are already logged into your Twitter account, this box will prompt you to “Authorize TweetChat…to use your account”. You then click on “Authorize App” For Example:Experian Tweetchat’s hashtag is “#CreditChat”Wisebread Tweetchat’s hashtag is “#WBchat” If not it will ask you to log into your Twitter account. Log in with your Twitter handle and password. Then, in the top left hand corner, type in the hashtag you are following and then press, “Go” You will then be taken to a stream of Tweets, only with the hashtag you typed in during the last step.last_img read more

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Streamline Your Next Production with Live Rental Bids from ShareGrid PRO

first_imgShareGrid, a favorite indie peer-to-peer rental company, is taking one-stop online equipment rental to the next level with ShareGrid PRO.In the fall of 2013, two Bay Area friends — both product designers at Groupon — were on a walk, dreaming up a potential business plan that would change the game for indie filmmakers. ShareGrid Co-founders Marius Ciocirlan and Arash Shiva knew what they were looking for: a system that offers filmmakers a way to make money renting out their gear, and the ability to rent from other owners without the uncertainty of online marketplaces like Craigslist. They built a test website — a single landing page with a mission statement and a place for interested visitors to drop an email address. Within weeks, they had thousands of sign-ups, including one from an L.A.-based cinematographer who would become the final pillar of ShareGrid’s leadership: Co-Founder Brent Barbano.Image via Joseph Adams.In January of 2015, ShareGrid went live with a brand new model for peer-to-peer film equipment rental — one that includes instant online access to opt-in insurance coverage. They doubled down on fraud prevention, creating a new way for independent filmmakers to rent responsibly and without fear. Now, after three successful years of camera sharing and community development, expansion into seven cities, over 50,000 members, and $500 million in inventory, ShareGrid is growing up.What Is ShareGrid PRO?ShareGrid PRO is a new kind of rental service. Members log onto the site, create a project, specify its type (commercial, film, etc.) set its dates, then assemble a wish list of equipment. ShareGrid PRO then sends this wish list anonymously to rental houses in the area, and they can submit live bids to provide the gear.Early adopters of ShareGrid were primarily indie directors, filmmakers, and cinematographers. The interface and usability of the site proved so popular that many of ShareGrid’s customers today have been with the service from the beginning — and have advanced their careers as the company has grown. ShareGrid PRO is matching that growth with rental houses in cities across the country. Instead of renting from individual equipment owners scattered throughout the city, ShareGrid customers can receive live bids for their entire rental wish list from rental houses and boutique equipment companies. Producers and line producers are joining the movement because they want the ease and convenience of an online marketplace without the labor of calling every rental house in town to negotiate the best deal.Always focused on the rental experience, the co-founders of ShareGrid realized that, even though they’d created a platform that provides access to high-end gear for the general population, the system of renting from individuals breaks down when you have to spend a whole day driving around town picking up equipment. With ShareGrid PRO, customers can shop around for a deal with the convenience and assurance of a rental-house experience. This means equipment will be available on time, serviced correctly, and ready to be prepped and loaded in a professional environment.Image via Joseph Adams.How Does It Work?According to Co-Founder Arash Shiva, “We always like to start with the member and what their needs are and then work our way from there.” In developing PRO, the team talked to DPs, directors, and producers to identify the greatest impediments to gearing up their productions. The solution they kept coming around to was communication. Because of the time it takes to communicate with equipment providers and then with the team and back and forth, producers can’t always afford to search for the best deal. ShareGrid PRO streamlines the entire process into one submission form. Once renters submit projects, over a dozen partnered rental houses will receive the information anonymously and can submit a bid.The Submission Process: Select the project type — Choose from a drop-down list that includes Feature Film, Documentary, Corporate, Photography, and more.Choose your pickup and drop-off dates — The site offers a calendar for error-proof scheduling.List the gear you need — An in-house tech at ShareGrid will go over your list to ensure clarity and specificity before submitting your project to the rental houses.Review your bids — Within 24 hours, you’ll receive ShareGrid-vetted live bids from rental houses on your dashboard. Each bid will include a rental quote and the replacement value for the gear.Add your team members to your live interactive cart — PRO’s live interactive cart allows you to invite your team members to collaborate on the site. Share the private link, and you can live chat through the site, with all the information you need conveniently laid out in one place.Accept the bid of your choice — You can select insurance and pay on the site with a company card or a purchase order. Real time invoices are available.Pick up your gear — A ShareGrid PRO gear rental comes with all the standard amenities of a rental house deal. You will be able to prep your equipment on site with a technician and load out from there. Some of PRO’s unique features:Price transparency with an overall bid and an itemized quote from each rental house.A public chatroom for rental houses and renters where you can ask questions, discuss substitutions, etc.Anonymous bidding competition.Instant insurance selection with no required deposit. Some of PRO’s current rental partners in Los Angeles and New York include the following: Stray Angel FilmsCinemaWorksF22 StudiosProduction JunctionSpekulorDeck Hand CameraFreestyle FilmworksEVSJMROn The MarkLightstone RentalsBrainbox CamerasDuAll Camera Focus GearCFGCSI RentalsPro HD RentalsK&M RentalsCinemaVisionDeath Grip ElectricRare BreedsShareGrid PRO is free for both renters and rental providers. Early users have reported an average savings of 30-40%. According to Suren Seron, owner of Stray Angel Films, “PRO is the culmination of years of marketplace experience and was the logical outcome for a true online rental platform and professional rental house partnership.”Looking for more industry updates? Check out these articles.The Robotic Camera Arm That Plugs into an Outlet Is Now Half the Price7 Things to Consider When Shooting on Retro Film StockOn-Set Essentials: Production Gear You Need to Know AboutA Cheat Sheet for Social Media Video Aspect RatiosHow New Low Light Cameras Are Simplifying the Long Takelast_img read more

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