Genetic Study Points to Three Ancestral Families of Humans

first_imgIn a paper just published in Nature,1 scientists mapped the DNA of 270 people from four people groups: European, African, Chinese, and Japanese.  The scientists were looking for sections of DNA that are either missing or duplicated.  Many sections of our DNA appear over and over again.  The number of extra copies varies between individuals and between people groups.  The number of copies is called the Copy Number Variation (CNV).    The major excitement in their study was the finding of a link between locations within chromosomes of DNA that are missing or duplicated and the locations on the chromosomes of many diseases.  DNA code that scientists used to call useless junk, left over from the random process of evolution, are now turning out to contain mechanisms that determine many physical characteristics and control much of our body chemistry.  A whole new field of research is opening up:Our map of copy number variation in the human genome demonstrates the ubiquity and complexity of this form of genomic variation.  The abundance of functional sequences of all types both within and flanking areas of copy number variation suggests that the contribution of CNVs to phenotypic variation is likely to be appreciable.  This prediction is underscored by the impact of copy number variation on variation in gene expression.Buried in the report was the observation that although their samples came from four geographical areas, the samples divided themselves neatly into three distinct groups.  The Chinese and Japanese fell into the same group, with the Europeans and Africans being the other two:“In contrast to other classes of human genetic variation, the population genetics of copy number variation remains unexplored.  The distribution of copy number variation within and among different populations is shaped by mutation, selection and demographic history….To demonstrate the utility of copy number variation genotypes for population genetic inference we performed population clustering on 67 genotyped biallelic CNVs.  We obtained the optimal clustering with the assumption of three ancestral populations, with the African, European and Asian populations clearly differentiated.Click here for a striking graph of how sharply the three groups are separated.  The legend on the graph denotes people groups: Nigeria (YRI), Europe (CEU), Japan (JPT) and China (CHB).1Redon et al, “Global variation in copy number in the human genome,” Nature 444, 444-454 (23 November 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature05329.See also: BBC News, National Geographic and [email protected] this study considered only a limited sample, this is either a remarkable coincidence or confirmation of the biblical account in Genesis 9 to 11 describing all the peoples of the earth coming from the three sons of Noah.  Further studies should confirm with larger numbers of samples from more locations that all the world’s population can be separated into three groups.    How will this affect the popular “Out of Africa” theory of man’s origin?  Further research could create quite a lot of stress among anthropologists whose careers are based on the “Out of Africa” story.  What new tale will evolutionists come up with to account for three ancestral populations?    Not surprisingly, the major news media, such as the BBC, had practically nothing to say about there being only three ancestral populations, focusing rather on the medical aspects of the paper.  A review of the paper by Physorg, however, jumps to the defense:Evolution is another area that will come under new scrutiny.  The “Out of Africa” scenario, by which Homo sapiens emerged from east Africa and spread around the globe, will not be challenged, though.  Our origins are so recent that the vast majority of CNVs, around 89 percent, was found to be shared among the 269 people who volunteered blood as samples for the study.  These individuals included Japanese from Tokyo, Han Chinese from Beijing, Yoruba from Nigeria and Americans of Northern and Western European ancestry.  All the same, there are widespread differences in CNVs according to the three geographical origins of the samples.  This implies that, over the last 200,000 years or so, subtle variants have arisen in the genome to allow different populations of humans adapt to their different environments, Wellcome Trust Sanger said in a press release.So it sounds like “Out of Africa” is safe.  All we are asked to believe is that in the course of 200,000 imaginary years, or perhaps 10,000 generations, there has been so little mixing of the gene pool that we still see three very distinct groups.  This could be a problem.  We are still left with the requirement that at some point in the past, say about 200,000 imaginary years ago (or perhaps only 3400 years ago) there was a time when the human population, for some unexplained reason, shrank to the point that it was able to form three distinct genetic groups.  Sorry, but this is still sounding a lot like the three sons of Noah.—DK(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Are Cellular Motors Related by Evolution?

first_imgJust because two things go round and round, does that make them related by common ancestry?  A Japanese team thinks so.  A bacterial flagellum rotates (06/04/2002).  So does ATP synthase, though it is about 10 times smaller (04/30/2004).  Publishing in PNAS,1 these researchers looked for a relationship, and noted that these two motors bear some structural similarities.  Also, the Type III Secretion System (TTSS) seems involved in this evolutionary family.  “These results imply an evolutionary relation between the flagellum and F0F1-ATPsynthase and a similarity in the mechanism between FliI and F1-ATPase despite the apparently different functions of these proteins,” they said.1Imada, Minamino, Tahara and Namba, “Structural similarity between the flagellar type III ATPase FliI and F1-ATPase subunits,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0608090104, published online before print January 3, 2007.Sad to see these researchers, who do great work on understanding cellular motors, be drawn into the dork side of the farce.  Their argument seems based strictly on structural similarity.  This represents a very weak understanding of homology (05/05/2004) and cannot hold up under scrutiny.    According to Darwinian theory, each random variation or mutation can only be selected if it has survival value.  In the first place, not all bacteria have flagella or TTSS systems, so the evolutionary need for them seems doubtful.  More importantly, how could you go from a working motor to one ten times larger in a stepwise fashion?  Imagine evolving a dump truck from a motorcycle.  Let’s say that the next generation has a lucky mutation on the way to our goal—a piston ten times larger.  But now it doesn’t fit the cylinder!  The motorcycle is broken, and stops working.  Being useless to the motorcycle, it rapidly finds its way to the junkyard.    The laws of natural selection are very demanding.  Unless each small step aids survival, it cannot be selected.  (We’re assuming here, too, that you hadn’t yet heard that neo-Darwinism has already been falsified, so none of this matters anyway—see 12/14/2006).  All the parts of the ATP-synthase motor and the flagellar motor are not only necessary, they are fitted together to each other’s specifications.  What’s more, the genetic code also has to assemble all these parts in the right order, in the right location, or they won’t work.  In other words, you can’t get from the motorcycle to the dump truck in a series of chance mutations, nor can you get from ATP synthase to a flagellum, or vice versa.    For these scientists, therefore, to presume for a moment that the two motors are related just because some parts of the ATP-synthase bear some structural resemblance to the parts of the flagellum, like motorcycle to the dump truck, admitting as they do that they have different functions, is ludicrous.  They must realize this.  They work as close as anyone to the paragon of molecular machines (10/07/2006).  They appreciate their complexity (11/02/2005).  Is this paper their annual pinch of incense to Charlie so that they can keep their jobs?  We need scientists with the courage to tell the truth: complex interacting systems do not arise by chance.(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa reports on energy investments

first_img9 March 2016The expansion of the nuclear programme remained part of South Africa’s future energy mix, according to the Economic Sectors, Employment and Infrastructure Development cluster.“The procurement plan for (the) 9 600MW nuclear build programme will be implemented in the next decade at a pace informed by what the country can afford,” it said.An update was presented by the cluster on 8 March on the ongoing implementation of President Zuma’s Nine Point Plan to put the country on a sustainable growth path, with the chief focus on how energy challenges could be resolved.The cluster is chaired by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti. It outlines progress made to stabilise electricity supply, which is a crucial resource to keep industry and business powered.Progress such as an Eskom maintenance programme, the restoration of the Duvha unit, the connection of Medupi unit 6 and a programme to encourage customers to use electricity sparingly, was reported. Nkwinti emphasised that there had been no load shedding since September 2015.The updated noted that the South African government had invested R83-billion in Eskom, including a R60-billion converted guarantee that was now a grant. Additionally, R23-billion was secured from the sale of the government’s Vodacom shares that would now be used to continue investing in the Medupi and Kusile power stations.Renewable energyThrough the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), 6 376MW of electricity had been procured, of which 2 045MW procured from 41 independent power producers was currently operational.Other advancements included the multiple bid windows for the REIPPPP attracting investments of R194-billion, and the procurement of 2 400MW of new coal-fired power generation capacity.The National Skills Fund had disbursed R96-million towards developing renewable energy training facilities at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.This initiative, the cluster said, sought to respond to the country’s adopted strategy to promote renewable energy production in order to supplement current fossil fuel energy production.The fund had also set aside R204-million towards establishing work integrated learning facilities for engineering students. The project aims to provide on-the-job training for mechanical and electrical engineering students in order to obtain registration as engineers.Hydroelectricity and solar energySouth Africa was also sourcing 2 600MW of hydroelectric capacity from the Southern African Development Community, according to the progress report.The Solar Water Heater programme, which focuses on load reduction, would continue. The load reduction programme aims to retrofit approximately 200 000 domestic electric geysers with solar water heaters annually. This will reduce electricity demand in high consumption residential areas.Skills developmentIn the cluster’s statement, an emphasis on job creation was also outlined, stating that “(the government) will provide skills to emerging companies and local communities to participate in various aspects of the solar water heater roll-out programme. targeting to install 38 000 units in the 2016-17 financial year”.A new skills development pilot programme, training 300 students to install and maintain solar geysers, had been initiated in Ekurhuleni. A further R36-million had been set aside to provide training to beneficiaries in other municipalities.Source: South African Government News Agencylast_img read more

XBRL: Financial Content Management Language

first_imgOver the last week Jon Udell of InfoWorld has had a podcast and a number of blog entries about XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language). Since 2000, many have expected to see a revolution in the accounting and financial industry because of XBRL.  It just didn’t happen though because industry acceptance was lacking.  But that seems to be changing.  In October 2005, the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve Board launched an XBRL project that mandates banks to submit quarterly reports in XBRL format.  8300 banks are now participating.  The SEC is also moving towards standardizing XBRL as the language for exchange and reporting of financial information.  EDGAR Online is providing company financial statements in XBRL format.  And XBRL is gaining ground in Europe too.XBRL as a standard exchange format will revolutionize the way financial data can be communicated, often shaving days or even months off of existing processes.   Company financial records can be consolidated.  Manual re-entry or data transformations will be eliminated.  XBRL will further commoditize/standarize datasets operated on by accounting software and ERP packages.Further, XBRL will form the foundation for software tools and applications that will help corporations provide the greater transparency that compliance regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley have been demanding.  Financial comparative analyses of companies can be run at the push of a button. This will be a huge plus for securities analysts and investors.Technologies like XBRL and ECM (Enterprise Content Management) document and records management are key towards giving companies and their auditors greater control in finding corporate information.last_img read more

10 More Questions to Start Your Week

first_imgHere is a list of 10 questions you can use to setup an effective sales week.Which of your dream clients are you going to pursue for a meeting this week, and what value are you going to trade for their time that increases the likelihood of a getting a “yes” to your request?With which of your prospective clients do you need to follow up on a past meeting or conversation where there was no real next step established?Of your existing clients, who do you need to meet with to begin a conversation about your new ideas about how to create even greater value for them in the future? What is the next initiative you have on their roadmap?Who have you been neglecting? Who do you need to call to let them know you care about them and their business and that you are thinking about them?What are you going to read this week that will improve your ability to create value for your clients, provide you some new insight, or provide you with something you can share with them?What proactive planning and preparation work do you need to do to narrow your focus and complete the highest value activities, the tasks and projects that will move the needle for you?Who do you owe a note of gratitude? Who do you need to thank for giving you their business, helping you with a challenge, or providing you with the advice you needed to get unstuck?If you look back over your calendar, looking at all your meetings, who (or what) fell off your radar that you should reengage with now? What does it make sense to revisit now?How are you tracking towards your goals? Where are you at this point of the year? What needs to change for you to reach your goal, if anything? If you are ahead of schedule, what are you capable of where you are now?What’s broken? What isn’t working and needs a major adjustment or overhaul? Who can help you change your strategy, your tactics, or help you level up your skills?Use this list over the course of this week to improve your game and drive your results. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Ajmer dargah blast case convicts awarded life imprisonment

first_imgThe National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court here on Wednesday awarded life imprisonment to two persons convicted for the 2007 Ajmer dargah blasts, in which three persons were killed.Both the convicts owed allegiance to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the past.The convicts, Bhavesh Patel and Devendra Gupta, were held guilty under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Explosives Act and various sections of Indian Penal Code. This is the first-ever conviction and sentencing of the RSS cadre in a terror case.NIA Special Judge Dinesh Gupta also imposed a fine of Rs.10,000 on Patel and Rs.5,000 on Gupta. Patel was an RSS activist at his hometown Bharuch in Gujarat, while Gupta, a resident of Ajmer, worked for RSS in Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.The court had convicted three persons and acquitted seven others, including self-styled monk and former RSS activist Aseemanand, in the case on March 8 and postponed the verdict on sentence to those found guilty.The third convict, Sunil Joshi, who was an RSS pracharak, was murdered in suspicious circumstances in December 2007.Defence counsel Jagdish Rana told reporters outside the court that the convicts would file an appeal against the judgment in the High Court.The explosion in the historic shrine of Sufi mystic Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti on October 11, 2007, during Ramzan, had left three persons dead and 17 injured. The dargah was packed to capacity with about 5,000 devotees when the blast occurred at the time of Iftaar (breaking of fast).last_img read more