The tree of cortical cell types describes the diversity of neurons in the brain — ScienceDaily

The tree of life describes the evolution of life and seeks to define the relationships between species. Likewise, the tree of cell types aims to organize cells in the brain into groups and describe their relationships to each other.

Scientists have long pondered just what the brain’s tree of cell types looks like. Now, an international collaboration led by Dr. Andreas Tolias from Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Philipp Berens from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Dr. Rickard Sandberg from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, has published an article in Nature that provides one of the most detailed and complete characterizations of the diversity of neural types in the brain so far.

Uncovering the shape of the tree of cortical cell types with Patch-seq

Neuroscientists mostly use three fundamental features to describe neurons: their anatomy, or how they look under a microscope; their physiology, or how they

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Catalogue vastly expands global knowledge of plant diversity — ScienceDaily

Leipzig could mean for the future of plant taxonomy what Greenwich meant for world time until 1972: it could become the reference city for correct scientific plant names. In an outstanding feat of research, the curator of the Botanical Garden of Leipzig University, Dr Martin Freiberg, and colleagues from iDiv and UL have compiled what is now the largest and most complete list of scientific names of all known plant species in the world. The Leipzig Catalogue of Vascular Plants (LCVP) enormously updates and expands existing knowledge on the naming of plant species, and could replace The Plant List (TPL) — a catalogue created by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London which until now has been the most important reference source for plant researchers.

“In my daily work at the Botanical Garden, I regularly come across species names that are not clear, where existing reference lists have gaps,” said

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Community conservation reserves protect fish diversity in tropical rivers — ScienceDaily

Prohibiting fishing in conservation reserves is a common strategy for protecting ocean ecosystems and enhancing fisheries management. However, such dedicated reserves are rare in freshwater ecosystems, where conservation efforts generally piggyback on the protection of terrestrial habitats and species.

Now, a collaboration between researchers from Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison has found that small, community-based reserves in Thailand’s Salween River Basin are serving as critical refuges for fish diversity in a region whose subsistence fisheries have suffered from decades of overharvesting.

The team’s paper, “A Network of Grassroots Reserves Protects Tropical River Fish Diversity,” published Nov. 25 in Nature.

The lead author is Aaron Koning, a former postdoctoral fellow with the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability who is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Nevada, Reno. The project was overseen by Pete McIntyre, the Dwight Webster Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow and associate professor of natural resources

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Ada Developers Academy going independent in hopes of expanding its tech diversity impact

Ada Developers Academy graduates at a graduation event Jan. 7, 2019. (Jenny Crooks Photo)

Ada Developers Academy, the Seattle-based tuition-free software development boot camp for women and underrepresented sexual, gender and racial minorities, is spinning out from its parent organization and going independent.

Ada announced Monday that it is growing at a scale where it will serve more students, expand its impact and implement new support for programs. The organization has launched a fundraising drive to support that growth, and is looking to raise $25,000 between now and Jan. 2 to build up its cash reserves and a six- to nine-month fiscal runway.

Founded in 2013, Ada’s mission is to diversify the tech industry. Its program provides six months of classroom training followed by a five-month internship at one of its corporate partners. It runs two 48-person cohorts per year and has graduated hundreds of students.

Originally a project of

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Apple hires Intel’s head of diversity to fill same role starting 2021

Apple on Thursday announced the hire of Intel Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Barbara Whye, who will join the Cupertino tech giant in a similar position early next year.

At Apple, Whye will serve as vice president of inclusion and diversity, replacing former diversity chief Christie Smith, reports Fortune. Smith departed in June after nearly three years in role.

“An engineer by training and a globally-recognized leader on issues of representation in the technology industry, Barbara has spent 25 years at Intel, helping the company make meaningful and durable positive change,” said Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet. “Now, she will bring her immense talents and deep experience to Apple, expanding our companywide effort to hire, develop and retain the world-class talent, at all levels, that reflects the communities we serve.”

Whye will become Apple’s third diversity officer in just under four years. Smith assumed the role after former department

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Apple hires Intel’s chief diversity officer


Intel’s chief diversity and inclusion officer is leaving. 

Getty Images

Intel’s chief diversity and inclusion officer Barbara Whye is leaving the company. Whye, who was also corporate vice president of social impact, had been in the role since 2017, following the departure of Danielle Brown for Google.

Whye will join Apple as its new vice president of inclusion and diversity in 2021, the iPhone maker said late Thursday, confirming an earlier report by Fortune. The position has been vacant since June when Christie Smith, who had served as Apple’s inclusion and diversity chief since 2017, departed the company.

“An engineer by training and a globally recognized leader on issues of representation in the technology industry, Barbara has spent 25 years at Intel, helping the company make

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Stanford rushes to comply with Trump executive order limiting diversity training

Stanford University is facing backlash from educators, students, and alumni for recently taking action to follow a Trump executive order that limits acknowledging the history of structural racism in the United States. Directives on how to modify diversity training were issued despite the fact that the order is likely to be rescinded in January when the new administration takes over. In some ways, a checklist issued to Stanford faculty appears to go beyond the Trump executive order, prohibiting any acknowledgment that “systemic racism exists at Stanford.”

The Stanford University checklist explicitly prohibits diversity training that discusses whether the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist or whether meritocracy is racist, sexist, or made by one race to oppress another. Additional documents from the university’s human resources department label diversity training related to critical race theory, white privilege, systemic racism, and racial humility as subject to review.

Stanford Assistant Vice President

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Goldman Sachs highlights diversity in new partner class

(Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc has invited 60 executives to become partners as of Jan. 1, nearly half of them from diverse backgrounds, the bank said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: A sign is displayed in the reception of Goldman Sachs in Sydney, Australia, May 18, 2016. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

Goldman’s partners collectively own a small stake in the firm and are the bank’s most elite employees, typically taking home million-dollar salary packages and having access to lucrative investment opportunities.

The bank said 47% of this year’s class are either women, Black, Asian or Latino. Forty-three are based in the Americas, with 13 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, three in the Asia-Pacific region and one in Bengaluru.

Sixteen of the new partners are women, it said. In technology investment banking, a unit the bank has heavily invested in, seven new partners

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Genome resource expands known diversity of bacteria and archaea by 44% — ScienceDaily

Despite advances in sequencing technologies and computational methods in the past decade, researchers have uncovered genomes for just a small fraction of Earth’s microbial diversity. Because most microbes cannot be cultivated under laboratory conditions, their genomes can’t be sequenced using traditional approaches. Identifying and characterizing the planet’s microbial diversity is key to understanding the roles of microorganisms in regulating nutrient cycles, as well as gaining insights into potential applications they may have in a wide range of research fields.

A public repository of 52,515 microbial draft genomes generated from environmental samples around the world, expanding the known diversity of bacteria and archaea by 44%, is now available and described November 9, 2020 in Nature Biotechnology. Known as the GEM (Genomes from Earth’s Microbiomes) catalog, this work results from a collaboration involving more than 200 scientists, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI), a DOE Office

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More plant diversity, less pesticide

More plant diversity, less pesticides
Over the course of two years, the scientists collected data from two analogous grassland experiments, including the Jena Experiment in Germany. Credit: Matthias Ditscherlein

Increasing plant diversity enhances the natural control of insect herbivory in grasslands. Species-rich plant communities support natural predators and simultaneously provide less valuable food for herbivores. This was found by a team of researchers led by the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), who conducted two analogous experiments in Germany and the U.S. Their results were published in Science Advances and show that increasing plant biodiversity could help reduce pesticide inputs in agricultural systems by enhancing natural biological control.

Biodiversity, the biological diversity of all species on Earth, their interactions and the diverse ecosystems they form, is crucial for providing and maintaining ecosystem functions and services in planted and natural grasslands. With an increasing demand to feed the world’s growing population by intensifying agriculture, these

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