New DNA modification ‘signature’ discovered in zebrafish — ScienceDaily

Researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research have uncovered a new form of DNA modification in the genome of zebrafish, a vertebrate animal that shares an evolutionary ancestor with humans ~400 million years ago.

Dr Ozren Bogdanovic and his team discovered that unusually high levels of DNA repeats of the sequence ‘TGCT’ in the zebrafish genome undergo a modification called methylation, which may change the shape or activity of the surrounding DNA. The study, published in Nucleic Acids Research and conducted in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London, could lead to the development of new experimental models for studying how DNA modifications impact human development and disease.

“We’ve revealed a new form of DNA methylation in zebrafish at TGCT repeats, and crucially, the enzyme that makes the modification,” says Dr Bogdanovic, who heads the Developmental Epigenomics Lab at Garvan and Senior Research Fellow at the School of Biotechnology

Read More

Apple-1 computer with Steve Wozniak’s signature on box up for action

Dec. 1 (UPI) — A Boston-based auction house is offering a rare piece of personal computing history — a fully functional Apple-1 computer with its original box signed by designer Steve Wozniak.

RR Auctions said the Apple-1, one of only a handful known to still exist with its original shipping box, was restored to its original working condition in September by Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen. The box was signed by Wozniak during a 2005 event at the University of California-Los Angeles.

The Apple-1 was designed by Wozniak and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 1976. They built about 200 of the personal computers and sold 175.

The computer set to be auctioned by RR on Dec. 10-17 includes the original Apple-1 Operation Manual and original Apple Cassette Interface manual, as well as a program from the 2005 event where Wozniak signed the box. Bidding starts at $50,000.

“The Apple-1 is not

Read More

The spirited songbirds can rapidly memorize the signature sounds of at least 50 different members of their flock — ScienceDaily

If songbirds could appear on “The Masked Singer” reality TV competition, zebra finches would likely steal the show. That’s because they can rapidly memorize the signature sounds of at least 50 different members of their flock, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.

In findings recently published in the journal Science Advances, these boisterous, red-beaked songbirds, known as zebra finches, have been shown to pick one another out of a crowd (or flock) based on a particular peer’s distinct song or contact call.

Like humans who can instantly tell which friend or relative is calling by the timbre of the person’s voice, zebra finches have a near-human capacity for language mapping. Moreover, they can remember each other’s unique vocalizations for months and perhaps longer, the findings suggest.

“The amazing auditory memory of zebra finches shows that birds’ brains are highly adapted for sophisticated social communication,” said

Read More

Gene signature predicts whether localized prostate cancer is likely to spread — ScienceDaily

Researchers have identified a genetic signature in localized prostate cancer that can predict whether the cancer is likely to spread, or metastasize, early in the course of the disease and whether it will respond to anti-androgen therapy, a common treatment for advanced disease. The new gene signature may also be useful for evaluating responses to treatment and for developing new therapies to prevent or treat advanced prostate cancer.

“If we could know in advance which patients will develop metastases, we could start treatments earlier and treat the cancer more aggressively,” says the study’s senior author, Cory Abate-Shen, PhD, chair of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the Michael and Stella Chernow Professor of Urologic Sciences (in Urology), and professor of pathology & cell biology (in the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center) at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

“Conversely, patients whose disease is likely to remain confined

Read More

Georgia Requires Signature Matching On Mail-In Ballots, But The Science Is Dubious

With razor thin margins in the presidential election in Georgia and Arizona, election officials are closely scrutinizing every ballot. When the dust settles, there will be some number of American citizens whose votes are thrown out due to mismatched signatures on mail-in ballots—which could have implications for any potential recount. That’s because those states, along with 29 others in the country, depend on signature matching verification, according to the Campaign Legal Center. It’s a subjective task performed by humans to determine whether a ballot can be processed, even though a range of factors, including health disorders and technology, could affect a person’s signature. 

While Georgia and Arizona allow for ballot “curing,” meaning voters whose signatures didn’t match are contacted and have a chance to fix any issues, the three-day and

Read More

Construction and Robotic Technology Converge at MassRobotics Signature Series Event

BOSTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / November 3, 2020 / MassRobotics will host Robotics in Construction, the final signature event in a series of semi-virtual seminars, on November 12 at 2 p.m. Eastern. The event, created in collaboration with Autodesk, will provide attendees with the latest robotic innovations impacting the construction industry, and the new technologies available from Massachusetts robotics startups.

“MassRobotics’ Robotics in Construction event brings together thought leaders from our regional robotics ecosystem and executives from the construction industry in a focused way to discuss challenges in the building and construction field,” said Tom Ryden, executive director, MassRobotics. “It is our goal to help bridge the connection between industry needs and the innovative technology offerings our residents provide. The series is a fantastic way to connect the robotics community and construction industry together in a way that addresses solutions currently available and a forward-looking view of what will

Read More

GeekWire Summit 2020: After a newsworthy first week, here is what’s next at our signature tech event

Bill Gates appears on a monitor in Seattle during a virtual discussion as part of the 2020 GeekWire Summit on Thursday. (GeekWire Photo / Holly Grambihler)

The first week at the 2020 GeekWire Summit made news, and we’ve got many more insights ahead from leaders in tech, science, business and healthcare.

In an hour-long conversation to wrap up our first week, Bill Gates generated headlines with his comments on the pandemic, the climate and the Congressional antitrust inquiry into the tech industry — while offering a glimmer of hope for a better world ahead.

We also explored the implications of the telehealth boom, jumped into the race for a COVID-19 vaccine, learned about some interesting new inventions, discussed leadership and civic responsibility in tumultuous times, and got an up-close look at the new era for PCs and devices.

Coming up next, on Tuesday Oct. 20, it’s a GeekWire Summit tradition:

Read More