Ebola and Marburg viruses may be much older than thought

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — New research on the DNA of wallabies, rodents, a number of mammals and bats has found it is likely the ancestors of the Ebola and lesser-known Marburg viruses were in existence tens of millions of years ago, which is much earlier than previously thought. More information: Filoviruses are ancient and integrated into mammalian genomes, BMC Evolutionary Biology 2010, 10:193. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-193 Researchers Unravel Mystery of How Ebola and Marburg Kill Negative stain image of an isolate of Marburg virus, showing filamentous particles as well as the characteristic “Shepherd’s Crook”. Magnification approximately 100,000 times. Image courtesy of Russell Regnery, Ph.D., DVRD, NCID, CDC. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore further Citation: Ebola and Marburg viruses may be much older than thought (2010, June 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-06-ebola-marburg-viruses-older-thought.html The Ebola and Marburg viruses are known as “filoviruses,” and result in life-threatening hemorrhaging in humans and other primates. Outbreaks occur in remote locations in Africa, and while rare they cause high fatality rates, and seem to appear out of nowhere. There are no effective treatments, and no vaccines.It was previously thought that filoviruses were probably about 10,000 years old, with this figure based on the estimated mutation rate. The new research, by evolutionary biologist Derek Taylor and a team from the State University of New York in Buffalo, has used a different method to estimate their age.The method is one used by paleovirologists, using remnants of virus genes found scattered within the genomes of animals. Viruses are either DNA or RNA based, and many insert their own genes into the DNA of host cells, and it had been thought that RNA-based viruses needed a gene for reverse transcriptase, an enzyme that converts their RNA to DNA in order to do this. Viruses with the gene are called retroviruses, and include the AIDS virus, HIV. Remnant viral genes from ancient retroviruses can be found in virtually every animal’s genome.Filoviruses are RNA viruses that do not have the gene for reverse transcriptase. Taylor and co-worker Jeremy Bruenn discovered non-retrovirus genes in fungi last year, and dubbed them non-retroviral integrated RNA viruses (NIRVs). In January this year a group of researchers in Boston also reported finding RNA viruses (bornavirus) able to integrate their genes into mammalian DNA without the help of reverse transcriptase.Taylor and his team have found “fossil” remnants of filovirus genes inside the genomes of a dozen species, but have not found any in primate species. They used genome databases to find the fossil remnants in mammals, and also confirmed their presence in a dead bat and a wallaby from a local zoo.The team then compared the filovirus remnants in different species and found they were almost identical, which suggests the virus infected animals early in evolution, and the viral remnants were inherited by succeeding generations as the groups diverged to form separate species. For example, the house mouse and Norway rat have the same remnants in the same places in the same chromosomes, even though these diverged from each other over 12 million years ago. Taylor said the odds of a gene inserting itself in the same place among billions of nucleotides are extremely unlikely, which means the filoviruses are much more ancient than previously thought, with the age at least in the tens of millions rather than tens of thousands. There have been numerous studies looking for species that could harbor filoviruses without contracting the disease (known as reservoir species), and bats have been considered good candidates. The presence of NIRVs, which Taylor calls “battle scars of an infection,” could indicate the species with gene remnants could be reservoir candidates. Finding fossil remnants in New World marsupials could indicate the deaths in South America that sometimes occur after unexplained hemorrhagic fevers may be due to unidentified filoviruses.The paper is published online in BMC Evolutionary Biology. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Jakartas 99story Pertamina tower makes energy key design principle

first_img Explore further © 2013 Phys.org More information: www.thejakartapost.com/news/20 … er-construction.htmlwww.dezeen.com/2013/12/11/som- … -harness-wind-power/www.som.com Resembling the petals of a flower, the tapered peak is to leverage wind energy. The crown reveals a wind funnel that will harness winds at the upper floors to generate energy. Then, there is the “Energy Ribbon,” a solar-paneled roof walkway throughout the campus. This covered walkway is to provide both sun and rain protection with energy generated through photovoltaics along the surface of the roof. The need for artificial lighting in the office interiors will be lessened with support from exterior sun shades.The building will include a 2,000-seat auditorium for lectures and performances and a mosque. SOM calls it “a city within a city, blending together living, working and playing while serving as a model of sustainability, efficiency, and collaborative workplace design.”The energy-harnessing theme is clear. SOM said the development will reduce water demand and target zero discharge while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 26 percent by the year 2020 and generating 25 percent energy from renewable resources by 2020.According to the Jakarta Post, local companies will also participate in the project as consultants, and also to work on the project’s central energy generator. As a state-owned company, Pertamina said its mission is “to carry out integrated business core in oil, gas, renewable and new energy based on strong commercial principles both inside and outside the country.” (Phys.org) —A 99-story skyscraper created for the Indonesian state-owned energy company, Pertamina, which is scheduled for completion in 2020, will carry the distinction of becoming Jakarta’s tallest landmark, rising over 500 meters high above Jakarta, and will accommodate some 20,000 workers. However, “tall” is not the key distinguishing factor in the works; the renderings of the sky-piercing building have been released by the architectural and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); the design shows how the Pertamina Energy Tower is to be, in the words of SOM, “the world’s first supertall tower for which energy is the primary design driver.” The building is designed to harness wind energy. Updating building energy codes: How much can your state save? Citation: Jakarta’s 99-story Pertamina tower makes energy key design principle (2013, December 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-jakarta-story-pertamina-tower-energy.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

No impediments in this love

first_imgMarriage in India is a ritual that most people hold close to their hearts. It is an event which involves lavish expenses, ranging from the bride’s dress to the catering services and of course the baarat. Usually it is the family of the bride and the groom that have to bear the expenses, but many a times, across the country, many organisations put together their resources to arrange for mass marriages. Bhopal, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have recently experienced mass marriages. And let’s say, we here in Delhi also have an opportunity to experience a mass marriage this weekend. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’101 disabled couples are going to tie the knot on a lavish wedding ceremony organised by the Narayan Seva Sansthan (NSS). The NSS is a known charitable organisation based out in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The vision to serve and create a blissful matrimonial alliance for the disabled couples is the motto of this mass wedding ceremony which is due to happen on 14 and 15 June at the Ramlila Maidan Ground.Kailash Manav, Chairman, Narayan Seva Sansthan (NSS) said, ‘The organisation works with a motive of Sarva Jan Hitaya- Sarva Samaj Sukhaya, meaning- in the welfare of the public, in the happiness of everyone’. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe two-day free of cost massive event is going to be an extensive arrangement for the brides as well as the grooms who are ready to tie the nuptial knot for a lifetime. Registration room, hospitality room, control room, exhibition, physiotherapy, workshop, traffic control and other requirements have been taken care of, thereby providing quality time to the grooms and brides. One of the unique features about this event is the cosmopolitan culture under which the wedding will be taking place. Whether they be Muslims, Hindus, Christians or from any other religion, this unique occasion will witness the nuptial ties among various to-be-couples from several back grounds. The event is not restricted to Delhi, in fact not just restricted to India. Over 950 patrons from countries like USA, South Africa, Nepal and other countries will also grace the event, apart from the Indian fraternity who will be witnessing the event.Prashant Aggarwal, President, Narayan Seva Sansthan says, ‘To make this event a success, a meeting of Sansthan mandal has been organised. Under the directions of the Sansthan Mandal, several teams of the organization have started visiting various places all over the city; the team is locating physically disabled bachelors and registering them for mass wedding. We are trying hard to make the event memorable for disabled and also for each guest.’last_img read more

PDP BJP seal JK deal Mufti to be CM

first_imgAccording to the agreement reached between the two parties, the PDP will get the chief minister’s post while a BJP leader (most probably Nirmal Singh) will be made the Deputy Chief Minister.PDP veteran Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who is likely to be the next Jammu and Kashmir CM, will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi within the next few days to finalise a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) to be shared by the two allies, said sources . For almost a month, the BJP and the PDP had been working on the CMP, which includes controversial issues like Article 370, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Uniform Civil Code. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIJammu and Kashmir elected a hung Assembly after the votes of the five-phased election were counted on December 23 last year, with the PDP emerging as the single largest party with 28 seats in the 87-member House. The BJP emerged as the second largest party with 25 seats, followed by the National Conference at 15 and Congress with 12. Smaller parties and independents had won seven seats.  Last week, Sayeed had asserted that the two parties will work “shoulder-to-shoulder” to provide the people of Jammu and Kashmir with good governance. There would be structured dialogue between leaders of the two parties and discussions would be held on the issues to finalise up on a Common Minimum Programme before forming the government, he had said. “Both (parties) will work together based on issues. We will work shoulder-to-shoulder so that we can give people a good government,” he added.The Governor’s Rule was imposed in the state on January 9, a day after National Conference leader Omar Abdullah asked Governor NN Vohra to relieve him of the duties of caretaker Chief Minister with immediate effect.last_img read more

Escobar meme lands Kolkata police in hot water

first_imgKolkata: Kolkata police has landed in hot water after posting on its Facebook page a meme of Colombia footballer Andres Escobar’s infamous own goal at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the US which cost him his life days later. The post was an awareness campaign for June 26 — the International Day Against Drug Abuse And Illicit Trafficking — by exploiting the frenzy that the ongoing edition of the World Cup in Russia has generated. The photo showed Escobar rolling the ball into his own net in the 34th minute of the Colombia-USA group league game past the wrong-footed goalkeeper Oscar Cordoba. Beside the photo was another image of a person — whose midriff and a hand are only visible — injecting a drug. The meme came with the slogan in a medley of English and Bengali “Same Side goal bhuleo noi” (Never ever score a same side goal). Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights Escobar’s slip had proved crucial as Colombia succumbed to the pressure and eventually lost the match 1-2. Romania then went on to defeat the US, which pushed Colombia out of the World Cup. Ten days after his blunder, Escobar went out with friends for the first time since his return from the USA despite being advised against it. After a fallout with a few anti-socials, he was fired upon six times with a .38 calibre pistol. Eye-witnesses said the assailants shouted “goal” after each shot, apparently alluding to Escobar’s same side strike. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed Although Kolkata Police refused to comment, the Facebook post got flooded with comments condemning it as many said it was in bad taste. “I understand there is a World Cup going on and police want to cash in. But there are better means to spread awareness. This is in bad taste as someone lost his life because of the incident,” an active social media user said not being wanting to be named. Days earlier, Kolkata Police had posted a similar post on Argentine star Lionel Messi’s penalty miss against Iceland in the World Cup, urging two and four wheelers not to break traffic rules as “every penalty is not missed.” Messi fans lambasted the post while those who support his old adversary, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, shared it tongue firmly in cheek.last_img read more

Shah Rukh Khan has secret fear

first_imgBollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who will be seen in filmmaker Rohit Shetty’s upcoming directorial Dilwale, says that he is facing a ‘secret fear’ at night.The 49-year-old actor shared his problem on micro-blogging website Twitter, where he said that he fears eating up his children because he finds them cute and ‘edible’. “I have this secret fear that one night while I am sleep walking I will eat up my kids… because I find them sooo edible. Slurp slurp,” the Happy New Year actor tweeted.Shah Rukh at the moment has three movies in his kitty.Dilwale, which is slated to hit the theatres on December 18, also stars Kajol, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Boman Irani and Vinod Khanna.He will also be seen in Rahul Dholakia’s Raees and Maneesh Sharma’s directorial Fan, which are slated to release next year.last_img read more

Body of 18yearold found hanging in room

first_imgKolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of an 18-year-old girl whose body was found hanging in her room.The incident took place in Uluberia area of Howrah on Sunday night.The victim has been identified as Paramita Das (18). According to the preliminary investigation, police came to know that the victim was rebuked by her mother on Sunday over her affair with a local youth.The exact cause of her death is yet to be ascertained. Police suspect that the victim might have committed suicide after her family members raised strong objections against her relationship. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt was learnt that the victim developed a relationship with a local youth a few months ago. The family members of the victim later came to know about the relationship and asked her to end it.As she acted otherwise and continued to meet her boyfriend, her mother scolded her. But this did not go down well with the victim as police suspect it to be the reason behind her suicide.Police said the victim went inside her room on Sunday night. As she did not step out of the room for a long period of time, the family members knocked on the door repeatedly. The family members reported the matter to the locals after she did not open the door. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedLocals broke open the door and found the victim hanging from the ceiling fan. She was immediately rushed to Uluberai Hospital where the doctors pronounced brought dead.After being informed, police reached the spot and started a probe in this regard. The body was sent for an autopsy. Police are waiting for the report.No suicide note has been found from her room.This appears to be a case of suicide. A detailed probe has been initiated. All possible angles are being looked into, a senior police officer in the district said.last_img read more

Spectre too long has weak story Pierce Brosnan

first_imgFormer James Bond star Pierce Brosnan finds the 24th Bond film, Spectre, too long and feels it has a weak storyline.Brosnan, who played the coveted role on the big screen in four films from 1995 to 2002, recently watched the Daniel Craig-starrer and was not impressed, reported E! Online.“I was looking forward to it enormously. I thought it was too long. The story was kind of weak it could have been condensed. It kind of went on too long. It really did,” Brosnan said. Also Read – A fresh blend of fame“(‘Spectre’) is neither fish nor fowl. It’s neither Bond nor Bourne. Am I in a Bond movie? Not in a Bond movie?” the actor continued while noting the similarities with the famous Matt Damon franchise. He, however, was all praise for Craig’s performance.“But Daniel, in the fourth go-round, has ownership of it. He had a nice looseness to him. He’s a mighty warrior, and I think he found a great sense of himself in this one with the one-liners and a nice playfulness there. Just get a tighter story, and he’ll have another classic.” Craig’s previous comments suggested that he does not want to be linked to another Bond movie again. He has since explained that it was all sarcasm, and Brosnan understands where his fellow on-screen secret agent was coming from. “Give him another year off here, and he’ll be ready to rock and roll for sure.”last_img read more

Earlylife exercise promotes healthy brain

first_imgThe research indicates that there may be a window of opportunity during early human development to optimise the chances of better lifelong health.“Exercise affects many aspects of health, both metabolic and mental, and people are only now starting to look at the plasticity of these gut microbes,” said senior study author Monika Fleshner from University of Colorado Boulder in the US. Microbes take up residence within human intestines shortly after birth and are vital to the development of the immune system and various neural functions. The human gut harbours over 100 trillion microorganisms. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’These microbes can add as many as five million genes to a person’s overall genetic profile and thus have tremendous power to influence aspects of human physiology. While this diverse microbial community remains somewhat malleable throughout adult life and can be influenced by environmental factors such as diet and sleep patterns, the researchers found that gut microorganisms are especially ‘plastic’ at a young age.last_img read more

The instigators are murderers says Partha

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee on Sunday alleged that those who are instigating violence are ‘murderers’. “It is important to find out those who are trying to deteriorate the law and order situation across the state,” he said. On the same day, the Union Home Ministry issued an advisory note to the state government over the law and order situation. Later, Chatterjee criticised the step of sending the note.On Sunday night, Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi expressed his concern over the incident of Sandeshkhali. He also expressed his sympathy for the families and near ones of the deceased and appealed to all concerned to see to it that no violent incidents take place further. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIn the advisory note, the Centre has asked Bengal to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to maintain law and order across the state. The state government has also been requested to take strict action against the officials who are found delinquent in discharge of their duties. After the advisory note was received, Chatterjee protested the step and stated that when there is peace in the state, the Centre is deliberately sending such advisory notes. He also raised questions about why any advisory note was not issued for the Gujarat government, despite several instances of violence there. Chatterjee slammed the saffron party without mentioning their name during a programme. He stated that the BJP’s aim is to take over the state and for that they are resorting to violence and murdering Trinamool workers. “There will be resistance but it will be non-violent. They have no words of development and they are planning to murder Trinamool workers to create an unstable law and order situation,” Chatterjee said.last_img read more