Posts Tagged ‘keyabbrev’

Photo 51 – Wikipedia

August 26, 2021

The unvaccinated are at risk as evolution accelerates the covid-19 pandemic | The Economist

August 14, 2021

In the original Wuhan genome the 501st position in the spike chain is occupied by an amino acid called asparagine. ….Mutations which cause just that substitution, known as n501y (or sometimes “Nelly”) subsequently turned up in the Alpha, Beta and Gamma variants. Another change they spotted, now called e484k (or “Eek”), was found in both Beta and Gamma.

The rbd is not the only part of the spike protein where mutations matter. In a preprint published on June 22nd Ravindra Gupta, a molecular virologist at Cambridge University, and his colleagues put forward an argument as to why Delta is both more infectious and better at evading immunity than other variants. It is based on a substitution at site 681, which is at the point where, after the rbd meets ace2, the protein is cleft in two.

Dr Gupta says p681r, helped by two shape-modifying mutations elsewhere, makes it easier for the protein to be cut up and thus get into cells. Its presence also means that, once a cell starts producing particles, their spike proteins can get on to the cell’s surface pre-cut.

How to Make Oobleck – A Simple Recipe for Making Slime | Live Science

May 19, 2021

Want to have fun with physics and even “walk on water”? Try making a mixture of cornstarch and water called oobleck. It makes a great science project or is just fun to Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid. “}}

CRISPR and the Splice to Survive | The New Yorker

April 28, 2021

A few feet away from the detoxed toads, Spot and Blondie were sitting in their own tank, an even more elaborate affair, with a picture of a tropical scene propped in front for their enjoyment. They were almost a year old and fully grown, with thick rolls of flesh around their midsections, like sumo wrestlers. Spot was mostly brown, with one yellowish hind leg; Blondie was more richly variegated, with whitish hind legs and light patches on his forelimbs and chest. Cooper reached a gloved hand into the tank and pulled out Blondie, whom she’d described to me as “beautiful.” He immediately peed on her. He appeared to be smiling malevolently. He had, it seemed to me, a face only a genetic engineer could love.

To guard against a Vonnegutian catastrophe, various fail-safe schemes have been proposed, with names like killer rescue, multi-locus assortment, and daisy chain. All of them share a basic, hopeful premise: it should be possible to engineer a gene drive that’s effective but not too effective. Such a drive might be engineered so as to exhaust itself after a few generations, or it might be yoked to a gene variant that’s limited to a single population on a single island. It has also been suggested that if a gene drive did somehow manage to go rogue it might be possible to send out into the world another gene drive, featuring a “Cas9-triggered chain ablation”—or catcha—sequence, to chase it down. What could possibly go wrong? “}}

Robo-writers: the rise and risks of language-generating AI

April 17, 2021


A neural network’s size — and therefore its power — is roughly measured by how many parameters it has. These numbers define the strengths of the connections between neurons. More neurons and more connections means more parameters; GPT-3 has 175 billion. The next-largest language model of its kind has 17 billion (see ‘Larger language models’). (In January, Google released a model with 1.6 trillion parameters, but it’s a ‘sparse’ model, meaning each parameter does less work. In terms of performance, this is equivalent to a ‘dense’ model that has between 10 billion and 100 billion parameters, says William Fedus, a researcher at the University of Montreal, Canada, and Google.)

Human local adaptation of the TRPM8 cold receptor along a latitudinal cline

April 7, 2021

Stumbled onto this paper. Thought the conclusion that Europeans were more cold-sensitive due to TRPM8 was quite counter-intuitive – but interesting nevertheless

cold receptor

Why an Animated Flying Cat With a Pop-Tart Body Sold for Almost $600,000 – The New York Times

March 11, 2021 NFT!

It’s Not Every Day We Get a New Blue – The New York Times

February 14, 2021

YInMn blue
Formula: YIn1−xMnxO3

Coronavirus Variant Tracker – The New York Times

February 12, 2021

B.1.1.7, B.1.351

The D614G mutation emerged in eastern China early in the pandemic and then quickly spread around the world, displacing other coronaviruses that did not have the mutation.

The D614G mutation is thought to make the coronavirus more infectious, but it does not appear to make the disease more severe or help the virus escape vaccines.

The N501Y mutation arose independently in several variants of concern, including the B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1 lineages.

The mutation is near the tip of the coronavirus spike, where it seems to change the shape of the protein to be a tighter fit with human cells.

The E484K mutation arose independently in multiple lineages, including B.1.351 and P.1. Scientists are also concerned that the mutation was recently found in some samples from the B.1.1.7 lineage from Britain. …
The mutation occurs near the top of the coronavirus spike, where it alters the shape of the protein. This change may help the spikes evade some types of coronavirus antibodies.

Covid mutation

January 30, 2021

b117 or b. mutation
D614G mutation

Evidence Builds That an Early Mutation Made the Pandemic Harder to Stop

Scientists were initially skeptical that a mutation made the coronavirus more contagious. But new research has changed many of their minds.