Prion strain diversity may be greater than previously thought

first_imgCredit: Pixabay, Free-Photos (CC0 Source: Prion diseases are transmissible neurodegenerative diseases that affect humans and other animals and are caused by a misfolded form of the prion protein. Currently, effective treatment for prion diseases is not available, and they are inevitably fatal. Prion strains can differ in incubation period and can interfere with each other when present in the same host, in some cases, completely blocking another strain from causing disease. Interference between prion strains is thought to be an important factor affecting the emergence of a dominant strain after interspecies transmission. Previous studies have examined the capacity of strains with long incubation periods to interfere with a short-incubation strains, but until now, it was not known if two strains with long incubation periods could interfere with each other.Related StoriesScreenIn3D receives technology innovation prizeNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellTrump administration cracks down on fetal tissue researchIn the new study, Bartz and colleagues show that combinations of prion strains with long incubation periods do not interfere with each other in a test tube or in infected hamsters. Rather, both co-infecting strains amplified independently. The concept that not all prion strain combinations result in interference suggests that strain diversity in naturally infected animals may be greater than previously thought. Overall, this observation changes the paradigm of prion strain interactions, provides further evidence that strains are a dynamic mixture of substrains, and has important implications for interspecies transmission and the emergence of prion strains.“This work provides further evidence that prion strains compete for the template of conversion, PrPC,” says Bartz. “Importantly, we found that when the abundance of PrPC can fully support conversion of both prion strains in the same environment, strain interference does not occur.”center_img Oct 19 2018The first example of prion strains that replicate independently in vitro and in vivo suggests that strain diversity may be greater than previously thought, according to a study published October 18 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Jason Bartz of Creighton University, and colleagues.last_img read more

Facebook cracks down on groups spreading harmful information

first_imgIn this Jan. 9, 2019, file photo, media and guests tour Facebook offices in Cambridge, Mass., building. Facebook says it is rolling out a wide range of updates aimed at combatting the spread of false and harmful information on the social media site. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Facebook said Wednesday it is rolling out a wide range of updates aimed at combatting the spread of false and harmful information on the social media site—stepping up the company’s fight against misinformation as it faces growing outside pressure. Explore further Two top Facebook executives depart the companycenter_img 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. The updates will limit the visibility of links found to be significantly more prominent on Facebook than across the web as a whole. The company is also expanding its fact-checking program with outside expert sources, including The Associated Press, to vet videos and other material posted on Facebook.Facebook groups—the online communities that many point to as lightning rods for the spread of fake information—will also be more closely monitored. If they are found to be spreading misinformation, their visibility in users’ news feeds will be limited.Lawmakers and human rights groups have been critical of the company for the spread of extremism and misinformation on its flagship site and on Instagram.During a larger hearing Tuesday on the spread of white nationalism, congress members questioned a company representative about how Facebook prevents violent material from being uploaded and shared on the site.In a separate Senate subcommittee hearing Wednesday, the company is expected to be asked about allegations that social media companies are biased against conservatives.CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s latest vision for Facebook, with an emphasis on private, encrypted messaging , is sure to pose a challenge for the company when it comes to removing problematic material.Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, acknowledged the challenge in a meeting with reporters at Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters Wednesday. He said striking a balance between protecting people’s privacy and public safety is “something societies have been grappling for centuries.”Rosen said the company is focused on making sure it does the best job possible “as Facebook evolves toward private communications.” But he offered no specifics.”This is something we are going to be working on, working with experts outside the company,” he said, adding that the aim is “to make sure we make really informed decisions as we go into this process.” Citation: Facebook cracks down on groups spreading harmful information (2019, April 10) retrieved 17 July 2019 from read more

Delhi power tussle A timeline

first_imgRELATED Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal   –  PTI COMMENT Published on justice and rights New Delhi SHARE ‘Centre egging on Delhi officials against Kejriwal’ Kejriwal calls off nine day sit-in center_img Following is the chronology of events in the case related to the power tussle between the Centre and Delhi government in which a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court today unanimously held that Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal does not have independent decision making powers and is bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.It had started with lodging of an FIR in 2014 by the then Arvind Kejriwal regime against Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Mukesh Ambani and others including UPA ministers M Veerappa Moily and Murli Deora (since dead), accusing them of “fixing” gas prices.2014 May 2 RIL moves the Delhi High Court for quashing of FIR and challenging a 1993 notification of the Centre giving power to Delhi government’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) to probe union government employees.May 8 Centre moves HC opposing FIR against the ministers contending that ACB has no powers or jurisdiction to probe.May 9 HC issues notice to Delhi government on the plea to quash FIR against the ministers. HC allowed ACB to continue with its probe.May 20 HC asks Centre, RIL to cooperate with ACB probe.August 9 ACB tells HC that it has powers to lodge FIR in gas pricing case.August 19 ACB tells HC it cannot probe the gas pricing case against RIL and a former UPA minister as a July 23, 2014 notification of Centre has taken away its jurisdiction to investigate central government employees.October 16 Delhi government tells HC its ACB can prosecute RIL and ministers.October 28 Delhi HC gives time to Centre to clarify on ACB’s powers.December 4 RIL argues in HC that State probing Centre’s decision on gas pricing is absurd.2015May 25 HC says ACB has jurisdiction to arrest policemen who come under Centre. It says the Centre’s May 21 notification limiting ACB’s powers was “suspect”.May 26 PIL in HC against Centre’s May 21 notification giving powers to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) to appoint bureaucrats in Delhi.May 28 Delhi government moves HC on Centre’s notification on LG’s powers. Centre moves the Supreme Court against Delhi HC’s May 25 order terming as “suspect” its notification.May 29 HC asks LG to consider Delhi government’s proposals on shifting of nine bureaucrats from one post to another.June 10 HC refuses to stay MHA notification on ACB power.June 27 Delhi government moves HC to restrain LG appointee ACB chief M K Meena from entering anti-graft body’s office.2016January 27 Union government tells HC that Delhi is under Centre’s control and not full-fledged state.April 5 AAP government asks HC to refer to larger bench petitions on powers of LG on the governance of Delhi.April 6 Delhi government tells HC it was competent to set up a commission to probe allegations of corruption in awarding licence to conduct CNG fitness tests.April 19 AAP government withdraws from SC its plea seeking setting up of a larger bench in HC.May 24 HC reserves order on AAP government’s plea for a stay on proceedings on the petitions arising out of its stand-off with LG over powers to appoint bureaucrats in the national capital and other issues.May 30 HC turns down AAP government’s request to first decide its stay application. July 1 SC agrees to hear AAP government’s plea seeking a direction that HC be restrained from delivering judgement on issues, including the scope of powers of the city government to exercise its authority in performing public functions.July 4 Justice J S Khehar of SC recuses from hearing AAP govt’s plea on declaration of powers of Delhi as a state.July 5 Justice L Nageshwar Rao of SC also recuses from hearing Delhi government’s plea.July 8 SC refuses to entertain Delhi government plea to first decide the preliminary issue as to whether it has the jurisdiction over disputes between the Centre and the state or is it “exclusively” triable by the apex court.August 4 HC says LG is administrative head of National Capital Territory and AAP government’s contention that he is bound to act on the advice of Council of Ministers was “without substance”.2017February 15 SC refers to constitution bench the pleas on Delhi-Centre row over governance.November 2 Constitution bench of SC commences hearing.November 8 SC observes that responsibilities conferred upon LG are not absolute.November 14 SC raises a question if constitutional scheme on division of executive powers between the Centre and the states can be made applicable to the union territory of Delhi.November 21 Centre opposes AAP government’s submissions in the SC, says Delhi has been accorded “special status” among union territories but that does not make it a state.December 6 SC reserves judgement on a batch of pleas on Delhi-Centre power tussle after hearing arguments for 15 days. 2018July 4 SC says LG does not have independent decision making powers, and is bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers. July 04, 2018 What is Kejriwal’s issue with L-G, whose role is clearly defined: Sheila SHARE SHARE EMAIL Delhi power tussle: A big win for Kejriwal as SC says LG doesn’t have independent powers politics COMMENTSlast_img read more

Top five news stories to watch out for on May 6

first_imgMay 06, 2019 COMMENTS Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to visit Cyclone Fani hit Odisha on May 6 to take stock of the situation in the state. The Prime Minister spoke to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday and announced his plans to visit the storm-hit state on Twitter. In the fifth of the seven phases of General Elections 2019 to be held on May 6, a total of 51 seats across seven states will go to polls. Voting will take place in a number of seats in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir. Both Rae Bareli and Amethi — represented by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi respectively — will witness a heated contest between Congress and BJP heavy weights.US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is to meet Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday to discuss trade-related issues amid America’s decision to withdraw export benefits to Indian exporters. Issues such as withdrawal of GSP benefits by Washington are expected to come up for the discussion. The US decided to withdraw export benefits to Indian exporters under the Generalized System of Preferences programme, which is expected to impact India’s exports to the US worth $5.6 billion under this scheme. The Supreme Court is to to hear on May 6 a plea of an AIADMK MLA, V. T. Kalaiselvan, who has been served a notice by the Tamil Nadu assembly Speaker for indulging in “anti-party activities” under the anti-defection law. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta said it will hear the plea on Monday. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Kalaiselvan, said the Speaker has served him a notice under the anti-defection law and the matter requires urgent hearing as he will disqualify him for alleged anti-party activities.INS Ranjit, the frontline missile destroyer of the Indian Navy, is to be decommissioned on Monday. INS Ranjit, the third of the five Kashin-class destroyers built by the erstwhile USSR, was commissioned in 1983. The ship will be decommissioned at the Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam. The ceremony will be attended by personnel who have served on-board INS Ranjit in the past and will also include officers and sailors from the commissioning crew. SHARE SHARE EMAIL Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election rally for the forthcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections.   –  PTIcenter_img SHARE Published on COMMENTlast_img read more