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Who deserves the patent on using CRISPR-Cas9 in human cells? Take our poll

Who deserves the patent on using CRISPR-Cas9 in human cells? Take our poll

There is no hotter technology than CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tools.

Perhaps it is not surprising then that there is a patent dispute over it, which falls into two camps:

(1) Jennifer Doudna & Emmanuelle Charpentier, and (2) Feng Zhang.

Who deserves the intellectual property for use of CRISPR-Cas9 in human cells?

Take our poll.

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Chinese Hegemony: Grand Strategy and International Institutions in East Asian History joins a rapidly growing body of important literature that combines history and International Relations theory to create new perspectives on East Asian political and strategic behavior. The book explores the strategic and institutional dynamics of international relations in East Asian history when imperial China was the undisputed regional hegemon, focusing in depth on two central aspects of Chinese hegemony at the time: the grand strategies China and its neighbors adopted in their strategic interactions, and the international institutions they engaged in to maintain regional order—including but not limited to the tribute system.

Feng Zhang draws on both Chinese and Western intellectual traditions to develop a relational theory of grand strategy and fundamental institutions in regional relations. The theory is evaluated with three case studies of Sino-Korean, Sino-Japanese, and Sino-Mongol relations during China’s early Ming dynasty—when a type of Confucian expressive strategy was an essential feature of regional relations. He then explores the policy implications of this relational model for understanding and analyzing contemporary China’s rise and the changing East Asian order. The book suggests some historical lessons for understanding contemporary Chinese foreign policy and considers the possibility of a more relational and cooperative Chinese strategy in the future.

Feng Zhang is a Fellow in the Department of International Relations in the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific.

Una nueva técnica genética está revolucionando la investigación

jueves, 09 de julio de 2015

Sebastián Urbina

Vida Ciencia Tecnología

El Mercurio

Los científicos la están adoptando para crear terapias para varias enfermedades, así como mejorar plantas y animales. Pero ya hay voces que piden regular su uso para evitar riesgos.

Manipular los genes de una persona, un animal o una planta, no es cosa fácil. Hasta hace poco, la técnica más utilizada era demorosa, no muy eficiente y costaba unos US$ 5.000.

Ahora existe una nuevo método, que surgió en 2012. Se trata de Crispr, una técnica que permite manejar el ADN al antojo del investigador, ya sea poniendo un nuevo gen, sacando otro que existe o intercambiando material genético. Al igual que se edita una película, quitando escenas, agregando otras o cambiando su orden.

Sus ventajas son varias, como ser más segura, sencilla y que cuesta solo US$ 30, algo que ha democratizado su uso, dejando las técnicas anteriores en desuso. Su creador es el doctor Feng Zhang, neurólogo del Instituto Broad del MIT y Harvard, institución que busca revolucionar la medicina con nuevas tecnologías y tratamientos. Él perfeccionó esta técnica hasta su estado actual, la que está siendo rápidamente adoptada por los laboratorios de todo el mundo.

De ella se espera que dé un impulso definitivo a la llamada terapia génica, que es el tratamiento que reemplaza los genes defectuosos de una persona por otros sanos, con el fin de curar distintas enfermedades. Pero también permite hacer mejoramientos genéticos en animales para hacerlos resistentes a infecciones, y en vegetales y frutas, incrementando su calidad de sabor, aroma y textura.

Su uso en Chile

Esta técnica ya se encuentra en Chile hace seis meses. “Se caracteriza por no ser invasiva, ni dejar marcas ni residuos”, dice el doctor Miguel Allende, director del Fondap del Centro para la Regulación del Genoma de la Universidad de Chile. Mientras los transgénicos dejan rastros del material genético foráneo que se usa, aquí es un cambio similar al que se produce en la naturaleza, completamente limpio.

“Este sistema es más seguro porque nos permite dirigirnos exactamente donde queremos hacer la modificación genética, evitando efectos adversos”, dice el doctor Ricardo Soto Rifo, bioquímico y académico del Programa de Virología del Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas de la Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad de Chile.

Pero estas ventajas son justamente lo que preocupa a algunos investigadores. La doctora Jennifer Doudna, de la Universidad de California en Berkeley, es uno de ellos. Según su opinión, ahora es tan fácil y simple producir mutaciones en virus o bacterias con esta técnica, que cualquier error podría terminar con un germen que ataque a las personas.

El doctor Soto explica que hay muchos centros de investigación que usan esta técnica para mejorar su seguridad. Y Allende advierte que aunque es un método sencillo, requiere de pericia. Y aunque la ciencia, dice, está bien protegida y estas técnicas se usan en condiciones de alta bioseguridad, su sencillez puede hacer temer la creación de armas biológicas. “Por eso se requiere de regulaciones nuevas”, señala.

Por último, la técnica puede modificar, por ejemplo, el gen que les permite a los mosquitos transmitir la malaria o el dengue. Así se corta el paso de estas infecciones a las personas, pudiendo erradicar ciertas enfermedades que hoy, con el cambio climático, se han extendido a distintas zonas del planeta. Y el resultado puede lograrse rápido, en pocos meses, ya que el cambio se traspasa casi ciento por ciento a la siguiente generación de estos u otros insectos. Uso que también deberá regularse.

Fuente: http://www.economiaynegocios.cl/noticias/noticias.asp?id=160803

New Post has been published on Weird Life

New Post has been published on http://www.weirdlife.com/guy-can-put-out-candles-three-meters-away-with-energy-generated-by-his-punches/

Guy Can Put Out Candles Three Meters Away with Energy Generated by His Punches

Zhang Feng, a 23-year-old man from Zhengzhou, China, has apparently mastered a unique kung-fu technique he calls “Shaolin Sunshine Hand”, which allows him to generate enough energy with his fists to put out candles up to three meters away. This you gotta see!

Remember those cheesy Chinese kung-fu films we all used to watch during the 80s and 90s? I used to love seeing kung-fu masters blowing stuff and enemies away with their punches, but I kind of always knew it was just theatrics. After looking at this video that recently went viral in China, showing a nerdy dude throwing punches at a row of 15 candles and extinguishing them with air or energy generated by his flying fists, I’m not so sure anymore. I know, you’re convinced it’s a fake, and you’re not the only one, but the guy actually invited a couple of reporters from the Zhengzhou Evening News newspaper into his home to try the feat themselves and then film him doing it. The two journalists gave it their best shot, but were only able to put out one of the 15 candles set 10 cm apart, and even blowing air didn’t kill all the flames. Zhang Feng, on the other hand, put them all out just by throwing punches. Needless to say the reporters were in awe and couldn’t explain how he did it. If they were in on the trick, shame on them, but maybe there is something to this uncanny Shaolin master.

Feng says he has been practicing the art of air punching for the last eight years, after doing some online research. He found that the form of “Shaolin Sunshine Hand” was the easiest one among the 72 Matchless Skills of Shaolin, so he started practicing it. At first, he only managed to put out candles just 3 cm away, but as time passed and his skills improved, he was able to extinguish a flame up to 3 meters away. But during these 8 years of training he used up more candles and lighters than he can remember, and at one point his family got so worried about his obsession that they forbade him from practicing. He continued to do it in secret, and although his family didn’t support his efforts, they stopped opposing him after a while, as long as he didn’t injure himself or set the house on fire.

He did sprain his joints multiple times, but he never gave up. He just waited until his arms were better and started punching air again. But it’s not all in the fists, the spectacled Chinese says. He does a series of qigong exercises in order to balance his chi before every attempt, and says breathing plays an important role, as well. I used Google Translate to get some info from the original article, but it wasn’t very clear. He says something about his lung capacity being limited and only being able to throw four punches in rapid succession. You can check it out for yourself, maybe you can get something more out of it.

Anyway, the video speaks for itself. You can watch the reporters try to put out the candles themselves or scroll to the final part where Zhang Feng extinguishes the 15 candles with his Shaolin Sunshine Hand, and then a single candle 3 meters away. One source says the reporters asked him to do his magic one more time, but his energy was spent, and he was only able to put out the first three candles. The Zhengzhou Evening News reports that after the first attempt, Zhang Feng was exhausted, drinking a whole bottle of water and sitting down on the sofa to rest. It seems this kung-fu stuff really takes it out of you.

source: china news

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arxiv.org
[1507.06732] Lepton flavor violation in the BLMSSM

[ Authors ]
Shu-Min Zhao, Tai-Fu Feng, Hai-Bin Zhang, Xi-Jie Zhan, Yin-Jie Zhang, Ben Yan
[ Abstract ]
In a supersymmetric extension of the standard model with local gauged baryon and lepton numbers (BLMSSM), there are new sources for lepton flavor violation, because the right-handed neutrinos and new gauginos are introduced. In BLMSSM, we study the lepton flavor violating processes $l_j\rightarrow l_i+\gamma$ and $l_j\rightarrow 3l_i$ in detail. The numerical results show that in the parameter space the branching ratios for lepton flavor violating processes can be large enough to be detected in the near future.

Chloral Hydrate Preconditioning Protects Against Ischemic Stroke via Upregulating Annexin A1.

PubMed: Related Articles

Chloral Hydrate Preconditioning Protects Against Ischemic Stroke via Upregulating Annexin A1.

CNS Neurosci Ther. 2015 Jul 24;

Authors: Liu JH, Feng D, Zhang YF, Shang Y, Wu Y, Li XF, Pei L

Abstract
AIMS: Preconditioning is promising for treating cerebral ischemic stroke. Annexin A1 (ANXA1) is a homeostatic antiinflammatory mediator that participates in countering against ischemic injuries. We investigated whether chloral hydrate preconditioning (CH) exerts neuroprotection via regulation of ANXA1 in stroke.
METHODS: Adult male C57BL/6J mice or ANXA1 knockout (ANXA1(-/-) ) mice were randomly allocated to control (NCH) and CH groups [2%, 6%, and 10% chloral hydrate (i.p.) 1 h before the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)]. Neurological performances were evaluated by modified 7-point neurological scales and rotarod test. Cerebral infarction was analyzed by triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining and MRI. The expression of ANXA1, pro-inflammatory (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6), and antiinflammatory (IL-4, IL-10, TGF-β) cytokines was investigated by RT-PCR, western blot, and immunofluorescence.
RESULTS: Chloral hydrate preconditioning significantly improved the neurological outcomes and reduced the infarction and brain edema after ischemia. In addition, CH increased the expression of ANXA1 in the microglia, decreased the levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6, while elevated the levels of IL-4, IL-10, and TGF-β in the MCAO mice. Furthermore, both ANXA1 blocker Boc1 (5 mg/kg, i.c.v.) or ANXA1 gene deficiency restrained the protective effects of CH against stroke.
CONCLUSIONS: Chloral hydrate preconditioning protects against ischemic injuries through upregulating the expression of ANXA1, and the followed antiinflammatory mechanisms.

PMID: 26205642 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] http://dlvr.it/Bdq8L6

Chinese Government’s Measure Lifted Market Cap of Internet Companies

The Minister of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) introduced the development of Industrial sector and Communication Industry in the first half of 2015 this morning on a press conference.

Keep reading

China's industrial sector faces pressure: Official

Beijing, July 22 (IANS) China’s industrial sector still faces considerable downward pressure although positive signs have emerged due to government support policies, authorities said on Wednesday.


“Some regions, industries and businesses are facing increasing difficulties, and strong efforts are needed to stabilize and improve industrial operations,” Xinhua quoted Ministry of Industry and Information Technology spokesman Zhang Feng as saying.

The comments came after data showed China’s industrial output grew 6.3 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2015, slightly down from a 6.4-percent increase in the first quarter.

In an encouraging sign, the growth rate has gradually recovered from 5.6 percent in March, the lowest level since the global financial crisis in 2008, authorities said.

China’s economy posted a better-than-expected year-on-year growth of 7 percent in the second quarter of 2015, unchanged from the first quarter.

arxiv.org
[1507.05862] Onboard Calibration Circuit for the Front-end Electronics of DAMPE BGO Calorimeter

[ Authors ]
De-Liang Zhang, Chang-Qing Feng, Jun-Bin Zhang, Qi Wang, Si-Yuan Ma, Shan-Shan Gao, Zhong-Tao Shen, Di Jiang, Jian-Hua Guo, Shu-Bin Liu, Qi An
[ Abstract ]
An onboard calibration circuit has been designed for the front-end electronics (FEE) of DAMPE BGO Calorimeter. It is mainly composed of a 12 bit DAC, an operation amplifier and an analog switch. Test results showed that a dynamic range of 0 ~ 30 pC with a precision of 5 fC was achieved, which meets the requirements of the front-end electronics. Furthermore, it is used to test the trigger function of the FEEs. The calibration circuit has been implemented and verified by all the environmental tests for both Qualification Model and Flight Model of DAMPE. The DAMPE satellite will be launched at the end of 2015 and the calibration circuit will perform onboard calibration in space.

CR1 rs3818361 Polymorphism Contributes to Alzheimer's Disease Susceptibility in Chinese Population.

PubMed: Related Articles

CR1 rs3818361 Polymorphism Contributes to Alzheimer’s Disease Susceptibility in Chinese Population.

Mol Neurobiol. 2015 Jul 21;

Authors: Li Y, Song D, Jiang Y, Wang J, Feng R, Zhang L, Wang G, Chen Z, Wang R, Jiang Q, Liu G

Abstract
Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) reported CR1 rs3818361 polymorphism to be an Alzheimer’s disease (AD) susceptibility variant in European ancestry. Three independent studies investigated this association in Chinese population. However, these studies reported weak or no significant association. Here, we reinvestigated the association using all the samples from three independent studies in Chinese population (N = 4047, 1244 AD cases and 2803 controls). We also selected three independent studies in European ancestry population (N = 11787, 3939 AD cases and 7848 controls) to evaluate the effect of rs3818361 polymorphism on AD risk in different ethnic backgrounds. In Chinese population, we did not identified significant heterogeneity using additive, recessive, and dominant genetic models. Meta-analysis showed significant association between rs3818361 and AD with P = 6.00E-03 and P = 5.00E-03. We further identified no heterogeneity of rs3818361 polymorphism between Chinese and European populations. We found that rs3818361 polymorphism contributed to AD with similar genetic risk in Chinese and European populations. In summary, this is the first study to show significant association between rs3818361 polymorphism and AD in Chinese population by a meta-analysis method. Our findings indicate that the effect of CR1 rs3818361 polymorphism on AD risk in Chinese cohorts is consistent with the increased risk observed in European AD cohorts.

PMID: 26189835 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] http://dlvr.it/Bbcgtm

arxiv.org
[1507.04429] Investigation of the Time Performance of a LYSO Array for TOF-PET

[ Authors ]
Liu Jun-Hui, Xu Jiong-Hui, Cheng Feng-Feng, Li Dao-Wu, Zhang Zhi-Ming, Wang Bao-Yi, Wei Long
[ Abstract ]
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) using time-of-flight information, which can greatly improve the quality of the reconstructed image, has recently become an exciting topic. In this work, 3.2mm*3.2mm*25mm finger-like LYSO crystals were used to make a 5*5 array, coupled to the Hamamatsu H8500 photomultiplier tube (PMT) as a detector. A fast leading-edge discriminator was designed for the LYSO-H8500 detector. Average coincidence time resolution FWHM of 330 ps was obtained for the LYSO detector with a reference BaF2 detector, whose time resolution for 511 keV {\gamma}-rays was FWHM 150 ps. Time resolution FWHM of 294 ps was calculated for the LYSO detector, and coincidence time resolution of FHWM 415 ps can be expected for two identical LYSO detectors.

arxiv.org
[1507.04062] Dynamics of social contagions with memory of non-redundant information

[ Authors ]
Wei Wang, Ming Tang, Hai-Feng Zhang, Ying-Cheng Lai
[ Abstract ]
A key ingredient in social contagion dynamics is reinforcement, as adopting a certain social behavior requires verification of its credibility and legitimacy. Memory of non-redundant information plays an important role in reinforcement, which so far has eluded theoretical analysis. We first propose a general social contagion model with reinforcement derived from non-redundant information memory. Then, we develop a unified edge-based compartmental theory to analyze this model, and a remarkable agreement with numerics is obtained on some specific models. Using a spreading threshold model as a specific example to understand the memory effect, in which each individual adopts a social behavior only when the cumulative pieces of information that the individual received from his/her neighbors exceeds an adoption threshold. Through analysis and numerical simulations, we find that the memory characteristic markedly affects the dynamics as quantified by the final adoption size. Strikingly, we uncover a transition phenomenon in which the dependence of the final adoption size on some key parameters, such as the transmission probability, can change from being discontinuous to being continuous. The transition can be triggered by proper parameters and structural perturbations to the system, such as decreasing individuals’ adoption threshold, increasing initial seed size, or enhancing the network heterogeneity.

arxiv.org
[1507.03942] Strong Gravitational Lensing in the Einstein-Proca Theory

[ Authors ]
Guoping Li, Yan Zhang, Li Zhang, Zhongwen Feng, Xiaotao Zu
[ Abstract ]
Adopting the strong field limit approach, we investigate the strong gravitational lensing of a spherically symmetric spacetime in the Einstein-Proca theory. With the strong field limit coefficient, three observable quantities are obtained, which are the innermost relativistic image, the deflection angle and the ratio of the flux. Comparing the observable value and the theoretical value of the strong gravitational lensing, we can verify the effectiveness of the strong gravitational lensing model.

Boards with More Women Pay Less for Acquisitions

Boards with More Women Pay Less for Acquisitions

Companies that have more women on their boards of directors make fewer bids for mergers and acquisitions — and pay less for acquired companies. That’s the finding from a new paper (Levi, Li, and Zhang, 2013) by Maurice Levi and Kai Li of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia and Feng Zhang at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

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