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Hammersmith, United Kingdom

Carwardine J.,CSIRO | Hawkins C.,CSIRO | Polglase P.,CSIRO | Possingham H.P.,University of Queensland | And 5 more authors.
BioScience | Year: 2015

A price on carbon is driving land-use changes globally, including the establishment of biodiverse carbon plantings to sequester carbon. The biodiversity benefits of these plantings depend on many factors, including their spatial locations. We provide an approach for assessing the opportunities and spatial priorities for carbon sequestration and biodiversity restoration through biodiverse carbon plantings. Using Australia as a case study, we show how carbon market conditions affect the potential for achieving biodiversity benefits through restoring heavily cleared vegetation types to 30% of their original extent. Using a midrange carbon price, AU$20 per ton, we discovered that the top 25% of priority areas for biodiverse carbon plantings could sequester 132 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalents annually-more than 5% of Australia's emissions. Lower carbon prices limit biodiversity outcomes. Spatial priorities for sequestering carbon are different from those for restoring biodiversity; therefore, accounting for both factors maximizes efficiency and opportunities. © 2015 The Author(s). Source

Houghton J.,UK National Institute for Medical Research | Townsend C.,University of Zurich | Williams A.R.,UK National Institute for Medical Research | Rodgers A.,UK National Institute for Biological Standards and Control | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Bacteriology | Year: 2012

Mycobacterium tuberculosis survives and replicates in macrophages, where it is exposed to reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that damage DNA. In this study, we investigated the roles of UvrA and UvrD1, thought to be parts of the nucleotide excision repair pathway of M. tuberculosis. Strains in which uvrD1 was inactivated either alone or in conjunction with uvrA were constructed. Inactivation of uvrD1 resulted in a small colony phenotype, although growth in liquid culture was not significantly affected. The sensitivity of the mutant strains to UV irradiation and to mitomycin C highlighted the importance of the targeted genes for nucleotide excision repair. The mutant strains all exhibited heightened susceptibility to representatives of reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI) and reactive nitrogen intermediates (RNI). The uvrD1 and the uvrA uvrD1 mutants showed decreased intracellular multiplication following infection of macrophages. Most importantly, the uvrA uvrD1 mutant was markedly attenuated following infection of mice by either the aerosol or the intravenous route. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. Source

Koo B.,University College London | Li W.,Adobe Research | Yao J.,University of California at Berkeley | Agrawala M.,University of California at Berkeley | Mitra N.J.,College London
ACM Transactions on Graphics | Year: 2014

Designers often create physical works-like prototypes early in the product development cycle to explore possible mechanical architectures for a design. Yet, creating functional prototypes requires time expertise, which discourages rapid design iterations. Designers must carefully specify part joint parameters to ensure that parts move fit together in the intended manner. We present an interactive system that streamlines the process by allowing users to annotate rough 3D models with high-level functional relationships (e.g., part A fits inside part B ). Based on these relationships, our system optimizes the model geometry to produce a working design. We demonstrate the versatility of our system by using it to design a variety of works-like prototypes. Copyright © ACM. Source

News Article
Site: http://www.rdmag.com/rss-feeds/all/rss.xml/all

Standing alone on the Salisbury Plain, Stonehenge has given tourists a view into human prehistoric past. How the structure was built and its purpose remain shrouded in mystery. However, a team of scientists recently published a study in Antiquity detailing the quarries whence the stones came. Believed to have been built during the Neolithic period, between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago, Stonehenge is comprised of a variety of stones ranging in size. “The larger stones are of sarsen, a silicified sandstone that is found in dense concentrations within 20 mi of Salisbury Plain,” write the researchers. “The smaller ones, known as ‘bluestones,’ are of a variety of lithologies that can have only come from in and around Mynydd Preseli (Preseli mountains) in west Wales, 140 mi away.” Dolerite and rhyolite, both volcanic rocks, are most common among Stonehenge’s bluestones. The team identified the outcrops of Carn Goedog and Craig Rhos-y-felin as the source of the dolerite and rhyolite, respectively. The Antiquity research focuses specifically on the Craig Thos-y-felin outcrop. “It seems probable that monoliths were detached by exploiting pre-existing fissures in the rock, hammering in wooden wedges and perhaps enlarging fissures to allow access for such wedges,” the researchers write. Josh Pollard, of the Univ. of Southampton, said the quarry workers let the rain swell the wood and separate the pillar from the rock face. Then they “lowered the thin pillars onto platforms of earth and stone, a sort of ‘loading bay’ from where the huge stones could be dragged away along trackways leading out of each quarry.” According to the Univ. College London, radiocarbon dating from burnt hazelnuts and charcoal from campfires date quarrying periods around 3,400 BC for Craig Rhos-y-felin and 3,200 BC for Carn Goedog, a good amount of time before Stonehenge’s construction. “It could have taken those Neolithic stone-draggers nearly 500 years to get them to Stonehenge, but that’s pretty improbable in my view,” said Parker Pearson, of the Univ. College London’s Institute of Archaeology. “It’s more likely that the stones were first used in a local monument, somewhere near the quarries, that was then dismantled and dragged off to Wiltshire.” Parson believes the monoliths were transferred overland rather than by water, as some have previously suggested. “Each of the 80 monoliths weighed less than 2 tons, so teams of people or oxen could have managed this,” he said. “We know from examples in India and elsewhere in Asia that single stones this size can even be carried on wooden lattices by groups of 60—they didn’t even have to drag them if they didn’t want to.” The researchers have been conducting geological surveys, trial excavations and aerial photographic analysis to find the aforementioned dismantled monument in question. They believe it lies somewhere between the two quarries. More excavations are planned for 2016. “If we can find the original monument in Wales form which it was built, we will finally be able to solve the mystery of why Stonehenge was built and why some of its stones were brought so far,” Pearson said.

Greliche N.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Greliche N.,University Paris - Sud | Zeller T.,University of Hamburg | Wild P.S.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | And 64 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

We aimed to assess whether pri-miRNA SNPs (miSNPs) could influence monocyte gene expression, either through marginal association or by interacting with polymorphisms located in 3'UTR regions (3utrSNPs). We then conducted a genome-wide search for marginal miSNPs effects and pairwise miSNPs × 3utrSNPs interactions in a sample of 1,467 individuals for which genome-wide monocyte expression and genotype data were available. Statistical associations that survived multiple testing correction were tested for replication in an independent sample of 758 individuals with both monocyte gene expression and genotype data. In both studies, the hsa-mir-1279 rs1463335 was found to modulate in cis the expression of LYZ and in trans the expression of CNTN6, CTRC, COPZ2, KRT9, LRRFIP1, NOD1, PCDHA6, ST5 and TRAF3IP2 genes, supporting the role of hsa-mir-1279 as a regulator of several genes in monocytes. In addition, we identified two robust miSNPs × 3utrSNPs interactions, one involving HLA-DPB1 rs1042448 and hsa-mir-219-1 rs107822, the second the H1F0 rs1894644 and hsa-mir-659 rs5750504, modulating the expression of the associated genes. As some of the aforementioned genes have previously been reported to reside at disease-associated loci, our findings provide novel arguments supporting the hypothesis that the genetic variability of miRNAs could also contribute to the susceptibility to human diseases. © 2012 Greliche et al. Source

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