Posts Tagged ‘DNA’

Neanderthal DNA Lives On in Modern Humans

Study: Neanderthal DNA Lives On in Modern Humans

By Jennifer Pinkowski, courtesy of TIME 

A decade after scientists first cracked the human genome, researchers announced in the May 7 issue of Science that they have done the same for Neanderthals, the species of hominid that existed from roughly 400,000 to 30,000 years ago, when their closest relatives, early modern humans, may have driven them to extinction.

Led by ancient-DNA expert Svante Pääbo of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, scientists reconstructed about 60% of the Neanderthal genome by analyzing tiny chains of ancient DNA extracted from bone fragments of three female Neanderthals excavated in the late 1970s and early ’80s from a cave in Croatia. The bones are 38,000 to 44,000 years old. 

The genetic information turned up some intriguing findings, indicating, for instance, that at some point after early modern humans migrated out of Africa, they mingled and mated with Neanderthals, possibly in the Middle East or North Africa as much as 80,000 years ago. If that is the case, it occurred significantly earlier than scientists who support the interbreeding hypothesis would have expected.

Comparisons with DNA from modern humans show that some Neanderthal DNA has survived to the present. Moreover, by analyzing ancient DNA alongside modern samples, the team was able to identify a handful of genetic changes that evolved in modern humans sometime after their ancestors and Neanderthals diverged, 440,000 to 270,000 years ago. 

The process of sequencing was painstaking. Among the challenges were eliminating bacterial and fungal DNA, which accounted for 97% of the genetic material in the samples, and guarding against contamination from the researchers, whose DNA might be mistaken for Neanderthals’. Plus, the DNA was so fragmented that the chains were often no longer than 40 or 50 base pairs. "We used half a gram of bones to produce the 3 billion base pairs," Pääbo said in a May 5 press conference. "I really thought until six or seven years ago that it would remain impossible, at least for my lifetime, to sequence the entire genome." New sequencing technologies made it feasible, he said. 

Researchers compared the Neanderthal genome with the genomes of five living people: one San from southern Africa, one Yoruba from West Africa, one Papua New Guinean, one Han Chinese and one French person. Scientists discovered that 1% to 4% of the latter three DNA samples is shared with Neanderthals…
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Why Genes Aren’t Destiny

Your genes may not be your destiny, but when your grandmother over-ate that one long summer, that was a killer… Fascinating article on epigenetics. – Ilene

Why Genes Aren’t Destiny

TIME photoBy John Cloud, courtesy of TIME

The remote, snow-swept expanses of northern Sweden are an unlikely place to begin a story about cutting-edge genetic science. The kingdom’s northernmost county, Norrbotten, is nearly free of human life; an average of just six people live in each square mile. And yet this tiny population can reveal a lot about how genes work in our everyday lives.

Norrbotten is so isolated that in the 19th century, if the harvest was bad, people starved. The starving years were all the crueler for their unpredictability. For instance, 1800, 1812, 1821, 1836 and 1856 were years of total crop failure and extreme suffering. But in 1801, 1822, 1828, 1844 and 1863, the land spilled forth such abundance that the same people who had gone hungry in previous winters were able to gorge themselves for months.

In the 1980s, Dr. Lars Olov Bygren, a preventive-health specialist who is now at the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, began to wonder what long-term effects the feast and famine years might have had on children growing up in Norrbotten in the 19th century — and not just on them but on their kids and grandkids as well. So he drew a random sample of 99 individuals born in the Overkalix parish of Norrbotten in 1905 and used historical records to trace their parents and grandparents back to birth. By analyzing meticulous agricultural records, Bygren and two colleagues determined how much food had been available to the parents and grandparents when they were young.

Around the time he started collecting the data, Bygren had become fascinated with research showing that conditions in the womb could affect your health not only when you were a fetus but well into adulthood. In 1986, for example, the Lancet published the first of two groundbreaking papers showing that if a pregnant woman ate poorly, her child would be at significantly higher than average risk for cardiovascular disease as an adult. Bygren wondered whether that effect could start even before pregnancy: Could parents’ experiences early in their lives somehow change the traits they passed to their offspring?

It was a heretical idea. After all, we have had a long-standing deal with biology:…
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American Express bulls play calendar spread

Today’s tickers: AXP, JNPR, GE, XLF, JPM, WFC, DNA, COP & XOM

AXP – American Express Company – Shares of the global payments and travel company have rallied by 7% to $11.83, an upward move which is likely due to the news that AXP’s fourth quarter earnings were favorably revised yesterday because of an accounting error. Adjustments boosted earnings per share to 21 cents from the previously recorded 15 cents for the quarter, and net income for the year amounted to $2.7 billion up from $2.63 billion originally. Option traders welcomed the unexpected news and established bullish positions on AXP today. One indication of bullishness was the rash of put selling in the March contract. March 10 and 12.5 strikes were heavily sold. Juxtaposed with the near-term bullishness observed is one far-term optimist on AXP, who sees shares doubling by January 2011. In the January 2010 contract at the 20 strike price 10,000 calls were sold for 95 cents each. Using the 20 strike price in January 2011, 10,000 calls were purchased for 1.95 apiece. For this calendar spread to come good, shares would need to nearly double from the current level. We have to think that this spread is already or will be coupled with underlying stock with the risk that the investor is left deficient of shares in the event of a break through $20.00 ahead of expiration.

JNPR – Juniper Networks Inc. – Shares have remained relatively flat today, having fallen just 0.15% to $13.46. The assured and secure Internet Protocol networking solutions company caught our attention due to its high call-to-put ratio which is currently favoring calls 11 times to every single put in play. But, the majority of the calls traded today were sold, indicated an overall bearish picture of the stock. At the March 13 strike price, 3,300 in-the-money calls were sold for 88 cents apiece – perhaps profit taking by investors exiting existing positions at that strike. At the March 14 strike 3,500 calls were shed for 42 cents apiece. The same trend was observed in the April contract where the April 12 strike price had 4,000 calls sold for 1.96, the 13 strike price saw the sale of over 5,100 calls for a premium of 1.28, and the 14 strike had more than 3,600 calls sold for 80 cents per contract. Implied volatility has come off since yesterday reading of 60% to…
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Phil's Favorites

Why it matters when big tech firms extend their power into media content

 

Why it matters when big tech firms extend their power into media content

Courtesy of David HesmondhalghUniversity of Leeds

Shutterstock

A major shift is taking place in global media. Until recently, tech corporations were mainly involved in distribution rather than production. But now, instead of simply delivering TV shows, music and films onto our devices and screens, major firms are sinking huge amounts of money into the content itself.

The herald of this change was Netflix. Here was a tech company ...



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Biotech

The two obstacles that are holding back Alzheimer's research

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

The two obstacles that are holding back Alzheimer's research

Courtesy of Todd GoldeUniversity of Florida

Family members often become primary caregivers for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. tonkid/Shutterstock.com

Thirty years ago, scientists began to unlock the mysteries regarding the cause of Alzheimer’...



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Zero Hedge

Back-To-Back Hindenburg Omens

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

About a week ago, we warned about the infamous bearish stock market pattern developing in US equities coined by some as the ‘Hindenburg Omen’. The pattern is known for its bearish tendencies developed after the Hindenburg disaster of 1937. The key understanding is breadth deterioration, when more stocks hit 52-week lows than 52-highs. Since the warning, a liquidity gap has developed in stocks thwarting any attempt at new all time highs.

...



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Digital Currencies

The blockchain does not eliminate the need for trust

 

The blockchain does not eliminate the need for trust

Courtesy of Dirk BaurUniversity of Western Australia and Niels Van QuaquebekeKühne Logistics University

Central authorities are still important to create legitimacy in a cryptocurrency. Shutterstock

A common idea about the blockchain, the technology that powers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is that it can “...



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Chart School

When does this all end - Update2

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

To buy or not to buy: The US 10 year versus high yielding utility stocks.

Previous Post: When does this all end - Update

The US 10 year yield is at 2.34%

And compared to utility dividend stocks ...

American Water Works (Dow Jones Utility: AWK) dividend @ 1.87%
NI Source (Dow Jones Utility: NI) dividend @ 2.58%
American Electric Power (Dow Jones Utility: AEP) dividend @ 3.25%

The question is, which asset class do you trust to provide a return for 10 years? Of course your ability to judge future inflation expectations (see TIP for iShares TIPS Bond ETF) and how extende...

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Insider Scoop

10 Stocks To Watch For November 17, 2017

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related AMAT 8 Stock's Moving In Thursday's After-Hours Session 12 Stocks To Watch For November 16, 2017 ...

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ValueWalk

Robert Mugabe Under House Arrest, Military Takes Control Of Zimbabwe

By Andjela Radmilac. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Zimbabwe’s head of state, 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, has been placed under house arrest after what seems to be a military coup took place in the nation’s capital.

By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt/Released [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsRobert Mugabe is safe

Following numerous reports on social media late Thursday night about the increased military presence in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, the country’s military took...



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Members' Corner

An Interview with David Brin

Our guest David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on a range of topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He is also a well-known and influential futurist (one of four “World's Best Futurists,” according to The Urban Developer), and it is his ideas on the future, specifically the future of civilization, that I hope to learn about here.   

Ilene: David, you base many of your predictions of the future on a theory of historica...



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Mapping The Market

Puts things in perspective

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

Puts things in perspective:

The circles don't look to be to scale much!

...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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