Gene mutation produces autism-like traits in mice

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

By causing the mutation of one specific gene, researchers have produced mice with two frequently encountered behavioral traits of persons diagnosed with autism. Autism commonly affects the ability to interact socially and is associated with repetitive behavior. The finding was reported in the March 20 online edition of Nature.

Using mice, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Duke University mutated one of the genes associated with autism, known as shank3, a gene that controls the production of the shank3 protein present in the brain. Mice that were given this mutation exhibited repetitive behavior and avoided social interactions with the mice around them.

According to MIT Professor Guoping Feng: “Our study demonstrated that Shank3 mutation in mice lead to defects in neuron-neuron communications.”

Shank3 protein are found in synapses within the brain. Synapses allow brain cells (called neurons) to communicate with each other. The mutation in the mouse gene interfered with this communication, apparently producing the subsequent autism-like traits. Researchers believe their work demonstrates the important role of shank3 in the functioning of brain circuits that determine behavior.

While hundreds of genes have been linked to autism in human patients, only a small percentage have been linked to shank3. Professor Feng hypothesizes that disruptions of other genes that act on the production of brain proteins affecting synaptic communication may also be related to autistic behavior. If this disruption is real, Feng claims that treatments could be developed to correct synaptic function for any defective synaptic protein in an autistic patient.

Feng continued; “These findings and the mouse model now allow us to figure out the precise neural circuit defects responsible for these abnormal behaviours, which could lead to novel strategies and targets for developing treatment.”

About one in 110 children in the U.S., and at least one in 100 in UK, have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, for which there is currently no effective cure.

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Bremer Freimarkt, oldest fair in Germany, reaches its climax

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Bremer Freimarkt (Free Fair) — historically one of the oldest fairs in Germany — has its greatest event with the Free Fair Procession “Freimarktsumzug”; this year’s Freimarktsumzug took place Saturday.

The procession started Saturday morning on the opposite side of the river Weser in the “Neustadt” and passed the city hall about one hour later. 146 colorfully decorated groups were taking part, some of them dancing to their own music, and were watched by about 200.000 people in the streets during more than four hours of the whole performance. The event could also be viewed on television and on livestream on the web.

The Free Fair opened on the place behind the main station of the city of Bremen a week ago. The origin of this popular event can be traced back to the year 1035. Nowadays it has been called the “biggest Fairground Festival in northern Germany”.

For a few years, an historical spectacle involving actors of the theatre group Shakespeare Company has been part of the opening performance of the fair. With a replica of an old cog an ambassador enters the banks of the river Weser close to the city and walks with his companions to the market place in front of the city hall of Bremen where the Kleiner Freimarkt (Small Free Fair) is opened. Members of the Chimney Sweep Guild hang up a big heart at the statue of Roland as a sign of the opened market. The traditional opening takes place in the Bavarian tent on the Bürgerweide behind the main station of Bremen with the tapping of the first keg by the incumbent Senator of the Interior of the Free Hansetown of Bremen. This is followed by the dance with Miss Free Market on the stage. Late at night, also fireworks are lighted over the place Bürgerweide and can be admired by people. The exclamation Ischa Freimaak (It’s Free Fair) is meant to spread a relaxed and unreserved atmosphere among the guests.

The fair is a major source of revenue for showmen, carousels and food stalls, some of which arrived nearly two weeks before the opening from all over Germany. This year the Freimarkt is to last until Sunday November 4. The subsequent disassembly, especially the technically complex rides, should then take about ten days.

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2012 Kentucky Derby Future Odds May Be The Bet Of A Lifetime

2012 Kentucky Derby Future Odds – May Be the Bet of a Lifetime

Wynn Las Vegas has updated its 2012 Kentucky Derby future odds and, probably not surprisingly, Union Rags is the 10-to-1 favorite. He is followed by Hansen at 18-to-1 and Creative Cause at 20-to-1.

Below is a look at the top contenders, according to Wynn Las Vegas.

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Union Rags (Open 60-to-1; Current: 10-to-1)–Suffered a tough head loss when 2nd to Hansen in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The son of Dixie Union won his previous three starts, including the Grade 1 Champagne. He is slated to make his 3-year-old debut in the Feb. 26 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park, according to trainer Mike Matz.

Hansen (Open: 250-to-1; Current: 18-to-1)–Capped a perfect 3-for-3 campaign with a win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The son of Tapit won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile on polytrack at Turfway Park prior to the Breeders’ Cup. Hansen is proven over the Churchill Downs strip and distance doesn’t figure to be an issue with this one. Speculation is he will make his 3-year-old debut in the one-mile Holy Bull Stakes Jan. 29 at Gulfstream Park for trainer Michael Maker.

Creative Cause (Open: 125-to-1; Current: 20-to-1)–The son of Giant’s Causeway hit the board in all five starts as a juvenile, including wins in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes at Grade 1 Norfolk. He was beaten just a length in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in his final start as a 2-year-old. Trainer Michael Harrington is pointing Creative Cause to the Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita on Feb. 19.

Gemologist (Open: 150-to-1; Current: 25-to-1)–Completed a perfect 3-for-3 juvenile campaign with an impressive win at churchill Downs while making his stakes debut in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Nov. 26. Trainer Todd Pletcher has yet to commit to a next race for the son of Tiznow, but the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park appears to be on the radar.

Secret Circle (Open: 150-to-1; Current: 35-1)–Unbeaten in three starts, Secret Circle followed up his Maiden win with victories in the Jack Goodman Stakes at Santa Anita and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint at Churchill Downs. He has yet to go a route of ground, but the son of Eddington’s pedigree suggests distance shouldn’t be a problem. Secret Circle is likely to prep for the Derby at trainer Bob Baffert’s Southern California base.

El Padrino (Open: 250-to-1; Current: 35-to-1)–The son of Pulpit has garnered some early buzz following his 3rd-place finish in the Grade 2 Remsen while making his stakes debut at Aqueduct Nov. 26. He has just a Maiden win to his credit, but El Padrino hails from the powerful Todd Pletcher barn and appears one to watch.

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Obama signs $787 billion stimulus package

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

United States President Barack Obama has signed a US$787 billion stimulus package, entitled the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, into law on Tuesday at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in Denver, Colorado. He called the bill “the most sweeping recovery package in our history” at a signing ceremony.

“I don’t want to pretend that today marks the end of our economic problems, nor does it constitute all of what we’re going to have to do to turn our economy around,” Obama said at the ceremony, “but today does mark the beginning of the end — the beginning of what we need to do to create jobs for Americans scrambling in the wake of layoffs.

“The beginning of what we need to do to provide relief from families worried they won’t be able to pay next month’s bills. The beginning of the first steps to set our economy on a firmer foundation, paving the way to long-term growth and prosperity.”

Less than a month into his presidency, the president is about to sign into law what is, I believe, a landmark achievement

Vice President Joe Biden praised the president on his work getting the bill passed. “Less than a month into his presidency, the president is about to sign into law what is, I believe, a landmark achievement,” he said. “Because of what he did America can take a first very strong step leading us out of this very difficult road to recovery we find ourselves with. So, on behalf of our country and its people, Mr President, let me presume to say: thank you, we owe you a great deal.”

According to Obama, the package is intended to save or create up to three and a half million jobs, and increase rebuilding infrastructure and consumer spending. 34% of the package is devoted to tax cuts equalling $286 billion, and a further $120 billion will be used to fund infrastructure projects, such as road-building and transportation. 64% of the package will be allocated for money for social programs and spending.

Do you think that the stimulus package will help the economy?
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Most Republican lawmakers opposed the bill when it was voted upon in the Senate and the House last week. The House passed the bill without any Republican support, and only three Republicans voted for it in the Senate.

The flawed bill the President will sign today is a missed opportunity

“Our nation is in recession, and responsible action is required to help our economy protect and create jobs, this isn’t it,” said John Boehner, the House Republican minority leader. “The flawed bill the President will sign today is a missed opportunity, one for which our children and grandchildren will pay a hefty price.”

Republican National Committee chairman Michael S. Steele said he was disappointed by what he thought was the president’s lack of a bipartisan approach in passing the bill: “In these difficult economic times, it is imperative that Republicans and Democrats work together to create new jobs and grow the economy. Instead, Congressional Democrats worked behind closed doors to write legislation that will fall short of creating the promised new jobs, but will guarantee a larger debt burden on our children and grandchildren.”

US stock markets were lower today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 3.29% or 258.62 points at the end of the day to a level of 7,591.79.

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Fort Lee, Virginia adopts RAPIDGate for fast civilian access

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The U.S. Army installation at Fort Lee in Virginia will begin using a program called RAPIDGate that will replace passes issued to non-military persons who regularly require access to the facility. The program will take effect July 10, when the practice of issuing 90-day passes to people who present a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance for the vehicle used for access ends. Those passes will be grandfathered out as they expire.

The RAPIDGate program for fast entry into Fort Lee replaces what was once access privileges performed by the installation itself, which came free of cost. The new outsourced program administered by Portland, Oregon-based Eid Passport, Inc. enhances security to the installation by performing background checks. Their service comes at a price. The screening process makes a ten-year felony background check, performs a check against terrorist and sexual offender watch lists, and does a social security cross reference to validate a person’s identity.

Qualified applicants are issued a pass that enables them to bypass inspection pits and use any of the facility’s seven gates for access. Businesses whose employees would benefit by this are required to contact the program provider and have “point of contact” persons who can validate an applicant’s employment. Enrollment in the program costs the business US$199. A pass for each employee of the business costs $159 annually. The pass for employees expires after a year, when a new background check is required by the program.

The program is a voluntary alternative for civilians to conform with new access policies mandated by the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army, according to an information pamphlet distributed by the base. A kiosk will be set up at Fort Lee to accept applications that process a photograph, social security number, and fingerprint.

Those without a RAPIDGate pass will need to enter the fort at locations where their vehicle can be inspected. A rigorous inspection involves armed guards asking the driver to place keys on the dash board, pop the hood and the trunk, open the glove box, and have all occupants exit the vehicle and open all doors, including the hood and trunk. While the vehicle is inspected inside, another guard uses a mirror attached to a wand to inspect under the chassis of the vehicle’s undercarriage.

Eid Passport, Inc. specializes in identity authentication and background screening. Fort Lee will be the 12th military installation out of an estimated 250 military installations on U.S soil to implement identity screening as part of new policies mandated by the Department of Defense (DoD).

“The pass contains no personal information,” said David Smith, the director of marketing for Eid Passport. It does contain a barcode which is scanned at entry. The RAPIDGate program database includes a biometric fingerprint that might be checked by the scanning device against the presenter of the pass in times of elevated security. The pass is also embedded with an active RFID transmitter. The pass is scanned on entry to the fort at the gate check point, but not upon exit. If the RFID transmitter works properly, movement into and out of the base will be recorded.

The Fort Lee pamphlet mentions a “a new mandate” by the DoD. That mention appears to be in reference to portion of the language found in an Instruction issued in October last year by the DoD that states, “Implement a verification process, whether through background checks or other similar processes, that enables the U.S. Government to attest to the trustworthiness of DoD contractors and sub-contractors.”

The Instruction stems from a Directive signed by President Bush in August of 2004. That Directive, from the Department of Homeland Security, says in part, “Wide variations in the quality and security of forms of identification used to gain access to secure Federal and other facilities where there is potential for terrorist attacks need to be eliminated.”

Fort Lewis in Washington state was the first U.S. military installation to adopt the RAPIDGate program as a test in 2004. Since then, Fort Sam Houston, Fort Carson, and Fort Bragg, among other installations have adopted the program.

“What happened at Fort Dix, [New Jersey], as we look at it, is a Fort Dix issue,” Laura Arenschield reported spokesman for the 18th Airborne, Tom McCollum, as saying in June. “That should not be taken as an invitation for someone to try it here at Fort Bragg, but (security) is a living, breathing entity. You have to constantly change it just to keep those who are trying to penetrate it on their toes.” The new security measures will go into effect at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which is among the largest of domestic military bases, starting July 8.

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Low Cholesterol Diet Tips Use Diet And Excercise To Lower Your Cholesterol

Submitted by: Barneyoq Morse

Cholesterol levels creep higher up as you age and with changing nutrition habits. It is necessary to get routine screening to check your current blood cholesterol levels to check with regard to heart problems and health and fitness issues. To keep your cholesterol under control you’re expected to stick to a low cholesterol diet program that can assist you lower your ldl cholesterol consumption assisting one to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The present guide highlights the necessity of picking and following a prepared low fat low cholesterol diet plan in an effort to decrease the cholesterol levels within your body and as well provide a healthy physique.

The primary principle of the low cholesterol diet plan is always to eliminate the use of cooking oil. Reduce cooking oil as well as begin shifting to steaming certain foods that will help lessen cholesterol levels as well as at the same exact time supplies your body the essential nutrients in the essential amounts to produce energy needed to carry out your everyday activities. Incorporate salads as well as fruits and veggies within your regular breakfast so that you do not increase cholesterol along with body fat in your body. Increase of excess fat content will likewise lead to rise in cholesterol along with other health-related difficulties.

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The next phase to be able to decrease cholesterol is to include dietary fiber abundant food in your meals. Dietary fiber presence in your body cuts down on the formation of additional cholesterol apart from the essential amount within your body. You’ll be able to make a diet chart composed of facts about the proteins along with vitamins and minerals each vegetable provides. After that you can schedule appropriately in order to maintain your required levels of food intake. In most cases approximately 2000 — 2500 calories are needed to be able to supply the necessary energy. Apart from sustaining a well-planned healthy eating plan, you’re also required to perform physical exercises which will help you maintain your metabolic rate.

In addition to this you may also watch out for various recipes that will help in lowering ldl cholesterol content in your body. The primary point about this specific activity is definitely the approach you’ll prepare your meal. These kind of recipes provide you the chance to cook meals in a manner that they can assist the user in avoiding cooking oil and lower trans-fatty content. Encompass oats with your morning meal along with fruit juice. Whole grain products particularly brown rice and whole wheat can typically be incorporated as part of your food preparation. Another essential ingredient – Salt, should be cut down such that it doesn’t provide water retention in the body. To prevent these sort of scenarios you’re recommended to consume roughly 12 to 14 glasses of water daily.

Drinking water can also help you maintain health and well being because it gives command of your desire for food through stopping excessive food consumption. All the workouts completed ought to include a balance between strength and fitness. Following these precautions in addition to carrying out a well-maintained diet chart issued to produce you the essential results of reduced blood cholesterol levels in the body. It’s time that you collect information and facts about the nutrients within the veggies and fruit in order to create the required low cholesterol diet plan.

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CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Jo-Anne Boulding in Parry Sound—Muskoka

Friday, October 10, 2008

In Wikinews’ attempt to speak with as many candidates as possible during the 2008 Canadian federal election, Wikinews has talked via email with Jo-Anne Boulding. Jo-Anne is a candidate in Ontario’s Parry Sound—Muskoka riding, running under the New Democratic Party (NDP) banner.

The riding’s Conservative incumbent is Tony Clement, Minister of Health and Minister for FedNor. Other candidates in the riding are Liberal Jamie McGarvey, Green Glen Hodgson, and independent David Rowland.

The following is an interview with Ms. Boulding, conducted via email, over a week ago.

She did not respond to two of the main questions: “Previous to this campaign, have you been politically involved? How will you apply your previous work/volunteer/life experience to serving your constituents?” and “What would you say are the three hottest topics this election, in your riding? What would you and your party do to address these issues?” Being unanswered, these questions were edited out of the interview, which otherwise is published as received.

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Fire erupts in parking structure at Sola Airport, Norway

Friday, January 10, 2020

At about 15:30 local time (1430 UTC) on Tuesday a fire was reported in the “Kiss & Fly” section of a parking structure at Stavanger Airport, Sola in Norway. The structure has over 3000 parking spaces; reports said more than half of those were filled. The airport was quickly closed to air traffic.

It was initially reported the fire started in an electric vehicle, but news broadcaster NRK later reported the fire started in a recalled 2005 Opel Zafira. The car was recalled after a similar fire in Cork, Ireland in August last year, causing damage to about 60 cars. Police said they questioned the car’s owner.

The fire produced heavy smoke, and local officials said there was danger the building might collapse. Nils-Erik Haagenrud of Rogaland Fire and Rescue said late on Tuesday no personnel would be sent into the building. Rogaland Fire and Rescue requested support and equipment from other fire departments. The airport and nearby hotel were both evacuated and local police warned people in the general vicinity to stay inside and close exterior vents and windows. Through Tuesday evening the fire was reduced and the order for a fire extinguisher robot from Oslo Fire and Rescue was canceled.

The airport closure also led to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg being stranded after a visit to the Johan Sverdrup oil field. Solberg posted on Twitter asking for places to eat for the seven hour drive from Stavanger to the capital of Oslo.

Reports as of Wednesday said an estimated two to three hundred vehicles had been damaged or destroyed, but no humans had been hurt.

By about 22:00 local time (2100 UTC) on Tuesday the flames were under control. Local firefighters planned to continue to monitor the situation and work to prevent further damage. It was also discovered the structure was built without sprinklers. Stavanger Airport, Sola was to open on Wednesday morning, but returning to normal service was expected to take longer. Affected travelers were advised to contact their airlines for rebooking.

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Wikinews interviews Steve Burke, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

Sunday, December 13, 2015

This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

Macomb, New York Councilman Steve Burke took some time to speak with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Burke, an insurance adjuster and farmer, was elected councilman in Brookhaven, New York in 1979. He left the town after being accused and found not guilty of bribery in the 1980s. Since 1987 he has served as Macomb councilman off-and-on and currently holds the post. From 1993 to 1996 and 1999 to 2002 he worked as chairman of the Democratic Party of St. Lawrence County, New York. Among his many political campaigns, Burke unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1992 and recently attempted to run for U.S. Congress in 2014 but too many of his ballot petition signatures were found invalid. Burke filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in the 2016 election on September 18, 2015 and has qualified for the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Primary.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn?, Burke discusses his political background, his 2016 presidential campaign, and his policy proposals.

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Does The 500 Calorie Diet The Right Low Calorie Diet For You?

By Xylene Belita

You are desperate to lose weight. In fact, you are willing to try any crash diets you can get your hands on. You have heard of the 500 calorie diet and want to try it yourself.

Losing your extra weight is always on your mind. You have tried some slimming pills, but still you cannot seem to lose your extra pounds off and keep it off. So, the 500 calorie diet is one diet you want to start now.

The 500 calorie diet is the lowest calorie diet you can have, but it is still very popular among people who wants to lose weight real quickly. The 500 calorie diet is an extreme form of dieting, it takes a lot of risks. So be really careful before you go into it. You must visit your doctor first and get approval before jumping into this kind of crash diet.

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Low calorie diet means that you are not allowed to eat more than 1200 calories per day. You can lose weight quickly with low calorie diets. But it can be dangerous to your health, so it is advisable to plan your 500 calorie diet with a professional dietician or nutritionist before you start. Is the 500 calorie diet right for you or not?

The 500 calories per day diet may be right for some people, but it really depends on the following factors: gender, activity level, height, body type and overall health and well being.

A very low calorie diet may do you more harm than good. If you are craving more calories, this will in turn affect your metabolism. Where will your body get the energy it needs? It may actually get energy from your muscle mass, since there are no food reserves available. When this happens, it can be highly detrimental to your health, because the proper way to lose fat is to gain muscle mass, not take it away.

On the other hand, overweight people who will try to consume only 500 calories a day will almost likely be starving themselves. Since the body is more used to taking in more than 2000 calories per day or more, then the sudden drop of calorie intake will signal your body into starvation mode. In this way, the body’s metabolism will slow down to conserve energy.

But if you are able to go on with the 500 calorie diet, your body will get used to taking in fewer calories. That means if you will go back to your old habits eating more than 2000 calories per day, you will have a sudden gain in weight, which is even more weight than if you did not go on a low calorie diet in the first place.

Men and women have different ideal calorie intake. An average woman may need only 1200 to 1300 calories per day, while an average man may need from 1500 to 1600 calories per day. Remember that it is very important to consult your doctor before starting any diet, especially if it involves extreme numbers. You can specifically determine your ideal daily calorie intake by using a bmr/amr calculator. You will find how many calories you need to take daily to be healthy. From this calorie level, take 500 calories away, and this will be your ideal number of calories to take in daily for you to lose weight.

About the Author: Yes, a 500 calorie diet can be dangerous. Determine what your body really needs, so you can

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