Daily Archives: October 6, 2014

Scientific Discoveries this Week – 10/07/92

Geneticists at Trinity College in Dublin have made a breakthrough in finding out why duplicate genes remain in the genome. Gene duplication involves the creation of sister genes, or duplicated genes, that can allow organisms to tolerate possibly deadly mutations. Researchers tested this robustness on yeast cells, showing that the gene duplication helped the cells survive in stressful conditions. They found that genes, thought to be duplicated over 100 million years ago, were still able to respond to different environments as they changed. Gene duplication was previously thought be redundant, but is now seen to be essential in the survival of entire species.

Headlines from Around the World: 10/07/14

The first Ebola virus case has now spread to the USA. Currently, the Ebola patient, Thomas Duncan, is in full isolation in a hospital in Dallas. His family members are kept out of school and monitored for symptoms. Duncan got the Ebola virus when he went to Liberia and helped an Ebola virus patient to a hospital. He went back home to Dallas, where he carried the virus. Ebola spreads only through contact with bodily fluids, like blood. It is not contagious when there are no symptoms, and Duncan apparently had no fever when he got on the plane. He would have been contagious in Dallas, though, raising the possibility of the first case not just spotted but contracted in the United States. The World Health Organization now estimates that the virus has killed about 70 percent of people infected in West Africa. Also, in Liberia, an American cameraman working for NBC News has tested positive for Ebola and will be flown back to US for treatment.

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Life of Pi

Based on the famous book by Yann Martel, “Life of Pi” is just a regular story about a boy whose family zoo boat sinks, resulting in him being stuck on a lifeboat with a tiger. Oh, and his name is the same as everyone’s favorite irrational number. Maybe that is not so regular.

Scott Strong—Teaching Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies for AMS (Applied Math and Statistics)

Scott Strong is not your typical college mathematics professor. He bounds into class with more energy than all 30 students combined, uses the room as a coordinate system to model quadric surfaces, and always manages to evoke many more questions than calculus can possibly answer. Professor Strong is the epitome of an engaging lecturer, challenging each and every student who steps into his room to consider the real world application of a subject often considered too abstract.

Entering a Rumor: Chapter 5: Shattering Steel

“Roland sir, it seems that the traitor has allies.” The commander frowned, his eyes scanning the small clearing. The remains of a fire pit was still warm to touch, banked not an hour ago. The soft ground had given way to footsteps, how many he couldn’t tell. “Orders?”

“Get our best trackers on the trail. Itel is a risk to our clan. He knows far too many secrets and if the Liaru Clan finds out…..” Roland growled, his hands tightening on the reins of his horse. “The results will be disastrous.”

“You think the Loners have a hand in this, sir?” The soldier questioned quietly, his face pale as thought of the possible consequences. “You think Itel fell that far? The Loners consist of nothing but deserters and traitors!”

“No other clan would come out this far.” Roland snapped as one of his other unit members gestured in a direction. “Let’s end that traitor!

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Wild

The Pacific Crest Trail (aka the PCT) stretches approximately 2,650 miles from the Mexican to the Canadian border. It travels through various terrains, including the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Range. At age 26, Cheryl Strayed hiked from the Mojave Desert to the Bridge of the Gods alone, traveling around one thousand miles. “Wild” tells the extraordinary story of her journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. Although she hiked the trail in 1995, “Wild” was published in 2012, and since then her book has been quite the success, becoming a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

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