How ‘Empire’ start Jussie Smollett relentlessly defended his story against a gathering storm of skepticism

first_imgABC News(NEW YORK) — One of the most confounding high-profile criminal investigations in recent memory finally found its mark on Thursday, when Chicago police investigators charged Empire star Jesse Smollett with a felony charge for filing a false statement.The beloved, gay black actor said that he was beaten, battered with racial and homophobic epithets and left lying on an icy Chicago sidewalk in the middle of the night, covered in a powdery substance and with a noose-like rope around his neck.It was such a vicious attack that to some it seemed unthinkable.The weeks-long investigation into the incident –- an alarming account that sizzled with a spectrum of hot button issues ranging from race, sexuality and politics to crime and celebrity — riveted and distressed a deeply-divided nation.From nearly the start, when news of the incident first surfaced, an amorphous suspicion of Smollett’s story took hold on social media and elsewhere, but over time skepticism bled into disbelief for some, while Smollett’s fans and friends doubled-down again and again on their support for him. As days passed without a resolution to the investigation, the actor’s account of the alleged attack was picked apart, questioned, defended and debated.Through statements and his attorneys, Smollett has consistently denied staging the attack.Yet throughout, Smollett was relentless in his defense of his account and the fact of the attack.Two days after the alleged assault, Smollett’s family issued a statement calling it a hate crime and insisting that the actor’s story is consistent.“We want to be clear, this was a racial and homophobic hate crime,” the family wrote in the statement to ABC News. “Jussie has told the police everything from the very beginning. His story has never changed, and we are hopeful they will find these men and bring them to justice.”The next day, Smollett issued his own statement, again reiterating that “I am working with authorities and have been 100% factual and consistent on every level.” [email protected] is one of the kindest, most gentle human beings I know. I’m praying for his quick recovery. This was an attempted modern day lynching. No one should have to fear for their life because of their sexuality or color of their skin. We must confront this hate.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 29, 2019The following day, Feb. 2, Smollett gave his first performance since the alleged attack at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, California. “Regardless of what anyone else says, I will only stand for love,” Smollett said. He became emotional and began tearing up before beginning his set. “We hope that you all stand with us.”Shortly after the attack was reported in the media, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) released a statement praising the openly-gay actor for always “using “his voice and talent to create a better world.”“Our hearts are with Jussie Smollett as he recovers from a hate-motivated and repugnant attack in Chicago. Jussie has always used his voice and talent to create a better world, and it is disgusting that anyone, especially someone who has done such good for so many, would be targeted by undeniable hatred,” the statement read in part.Two weeks later, with a widening skepticism about — and virulent defenses of — his story surging through social media, Smollett sat down for an exclusive interview with Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts, during which he addressed public suspicion about a number of details in his account to police. There is no such thing as “racially charged.”This attack was not “possibly” homophobic. It was a racist and homophobic attack.If you don’t like what is happening to our country, then work to change it. It is no one’s job to water down or sugar-coat the rise of hate crimes. https://t.co/QAi0IYtSeR— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 30, 2019Why did he initially decline to turn over his cell phone to police, who were interested in corroborating his contention that he was on his cell phone with his music manager when the attack unfolded?“They wanted me to give my phone to the tech for three to four hours. I’m sorry but — I’m not gonna do that,” the singer said. “Because I have private pictures and videos and numbers: my partner’s number, my family’s number, my castmate’s number, my friends’ numbers, my private emails, my private songs, my private voice memos.”But the day earlier, apparently unbeknownst to Smollett, Chicago police investigators had been quietly tracking the two “persons of interest” learned that these two men were returning to Chicago on Feb. 13 from Nigeria and moved in. The pair were detained at the airport, placed under arrest and taken in for questioning.Those two individuals had been captured on a grainy surveillance video image near the scene and around the time of the alleged attack. The two men turned out to be brothers, with a connections to Smollett, who were ultimately released without charges, despite Smollett insisting in an exclusive interview with ABC News that he was certain those two men were his assailants.“I don’t have any doubt in my mind that that’s them,” Smollett said. “Never did.”It turns out that, if police are to be believed, it may have been the most truthful statement Smollett made all month.By Feb. 16, news began to leak out that brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo had agreed to cooperate with authorities after detectives confronted them with evidence that they bought the rope — allegedly used in an attack that Smollett described to police as laced with racial and homophobic slurs — at a local hardware store, sources said.In response, Smollett hit back again at the suggestion that the incident was a hoax, and expressed disbelief that the brothers could have been involved.“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” began a statement from Smollett attorneys Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson. “He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack. Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”“One of these purported suspects was Jussie’s personal trainer who he hired to ready him physically for a music video,” the statement continued. “It is impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity.”As news surfaced of Smollett’s potential culpability in staging the attack, civil rights leaders including New York’s Rev. Al Sharpton adjusted their views of the whole affair.“I, among many others when hearing of the report, said that the reports were horrific and that we should come with all that we can come with in law enforcement to find out what happened and the guilty should suffer the maximum,” Sharpton said Sunday night show on MSNBC.“I still maintain that,” he continued. “And if it is that Smollett and these gentlemen did in some way perpetuate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the maximum.”With Smollett officially charged with a felony for allegedly concocting a hoax, local law enforcement officials were anything but jubilant.“That was a pretty hateful allegation, and it really put a terrible look on Chicago,” Guglielmi told ABC Chicago station WLS in a telephone interview Thursday morning. “Chicago trusted this young man. We loved Empire, and we took this very seriously that something this hateful could happen in our city.”On Thursday, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson blasted Smollett in an emotional press conference in which he said that Smollett’s alleged staging of a hoax attack was a “publicity stunt…to promote his career.”“Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Johnson said. “Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? … How can an individual who’s been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in the city in the face with these false claims?”Johnson charged that Smollett, an actor on the hit show Empire who has consistently denied any role in staging the alleged attack, orchestrated it because he was “dissatisfied with his salary.”In a new statement on Thursday, officials from 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment said that “[w]e understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options.” Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Salisbury: Springtime for Solstice

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Cricket News Apne hi ghar mein kya inaugurate karna: ‘Humble’ Dhoni declines to inaugurate pavilion named after him

first_imgNew Delhi : Mahendra Singh Dhoni is quintessentially a modest man and no wonder he has politely declined to inaugurate the pavilion named after him at the JSCA Stadium, ahead of India’s third ODI against Australia. Just like the Sunil Gavaskar stand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai or the Virender Sehwag gate at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, the swanky Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) stadium will have its very own ‘Mahendra Singh Dhoni Pavilion’.“At the AGM last year, the decision was taken that the North Block stand that comprises media enclosure, as well as VIP boxes, would be named after Dhoni,” Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) secretary Debashis Chakraborty told PTI on Wednesday.However, Dhoni didn’t agree to inaugurate the stand, said Chakraborty. “We requested him but he said ‘Dada apne hi ghar mein kya inaugurate karna.’ (What’s there to inaugurate in my own house). He is still so humble and down to earth,” Chakraborty said.The third ODI against Australia on Friday is expected to be Dhoni’s last game in his home town but the JSCA top official said they do not have any special plans in place. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

PI into Babita Sarjou’s murder continues

first_imgThe Preliminary Inquiry (PI) into the murder of Babita Sarjou, who had gone missing for some six years, continued on Friday at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.Murdered: Babita SarjouEx-husband Sharnandand Naraine called “Anand”Sharnandand Naraine, called ‘Anand’, the ex-husband of Sarjou; and Dorel Pronton, called ‘Yankee’ of Lot 54 Broad Street, Charlestown, Georgetown, both appeared before the Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan.The court heard the testimonies of Corporal Lowe, Corporal Elexie, Superintendent McCurious and Deputy Superintendent Alli, who were all present on the day of the discovery.Attorney Peter Hugh is representing Naraine, while Pronton is being represented by Attorney Nigel Hughes.The offence brought against them alleged that on November 4, 2010, they conspired to murder Babita Sarjou.The Preliminary Inquiry is set to continue on August 4, 2016.After being missing for six years, Police were able to crack the case after they received information about the death of Sarjou.On May 22, 2016 Crime Chief Wendell Blunhum, accompanied by a posse, swooped on the home of Naraine atMurder suspect Dorel Pronton, called “Yankee”Lot 51 Seaforth Street, Campbellville, Georgetown, where they dug up a site in the yard and the woman’s remains were found.Sarjou went missing on November 4, 2010, after she allegedly received a called from Naraine who stated that he would accompany her to a Diwali Motorcade.Reportedly, on that night, Sarjou got into Naraine’s vehicle where she was strangled by Pronton who was in the back seat.Her lifeless body was transported to the home of Naraine where it was buried in the shallow grave.last_img read more

Bicycle Fun Ride set for May 19 in valley

first_imgEveryone is invited to participate in the 11th annual Bicycle Fun Ride on May 19, sponsored by the Antelope Valley Trails Recreation and Environmental Committee of the Antelope Valley Conservancy. The 24-mile ride begins at 8:30 a.m.; a longer ride is scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. Meet at the Leona Valley Community Center, 8367 Lake Elizabeth Road. Great courses take riders through beautiful countryside. For flier and registration form, visit the Events tab of our Web site, at www.avconservancy.org, or phone us at (661) 943-9000. The Antelope Valley Conservancy posted this story April 11 on the Antelope Valley hub on valleynews.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

ATHLETICS: EAMON HARVEY’S TIR CHONAILL AC REPORT

first_imgTir Chonaill AC NotesKarl Griffin qualifies for European Junior/Under 20 – C/ships· Karl Griffin, last night, in his first race of the outdoor season, ran 1min50.71secs/800m in an International meet at the opening of the new Mary Peters Track. This is a second ‘B’ qualification time for the European Juniors and will find the Donegal Town man joining the Irish team in Reiti, Italy from 14th to 19th July. Karl, who holds the National Youth U18 National record -1.49.63 will race next Saturday in Manheim, Germany. All in Tir Chonaill AC and the local community are delighted with this achievement.Congrts and well done Karl  · Congrats also to the following club athletes on fine performances in last Friday nights superbly organised Aghayarn 5k – Donal Haughey, back in action again following a recent injury ran 21mins 13secs to win the M55 category, Jackie Harvey, 23mins 7secs 3rd W50 category,Vera Haughey,23mins 30secs and Denis Slevin,23mins 26secs · Congrats and well done to Noel Thomas on an outstanding performance in the 52 miles Mourne Way Ultra Marathon. The demanding race, held on the 8th June found Noel finishing 17th out of 67 finishers in a time of 10hours 46secs  · Best wishes to Paddy Donoghue who headed this morning for his annual summer sojourn in France. No doubt Paddy has left lots of work to be completed by his Ballyshannnon/Bundoran training group over the coming weeks · The clubs annual athletics summer camp for 5 to 14year olds-commencing next Monday morning – has had a most encouraging number of applications. Thursday is closing date/day and late applications should be left in Cara or All Sports Donegal Town.Enquiries to Jackie at 086 4052823 · A quick and speedy return to full health to club Treasurer Marie Rooney. The clubs ‘money woman’ was involved in a small accident last week and is making a good recovery. · Good luck to all club athletes competing in the Donegal Road Grand Prix series in Termon and Manorcunningham and in the Enniskillen 10k on Saturday. Also to our numerous Track and Field athletes competing in the Tailteann Games/Inter Pro on Saturday and in the National Juniors on Sunday in Tullamore.To Karl Griffin who competes in Manheim on Saturday –best ishes ATHLETICS: EAMON HARVEY’S TIR CHONAILL AC REPORT was last modified: June 26th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ATHLETICS: EAMON HARVEY’S TIR CHONAILL AC REPORTlast_img read more

Two-day road closure in North Inishowen

first_imgA temporary road closure has been announced for the R238 in Culdaff today and tomorrow.Donegal County Council is carrying out essential repairs works on Moss Road at Culdaff and McShefferty’s Bridge.As a result, the road is closed today Wednesday, 13th and Thursday 14th November from 8am to 5pm. Local diversions are in place and motorists are advised to leave extra time for their journeys.Two-day road closure in North Inishowen was last modified: November 13th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Blind Cave Fish: Can Darwinism Be Credited for“Regressive Evolution”?

first_imgIt is a worldwide phenomenon that cave creatures go blind.  Some cave fish lose their eyes entirely; in others, the eyes shrivel and lose function.  In many cave fish, scale pigmentation also changes.  Are these gradual modifications due to natural selection, Darwin’s mechanism of evolution, or to genetic drift?  Darwin himself could not see any positive value in functionless eyes.  He attributed the blindness to disuse – a Lamarckian idea.  Maybe his mechanism was the better explanation after all.    Some American biologists investigated whether the changes in cave fish were due to natural selection or random genetic drift.  Their publication in the upcoming issue (Feb. 20) of Current Biology1 was summarized by Science Daily.  Basically, they concluded that the pigmentation changes are due to genetic drift, because sometimes the pigments grew lighter and sometimes they got darker.  But since the eyes always atrophied, they ascribed the blindness to natural selection – “regressive evolution” as they called it.  Evolution selects for blindness because of the high energetic cost of maintaining eyes.  Their explanation of this cost brings out some amazing facts about animal eyes in general:Is it possible that Darwin’s premise was simply incorrect?  Are eyes in a cave disadvantageous, and if so, why?  In essence, the argument against selection is that the cost of making an eye is trivial compared to the cost of its replacement tissue in the socket or that the developmental cost is paid by cave fish anyway because the eyes start developing and only degenerate after many cell cycles of tissue growth and replacement.  However, modern physiology and molecular biology suggest that these arguments might address the wrong costs.  The vertebrate retina is one of the most energetically expensive tissues, with a metabolism surpassing even that of the brain.  Underscoring this high metabolic demand is the observation that one manifestation of genetic defects decreasing the efficiency of mitochondria is blindness (e.g., Leber’s hereditary optical neuropathy).  Thus, maintenance of eyes might pose a significant burden in the cave environment.  Increasing this burden, the vertebrate retina uses more energy in the dark than in the light because the membranes of the photoreceptor disks must be maintained in the hyperpolarized state until they are depolarized in response to light.  Oxygen consumption by the vertebrate retina is approximately 50% greater in the dark than in the light.  Adding further to the retina’s cost is its structural maintenance.  Ten percent of the photoreceptor outer disks in vertebrates are shed and renewed each day, and the structure may be completely replaced over 35 times yearly.So in a sense, they exonerated Darwin’s famous mechanism for its ability to explain the phenomenon.  But in another sense, by underscoring the high cost of maintaining eyes with all their parts, they re-opened the question of how such a complex visual system could have evolved in the first place – by a blind process.1Protas, Conrad, Gross, Tabin and Borowsky, “Regressive Evolution in the Mexican Cave Tetra, Astyanax mexicanus,” Current Biology, online preprint for the Feb. 20, 2007 issue.The Bible describes a storm at sea endured by Luke and Paul (Acts 27).  When the sailors realized the trouble they were in, they knew what to do: lighten the ship.  Over the sides went the cargo and the tackle – of little use with a higher priority (survival) in mind.  In an Old Testament story of a storm at sea (Jonah 1), the wish to survive drove another crew to toss overboard another piece of costly but cumbersome baggage: Jonah.  In neither of these cases could it be claimed that survival of the fittest was helping the ships evolve into speedboats.    According to Darwinian theory, selection can be progressive and regressive.  Populations can climb up a fitness peak, and slide down a fitness peak.  Natural selection can add new organs and shed useless organs.  But think; if the world’s living things are always undergoing neutral genetic drift and regressive evolution, Charlie’s little myth will never produce endless forms most beautiful.  Everything will go extinct!  Assuming that “regressive evolution” awards Charlie another medal, therefore, gives him only fool’s gold.  This is not the way to explain the living world.    What have we learned?  Natural selection is real.  It is downward!  This is the sense in which Edward Blyth (10/10/2002) and even William Paley (12/18/2003) understood it (before Darwin plagiarized their ideas and turned them upside down).  Natural selection is a conservative process.  It either maintains what exists or gets rid of it.  It cannot generate new organs and new genetic information.  As Hugo deVries quipped, survival of the fittest does not explain the arrival of the fittest.  Removal of the fitless is all this case has demonstrated.  Natural selection gets rid of things that inhibit survival in a storm and tosses them overboard.  That is not evolution in the sense most people have been taught.  Have these scientists, or Darwin, actually demonstrated that random mutations could build an eye or any other complex organ from scratch?  Only in their dream-world of imagination (01/17/2007).    More importantly, these scientists have reminded us how precious and costly the organs of sense are to their possessors.  Romeo may say Juliet’s eyes are like pearls, but they are much more valuable.  They are the lamps of the body.  It takes elaborate, costly power plants and extensive maintenance crews to keep them running.  The crews must be paid daily in hamburgers, french fries and chocolate.  (OK, soy, garlic, and broccoli for some.)    Darwin may be able to explain how eyes break down, but not where the blueprints and programs for eyes came from.  To fail to see the sense of this is to enter Plato’s cave, where lingering too long diminishes all sense into shadows.  The Darwin Party headquarters is located down there, past the twilight zone.  Temptresses at the entrance lure passers by (students) with promises that greater enlightenment lies below (01/12/2007).  Victims are usually afraid of the dark at first, but become seduced with the promise that the decreasing daylight will be replaced by a better, inner light of imagination (01/17/2007).    Thus the blind lead the blind into their niche with their bait and switch sales pitch.  Inductees (12/11/2006) are taught the ritual: offer the Charlie Buddha, the idol of the cave (07/10/2006 footnote), his daily incense and all will go well (07/18/2006, 08/07/2003 commentary).  Once acclimated and accepted by the clan, novitiates find the light of imagination to be bright, beautiful, and liberating, filled with wondrous possibilities (12/21/2005, 12/05/2006).  Visions of complex creatures emerging from the void play across the screen of the mind’s eye (12/10/2006, 11/11/2006).  Simultaneously, the skin grows extremely sensitive.  Any suggestion that a true light can be found above ground produces a violent reaction (01/11/2007, 10/27/2006).    Beware, travelers; while you are able, come to the light.  Then learn to walk in the light.  Caves are interesting places to visit, but never enter without a reliable flashlight and spare batteries.  Read these pages for details.(Visited 51 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Some ‘Junk DNA’ May Act as Computer Memory *

first_imgAdditionally,  Alus harbor about 25% of the CpG dinucleotides in the human genome which are methylatable, and hence can provide 25% of the DNA methylatable RAM for chromatin computation in the cell. If one doubts the existence of chromatin computation in the cell, one might do well to check this paper in PLoS One.So not only do Alus provide RAM/EPROM in the human RNA transcriptome, they provide RAM in the DNA genome/chromatin computers in the form of CpG dinucleotides.   The computer-like sophistication of Alu processing boggles the mind. It’s likely a pure coincidence, but it’s a amusing to compare Alu in biology with ALU in the computer world where ALU in the computer world is an acronym for Arithmetic Logic Unit.Salvador Cordova has appeared on National TV, radio shows, newspapers, books and magazines for his work in promoting Intelligent Design and Creation Science. He is a former scientist and engineer in the aerospace and defense industry and presently serves as a professor and researcher in the area of Christian apologetics at small Bible College. He has four science degrees and is working on a PhD. For his previous entries on CEH, see his Author Profile.(Visited 1,022 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Ayala’s Antiquated Alu Argument Refuted by Rupe’s Rebuttal in book Contested Bonesby Sal CordovaAudio Playerhttps://crev.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/CEH-30-1-18-SC.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Chris Rupe co-authored the book Contested Bones with John Sanford to tell about the inadequate evidence for human evolution. The book is almost entirely about bones and the fossil record, but there are 3 pages in that book that refute claims by evolutionary biologists that the human genome is badly designed because of repetitive DNA elements known as Alus.Some 10-11% of the human genome is composed of repeats of a specific 300-base pattern called an Alu. Evolutionists claim this is bad design. Their reasoning goes something like this: ‘You only need one copy of a phone book in a house, maybe a few at most, certainly not millions of copies. Therefore the 1 million copies of Alus in the human genome is worthless junk. It doesn’t even code for something. Therefore Alus are bad design. Since it’s bad design, there is no reason to believe there is an Intelligent Designer.”But I knew there was likely a skunk in this evolutionary reasoning. I can usually smell it miles away. For example, if you looked at this server farm and saw all the repeated copies of computers and memory, would you conclude it was bad design?Server Farm. Source: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/10/17/article-2219188-158CE597000005DC-42_964x507.jpgIt turns out the Alu DNA, like identical copies of computers in a server farm, can have their memory re-programmed on several levels. When Alus are transcribed, they have editable sites that act somewhat like RAM (random access memory) or EPROM (erasable programmable memory). Rupe’s book quotes two papers in support of this idea. The first describes the Adenosine-to-Inosine, or A-to-I, editing that goes on in Alus:Binary use of A or I in millions of sites in the neural cell transcriptome can be considered equivalent to the 0’s and 1’s used for information storage and processing by computers. It is tempting to speculate that the more abundant RNA editing found in the human brain may contribute to the more advanced human capabilities such as memory, learning, and cognition. This suggestion is consistent with the hypothesis that the advantage of complex organisms lies in the development of a digital programming system based on noncoding RNA signaling. The combinatorial posttranscriptional RNA editing of noncoding sequences may therefore contribute to higher brain functions.The second paper says:[T]here are over 100 million human Alu RNA editing sites [in each cell], located in the majority of human genes.I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation, and if each brain cell has a hundred million such Alu binary bits, and if each brain has 100 billion cells, then that about 1019 bits of memory! That is staggering, and that is consistent with the claim that the human brain has more connections than all the routers on the World Wide Web!Rupe and Sanford try to argue we aren’t evolved monkeys. In contrast, Ayala, who is bent on making monkeys out of everyone, said in 2010 when he criticized Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell:There are also lots and lots of DNA sequences that are nonsensical. For example, there are about one million virtually identical Alu sequences that are each three-hundred letters (nucleotides) long and are spread throughout the human genome. Think about it: there are in the human genome about twenty-five thousand genes, but one million interspersed Alu sequences; forty times more Alu sequences than genes. It is as if the editor of Signature of the Cell would have inserted between every two pages of Meyer’s book, forty additional pages, each containing the same three hundred letters. Likely, Meyer would not think of his editor as being “intelligent.” Would a function ever be found for these one million nearly identical Alu sequences? It seems most unlikely.Well, it seems Ayala (writing for Biologos) didn’t make a monkey out of everyone after all, but at least he succeeded in making a monkey of himself.PS: After Rupe’s book came out, I encountered this 2017 paper in the journal Cell that says the following:Primate-specific Alus constitute 11% of the human genome, with >1 million copies, and their genomic distribution is biased toward gene-rich regions.The functions of Alus are highly associated with their sequence and structural features.Alus can regulate gene expression by serving as cis elements.Pol-III-transcribed free Alus mainly affect Pol II transcription and mRNA translation in trans.Embedded Alus within Pol-II-transcribed mRNAs can impact their host gene expression through the regulation of alternative splicing, and RNA stability and translation.Nearly half of annotated Alus are located in introns; RNA pairing formed by orientation-opposite Alus across introns promotes circRNA biogenesis.Alu elements belong to the primate-specific SINE family of retrotransposons and constitute almost 11% of the human genome. Alus are transcribed by RNA polymerase (Pol) III and are inserted back into the genome with the help of autonomous LINE retroelements. Since Alu elements are preferentially located near to or within gene-rich regions, they can affect gene expression by distinct mechanisms of action at both DNA and RNA levels. In this review we focus on recent advances of how Alu elements are pervasively involved in gene regulation. We discuss the impacts of Alu DNA sequences that are in close proximity to genes, Pol-III-transcribed free Alu RNAs, and Pol-II-transcribed Alu RNAs that are embedded within coding or noncoding RNA transcripts. The recent elucidation of Alu functions reveals previously underestimated roles of these selfish or junk DNA sequences in the human genome.last_img read more

G20 leaders divided over Syria

first_img6 September 2013World leaders gathered at a G20 summit in St Petersburg, Russia remained divided over Syria after holding a working dinner to discuss the issue on Thursday night, according to the latest reports.Aljazeera.com reported on Friday that the leaders had “failed to settle their differences over the US push for military action against Syria” following an alleged chemical attack on civilians by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.The Syria issue is proving to be a problem for G20 leaders – the discussion they really wanted at this week’s summit was on the US plan to wind down its programme to stimulate the world economy.But Barack Obama seems preoccupied with Syria. The US president has reportedly managed to win the support of key allies for his plans to launch a “limited” strike on Syria. On Tuesday, Democrat and Republican leaders in Congress announced that that the US should respond to Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons.Russia has led the opposition to military action against the Syrian regime, backed by China, both of whom have cautioned against any military action without the sanction of the UN Security Council.Chinese vice finance minister Zhu Guangyao, speaking earlier on Thursday, warned the world’s most industrialised nations of the risks of military intervention, saying it would have a negative impact on the global economy, especially on the oil price.South Africa has taken the same stance, urging global leaders to rather allow the UN to intervene in Syria.Russian President Vladimir Putin, opening the G20 meeting, said that a global economic recovery was not yet assured and there were still risks of sliding back into crisis. “Our main task is returning the global economy towards steady and balanced growth,” he said.SAinfo reporter and SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more