The complete mitochondrial genome of the stomatopod crustacean Squilla mantis

first_imgBackgroundAnimal mitochondrial genomes are physically separate from the much larger nuclear genomes and have proven useful both for phylogenetic studies and for understanding genome evolution. Within the phylum Arthropoda the subphylum Crustacea includes over 50,000 named species with immense variation in body plans and habitats, yet only 23 complete mitochondrial genomes are available from this subphylum.ResultsI describe here the complete mitochondrial genome of the crustacean Squilla mantis (Crustacea: Malacostraca: Stomatopoda). This 15994-nucleotide genome, the first described from a hoplocarid, contains the standard complement of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and a non-coding AT-rich region that is found in most other metazoans. The gene order is identical to that considered ancestral for hexapods and crustaceans. The 70% AT base composition is within the range described for other arthropods. A single unusual feature of the genome is a 230 nucleotide non-coding region between a serine transfer RNA and the nad1 gene, which has no apparent function. I also compare gene order, nucleotide composition, and codon usage of the S. mantis genome and eight other malacostracan crustaceans. A translocation of the histidine transfer RNA gene is shared by three taxa in the order Decapoda, infraorder Brachyura; Callinectes sapidus, Portunus trituberculatus and Pseudocarcinus gigas. This translocation may be diagnostic for the Brachyura. For all nine taxa nucleotide composition is biased towards AT-richness, as expected for arthropods, and is within the range reported for other arthropods. Codon usage is biased, and much of this bias is probably due to the skew in nucleotide composition towards AT-richness.ConclusionThe mitochondrial genome of Squilla mantis contains one unusual feature, a 230 base pair non-coding region has so far not been described in any other malacostracan. Comparisons with other Malacostraca show that all nine genomes, like most other mitochondrial genomes, share a bias toward AT-richness and a related bias in codon usage. The nine malacostracans included in this analysis are not representative of the diversity of the class Malacostraca, and additional malacostracan sequences would surely reveal other unusual genomic features that could be useful in understanding mitochondrial evolution in this taxon.last_img read more

Yorkshire agency invests in groundbreaking VR technology

first_imgHome » News » Yorkshire agency invests in groundbreaking VR technology previous nextProptechYorkshire agency invests in groundbreaking VR technologyThe Negotiator24th March 20200160 Views Croft Residential, specialists luxury homes in Yorkshire, has launched hyper-realistic virtual property tours as an alternative to conventional viewings.Working with Cloud 9 Architectural Photography in Leeds, Croft has invested in immersive three-dimensional technology to create highly accurate scale models and virtual tours of properties, viewed on bespoke headsets. Originated by Silicon Valley’s Matterport, the 3D imaging hyper-real virtual tours enable viewers to zoom in on details such as kitchen fittings and views.Toby Cockcroft, who founded Croft Residential in 2010, said, “We’re ahead of the curve with this high-tech service for our clients here in Yorkshire, it will be immensely helpful to overseas buyers and the growing trend of Londoners relocating to York.”Cloud 9 Director Jonathan Taylor said, “We have been shooting property for 30 years and seen many developments in digital technology, but the new Matterport 3D scanner is the first bit of kit that really struck me as a great leap forward.“The house models are stored online so that all you need to view them is an internet-connected device.”Toby said, “Buying a property sight unseen happens a lot these days in the US cities, where there’s high demand and low supply. A virtual tour is unlikely to be the only viewing before someone here buys a property, but it’s definitely a game changer in terms of the accuracy and ease with which you can now view a house and decide whether to add it to your shortlist. It will be a real boon to our clients and will help us to sell their properties for them, which is what we are all about.”luxury homes in Yorkshire Cloud 9 Architectural Photography three-dimensional technology virtual tours of properties 3D imaging hyper-real virtual tours Jonathan Taylor Toby Cockcroft Croft Residential virtual property tours VR March 24, 2020Jenny van BredaWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

Lecturer – African American Studies – (ADJ000043)

first_imgThe African American Studies Program at the University of Houstoninvites applications for part-time lecturer positions in the areasof: The Black Church in America, African AmericanExperience through Theatre, and African American Journalismand Media. AAS is an interdisciplinary body of knowledge, whichincorporates research and writing in the humanities, naturalsciences, social sciences, and professions.Successful applicants will have a demonstrated commitment toimproving access to higher education, enhancing the diversity offaculty and students, as well as experience in the global workforcewith professional experience. Preferred applicants with a Ph.D. inAfrican American Studies. Candidates with a Master’s and Bachelor’sdegrees or with substantial years of professional work experiencewill be consideredThe University of Houston is an Equal Opportunity/AffirmativeAction institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons withdisabilities are encouraged to apply.Qualifications :Prefer applicants with a PhD in the African American Studiesdiscipline.Notes to Applicant: Official transcripts are required for afaculty appointment and will be requested upon selection of finalcandidate. All positions at the University of Houston are securitysensitive and will require a criminal history check.last_img read more

Covered Market extension proposed

first_img“It’s not gonna happen” said a long-serving sales assistant at Nothing, a shop selling jumpers and jewellery. “How long have they been talking about redoing the Westgate centre? Probably since before you were born! We’d be delighted if it happened, of course, but I just don’t think it will.”At Cardew’s Coffee and Tea, sales assistant Flynn Faudot-Boston also expressed doubt. “It would be great to get more customers coming through, but I can’t see the Council forking out £4 million. Where are they going to find that kind of money?” he wondered, before adding: “They probably get enough from parking tickets, actually.”Nigel Ramsay, a local resident and regular customer at the Market who was buying tea at Cardew’s, advised caution. “I fear this may be another example of the City Council’s nasty habit of putting short-term concerns over income ahead of the long-term interests of residents.” he said. “If these plans will mean more fly-by-night, here-one-day-gone-the-next clothing shops in the Market, I’d rather they weren’t implemented.” Sarah Browne, a florist at The Garden, said she feared that a major renovation, paired with rent increases, might threaten the Market’s independent spirit. “If you make the Market newer and glossier, I worry that only a glossier, more high-rent type of shop will be able to move in here. The rents are already too high as it is. I don’t want to see chains moving in.”Daniel Greenwood, a third-year biochemist at Magdalen who often shops at the Covered Market, also emphasised the importance of maintaining the Market’s atmosphere. “Oxford is very lucky to have such a unique market,” he said. “It is great to hear that the council are putting serious thoughts into its future, though it is essential that any expansion plans favour the kinds of quirky independent businesses that make the place so special.”The Council are presently seeking public comments on the proposals. A consultation page on the Council’s website will be open for input from the public until 29 November. Councillor Cook invited Oxford students specifically to give their views on the Market’s future, telling Cherwell, “any input from students would be very welcome.” The Executive Board of Oxford City Council is considering a set of proposals to substantially revamp the city’s historic Covered Market. The proposals, included in a ninety-page report compiled by consultancy firm The Retail Group, include the installation of rooftop eateries, a major renovation of the Market Street side of the Market, and a thirty-two percent expansion of retail space through the construction of first-floor shop and restaurant facilities, all at a potential cost of £4 million.The Council, which owns the Covered Market, commissioned the report in the hopes of finding ways to attract more customers to the site, where foot traffic and sales have fallen noticeably over the course of the last decade. Colin Cook, a Labour councillor in charge of City Development on the city’s Executive Board, wrote in the Oxford Mail that the Council “want[s] to make the place sustainable, vibrant and profitable into the long term, both for the traders and for the city council.”In formulating its plans, The Retail Group took inspiration from successful “destination” markets like Brixton’s Village Market. One area of opportunity they highlight is improving the Market’s prepared food and beverage offering. “If you look at other successful markets, they all have restaurants and cafés playing an anchor role,” Paul Frater, the director of the The Retail Group, told Cherwll. “The food in the Covered Market is lagging 20 years behind.”“Where you do have high-quality food that targets the student market, for example Alpha Bar, sales are very high,” Frater said, in reference to the Market’s popular salad bar. “That shows me that when it comes to food, the Market is punching under its weight.”The firm sees another opportunity in the revitalisation of the Market Street entrance of the site, which it says currently “appears to be the service and delivery area” for the Market. The consultants propose that a new façade might be built along the Market Street entrance, and that the street might be pedestrianised between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM.Reactions from the Market’s traders to the proposals have been mixed. While most said they were pleased that the Council was looking at ways to increase business, many appeared sceptical that the plans would actually be implemented.last_img read more

Oxford to confront colonial past in £20,000 project

first_imgIs Oxford doing enough to address its colonial past? Write for Cherwell and have your say – send a 150-word pitch to our comment editors.A University spokesperson told Cherwell at the time “it will take time to fully understand the reasons that underlie differences in performance between individuals.”Earlier this month, figures from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) revealed that Oxford is among the worst British universities for equal access.According to the report, Oxford accepted fewer applications from poor neighbourhoods in the 2017-18 academic year than any other mainstream institution, with just 2.8 per cent of its intake being from areas classified as the most difficult to engage in higher education.According to Surender, the proportion of British BME students (including those from China, India, Pakistan, and the Caribbean) rose to 17.9 per cent in 2017 intake.Nigel Biggar has been involved in an ongoing Twitter spat with Cambridge don Priyamvada Gopal since November 2017, after Gopal criticised Biggar’s description of the British Empire as “morally mixed”. Biggar responded in an article for The Times by calling Gopal’s tweets against his views as “incontinent abuse”.Shame on @UniofOxford for hosting a disgraceful bunch of colonialist scholars producing lousy apologetics. This is Oxbridge racism at its finest–the pretence that this supremacist crap can be up for ‘debate.’ https://t.co/yIHQipUhH5. This version of Oxford Must Fall .— Priyamvada Gopal (@PriyamvadaGopal) December 13, 2017 Other ideas include the erection of statues to campaigners like Gandhi or Martin Luther King, as well as to some of Oxford’s first students from the commonwealth such as Eric Williams, who led Trinidad and Tobago to independence.Dr Eric Williams served as the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago from 1962.Pro-vice chancellor Rebecca Surender said workshops would be held this year to “consider the opportunities and challenges and practical steps in relation to diversifying the curriculum.”The working group reportedly raised the idea of creating a new “canon” to replace the study of some “pale stale white men” with black, Asian, female, and gay figures.The University has agreed to fund the project, Surender says, because it is “exciting, innovative, and very relevant to our current goals . . . We are very happy that this is happening.“We are going as fast as we can in terms of turning the dial on issues including the number of BME (black and minority ethnic) students at the University,” Surender added.“We want to signal that we are open for business for everyone: that includes BME and British white working-class students. We want to say, ‘Please apply – we want you to feel comfortable here.’”In February, data released by Oxford revealed that only two black students were awarded first class degrees in last year’s final examinations. The figures also revealed that 37 per cent of men received first class degrees last summer compared to 29 per cent of women. Oxford is to tackle its colonial legacy amid fears that its global reputation is being damaged by criticism that it admits too few black students.The University is developing a strategy to challenge its colonial history, which will include the creation of a website setting out its contentious past, the return of treasures seized during the time of the British Empire, and the study of more black and Asian thinkers on degree courses.The project, which was launched by academics and students following the Rhodes Must Fall protests that called for the toppling of Oriel College’s statue of Victorian imperialist Cecil Rhodes, has been awarded £20,000 by the University in order to “kick-start” its action, The Sunday Times reported.It is understood that vice chancellor Louise Richardson has been involved in the discussions.Vice chancellor, Louise Richardson, has been involved in discussionsProminent diversity campaigner and broadcaster, June Sarpong, is set to launch the website as the project’s first stage later this year to show that Oxford is “dealing with problems linked to racism, classism, and colonialism.”Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Philosophy, has been invited to join the working group, despite being criticised by other dons last year after launching a five-year study to celebrate “what is good in empire as well as what is bad.”The University could not confirm The Sunday Times’s claim that members of the working group, chaired by Kalypso Nicolaidis, director of the Centre of International Studies, and Laura van Broekhoven, director of the Pitt Rivers Museum, have discussed the possibility of creating a replica of the Cecil Rhodes statue and inviting students to write graffiti, “including swear words”, across it.center_img “Shame on @UniofOxford for hosting a disgraceful bunch of colonialist scholars producing lousy apologetics. This is Oxbridge racism at its finest – the pretence that this supremacist crap can be up for ‘debate’. This version of Oxford Must Fall,” Gopal tweeted in December.Gopal, who is a Reader in Anglophone and Related Literature at Churchill College, Cambridge and a well-known critic of racism, sexism, and academic eurocentrism, was subject to a virulent Daily Mail smear campaign last week, in which journalist Guy Adams criticised her for writing “posts laced with bile” and deeming her a “prolific internet troll”.I’m horrified that Prof Nigel Biggar was involved in the Daily Mail’s disgraceful hitpiece on @PriyamvadaGopal today. If he genuinely cares about academic free speech, he must denounce this attempt to harass & intimidate a fellow academic, even if he disagrees with her.— Alex von Tunzelmann (@alexvtunzelmann) April 12, 2018Nicolaidis, chair of the group, has said that Oxford should reexamine its history of slavery in the same way that many American institutions have.“Oxford too needs to revisit its history. This is about engagement with the student agenda on the relationship between history and the present,” she said.“I want to see the University I love signal to all students from around the world this is the place they will feel at home.”Van Broekhoven, Pitts Rivers Museum director, said: “We need to discuss the problems with colonisation – that millions of people were enslaved and exploited to build up wealth in the UK. That was a contentious history we should never forget.”last_img read more

Macarons, by Cecile Cannone

first_imgUlysses Press (available from 6 January or as an e-book version from 14 December)When it comes to ’the next big thing’, macarons have been the pretender to the cupcake throne in the confectionery fashionista stakes for some years now. While they’ve yet to tap into the universal appeal of the latter, the slow burn of the macaron trend yes, the French spelling is taking over, best get used to it is still evident. Earlier this year, Pierre Hermé opened his first UK store in London, selling what have been described as the world’s best; he joins the likes of Ladurée, Yauatcha and Paul as the capital’s foremost macaron peddlers.So if you’re interested in offering these dainty treats, which also double as a sweet choice for gluten-free shoppers, this book from Cecile Cannone of the MacarOn Café in New York, is a good entry point.She stresses the importance of humidity and temperature, ensuring you’re using dry ground almonds and not baking too many macarons in the oven at one time, as this raises the oven’s humidity and risks shell cracking. Another tip is to add powdered egg whites to the batter, whenever you’re working in a humidity level above 60%. She adds it’s important never to over-mix the batter, as this can result in stains on the product.As far as flavours go, chocolate ganache is the best-seller in Cannone’s café. She offers variations from white chocolate to chocolate orange and chocolate ginger. There is also a variety of buttercream options, including apple-cinnamon, rose, espresso and lemon. Or you could simply use jams as a filling.For those wanting to move on from cupcake wedding cakes, how about a macaron wedding cake, she suggests? And with cake pops in vogue, why not try macaron lollipops?last_img read more

Convicted child molester in trouble for allegedly sending profane letters to court

first_img Facebook Previous articleSeveral animals die in a Berrien County barn fireNext articleCenter 615 to become boat manufacturing plant Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. Convicted child molester in trouble for allegedly sending profane letters to court (Photo supplied/Elkhart County Jail) An Elkhart man who received a 50-year sentence for child molesting is accused of sending written threats to court.Randoll Johnson Jr., 47, was sentenced in 2018 after pleading guilty to molesting a young girl. Now, he’s accused of intimidation of a court official.According to court documents, Johnson Court wrote a letter threatening to beat up the judge and prosecutor and to kill a guard if he were brought into court again.It’s not the first time he’s written letters.The Elkhart Truth reports Johnson has repeatedly sent letters described as profane, rambling or incoherent repeatedly during his time in the system. Twitter Facebook Pinterest Pinterest Google+ IndianaLocalNews Twitter By Jon Zimney – March 7, 2021 1 288 Google+ WhatsApp WhatsApplast_img read more

News story: Home Office awards over £100 million to police transformation projects

first_img Transforming Forensics: this will improve how biometric services and digital forensics are used, including the development of a 24/7, faster, fingerprint identification service. The Digital Policing Portfolio: this aims to improve police’s use of technology, including by creating a single online hub. The hub allows members of the public to report low-level incidents – such as minor road collisions – online rather than having an officer manually record the information at their local station, providing a better service to the public and improving efficiency for the force. The National Enabling Programme: this will deliver a unified IT system across policing and deliver more joined-up working within and between forces. In Cumbria, for example, cloud-based note-taking technology allows officers preparing to question suspects in custody to view real-time information from victim interviews being conducted by other officers elsewhere, improving the response offered to those affected by crime. Criminals don’t stand still, and neither should our police forces. We’re determined to support police leaders in creating a modern, agile and responsive police service. The Police Transformation Fund is delivering real change in policing, and this new funding will continue to help forces improve efficiency and tackle threats like serious and organised crime. The government is investing more than £100 million of the Police Transformation Fund (PTF) in projects designed to prepare police forces to adapt to the challenges of the future.The Home Secretary has approved up to £70 million for investment in 2018/19 in four national major police-led programmes covering forces in England and Wales and to manage the portfolio of projects to ensure maximum benefits are shared among forces.The programmes will transform how police use technology, make it easier for the public to engage with police online, and boost capacity to deal with major threats.Altogether this will help support the police in preventing and combating existing serious crime and being better equipped to deal with new types of crime.The Home Office also announces today (Wednesday 1 August) 15 successful bids to the fund, totalling £42.7 million across 2018/19 and 2019/20.Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd said:center_img The four police-led national programmes, which are already underway, include: Specialist Capabilities Programme: this will improve force-to-force resource sharing in key crime areas like roads policing and armed policing. In cyber-crime, for example, the programme seeks to ensure forces can tackle digitally-dependent crime, with oversight provided through regional organised crime units (ROCUs). The national programmes are expected to deliver cash savings, as well as improving efficiency by, for example, freeing up officers for frontline policing roles. Funding will be released in stages to the programmes subject to progress in delivery to provide ongoing assurance of this major investment.The fund was launched in May 2016 and aims to help police respond to changing crime and shape policing for the future.In phase 1 (2016/17 to 2017/18), 98 projects benefited from £223 million of funding. For phase 2 (2018/19 to 2019/20), investment will focus on the national programmes and meeting the demands of serious and organised crime.Read the full list of successful bidslast_img read more

Arsenal agree deal to sign Brazil forward Gabriel Martinelli from Ituano

first_imgMartinelli has scored six goals for Ituano in 2019 (Metro Grab)UOL also report that Martinelli’s agents also offered him to Arsenal’s Premier League rivals but no club came forward with a proposal.AdvertisementAdvertisementItuano also attempted to put up a fight to keep a portion of Martinelli’s economic rights but Arsenal refused.Martinelli, who made his professional debut last year and is capable of playing on either flank, scored six goals for Ituano in the Campeonato Paulista earlier this year.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errors Gabriel Martinelli is reportedly heading to Arsenal this summer (Instagram/Ituano)Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Ituano forward Gabriel Martinelli, according to reports in Brazil.The Gunners have been keeping tabs on the 17-year-old’s progress and scouts have been providing detailed reports for several months.Martinelli had a trial with Manchester United in 2017, while he has also been linked with a move to Barcelona.But according to UOL, Arsenal have now reached an agreement to sign Martinelli and the forward will make the move to the Gunners once he turns 18 in June.ADVERTISEMENTSeveral Brazilian teams were also in the running including Flamengo, Cruzeiro and Santos, but Martinelli opted to make the move to the Premier League after extensive talks. Comment Arsenal agree deal to sign Brazil forward Gabriel Martinelli from Ituano Advertisement Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 23 Apr 2019 12:30 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link952Shareslast_img read more

Netherlands roundup: Fresh guidelines for SDG investments [updated]

first_imgThe Dutch financial sector, government and supervisors have welcomed new guidelines for measuring the impact of investment in the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) set out by the United Nations.The guidelines – drawn up through a joint effort of the financial sector – have been endorsed by the Platform for Sustainable Financing, established by regulator De Nederlandsche Bank last year.The sector organisations represented in the forum – including the Pensions Federation, the Association of Insurers (VvV) and the Dutch Fund and Asset Management Association – are now to discuss the recommendations with their members.A significant amount of funding is needed in order to achieve the SDGs by 2030, but currently it is difficult to establish the exact impact of investments. The guidelines provide a limited number of indicators for measuring impacts. Investments are expected to be scaled up ultimately from millions to billions of euros. The platform’s working group that produced the suggestions will flesh out the guidelines.APG and PGGM have already plotted investment routes to the UN’s sustainable development goals. Last year, the two asset managers – which cater for the €389bn civil service scheme ABP and the €187bn healthcare pension fund PFZW, respectively – as well as asset managers MN and Kempen Capital Management, announced that they wanted to contribute to the UN’s SDGs.PFZW said it wanted to have invested €20bn in projects linked to the SDGs by 2020, while ABP said its aim was to have a €58bn stake in this category of investment by then.Pension assets now 181% of GDPFinance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that combined assets of Dutch pension funds had risen from 90% to 181% of the Netherlands’ GDP between 1997 and 2016.In the same period, liabilities increased from 77% to 178%, he said. Dijsselbloem was answering MPs’ questions about the country’s annual budget.Dijsselbloem added that, during the past 20 years, total liabilities had exceeded assets four times, in 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2011.The difference was largest between 2007 and 2008, when a €200.6bn (40.8%) funding surplus transformed into a €38.6bn (6%) funding gap, the minister said.His overview also showed that the discount rate for liabilities – based on interest rates with a 20-year duration – had dropped from 5% at the end of 2007 to 1.2% at 2016-end.The minister reiterated his view that raising interest rates was a bad idea.Next week the Dutch parliament is to debate a bill to increase the discount rate as long as the European Central Bank continues its policy of monetary easing. The bill was tabled by Martin van Rooijen, MP for the party for the elderly, 50Plus. Deutsche Bank scheme considers futureThe board of the €390m Dutch pension fund of Deutsche Bank has said it plans to consult its 800 active participants, as well as its sponsor, works council (OR) and accountability body (VO), about the future of the scheme.The company pension fund is facing a decreasing number of participants and increasingly stringent and expensive regulation. Last year, its costs for pensions provision had risen to €660 per participant.Although the board said the scheme’s current situation was not worrying, it underlined the importance of an early assessment of its future for the mid-term, also taking the expected reform of the pension system into account.At August-end, funding of the pension fund stood at 118.2%. The Deutsche Bank scheme is a collective defined contribution arrangement.TenCate to transfer to sector schemeThe €415m company scheme TenCate is to transfer its pensions to sector scheme Mitt at the end of the year.The scheme said the employer would made an additional contribution of €10m to ease the transition to Mitt, the €2.7bn industry-wide pension fund for the fashion, interior design, carpet and textile industries, where its 800 active participants will accrue new pension rights.Last year, TenCate’s board concluded that continuing independently was not an option for the longer term, following the textile firm’s plans to increase the independence of its businesses.As a consequence, the pension fund would have had to deal with more employers, each of which could decide to place their pension arrangements elsewhere.The board also cited rising costs for implementing different pension plans combined with a dropping number of participants and increasing difficulties finding new board members.At August-end, funding of Mitt and TenCate stood at 99.5% and 98.9% respectively, a difference that could be bridged by the sponsor’s additional contribution.Mitt’s cost of pensions administration of €96 per participant was less than one-third that of the TenCate scheme. Asset management costs at both pension funds were roughly the same.last_img read more