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Botulinum Toxin Deactivated by One Slight Change

first_imgA researcher at Brookhaven National Laboratory mutated a botulinum enzyme by just one amino acid, and abolished its toxicity.  The mutation, a change from a glutamate to a glutamine at one position, increased the distance from a zinc atom to a water molecule by 0.6 angstrom, less than one tenth of a billionth of a meter.  This was enough to prevent the botulinum enzyme from cleaving its target protein, a neurotransmitter.  The modified enzyme could still bind to it, but not cleave it.This experiment points out the specificity of enzymes.  We are led to believe that evolution works by mutating things recklessly, but look how slight a change totally disarmed this enzyme.  A second observation is that toxins like botulinum might have originally had a beneficial function, but became toxic through degenerative mutations.  Though difficult to prove, it is an interesting suggestion that, just as with mentally ill humans, it doesn’t take much to turn a benign individual into a killer.  That isn’t evolution.  It’s a breakdown in quality control.  Another possibility is that botulinum’s function, cleaving a neurotransmitter, was originally beneficial.  As reported before, many deadly poisons actually follow a “hormesis” curve and only become harmful above certain levels (see 02/12/2003 headline).  Botox is now all the rage.  In minute amounts, it is proving versatile for everything from beauty treatments to tumor reduction; see for instance this report on EurekAlert about University of Pittsburgh scientists using to ease symptoms of enlarged prostate.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


Billions for water infrastructure projects

first_img20 May 2011South Africa plans to spend over R14.2-billion over the next three years on dams and water distributions systems to ensure the country maintains a sustainable water supply, says Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.The spending forms part of the government’s three-year, R846-billion infrastructure upgrade plan.Addressing members of Parliament in Cape Town this week, Molews said her department had spent R5.9-billion of the R29.2-billion budgeted for several projects, ranging from water services projects to mega infrastructure projects.“The spending focus over the medium term will be on bulk raw water resource infrastructure to meet sustainable demand for South Africa,” Molewa said, pointing out that the details are outlined in Vote 38 in the National Treasury’s Estimates of National Expenditure for 2011.Included in the R14.2-billion, the department would also spend R1.4-billion on small infrastructure projects, over R6.4-billion on regional bulk infrastructure and R730-million on water services projects.Mega-infrastructure projectsThe projects include R16-billion for the Olifants River Water Resource Development Project in Limpopo – which includes over R3-billion to be spent on the De Hoop Dam and a further R13.1-billion on distribution systems.So far over R2.5-billion has been spent on the project – the bulk (over R2.1-billion) on revamping the De Hoop Dam. A further R2.8-billion will be spent on the project over the next three years.The other mega-infrastructure projects the department is rolling out include:A R2.2-billion upgrade of Clanwilliam Dam (with R380-million to be spent over the next three years).The R2-billion Greater Letaba River Project which includes the Tzaneen and Nwamitwa dams (R386-million over the next three years).Phase one of the Mokolo and Crocodile River Augmentation Project (R603-million over the next three years).The R1.7-bn Nandoni Water Treatment Works and Distribution project (R753-million over the next three years).The Nandoni Pipeline project (R720-million over the next three years).Source: BuaNewslast_img read more


Generika-Ayala routs Cignal for PSL All-Filipino bronze

first_imgGilas experience gives Abu Tratter edge in PBA Draft Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue “And I told the management that we can’t keep changing the roster because we have to retain this core since the players already had the chemistry.”Meneses added that the team has a legitimate chance at the title in “two years” and the bronze medal in this conference was just part of their title chase in the future.Patty Orendain finished with 16 points for the Lifesavers to lead all scorers while Angeli Araneta and Ceballos had 13 and 10 points, respectively.Royse Tubino led the HD Spikers with 15 points while Rachel Ann Daquis had 10.ADVERTISEMENT Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Generika-Ayala subdued Cignal in straight sets, 25-12, 30-28, 25-13, to claim the bronze medal in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.This is the best finish of the Lifesavers in four years or since they won the title in the 2014 All-Filipino Conference when they joined forces with Philippine Army.ADVERTISEMENT The Lifesavers held a slim 12-10 lead in the third but was able to quickly gain momentum going on an 8-2 run to take a 20-12 lead.Fiola Ceballos then, scored on back-to-back aces to finish off the HD Spikers.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefGenerika-Ayala head coach Sherwin Meneses said his team has slowly turned itself around and gradually built a chemistry that could help them compete for the championship in the near future.“The first conference was okay because we had an import but the players didn’t know each other very well,” said Meneses in Filipino. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviñocenter_img MOST READ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion View comments SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more


Pochettino warns fullstrength Spurs can challenge for league title

first_imgTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino suggests that his side may be able to maintain their unexpected Premier League title till the end once at full-strength.Despite the absences of star duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli for over a month and a lack of signings across the past two transfer windows, Spurs have stayed in the mix with Manchester City and Liverpool for the league title this season.The Lilywhites have won four games in a row now following last week’s impressive 3-0 Champions League triumph over Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund.But Pochettino thinks there may still be something left in the tank from his squad once his injured players have returned.“I am so happy and feel so proud of my squad,” Pochettino told Sky Sports. “From the beginning of the season no one believed we could repeat last season.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“[But] we are where we are because we deserve to be there. We’ve competed very well in the last few months, got the results we wanted and kept a very good position in the table while being involved in the Champions League.“With all the things [that have been] against us we were fighting, and we are going to fight in the future to be in a very good position and try to win.“But, of course, the moment we have the whole squad available we are going to be stronger than before.“We will see, if we are able to arrive in the last few months in a good position, that is the moment to push and to achieve the things that we want.”Spurs will take a trip to Turf Moor on Saturday to take on Burnley in their next Premier League match.Victory this weekend will enable Pochettino’s men to close up to two points within City, who will be facing Chelsea in the Carabao Cup instead, in third-place.LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 30: (EDITOR’S NOTE: Digital filters have been used) The corner flag is pictured prior to the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Watford FC at Wembley Stadium on January 30, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)last_img read more