Canada suspends military aid to Iraqis Kurds amid outbreak of hostilities

first_imgOTTAWA – Canadian soldiers in Iraq have been ordered to temporarily suspend all operations with Iraqi and Kurdish forces following a series of battles between the two groups.The surprise move comes amid accusations Canada and its allies have failed the country over the past three years by ignoring its many political, religious and economic divisions while fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.Canadian special forces have provided training, advice and assistance to both the Iraqi military and Kurdish peshmerga for the last three years as part of the fight against Islamic State militants.But the one-time allies have been fighting each other for more than a week after the Kurds held a controversial independence referendum and Baghdad responded by seizing control of contested territory.Military officials said Friday that the Canadian Forces will continue to support the U.S.-led coalition fighting against ISIL through the provision of medical aid, intelligence and transportation.Canada has about 50 medical personnel and a tactical helicopter detachment in northern Iraq, as well as several dozen intelligence experts, a surveillance aircraft, a transport plane and an air-to-air refueller in Kuwait.But the approximately 200 Canadian special forces in Iraq have been told to sit tight and not provide any training or assistance to Iraqi or Kurdish forces until relations between the two sides improve.“Given the fluidity of the current situation, Canada’s Special Operations Task Force has temporarily suspended the provision of assistance to various elements of Iraqi security forces,” spokesman Col. Jay Janzen said.“Once more clarity exists regarding the interrelationships of Iraqi security forces and the key priorities and tasks going forward, the task force will resume activities.“In the interim, they will continue to monitor the situation and plan for the next potential phases of operational activity.”The entire mission is slated to run until 2019.While Friday’s decision to suspend operations with Kurdish and Iraqi forces was unexpected, the fact the two sides have come to blows has long been predicted.In fact, a senior representative for Iraq’s Kurdish government accused Canada and its allies this week of failing to address the many long-standing divisions that led to ISIL’s birth — and which are threatening to erupt again.While many fear a war between Baghdad and the Kurds, there are also concerns about the slow rate of reconstruction in many Sunni-dominated areas liberated from ISIL and Iran’s growing influence in Baghdad.Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the Kurds’ top diplomat in Washington, said it’s past time the international community end its fixation on ISIL and begin to address Iraq’s many underlying problems.“‘We are laser-focused on (ISIL).’ That has been the mantra of the past few years,” Abdul Rahman told The Canadian Press during a visit to Ottawa this week.“But to continue to say we’re laser-focused on (ISIL) is missing the obvious truth of what is happening in Iraq.”That focus was on full display on Oct. 16, when Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan responded to the first outbreak of fighting between Iraqi and Kurdish forces by urging all sides to concentrate on finishing the fight against ISIL.The Liberal government has also refused to comment on Iran’s role in Iraq, including its support for Shiite militia groups that the Kurds and others say are responsible for many of the attacks on the peshmerga.Abdul Rahman urged Canada to speak up loudly and clearly and to use the many tools she says are at its disposal to try to mediate some type of peace between the Kurds and Baghdad, including at the UN.“There are so many things that Canada can do,” she said, “We are appealing to Canada to play that role.”— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.last_img read more

Continue reading

Court filings say multiple offers for Toys R Us Canadian stores

first_imgU.S. court filings show that debtors for Toys “R” Us have received multiple non-binding offers for the Canadian division of the troubled retailer.The bankruptcy documents say debtors had reached out to more than 20 interested parties in a bid to sell off the 82 stores in Canada as the toy retailer looks to wind down operations.The debtors say a number of parties signed non-disclosure agreements and received access to an electronic data room for the potential bids, and that they are actively negotiating with some of them.The filings say debtors are looking to combined up to 200 of the best-performing U.S. stores with the Canadian sell-off, as first mentioned by Toys “R” Us CEO David Brandon last week, and have initiated conversations about the combined sale.MGA Entertainment, the California company behind Bratz dolls and other toys, confirmed last week that its CEO Isaac Larian and affiliated investors was a bidder for the Toys “R” Us Canada operations.Toys “R” Us has said it’s closing or selling its 740 stores as well as its international operations, with filings showing the company has received “several” non-binding offers for all or parts of the European business and has asked for offers for the Asian-Pacific business by early April.last_img read more

Continue reading

Cavoukian Waterfront Toronto not resisting smart city data demand

first_imgTORONTO – Former Ontario privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian said Waterfront Toronto has recently “expressed no resistance” to her demand for companies working with the organization and Alphabet Inc.-backed Sidewalk Labs on their Toronto smart city to commit to de-identifying data as it is obtained.Cavoukian has long been pushing for the measure and last month, went so far as to resign from her consultancy role with the Quayside project when she felt her advice on the policy wasn’t being heeded.Cavoukian told The Canadian Press she believed a Monday meeting she had with a “senior” Waterfront Toronto representative “to be a commitment” to the organization implementing the policy.“I believe they will follow through…They seem very sincere and genuine. There was no animosity,” she said.“I asked for something like a press release or an announcement, so the public can be relieved that their privacy will not be in jeopardy when this smart city starts unfolding.”Waterfront Toronto spokesman Andrew Tumilty said that Cavoukian had met with Kristina Verner, the organization’s vice-president of innovation, sustainability and prosperity.“We are currently exploring the methods available to ensure de-identification of data at source, and we look forward to further conversations on this subject with Cavoukian,” he wrote in an email.Tumilty said any of the principles the organizations set up for the project will need to be vetted by an advisory panel and be subject to public consultations.The proposed Quayside project has raised many privacy and data concerns because it involves a slew of high-tech innovations that are expected to change how people live, work and play within the smart community and beyond.Critics have complained about issues around the project’s leadership, the lack of clarity around Waterfront Toronto and partner Sidewalk Lab’s plans and few details being shared with the public. Several members have quit or considered quitting an advisory panel Waterfront Toronto set up to help guide the project.Several of those members and critics have cited the same concerns as Cavoukian.“Because there is going to be sensors and other technology collecting information 24/7 you don’t have the opportunity to obtain consent with people because it will be happening all the time and everywhere,” Cavoukian said, explaining why forcing companies working on the project to de-identify data at source is so important to her.“From the beginning, I wanted it to be a smart city of privacy and not a smart city of surveillance.”Tumilty said that Waterfront Toronto has always been committed to protecting personal privacy and has “enormous respect” for Cavoukian and her Privacy by Design framework, which she crafted as a set of best practices for data and safety.He relayed Waterfront Toronto’s willingness to work with Cavoukian on the project, but Cavoukian says she is still considers how she exactly will be involved as a “question mark.”“I told Waterfront Toronto that I would be happy to help them with things,” she said. “Certainly I am very, very open to working with them in some capacity.”Follow @Tara_Deschamps on Twitter.last_img read more

Continue reading

Court orders Italian govt to publicize cellphone risks

first_imgROME — A consumers’ group says an Italian tribunal has ordered a public information campaign about the possible health risks of cellular and cordless phones.The Lazio region’s administrative tribunal ruled that Italy’s health, environment and education ministries must begin the campaign within six months about the phones’ proper use.Consumer advocacy group A.P.P.L.E. had argued in court that improper use causes exposure to electromagnetic fields that are particularly harmful to children.The tribunal, based in Rome, was closed on Wednesday evening. A.P.P.L.E. made available a copy of the ruling, which was published Tuesday.In 2017, a different Italian court ruled that improper, long-term use of a company-issued cellphone caused an employee’s non-cancerous brain tumour.Scientific studies in several countries have produced inconsistent findings on cellphones and brain tumors.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Continue reading

Jeff Samudosky wins Chetwynd International Chainsaw Carving Competition

first_imgCHETWYND, B.C. – The 14th Annual Chetwynd International Chainsaw Carving Competition concluded on Sunday.12 carvers came from around the world to compete for a $5,000 and the title as top carver. Jeff Samudosky, who came third in the 2016 competition, was able to out-carve the other competitors to win this year’s top prize.The full results for the competition are shown below:1st: Jeff Samudosky for his piece “Joanna” – $5,0002nd: Chad Danczyk for his piece “Focus” – $3,0003rd: Takao Hayashi for his piece “Strong Combination” – $2,000Carvers Choice: Daniel Cordell for his piece “Dependance” – $500People’s Choice: Ryan Cook for his piece “Poseidon” – $1,000last_img

Continue reading

Snowfall records shattered across the Peace Region

first_imgAnother record for September 12th at the North Peace Airport station has also already been broken, as a further roughly two centimetres fell at the airport between midnight and 5:00 a.m.No snow has previously been recorded at the airport on the 12th day of September.Castellan said however that the all-time record for the Fort St. John area on September 12th still stands, as 12.7 centimetres of snow was recorded at the Baldonnel weather station back in 1936.The snowfall also broke official records in Chetwynd and Grande Prairie on both days.The Chetwynd Airport recorded two centimetres of snow on Tuesday, which is the first time snow has been recorded at the station on September 11th. The further 3.4 centimetres that has so far fallen in Chetwynd is also a first-ever.Grande Prairie has also broken back-to-back snowfall records, and a snowfall warning in the Swan City remains in effect as of noon Wednesday. The Grande Prairie Airport weather station saw one centimetre of snow on Tuesday, and since midnight has recorded a further 10 centimetres of the white stuff.No snow had previously been recorded in Grande Prairie on either the 11th or the 12th. Records in Grande Prairie date back to 1936.As for whether records were broken at any other B.C. Peace communities, Castellan said that unfortunately, snowfall data was unavailable for both the Dawson Creek and Fort Nelson airport weather stations. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The first snowfall of the 2018/2019 fall and winter season has caused a number of records to fall across the Peace Region.Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan said that Fort St. John saw a new record snowfall for September 11th.The 6.2 centimetres of snow that fell at the North Peace Airport weather station yesterday was 3.8 centimetres more than the previous record of 2.4 centimetres that was set in 1993.last_img read more

Continue reading

Griezmann whistled as Atletico come back to draw with Levante

first_imgMadrid: Antoine Griezmann was jeered during his last game for Atletico Madrid and Rodrigo might have scored his final goal for the club as they came from behind to draw 2-2 against Levante in La Liga on Saturday. Griezmann received whistles at the City of Valencia Stadium from the visiting fans, who were also heard chanting “out, out, out” before goals from Sergio Camello and Rodrigo ensured Atletico at least ended the season with a draw. Diego Simeone has dismissed fears of a mass exodus, despite both Diego Godin and Griezmann already announcing their departures, with the likes of Rodrigo, Juanfran and Filipe Luis all expected to follow. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuIf this was to be their farewell outing for Atletico, it was an underwhelming finale as Levante, who only secured safety from relegation last weekend, claimed a deserved point. They might have been disappointed not to take all three after leading 2-0 at half-time thanks to goals from Erick Cabaco and Roger Marti before then playing against 10 men for the best part of 40 minutes after Angel Correa was sent off. But Atletico fought back, Rodrigo firing into the top corner before 18-year-old substitute Camello scored his first goal for the club, finishing at the back post. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersGriezmann was unable to add to his tally of 133 goals in 257 games across all competitions in what became a bitter end to his five successful seasons for the club. Godin was given a rousing goodbye ceremony at the Wanda Metropolitano last weekend but the timing of Griezmann’s announcement, perhaps deliberately, meant he avoided a last meeting with the Atleti fans. But those that made the trip to Valencia were determined to make their displeasure known and it was noticeable that Griezmann made a swift exit after the final whistle. Camello, born in Madrid and a product of Atletico’s academy, delivered a more positive message for the future and a timely reminder of Atletico’s ability to endure in recent years, despite the departures of their biggest stars. Levante took the lead through a brilliant opener from Cabaco, who flicked in with the back of his heel after a header back from Ruben Vezo. Roger doubled the advantage shortly before half-time, intercepting a loose pass from Thomas Partey before skipping over Rodrigo and firing past Antonio Adan, who was standing in for the injured Jan Oblak. Atletico’s task became more difficult when Correa was sent off for a petulant kick on Chema but Rodrigo gave them hope with a stunning strike into the top corner, before Koke’s shot fell kindly for Camello at the back post.last_img read more

Continue reading

OK Should The Cavs Start To Worry Now

By Neil Paine, Chris Herring and Kyle Wagner More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On Monday’s show (April 16, 2018), Neil, Kyle and Chris recap the first games of the NBA playoffs. They focus on the weekend’s big storylines: The Pacers trounced the Cavs in Cleveland, the Blazers had no answer for Anthony Davis, and the Sixers looked like real contenders.Here are links to what the podcast discussed this week:Keep an eye on FiveThirtyEight’s NBA predictions, updated after every game.Chris wrote about how Ben Simmons is outsmarting his defenders.

Continue reading

Winless since 08 just how bad is Eastern Michigan football

A national football powerhouse such as Ohio State expects to win every game. This is a stark difference from the aura that surrounds the Eastern Michigan program. The Eagles have lost 15 straight games. In the time since Eastern Michigan’s last victory, Barack Obama was inaugurated, LeBron James “took his talents to South Beach” and the Jersey Shore became a popular tourist site. The last time OSU lost consecutive games was in 2004, when they lost to Northwestern, Wisconsin and Iowa. That was the last season in which OSU did not play in a BCS bowl game. Safety Tyler Moeller doesn’t care that Eastern Michigan has not won since Nov. 28, 2008.      “Any team can beat us any day,” Moeller said. “Ohio University proved that in 2008. They gave us a great game. We need to play our game every week and not let go of the throttle.” Are the Eastern Michigan Eagles really as bad as they seem? The team is led by senior linebackers Neal Howey and Tim Fort, who are both in the top five in tackles in the Mid-American Conference. Second-year coach Ron English, former defensive coordinator at Michigan under Lloyd Carr, leads a team that is predominately underclassmen. “He knows us better than his players know us, having been on Lloyd’s staff for all those years, coaching the secondary there at Michigan, and he knew the challenge when he took over,” said OSU coach Jim Tressel. Five of Eastern Michigan’s 15 consecutive losses have come in games decided by a touchdown or less. The Eagles’ losing streak is currently second behind Western Kentucky’s 23-game drought. Despite the disparity in team success, the message in the OSU locker room is quite simple. “We can’t have any letdowns,” defensive end Cameron Heyward said. read more

Continue reading

Italian club bought with bitcoin

first_imgSerie C team Rimini is the first football squad in the world whose shares were bought with the cryptocurrencyItalian Serie C side Rimini is an old club with a lot of history, including being refounded three times.The newly-promoted side has made the news again, after being the first team in the world whose shares were bought with Bitcoin.The once-bankrupt club made the news on 2006 when they drew 1-1 against Juventus at Stadio Romeo Neri.Report: Juve loan out young midfielder Kastanos George Patchias – August 23, 2019 Grigoris Kastanos is the latest Juventus youth player to go out on loan.The Cypriot international midfielder arrived at Juventus at the age of 16…After that, the club has had many problems, with the board of directors just leaving the team to its fate.And now according to Football Italia, 25 percent of the club shares were bought by Heritage Sports Holding, using Bitcoin.The cryptocurrency has never been used to buy a football club before, and now the Serie C team can be on the history books again.Check out the following link: casinonutansvensklicens.comlast_img read more

Continue reading

Icy Conditions Persist On The Seward Highway

first_imgDOT: “We ask that every driver use caution, drive the posted speed and get to where you are going safely. Please watch for all non-motorized users and give them room.” DOT is paying extra close attention to MP 113, just before the Potter Creek viewpoint, of the Seward Highway for signs of melt. In an effort to reduce hazards in that area DOT is working to push traffic away from the cliff. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Department of Transportation has issued a snow and ice melt advisory for a portion of the Seward Highway. According to DOT because the traffic control devices shift the highway into a pull out area, speeds are reduced in this area.center_img As daytime temperatures rise, we get snow and ice melt throughout our transportation network, according to the advisory. DOT is currently monitoring and pushing snow further into ditches, scraping any pack ice, and thawing culverts on the stretch of the highway.last_img read more

Continue reading

Amazon updates 50 Fire 7 tablet with faster processor more storage

first_img 24 Photos 8 Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Tags Share your voice Amazon Fire 7 photos Enlarge ImageThe Fire 7. Sarah Tew/CNET We always thought Amazon’s entry-level tablet, the Fire 7 ($50, £50), was a good value, particularly when it was discounted by $10 or even $15 during flash sales. Now Amazon is updating it with a faster processor and bumping the base storage from 8GB to 16GB. The “all-new” Fire 7 is available for preorder now and will ship June 7.The other addition Amazon is highlighting is support for hands-free Alexa. That means that instead hitting a virtual button on the screen to activate Alexa, you simply say “Alexa” like you would with an Echo device — so long as you’re on Wi-Fi. The feature can be toggled off in the settings menu. It was already added to the Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10.Like other Amazon tablets, the Fire 7 gives you access to the company’s exclusive features, which include Alexa, ASAP, X-Ray, Second Screen, Amazon FreeTime, Family Library, Blue Shade, On Deck and Prime Video downloads. Prime members also have access to millions of movies, TV shows, songs, books, magazines, apps and games with free, unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content.The tablet will be available in 16GB ($50, £50) or 32GB ($70, £60) configurations.Amazon has also announced a new Fire 7 Kids Edition ($100, £100) that comes with 16GB of storage, one year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, a “kid-proof” case with a new adjustable stand and a two-year free replacement policy. Like the previous model, the new Fire 7 features a 1.3 GHz processor — but presumably it’s a new processor that indeed is faster. As soon as I get a review sample, I’ll let you know how much of a difference the new processor makes. See it at AmazonNote that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.Key Features1,024×600-pixel display10.4 oz (295 grams) 7.6×4.5×0.4 inches (192x115x9.6 mm) Quad-core 1.3GHz processor Front- and rear-facing camerasFree, unlimited cloud storage for all photos taken on Fire devices Up to 512GB of expandable storage via microSD card (up from 256GB on previous model) Dual-band Wi-Fi support Battery life: Up to 7 hours of reading, listening to music, streaming video and web browsingScreen sharing: Let an Amazon expert guide you remotely through any feature on your screen for freeAccess to exclusive Amazon features, services and media librariesNew color options: Black, Sage, Plum, and Twilight Blue Comments Tabletslast_img read more

Continue reading

Will MS Dhoni return to lead CSK next year Captain makes huge

first_imgChennai Super Kings needed 150 to clinch their fourth IPL title and when Shane Watson, who was woefully out of form the entire tournament, started humming along, they were always going to be the favourites. However, despite the meltdown in the middle-order and despite, the slightly controversial run-out of MS Dhoni, the defending champions still needed 9 runs off the final over and Rohit Sharma threw the ball to Lasith Malinga.It was a brilliant over by the veteran, Yorkers, slower balls, and keeping his calm – he gave away only seven runs as Mumbai Indians went all the way to bag their fourth IPL crown. Epic scenes followed and MS Dhoni conceded after the match that it was not perfect tournament for his side, but his bowlers kept getting the job done.’The middle order wasn’t great’ MS Dhoni leads his sideIPL Twitter”As a team we had a good season. But we need to go back and reflect on how we reached the finals. It’s not one of those years where we played really great cricket to reach here. The middle order wasn’t great, and today it was very funny as to how both teams were only passing on the trophy from one team to the other,” the skipper said after the match.Speaking on the final, Dhoni believed that both sides made a lot of mistakes and in the end, the side which made fewer mistakes walked away with the match. He also said that they need to rethink few things, but not the focus will shift to the World Cup. File photo of former CSK captain MS DhoniIANS”Both teams made a lot of mistakes, the team that made one lesser mistake won. I think the bowlers did really well for us, even today it was definitely more than a 150 wicket. They kept performing and kept getting wickets whenever needed,” he further added.With MS Dhoni, there are always whispers about his own cricketing career and whether or not, he will continue playing after the World Cup. The skipper said that hopefully, he is back next season, a statement which drew raucous applause.”We have to go to our drawing board, and there is no real time for that now. We need to go into the World Cup and after that we need to see the gaps that we can fill. Nothing against the bowlers, it’s the batsmen who need to step up. [Will he be there in the next season?] Hopefully yes,” Dhoni said.last_img read more

Continue reading

Dingoes like wolves are smarter than pet dogs

first_imgDingo The dingo is considered a “pure” prehistoric dog, which was brought to Australia tens of thousands of years ago by the Aborigines. While they have in the past been associated with humans, they have adapted to surviving “wild” in the Australian outback. The dingo lies somewhere between the wolf, its ancient ancestor, and the domestic or pet dog, and has cognitive differences between the two. There has been little research done on dingoes, even though studies would aid in the understanding of the evolution of dogs, and it was unknown whether the dingo was more “wolf-like” or “dog-like”.Researchers in South Australia have now subjected the Australian dingo (Canis dingo) to the classic “detour task,” which has been used by previous researchers to assess the abilities of wolves (Canis lupus) and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) to solve non-social, spatial problems. The detour task involves placing a treat behind a transparent or wire mesh fence. The dog can see the food but cannot get to it directly and has to find its way along the fence and through a door and then double back to get the food. Previous research has shown wolves are adept at solving the problem quickly, while domesticated dogs generally perform poorly and fail to improve significantly even after repeated trials. The wolves were also able to adapt easily when conditions were reversed, but pet dogs also generally fared poorly at this task.Until now dingoes had not been tested, so lead researcher, PhD student Mr. Bradley Smith of the School of Psychology at the University of South Australia, decided to subject 20 sanctuary-raised dingoes (Canis dingo) to the V-shaped detour task, in which a V-shaped fence is the barrier to the treat (a bowl of food) placed at the intersection point of the V, and the detour doors swung either inward or outward.The dingoes were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions previously used to test dogs and wolves. These were the inward or outward detour (with doors closed), inward detour (with doors open), and inward detour (with a human demonstrator). Each dingo was tested four times and then given a fifth trial with the conditions reversed.The results showed the dingoes completed the detour tasks successfully, and they achieved fewer errors and solved the problems more quickly (in around 20 seconds) than domestic dogs tested in previous research. Unlike domesticated dogs in previous studies, the dingoes did not look to humans for help, and only one dingo even looked at the human when solving the problem. This behavior was much more similar to findings with wolves than for pet dogs.The findings were published in the journal Animal Behaviour. All tests were carried out at the Dingo Discovery Centre in Victoria. (PhysOrg.com) — Studies in the past have shown that wolves are smarter than domesticated dogs when it comes to solving spatial problems, and now new research has shown that dingoes also solve the problems well. Citation: Dingoes, like wolves, are smarter than pet dogs (2010, June 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-06-dingoes-wolves-smarter-pet-dogs.html © 2010 PhysOrg.com More information: References: — dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.04.017 — courses.media.mit.edu/2003spri … ciallearningdogs.pdf– dx.doi.org/10.1006/anbe.2001.1866 Study challenges popular image of dingo Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Continue reading

Modeling the miniscule Highresolution design of nanoscale biomolecules

first_img The research team – Adelene Y. L. Sim in the Department of Applied Physics, and Prof. Michael Levitt and Dr. Peter Minary in the Department of Structural Biology – faced a range of challenges in devising their unique algorithm. Speaking with PhysOrg, Minary and Sim describe those challenges. “Reducing dimensionality may eliminate physically relevant paths connecting conformational basins and therefore introducing artificial energy barriers that do not present obstacles in Cartesian space,” Minary tells PhysOrg. “In the present case, the major challenge was to develop an algorithm that supports degrees of freedom representing arbitrary collective rearrangements at all-atom resolution.”Unfortunately, Minary notes, using these degrees of freedom, or DOFs, could break chain connectivity – and the corresponding conformational space is likely to be associated with extremely rough energy surface topology. “To overcome these limitations,” he adds, “less collective rearrangements need to be utilized only at a necessary extent so that rearrangements along the more collective DOFs are optimally facilitated without significantly increasing the volume of the sampled conformational space.” In short, their major challenge was implementing a universal algorithm capable of exploring conformational space while allowing numerous sets of arbitrary and/or user-defined so-called natural DOFs.The team addressed these issues, Minary says, by building on the preexisting high-level computational environment of the MOSAICS software package that enabled the use of arbitrary even chain breaking DOFs. “To further improve on this concept,” he adds, “a very flexible new interface had to be invented that welcomes users to define their own system specific DOFs. In addition, the interface also had to support the weighted superposition of arbitrary DOFs. Finally a universal algorithm that realizes the interaction of various sets of DOFs needed to be implemented.” By so doing, conformational paths along the most collective molecular rearrangements are augmented by the incorporation of progressively more detailed molecular flexibility without significantly altering the dimensionality problem, which is better quantified by the conformational volume to be sampled rather than the actual number of DOFs. Effects of adding hierarchical degrees of freedom on sampling a large symmetric RNA structure. (A) Hierarchical moves used. A system of this complexity has many possible collective motions. Here seven sets of independent degrees of freedom (L1 to L7) are defined. (B) Convergence is accelerated by higher order rigid body moves. When nested hierarchical moves L1 to L7 were used, rapid convergence to the limiting is reached within 2 × 104 iterations (vertical dashed line labeled *). Image Copyright © PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1119918109 Other innovations are also in the works. “In the current paper we showed that our algorithm satisfies some necessary conditions of phase space, or detailed balance, preserving sampling not satisfied by any of the available algorithms used to model RNA systems,” Minary notes. “Further efforts are invested to fully satisfy microscopic reversibility.” Moreover, computational efficiency may be improved by using information on the collective nature of DOFs when updating atomic interactions, or by defining energy functional forms in terms of low dimensional analytical coordinates. Minary points out that sampling efficiency could also be improved if the current approach is combined with some advanced sampling algorithms based on multi-canonical sampling available in MOSAICS.In addition, he continues, the movement of explicit water could be incorporated into the hierarchical moves so that effects of solvation can be more accurately evaluated – and testing the method with various implicit solvent representations may also be informative. “Finally,” he says, “we’re planning to introduce a more user friendly – possibly graphical – interface that would bridge the gap between algorithm developers and computational biologists, physicists and chemists who have great insight and intuitions about the natural DOFs of various molecular assemblies and complexes.” Altogether, all the above efforts, which would increase mathematical rigor, computational speed, solvent details and accessibility to users, could further extend the boundaries of applications beyond the current systems being considered.In the meantime, while developing all the necessary algorithms discussed above, the team plans to continue extending the range of target applications. “Besides modeling the structure of chromatin,” Minary illustrates, “we’d like to revisit questions in DNA nanotechnology.” Furthermore, the use of a refinement method other than Cryo-EM (Cryo-Electron Microscopy, a form of transmission electron microscopy where samples are studied at cryogenic temperatures, and which the team is already pursuing) is also planned. “We intend to extend our work to extensively explore RNA junction flexibility,” adds Sim, “and are also currently looking into using our technique in RNA structure prediction of large RNA systems.” In terms of applications, Sim continues, “in medicine it’s vital to understand the flexibility, stability, shape and possible distortions of nanostructures to better evaluate the nanostructure quality. These properties could play crucial roles in dictating cellular internalization and/or toxicity of nanostructures.”Sim points out that with their efficient modeling tool, although still dependent on the quality of the force field used, the team is now more capable of studying these properties in silico. “Additionally,” Sim notes, “we’re looking into optimization in sequence- and structure-space simultaneously by having sequence as an additional degree of freedom.” A possible application is the sequence design of silencing RNA, or siRNA.Looking further afield, Minary tells PhysOrg, there are other technologies and applications that might benefit from their findings. “Since proper sampling and exploration of the conformational space is a basic tool used in various technologies and applications, the method could be used in design, homology modeling and various new applications such as modeling collective rearrangements in trans-membrane proteins, designing new nucleic acid nanostructures, modeling large protein-nucleic acid assemblies, such a the ribosome, and the in silico study of chromatin remodeling. In addition,” he adds, “we’d like to aid the refinement and interpretation of experimental techniques.” Specifically, building on former efforts to refine Cryo-EM data, they’d like to develop tools to analyze NMR, FRET, SAXS, X-Ray, and footprinting experiments in order to generate conformational ensembles that satisfy experimental constraints. Finally, Minary points out that the algorithm they developed is very general in nature and could be also utilized in other disciplines that involve state spaces with a large number of variables that are changing in a correlated manner. “In particular,” he concludes, “the basic idea could be used but not limited to sampling the space of possible networks, as in systems biology applications, or stock market variables.” More information: Modeling and design by hierarchical natural moves, PNAS February 21, 2012 vol. 109 no. 8 2890-2895, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1119918109Related:The effects of polymeric nanostructure shape on drug delivery, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, Volume 63, Issues 14–15, November 2011, Pages 1228–1246, doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2011.06.016 Square-Shaped RNA Particles from Different RNA Folds, Nano Letters, February 24, 2009 (Web), 9 (3), 1270–1277, doi: 10.1021/nl900261h Citation: Modeling the miniscule: High-resolution design of nanoscale biomolecules (2012, March 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-03-miniscule-high-resolution-nanoscale-biomolecules.html Explore furthercenter_img Swimming upstream: Flux flow reverses for lattice bosons in a magnetic field This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — A key element of both biotechnology and nanotechnology is – perhaps unsurprisingly – computational modeling. Frequently, in silico nanostructure design and simulation precedes actual experimentation. Moreover, the ability to use modeling to predict biomolecular structure lays the foundation for the subsequent design of biomolecules. Historically, the problem has been that most modeling software presents a tradeoff between being general purpose (in being able to model systems at high/atomic resolution) but limited in scope (i.e., only explores a small fraction conformational space around the initial structure). Recently, however, Stanford University scientists have developed an algorithm – implemented in a modeling program known as MOSAICS (Methodologies for Optimization and SAmpling In Computational Studies) – that achieves nanoscale modeling at the resolution required without being limited by the scope/size dilemma. In addition, the researchers successfully modeled – and benchmarked the new computation modeling technique with – RNA-based nanostructures. Copyright 2012 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com.last_img read more

Continue reading

Responsibility towards heritage

first_imgLending support to the Government’s efforts to promote cleanliness, GAIL (India) Limited has adopted two historical monuments in Delhi- Purana Quila and Safdarjung Tomb – for upkeep and sanitation purposes as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. It is a part of GAILS’s corporate social responsibility. Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan is a national level campaign by the Government of India, covering 4041 statutory towns to clean the streets, roads and infrastructure of the country GAIL employees have also been regularly participating in cleanliness drives in and around the company’s corporate office at Bhikaiji Cama Place for atleast two hours every week since the commencement of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Activities such as cleaning of office peripheral areas, roads, railway stations, government schools, beaches, villages, delivering lectures to school going children on health tips, sensitizing contract personnel regarding importance of hygiene, etc. are being carried out at GAIL work sites across the country. In addition to this, GAIL (India) Limited has taken over the work of constructing over 1,000 toilets in schools across the country in a significant move towards fulfilling the PM’s commitment towards providing hygienic sanitation facilities for girl students. GAIL (India) Limited is the largest state-owned natural gas processing and distribution company in India.last_img read more

Continue reading

Accused held from Chandigarh involved in Kolkata ATM fraud case

first_imgKolkata: One of the three Romanians, who was arrested in Chandigarh, is found to be involved in the ATM fraud case that took place in Kolkata.It may be recalled that Chandigarh police had arrested three persons including one 37-year-old Miclea Lecian Lonut a few days ago in connection with a separate ATM fraud case.Officers of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that was formed to probe into the incident received information about the arrest of the three persons. Later, they found that one of them is also involved in the ATM fraud cases that took place in Kolkata. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA team comprising police officers of the SIT has left for Chandigarh in this connection. It may be recalled that details of several bank account holders were collected by installing skimming machines at different ATM counters across the city.They used to prepare cloned cards using the collected details, which were later used to withdraw cash from ATMs in Delhi.Sources said the investigating officers found his photographs while going through footages of the CCTVs installed at the ATMs in Delhi. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHe was found withdrawing cash from an ATM in Delhi and the investigating officers suspect that he had withdrawn money using a cloned card.The police are now going to record his statement in this connection. They would try to know about his connection with those arrested in Kolkata in connection with the ATM fraud. It is suspected that they are from the same gang and operate in small groups in different parts of the country. Cops are trying to find out about the counterparts in other parts of the country. Meanwhile, four persons have been arrested in connection with a case in which they used to replace new expensive mobile phones with cheaper ones before delivering them to actual owners.A 25-year-old youth, Subho Acharya, who is a resident of Shyampukur, and Mahesh Kumar Hela (23), a resident of Gariahat, were arrested with two others in this connection.They used work in a goods delivery company. Investigation revealed that they used to replace the original expensive mobile phones from sealed packets with cheaper ones.A few days ago, a complaint was lodged with Kasba police station in this connection by the company where the duo worked. It was alleged that their activity led to a loss of Rs 2,76,080 for the company.last_img read more

Continue reading

Air Transat slashes domestic fares for Canadas 150th anniversary

first_img Posted by Air Transat slashes domestic fares for Canada’s 150th anniversary Tuesday, April 25, 2017 Share Tags: Air Transat, Canada, Promotionscenter_img TORONTO — Air Transat is encouraging Canadians to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary with summer deals on flights connecting Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.Clients have until May 1 to take advantage of these offers. With the promo, one-way fares from Vancouver to Montreal start at $234, Toronto-Vancouver from $243, Toronto-Montreal from $111, Vancouver-Calgary from $124, Toronto-Calgary from $242, and Montreal-Quebec City from $119.“Canada is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination, and we are pleased to offer flights that will allow travellers to explore more of it,” says Annick Guérard, President and General Manager of Transat Tours Canada. “In addition to travelling with the company named Best North American Leisure Airline by Skytrax, Air Transat’s clients will also benefit from our inflight entertainment system and will have the option to upgrade to Option Plus or Club Class.” Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Continue reading

Sunwing launches Let It Snow sale celebrates first OttawaMiami flight

first_imgSunwing launches Let It Snow sale, celebrates first Ottawa-Miami flight Travelweek Group Posted by Share Monday, December 17, 2018 center_img TORONTO — Sunwing says clients can trade in the bitter cold and snow for sun and sand with its annual Let it Snow sale, offering savings worth up to $2,000 per couple off all-inclusive winter vacation packages to top-rated resorts across Mexico, Central American and the Caribbean booked by Dec. 21.Vacationers can also get perks including Kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE deals, unlimited specialty dining, discounted spa treatments and more, depending on their selected resort.One resort taking part in the sale, the five-star Grand Sunset Princess All Suites and Spa Resort in Riviera Maya, offers spacious suites with swim-out options, 12 pools and spa facilities featuring traditional Mayan Baths. There’s also the popular Riu Bambu in Punta Cana, with five specialty restaurants, exclusive complimentary access to Splash Water Park, regular pool parties, complimentary kids clubs and more.Perennial family-favourite Royalton White Sands in Montego Bay also has an on-site water park that includes a pirate-themed splash park. There’s also daily land and water sports program, nightly entertainment and a supervised kids’ club.Meanwhile Sunwing is also celebrating its inaugural flight to Miami from Ottawa, which took off Dec. 15. The flight marks the first of this season’s new weekly direct flights from Ottawa to Miami, departing every Saturday until March 30, 2019, inclusive. Sunwing is anticipated to be the only leisure carrier to offer direct flights from the Canadian capital to Miami this winter.“We’re excited to be offering our customers in Ottawa even more options for their winter escape this year with the addition of Miami as a new flight route,” says Reg Mendes, Vice President of USA and Cruises for Sunwing. “This new direct flight service will offer Ottawa travellers more ways to Vacation Better in Florida both on land and at sea with Sunwing vacation and cruise packages and convenient transfers to PortMiami from Miami International Airport.” The city is the perfect base from which to explore Southern Florida or embark on a cruise, he adds.Sunwing offers Caribbean cruise packages with NCL and MSC Cruises sailing from Miami (including transfers from the airport to nearby PortMiami). Two of the most popular cruise ships are MSC Seaside and the new Norwegian Bliss. Customers can also opt for a Cruise & Stay package and get a vacation in Miami or Fort Lauderdale before or after they sail. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Miami, New Routes, Savings, Sunwinglast_img read more

Continue reading

Content management and global distribution company

first_imgContent management and global distribution company RRSat has appointed Avi Cohen as CEO. He will replace David Rivel, founder and CEO of the company, who last year announced his intent to retire by the end of June 2012. Cohen joins from Orbit Technologies where he served as president and CEO since 2008.“We are extremely pleased to have Avi Cohen join us and lead the RRsat team,” said Shlomo Shamir, chairman of the board at RRsat. “Based on Avi’s long track record of notable and repeated successes both in Israel and internationally, we recognised his ability to add significant value to RRsat and its shareholders, and we believe he can take our Company to the next level in its growth path, further strengthening our position as a global leader in our industry. We are delighted to have been able to recruit someone of Avi’s caliber and we wish him much success in this new position.”last_img read more

Continue reading