Finding our genomic clockwork

first_img In pursuit of healthy aging Critical step found in DNA repair, cellular aging Experiments in mice suggest way to thwart DNA damage from aging, radiation Related Harvard study shows how intermittent fasting and manipulating mitochondrial networks may increase lifespan For this new study, the researchers looked at the rDNA, the most active segment of the genome and one that has also been mechanistically linked to aging in a number of previous studies. Lemos and lead author Meng Wang, a research fellow in the Department of Environmental Health, hypothesized that the rDNA is a “smoking gun” in the genomic control of aging, and might harbor a previously unrecognized clock. To test the idea, they examined epigenetic chemical alterations (also known as DNA methylation) in CpG sites, where a cytosine nucleotide is followed by a guanine nucleotide. The study homed in on the rDNA, a small (13-kilobase) but essential and highly active segment of the genome, as a novel marker of age.Analysis of genome-wide data sets from mice, dogs, and humans indicated that the hypothesis had merit: Numerous CpGs in the rDNA exhibited signs of increased methylation — a result of aging. To further test the clock, they studied data from 14-week-old mice that responded to calorie restriction, a known intervention that promotes longevity. The mice that were placed on a calorie-restricted regimen showed significant reductions in rDNA methylation at CpG sites compared with mice that did not have their diet restricted. Moreover, calorie-restricted mice showed rDNA age that was younger than their chronological age.The researchers were surprised that assessing methylation in a small segment of the mammalian genome yielded clocks as accurate as clocks built from hundreds of thousands of sites along the genome. They noted that their approach could prove faster and more cost-effective at determining biological and chronological age than current methods of surveying the dispersed sites in the genome. The findings underscore the fundamental role of rDNA in aging and highlight its potential as a widely applicable predictor of age that can be calibrated for all mammalian species.Importantly, the clocks respond to interventions, which could allow scientists to study how biological age responds to environmental exposures and lifestyle choices. Ascertaining an accurate biological age can indicate of how much better or worse an individual is doing relative to the general population, and could potentially help monitor whether that person is at heightened risk of death or a given disease. Work in Lemos’ lab has been partially supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Lawrence Ellison Medical Foundation, and the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation, though the authors received no specific funding for this work.  A newly discovered ribosomal DNA (rDNA) clock can be used to accurately determine an individual’s chronological and biological age, according to research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The ribosomal clock is a novel biomarker of aging based on the rDNA, a segment of the genome that previously has been mechanistically linked to aging. It has potentially wide applications, including measuring how exposures to certain pollutants or dietary interventions accelerate or slow aging in a diversity of species, including mice and humans.“We have hopes that the ribosomal clock will provide new insights into the impact of the environment and personal choices on long-term health,” said senior author Bernardo Lemos, associate professor of environmental epigenetics. “Determining biological age is a central step to understanding fundamental aspects of aging as well as developing tools to inform personal and public health choices.”The study was published online today in Genome Research.Aging is exhibited by organisms as diverse as yeast, worms, flies, mice, and humans. Age is also the major risk factor for a plethora of diseases, including neurological diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. There are two types of age: chronological age, or the number of years a person or animal has lived, and biological age, which accounts for lifestyle factors that can shorten or extend lifespan, including diet, exercise, and environmental exposures. Overall, biological age has been shown to be a better predictor of all-cause mortality and disease onset than chronological age. Overall, biological age has been shown to be a better predictor of all-cause mortality and disease onset than chronological age.last_img read more

Seven arrested for alleged involvement in online prostitution ring in conservative Aceh

first_img The two are residents of Langsa and are believed to the ring’s pimps, according to the police.After receiving YN ‘sand HN’s testimony, officers then went on to arrest five other women aged between 22 to 32 years old who had reportedly been hired as sex workers.Arief said HN and YN had offered sex services through WhatsApp.”They charged Rp 500,000 [US$33.72] per woman for one booking and pocketed Rp 100,000 to Rp 200,000,” he said. Seven women have been arrested for their alleged involvement in an online prostitution ring in in Langso Baro district in Aceh.Langsa Police criminal investigation unit chief First. Insp. Arief S Wibowo said investigators uncovered the alleged prostitution ring after receiving information from local residents.”After an investigation, we arrested on Saturday two suspects identified as YN, 47 years old, and HN, 50 years old, in front of Harmoni Hotel in Langsa City,” Arief said in a statement. The women claimed they had to resort to prostitution because of financial difficulties, Arief said.”They said their involvement in online prostitution was due to economic reasons. They needed money to pay for their daily needs,” he said.Arief added that the Langsa Police only named HN and YN as suspects while the remaining five women were considered witnesses and had been released.Aceh is the only conservative region in Muslim-majority Indonesia that implements sharia. The provincial administration has fully enforced Qanun Jinayat since 2015. (nal)Topics :last_img read more

Report: Almost 1 Million Hoosiers at Risk for Online Fraud

first_imgA new AARP study finds that more than 978 thousand have demonstrated at least seven key factors that put them at high risk of being a victim of an online scam. Photo credit: morgue file.Close to 1 million Hoosiers may be putting themselves at risk of becoming a victim of a fraud on the Internet.A new survey from AARP found it’s a combination of online behaviors and life experiences that put a person at the greatest risk of being scammed.It’s a situation Melvin Armstrong of Carmel knows all too well.He says he did what he thought was the safe thing and used a credit card with a low limit to purchase a gift online.The $40 gift turned into a $4,000 fraudulent charge.“Someone intercepted my online purchase,” he explains. “They were out of Texas and somehow they were able to call the credit card company and get an increase in my credit card, and I didn’t know about this until after I received my credit card statement.”The AARP report found people who feel lonely or are facing a financial hardship may be prone to one of the 15 behaviors that increase their risk of being victimized, such as clicking on a pop-up ad, opening an email from an unknown source or signing up for free trial offers.The AARP Fraud Watch Network connects people to free resources to avoid being scammed.It’s available at aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.According to the survey, 72 percent of web users in Indiana faced an online attack in 2013.Armstrong says it took several months of work with federal and several state governments before getting his problem resolved.He’s participated in one of AARP’s Fraud Watch Network trainings and has some advice for Hoosiers.“Have a lower credit card limit and only use that for purchasing online,” he stresses. “Make certain you follow up on your purchase, and watch your bills from that time on.”According to the Federal Trade Commission, reports of consumer fraud have increased by more than 60 percent since 2008 and online scams doubled from slightly more than 20 percent of all fraud in 2007 to nearly 40 percent of all fraud in 2011.last_img read more

Betting on Football delivers blueprint for player props perfection

first_imgShare Submit Share Perform Group and Sky Bet will join forces at this week’s Betting on Football (20-23 March) to expose what’s changed to drive the boom in betting on player and team stats.Featuring SVP of Perform Betting Shane Gannon, Sky Bet Head of Trading Andy Wright and Opta Chief Analyst Duncan Alexander, ‘Opta and Sky Bet’s blueprint for player props perfection’ is one of 10 presentations on the Betting on Innovation track.Gannon said: “We’ve targeted the Betting on Football conference as an opportunity to gather the best football trading and product teams in one room to answer any questions they might have about creating entertaining experiences from their customers’ interest in player and team statistics.”New to the agenda for #bofcon2018, Betting on Innovation is a series of presentations by companies attempting to grow their business by bringing an innovative product to market.TCM InPlay will be using it to introduce Super7, a high frequency in-play tournament product designed to boost acquisition, cross selling, re-activation and legal revenue generation.Jim Yu, CEO and Founder of TCM InPlay, said: “Super7 is a fresh and true gaming innovation that you have never seen. The most exciting part is the multiple application across various verticals. After two years of development, we hope to give the biggest surprise to the football and gaming world.”Meanwhile, innovation in automation is on the agenda for Leigh Herdman. The CEO for Algosport, the algorithm provider behind Playtech BGT Sports’ new MatchAcca, will be discussing the betting products of tomorrow and the need for increased levels of automation.Herdman commented: “Since the advent of derivative and in-play pricing models, product innovation in the trading room has been pretty stale. However recent developments, such as cashout, have shown there is an appetite amongst the betting public for these innovations.“Companies who don’t already have their own in-house trading solutions will find our product a fast way to catch up with their rivals, while sportsbooks who already have their own trading models will also benefit, as many of their existing solutions were built when overrounds were much higher and hence the models didn’t need to be as accurate as they need to be today.”Nicholas Tucker, Head of Sales at Trustly, will be taking to the stage to promote two innovative new products for 2018 – instant pay-outs and Pay N Play.He said: “As players seek instant gratification when it comes to both betting and payments, our instant pay-out product is proving a big hit with sportsbooks. We enable operators to pay winnings back to a player’s bank account instantly in the UK and across the continent.“With its frictionless sign-up, our Pay N Play product lets players the quickly and securely benefit from the leading incentives, bonuses and offers between competing bookmakers.”The afternoon will feature a presentation on key findings from a forthcoming report examining global trends in irregular football betting patterns, led by Perform Head of Integrity Jake Marsh and Starlizard Head of Integrity Affy Sheikh.Sheikh added: “Betting on Football is a great opportunity for us to showcase the important role Starlizard Integrity Services are playing in the fight against match-fixing, including the recent case of banned referee Joseph Lamptey, where the evidence we presented to the Court of Arbitration for Sport was cited in the decision to uphold the ban.“Because of Starlizard’s direct involvement in betting markets, we have a unique inside-the-market view that offers more than traditional integrity monitoring services and affords greater insights. In line with this, we will be presenting to the conference key findings from our report on global trends in suspicious football betting patterns.”The speaker lineup for Betting on Innovation, which concludes with a guide to increasing live betting turnover by Triggybet.com’s Fredrik Fröst and Daniel Svenson, also includes representatives of OtherLevels, Optimove, Sportdec and Proof of Toss.Fröst said: “Calls to action are not an exact science, and difficult to pull off in a live environment. But if customers could set their own calls to action by choosing the parameters they are interested in, this would increase engagement.”OtherLevels CEO Brendan O’Kane will join former Head of Online Marketing at Paddy Power Betfair Richard Harris to explain how an operator using in-play messaging that isn’t personalised to bettors or tailored to the circumstances of the game is leaving revenues on the table.O’Kane commented: “Operators who implement our solution will be able to solve the challenges their customers are asking them to solve when it comes to in-play betting, delivering the personalized real-time experience demanded by changing consumer expectations, enhancing the customer experience, reducing churn and gaining share of wallet.”Optimove Director of New Business Motti Coleman will be telling #bofcon2018 delegates how to turn tournament punters into repeat players to maximise long-term revenues, before Sportdec CEO Bruce Bale takes an alternative approach to engaging and monetising non-betting football fans.Bale added: “As both the cost of acquiring new customers and the rate of churn increase, this session will explore the opportunity for new game types to emerge that appeal to the broader fanbase, addressing the challenge of how to engage and monetise new customers.”Finally, Betting on Innovation will embrace the rise of blockchain, one of the major ‘buzzwords’ to emerge from last month’s ICE Totally Gaming conference.Proof of Toss CMO Eugene Malahov said: “Blockchain is set to disrupt the entire betting market. It will increase transparency, open new markets, provide the ability to drive down costs by reducing transaction fees and in turn provide operators with the ability to give better odds. The question is, how quickly will this happen?” Related Articles PokerStars moves to refresh global appeal with ‘I’M IN’ August 18, 2020 StumbleUpon Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020 Optimove upgrades customer journey ‘self-optimisation’ capacities August 6, 2020last_img read more

PWC reports 128 mean ethnicity pay gap

first_imgProfessional services organisation PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) has reported a 12.8% mean ethnicity pay gap for its black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) UK staff as at July 2017, according to its 2017 annual report.The organisation, which has published its ethnicity pay gap data for the first time, also recorded a BAME bonus gap of 35.4% for 2017.The calculations were based on the same methodology used to fulfil the government’s gender pay gap reporting requirements.Analysis by PWC attributes the BAME pay gap to the fact that there are more non-BAME staff in senior, higher-paid roles, with the majority of BAME employees working in junior and administrative roles.As at July 2017, 7% of the organisation’s partners are from a BAME background, although PWC aims to have 10% of its partners as BAME employees by July 2020. Just under a quarter (23%) of managers are BAME employees, compared to a 26% 2020 target; 14% of senior managers are BAME individuals, compared to a 20% target for July 2020; and 9% of directors are BAME employees, compared to a 14% target for July 2020.To help improve diversity across the organisation, PWC has committed to three key areas to deliver on by 2020. These include managing the talent pipeline to ensure female and BAME candidates have the necessary sponsorship, coaching and development support to excel within the organisation, work allocation measures in order to ensure female and BAME staff are able to gain relevant business experience to help them gain promotions without being subjected to unconscious bias, and making more staff accountable for delivering diversity targets, for example, holding service and business unit partners accountable alongside the executive board.PWC has voluntarily published its gender pay gap data since 2014. Its mean gender pay gap currently sits at 13.7%, compared to 15.2% in 2016, and its mean gender bonus gap was recorded as 37.5% for 2017.Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner at PWC, said: “We’re hoping that by reporting our BAME pay and bonus gaps we can shine the spotlight on ethnicity in the workplace and encourage organisations to take action, just as gender pay gap reporting has done for highlighting the gender imbalance we have at the top levels of organisations. We need to start looking beyond the narrow lens of gender, otherwise true workplace diversity won’t be achieved.“While progress has been made, many barriers still exist in today’s businesses which means people aren’t able to reach their full potential. The more we understand what these barriers are and why they exist, the quicker we’ll be able to work towards creating truly inclusive organisations.“The progress made on gender shows the importance of organisations openly discussing the barriers and challenges, and learning from each other on how we can all create truly inclusive organisations. While our analysis shows that we pay our BAME and non-BAME employees equally for doing equivalent jobs, it does reveal that we have an imbalance at the senior levels of our business.“Our priority is to do all we can to retain our junior BAME talent and improve rates of progression to senior management levels. We’re aiming to achieve this through stronger accountability across our business to deliver our gender and ethnicity targets, monitoring our pipelines on a more regular basis and making sure that all of our people can benefit from the most stretching of client engagements. We are also talking to our BAME employees to understand their sense of working at PWC to see if there are any barriers we can address.”last_img read more