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Today's Must-Reads - 28 February 2023
A selection of the latest news, studies, reports and articles
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I spend a lot of time each day gathering together new information and interesting articles. I then pick one or two of the most interesting topics and write about them. However, that leaves a lot of missed out information that I’m not sharing.
Below is a summary of all the latest articles and information that I’ve found. Today, this is a slimmed down version for all subscribers but will be for paid subscribers only a lot of the time in the future.
Please consider taking out a paid subscription because it enables me to spend longer reporting on the news that isn’t, but should be reported.
In order to meet Net Zero air travel targets, Britain will need to sacrifice 40% of its farmland to biofuel. Last year the transport secretary pledged that the UK will have ‘guilt-free flying’ by 2050.
US Right to Know obtained US State Department cables which show that research scientist Shi Zhengli was denied permission to use BSL4 labs for SARS experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Spiked Online says the case for the lab-leak theory grows stronger by the day.
In news that will shock absolutely no one, Fauci says the origin of Covid could never be uncovered. His comments come after the US Energy Department’s recent report stating that Covid possibly originated from a Chinese lab but failed to mention any US involvement.
On the other hand, Bill Gates is pretty convinced Covid came from bats. And pandemics will keep happening…because of climate change.
According to Trending Politics, an associate of Hunter Biden has been arrested and provided the FBI with ‘damning’ information about the Biden family. Gal Luft, a former adviser to a Chinese energy conglomerate is calling himself a whistleblower and has announced his intention to reveal names.
Did you hear all the uproar about the Saudi Arabian air force being accused of war crimes and conducting over 20,000 bombing raids on Yemen? No, neither did I. The hypocrisy of the west is plain to see with the Royal Air Force beginning 5 weeks of training exercises with the Saudi dictatorship.
On the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA, I came across this tweet that I found fascinating. Long but worth the read.
Every time one of our cells divides into two new cells, the entire genome must be copied. The human genome consists of 3 billion base pairs of information that make up the 6 feet of DNA in each cell. About 50 billion of our 30 trillion cells die every day, and must be replaced. For this to occur, 150 billion billion (150 followed by 12 zeros) pieces of genetic information (“bases”) must be perfectly copied.
The process of copying the DNA into a new strand is a highly orchestrated process that involves the cooperation of dozens of nano-molecular machines which all work in tandem to produce two double stranded molecules of DNA.
DNA consists of two linear strands that are helically wrapped around one another. To copy this DNA, it must first be unwound and the two strands must be separated. Then, protein enzymes read the code of the DNA, and synthesize an exact copy. Both strands of DNA are copied, producing two identical double-stranded molecules of DNA.
The primary actor in the copying process is a molecular machine called DNA polymerase. After the DNA is unwound and separated, this enzyme attaches itself to one of the strands of the DNA and reads its code, base by base. As it reads the identity of each base, it recruits a complementary matching base and attaches it to the new strand, which is the copy. DNA polymerase scans the DNA and incorporates about 1000 bases per second.
DNA polymerase possesses an extraordinarily high copying fidelity, only making on average 1 error in every 10 million bases copied. DNA polymerases also have a proof-reading capability, which imparts them with the amazing ability to recognize when an error has been made, reverse direction, remove the base, incorporate the correct base, and then continue with copying the DNA at full speed.
In addition, there are other protein machines, known as post-replication mismatch repair enzymes, that monitor the DNA for uncaught errors. These enzymes correct the error by cutting the DNA at the site of the error, synthesizing a new strand with the correct sequence, and then gluing the new strand into the template. Together, these copying and correction systems enable replication fidelity of less than one mistake for every billion bases added.
There are many actors involved in the DNA replication process, but some of the major players are:
Topoisomerase - this machine begins to relax DNA from its supercoiled form.
DNA Helicase - This protein machine completely unwinds the two strands of DNA. It rotates as fast as the turbine of a jet engine.
DNA Gyrase - This protein helps to relieve the strain which is induced by unwinding the DNA strand.
Single Strand Binding Proteins - SSB proteins prevent the two strands of DNA from connecting back together after Helicase unwinds and separates them.
Primase - this enzyme helps to initiate DNA replication by providing a starting point for DNA polymerase.
DNA polymerase - there are multiple forms of DNA polymerase, but their collective function is to read the template strand of DNA, synthesize an exact complementary copy base by base, and to correct errors in real time.
DNA Clamp - this protein prevents DNA polymerase from disconnecting from the DNA as it copies the template strand.
Telomerase - Adds end-cap sequences to the ends of the DNA strand to maintain its length after copying.
In the image below, you can see a molecular model that shows some of these players and how they are attached to the DNA during replication.
If that wasn’t already mind blowing enough, here’s the real kicker - The information to build every single one of these molecular machines is in the DNA that’s being copied by these machines. The machines are making copies of their own blueprints, so that more machines can be built to copy more DNA blueprints. I don’t know of a more profound chicken or egg scenario than this one.
This description of DNA replication is ridiculously simplified and wholly inadequate.
The NATO Secretary General has said that “allies have agreed that Ukraine will become a member of our alliance” in the long term.
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