TOP JOURNALS: RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS FROM SCIENCE MAGAZINE (FEB 5, 2021)

This week, Science celebrates the impending 20th anniversary of the publication of the draft human genome sequence—a landmark achievement by any measure…The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an internationally supported public project (Celera Genomics was the private effort that simultaneously sequenced the human genome). When the endeavor was launched in 1990, collaboration among a diverse group of scientists was essential because the sequencing was distributed across a number of international research sites.

Read full research highlights

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, the publisher of Science) also looks forward to next week’s annual meeting, whose theme is “Understanding Dynamic Ecosystems.” At first glance, these two events may seem unrelated. But the successful completion of the human genome sequence ushered in biology’s era of “big science” and created a research ecosystem for tackling complex, technology-driven, and data-intensive multidisciplinary projects that continue to improve our understanding of cancer, the microbiome, the brain, and other areas of biology.

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an internationally supported public project (Celera Genomics was the private effort that simultaneously sequenced the human genome). When the endeavor was launched in 1990, collaboration among a diverse group of scientists was essential because the sequencing was distributed across a number of international research sites. High-throughput technologies for DNA sequencing were critical to the project’s success, and the participation of biotech companies in the effort was instrumental in driving down the cost, speed, and throughput of generating DNA sequence. The ever-increasing amount of sequence data drove the development of mathematical and computational tools for assembling and annotating the data. Neither the laboratory scientists nor the computational scientists could have done this alone, and the convergence of these disciplines has been one of the most important legacies of the early genome efforts. There was also a commitment to train the next generation of genome scientists, and over the past 20 years, many colleges and universities have established new undergraduate and graduate programs in quantitative and systems biology. Life sciences students today graduate with a very different set of skills than they did in 2000.

Science Podcast: Human Genome Sequencing – 20 Years Of Research & Data

This week we’re dedicating the whole show to the 20th anniversary of the publication of the human genome. Today, about 30 million people have had their genomes sequenced. This remarkable progress has brought with it issues of data sharing, privacy, and inequality.

Host Sarah Crespi spoke with a number of researchers about the state of genome science, starting with Yaniv Erlich, from the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science and CEO of Eleven Biotherapeutics, who talks about privacy in the age of easily obtainable genomes. Next up Charles Rotimi, director of the Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health at the National Human Genome Research Institute, discusses diversity—or lack thereof—in the field and what it means for the kinds of research that happens. Finally, Dorothy Roberts, professor in the departments of Africana studies and sociology and the law school at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about the seemingly never-ending project of disentangling race and genomes. 

Top Bird Photography: ‘Herons, Dippers And Wrens In Norway’ (Video)

Filmed and Edited by: T. Haaland Photography

In this episode, I’m shooting bird photography in Hardanger again. It’s winter and close to Christmas time, the weather variates between mild and cold temperatures. But there are still birds to photograph!

Analysis: ‘Can Prefab Homes Fix U.s. Affordable Housing Crisis?’ (Video)

The affordable housing crisis in the United States continues to be a problem and it’s only getting worse. And in places like San Francisco, where construction costs are some of the highest in the world, overcoming the housing shortage seems impossible. However, one solution is gaining traction that could dramatically reduce the cost and time to build new housing – factory-built apartments.

Skylines & Architecture: ‘Toronto, Canada’ (4K UHD)

Toronto, the capital of the province of Ontario, is a major Canadian city along Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore. It’s a dynamic metropolis with a core of soaring skyscrapers, all dwarfed by the iconic, free-standing CN Tower. Toronto also has many green spaces, from the orderly oval of Queen’s Park to 400-acre High Park and its trails, sports facilities and zoo. 

Aerial Views: ‘Coastline Of Oahu, Hawaii’ (4K Video)

Oahu is a U.S. island in the Central Pacific, part of the Hawaiian island chain and home to the state capital, Honolulu. Highlights of the city include historic Chinatown and the Punchbowl, a crater-turned-cemetery. Waikiki is an iconic beach, dining and nightlife area. West of Honolulu is Pearl Harbor, site of the WWII’s 1941 bombing attack and home to the USS Arizona Memorial. 

Architecture: ‘Reef House’ – Auckland, New Zealand

Summer holidays near the coast, any coast, are the right of every New Zealander and loom large in the childhoods of many of us. For some, the reality of a home near the coast is a goal to aspire to; a place where family and friends can build memories that often transcend generations.

For the owner of this house, that was the dream—to provide a holiday home for her three children and their families. One that would ultimately be passed on, becoming, in the process, an indelible embodiment of that dream. In this instance though, the familial link runs deeper, as the owner commissioned her architect cousin—Dave Strachan of Strachan Group Architects (SGA)—to design the home and two of her children, builders starting out on their own, to build it.

“Reef house is very much a family experience,” says Dave. “Not just because of its intended use but because we will all get to look back on it and see where it was touched by each of us in turn.” Situated on an elevated section overlooking the rocky beach break of Daniels Reef, the site enjoys extensive sea views from the northeast through to the south and across to Little Barrier Island. “These views, as well as a fall of seven metres across the site diagonally from west to east, provided the natural context.

A vacant site to the northeast, as well as neighbours overlooking from the north, also needed to be considered in the design process. Dave says that while the site itself was of a good size, council regulations around setbacks and neighbouring sightlines, coupled with topographical considerations, restricted placement of the building site to within a 200m2 building platform.

“From the outset, the goal was to design as complete a council-compliant scheme as possible, including strict adherence to the maximum building footprint. To achieve that, the plan is a split cruciform, providing axial views and cross ventilation in both directions. In section, breaking the form into a twin-roof pavilion allows for ample volumetric shifts across the upper-floor spaces.

“Here, the floorplates are offset and arranged to direct views out to the sea from the entrance and living areas. The kitchen projects through the building envelope and out onto layered and screened outdoor living spaces—helping blur the lines between indoor spaces and outdoor spaces.” Another design element that blurs the lines is the courtyard garden, which works as a climate modifier and is accessed through a bank of hinged doors, cleverly incorporating the space into the interior while maintaining its exterior designation.

Click here to see the full project: https://archipro.co.nz/project/reef-h…

Travel Tour: ‘Riga – Capital Of Latvia’ (4K UHD Video)

Riga, Latvia’s capital, is set on the Baltic Sea at the mouth of the River Daugava. It’s considered a cultural center and is home to many museums and concert halls. The city is also known for its wooden buildings, art nouveau architecture and medieval Old Town. The pedestrian-only Old Town has many shops and restaurants and is home to busy Livu Square, with bars and nightclubs. 

Latvia is a country on the Baltic Sea between Lithuania and Estonia. Its landscape is marked by wide beaches as well as dense, sprawling forests. Latvia’s capital is Riga, home to notable wooden and art nouveau architecture, a vast Central Market and a medieval Old Town with St. Peter’s Church. Riga’s museums include the Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum, showcasing local crafts, food and music.

Morning News Podcast: Opioid Payment, GameStop Profits, Employment Data

A.M. Edition for Feb. 4. A hedge fund made nearly $700 million in the GameStop rally. Consulting giant McKinsey reaches a settlement centering on opioid painkillers.

Plus, WSJ economics reporter Kate Davidson previews coming jobs data. Marc Stewart hosts.

Island Tours: ‘Tetiaroa’ – Marlon Brando’s Carbon-Free South Pacific Resort

Tetiꞌaroa is an atoll in the Windward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas territorial collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. Once the vacation spot for Tahitian royalty, the islets are under a 99-year lease contracted by Marlon Brando.

Marlon Brando

“My mind is always soothed when I imagine myself sitting on my South Sea island at night. If I have my way, Tetiaroa will remain forever a place that reminds Tahitians of what they are and what they were centuries ago.”

Marlon Brando first came to Tetiaroa while filming Mutiny on the Bounty and was immediately enchanted by the island’s rare beauty and the sense it gave him of being closer to paradise. Enthralled by the Polynesian way of life – and the leading lady Tarita, the love of his life – he resolved to find a way to own this piece of paradise and succeeded in his goal in 1967. It was in this natural wonderland that he settled down, and finally found a home.

Brando was passionate about preserving Tetiaroa’s natural beauty, biodiversity and cultural richness and was determined to find a way in which it could be a center for research and education, and a model of sustainability. He was convinced that this small atoll could bring good to the entire world.

In 1999 he asked Richard Bailey, a long-time resident of Tahiti who shared Brando’s passion for the environment and who had created some of the region’s finest resorts, to help him conceive a plan that would help Brando achieve his dream. Together, Brando and Bailey pursued a vision of creating the world’s first and foremost post-carbon resort—an island where innovative new technologies would enable a self-sustaining luxury environment for hotel guests, residents and scientific research. The Brando is the legacy of that shared vision.