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Understanding the molecular mechanisms of gene regulation and metabolism in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum using functional genomics and metabolomics
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Malaria is one of the most devastating diseases of humankind, affecting nearly one in ten people worldwide and resulting in over 1.5 million deaths annually. This disease is caused by the Plasmodium parasite, of which Plasmodium falciparum is the deadliest form. While the past century has seen significant progress in anti-malarial drug development, many of these drugs are losing efficacy due to the rise of drug-resistant parasites. One of the major challenges facing the field is the identification of new drug targets for efficacious, affordable treatment. My lab focuses on transcriptional regulation and metabolism as potential avenues to disrupt the progression of this deadly parasite. To accomplish this, our research combines tools from functional genomics, molecular biology, computational biology, biochemistry, and metabolomics to understand the fundamental molecular mechanisms underlying the development of this parasite. The focus is predominantly on the red blood cell stage of development, which is the stage in which all of the clinical manifestations of the malaria disease occur.Transcriptional regulation in malaria parasites:
My lab is interested in role of transcriptional regulation in parasite development. To study this, we focus on the only known family of DNA binding proteins encoded by the Plasmodium genome, the Apicomplexan AP2 (ApiAP2) protein family. These proteins are highly conserved among all Apicomplexan parasites and find their origin in plants. (Why is there a plant connection you ask? Intriguingly, malaria parasites contain an amazing non-photosynthetic chloroplast-like organelle called the apicoplast which was acquired via a secondary endosymbiotic event so there are many features of plant cells in these intriguing single celled eukaryotic parasites!) To address the specific in vivo roles for the 27 members of the ApiAP2 protein family, we are pursuing several lines of inquiry. These approaches include modulating expression levels of these proteins, generating knockdowns and knockouts, as well as in vivo protein tagging for chromatin immunoprecipitation. We are also using luciferase reporter assays to measure the stage-specificity of expression controlled by the identified target DNA motifs, and we are using mass spectrometry-based proteomics to determine protein-protein interactions for these transcriptional regulatory complexes. Our goal is to define the dynamic transcriptional regulatory network of the malaria parasite and to determine which ApiAP2 proteins are the master regulators governing the various stages of parasite development including the blood stage, the mosquito stage and the liver stage with the goal of targeting these proteins as a way to kill parasites.
Jan 22, 2016
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has built an interactive 360-degree photosphere viewer. Space bar toggles a menu system, and a gaze-based cursor selects photos.
Recently I installed the Cardboard Camera app on my phone. It is a 360-degree photosphere VR app for Google Cardboard including a nice menu in VR which allows one to easily select photos from a list. The photosphere is showing photos with a so-called equirectangular projection (did not hear about that term before, as I am not a photo nerd ;-) ).
Since I knew that A-Frame had been released I thought of implementing this app in A-Frame, as I thought it might be quite easy to do, AND I would learn coding in A-Frame.
After a few hours of playing around I realised that
(a) yes it is easy to implement a photosphere BUT (b) implementing a decent VR menu could not be done by just using A-Frame tags.
Which lead me to implement my first component for A-Frame. As it turned out, I needed actually two components:
The first component handles the VR photo menu (showing the menu, hiding the menu, position it in space). This component acts as a container for the photo thumbnails. You can check out the
source code here
. I have to admit that I was not able to write the code for positioning the menu in space. So I turned to
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which helped me out on that one (again).
The second component is associated to each photo thumbnail within the menu container. I handles the selection of the photo via the mouse click event. I disabled the fuse cursors which would normally emit this click event. After many tests I decided that I did not like the fuse cursor for selecting photos. I guess people nowadays either have a Cardboard 2.0 (which supports a button) or an Oculus Rift and a mouse and keyboard. Additionally, I decided to only show the cursor when the menu is visible.
The main index.html file is straightforward. It contains the code for the photo thumbnail menu animation, the sky tag, the camera, the cursor, and their settings. Here’s the source code .
Anyway, this is a very first version of the 360-photosphere viewer, but I am quite pleased with it.
All photos are licensed under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution .
Flickr is a good source of equirectangular photos , or you can create your own by using Android Camera app (using the photosphere option).
March 1st, 2018
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Hansjorg Auer is one of the Europe’s top all-round alpine and big wall climbers.
He spends a lot of time soloing big routes, sometimes rock climbing, sometimes ice/mixed climbing.
In this video, he needs to down-climb a winter route he was trying to solo.
Around half-way through the video, he slings a tiny frozen stone and rappels off of it.
“Climbed my first summit of a 3,000-metre peak by fair means in 1990,” said Auer. “I put on climbing shoes 1996 and started my carreer as a professional climber in 2009 when I quit teaching kids at secondary school.”
He received the Paul Preuss prize in 2016. Enjoy!
When you're climbing solo, you realize that you got off the route but there is no option anymore to climb up or down?! By the way you have no gear except a thin rope, one ice screw, your harness, a belay device and you need your crampons and ice axes to finish the climb. Challenging! #neverstopexploring #team_edelrid @thenorthface @thenorthfaceuk @oetztal.official @team_edelrid @lasportivagram @totemcams
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World-class alpinists Marc-Andre Leclerc and Ryan Johnson have passed away while on a climb in Alaska. A GoFundMe page was started to assist family and friends here. An update on the page reads, "It is with great sadness we update this page tonight. Marc’s dad sends the message below. "To…
March 15, 2018
It's winter climbing season in Canada and for many that means transitioning from rock to ice. In the video below, a climber takes a lead fall on Dracula WI4+ in New Hampshire after getting too pumped to put in a screw. Head to 3:28 to watch the accident (no obvious…
November 28, 2017
Grant Statham is based in Canmore and has been ice climbing for 30 years. For most of that time, Statham has worked as an IFMGA mountain guide and a leading avalanche forecaster doing a number of different jobs. For the past 13 years, he has worked for Parks Canada’s Visitor…
January 31, 2018
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