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The great sculptor Vincenzo Danti wrote one of the longest poems to have survived from a Renaissance artist, but the text’s close thematic and conceptual connections to its author’s art have gone entirely unnoticed. What Danti’s poem and sculpture share, this essay argues, is a concern with mystified identity. Danti’s poetic sensibility stands at odds with the biographical frameworks that typically guide the interpretation of Renaissance art and literature. At the same time, his example shows how much there is to be gained from an investigation of how artists learned to be writers, and of what came of those efforts.
The enzyme polynucleotide kinase/phosphatase (PNKP) plays a key role in DNA repair by resolving the chemistry at DNA strand breaks. Mutations in PNKP (chromosome 19q13.4) are known to cause MCSZ, a serious neurodevelopmental disorder, but to date there has been no link to cancer initiation or progression. However, a child with MCSZ recently presented at Seattle Children's Hospital with a 3-cm glioblastoma. The child was shown to have two germline mutations in PNKP. To study the effects of the PNKP mutations found in this patient, we generated mutant PNKP cDNAs carrying either the individual mutations or the double mutation using site directed mutagenesis. These cDNAs were incorporated into bacterial and mammalian expression vectors. The bacterially expressed mutant proteins as well as the wild type have been purified and are undergoing testing for PNKP DNA kinase and phosphatase activity. The PNKP cDNAs, fused to GFP, were expressed in Hela and HCT116 human cancer cell lines. High-content analysis and micro-irradiation techniques are being used to determine PNKP localization within the cells and recruitment to damaged DNA. Our preliminary results indicate that the mutations alter the ratio of nuclear to cytoplasmic PNKP compared to the wild-type protein.
Reforestation in the Inland Northwest, including northeastern Oregon, USA, is often limited by a dry climate and soil moisture availability during the summer months. Reduction of competing vegetative cover in forest plantations is a common method for retaining available soil moisture. Several spring and summer site preparation (applied prior to planting) herbicide treatments were evaluated to determine their efficacy in reducing competing cover, thus retaining soil moisture, on three sites in northeastern Oregon. Results varied by site, year, and season of application. In general, sulfometuron (0.14 kg ai ha–1 alone and in various mixtures), imazapyr (0.42 ae kg ha–1), and hexazinone (1.68 kg ai ha–1) resulted in 3 to 17% cover of forbs and grasses in the first-year when applied in spring. Sulfometuron+glyphosate (2.2 kg ha–1) consistently reduced grasses and forbs for the first year when applied in summer, but forbs recovered in the second year on two of three sites. Aminopyralid (0.12 kg ae ha–1)+sulfometuron applied in summer also led to comparable control of forb cover. In the second year after treatment, forb cover in treated plots was similar to levels in nontreated plots, and some species of forbs had increased relative to nontreated plots. Imazapyr (0.21 and 0.42 kg ha–1) at either rate, spring or summer 2007, or at lower rate (0.14 kg ha–1) with glyphosate in summer, provided the best control of shrubs, of which snowberry was the dominant species. Total vegetative cover was similar across all treatments seven and eight years after application, and differences in vegetation were related to site rather than treatment. In the first year after treatment, rates of soil moisture depletion in the 0- to 23-cm depth were correlated with vegetative cover, particularly late season soil moisture, suggesting increased water availability for tree seedling growth.
During the past decade, solar power has experienced transformative price declines, enabling it to grow to supply 1% of U.S. and world electricity. Addressing grid integration challenges, increasing grid flexibility, and further reducing cost will enable even greater potential for solar as an electricity source.
During the past decade, solar power has experienced transformative price declines, enabling it to become a viable electricity source that is supplying 1% of U.S. and world electricity. Further cost reductions are expected to enable substantially greater solar deployment, and new Department of Energy cost targets for utility-scale photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar thermal power are $0.03/kW h and $0.05/kW h by 2030, respectively. However, cost reductions are no longer the only significant challenge for PV—addressing grid integration challenges and increasing grid flexibility are critical as the penetration of PV electricity on the grid increases. The development of low cost energy storage is particularly synergistic with low cost PV, as cost declines in each technology are expected to support greater market opportunities for the other.
Timing of weed emergence and seed persistence in the soil influence the ability to implement timely and effective control practices. Emergence patterns and seed persistence of kochia populations were monitored in 2010 and 2011 at sites in Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Weekly observations of emergence were initiated in March and continued until no new emergence occurred. Seed was harvested from each site, placed into 100-seed mesh packets, and buried at depths of 0, 2.5, and 10 cm in fall of 2010 and 2011. Packets were exhumed at 6-mo intervals over 2 yr. Viability of exhumed seeds was evaluated. Nonlinear mixed-effects Weibull models were fit to cumulative emergence (%) across growing degree days (GDD) and to viable seed (%) across burial time to describe their fixed and random effects across site-years. Final emergence densities varied among site-years and ranged from as few as 4 to almost 380,000 seedlings m−2. Across 11 site-years in Kansas, cumulative GDD needed for 10% emergence were 168, while across 6 site-years in Wyoming and Nebraska, only 90 GDD were needed; on the calendar, this date shifted from early to late March. The majority (>95%) of kochia seed did not persist for more than 2 yr. Remaining seed viability was generally >80% when seeds were exhumed within 6 mo after burial in March, and declined to <5% by October of the first year after burial. Burial did not appear to increase or decrease seed viability over time but placed seed in a position from which seedling emergence would not be possible. High seedling emergence that occurs very early in the spring emphasizes the need for fall or early spring PRE weed control such as tillage, herbicides, and cover crops, while continued emergence into midsummer emphasizes the need for extended periods of kochia management.
The development of medical school courses on medical responses for disaster victims has been deemed largely inadequate. To address this gap, a 2-week elective course on Terror Medicine (a field related to Disaster and Emergency Medicine) has been designed for fourth year students at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey (USA). This elective is part of an overall curricular plan to broaden exposure to topics related to Terror Medicine throughout the undergraduate medical education.
A course on Terror Medicine necessarily includes key aspects of Disaster and Emergency Medicine, though the converse is not the case. Courses on Disaster Medicine may not address features distinctively associated with a terror attack. Thus, a terror-related focus not only assures attention to this important subject but to accidental or naturally occurring incidents as well.
The course, implemented in 2014, uses a variety of teaching modalities including lectures, videos, and tabletop and hands-on simulation exercises. The subject matter includes biological and chemical terrorism, disaster management, mechanisms of injury, and psychiatry. This report outlines the elective’s goals and objectives, describes the course syllabus, and presents outcomes based on student evaluations of the initial iterations of the elective offering.
All students rated the course as “excellent” or “very good.” Evaluations included enthusiastic comments about the content, methods of instruction, and especially the value of the simulation exercises. Students also reported finding the course novel and engaging.
An elective course on Terror Medicine, as described, is shown to be feasible and successful. The student participants found the content relevant to their education and the manner of instruction effective. This course may serve as a model for other medical schools contemplating the expansion or inclusion of Terror Medicine-related topics in their curriculum.
ColeLA, NatalB, FoxA, CooperA, KennedyCA, ConnellND, SugalskiG, KulkarniM, FeravoloM, LambaS. A Course on Terror Medicine: Content and Evaluations. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(1):98–101.
The first textbook to present world history via social history, drawing on social science methods and research. This interdisciplinary, comprehensive, and comparative textbook is authored by distinguished scholars and experienced teachers, and offers expert scholarship on global history that is ideal for undergraduate students. Volume 2 takes us from the early modern period to speculation about the world in 2050, visiting diverse civilizations, nation-states, ecologies, and people along the journey through time and place. The book pays particular attention to the ways in which ordinary people lived through the great changes of their times, and how everyday experience connects to great political events and the commercial exchanges of an interconnected world. With 75 maps, 65 illustrations, timelines, boxes, and primary source extracts, the book enables students to use historical material and social science methodologies to analyze the events of the past, present, and future.
Lu Xun (1881–1936), China’s most famous modern writer, was born in the small market town of Shaoxing, near Shanghai. In 1901 he went to Japan, intending to become a doctor. In his medical school class, he saw a slide of apathetic Chinese bystanders watching the execution of a Chinese man by Japanese soldiers during the Russo-Japanese war of 1905. Shocked by their passivity, he concluded that China’s most deadly disease afflicted the spirit, not the body. He returned to China, resolving to become a writer to rouse his people from their deadly slumber. In “Call to Arms,” his first short story collection, he described with great sympathy and insight the foibles of ordinary Chinese folk following time-honored customs, nearly oblivious of the worldwide crisis that surrounded them. In “Diary of a Madman,” whose title is borrowed from the Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, the writer suddenly realizes that the basic principle of China’s classic civilization is “eat people.” Ah Q, Lu Xun’s most famous character, blithely walks to his own execution without ever knowing why he joined the cause of revolutionary nationalism. Lu Xun and his colleagues particularly stressed the need to free women from the straitjacket of traditional morality so that they could participate actively in making the new nation. Lu Xun organized the League of Left Wing Writers to mobilize Chinese writers in the service of revolutionary nationalism. Lu Xun’s mood constantly oscillated between high hopes and black despair. He died in 1936, hoping for China’s national unification based on radical social revolution, defying his own repressive government and the imminent threat of Japanese invasion.
We conclude with a discussion of two critical issues: global terrorism and global warming. Both of them threaten to harm huge numbers of people, and both have roots far back in the human past. The greatest recent terrorist threat, that of al-Qaeda, derives directly from the imperial domination of the Middle East in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but al-Qaeda's supporters find their inspiration in the founding of Islam in the seventh century. Yet only the globalization of the late twentieth century made al-Qaeda's actions possible.
Global warming is a more subtle, but equally dangerous trend which, if nothing is done to avert it, will bring catastrophe to hundreds of millions of vulnerable people. It is a direct result of global industrialization since the nineteenth century. Scientists have carefully documented the warming of the planet over the past century, but the nations of the world have so far only taken very small steps to address this vital threat to human existence.
On September 11, 2001, members of the terrorist group al-Qaeda hijacked four transcontinental airliners taking off from Boston’s Logan airport. They crashed two of them into the two World Trade Center towers in New York City (see Figure 1). The explosion of the gasoline in the airplanes incinerated the twin towers and their occupants. The third plane crashed into the Pentagon. Passengers on the fourth plane, probably intended for the White House, brought it down in a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died in these attacks. The boldness of the al-Qaeda attacks stunned and horrified the world. Never before had so many civilians been killed by a deliberate attack on American soil. President George W. Bush vowed to make a War on Terror the theme of his administration.
Having struggled to acquire the fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic, Thomas Paine (1737–1809), a collector of excise tax and a Methodist preacher in England, migrated to Britain’s American colonies. In 1774 he arrived in Philadelphia seeking to make his living as an editor and freelance author but already with a radical political agenda. Early on, Paine denounced the slave trade and elaborated a specific plan for its abolition. His popular pamphlet, Common Sense, defended the American cause before public opinion in both Britain and the colonies. It was the first salvo in the career of a man who became the world’s most radical polemicist. During the Valley Forge encampment, a bleak winter for the Revolution, Paine’s popular Crisis rallied Americans, announcing “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
Once the American Revolution had succeeded, Paine returned to England and took up the defense of the French Revolution. In response to the English legislator Edmund Burke’s celebrated polemic against the Revolution, Paine wrote The Rights of Man, one of the most widely read books of all time. Paine’s pamphlets promoted a new republican writing style, a popular political language, accessible to the artisan (skilled manual worker) yet capable of expressing moral outrage and high seriousness. Mocking Burke’s awe of tradition and popular reverence toward the British monarchy, Paine jibed: “A French bastard landing with an armed banditti and establishing himself King of England against the consent of the natives is, in plain terms, a very paltry rascally original. The plain truth is that the antiquity of English monarchy will not bear looking into.” Reading these lines, many ordinary men and women in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales never looked at monarchy in quite the same way again.
In the years after 1500, the whole human family came into contact for the first time in thousands of years. For millennia Amerindians, Eurasians, and Polynesians had developed separately from one another with no knowledge of the existence of other members of the human race. Then in a few decades around 1500 long-lost peoples rediscovered one another. Amerindians and Europeans who had existed independently for at least 14,000 years suddenly came into contact. This same encounter occurred at many points throughout the world.
Within decades Europeans, Americans, and Asians were involved in a gigantic exchange that forever affected their menus and their agricultural life. Mineral and agricultural products crossed both the Atlantic and the Pacific in massive quantities, transforming production methods and daily consumption. From the Americas, Europeans imported turkeys, cranberries, potatoes, tomatoes, and tobacco. Asians obtained maize, peanuts, chili peppers, and most important, silver and gold in exchange for porcelain, silk, and tea. From Europe, Amerindians learned about horses, apples, barley, coffee, and wheat. Not all exchanges were productive. Crab grass comes from Europe as well as measles, malaria, cholera and bubonic plague, while smallpox devastated previously unexposed populations of the New World and Asia. From America came syphilis and hepatitis.
Nur Jahan (1577–1645) was born Mihr al-Nisa. Her extended family was from Tehran, in Iran, and they emigrated to Mughal India. When she turned 17, she was married to a Mughal military man of Iranian heritage. He became involved in political intrigue and backed the wrong candidate for the throne, and was executed. He left her a daughter, Ladli.
A widow, Nur Jahan came to the court in 1607 to attend on one of the great women of Emperor Jahangir’s harem. The imperial harem comprised some 5,000 women, most of whom were neither wives nor slave-girls of the emperor, but rather servants and artisans attending on the ladies. It was a complex small city, wherein brilliant, accomplished women played a special sort of politics, and could use it as a base to gain power even in the male-dominated world outside. In 1611 Emperor Jahangir held a large celebration of the Persian New Year, Now-Ruz, which falls on the first day of spring, and there he first saw Nur Jahan. She was reputed to be gorgeous, and he soon decided to marry her. It was he who gave her the name Nur Jahan (“light of the world”). Nur Jahan proved an energetic queen and hostess, taking charge of palace affairs. Jahangir was not a great emperor, and struggled with addiction to alcohol and drugs that often left him weak and shaking. He may have made a match with an older widow because he was looking for a mother figure who would take care of him. If so, Nur Jahan rose to the challenge.