Shabir Ahmed: the Rochdale Sex Gang Ringleader Who Blamed White Community for Not Looking After GirlsPosted: May 20, 2017 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: Adolescents, Afghan detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Alan Sugar, Alexis Jay, Allah, Arrest, DNA, murder, Sexual abuse, United Kingdom Leave a comment
Shabir Ahmed, the man at the heart of the conspiracy carried on a secret affair with the white teenager who acted as his recruiter.
For a year he lived in fear that people in his own community might find out about the relationship and ostracise him.
On every occasion the couple had sex he would “go home, say two units of prayer and ask Allah forgiveness for doing wrong”.
He told the jury that fellow Pakistanis would regard him as having “infested” their community by sleeping with a white girl. “It’s not just them who are racist. We are racist too”.
Ahmed, who could not be named during the original trial, cut a belligerent figure in the courtroom, hurling insults at the judge and prosecution barristers and claiming he was the victim of a police-led conspiracy.
He dismissed the allegations against him as “white lies” made up by girls who had built up a profitable business empire by working as prostitutes.
“They were clever girls,” he told the jury. “If they’d gone on Lord Sugar’s Apprentice programme they would have won.
“They knew more Pakistanis than I as a Pakistani know. They knew what they were doing. They were earning good money”.
But for all his bravado he was unable to refute one crucial piece of evidence about DNA found on the clothing of a girl he raped and later trafficked around the north-west.
The defendant came to Britain as a boy in 1967. He settled in Oldham and raised a family, but has been separated from his wife since 2000.
Domestic Dogs Originate from Southern China, say Chinese ScientistsPosted: April 25, 2016 Filed under: China, Science & Technology | Tags: Africa, Animal Farm, Antarctic ice sheet, DNA, Genome, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, University of Cambridge, Virus Leave a comment
New research conducted by Chinese scientists suggests that domestic dogs originate from southern China, Xinhua reported on Sunday.
The theory was put forward in a report by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), published in the US-based scientific journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) recently.
Previous research has generally attributed the domestication of dog to areas including East Asia, Central Asia, Europe and Middle East. But according to Wang Guodong, researcher at the CAS’s Kunming Institute of Zoology and lead author of the report, their study on domestic dogs in southern China suggests the dogs in in this part of the world have the “smallest linkage disequilibrium distance” between their genes, which indicates that they come from a time when the domestic dog population was possibly at its smallest and gave rise to all the different types of domestic dogs that exist today. Read the rest of this entry »
Living Cells ‘Hacked’ and Hijacked by MITPosted: March 31, 2016 Filed under: Mediasphere, Science & Technology | Tags: Artificial gene synthesis, Cell (biology), Craig Venter, DNA, Gene therapy, Hiv And Aids, Imperial College London, Management of HIV/AIDS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nucleic acid sequence Leave a comment
Sarah Knapton reports: Scientists at MIT have proven they can ‘hack’ living cells and programme them to carry out new tasks.
In the same way that computer language tells a machine how to operate, researchers have shown it is possible to write DNA ‘code’ and insert it into bacteria to alter how they function.
“You use a text-based language, just like you’re programming a computer. Then you take that text and you compile it and it turns it into a DNA sequence that you put into the cell, and the circuit runs inside the cell.”
They hope that one day cells could be programmed so they could release cancer drugs on encountering a tumour, or allow plants to fight back with insecticide when a pest comes near. Read the rest of this entry »
Origin of the Family Pet: 15,000 Years Ago, Probably in Asia, the Dog Was BornPosted: October 20, 2015 Filed under: History, Science & Technology | Tags: Ancestry, Cornell University, DNA, Dog, Family Dog, Gray Wolf, Greg Lukianoff, Harvard University, Ig Nobel Prize, Jonathan Haidt, The New York Times, Trauma trigger, United States Leave a comment
Where do dogs come from?
James Gorman writes: Gray wolves are their ancestors. Scientists are pretty consistent about that. And researchers have suggested that dogs’ origins can be traced to Europe, the Near East, Siberia and South China.
“It’s really great to see not just the sheer number of street dogs, but also the geographic breadth and the number of remote locations where the dogs were sampled.”
— Greger Larson of Oxford University, who is leading an international effort to analyze ancient DNA from fossilized bones
Central Asia is the newest and best candidate, according to a large study of dogs from around the world.
Laura M. Shannon and Adam R. Boyko at Cornell University, and an international group of other scientists, studied not only purebred dogs, but also street or village dogs — the free-ranging scavengers that make up about 75 percent of the planet’s one billion dogs.
Dr. Shannon analyzed three different kinds of DNA, Dr. Boyko said, the first time this has been done for such a large and diverse group of dogs, more than 4,500 dogs of 161 breeds and 549 village dogs from 38 countries. That allowed the researchers to determine which geographic groups of modern dogs were closest to ancestral populations genetically. And that led them to Central Asia as the place of origin for dogs in much the same way that genetic studies have located the origin of modern humans in East Africa.
[Read the full story here, at The New York Times]
The analysis, Dr. Boyko said, pointed to Central Asia, including Mongolia and Nepal, as the place where “all the dogs alive today” come from. The data did not allow precise dating of the origin, he said, but showed it occurred at least 15,000 years ago. They reported their findings Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read the rest of this entry »
Ray Kurzweil: Humans will be hybrids by 2030Posted: June 4, 2015 Filed under: Robotics, Science & Technology | Tags: Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous car, Cloud computing, DNA, Google, Human, New York City, Prediction, Ray Kurzweil, Thought 2 Comments
That’s the prediction of Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, who spoke Wednesday at the Exponential Finance conference in New York.
“We’re going to gradually merge and enhance ourselves. In my view, that’s the nature of being human — we transcend our limitations.”
Kurzweil predicts that humans will become hybrids in the 2030s. That means our brains will be able to connect directly to the cloud, where there will be thousands of computers, and those computers will augment our existing intelligence. He said the brain will connect via nanobots — tiny robots made from DNA strands.
“As I wrote starting 20 years ago, technology is a double-edged sword. Fire kept us warm and cooked our food but also burnt down our houses. Every technology has had its promise and peril.”
“Our thinking then will be a hybrid of biological and non-biological thinking,” he said.
The bigger and more complex the cloud, the more advanced our thinking. By the time we get to the late 2030s or the early 2040s, Kurzweil believes our thinking will be predominately non-biological.
We’ll also be able to fully back up our brains. Read the rest of this entry »
Statements from Amanda Knox and Her FamilyPosted: March 27, 2015 Filed under: Breaking News, Law & Justice, Mediasphere | Tags: Amanda Knox, Conviction, DNA, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Italy, Ivory Coast, murder, Murder of Meredith Kercher, Seattle, United States Leave a comment
Statements from #AmandaKnox and her family
Statement from Amanda Knox:
“I am tremendously relieved and grateful for the decision of the Supreme Court of Italy. The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal. And throughout this ordeal, I have received invaluable support from family, friends, and strangers. To them, I say: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your kindness has sustained me. I only wish that I could thank each and every one of you in person.”
Statement from Amanda Knox’s family:
“We want to express our profound gratitude to all of those who have supported Amanda and our family. Countless people – from world-renowned DNA experts, to former FBI agents, to everyday citizens committed to justice – have spoken about her innocence. We are thrilled with and grateful for today’s decision from the Supreme Court of Italy. And we are grateful beyond measure for all that so many of you have done for her.”
Whiskey Content Not Disclosed: A Vial of Winston Churchill’s Blood Now Up for AuctionPosted: February 25, 2015 Filed under: History | Tags: Auction, BBC News, Boris Johnson, British Army, Charles De Gaulle, Conservative Campaign Headquarters, DNA, London, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, World War II 2 Comments
…Churchill famously said he had nothing to offer but “blood, toil, tears and sweat” and now some of that blood is to be auctioned off to the highest bidder by Duke’s Auctioneers on March 12.
“…the most poignant and unique memorabilia we’ve ever had…the closest you can get to Churchill.”
— Timothy Medhurst, an auctioneer and appraiser at Duke’s
The blood was collected when Churchill was in the hospital for a fractured hip in 1962. Typically vials of blood are discarded when they are no longer medically necessary, but the nurse who collected it, an apparent fan of the former Prime Minister, received special permission to keep the vial.
[Or, you can order this Churchill book “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: The Great Speeches” from Amazon]
Upon the nurse’s death, it was bequeathed to a friend who decided to sell the historical medical waste to mark the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death. Read the rest of this entry »
Ancient DNA Shows Earliest European Genomes Weathered the Ice AgePosted: November 6, 2014 Filed under: Education, History, Russia, Science & Technology | Tags: Archaeology, DNA, EUROPE, Gene Pool, Glacial Maximum, hunter-gatherer, Neanderthal 3 Comments
A ground-breaking new study on DNA recovered from a fossil of one of the earliest known Europeans – a man who lived 36,000 years ago in Kostenki, western Russia – has shown that the earliest European humans’ genetic ancestry survived the Last Glacial Maximum: the peak point of the last ice age.
The study also uncovers a more accurate timescale for when humans and Neanderthals interbred, and finds evidence for an early contact between the European hunter-gatherers and those in the Middle East – who would later develop agriculture and disperse into Europe about 8,000 years ago, transforming the European gene pool. Read the rest of this entry »
Forensic Investigation Results: Remains Belong to Virginia Student Hannah GrahamPosted: October 24, 2014 Filed under: Breaking News, Crime & Corruption, U.S. News | Tags: Albemarle County Police Department, Albemarle County Virginia, Associated Press, DNA, Gospel of Matthew, Graham, Morgan Dana Harrington, Virginia Leave a comment
“When we started this journey together we all hoped for a happier ending. Sadly that was not to be.”
— Graham’s parents, John and Sue Graham
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Remains found nearly a week ago in a rural area of Virginia are those of a university student who disappeared last month, authorities said Friday, ending a search that left the campus and community on edge.
“We are working diligently with local law enforcement on the investigation to ensure that we make the best determination for our community and the Grahams in the pursuit of justice.”
— Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney
University of Virginia sophomore Hannah Graham, 18, disappeared Sept. 13 after a night out with friends. Her remains were found Oct. 18 about 12 miles from campus, in a heavily wooded area of Albemarle County that is home to rolling hills and horse farms.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter… Although we have lost our precious Hannah, the light she radiated can never be extinguished.”
— John and Sue Graham
The man Graham was last seen with, 32-year-old Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., has been charged with abduction with intent to defile Graham. His attorney, Jim Camblos, said in a voicemail greeting that he is not answering questions about the case. Read the rest of this entry »
Serial Killer Samuel Little Sentenced to 3 Consecutive Life Terms Without ParolePosted: September 25, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Law & Justice, U.S. News | Tags: Associated Press, District Attorney, DNA, Life imprisonment, Los Angeles, murder, Samuel Little, Serial killer Leave a comment
Serial killer Samuel Little sentenced to 3 consecutive life terms w/o parole. Relatives of victims react @ABC7 @ 4. pic.twitter.com/WEzXrXOZqU
— Robert Holguin (@ABC7Robert) September 25, 2014
‘RAPE CULTURE’: 240-Pound Seattle Woman Broke into Apartment and Raped Sleeping ManPosted: September 13, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, U.S. News | Tags: Arrest warrant, Chantae Gilman, Crime, DNA, Gilman, KOMO-TV, Rape, Seattle Leave a comment
Chantae Gilman is accused of breaking into a Seattle man’s apartment and raping him as he slept off a party during a 2013 incident. A warrant for Gilman’s arrest was issued after DNA allegedly linked her to the crime
Nichole Hensley reports: A Seattle woman is accused of raping her neighbor as he slept after a party. The victim shoved the 240-pound woman, later identified as 26-year-old Chantae Gilman, off of him when he woke up to her having sex with him, according to the Seattle P-I.
“In the past, Gilman had been treated for mental health issues and drug abuse. She’s also pleaded guilty in 2006 and 2008 to criminal charges, court records show.”
She apparently broke into the 31-year-old’s apartment on June 16, 2013 after a birthday party. It wasn’t until recently that a sample of DNA taken from the victim was analyzed.
Gilman was linked to the crime, but she is apparently undergoing drug treatment, a neighbor told KOMO-TV.
A Facebook page that appears to belong to Gilman frequently notes her sporadic sobriety.
“I’ve got 2 months pregnant and I’m 31 weeks pregnant,” Gilman apparently wrote on Aug. 5.
An arrest warrant was issued for Gilman, a mother of four other children who is reportedly pregnant with another child. Read the rest of this entry »
Meredith Kercher’s Killer Gets Day Release as Amanda Knox’s Nightmare Drags OnPosted: February 12, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Global, Law & Justice | Tags: Amanda Knox, DNA, Douglas Preston, Italy, Knox, Murder of Meredith Kercher, Perugia Leave a comment
— Amanda Marie Knox (@amamaknox) February 11, 2014
John Sexton reports: Rudy Guede killed British university student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy in 2007. He was a small time burglar who was known to throw large rocks through 2nd story windows in order to gain access to homes. There was a rock and a broken 2nd story window at Kercher’s flat when her body was discovered. Bloody hand and shoe prints matching Guede were found at the scene as were his fingerprints. His DNA was found on the body, under the body and even inside the victim’s body.
[Knox’s book: Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir is available at Amazon]
Guede was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his crime, but that was later cut to 16 years. Tuesday, reports surfaced that Guede will now be eligible for “day release” so he can pursue a degree in history. He will be studying only a few dozen miles from where the crime took place.
[More coverage of Amanda Knox at punditfromaotherplanet.com]
Parallel to the conviction of Guede, Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were tried and convicted of helping Guede commit the murder. The conviction was based upon nothing more than the prosecutor’s salacious claims that Kercher’s murder was revenge for some perceived slight or part of a sex game gone wrong. No DNA of either defendant was found at the scene of the crime. Both Knox and Sollecito were later released when an appeals court ruled there was no evidence connecting them to the murder. By that time, each had already spent four years in Italian jails.
[The Forgotten Killer: Rudy Guede and the Murder of Meredith Kercher (Kindle Single)]
The Italian judicial system, Amanda Knox, Rafael Solecitto, and Rudy GuedePosted: January 31, 2014 Filed under: Crime & Corruption | Tags: Amanda Knox, DNA, Italy, Knox, Meredith Kercher, murder, Murder of Meredith Kercher, Perugia Leave a comment
Ace is among the few notable bloggers who’s read not just the news reports on the Knox trials, but has devoured books and court documents about it, including the Hellman-Zanetti Report (the official report of the court of appeals that freed Knox and Solecitto) Here’s some highlights of Ace’s commentary after yesterday’s verdict:
…However, Rafael Solecitto — every bit as innocent — is an Italian citizen, and they’re determined to jail Amanda Knox, but they can’t, so they’ll jail the guy no one cares about, Rafael.
[I have (but haven’t read yet) the ebook edition of Knox’s book Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir, you can get it at Amazon]
The Italian judicial system has a quirk unlike ours. When a trial court pronounces you culpable, you’re not actually convicted of the crime — not yet. The actual conviction only occurs when a court, sitting in review, confirms the conviction…
Thus, Rafael is in this odd twilight, again, where he stands to be convicted of murder, and yet is not actually convicted of murderer, while the actual murderer, a drifter and repeat burglar named Rudy Guede, whose DNA was found all over the crime scene (and yet none of Rafael’s or Amanda’s– the prosecutors wisely explained that they had cleaned the crime scene of their own DNA, while managing to leave behind a great deal of Guede’s; the prosecutors have never explained what type of bleach could permit this selective removal of genetic material), remains in jail, but with a reduced sentence in exchange for implicating Knox and Solecitto, because all he did was burglarize, sexually violate, and then slaughter Meredith Kercher, whereas Rafael Solecitto and especially Amanda Knox provided the inspiration and stage direction for this crime, even though they weren’t even there, but who cares, it’s Italy, and she’s a Foreign Whore, and Foreign Whores must pay…
Why Robot Sex Could Be the Future of Life on EarthPosted: January 21, 2014 Filed under: Robotics, Science & Technology | Tags: Charles Darwin, Darwinism, DNA, George Zarkadakis, John von Neumann, Matrix, Neumann, Origin of Species, René Descartes, RepRap Project, William Paley Leave a comment
If self-replicating machines are the next stage of human evolution, should we start worrying?
George Zarkadakis writes: When René Descartes went to work as tutor of young Queen Christina of Sweden, his formidable student allegedly asked him what could be said of the human body. Descartes answered that it could be regarded as a machine; whereby the queen pointed to a clock on the wall, ordering him to “see to it that it produces offspring”. A joke, perhaps, in the 17th century, but now many computer scientists think the age of the self-replicating, evolving machine may be upon us.
It is an idea that has been around for a while – in fiction. Stanislaw Lem in his 1964 novel The Invincible told the story of a spaceship landing on a distant planet to find a mechanical life form, the product of millions of years of mechanical evolution. It was an idea that would resurface many decades later in the Matrix trilogy of movies, as well as in software labs.
In fact, self-replicating machines have a much longer, and more nuanced, past. They were indirectly proposed in 1802, when William Paley formulated the first teleological argument of machines producing other machines.
Anyone Can Learn to Be a PolymathPosted: November 5, 2013 Filed under: Art & Culture, Education, History, Reading Room, Think Tank | Tags: Alexis de Tocqueville, DNA, Jack Kerouac, Leon Battista Alberti, Leonardo da Vinci, Nile, Percy Spencer, Polymath, Renaissance, Robert Twigger, Vinci 1 Comment
Master of many trades
Our age reveres the narrow specialist but humans are natural polymaths, at our best when we turn our minds to many things
Robert Twigger writes: I travelled with Bedouin in the Western Desert of Egypt. When we got a puncture, they used tape and an old inner tube to suck air from three tyres to inflate a fourth. It was the cook who suggested the idea; maybe he was used to making food designed for a few go further. Far from expressing shame at having no pump, they told me that carrying too many tools is the sign of a weak man; it makes him lazy. The real master has no tools at all, only a limitless capacity to improvise with what is to hand. The more fields of knowledge you cover, the greater your resources for improvisation.
We hear the descriptive words psychopath and sociopath all the time, but here’s a new one: monopath. It means a person with a narrow mind, a one-track brain, a bore, a super-specialist, an expert with no other interests — in other words, the role-model of choice in the Western world. You think I jest? In June, I was invited on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 to say a few words on the river Nile, because I had a new book about it. The producer called me ‘Dr Twigger’ several times. I was flattered, but I also felt a sense of panic. I have never sought or held a PhD. After the third ‘Dr’, I gently put the producer right. And of course, it was fine — he didn’t especially want me to be a doctor. The culture did. My Nile book was necessarily the work of a generalist. But the radio needs credible guests. It needs an expert — otherwise why would anyone listen?
BREAKING: Court Releases JonBenet Ramsey DocumentsPosted: October 25, 2013 Filed under: Breaking News, History, Law & Justice, War Room | Tags: CNN, Colorado, DNA, John Ramsey, JonBenet Ramsey, Murder of JonBenét Ramsey, Patsy Ramsey, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Leave a comment
(CNN) — [Breaking news update at 10:12 a.m. Friday ]
A court on Friday morning released some previously sealed court documents relating to the 1996 death of 6-year-old Colorado girl JonBenet Ramsey. The pages were sealed in 1999, after a grand jury in the case dispersed without charges being filed.
Friday, previously sealed court documents could reveal more details of the death of the little girl in flamboyant outfits.
In 1999, three years after her death, a grand jury suggested possible charges against her parents, John and Patricia Ramsey. It said there was evidence that the child was sexually assaulted, according to court documents. Her parents have consistently maintained they had nothing to do with her death.
An analysis of the girl’s clothes showed the source of the DNA was not a family member, according to court documents.
Peking University Needs The Blood of VirginsPosted: September 13, 2013 Filed under: China | Tags: Beijing Normal University, DNA, Gardasil, Health, HPV, Human papillomavirus, Liu, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Peking University Leave a comment
The Peking University Cancer Hospital has set off a scandal by seeking out the blood of virgin females.
A recruitment notice by the hospital to collect blood from healthy virgin volunteers was designed to obtain serum for research on Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Published on campus bulletin board systems at Peking University and Beijing Normal University, the notice said that “To promote the prevention of HPV infection, our group is working on studies of serum antibodies to HPV. We need 100 healthy female college students as blood donors.”
“Any applicant should meet the requirements of being a virgin, and aged between 18 and 24 years old,” the notice also said. Read the rest of this entry »
Dentist hopes to clone John Lennon using ex-Beatles toothPosted: August 22, 2013 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: Beatle, Canada, Cloning, DNA, Examiner, John Lennon, New York, Tooth Leave a comment
A man who bought John Lennon’s tooth at an auction two years ago is now hoping to clone the music icon using DNA from the molar.
“If scientists think they can clone mammoths, then John Lennon could be next,” Canadian dentist Dr. Michael Zuk told The Examiner.
Zuk made headlines when he bought the ex-Beatle’s tooth for $30,000 at auction in 2011.
At the time, he said: “Most people would say I was crazy, but I think it’s fantastic.”
And now we know why.
Zuk, from Edmonton, Canada, has launched a project to extract the DNA from the rotten tooth which Lennon – who was shot dead in New York in 1980 – gave his housekeeper in the 1970s.
“To potentially say I had a small part in bringing back one of rock’s greatest stars would be mind-blowing,” Zuk told The Examiner. Read the rest of this entry »