Vil lokke ungdommen til gullsmedfaget

Bergen gullsmedlaug er Norges eldste laug, og i år feirer de hele 450 år. Under årenes løp har gullsmedutdannelsen forsvunnet litt fra bevisstheten til skoleelever rundt i Norge, og som gullsmedmeister Tom Jørgensen påpeker, så er det ikke så mange som vet at gullsmed er et alternativ. I sammenheng med det store jubileumet har gullsmedlauget invitert videregåendeelever fra hele Hordaland til en stor smykkekonkurranse. Vinnerne ble i dag annonsert med en stor utstilling på Vil Vite. 
Dato
20. juni 2018
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Gene Therapy Activity: A New Approach
Human gene therapy is potentially taking a big leap forward with the development of a technology known as exon-skipping gene therapy. It is being developed to treat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and other genetic disorders.

Basics of Gene Therapy
The basics of gene therapy are that you replace a duff gene in your body with a fully functioning version. The malfunctioning gene is one that is causing some kind of genetic disorder by either not producing the protein it should, or it produces an abnormal version of it. To the rescue comes a corrective gene that could be sent into your body like the cavalry coming over the hill. It would be packaged inside a virus, which would help it to find its way inside the nucleus of a cell to take over the role that the original gene is failing at. However, there are two main problems with gene therapy. 1) It's an extraordinarily complex technology; beautiful and elegant in theory, difficult in practise 2) Our expectations about it are probably a little to high.

However, the field of human genetic engineering does not stand still, and some of the best scientific brains on the planet are turning their attention to developing novel gene therapy technologies. DNA scissors is one of them, and the other is the exotically titled exon-skipping gene therapy.

Exon-Skipping
What is an exon? Genes are divided into regions called exons and introns. Exons are sections of DNA that code for the protein, and they are interspersed with introns.

Exon-skipping has been showing off its gene therapy promise to scientists looking to treat and cure Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), the most severe form of the many different types of muscle wasting diseases. The technology is designed in such a way that it skips over the mutated gene, in fact it completely ignores it.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is caused by a mutation of the dystrophin gene which is present on the X chromosome. It is a very long gene and in individuals with DMD it does not produce the dystrophin protein which is vital for muscle strength and stability.

What happens in exon-skipping gene therapy is that instead of targeting the bad gene and replacing it with a good one, it is neatly sidestepped. The aim is to encourage the cellular machinery to ignore it.

In the DMD research scientists are attempting to change the DMD mutation to the mutation that causes Becker's Muscular Dystrophy. It is a much milder disease and there is some dystrophin production, which does not occur in DMD.

To do this they construct antisense oligonucleotides. These are RNA single-stranded structures of between 20-30 nucleotides in length and are designed specifically to bind to an exon that contains a mutation. The effect of this is that the exon mutation is hidden from the cellular machinery during protein production, and so it is not included in the messenger RNA molecule. The result of this is that a smaller protein is produced, but it is partially functional which reduces the severity of DMD.

Gene Therapy Promise
Although the exon-skipping gene therapy has not been tried out in humans yet, that's not to be too despondent. The pace of science is sometimes very slow indeed, it has to be. However, proof of principal has been obtained. The technology has worked successfully in mice models and also in dogs. Scientists from the Washington, DC based Children's National Medical Center and the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry in Tokyo conducted the first successful trial of the therapy in dogs and the study was published in the Journal of the American Neurological Association in March 2009.

It will be a while before clinical studies are conducted on humans as more animal research is needed. While the results were promising, the therapy did not improve the condition of the dogs' hearts which were also affected by the faulty dystrophin gene. However, that part of the research was successful in such a large animal offers some glimmer of hope to DMD patients and their families, and is undoubtedly another gene therapy avenue worth pursuing.

Felix Cohen

Best ACT Test Prep Books
There are many that claim to have or know the best prep book for ACT test readiness. While it is true most prep books allow students to engage in the same level as every other prep book, it is important to distinguish the best of all these best prep books and to learn to avoid false advertising.

The ACT in a Nutshell
The ACT is designed to measure a student's academic progress. It is used for the purpose of entering into higher education institutions. More information about the ACT and the difference between the ACT and the SAT can be found at dissertation writers uk website.

The ACT measures key components such as scientific reasoning, mathematical skills, reading comprehension and writing ability. Although the writing section is not scored, it is sent along with the scores to the colleges one has applied to. Many believe the writing section is used by some institutes as another form of criteria they use to filter applicants so doing well in that section will greatly increase chances of entering into the institute.

Since it is very important to get top scores or high scores in the ACT, many books have been discussing the ACT and how to beat it. The Princeton Review is among the top sellers, but it is not the best of the best. No, in fact, the best prep book for ACT test readiness is authored not by scholars or highly prestigious academies, but by two teenagers, Raviji Raju and Silpa Raju.

Why Dissecting the ACT 2.0 is the Best ACT Prep Book
The authors of Dissecting the ACT 2.0 are perfect scorers of the ACT test and therefore their tips can be more valid and credible than by some company who has no proof of the claim that their hints and advice will help anyone score better. These authors are young, and brilliant minded. They effortlessly dissected the ACT and all its components so that the future generations will be able to get the scores they deserve.

The book is thinner in size, full of examples, and packed with formatting hints and tips. They provide examples of the actual tests that were released in previous years instead of the invalid use of coming up with their own questions. What is interesting about this book is that it focuses on trying to beat time instead of getting a right answer. The authors predict that most students run out of time and therefore end up guessing or leaving a lot of questions blank.

The prep book is designed in a fashion to counteract negative self-esteem issues by promoting discipline. Although the young authors do not know this, their marketing strategy was also ingenious. These authors kept the price of their prep book at a mere $10 when the actual worth of the knowledge gained by this book is almost priceless.

It is the best selling book on Amazon.com and the best contender among the biggest sellers such as Princeton Review and Kaplan. If you wanted to take the ACT test, no other book can provide better tools than this one. It provides real solutions, accurate test problems, a solid validity that the tips had helped the authors get a perfect score, and to boost self confidence through self-discipline.

The Rest of the Prep Books and Why They Fail to Provide Good Scores
So why is this the best prep book for ACT test readiness? One thing that most prep books lack is the validity of their tests. They come up with test questions, but cannot scientifically prove their effectiveness. While the teen authors provide the actual ACT test, the rest provide what the test might look like. You don't want something that simply looks like the official test, you want the official test and you want the official test explained.

Justin Runyon
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