COUNTY News:The Los Alamos County Traffic and Streets Division has placed sand at the following locations to fill farolito bags:North Road at Lower Pueblo Canyon crossing;Deer Trap on Barranca Mesa;Soccer Field parking lot on North Mesa; andThe parking lot by the transfer station in White Rock.
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UK: The government announced on November 15 that it had awarded contracts worth £900m for enabling work on the first phase of the High Speed 2 project linking London with the West Midlands. In addition, the government also confirmed its preferred route for Phase 2b of the scheme, taking the railway from Crewe to Manchester and from the West Midlands to Leeds, completing a Y-shaped corridor with connections to the existing East Coast and West Coast main lines.The following companies have been awarded the Phase 1 enabling works contracts:Area South: CS JV (Costain Group Plc, Skanska Construction UK Ltd);Area Central: Fusion JV (Morgan Sindall plc, BAM Nuttall Ltd, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Ltd);Area North: LM JV (Laing O’Rourke Construction Ltd, J Murphy & Sons Ltd).These contracts cover preparatory works including archaeological investigations, site clearance and the setting up of construction compounds ahead of the start of the main civil engineering work.Contracts worth up to £11·8bn for construction work between London and Crewe would be let from 2017, the government said.Transport Secretary Chris Grayling also confirmed what he termed ‘the majority of the route’ for Phase 2b, which was the subject of public consultation in 2013. The government intends to bring a hybrid bill before parliament in 2019 that would cover 82 route-km extensions from Crewe to Manchester Piccadilly and a junction with the WCML south of Wigan, and a 198 km route from a junction with Phase 1 near Lichfield to Leeds and a junction with the ECML at Church Fenton south of York. Upon completion, Phase 2 is expected to reduce journey times between Birmingham and Manchester from 1 h 28 min to 40 min, and from Leeds to Birmingham from 1 h 58 min to 49 min. Intermediate stations are planned at Toton, which would be served by local trains from Nottingham and Derby, and at Manchester Airport, subject to final agreement of a local funding contribution. There are seven sections of the Phase 2b alignment where the government is proposing changes to the consultation route, of which the most significant is in South Yorkshire. Project delivery company HS2 Ltd has proposed an alternative alignment running further east of Sheffield, replacing the initial proposal to serve the city’s Meadowhall transport interchange and retail complex. Grayling said that a final decision on this and other amendments, including moving a rolling stock depot from Golborne near Wigan to a site north of Crewe, would be taken next year following further public consultation.The government says that HS2’s budget remains £55·7bn at 2015 prices, and Phase 2b will open for traffic in 2033. Including wider economic impacts, the government expects that Phase 2b will have a benefit:cost ratio of 3·1:1.
Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames The Greatest Dancer returns for a second series on Saturday night on BBC One.Cheryl, Matthew Morrison and Oti Mabuse are back as Dance Captains and this year they’ll be joined by Todrick Hall, best-known for his innovative choreography and viral YouTube videos. Alesha Dixon and Jordan Banjo are back to present and Love Island star Curtis Pritchard will be manning the reception desk as the hopefuls arrive.The show will see dancers of all ages and dance styles compete to win £50,000 and a chance to perform on Strictly Come Dancing. During the auditions, the audience holds the power. If they are impressed by the audition, they will vote to open the mirror, if 75 percent of the audience vote YES, the mirror will open and the dancer will make it through to the next stage of the competition, the call backs.There is a new twist for this series, where one Dance Captain will be given the power to choose their ’Greatest Dancer of the Day’ at the end of each episode, offering them a guaranteed place on their team and a fast track straight through to the live shows.The first series saw Oti Mabuse and her dancer Ellie win the competition. Can she win again this year or will it be one of the other Dance Captains?The Greatest Dancer series 2 kicks off at 7pm Saturday on BBC One. Preview it with our gallery below: Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames Credit: BBC/Syco/Thames
Stabroek Market vendors along with the Guyana Vendors Market Union staged a protest in front of City HallProtestors assembled outside City Hall on Fridayon Friday, calling for the removal of the Mayor, Town Clerk and Chief Constable.Scores of vendors picketed City Hall, calling for the removal of Town Clerk, Royston King, Mayor Patricia Chase-Green and Chief Constable Andrew Foo from their posts.They expressed frustration at the recent decision to have them removed from the Stabroek Market Canopy area, claiming that they were not consulted – a frequent habit.One vendor vented her frustration to Guyana Times, stating that they need urgent discussions with King: “We want talks with City Council, with Royston King because they are hiding and they are denying the union; we need to have talks, they need to have on the table discussions with the vendors.”President of the Guyana Vendors Market Union, Eon Andrews, told this publication that the protest was prompted due to the many empty promises made by the Mayor and Town Clerk.He further questioned the authenticity of the promises to build a more modernised market to facilitate vending: “There was a structure that was presented to this council and to the city to be built behind of Stabroek where that wharf is deteriorated and now we are not hearing anything about it, so I think that it is a lot of talks. Unless the leaders at City Hall aren’t removed, then there will be nothing that will change because they have no vision,” he said.President of the Guyana Trades Union Congress, Russell Gonsalves also joined the protest in support of the vendors and questioned the Town Clerk’s refusal to engage in discussions with the Market Union. Gonsalves declared: “My question is why is it that the town clerk don’t want to meet with the head of the union for discussions as it relates to going forward; because you can’t just move people out of the roadway where they are accustomed to plying their trade.”Other vendors told this publication that they feel victimised by the Chief Constable, Andrew Foo, especially after a rifle was found under the Stabroek Market Canopy some days ago.
Gene expression results In a provocative paper published this week, researchers say they have figured out a way to link a person’s DNA to their anonymous genetic data in a certain kind of public research database. But the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which hosts one of the largest such databases, says it’s not taking any new steps to prevent someone from using the method to breach privacy. That contrasts with NIH’s response 4 years ago, when a similar study prompted the agency to pull genetic data from its public Web sites. The issue then involved studies that compare DNA variants called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in people with and without an illness to find disease risk markers. NIH had begun posting online pooled SNP results from hundreds of people, thinking privacy would not be breached. But then scientists reported in PloS Genetics that if they had a sample of an individual’s DNA, they could link it to that person’s SNP results within a public DNA pool. NIH (and the Wellcome Trust) removed data from public sites; NIH now allows only approved researchers to download pooled data from SNP disease studies. Such access barriers are less common for a different type of genetic data: measures of gene activity derived by analyzing RNA levels in a tissue sample. Because this gene expression data wasn’t thought to be traceable to an individual, researchers have routinely deposited RNA results in public databases. One example is NIH’s Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database, which holds nearly 1000 datasets for gene expression tests on human tissues. Anyone can look up data for individuals who participated in, say, a study on breast cancer or childhood obesity. 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Eric Schadt and colleagues at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City reported this week in Nature Genetics that they have developed a technique for generating a personal SNP profile, or a DNA “bar code,” for an individual based on their gene expression results. This means that, in principle, if someone had a DNA sample from a participant in a study stored in GEO, they could devise a SNP barcode, match it to a GEO sample, and look at that participant’s biological data. Despite implications similar to those of the 2008 PloS Genetics paper—a remote but real possibility that research participants could be identified—NIH isn’t as concerned this time. In a statement, the agency said that while NIH leaders “will be reviewing the finding” and its implications, “NIH sees no need to modify its data sharing practices at this time.” National Human Genome Research Institute spokesperson Larry Thompson explains that the risks seem low because what Schadt’s group did requires “a complex statistical tool” and “it’s not an easy thing to do.” NIH’s attitude was different 4 years ago, he says, because it “was the first time,” and NIH felt it should “go to the extremes of caution.” Schadt says he didn’t expect NIH to impose new limits on data access. His message, he says, was “to highlight that in fact there may be no way to protect privacy” of individual genetic data. Instead of blocking access, Schadt says, NIH should educate people that there’s a chance that their data won’t remain confidential—and instead rely on “downstream” protections such as genetic antidiscrimination laws. Attorney Dan Vorhaus, who runs the blog Genomics Law Report, agrees that “the idea that we can promise a complete separation from data and identity is now largely discredited.” Vorhaus says that NIH should update its data-sharing policy to require that study volunteers be told that the privacy of their genetic data can’t be guaranteed. “Participants should understand the risk and be free to assume that risk if they wish,” Vorhaus says.
Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon won the women’s Olympic 1,500 meters gold on Wednesday after unleashing a devastating second half of the race to leave Ethiopia’s world record holder Genzebe Dibaba trailing in second place. (Rio Olympics – Full Coverage) Kipyegon, fastest in the world this year, sat in the pack as the runners virtually jogged the opening stages before she and Dibaba took off and pulled clear after a 56.8-second lap.World champion Dibaba, who has struggled with injury this year, led with 200 to go but the 22-year-old Kipyegon forced her way past and drove for the line to win in four minutes 8.92 seconds.Dibaba held on for silver, with American former world champion Jenny Simpson taking bronze ahead of compatriot Shannon Rowbury.