Viruses, the Immune System, and Computer Systems

first_imgOur Debt to the Scientific Atheists In another parallel of antivirus programs and biological organism immune responses, just as antivirus programs must be continually updated with new virus signatures by consulting a database (which you may notice happens every few days when Windows updates its virus protection program), biological organisms are also updated after an encounter with a pathogen such as a virus. After the first time a T cell encounters a new antigen, it will begin to replicate itself into two types of cells: memory and effector T cells. The memory cells are long-living and become members of an effective database of T cells that each “remember” a specific antigen for the next time the organism is exposed to that antigen, being at the ready to crank out effector T cells that will perform the work of killing infected cells. Image: Fusion Medical Animation, via Unsplash.Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, viruses were not a daily topic of conversation beyond infectious disease experts and trained virologists, yet viruses are now the daily talk across the planet. At the same time, computers across the globe are subject to attack by their own viruses and malware. The medical and software engineering professions both invest exorbitant resources in fighting these respective attacks — so it is perhaps surprising that the deep parallels between the two have often gone unnoticed. Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Computers and Organisms Recommended Tagsantigensapoptosiscancercellscomputer programsCOVID-19extracellular fluidinfectious diseasesmajor histocompatibility complex class I moleculesorganismspandemicpeptidesquarantinesignatureT cellstelemetrytumorvertebrate organismsvirologistsviruses,Trending Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share An Ingenious Mechanism Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Walter Myers IIIBoard of Directors, Discovery InstituteWalter is a Principal Engineering Manager leading a team of engineers, working with customers to drive their success in the Microsoft Azure Cloud. He holds a Masters Degree in Philosophy from Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology, where he is an adjunct faculty member in the Master of Arts in Science & Religion (MASR) program teaching on Darwin, evolution, and design. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the California Policy Center (CPC), an educational non-profit focused on policies to improve California’s democracy and economy.Follow WalterProfile Sharecenter_img Computer systems of today are continually monitored, with each program providing the appropriate telemetry data needed for monitoring agents to accurately determine the internal health and performance of running programs. Based on this telemetry, an automated system can provide notification of a performance issue that requires programmers to make necessary changes to the software. This also includes scanning for exploits by hackers who may install harmful viruses that must be detected and neutralized. As I mentioned previously, the immune response for endogenous antigens is but one of multiple lines of defense in biological organisms and is a remarkable mechanism exhibiting the hallmarks of design. In the future, I hope to examine other aspects of the vertebrate immune system which is still an area of exciting scientific discovery because there is still much to learn due to its astounding complexity. Individual cells of vertebrate organisms protect themselves from a variety of microscopic enemies through an ingenious mechanism. On the surface of these cells, molecular “antennae” continually present a “readout” of the internal proteins performing work inside, up to perhaps ten thousand. These molecules are called major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules, or MHC class I for short. MHC molecules display small protein fragment peptide “signatures” (typically 8-11 amino acids in length) from within the cell. Each of these peptide signatures is a type of antigen, which can be either the host cell’s “self” (good) or foreign (bad) antigens. The process of presenting these antigens, whether good or bad, on the surface of a cell is called antigen presentation. Foreign antigens, which would be the result of viruses or bacteria that have invaded the cell, signal externally that the cell has been infected. Also presented are tumor antigens, which represent formerly “good” proteins that have mutated and are now bad (i.e., potentially cancerous cells). Antigens presented on the surface of infected cells by MHC molecules can be noticed by circulating cytotoxic (“cyto” as in cell and “toxic” as in poison) CD8+ T cells. These T cells routinely patrol the body of a vertebrate in extracellular fluid monitoring for these antigens, looking for signatures in the array of peptides that are not normally produced by the cell. When antigens for a virus or bacteria are found, T cells know the cell has been infected by foreign or mutated proteins and kick off a process of programmed cell death for cells that it now deems as potentially harmful. Ideally, if the immune system kills enough infected cells early on, this can prevent surrounding cells from being infected. We see something similar with viruses in computer systems. When a virus is detected, the infected program can be quarantined and repaired so it won’t spread the virus to other programs or computers or can be removed entirely if it cannot be repaired. Virus detection in computer programs is primarily implemented using a signature-based technique, where it searches a database of known virus “signatures,” as virtually all viruses have unique digital markers that can be detected in a running program. Anti-virus programs scan the bytes of code in each program looking for that signature, and if found in a program it will either delete the program, move it into quarantine, or disinfect it if possible. In relation to biological organisms, the concepts of monitoring and telemetry closely resemble attacks on biological organisms by exogenous microscopic predators, requiring a highly complex system of defenses far more complex than computer systems built by humans. Here I will focus on specific parallels between vertebrate immune systems and mechanisms used by computer programmers to protect computer systems. Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Intelligent Design Viruses, the Immune System, and Computer SystemsWalter Myers IIIFebruary 9, 2021, 6:40 AM Now what is different about the handling of viruses by computer systems as opposed to biological organisms in this endogenous (i.e., generated from within the cell) antigen scenario is that in the case of an infected computer program, the entire program is scanned linearly looking for a virus signature, whereas in the biological case, the cell effectively pre-filters the telemetry data before providing it to T cells. In the case of a virus or bacteria infecting the cell that can kill it and other cells that surround it, the cell has signaled something is wrong, and so it is now up to the T cells to induce apoptosis (i.e., the programmed death of the cell) thus sacrificing the cell to the benefit of the overall organism. 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Memorial service for singer Aretha Franklin held in Detroit

first_imgBill Pugliano/Getty Images(DETROIT) — A memorial service honoring the late Aretha Franklin was held in Detroit, Michigan, on Sunday.The “Queen of Soul” died on Aug. 16 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76.Outside the New Bethel Baptist Church, where the service was held, some signed boards at a memorial paying tribute to the singer.Those inside the church listened to the Rev. Jesse Jackson, as he spoke about Franklin’s life and her dedication to music.The New Bethel Baptist Church was where Franklin’s late father, Rev. C.L. Franklin was a minister and where Franklin began to let the world hear her sing.A mural of Franklin was painted on a wall down the street from the church.Aretha Franklin’s funeral will be held Aug 31.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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College students faced upsurge in anxiety, stress, and poor sleep the day after the 2016 election

first_imgEmail The researchers had 85 university students take a daily survey regarding their mood, stress, and mental health before and after the 2016 election. “We tracked daily psychological health for two weeks, starting a few days before the election, and concluding a few weeks after the election,” Roche explained.He and his colleague, Nicholas C. Jacobson, observed a spike in negative emotions and stress along with a drop in sleep quality the day after the election. The participants also reported an upsurge of race, gender, or age discrimination.“The main result was that students reported signs of negative emotions (anxiety, anger, fear) and other aspects of worsening psychological health (stress, poor sleep quality, marginalization, experiencing discrimination) on the day following the election,” Roche told PsyPost. “Some of these reactions only lasted for a day, while others appeared to be longer lasting (anger, fear, marginalization).”“This information can help counseling centers provide help for students, directing resources to address the difficulties that appear longer lasting. It may also help universities better understand their students so they can assist students in having productive reactions to the election (whether their candidate won or lost). This is especially important as many college students will be first time voters.”A similar study, published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, found an overall increase in negative moods among university students in the run-up to the election, which peaked on Election Day.But Roche admitted his study has some limitations.“The small sample size (less than 100 students) limits generalizability, and we also didn’t know political affiliation which may have had a role to play in student reactions,” he said. “These results apply to the 2016 presidential election, but it is possible that one would find these same results for any presidential election. Future research is needed to see if these reactions were typical or unique to the 2016 presidential election.”“This research is innovative because most political research we are aware of does not directly measure change over time within a person. For instance, most polls sample new people each day, rather than asking someone’s opinion across multiple occasions,” Roche added.“This is important because if an approval rating moves from 40% to 30%, we have no idea whether people are changing their minds, or if the people who agreed to respond to a poll that day happened to have a less approving view of the elected official. The potential of our research design (sampling individuals over time) can allow us to answer questions about change more directly. This has the potential to improve the predictive power of polling data, which has been recently questioned for its validity.”The study was titled: “Elections Have Consequences for Student Mental Health: An Accidental Daily Diary Study”. Share University students experienced a significant increase in anger, fear, marginalization, and stress on the day after the 2016 election, according to a new study published in Psychological Reports. Their sleep quality also suffered.“I first became interested in this topic after hearing how strongly students were reacting to the 2016 presidential election results in the classes I teach (some positive, some negative),” said Michael J. Roche of Penn State Altoona, the corresponding author of the study.“I realized that my research study (which tracked daily psychological health for two weeks) happened to begin just before the election, giving us an opportunity to explore the impact to psychological health in a way that had never been done before.” LinkedIncenter_img Pinterest Share on Facebook Share on Twitterlast_img read more

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Jumlah Penumpang Turun, JR East Kirim Produk Hasil Laut dari Miyagi ke Tokyo dengan…

first_imgKarena menggunakan kereta shinkansen, produk seafood ini tiba di Stasiun Tokyo sekitar dua jam setelah keberangkatan atau sekitar pukul 12.48 waktu setempat. Kemudian seafood segar ini disajikan sebagai makanan sashimi yang dilengkapi cuka di restoran seafood di tempat itu setelah jam dua siang. Menurut para nelayan yang ikut serta dalam inisatif tersebut, dalam hal transportasi kereta shinkansen menjadi yang tecepat karena bila menggunakan truk makanan seringkali seafood ini sampai ke Tokyo esok harinya.“Karena shinkansen kuat dalam kecepatan dan ketepatan waktu, kami ingin berkontribusi kepada masyarakat dengan membawa produk lokal,” kata Tsuyoshi Hamada dari proyek manajemen rantai pasokan JR East.Penumpang Tohoku Shinkansen telah turun secara signifikan di mana jumlah penumpang di bulan Mei ketika keadaan darurat di umumkan turun menjadi sepuluh persen dari periode yang sama di tahun lalu. Namun, keadaan penumpang berangsur pulih, tetapi di minggu sebelumnya penurunan hingga 30 persen dari periode yang sama tahun lalu.Bahkan situasi ini diperkirakan akan berlanjut untuk waktu yang lama. Inilah yang kemudian menjadi alasan JR East dengan mempertimbangkan langkah-langkah untuk mengkompensasi penurunan pendapatan dari bisnis kereta api, dan sebagai salah satunya, telah memulai eksperimen untuk mengangkut produk-produk khas lokal ke Tokyo dengan Shinkansen. JR akan terus memverifikasi waktu yang dibutuhkan untuk transportasi dari area produksi dan bertujuan untuk menerapkannya secara praktis sambil juga mengamati reaksi penumpang di kereta.“Karena kesegaran adalah kunci produk kelautan, saya pikir ini adalah hal yang membuat zaman yang akan merevolusi logistik,” kata Hiromitsu Ito, presiden industri perikanan Kaiyu.Baca juga: Tahan Gempa, Ini Kereta Berkecepatan Tinggi yang Baru di JepangUntuk diketahui, ini bukan kasus pertama bahan makanan yang diangkut oleh jaringan rel kecepatan tinggi, karena ikan segar, buah, dan sayuran telah dipindahkan dengan kereta Joetsu shinkansen antara Niigata dan Tokyo sejak 17 Januari. Kereta berangkat dari Niigata pukul 10.17 setiap hari Jumat, dengan membawa ikan mencapai toko Hoodison di stasiun Shinjuku sekitar pukul 14.30. Layanan ini tidak menggunakan akomodasi penumpang, tidak seperti program uji coba terbaru JR East di mana gerbong Nomor 1 ditutup untuk penumpang sehingga joknya dapat digunakan untuk mengangkut kontainer ikan.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading… RelatedShinkansen Pacu Kecepatan Antara Tokyo ke Sapporo, Namun ‘Terhalang’ Terowongan Seikan07/01/2020In “Darat”Terkendala Sistem Pengereman, Ratusan Ribu Penumpang Shinkansen Padati Stasiun02/01/2019In “Darat”Antisipasi Bencana Alam, Tiga Operator Shinkansen Gunakan Sistem Keselamatan Baru!03/12/2017In “Darat” Seafood produk lokal dari Prefektur Miyagi dikirim dengan kereta shinkansen ke Tokyo (istimewa) Jumlah penumpang kereta peluru shinkansen selama pandemi virus corona baru atau Covid-19 ini telah turun secara signifikan. Salah satunya adalah penumpang di Tohoku Shinkansen yang turun drastis jumlahnya. Hal ini kemudian membuat East Japan Railway (JR East) memulai eksperimen di mana kereta shinkansen sebagai kendaraan pengangkut makanan laut segar dari prefektur Miyagi ke Tokyo.Baca juga: Kereta Shinkansen Jepang Hadirkan Tiket Kereta ElektronikPada hari Rabu (26/8//2020), JR East mengangkut produk laut khas lokal Miyagi ini menggunakan kursi kosong kereta shinkansen. Produk laut khas tersebut yakni cumi dan tiram yang berangkat dengan kereta Tohoku shinkansen dari Stasiun Sendai pukul 10.41 waktu setempat. KabarPenumpang.com melansir laman nhk.or.jp (26/8//2020), pada gerbong pertama yang digunakan untuk transportasi, dua baris kursi yang saling berhadapan diletakkan box khusus tempat seafood disimpan.last_img read more

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