MastersConnection 2020
Issue 473 In This Issue April 9th, 2016

Editors Corner

Have you ever wondered how much information DNA can actually store? Apparently, if researchers were to use DNA instead of existing technology for digital storage, they claim it could be possible to “shrink the space needed to store digital data that today would fill a Walmart supercenter down to the size of a sugar cube.” Click here

Speaking of using DNA to our advantage, have you heard about the breakthrough in the quest to make artificial blood? Apparently scientists have figured out how to turn skin cells in to stem cells and then in to megakaryocytes, a special type of cell that can make lots of platelets. Click here

Nature is wonderful, for example, did you know that gardening is a better way to stay in shape then the gym? Even though gardening may give you less exercise in a given period of time, people are generally more likely to stick with it. Click here

There's more but I will leave the rest for you to discover and enjoy.
Have a wonderful week.

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Bloggers Corner
Democracy in Action
By Florence Vincent

I'm sharing this fascinating journey I'm on with my new found friends. A journey I would welcome you to join. Since getting involved in the Democrats monthly Legislative District (LD2) meetings I have seen the meetings grow from 8-10 people to 20-30 people. It's happening because people want change and change happens from the bottom up. And the LD2 meetings are the bottom, (on the 1st Monday of each month)! You could become a PCO, Precinct Committee Officer. It means you vote on the people who move up the ladder. You can run for office from there, or just be involved. You'll be creating the changes you want to see in our government, in our lives. Since the March 26th Caucus, when the state overwhelmingly voted for Bernie Sanders to be our nominee for President, we have been organizing for the next caucus on April 17th. The lucky people who were elected as delegates and alternates on March 26th, must attend the April 17th caucus for your nominee to keep their votes. It's at Ridgeline Middle School, 10605 Carter St SE, Yelm and starts at 1pm. From there the delegates and alternates, some 400+, gets narrowed down and about 60 go on. 17,000 statewide delegates will become the approx 118 who'll attend the National Convention in Philadelphia in July!

Click here to read full article

In The News

The Panama Papers exposed a huge global problem. What's next?

Decrypt or else: Draft encryption bill says tech companies must comply with court orders
A leaked draft of a Senate bill addressing the fight between Apple and the FBI over encrypted data on an iPhone indicates lawmakers are pursuing a strict policy that would require compliance with court orders and a possible ban on end-to-end encryption. A draft of the encryption bill, being crafted by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), was leaked to The Hill newspaper, revealing that the top members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence want any company that provides data or communications services to "provide, in a timely manner, responsive, intelligible information or data, or appropriate technical assistance to obtain such information or data," if ordered to do so by a court. The data must be offered to the government in an “intelligible format if such data has been made unintelligible by a feature, product or service owned, controlled, created or provided by the covered entity or by a third party on behalf of the covered entity," says the draft legislation, also known as the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016. "Intelligible" is defined in the draft as “decrypted, deciphered, decoded, demodulated, or deobfuscated to its original form.”

Click here to read full article

Technology Watch

CIA teaming up with skincare line that collects DNA in unconventional way
The CIA is funding a new product, and it has nothing to do with spying. The agency is teaming up with a skincare line that can collect DNA in a whole new way, according to documents obtained by The Intercept. The agency's unexpected interest in skincare is focused around Clearista, a product line that boasts a “formula so you can feel confident and beautiful in your skin's most natural state.” It is the main product line of Skincential Sciences. But forget radiant skin and a youthful glow; the CIA is reportedly after Clearista's ability to remove a thin outer layer of skin, revealing unique biomarkers that can be used for DNA collection. Described as “painless” on the Clearista website, the non-invasive procedure is said to require only water, a special detergent, and a few brushes against the skin. According to documents obtained by The Intercept, In-Q-Tel – the venture capital arm of the CIA – approached the skincare line with an interest in looking at DNA extraction using the method. “Our company is an outlier for In-Q-Tel,” Russ Lebovitz, the chief executive of Skincential Sciences, told The Intercept. Although he admitted that the unique relationship may make for an “unusual and interesting story,” he said that “if there's something beneath the surface, that's not part of our relationship and I'm not directly aware.

Click here to read full article

Space Watch

Spectacular image shows Jupiter’s magnificent auroras

A dazzling image has been released showing off Jupiter’s impressive magnetosphere and auroras in all their cosmic glory. Similar to Earth, Jupiter’s magnetic field compresses when hit by a blast of charged particles emitted from the sun. The compression pushes the charged particles towards Jupiter's poles and down into the atmosphere, generating an astonishing aurora light over the giant planet.

Click here to read and see more

Triad Theater
Calendar of Events

April 8th @ 7pm: Two Films - "Cooked" then "Ever Beyond"
$8 donation for one or both - Starting at 7pm for 1 hour is "Cooked" a delicious episode that will have your mouth watering. Followed at 8pm by a Replay of "Ever Beyond" with Simon Parkes as well as those listed below.

​Weekends in April, 4pm to 7pm: ART SHOW - The Triad Art Gallery presents "Images of the Northwest"
CLICK HERE to see a preview and pictures from Opening Night.

April 9th @ 7pm: Saturday Night Movie - Surrogates
$8 donation It's Bruce Willis - 'nuff said!

April 10th @ 1pm: "The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest"
This series runs every Sunday in April starting at 1pm - suggested donation of $8 or if you'd rather - FREE. Details from "TTAC": Let’s end the cancer pandemic once and for all! Every single day, tens of thousands of people, just like you, are curing cancer (and/or preventing it) from destroying their bodies. It’s time to take matters into our own hands and educate ourselves on real prevention and treatments. It could save your life or someone you love. Doctors, researchers, experts and survivors show you exactly “how-to” prevent and treat cancer in “The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest.”

April 16th, 4pm to 7pm: Sylvia Keeslar's Memorial at The Triad Theater
Bring Supplies. Please come celebrate this remarkable woman's history with us.

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Community Calendar

We do love to hear from you especially about community events that you think our readers ought to know about. So, thanks and keep the info flowing.

April 16th, 2pm to 5pm: Rally Against the Superdelegates!
Submitted by MC2020 reader Carolyn S.
72% of Washington voted for Bernie Sanders, but all of Washington state’s superdelegates are choosing Hillary Clinton. Is the Democratic Party actually democratic? Come to Olympia to tell the Superdelegates to respect the choice of Washington!
Saturday, April 16 at 2 PM - 5 PM
416 Sid Snyder Ave SW, Olympia, WA 98504
(The steps of the Legislature)
Find this event and ride share info on Facebook: click here
This flyer and event are NOT sponsored by the Bernie Sanders campaign, but started by grassroots Bernie activists and folks committed to democracy.

May 7th @ 7:30pm: A Recital to Benefit The Phoenix Rising School
Pamela Roberts-Aue and The Phoenix Rising School Present
Greg Dempster, piano
Pamela Dare, soprano
In a Recital to Benefit The Phoenix Rising School
Works by Mozart, Debussy, Ravel, Chopin, Barber, Liszt
This event will be held at The Commons, Yelm Middle School, 402 Yelm Avenue West, Yelm, WA 98597
Click here or scroll to the bottom for more information

Science Watch

'Compact & durable’: Scientists encode, retrieve 10,000 gigabytes stored on DNA molecules
Researchers at the University of Washington and Microsoft are developing one of the first complete storage systems to house digital data in DNA. The news comes as the digital universe is expected to hit 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020. “Life has produced this fantastic molecule called DNA that efficiently stores all kinds of information about your genes and how a living system works. It’s very, very compact and very durable,” said co-author Luis Ceze, UW associate professor of computer science and engineering, in a press release. “We’re essentially repurposing it to store digital data, pictures, videos, documents, in a manageable way for hundreds or thousands of years.” The team of bioengineers and computer science and electronic engineers were able to encode data from four image files into the nucleotide sequences of synthetic DNA snippets. This was achieved by converting the long strings of 1’s and 0’s in digital data into the four building blocks of the DNA sequence – adenine, guanine, cytosine and tymine. The synthesized DNA molecules were then dehydrated for long-term storage. Miraculously, researchers then reversed the process by retrieving the correct sequence from a large pool of DNA and reconstructing the images without losing a single byte of information, according to the University of Washington.

Click here to read full article

Breakthrough in quest to make artificial blood after scientists discover way to make microscopic cells that help the blood clot
Cancer patients and car crash victims could soon be given life-saving transfusions of artificial blood, thanks to a breakthrough by British scientists. They are close to making vast quantities of platelets, the microscopic cells that make blood clot. Platelet transfusions are regularly given to car crash victims, cancer patients and to plug life threatening bleeds after surgery, but the cells have a short shelf life.  Work by the Cambridge University and NHS Blood and Transplant paves the way for a synthetic supply – generated from skin cells. Excitingly, it may be possible to create one product that suits all patients, removing the need to match it to blood type. And it may even be possible to supercharge the lab-made cells, meaning they are even better at clotting than the real thing. The hope centres on stem cells – ‘blank’ cells with the ability to turn into other cell types. Using cocktails of vitamins and chemicals, the scientists turned skin cells into stem cells. They then coaxed the stem cells into producing cells called megakaryocytes. These normally live in the bone marrow, where they act as platelet factories. The team’s technique is so powerful that it is possible to make 200,000 megakaryocytes from a single skin cell. The next step is to trick these factories into making vast numbers of platelets.

Click here to read full article

Health Watch

Swiss to recognise homeopathy as legitimate medicine
The interior ministry has announced plans to give five complementary therapies including homeopathy the same status as conventional medicine. Homeopathy, holistic medicine, herbal medicine, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine will acquire the same status as conventional medicine by May 2017 when it comes to health insurance. After being rejected in 2005 by the authorities for lack of scientific proof of their efficacy, complementary and alternative medicines made a comeback in 2009 when two-thirds of Swiss backed their inclusion on the constitutional list of paid health services. As a result of the vote, these treatments are covered by basic compulsory insurance as part of six-year trial period from 2012-2017. However, they were all required to prove their “efficacy, cost-effectiveness and suitability” by 2017. In a statement released on Tuesday, the interior ministry said it had come to the conclusion that it was “impossible to provide such proof for these disciplines in their entirety”. They will thus be treated on a par with other medical disciplines, when it comes to health insurance. The ministry plans to continue allowing reimbursements of treatment costs by compulsory health insurance, provided they are administered by certified medical doctors.

Click here to read full article

Something Worth Knowing

Forget the gym - GARDENING is the best way to get in shape because you're more likely to stick to it
Take off your running shoes and slip on your wellies, because doctors say taking up gardening is just as good as going to the gym. Half an hour of digging burns 150 calories, the same period raking a lawn burns 120 and pushing a lawn mower for 30 minutes burns 165. While running may use up slightly more calories - about 240 for a half an hour jog - doctors are increasingly trying to encourage people to take up lighter activities that they will can weave into their daily routine. Many people are intimidated by gyms and strenuous fitness programmes, and experts are instead shifting their focus to get people to build in more moderate exercise that they will not give up on. Researchers have found that undertaking regular moderate exercise such as walking or gardening slashes the risk of a heart attack by half, and adds up to seven years to the average life span. Professor Naveed Sattar, expert in metabolic medicine at Glasgow University, said: ‘Gardening is great - it gets you outside, it helps build muscle and it burns calories. ‘The key thing is sustainability. The way to keep exercising is to something you love - such as gardening - or do something for a reason, such as walking or cycling to work.’

Click here to read full article

23 tips for a successful garden
The decision to begin a garden feels a bit like what I imagine the decision to skydive or bungee jump feels like: You’re excited! You have a vision! You make arrangements for the day you’ll do the skydiving/bungee-jumping/gardening deed and then it comes, and you approach the edge of the plane door/cliff/plot and suddenly your heart is pumping and all you can think is What. Have. I. Done. Tighten your harness. Take a deep breath. You’ve got a team of trained professionals right behind you: author and small-space gardening expert Marie Viljoen; Ceci de Corral, the design and installations manager at the rooftop farm and educational center Brooklyn Grange; and the author and gardener Alex Mitchell.

Here are 23 of their best tips for starting your first garden:

1. Just start. “Really, just start. Buy a pot. Buy potting soil,” says Viljoen. You’ll already be halfway to a garden by the time you decide what to plant in it.

Click here to read full article

RSE Newsletter

“New stem cell treatment using fat cells could repair any tissue in the body,” Reports Science
Click here to read article

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Phoenix Rising School

“I am 1,000 percent behind this school.” - Ramtha

Pamela Roberts-Aue and The Phoenix Rising School Present
Greg Dempster, piano
Pamela Dare, soprano
In a Recital to Benefit The Phoenix Rising School
Works by Mozart, Debussy, Ravel, Chopin, Barber, Liszt

7.30PM, Saturday 7 May 2016
The Commons, Yelm Middle School
402 Yelm Avenue West
Yelm, WA 98597

Tickets available at the door, $15.00 minimum tax-deductible donation
For VIP seating and Patron’s Preview, call for information:
The Phoenix Rising School

Who is the Phoenix Rising School? Click here to find out!

For more information about the Phoenix Rising School, click here:

Impact the future NOW, invest in our children TODAY!
Donate Online to The Phoenix Rising School

Ramtha quote copyright 2011 JZ Knight. Used with permission.
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Credit for creation of this newsletter comes to you from: Ben Mann

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