An international team of scientists has sequenced the RNA of 99 samples of the Ebola virus, collected during the outbreak's early days in Sierra Leone.
Samples were collected from 78 patients, with some giving twice so researchers could see how the virus mutates in a person. "The genome sequence of a virus is the blueprint on which that virus is built," Pardis Sabeti, a Harvard geneticist who helped oversee the study, told the Los Angeles Times. "Diagnostics are built on knowing that sequence; vaccines are also built using genome sequences. And if you want to build those as best you can, you want to know what the virus looks like today."
Scientists are taking a close look at the sequence, searching for clues that could lead them to effective vaccines or drugs. They've discovered that the Ebola virus that has killed more than 1,500 people originated in Guinea, with one transmission from an animal to a human. The sequencing started in early June, and by mid-June the results were available to scientists. "We want to enable everyone in the scientific community to look at the genetic sequences at once and crowd-source a solution," Sabeti said.
It's personal now for the researchers, as five of the study's co-authors in Sierra Leone have died of Ebola since participating in the research. "It's been an emotional time for us," said Stephen Gire, a research scientist and co-leader of the study. "It makes us want to work harder to get this information out there."
The findings were published Thursday in the journal Science. Catherine Garcia
Hacked audio of Democrat Hillary Clinton speaking with donors about her then-primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, in February shows the nominee describing Sanders' supporters as uninformed and idealistic "children of the Great Recession" who are "living in their parents' basement."
In this election, Clinton says, there "is a strain of, on the one hand, the kind of populist, nationalist, xenophobic, discriminatory kind of approach that we hear too much of from the Republican candidates," while, "on the other side, there's just a deep desire to believe that we can have free college, free healthcare, that what we've done hasn't gone far enough, and that we just need to, you know, go as far as, you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means, and half the people don't know what that means, but it's something that they deeply feel."
The clip, leaked earlier this week and publicized by Politico Friday night, also hears Clinton sympathizing with basement dwellers who see little economic opportunity in their future and thus find a Sanders-style "revolution" enticing. Bonnie Kristian
The largest hospital in the rebel-held part of Aleppo, Syria, was heavily damaged Saturday by airstrikes using barrel bombs and perhaps also cluster bombs. The strikes were conducted by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as Russian troops; and a second, smaller hospital was also damaged.
This news comes after France and Britain lobbed accusations of war crimes at Russia over its Syria policy during a United Nations meeting earlier this week. Also this week, a Syrian monitoring group reported Russian strikes in Syria have killed more than 9,000 people, while Russia announced plans to send more warplanes to the war-torn Mideast nation.
The damaged Aleppo hospital is no longer operational, and the second-largest hospital in that part of Aleppo has shut down as well. Only six functional hospitals remain in the region, where about 2 million people are without running water. Bonnie Kristian
The spot cuts clips of Ivanka with stock footage of happy moms and their children as the eldest Trump daughter explains her father's plans regarding "the most important job any woman can have," motherhood. "My father will change outdated labor laws so that they support women and American families," Trump says. "He will provide tax credits for childcare, paid maternity leave, and dependent care savings accounts."
The clip is part of a $7.5 million ad buy for the Trump campaign and will air on channels including TLC, Lifetime, and Bravo. Watch the video below via a Trump campaign tweet. Bonnie Kristian
— Official Team Trump (@TeamTrump) September 30, 2016
After four nights of protest in El Cajon, California, a suburb of San Diego, over Tuesday's fatal police shooting of Ugandan-born Alfred Olango, authorities released two sources of footage of Olango's death on Friday. The graphic video is available for viewing here.
Neither clip was recorded by official police cameras and much of the footage is silent. One video was obtained from a surveillance camera at a nearby taco restaurant, and the other is cell phone footage filmed by a bystander from a nearly identical angle. The grainy clips make it difficult to decipher Olango's behavior before he was killed, though it is clear the police officer responsible — who was summoned to the scene by Olango's sister out of concern for her brother's frame of mind — fired the fatal shots within 40 seconds of encountering the unarmed, mentally unstable man.
The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave and no charges have been filed to date. Bonnie Kristian
A new Los Angeles nightclub will admit only good-looking people. The club is being opened by BeautifulPeople.com, an elitist dating site, and will station beauty judges at the door to decide whether nonmembers and guests can enter, CBS Los Angeles reports. A site official said members were tired of going to clubs "hoping to meet similarly beautiful people, only to spend the night wishing that the lighting was lower."
The club is set to open in West Hollywood in early 2017, and its panel of judges will include models, celebrity trainers, and "Hollywood insiders and influencers."
But don't worry, you average-looking folks: The site director promises "rare exceptions will be made on the grounds of wealth."
Bon Iver's first album in five years dropped Friday, an offering Pitchfork reviewer Amanda Petrusich described as "an unexpected turn toward the strange and experimental." Titled 22, A Million, the album is the band's third full-length record and features 10 songs with symbol-heavy titles, like "715 - CRΣΣKS" and "21 M♢♢N WATER". The folksy guitar of Bon Iver's 2007 debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago, is largely replaced with electronic sound effects on the new album, which makes for what NPR described as "surprising turns and richly contrasting elements."
So far, the reviews are largely positive. Consequence of Sound applauded the music's "vision and beauty" and called the album a "sturdy and unparalleled step of confidence," while The Independent dubbed the project an "astonishing record that grapples with the infinite." Some critics, however, thought Bon Iver's talent tended to get lost amid all the album's effects and experimentation. "All of this is an attempt to make it new; all of this creates intrigue but also distance between the singer and the listener that sometimes is too great to be overcome," The Atlantic's Spencer Kornhaber wrote.
The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Friday that there were "issues" with Donald Trump's microphone at Monday's debate. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," the commission wrote, without offering any additional details.
Following Monday's event, Trump had complained about his microphone, and wondered whether it had perhaps been intentionally compromised. Hillary Clinton, in turn, had knocked Trump for his comments, joking the next day that "anyone who complains about the microphone is not having a good night."
Trump and Clinton will meet again on Oct. 9, for the second presidential debate, which will be a town-hall style event. Kimberly Alters