ADC AUTHOR Congress could help start hundreds of infrastructure projects across the country by appropriating money to the Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP), according to analysis the Association of Defense Communities released this week.“This ready-to-go infrastructure plan makes national security the first priority,” ADC writes in “Implementing the Defense Community Infrastructure Program: A Survey of Projects Ready to Enhance Military Value.”Congress created DCIP in the defense authorization bill to allow for DOD matching grants to state and local governments for critical off-base infrastructure needs affecting installations’ resilience and readiness.A national survey helped ADC identify more than 200 projects in 28 states that could be eligible for DCIP funding. The report describes the projects, which range from transportation and public safety to utilities and other joint services.The defense bill authorized up to $100 million for DCIP, but that would need to be officially appropriated by Congress.
British prime minister Theresa May reacts after tellers announced the results of the vote Brexit deal in Parliament in London, Britain on 12 March in this screen grab taken from video. Photo: ReutersBritish MPs resoundingly rejected prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a second time on Tuesday, plunging the country into further uncertainty just 17 days before it is due to split from the European Union.The House of Commons voted 391-242 against the divorce deal, even after May secured further guarantees from Brussels over its most controversial elements.The move risks unleashing economic chaos, as Britain is scheduled to end ties with its biggest trade partner after 46 years on 29 March no matter what.Appearing before MPs in a voice half-breaking due to a cold, May defiantly vowed to fight on, saying she “profoundly” rejected the outcome.“The deal we’ve negotiated is the best and indeed the only deal,” she told the hushed chamber moments after the vote.May promised to allow MPs to vote on a “no deal” option on Wednesday and, if that is rejected as expected, to decide on Thursday whether to ask the EU to delay Brexit.She said parliament faced “unenviable choices” if it voted for an extension, including revoking Brexit, holding a second referendum or leaving with another deal.However, euro sceptics believe the current deal is so bad that it is worth the risk of leaving with no plan.The latest vote comes two years after Britain set the clock ticking on its departure from the EU following a highly divisive referendum in 2016.Michel Barnier, the EU chief Brexit negotiator, said Brussels had nothing more to offer and must now brace for the possibility of a messy divorce.“The EU has done everything it can to help get the Withdrawal Agreement over the line,” Barnier tweeted.“The impasse can only be solved in the #UK. Our ‘no-deal’ preparations are now more important than ever before.”But a spokeswoman for European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said EU members would consider a “reasoned request” for a Brexit delay.Germany’s foreign minister said Tuesday that it was becoming increasingly likely that Britain would crash out of the bloc with no deal in place, accusing the country of “gambling carelessly with the well-being of citizens and the economy”.“Unfortunately, I can only say that at the moment Germany has prepared for all the worst cases as well as possible,” Heiko Maas said.Not a single changeJeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour party who has been trying to force snap elections, said May must now admit that her government’s overarching strategy had failed.“Their deal, their proposal, the one the prime minister’s put, is clearly dead,” Corbyn said, calling on her to negotiate for a softer Brexit to keep close economic ties with the EU.After MPs first rejected the 585-page Brexit deal in January, May promised changes to the hated backstop plan which is intended to keep open the border with EU member Ireland.She announced she had secured the promised “legally binding changes” to the backstop—which would keep Britain in the EU’s customs union if and until a new way was found to avoid frontier checks—after a last-minute trip to Strasbourg to meet EU leaders on the eve of the vote.Hours later, however, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said the additions would not completely allay MPs fears of being trapped in the arrangement forever.It did not take long for Brexit-supporting MPs in May’s Conservative party, and her allies, Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), to declare their opposition.Some eurosceptics did change their mind, urging their colleagues not to risk everything.Former minister Edward Leigh said: “You may not like the deal, it’s not perfect, but it delivers Brexit and let’s go for it.”But the margin of Tuesday’s defeat was not substantially smaller than the 230-vote thumping the plan suffered on 15 January.The pound, which has been highly volatile since the 2016 referendum, initially rose after the vote but then sank against both the euro and dollar.No third chanceThe backstop is designed to protect the peace process in Northern Ireland, which involved the removal of border checks with the Republic of Ireland.Brexit supporters wanted a unilateral way out of it, or a time limit to the arrangement, but the EU said this would make it worthless.Leaders across Europe also united behind a message that this was the best and final offer Britain could expect.“There will be no third chance,” Juncker said after his talks on Monday with May.If MPs vote against a no-deal exit on Wednesday, and want to postpone Brexit, the other 27 EU nations would need to agree.Their leaders will meet in Brussels for a summit on 21-22 March.But any postponement may have to be short-lived.Juncker on Monday said Brexit “should be complete before the European elections” at the end of May.
(Phys.org)—A pair of researchers at Duke University has built a library of protein data that outlines the specific amino acid sequences that control changes of many elastin proteins. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, Felipe García Quiroz and Ashutosh Chilkoti describe their research, the making of their library, and their belief that what they have created will help in the development of new synthetic designs for possible use in medical applications. Citation: Researchers develop a library of elastin-like proteins to help in creating synthetic designs (2015, September 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-09-library-elastin-like-proteins-synthetic.html Proteins assemble and disassemble on command This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Sequence heuristics to encode phase behaviour in intrinsically disordered protein polymers, Nature Materials (2015) DOI: 10.1038/nmat4418AbstractProteins and synthetic polymers that undergo aqueous phase transitions mediate self-assembly in nature and in man-made material systems. Yet little is known about how the phase behaviour of a protein is encoded in its amino acid sequence. Here, by synthesizing intrinsically disordered, repeat proteins to test motifs that we hypothesized would encode phase behaviour, we show that the proteins can be designed to exhibit tunable lower or upper critical solution temperature (LCST and UCST, respectively) transitions in physiological solutions. We also show that mutation of key residues at the repeat level abolishes phase behaviour or encodes an orthogonal transition. Furthermore, we provide heuristics to identify, at the proteome level, proteins that might exhibit phase behaviour and to design novel protein polymers consisting of biologically active peptide repeats that exhibit LCST or UCST transitions. These findings set the foundation for the prediction and encoding of phase behaviour at the sequence level. Journal information: Nature Materials © 2015 Phys.org Explore further Proteins are organic compounds essential to all living organisms, they are especially prevalent in components that have structure, such as muscle, skin, hair, etc. They provide structure by self-forming into different shapes under different conditions, two of which are solubility and temperature. Proteins are made of sequences of amino acids—the order and type of which drive the shape of the protein when certain conditions are met. Scientists still do not quite understand how proteins self assemble into the specific 3D shapes they take, nor which amino acids lead to which shapes, or indeed, how the order in which they exist contributes to those shapes. To help provide a better understanding of how it all works, Quiroz and Chilkoti set about building a library of all the known elastin-like proteins, along with the shapes they take under different conditions. They based it on the sequences of five key amino acids found in the fibrous protein typically found in connective tissue, such as muscles. They then set about testing each entry in the library by growing samples of E. coli engineered to produce proteins that folded into different shapes under different conditions. Most specifically noted was under which conditions the proteins shifted from being soluble to non-soluble and vice-versa. That work led them to developing a set of rules that loosely defined which amino acid sequences would result in which shapes under which conditions.The research duo acknowledge that their rules are more like guidelines, but suggest the basis of what they have built can not only be made stronger with more research by them and others, but can be used to assist in creating synthetic proteins for use in developing targeted drugs. One example would be protein capsules that remain insoluble inside the body until a certain condition is met, at which point, a medication would be released.