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Engineered yeast could amp up wine’s health benefits and eliminate hangovers: study

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Researchers at the University of Illinois’ Energy Biosciences Institute have designed a “jail-breaking” yeast that could increase the health benefits of wine while simultaneously decreasing the number of toxic byproducts responsible for hangovers.

Yong-Su Jin, a professor of microbial genomics, said that he and his team used a “genome knife” to make precise changes to the way in which yeast reproduces.

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“Fermented foods — such as beer, wine, and bread — are made with polyploid strains of yeast, which means they contain multiple copies of genes in the genome. Until now, it’s been very difficult to do genetic engineering in polyploid strains because if you altered a gene in one copy of the genome, an unaltered copy would correct the one that had been changed,” he said.

But with this new “genome knife,” Jin said that there is boundless potential for adding nutritional value to food.

“Wine, for instance, contains the healthful component resveratrol,” he explained. “With engineered yeast, we could increase the amount of resveratrol in a variety of wine by 10 times or more. But we could also add metabolic pathways to introduce bioactive compounds from other foods, such as ginseng, into the wine yeast. Or we could put resveratrol-producing pathways into yeast strains used for beer, kefir, cheese, kimchee, or pickles–any food that uses yeast fermentation in its production.”

Moreover, winemakers would be able to correct improper malolactic fermentation — the process by which the toxic byproducts that cause hangovers are created.

Jin also said that he believes that using this technique will make genetically engineered food less objectionable, because it doesn’t require using antibiotic resistance creating “markers” to alter the product.

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“With the genome knife, we can cut the genome very precisely and efficiently so we don’t have to use antibiotic markers to confirm a genetic event,” he said.


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Trump administration heavily redacted documents concerning their withholding of Ukraine aid

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The Trump administration has refused to disclose how key officials at the Department of Defense and the White House Office of Management and Budget reacted to President Trump’s decision to halt military aid to Ukraine.

On Nov. 25, federal district court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the administration to produce records reflecting what these officials said to one another about the legality and appropriateness of Trump’s order. The Center for Public Integrity sought the information in Freedom of Information Act requests filed in late September.

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Donald Trump Jr laughs at the prospect that Bill Barr will eventually lock up Trump’s political enemies

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On Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a video of Attorney General William Barr saying that he is constantly asked when Democrats are going to prison for their treatment of President Donald Trump, and he jokingly responded "these things take time."

Trump Jr. repeated that particular line in his tweet, accompanied by a series of laughing face emojis:

These things take time. 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/TX7DuYgAsr

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 13, 2019

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2020 Election

Jared Kushner is ‘officially overseeing’ Trump’s 2020 campaign ‘from his seat in the West Wing’: NY Times

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The administration of President Donald Trump has had multiple scandals for using federal government resources to aid his 2020 re-election campaign, but senior White House advisor Jared Kushner is his de facto campaign manager, The New York Times reported Thursday.

"Hours before the House Judiciary Committee was set to take a historic vote to push President Trump to the brink of impeachment, campaign officials gathered across the Potomac River for a state-of-the-race briefing in which they described how the Republican Party had been transformed into the “beer and bluejeans party” crafted in Mr. Trump’s image," the newspaper reported, despite the fact Trump claims he does not drink beer and is not known for wearing anything other than suits and golf attire.

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