HMS Beagle

HMS Beagle was a Cherokee-class 10-gun brig-sloop of the Royal Navy, one of more than 100 ships of this class. The vessel, constructed at a cost of £7,803, was launched on 11 May 1820 from the Woolwich Dockyard on the River Thames. Reports say the ship took part in celebrations of the coronation of King George IV of the United Kingdom, passing through the old London Bridge, was the first rigged man-of-war afloat upriver of the bridge. There was no immediate need for Beagle so she "lay in ordinary", moored afloat but without masts or rigging, she was adapted as a survey barque and took part in three survey expeditions. The second voyage of HMS Beagle is notable for carrying the graduated naturalist Charles Darwin around the world. While the survey work was carried out, Darwin travelled and researched geology, natural history and ethnology onshore, he gained fame by publishing his diary journal, best known as The Voyage of the Beagle, his findings played a pivotal role in the formation of his scientific theories on evolution and natural selection.

The Cherokee class of 10-gun brig-sloops was designed by Sir Henry Peake in 1807, over 100 were constructed. The working drawings for HMS Beagle and HMS Barracouta were issued to the Woolwich Dockyard on 16 February 1817, amended in coloured ink on 16 July 1817 with modifications to increase the height of the bulwarks by an amount varying from 6 inches at the stem to 4 inches at the stern. Beagle's keel was laid in June 1818, construction cost £7,803, the ship was launched on 11 May 1820; the first reported task of the ship was a part in celebrations of the coronation of King George IV of the United Kingdom. Captain Pringle Stokes was appointed captain of Beagle on 7 September 1825, the ship was allocated to the surveying section of the Hydrographic Office. On 27 September 1825 Beagle fitted out for her new duties, her guns were reduced from ten cannon to six and a mizzen mast was added to improve her handling, thereby changing her from a brig to a bark. Beagle set sail from Plymouth on 22 May 1826 on her first voyage, under the command of Captain Stokes.

The mission was to accompany the larger ship HMS Adventure on a hydrographic survey of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, under the overall command of the Australian Captain Phillip Parker King and surveyor. Faced with the more difficult part of the survey in the desolate waters of Tierra del Fuego, Captain Stokes fell into a deep depression. At Port Famine on the Strait of Magellan he locked himself in his cabin for 14 days after getting over-excited and talking of preparing for the next cruise, shot himself on 2 August 1828. Following four days of delirium Stokes recovered but his condition deteriorated and he died on 12 August 1828. Captain Parker King replaced Stokes with the First Lieutenant of Beagle, Lieutenant William George Skyring as commander, both ships sailed to Montevideo. On 13 October King sailed Adventure to Rio de Janeiro for refitting and provisions. During this work Rear Admiral Sir Robert Otway, commander in chief of the South American station, arrived aboard HMS Ganges and announced his decision that Beagle was to be brought to Montevideo for repairs, that he intended to supersede Skyring.

When Beagle arrived, Otway put the ship under the command of his aide, Flag Lieutenant Robert FitzRoy. The 23-year-old aristocrat FitzRoy proved meticulous surveyor. In one incident a group of Fuegians stole a ship's boat, FitzRoy took their families on board as hostages, he held two men, a girl and a boy, given the name of Jemmy Button, these four native Fuegians were taken back with them when Beagle returned to England on 14 October 1830. During their brief sojourn in England, Boat Memory, the most promising of the four, died of smallpox. During this survey, the Beagle Channel was named after the ship; the log book from the first voyage, in Captain FitzRoy's handwriting, was acquired at auction at Sotheby's by the Museo Naval de la Nación located in Tigre, Buenos Aires Province, where it is now preserved. FitzRoy had been given reason to hope that the South American Survey would be continued under his command, but when the Lords of the Admiralty appeared to abandon the plan, he made alternative arrangements to return the Fuegians.

A kind uncle contacted the Admiralty. Soon afterwards FitzRoy heard that he was to be appointed commander of HMS Chanticleer to go to Tierra del Fuego, but due to her poor condition Beagle was substituted for the voyage. FitzRoy was re-appointed as commander on 27 June 1831 and Beagle was commissioned on 4 July 1831 under his command, with Lieutenants John Clements Wickham and Bartholomew James Sulivan. Beagle was taken into dock at Devonport for extensive rebuilding and refitting; as she required a new deck, FitzRoy had the upper-deck raised by 8 inches aft and 12 inches forward. The Cherokee-class ships had the reputation of being "coffin" brigs, which handled badly and were prone to sinking. Apart from increasing headroom below, the raised deck made Beagle less liable to top-heaviness and possible capsize in heavy weather by reducing the volume of water that could collect on top of the upper deck, trapped aboard by the gunwales. Additional sheathing added to the hull added about seven tons to her burthen

Pacific Biosciences

Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. is an American biotechnology company founded in 2004 that develops and manufactures systems for gene sequencing and some novel real time biological observation. PacBio describes its platform as single molecule real time sequencing, based on the properties of zero-mode waveguides; the company's first commercial product, the PacBio RS, was sold to a limited set of customers in 2010 and was commercially released in early 2011. A subsequent version of the sequencer called the PacBio RS II was released in April 2013. On 25 September 2013 a partnership between Pacific Biosciences and Roche Diagnostics was announced for the development of in vitro diagnostic products using the technology, with Roche providing US$75,000,000 in the deal. In 2015, the company launched a new sequencing instrument called the Sequel System with 7-fold greater capacity than the PacBio RS II. In April 2019 the company launched the Sequel II system with a further 8-fold increase in throughput.

The company was founded based on research done at Cornell University, that combined semiconductor processing and photonics with biotechnology research. It was founded under the name Nanofluidics, Inc; the company raised nearly US$400,000,000 in six rounds of venture capital financing, making it one of the most capitalized startups in 2010 leading up to their public offering in October of that year. Key investors included Mohr Davidow Ventures, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Alloy Ventures, Wellcome Trust; the company received the Technology Pioneer Award from the World Economic Forum in 2009. In 2010, The Scientist named the company and their first product the top life science innovation of the year, the company received the 2010 Advanced Sequencing Technology Award from the National Human Genome Research Institute. Technology Review magazine included them in their list of the top 50 most innovative companies for both 2010 and 2011. Founder and Chief Technical Officer Dr. Stephen Turner was awarded the 2010 Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Outstanding Postdoctoral Entrepreneur award for his work at the company.

In an initial public offering on October 27, 2010, Pacific Biosciences sold 12,500,000 shares at a price of $16 per share and raised $200 million. The shares trade on NASDAQ under the symbol PACB. On 1 November 2018, Illumina agreed to purchase PacBio for $1.2 billion US in cash. The deal was expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, however the deal was abandoned with an announcement on 2 January 2020. Illumina further agreed to pay Pacific Biosciences a $98 million US termination fee plus agreed upon deal extension payments of $22 million US in February and $6 million US in March of 2020; the company's first scientific instrument, called the “PacBio RS”, was released to a limited set of eleven customers in late 2010. Sequencing provider GATC Biotech was selected by Pacific Biosciences as its first European service provider in late 2010; the product was commercially released in early 2011. A new version of the sequencer called the "PacBio RS II" was released in April 2013. In September 2015, the company released the Sequel System.

The sequencer has increased capacity with 1 million zero-mode waveguides compared to 150,000 in the PacBio RS II, is one-third the size and one-half the price of the PacBio RS II. In April 2019, the company released an upgraded Sequel II system with support for a new SMRT Cell with eight million ZMW's, increasing the expected throughput per SMRT Cell by a factor of eight; the form factor for Sequel II is the same as Sequel, but with a modified robotics work deck. Further information: Single molecule real time sequencing To use either instrument, customers must purchase reagent packs for DNA preparation and sequencing and small consumables called “SMRT Cells”. Cells for the RS sequencer are less than one-centimeter square and contains tens of thousands of zero-mode waveguides. Cells for the Sequel sequencer are about 2.5 cm square and contains one million zero-mode waveguides, whereas cells for the Sequel sequencer contain eight million zero-mode waveguides. The cells for the RS sequencer are sold in packs of eight.

Cells for the Sequel or Sequel II sequencers are sold in packs of four. On 19 Sep 2018, PacBio released 3.0 chemistry. Performance differs between large-insert libraries and high molecular weight DNA versus shorter-insert libraries below ~15,000 bases in length. For larger templates, average read lengths are up to 30,000 bases. For shorter-insert libraries, the average read length is up to 100,000 bases while reading the same molecule in a circle; the latter shorter-insert libraries yield up to 50 billion bases from a single SMRT® Cell. On 1 Oct 2019, PacBio released the 8.0 software and 2.0 chemistry for Sequel II. For larger templates read as "continuous long reads", an example human library yielded N50 read length of 52,456 and yield per cell is 182 GB. For libraries below ~20,000 bases, read in circular consensus sequencing, yield per cell is quoted at 450 GB or about 30 GB of HiFi corrected reads, their secondary analysis bioinformatics product for the RS, called “SMRT Analysis”, was open source.

For the Sequel system the secondary analysis software was reorganized as the "SMRT Link" application. In 2013, the company released new bioinformatics tools for automated genome assembly and finishing to 99.999% accuracy. In May 2010, an article in Nature Methods showed that PacBio's instrument can detect methylation of DNA strands without altering the DNA. In 2012 scientists used SMRT sequencing to generate full bacterial methylomes. Befo


Mlikh is a mountain village in the Jezzine district, located in the Nabatiye Governorate in Southern Lebanon. It lies on the Al Rihan mountain chain; the village is located on a number of mountains peaks, between the mountain peaks. The word Mlikh may derive from the Semitic word for "king"; the root of Mlikh or king in the Semitic language is mlk. The word malik derives from the Semitic root mlk. Mlikh or mlk may possibly be connected to Moloch since moloch derives from the same mlk root, means "to rule". In Phoenician mlk has been linked to "king" deriving from pagan Melqart; the natives of Mlikh are Maronite-Christians. The village houses one church, one mosque, a Hussainiya; the village is home to a number of ancient "prophets" whose tombs are located on the mountain peaks surrounding Mlikh, including Burkab, Sujud. Shia and Christian inhabitants of the village and of the southern Lebanese region make pilgrimages to the tombs. Amal Abou Zeid is a member of the Lebanese parliament, is from Mlikh.

He is a member of the National Commission for Economy, Trade and Planning in the Lebanese Parliament, since December 2016