Cities of God: The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conquered Rome by Rodney StarkHow did the preaching of a peasant carpenter from Galilee spark a movement that would grow to include over two billion followers? Who listened to this good news, and who ignored it? Where did Christianity spread, and how? Based on quantitative data and the latest scholarship, preeminent scholar and journalist Rodney Stark presents new and startling information about the rise of the early church, overturning many prevailing views of how Christianity grew through time to become the largest religion in the world.
Drawing on both archaeological and historical evidence, Stark is able to provide hard statistical evidence on the religious life of the Roman Empire to discover the following facts that set conventional history on its head:
Contrary to fictions such as The Da Vinci Code and the claims of some prominent scholars, Gnosticism was not a more sophisticated, more authentic form of Christianity, but really an unsuccessful effort to paganize Christianity.
Paul was called the apostle to the Gentiles, but mostly he converted Jews.
Paganism was not rapidly stamped out by state repression following the vision and conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine in 312 AD, but gradually disappeared as people abandoned the temples in response to the superior appeal of Christianity.
The oriental faiths—such as those devoted to Isis, the Egyptian goddess of love and magic, and to Cybele, the fertility goddess of Asia Minor—actually prepared the way for the rapid spread of Christianity across the Roman Empire.
Contrary to generations of historians, the Roman mystery cult of Mithraism posed no challenge to Christianity to become the new faith of the empire— it allowed no female members and attracted only soldiers.
By analyzing concrete data, Stark is able to challenge the conventional wisdom about early Christianity offering the clearest picture ever of how this religion grew from its humble beginnings into the faith of more than one-third of the earths population.
Jeremy Stark, Ph.D.
Alternative end joining Alt-EJ chromosomal break repair involves bypassing classical non-homologous end joining c-NHEJ , and such repair causes mutations often with microhomology at the repair junction. Finally, we found that the proteasome inhibitor Bortezomib, a cancer therapeutic that has been shown to disrupt FANC signaling, causes a significant reduction in both Alt-EJ and HR, relative to Distal-EJ, as well as a substantial loss of end resection. Alternative EJ Alt-EJ is a chromosomal double strand break DSB repair pathway that often uses short stretches of homology microhomology to bridge the break during repair. We then investigated distinctions among individual factors. PLoS Genet 11 1 : e
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Ionizing radiation IR can cause to significant tumor cell death, however resistance to radiotherapy can limit its efficacy.
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Failure to restore the original DNA sequence following clastogen exposure causes genetic loss, which likely contributes to the cellular toxicity of these agents. Namely, SSA is a type of homologous recombination HR pathway that uses flanking homologous repeat sequences to bridge the DSB, which causes a deletion rearrangement, with loss of the genetic information between the repeats. SSA has the potential to be catastrophic to the integrity of mammalian genomes, given the high level of repetitive elements, including the approximately one million Alu-type elements in the human genome. SSA, and limit the size of deletion rearrangements caused by SSA, are important for clastogen resistance. To understand the regulation of SSA, our specific aims are: Aim 1.
Chromosomal double strand breaks DSBs can be repaired by a number of mechanisms that result in diverse genetic outcomes. To examine distinct outcomes of chromosomal DSB repair, a panel of human cell lines has been developed that contain GFP-based reporters with recognition sites for the rare-cutting endonuclease I-SceI. One set of reporters is used to measure DSB repair events that require access to homology: homology-directed repair, homology-directed repair that requires the removal of a nonhomologous insertion, single strand annealing, and alternative end joining. These Distal-EJ events do not require access to homology, and thus are distinct from the repair events described above. Therefore, this co-expression approach can be used to examine the relative frequency of Proximal-EJ versus Distal-EJ, and hence provide a measure of the fidelity of end utilization during repair of multiple DSBs. In this report, the repair outcomes examined by each reporter are described, along with methods for cell culture, transient expression of I-SceI and Trex2, and repair product analysis.