Senate panel questions Lynch over ‘political interference’ in Clinton probe

The Senate Judiciary Committee has formally asked ex-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and others to respond to allegations of political interference in the FBIs Hillary Clinton email probe, according to a letter released Friday.

The inquiry was inspired, in part, by a series of media reports creating questions about whether Lynch tried to stifle the investigation into former Secretary of State Clintons use of a private email server. Fired FBI Director James Comey also suggested in recent Senate testimony that Lynch sought to downplay the investigation.

The reports go amidst numerous allegations of political inference in controversial and high-profile investigations spanning the current and previous administrations, Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s office said in a statement.

While Democrats have questioned whether President Trump tried to interfere in the probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign, Republicans have countered by stepping up scrutiny of Lynch’s actions.

The letters released Friday, though, were bipartisan. Grassley, R-Iowa; ranking Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif .; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C ., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I ., penned letters to Lynch and others attempting documents and other details.

Graham already had expressed interest in Lynch testifying before the committee in the wake of Comey’s testimony.

In the latest letters, the senators sought information that might ascertain the veracity of media reports indicating Lynch may have offered assurances to the Clinton campaign about the probe.

Those articles are based on hacked documents whose authenticity has not been confirmed.

The letter cited an April New York Times article about a batch of hacked files obtained by the FBI, including one reportedly authored by a Democratic operative who voiced confidence Lynch would keep the Clinton probe from going too far.

Lynch and others who received the committee’s letters have until July 6 to comply with the request.

The senators also refer to concerns stemming from Comeys testimony about being uncomfortable with Lynchs tarmac meeting last summer with Bill Clinton.

Comey also told Congress “the attorney general directed me not to call it an investigation and call it a matter — which confused me.”

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Watch a tiny virus take a constitutional under a laser-powered 3D microscope

If youre anything like me, you expend a significant portion of the day wondering about the paths viruses take when theyre cruising around your internals. Luckily for us, a newly developed microscope from Duke researchers can show the exact track taken by the little critters (?), down to the micrometer.

The system, designed by a squad led by deputy professor Kevin Welsher, isnt like a traditional microscope. Instead of exaggerating an image using natural or augmented sunlight, it scans a laser through a small volume repeatedly and from multiple slants. This illuminates special fluorescent particles, the positions of which can be tracked over time.

Attach one of those particles to something else and you are able to way what its doing. Its kind of like a mocap studio for microbiology. But until recently, those particles were too big to attach to viruses imagine trying to do your Gollum impression with basketballs taped all over your body. Welshers team lately improved the power of the system enough that it can see much smaller dots and even fluorescent proteins constructed right into the viru system. The outcome, as you assure up top, is quite a detailed little way!

Simple, right?

Im reminded of the old Family Circus cartoons, with Billy or whoever going all over the neighborhood, petting dogs, tracking dirt on the neighbours porch and so on. Except Billy is a lentivirus, and the neighborhood is the soupy exterior of a cell membrane.

Its not all just for kicks, of course: The objective is to be able to watch as a virus builds contact with a cell and does whatever it does to penetrate and infect it. That moment, so critical to understanding viral behaviour, is poorly understood because its been nearly impossible to find directly.

What we are trying to investigate is the very first contacts of the virus with the cell surface how it calls receptors, and how it sheds its envelope, told Welsher in a Duke news release. We want to watch that process in real hour, and to do that, we need to be able to lock on to the virus right from the first moment.

With this system, were a step closer to understanding one of the most sophisticated biological machines ever created. The teams work is published the coming week in the periodical of the Optical Society.

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This video for a brilliantly designed transgender toy hit me right in the feels.

It’s not usually a great sign if you’re screaming at the end of a toy commercial, but in the case of Sam, that might actually be the entire point.

First, let me back up and tell you a tale. I have a set of nesting dolls I keep on my desk, a gift from a friend back when I first came out as transgender. The doll’s nesting layers came to represent who I was, who I am, and who I will be, all contained in one body.

So what does this have to do with a plaything commercial?

Earlier this week, I assured “Sam’s Story, ” an animated short by Gender Creative Kids Canada about a transgender son coming to terms with who he is. The video ends with a call for people to visit The You Inside Project to back a Kickstarter aiming to create what the group is calling “the world’s first educational transgender toy.”

It just so happens that “Sam” is a nesting doll defined just like mine.