December 19

How Blind Cave Fish Lose Color

first_imgA study on cave fish revealed that several populations can have mutations to the same gene.  A gene that produces melanin, named Oca2, was found to be mutated in two separate populations of cave fish, resulting in albinism.  This same gene can produce albinism in humans.The replicated experiment is a powerful tool for experimental science, but typically unavailable in the study of evolution.  Cave adaptations have evolved in many species independently, however, and each cave species can be considered a replicate of the same evolutionary experiment that asks how species change in perpetual darkness.  A frequent outcome is that the species lose pigmentation or become albino. Cavefish, therefore, are a rich source for the examination of the evolutionary process.   (Emphasis added.)It was surprising to the multidisciplinary team why this gene, and not others that can also produce albinism, was implicated.  “One possibility, suggested by the researchers, is that it is a large gene presenting a big target for mutations, and it seems to have no other functions besides helping to make melanin,” the press release on EurekAlert states.  “Therefore, it doesn’t diminish other aspects of fitness when it is mutated.”Here is a situation where “evolutionary theory” is compatible with intelligent design or creationism.  It’s not a case of evolution in the sense of new functional information being added; it’s a case of function being lost.  How this loss of information affects an organism is interesting, and it is worthwhile question to ask why two cave fish populations would get the same mutation to the same gene.  If one assumes that the fish began with fully-operational Oca2 genes (as in creation/design), then it follows that a reproducing population of fish with mutations in that gene will lead to a population of albinos, if the benefit of having color no longer matters in the cave environment.  This is downward evolution, not upward evolution.  The story differs from the just-so storytelling of Darwinian theory, because we have plenty of empirical evidence that mutations lead to loss of function, but no evidence that mutations can produce new function.  Darwinists try to call this “evolution” (in the sense of change over time), but it doesn’t do anything to help Charlie’s story that fish evolved from pre-fish, or ultimately, from one-celled organisms.  Creationists could just as well study loss mutations to investigate the extent of genetic load (deterioration) over time since the original perfect creation; convergent devolution, therefore, is non-controversial, but convergent evolution is what lacks empirical support.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

December 19

Sweet Solutions from Nature

first_img1.  Rammensee, Slotta, Scheibel and Bausch, “Assembly mechanism of recombinant spider silk proteins,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online on April 29, 2008, 10.1073/pnas.0709246105.In the alligator story, National Geographic noted that alligators have “innate” immune systems while humans have “adaptive” immune systems.  “Although innate immunity is often considered primitive, there is nothing primitive about its effectiveness, [Adam] Britton [biologist, northern Australia] said.”  Britton called the antimicrobial peptides in alligator serum “extremely effective agents” against bacteria.  Remember that the first extremely effective antibiotics were also found in a “primitive” organism – fungus.  Design follows design, not chaos.  Imitation is the highest form of flattery.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Human engineers continue to look at plants and animals for inspiration.  Biomimetics – the imitation of biology for design technology – shows no sign of running out of ideas.Sweet gas:  A spoonful of sugar in the gas tank?  Science Daily reported on progress in converting plant sugars into clean-burning hydrogen – using biological enzymes.  This could give a new meaning to “power plant.”Moooove on:  Speaking of enzymes, fuel technicians have isolated an enzyme in a cow’s stomach that shows promise for efficient conversion of plant sugars into ethanol.  Science Daily’s gut reaction to this story was positive: “The fact that we can take a gene that makes an enzyme in the stomach of a cow and put it into a plant cell means that we can convert what was junk before into biofuel,” said one professor of crop and soil science.See ya sooner, alligator:  Yuck: alligator blood.  What good could come from that?  Infection-fighting drugs, reported National Geographic News.  Scientists are intrigued that alligators live with frequent bloody wounds in bacteria-laden muddy swamps but rarely get infected.  Scientists at Louisiana University found that alligator serum fights more bacteria than human serum.  If we can harness the alligator’s secrets, said one researcher, “we could be on the verge of a major advance in medical science.”Drag queen:  The dragline silk of spiders continues to be a holy grail for materials scientists.  A German physics team reported in PNAS some initial success in getting the proteins to assemble into fibers.1  To do it, they squeezed the proteins through tiny orifices similar to the spinnerets on a spider’s abdomen.  The BBC News published a report about it.  Spiderman, here we come.last_img read more

December 18

Small firms ‘play key role in job creation’

first_img17 September 2012 Small businesses have a key role to play in providing opportunities and creating new jobs in emerging economies, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Sunday. Speaking at the International Small Business Congress at Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre, Davies said South Africa needed to develop a more symbiotic relationship between big companies and small suppliers. In South Africa, small businesses had good potential when it came to job creation, as the cost to create one job in a small firm was less than it was to create a job at a big firm, as large businesses were more capital-intensive. However, he said the country needed to raise the skills level of business owners so that firms didn’t simply stumble along, and that their creative ideas could be turned into job-creating enterprises.Small business support The Small Business Development Act of 1996 led to the setting up of several institutions to support small business in South Africa, including Ntsika – which in 2004 became the Small Enterprise Development Agency – and Khula Enterprise Finance. This year, the government rationalised a number of small business finance agencies, including Khula, into a single entity, the Small Enterprise Finance Agency, with the aim of moving towards a single window through which firms could access small business funding. Davies said the government had also chosen to focus more on incubation, but that compared to other emerging economies, South Africa had too few incubators – at just 32 under the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), compared to hundreds in similar other emerging economies. Seda plans to roll out several more incubators in the next few years. The department this month also put in place the incubator support programme – a cost-sharing funding programme to support the setting up of incubation programmes, and applications for the grant incentive would open on October 26, said Davies.State ‘should enable, but not interfere’ Also addressing the conference on Sunday, guest speaker David Irwin said the state should play the role as an enabler of economic success, but should otherwise not interfere in a country’s small business sector. Irwin, currently a partner of Irwin Grayson Associates in the UK, previously set up the UK’s first small business support agency and steered the UK’s Small Business Service, which addressed government support for small firms. Irwin said governments should craft regulations that were both fair and seen to be fair, and that were consistent – and not have one department penning laws that were contradictory to others. He pointed out that his “Think Small First” initiative, introduced in the UK’s Small Business Service, had led to the adoption by the EU of a European Small Business Act, which included a provision that European governments consider the implication of any laws crafted would have on small firms before passing them. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

December 18

Rhinos in Boucher’s safe hands

first_imgHaving retired from his active cricket career in mid-2012, Boucher asserted that he will now focus all of his energy to saving South Africa’s rhinos.(Image: Mark Boucher) Micro-chipping the rhinos and collecting the DNA for a database will go a long way towards saving the animals from decimation.(Image: SAB) MEDIA CONTACTS • Mark Boucher   SAB-Boucher NPC  +27 11 881 84 17  RELATED ARTICLES • Using technology to fight poaching • A legacy for the African rhino • Giving rhinos a voice through art • Sangomas join the rhino force • Taking the plunge for our rhinos • Special anti-poaching weapon for SA • Musos pitch in to save rhinosCadine PillayFollowing a severe eye injury which forced his early retirement, former Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher has gloved up for rhinos – the cricket star has decided to devote his time to rhino activism as South Africa battles with escalating poaching figures.Boucher and South African Breweries (SAB) launched the non-profit SAB-Boucher Conservation in October this year. Boucher was appointed by SAB as its Castle Lager rhino ambassador, to raise funds for rhino conservation both locally and abroad through the Our Rhinos in Safe Hands campaign.Having retired from his active cricket career in mid-2012, Boucher asserted that he will now focus all of his energy on the new partnership. The former Protea played 147 test matches and 295 one day internationals for South Africa, taking 999 dismissals behind the stumps and one wicket as bowler, in all forms of the game – his 556 test dismissals is still a world record. “I now have the opportunity to contribute something meaningful towards a cause that is close to the hearts of my fellow South Africans.” Boucher said at the launch.“This type of partnership can make a positive contribution if we focus on a tangible contribution to the larger rhino conservation effort.”The SAB-Boucher partnership aims to raise enough money to register all of South Africa’s 18 000 rhinos on a national rhino DNA database.SAB was involved in the setup of the organisation with a donation of R300 000 (US$34 000) but the ultimate goal is to raise at least R1-million ($113 000).Micro-chipping and DNARhoDIS (the Rhino DNA Index System) was established and is run by Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of Pretoria.A DNA database is an essential element in the fight against poaching. If the origin of the horn is unknown, it makes tracking the illegal trade very difficult. If trade is legalised, as many argue is the only sustainable solution to the poaching problem, then the DNA database will be central to managing it.“Micro-chipping the rhinos and collecting the DNA for a database will go a long way towards saving the animals from decimation,” Boucher said.“There are so many passionate people out there fighting rhino poaching every day, and yet we don’t seem to be winning the battle.”When a police raid results in the arrest of poachers, those in possession of rhino horns, or the actual traffickers, the DNA database will go a long way towards giving authorities more ammunition against criminals.It will prove that horns seized from suspects can be traced to a particular country and conservancy, and will help to establish when the animal was killed; this makes a much stronger case in the courts.“Our passion for the country’s natural environment motivated us to join forces with Mark Boucher to single-mindedly focus on the DNA database as one of the key pillars required for a sustainable solution to rhino poaching,” said SAB executive director Dr Vincent Maphai.SAB has micro-chipped and collected DNA samples for the database since 2004 and 77 rhinos have received microchip insertions and had DNA samples extracted to deter poachers.Other players get on boardSupporters of SAB-Boucher Conservation include Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, former cricket administrator Dr Ali Bacher, former SANParks CEO Mavuso Msimang, renowned conservationist Dr Ian Player, and scientific officer of the African Rhino Specialist Group Dr Richard Emslie.Poaching figures for 2012 have already surpassed all past records, with 570 rhinos killed this year alone in South Africa.SAB-Boucher Conservation will initially focus on its most pressing concern, namely the safety of South Africa’s rhino, but is later expected to direct its efforts to other threatened species, whose DNA will also be entered into the database.last_img read more

November 30

Kaya Makati narrows Meralco lead

first_imgRead Next The Laguna side leaned on the heroics of Fitch Arboleda, who struck twice, and goalkeeper Benito Rosalia.But coach Ernie Nierras’ side remained in sixth spot with 27 points, behind JPV Marikina on goal difference. The Aguilas all but kissed their hopes of a Top Four finish goodbye as they picked up just their eighth point from 18 matches.Arboleda put Stallion in front in the 36th minute with a clinical finish past Marko Trkulja, before James Younghusband equalized in the 66th minute. Stallion regained the lead three minutes later with Arboleda finding the back of the net again.Jordan Mintah raised his total to a league-high 15 goals for the season as he gave Kaya the lead in the 22nd minute. —CEDELF P. TUPASADVERTISEMENT View comments Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  New challenge for former taekwondo champion BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Kaya, now with 41 points, cut Meralco’s lead at the top to just three points, although the Makati side has played two more matches.Stephan Schrock scored twice, including a spectacular goal from a tough angle in the second half as the Busmen continued their rise, moving up to third with 35 points. Ceres has played five matches less than the Sparks.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBienvenido Marañon, Fernando Rodriguez and Carlie de Murga were also on target for Ceres, which rested midfielders Kevin Ingreso and Manny Ott.Over at Biñan Football Stadium, Davao striker Phil Younghusband converted a stoppage time penalty, but the Aguilas’ comeback fell short as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Stallion. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF presidentcenter_img Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary LATEST STORIES Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ Kaya FC Makati and Ceres Negros closed in on leader FC Meralco Manila with crucial victories on Saturday, while Stallion Laguna denied Davao Aguilas of its first win in the Philippines Football League.Substitute Eric Giganto struck a minute from time as Kaya overcame rival Manila, 2-1, at University of Makati Stadium, while Ceres continued its winning run at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod with a 5-0 drubbing of Ilocos United.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

October 14

Vision Quest Four days no food no water in the bush alone

first_imgAPTN National NewsIt’s an ancient ceremony that is being revived and for the first time APTN National News‘ cameras have been allowed on site.APTN National News anchor Michael Hutchinson follows the journey of a group youth who have embarked on a rite of passage.In Part Two of this feature, Hutchinson meets with the young men who have emerged from the bush after spending four days without food or water.last_img

September 28

Former Ohio State football players Reid Fragel Jake Stoneburner take on NFL

INDIANAPOLIS – The NFL Scouting Combine, a pinnacle of anatomical scrutiny in the world of sports, has already seen two former Ohio State football players endure its challenges. Five additional Buckeyes will face the gauntlet that is the Combine in the days to come. Former OSU right tackle Reid Fragel and former tight end Jake Stoneburner had their respective chances to impress NFL coaches and scouts, as they were put through a series of timed or measured drills along with the rest of the Combine’s offensive lineman, tight ends and specialists Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Tests included the 40-yard dash, bench press (225 pounds), vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle run. Fragel posted a 5.14-second run in the 40-yard dash, a 7.62 run in the three-cone drill and a 4.68 shuttle run, according to NFL.com. Fragel’s 33 repetitions on the bench press was sixth best in his position group. Fragel, the tight end-turned-offensive lineman with a year of experience at right tackle, posted the fourth-best broad jump in his position group at 9-foot-5, as well as a 30-inch vertical jump, according to NFL.com. Stoneburner, who was a tight end invitee to the Combine despite switching to wide receiver for his senior campaign at OSU, showed his speed in the 40-yard dash when he clocked in with a time of 4.65 seconds, according to NFL.com. Stoneburner’s 4.27-second 20-yard shuttle run time was the best time posted in his position group, as was his 11.5-second 60-yard shuttle run. The Dublin, Ohio, native also impressed with a 9-foot-8 broad jump – the fifth best mark in his position group. The tight end, who caught 13 touchdowns and 53 passes in his OSU career, had a 34.5-inch vertical jump (fourth best among tight ends), a 116-inch broad jump and a 7.12-second three-cone drill, according to NFL.com. Neither player was made available to the media following their workout. Next up for the troupe of former Buckeyes is Zach Boren, a fullback-turned-linebacker invited to the Combine as a fullback  (Boren had 12 rushing attempts for 40 yards and two touchdowns during OSU’s 2012 season). The remaining four Buckeyes at the Combine, including former defensive lineman and team captain John Simon, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, linebacker Etienne Sabino and defensive end Nathan Williams, are scheduled to take the field for their tests on Monday. Combine activities conclude on Tuesday when defensive backs hit the turf. Sunday’s Combine activities begin at 9 a.m. read more

September 18

Zappacosta still hopes that Conte will stay

first_imgDavide Zappacosta and Chelsea have experienced a difficult season as they failed to make it to the top four in the Premier League and they were eliminated in the first knockout round of the Champions League.However, the Italian full-back believes that his side will win the FA Cup final against Manchester United as a reward of their hard work and that Antonio Conte will stay at the club for more seasons to come.The former Torino player spoke about his expectations as he said, according to Gianluca Di Marzio:harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“We deserve to win the cup. We worked hard all season and we always gave our best. We struggled in the Premier League and we came up against an outstanding Manchester City side, but we have been competitive until the end.”“He (Conte) is the one that gave me an opportunity with Italy and brought me here to Chelsea, giving me a chance in a top club. I remember when he called me on August the 30th to ask me if I liked the idea of joining Chelsea. Of course, I told him ‘yes’. His future? I would like him to stay, but it’s his decision to make. I can say that everyone here is on his side, he achieved some great results in these two years.”last_img read more

September 18

Dyche didnt understand why Klopp was angry

first_imgLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confronted the Burnley boss after a tackle on Joe Gomez in yesterday’s match in the EPLLiverpool defeated Burnley F.C. 3-1 in yesterday’s English Premier League action.But a tackle on Reds’ Joe Gomez made the manager Jurgen Klopp very angry and he confronted Burnley’s, Sean Dyche.“I was a little confused. I couldn’t make out what part of that was right and wrong,” Dyche told The Lancashire Telegraph.Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, LiverpoolMo Salah laughs off Sadio Mane incident with a brilliant video Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Mohamed Salah laughed off his little spat with Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane by posting a brilliant video showing they’ve made up.“What I would say is this, and I think it’s important to register: there were some excellent tackles last night. I think the only one that was questionable was Bardo’s [Phil Bardsley’s on Alberto Moreno].”“I think Ben Mee’s [on Gomez] was a fantastic tackle. I imagine a player who seems to be an honest player, in Gomez, realized that. That was the message we got after,” he added.“We send him our best if any injury has occurred but it wasn’t from a bad tackle.”“He didn’t reference Daniel Sturridge’s cheating when he went down, nothing near him, and he got a free-kick for it,” he explained.last_img read more

September 18

Hierro reveals he was offered a Spain contract extension

first_imgFormer Spain manager Fernando Hierro, revealed that he was offered a contract extension until Qatar 2022 but he ended up rejecting it.The whole deal with Spain and Fernando Hierro during the 2018 World Cup in Russia was nothing short of surreal, he took the hot seat right after Julen Lopetegui got sacked and attempted to right the ship during the competition with little luck.Despite the evident poor performance by the Spanish national team during the competition after getting eliminated by the tournament hosts, Fernando Hierro revealed that he even got offered a contract extension to continue managing the squad until the next World Cup.The former manager recently offered an interview to ‘O11CE Metros’ magazine, where he revealed several details of his whole experience and also how the whole new contract offer took place.“I just turned 50 years old and I have never seen anything like it in my life, to live a situation of such magnitude just three days before the start of a World Cup,” said Hierro in a fragment of the interview picked up by Mundo Derpotivo.“My commitment and honesty took me to take the job as the manager. I understood that I had to do it then, my conscience is clear.”“I actually had a contract until the Qatar World Cup and I still think that the best solution was to step aside, for me and everyone else.”“I decided that I needed to give a chance to the younger generation. We have amazing players and manager, which is the case of Luis Enrique, who is a wonderful national team manager.”Gerard Pique, Neymar, BarcelonaLa Liga Betting: Match-day 4 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Despite it being very early into La Liga season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have had unprecedented starts to their campaigns. With this in…“I knew that the level of commitment was as high as anyone could imagine, but I needed to step up in a situation as complex as that one.”“I would like to thank the commitment from all the players and everything else, is just football, something you can’t really control,” he added.🇪🇸 Fernando Hierro, en la revista oficial de @afefutbol:➡️ “En mi vida había visto una situación parecida a la del Mundial, pero lo volvería a intentar”👇🏽 La entrevista íntegra https://t.co/hctDAuZgkI— El Partidazo de COPE (@partidazocope) December 24, 2018last_img read more