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Focus on Carolina: Can the 49ers stop McCaffrey?

first_imgThe most dynamic player in the NFL not named Patrick Mahomes looms as a threat to the 49ers existence as an unbeaten team.Christian McCaffrey is the rare kind of guy who can ruin a defense all by himself, which is what he’ll try to do when the Carolina Panthers invade Levi’s Stadium on Sunday.“I mean, he creates a lot of problems,” Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said of the speedy third-year running back from Stanford. “I don’t think you can stop him with one guy. Sometimes, …last_img read more

Specialized Molecules Make Cells Work

first_imgWalker with muscle:  A paper by Kaya and Higuchi from the University of Tokyo discussed how myosin motors, the active force-generating machines in muscle, adjust their walking steps with non-linear elasticity.1  Myosins work together in muscle.  Their ability to reduce stiffness and adjust their walk is essential: “the load-dependent changes in the step size are an essential property of skeletal myosin,” the authors said.  Their last sentence explained why this contributes to their effectiveness: “Such molecular properties may be inherent in the assembly of molecular motors and may reduce molecular interference, leading to the high mechanical efficiency of muscle contraction.”  You have your elastic myosins to thank for every simple or complex move you make.  For more stories about myosin this year, see 04/19/2010, 02/19/2010, and 01/19/2010.Junk with control:  It wasn’t long ago when any non-coding region of the genome was considered junk.  No longer; lincRNAs are emerging as stars of regulation and control (see 08/02/2010).  Another finding to that effect was published in Science by an international team from Stanford, Harvard and the Weizmann Institute in Israel.2  They studied one lincRNA called HOTAIR that has two specific binding domains for making histone modifications.  Histone is the protein on which DNA winds.  It contains molecular tags that affect translation – the “histone code” (see 12/22/2009, bullet 5, with its embedded links).    The team found that HOTAIR, an RNA generated from non-coding DNA, is intimately involved with the regulation of histone by forming a scaffold for PRC2 and LSD1 proteins: “The functional consequence of coordinate targeting of PRC2 and LSD1 by HOTAIR is gene repression,” they said.  What they found may apply to other cases: “Some lincRNAs may be ‘tethers’ that recruit several chromatin modifications to their sites of synthesis while other lincRNAs can act on distantly located genes as ‘guides’ to affect their chromatin states,” the concluded.  “On the basis of their dynamic patterns of expression, specific lincRNAs can potentially direct complex patterns of chromatin states at specific genes in a spatially and temporally organized manner during development and disease states.”Repairmen with teamwork:  A team at Zheijiang University in China studied the partners in DNA interstrand cross-link repair, one of many repair pathways active in the genome.  Fanconi anemia is a disease caused by mutations in 13 Fanc genes.3    “Here, we characterize a previously unrecognized nuclease, Fanconi anemia?associated nuclease 1 (FAN1), that promotes ICL repair in a manner strictly dependent on its ability to accumulate at or near sites of DNA damage and that relies on mono-ubiquitylation of the ID complex,” they said, referring to the tagging of a repair site with ubiquitin, a “ubiquitous” cellular tag signaling a site for repair or demolition.  “Thus, the mono-ubiquitylated ID complex recruits the downstream repair protein FAN1 and facilitates the repair of DNA interstrand cross-links.”    For more on DNA repair teams in the cell, see the 07/18/2001, 07/26/2002, 01/30/2003, 02/13/2004, 03/31/2005, 08/14/2007, and 03/14/2010 entries.These three papers are examples of many that are continuously being published in leading journals that (1) explore highly-specific molecules involved in vital cellular processes and (2) say nothing about evolution.  Examples could be easily multiplied.1.  Kaya and Higuchi, “Nonlinear Elasticity and an 8-nm Working Stroke of Single Myosin Molecules in Myofilaments,” Science, 6 August 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5992, pp. 686-689, DOI: 10.1126/science.1191484.2.  Tsai, Manor et al, “Long Noncoding RNA as Modular Scaffold of Histone Modification Complexes,” Science, 6 August 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5992, pp. 689-693, DOI: 10.1126/science.1192002.3.  Liu, Ghosai, Yuan, Chen and Huang, “FAN1 Acts with FANCI-FANCD2 to Promote DNA Interstrand Cross-Link Repair,” Science, 6 August 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5992, pp. 693-696, DOI: 10.1126/science.1192656.Who needs evolution?  Not these authors.  Not medical science, genetics, or cell biology, either.  Let’s move along, and leave Darwinism to rust in pieces.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Reports continue to show that vital cell processes depend on finely-tuned proteins and RNA molecules.  Most of the papers that discuss these specialized molecules fail to mention how they might have evolved, as shown in three papers in the recent issue of Science.last_img read more

WEF Africa: Breaking down the digital divide

first_imgIn the developing world, there are still 4-billion people who are not connected to the internet. The World Economic Forum aims to work with governments and civil society to close that digital divide, starting with programmes in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia. World Economic Forum executive Alex Wong speaks about closing the digital divide at WEF Africa in Rwanda on 12 May 2016. (Image: Benedikt von Loebell, WEF, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, via Flickr)• Girls in space! Africa’s first private satellite – designed by schoolgirls• How can digital technology boost growth in Africa? • Connecting women to technology• Robotic gliders boost for ocean research• Meet the global leaders heading WEF Africa 2016 Media Club South Africa reporterAccess to the internet gives people the ability to educate and empower themselves. But according to a recent report from the World Economic Forum (WEF), Internet for All: A Framework for Accelerating Internet Access and Adoption there are still 4-billion people, mainly in the developing world, who go without the internet.“The internet has become a pervasive, fundamental part of daily life,” said WEF executive Alex Wong. “But low internet penetration significantly impacts a country’s ability to participate in the digital economy, which is becoming an increasingly important priority for development as Africa, like the rest of the world, enters the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”He said it was time for governments, business, and civil society to break down the digital divide for the 55% of the world’s population who remain unconnected.Watch the press conference at WEF Africa in Rwanda last week:The report cited four main reasons for people remaining offline:Infrastructure: People aren’t logging on because a good, fast connection is not available – 31% of the global population don’t have 3G coverage, while 15% have no electricity. In sub-Saharan Africa some 600-million people, almost two-thirds of the region’s population, don’t have regular electricity.Affordability: The cost of devices and connectivity is another factor preventing many from accessing the internet, especially the 13% of the world population living below the poverty line. Broadband is only affordable for 100% of the population in only 29 countries.Skills, awareness and cultural acceptance: A key barrier for some is education – 15% of adults globally are considered illiterate. There are also cultural issues, with women up to 50% less likely to be using the internet than men.Local adoption and use: The vast majority – 80% – of online content is only available in 10 languages, which only about 3-billion people speak as their first language. Only 20.7% of Africa’s population is using the internet. (Image: WEF)Only 20% of Africans use the internet – we must fix this digital poverty now https://t.co/QV6RqJ8zwv #internet4all pic.twitter.com/mJKhVw1BcY— World Economic Forum (@wef) May 12, 2016Solutions proposedWEF urged governments to introduce policies that aim to improve infrastructure coverage and quality, provide financial assistance to those who cannot afford to get online, and set up public Wi-Fi.The report recommended adding ICT to the curriculum in schools and providing training to communities. A public-private collaboration is needed to close the global digital divide, it suggested.There is a framework included in the report for both governments and businesses to work towards. “The programme is being implemented in an initial project in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia, where 75-million people – 67% of the total population in these countries – currently have no access to the internet.”Click here to read the report.last_img read more

Spring Forage Update

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Russ QuinnDTN Staff ReporterOMAHA (DTN) — Kimberly Meier has sold about twice as much alfalfa seed this spring as she normally does.Her region of northern Illinois saw high rates of alfalfa winterkill this spring after a winter of colder-than-normal temperatures. The Ridott, Illinois, farmer and seed dealer said, because of that, she sold about 120 bags of alfalfa this spring, while a normal season would be closer to 60 bags.“We had bad winterkill in this area this year,” Meier told DTN. “And it’s whole fields — I have never seen it this widespread.”The condition of forages across the Midwest is about as diverse as the region itself. The cool, wet spring has afforded ample moisture to most areas, which should be good news when the weather finally warms up, but which has also slowed growth of many forages, potentially affecting overall yields.LOTS OF WINTERKILLAlfalfa winterkill seems to be an issue this spring throughout Wisconsin and stretching into surrounding states such as northern Illinois and eastern Minnesota.Meier said the situation started last fall with extremely wet conditions followed by warm temperatures in January. Then, that was followed by extreme cold in February. While they did have some snowfall around Christmas, most of the snow was melted in the January warmup, exposing the alfalfa plants to the cold during February.From talking to agronomists in the area, most seem to believe this is why the region has seen higher incidents of winterkill, Meier said. The fields most affected appear to be newly seeded field and older stands.Meier said alfalfa producers in her area often flirt with danger by taking a last cutting in the fall and not allowing for much regrowth before winter hits, which can weaken plants and lead to winterkill. This appears to be a growing season in which squeezing in that last cutting may have not paid, she said.“This is a tough deal, as around two-thirds of the alfalfa is gone now,” she said. “There is going to be even less forage available, as most will only get one or two cuttings with the spring-seeded alfalfa.”The University of Wisconsin published a report evaluating and managing alfalfa stands with winterkill. It can be found at: https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/….Other areas appear to have escaped widespread alfalfa winterkill. Jared Goplen, a University of Minnesota Extension crops educator from Morris, Minnesota, said the alfalfa situation in western and central Minnesota is generally OK, for the most part.Winterkill appears to be contained to hilltops and valleys. Most fields in the area were covered in snow most of the winter, which would have protected crown roots from the cold. There may have been some ponding in fields for an extended period of time this spring, so some low spots may have been drowned out, he said.“Overall, I would say a majority of the alfalfa fields have some level of winterkill and drown-out areas, but the bulk of fields are growing well,” Goplen said.The situation is similar farther to the west in North Dakota. There wasn’t much winterkill in alfalfa there thanks to plenty of snow that insulated the crop from extremely cold temperatures, according to Marisol Berti, North Dakota State University Extension forage and cover crops specialist.What the cold spring has done is slowed alfalfa growth somewhat. Most of the crop in the state is not even 6 inches tall, which will delay first cutting, probably into mid-June or even later if it stays cold, she said.“That is about two weeks later than normal for first cut alfalfa,” Berti said. “I am sure some farmers have already run out of hay to feed cows, so this delay will affect them.”SLOW-GROWING GRASSFarther to the south and west, forages are also somewhat behind normal in growth.Seth Wilbanks, a livestock and grain farmer from Hughesville, Missouri, said his forages are delayed with the cool conditions seen this spring. He said, last year around this time, he began to cut some grass hay. However, this year with the increased amount of moisture and the shorter crop, he doesn’t think much hay will be harvested anytime soon.Fescue is a popular grass for Missouri forage producers. Normally, by late May, the crop is headed out and about knee high. This year it is considerably shorter, Wilbanks said.Despite concerns about a delayed crop, Wilbanks believes his forage crops could end up yielding close to average — and maybe even above average — thanks to the plentiful moisture. Last year, his central Missouri area suffered through a severe drought, he said.“Once it does get warmer, I think we are going to more tonnage with maybe some issues with quality,” said Wilbanks, who grows corn, soybeans and several different types of forages for his cow-calf herd.Perennial forages in Nebraska will be grazed later than normal, said Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Extension forage specialist. Yields on cool-season grasses could be lessened some due to the cold spring.“I think these cool-season grasses could really be short this year,” Anderson said.On the plus side, warm-season grasses in the state could see great growth once the temperatures begin to rise. Soil moisture levels are high, so when the heat comes, yields should be fairly decent, he said.Some farmers in Nebraska face a challenging growing season after devastating floods tore through the state in mid-March, destroying fences and depositing large amounts of sand on pastures and hay fields.Anderson said he fielded many calls from livestock and forage producers this spring who face limited or no forage production. In many cases, farmers affected by flooding may turn to annual forages on acres not flooded, he said.The most common cool-season small grain for forage is oats, but others such as cereal rye, triticale, wheat and barley could be planted. Warm-season forages that could be planted include sudangrass, sorghum/sudangrass, forage sorghum, pearl millet and German (foxtail) millet.Other plant species, such as brassicas, can be used for summer annual forages. This would include plants such as forage radishes and turnips.After the floods in mid-April, DTN wrote an article about choosing the right forages for your operation. To read the article, visit: https://www.dtnpf.com/….Russ Quinn can be reached at russ.quinn@dtn.comFollow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN(AG/SK)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Comcast’s Awesome Watchathon Reminds You It’s Still the Boss

first_img4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App On Wednesday, Comcast gave its subscribers a new reason they shouldn’t cut the cord: The “Watchathon.”Beginning March 25, any Comcast subscriber with a cable subscription and access to video-on-demand viewing can dial up over 1,000 episodes from over 100 shows, including hits like Game of Thrones or Dexter. Yes, that’s right: every show from every season from major pay TV services like HBO, Showtime, Starz, and Cinemax will available for free for a full week, whether or not you have premium-channel subscriptions. The Watchathon extends to basic-cable hits like Downton Abbey and The Walking Dead.In other words, every so often, even Comcast can act just like everyone wishes they would all the time.Normally, Comcast holds an iron grip around the pockets of most subscribers. Want ESPN, ABC, NBC, USA, and Bravo? Of course you do. But Comcast forces 150 more channels of utter dreck down your throats, and makes you pay over $100 a month for the privilege. In a Harris branding study released this month, Comcast finished 51st out of the 60 companies surveyed, with a corporate reputation that Harris said was “poor”.But work the peasants too hard, and a revolution will brew. To forestall that day, Comcast customers are eating cake, at least for now. (Here’s a full list of shows included in the Watchathon. Note that it doesn’t offer a free, one-week subscription to HBO, Starz or Showtime, just a pass to their proprietary shows.)Comcast Is A Streaming Service, TooWhen consumers talk about streaming services, the conversation starts with Netflix, then maybe Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime. If these services were baseball teams, Netflix might be the Oakland Athletics, always looking for an underutilized asset it can exploit — in its case, the massive, inexpensive, and still popular back catalog of television shows. If that’s true, Comcast is the New York Yankees: absolutely dominating the markets it serves, and buying up whatever it wants. And by owning a majority stake in NBC Universal, Comcast is a program creator as well as an aggregator like Netflix.Furthermore, over five million U.S. homes are now “zero TV” homes, Nielsen reported this week, a figure that’s doubled in the last six years. These cord-cutters are just five percent of the total U.S. TV viewing audience, but it’s a growing trend. And cord-cutters, by definition, aren’t choosing Comcast.But until now, Comcast and Netflix have been polar opposites. Comcast provides everything that pay or free TV provides, hundreds of channels worth, but with no real depth. After a month or so, TV episodes drop into that nebulous twilight zone where they’re only available for purchase from Amazon, Hulu, or Vudu before they’re eventually packaged into boxed Blu-ray sets. A few years later, Netflix scoops them up into its ever-expanding back catalog.The same holds true, quality-wise. For all of the low-budget “B” movies that some criticize Netflix for buying up, they’re just the equivalent of the “16 and Pregnant” reality ilk that MTV and its brethren commission. And while Netflix would like to buy up as many recent movies as it can, Comcast tries to offer “Catch Up” options for viewers to watch older episodes of shows that are currently airing.Throwing Its Weight AroundThe difference, however, is one of budget. Comcast’s quarterly revenues usually top $16 billion; Netflix recorded $945 million last quarter. But Netflix’s revenue is steadily rising, giving the company more money to invest in either original programming, which competes directly with NBC, or buying up more movies and TV shows. Either way, Comcast loses. Watchathon is just Comcast beating its chest and roaring its displeasure – quite possibly to no avail at all.There’s one important component to the promotion, however, that’s not immediately apparent: many of the shows that Comcast is promoting, including the premium ones, are ongoing. Sure, you’ll get to watch seven seasons of Dexter, if that’s what you want. But when Season 8 rolls around this June, you’ll have to sign up for Showtime to see how it ends. (The first sample is always free.)Still, for years customers have clamored for an a la carte option, a way to pick individual channels without bundled stations they didn’t want. For years, cable and satellite companies have ignored them. For a week, we get what we want. It’s not clear how much money Comcast spent to try and buy our happiness, but who cares? After all, we paid for it.Image via Flickr/scriptingnews 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… markhachmancenter_img Related Posts 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#Comcast last_img read more

Odisha, M.P. sound high alert after Sukma Maoist attack

first_imgApprehending influx of Maoists from Chhattisgarh a day after the carnage in Sukma, the Odisha Police on Tuesday sealed the border with the neighbouring State and sounded a high alert in the Malkangiri district. In a similar step, Madhya Pradesh Police too has issued a high alert in Balaghat district, bordering Chhattisgarh.The Odisha Police deployed its elite anti-Maoist Special Operation Group, District Voluntary Force (DVF) and jawans of the CRPF and the BSF to ensure there was no influx of the ultras in Odisha, State DGP K.B. Singh said.Mr. Singh said there was every possibility of Maoist ultras preferring to take shelter in Odisha as Maharashtra has already sealed its border with Chhattisgarh.“The central forces and State police have been told to undertake area domination exercise and flush out Maoist rebels, if any,” the DGP told reporters.Malkangiri Superintendent of Police Mitrabhanu Mohapatra said, “We have sounded a high-alert in the border areas. The whole district has also been put on extra vigil.” Monitoring has been intensified in all entry and exit points at the bordering areas. Besides, instructions have been given to police officers and combing police parties to coordinate with their counterparts in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh, he said.A similar alert has also been sounded along the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB), police said.M.P. Police intensifies patrollingIn the wake of the Sukma attack, Madhya Pradesh Police has also issued a high alert in the Maoist-affected Balaghat district, a senior official said on Tuesday.“The areas under Balaghat police range are bordering with the Naxal-affected areas of Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. So, we have put the security forces on high alert,” Inspector-General (Balaghat Range) G. Janardan told PTI on Tuesday.He said the patrolling along the borders has been intensified to check the activities of Naxals.“This area has also been Naxal-affected and the police has intensified patrolling at the borders of Kawardha and Rajnandgaon districts of Chhattisgarh and Gondia district of Maharashtra,” Mr. Janardan added.last_img read more