How might Kevin Durant’s injury impact his free agency?

first_imgTORONTO – The Warriors do not exactly need to wait for the results to prove what they fear about Kevin Durant. They will have clarity soon enough, though.The Warriors expect to have Durant’s MRI results sometime on Wednesday morning after he traveled to New York on Tuesday for various medical opinions on his right Achilles injury. The Warriors already initially fear Durant tore his right Achilles tendon against Toronto in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday, which would sideline him for the …last_img

Human Brain: “Enormous Biochemical Complexity”

first_img(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 A new biochemical atlas finds consistency, complexity, and precision in the human brain.The Allen Institute for Brain Science has just published its Human Brain Atlas in Nature (Hawlyrycz et al., “An anatomically comprehensive atlas of the adult human brain transcriptome, Nature 489, 20 Sept. 2012, pp. 391–399, doi:10.1038/nature11405). Science Daily printed this summary of what they did:The results of this study are based on extensive analysis of the Allen Human Brain Atlas, specifically the detailed all-genes, all-structures survey of genes at work throughout the human brain. This dataset profiles 400 to 500 distinct brain areas per hemisphere using microarray technology and comprises more than 100 million gene expression measurements covering three individual human brains to date. Among other findings, these data show that 84% of all genes are expressed somewhere in the human brain and in patterns that are substantially similar from one brain to the next.Even so, they “only scratched the surface” of the contents of their data set. The findings should lay to rest two common misconceptions in popular mythology, (1) that humans only use 10% of their brains, and (2) that right-brained people are different than left-brained. Science Daily said,The right and left hemispheres show no significant differences in molecular architecture. This suggests that functions such as language, which are generally handled by one side of the brain, likely result from more subtle differences between hemispheres or structural variation in size or circuitry, but not from a deeper molecular basis.In addition, they found high homogeneity in the gray matter, suggesting that “same basic functional elements are used throughout the cortex”.The statement that brain patterns are substantially similar between brains may inform philosophical questions about how well we can communicate with one another. The three examined were “high-quality, clinically unremarkable brains,” they said – i.e., not geniuses, but ordinary folks. (The sample size is still too small to make generalizations about differences due to sex and ethnicity.)Overall, the complexity of the brain was the story. Science Daily put it this way: “human brains share a consistent genetic blueprint and possess enormous biochemical complexity.” One collaborator said, “The tremendous variety of synapses we see in the human brain is quite striking.” The paper began, “The enormous complexity of the human brain is a function of its precise circuitry, its structural and cellular diversity, and, ultimately, the regulation of its underlying transcriptome.” The “transcriptome” refers to the set of genes that are transcribed into proteins. As stated, the team found 84% of all genes are expressed in the brain.There was only one reference to evolution in the paper, and that in the last sentence. The team was discussing differences between brains of animals and humans. “The primary feature that distinguishes the human brain from that of other species is the enormous expansion of the neocortex relative to total brain volume.”  They commented on the fact that transcription appears relatively uniform across brain regions. All they could say about evolution was a suggestion: “the relative homogeneity of the two largest neuronal structures… is striking and suggests an evolutionary expansion of a canonical cortical blueprint.”Evolution was useless in the paper, as usual. Their final comment has the hallmarks of a required pinch of incense to Caesar Darwin.  The team was looking for transcription (a design function) and structure (a design function) and found a lot of it.  They found precision.  They found complexity.  They found consistency. What’s Darwin got to do with it?It’s worth remembering that examination of the structure of the brain has little bearing on the soul.  You can look all you want at gene, neuronal, and protein activity and never see “consciousness” or personality.  It would be like looking at the inner workings of Big Ben and looking for time.  You will not see time.  You will see machinery and processes, but time is a concept beyond the materials and methods used to measure it.The data set will also not support common ancestry.  Take any strict Christian or Jew and they will agree that we have much in common with the animals, including eyes, legs, and brains.  They believe we are creations made for the same habitat as the other animals.  We breathe the same air and eat similar food.  It is not surprising we share the same basic machinery with similar structure and composition.  Chimpanzees have a cerebellum; so do we.  Since the soul is not located in neurons or proteins, this says nothing about the existence of the soul.  The paper did point out that only humans have a much larger neocortex.  That’s reasonable, because we reason.Similarity can show common design or common ancestry. Precision machinery of high complexity, by contrast, points to a factor beyond its components: intelligence.  To say the brain created itself by an aimless process is just as foolish as claiming a supercomputer network with multiple interacting components (both hardware and software) emerged out of random shuffling of metals and electrons.  Only intelligence can bring together multiple disparate parts and fashion them for complex function and communication.  What more evidence does anyone need for an intelligent cause commensurate with the product observed?  The very act of thinking about that shows we share that kind of intelligence.last_img read more

More Soft Tissue Found in Cretaceous Fossil Bird

first_img(Visited 209 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Unrepentant over extreme falsification, evolutionary paleontologists are just taking it for granted that soft tissue can survive millions of years.Scientists have reported soft tissues from the lower hindlimb of a Cretaceous bird. Writing in Nature Communications, Jiang et al. say,Here, we report cellular-level preservation of tendon- and cartilage-like tissues from the lower hindlimb of Early Cretaceous Confuciusornis. The digital flexor tendons passed through cartilages, cartilaginous cristae and ridges on the plantar side of the distal tibiotarsus and proximal tarsometatarsus, as in extant birds. In particular, fibrocartilaginous and cartilaginous structures on the plantar surface of the ankle joint of Confuciusornis may indicate a more crouched hindlimb posture. Recognition of these specialized soft tissues in Confuciusornis is enabled by our combination of imaging and chemical analyses applied to an exceptionally preserved fossil.The Early Cretaceous period dates from 146 to 100 million Darwin Years. Their focus is not on the remarkable fact that “strikingly preserved soft tissues” remain on a creature they believe dates from over a hundred million Darwin Years ago, but on what it can tell them about bird evolution. Unfortunately, the fossil doesn’t help them in that regard. The bird crouched pretty much the same way as modern birds.The hindlimb of theropod dinosaurs changed appreciably in the lineage leading to extant birds, becoming more ‘crouched’ in association with changes to body shape and gait dynamics. This postural evolution included anatomical changes of the foot and ankle, altering the moment arms and control of the muscles that manipulated the tarsometatarsus and digits, but the timing of these changes is unknown.But aren’t they ashamed to admit that soft tissue, long thought to decay rapidly, is still present on this fossil?Here, we document a fossil of an Early Cretaceous bird, Confuciusornis sanctus, which has some strikingly well-preserved soft tissues around its ankle joint. Microscopic analyses of these tissues indicate that they include tendons or ligaments, fibrocartilages and articular cartilages, with microstructure evident at the cellular level. Further chemical analyses reveal that even some of the original molecular residues of these soft tissues may remain, such as fragments of amino acids from collagen, particularly in the fibrocartilage. This concurs with accruing evidence that some biomolecules may survive, under exceptional circumstances, over many millions of years.That last word has 8 references after it, include three to the work of Mary Schweitzer, who shocked the world in 2005 with photographs of stretchy soft tissue on a T. rex bone. These authors say that “Three types of soft tissues are recognizable,” including fibrils of ligament, interwoven fibrils of cartilage, and articular cartilage. The open-access paper has photographs of the blackened tissue.  One of the collaborators is Roy Wogelius of the University of Manchester, who reported in 2011 the presence of melanin in a fossil.In their chemical analysis, the nine authors compared the soft tissue with modern samples of collagen and found a close match. “These FTIR spectra and mapping imply that amino acid residues may be present,” they say.The popular press repeated the meme that soft tissue can last for millions of years. Phys.org says, “These findings tally with an expanding body of evidence that, under special conditions, some biological molecules – including even amino acids or partial proteins – can survive over millions of years in the fossil record.”Another Soft Tissue FindA separate paper in National Science Review reported an even earlier fossil bird, Eoconfuciusornis, from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Formation in China (131-120 million Darwin Years). Phys.org calls it “the most exceptionally preserved fossil bird discovered to date.”Researchers have not found fossils from any other bird from the Jehol period that reveal so many types of soft tissue (feathers, skin, collagen, ovarian follicles).Once again, though, the focus is not on the implications of finding soft tissue that should be long gone. Instead, they are only excited about bird evolution.These remains allow researchers to create the most accurate reconstruction of a primitive early bird (or dinosaur) to date. This information provides better understanding of flight function in the primitive confuciusornithiforms and of the evolution of advanced flight features within birds.“This new fossil is incredible,” said co-author Dr. Jingmai O’Connor. “With the amount of information we can glean from this specimen we can really bring this ancient species to life. We can understand how it grew, flew, reproduced, and what it looked like. Fossils like this one from the Jehol Biota continue to revolutionize our understanding of early birds.”Revisiting that Amber Dinosaur TailThere’s been some debate about the alleged feathered dinosaur tail found in amber (see 12/09/16). Markus Lambertz listed in Current Biology a number of concerns he had with the phylogenetic placement of this fossil by the discoverers “in light of their far-reaching evolutionary implications.” As is common in journal debates, Current Biology also published the authors’ defense of their identification.What do you do with unrepentant sinners? Instead of bowing their heads in shame and quitting science, they are taking ownership of their sins. They are saying it proves that soft tissue can last for millions of years!Don’t you remember the shock at those initial discoveries? Nobody predicted that soft tissue would remain even a million years, let alone 130 million. They are demonstrating that the Cult of Darwin cannot be falsified. It is not science (3/22/17).What creationists will have to do is amass a long list of quotations by leading authorities who placed strict upper limits on the lifetimes of biological tissues and hold it in their faces. They also need to cite empirical studies on decay rates under the best of conditions. This is assuming that evolutionists are even interested in evidence, a dubious assumption.last_img read more

Government reports on pilot shortage

first_imgThere’s a building pilot shortage among regional airlines in the United States. The issue: just how significant is it? The government’s Government Accountability Office concludes in a just-released report there’s “mixed evidence regarding the extent of [the] shortage.”This much is sure: according to the report, “Pilot schools that GAO interviewed reported fewer students entering their programs resulting from concerns over the high cost of education and low entry-level pay at the regional airlines.”The report says it can cost more than US$100,000 to get a degree from a four-year aviation program. According to the U.S. Air Line Pilots Association the average staring pay for regional airlines first officers is US$22,400. In contrast, the average pay for an assistant manager at fast-food McDonalds is $28,622 according to Glassdoor.com.There’s a dramatic disconnect here, one underscored in red when you consider the assistant manager of the fast-food restaurant isn’t responsible for the lives of a cabin full of passengers hurtling through the heavens at 35,000 feet.How’s this potentially affect you? GAO says, “Some mainline airlines (from those majors often recruit pilots) expressed concerns that entry-level hiring problems could affect their regional airline partners’ ability to provide service to some locations.” In recent years, legacy airlines like American, Delta and United have contracted with regionals to take over an ever-increasing share of the flying, even on some routes formerly the province of large jets.The good news is those new first officers in the right-hand seat of regional aircraft now have to have at least 1,500 hours as a pilot. It used to be 250. The rule was changed in the wake of the infamous crash of Colgan Air (Continental Connection) Flight 3407 back in 2009. The accident was the result of pilot error. Fifty people died.GAO indicates regional airlines are responding to the pilot shortage by partnering with aviation schools. Some regionals have even “offered new first officers signing bonuses or tuition reimbursements to recruit new pilots” says the reportIt might take precisely that sort of approach to avoid what could be a nasty surprise looming just over the horizon: plenty of regional airline passengers, but not enough pilots to fly them.See comprehensive report here; https://www.airlineratings.com/news/243/pilot-shortage-loomslast_img read more

Srisaket KOs Gonzalez in fourth to retain WBC title

first_imgLATEST STORIES Read Next Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Gonzalez, of Nicaragua, stayed on the canvas for a couple of minutes. After rising slowly he had to be helped to his corner stool. The first knockdown came 42 seconds earlier when southpaw Srisaket landed a similar short right hook to the side of the head. Gonzalez was able to get up at the count of seven and continue — but looked out of sorts.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 shutoutThe 30-year-old Srisaket went to work quickly in the first round, easily landing combinations and body shots — the fruits of months of intense training in the gym for the most important fight of his career.“I trained really hard for four months because I wanted everyone to know what I came here for,” said Srisaket of the brutal beatdown. “I have shown that I am the best 115 pound fighter in the world.” LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Gonzalez, who dropped to 46-2 overall, was taken to the hospital immediately after the fight for medical treatment.He was trying to avenge the only loss of his career against Srisaket but he failed to put up any defense against the onslaught of the Thai’s superior punches.The former pound-for-pound division king has had several gruelling fights in recent years, which have taken a heavy toll on his 30-year-old body.On the undercard, Japan’s Naoya Inoue won his US debut by defending his 115 pound WBO title with a sixth round knockout of Antonio Nieves. Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC The Thai dynamo silenced critics who had claimed his majority decision win in the first fight six months ago in New York was a fluke and the result of accidental head butts.Both fighters came out swinging from the opening bell in Saturday’s 115-pound rematch at the outdoor StubHub Center stadium, as it became apparent in the early rounds that Srisaket was in charge and the fight likely would not go the distance.“For the first fight I only trained two months. This fight I knew I was going to knock him out,” Srisaket said. “I am not scared of anyone.”Srisaket (44-4-1, 40 KOs) said he wanted to make his country proud. “I fought for Thailand, for the pride of Thailand,” he said. ADVERTISEMENT BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight View comments CARSON, CA – SEPTEMBER 09: Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (R) of Thailand celebrates as Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua lays motionless at StubHub Center on September 9, 2017 in Carson, California. Jeff Gross/Getty Images/AFPSrisaket Sor Rungvisai knocked out Roman Gonzalez in the fourth round Saturday with a devastating right hook to retain his WBC super flyweight world title in his second straight win over the former champ. Thailand’s Srisaket knocked ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez down twice in the final round, finishing the challenger off with a right hook with 1:45 to go in the fourth. ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:18Alvarez ready to take risk vs Folayang, looks to end clash by ‘knockout or submission’01:37Protesters 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 E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nunes keeps belt, defeats Shevchenko at UFC 215last_img read more

Video: Eastern Washington Defender Ejected For This Cheap Shot On Oregon’s Vernon Adams

first_imgVernon Adams gets lit up by an Eastern Washington defender.Vernon Adams HitOregon is playing Eastern Washington in its season opener tonight. EWU, of course, is the former program of Oregon’s new starting quarterback, graduate transfer Vernon Adams. Eastern Washington linebacker John Kreifels was just ejected from the game for targeting Adams with a cheap shot hit. We can’t definitively say it was intentional, but it was definitely pretty vicious. Oregon QB Vernon Adams takes a late hit and came up wobbly. Went to locker room. Player who hit him was ejected. pic.twitter.com/h2qPFxDcTr— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) September 6, 2015EWU’s John Kreifels ejected for a hit on Vernon Adams in a slide. VA’s getting checked out by trainers as the boos rain down on Kreifels.— John Blanchette (@JPBlanchette) September 6, 2015Clearly Kreifels isn’t a popular player right now among Oregon fans. Hopefully Adams is okay.last_img read more

Woman charged for aiding illegal entries at popular QuebecUS crossing

first_imgMONTREAL — Canada’s border protection agency has charged a woman in connection with organizing illegal entries into Canada through a popular rural crossing in southern Quebec.A charge was laid against Olayinka Celestina Opaleye Wednesday at the courthouse in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, south of Montreal.She is charged under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for facilitating the entry of asylum seekers into Canada through Roxham Road in exchange for compensation. The charges were laid following an investigation carried out by Canada Border Services Agency.The agency alleges that in the summer of 2017, Opaleye arranged for the entry of “several individuals” into Canada, acting as part of a network of smugglers who organized their travel.According to Canadian government figures, there were 19,419 irregular crossings in Canada in 2018, more than 18,500 of them through the Quebec crossing at Roxham Road. That figure was slightly down from 2017, when there were 20,593 crossings, including a notable spike beginning in July of that year.Dominique McNeely, an agency spokesman, said the woman was charged under a section of the law that covers human trafficking of a group of 10 or more. A conviction under the section can result in a fine of up to $1 million or life imprisonment.McNeely said it is not the first time charges have been pursued against alleged human traffickers at the popular Quebec-New York border crossing. No further information was available on the case Wednesday. It returns to court Mar. 27.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Roseau River braces for referendum

first_imgAPTN National NewLast March Terry Nelson was ousted as chief of the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation by the reserve’s custom council.They called another election in October and Ken Henry Jr. was elected chief.Both Nelson and Henry have been claiming to be the real chief ever since.This week, Ottawa ordered a referendum to resolve the issue once and for all.APTN National News reporter Matt Thordarson has this story.last_img

At least seven companies investigated in bread pricefixing probe

first_imgVANCOUVER – The Competition Bureau’s investigation into allegations of bread price-fixing includes at least seven companies from bakery wholesalers and discount chains to Canada’s three major grocers, according to court documents.George Weston Ltd. (TSX:WN) and Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX:L) admitted Tuesday to participating in an industry-wide bread price-fixing arrangement for over a decade and tipping off the country’s competition watchdog.The Competition Bureau executed search warrants at the offices of a number of grocers earlier this fall, but has said there has been no conclusion of wrongdoing and no charges have been laid.The investigation began on Aug. 11 and was expanded on Oct. 23.The search warrants and information to obtain them were sealed because of concerns by the watchdog that the release of the information might compromise its investigation. However, the affidavits sworn by a Competition Bureau investigator to have them sealed were unsealed by the court this week.According to those affidavits, the regulator is also investigating the alleged involvement of Canada Bread, Walmart, Sobeys (TSX:EMP.A), Metro (TSX:MRU) and Giant Tiger as well as “other persons known and unknown.”“The bureau is collecting facts to determine the precise time frame of, and the participants in, the alleged conspiracy,” Simon Bessette, a senior competition law officer, swore in an affidavit on Oct. 26.“Analyzing the records the bureau obtains from the search warrants sought in the ITO will take time; however, it would only be after such analysis is performed that the bureau would be in a position to determine whether additional investigative steps are required.”“Should details of the bureau’s ongoing investigation be made available to the public, the integrity of the evidence available through further investigative steps and/or court authorizations may be compromised,” Bessette wrote.Metro said in a statement Tuesday that it continues to co-operate with authorities and it has launched an internal investigation.“Based on the information processed to date, we have found no evidence that Metro has violated the Competition Act and we do not believe that the bureau’s investigation will have a material adverse effect on the corporation’s business, results of operations or financial condition,” the statement said.Giant Tiger released a statement Wednesday saying they currently “have no reason to believe that Giant Tiger or any of our employees has violated the Competition Act.”Walmart Canada spokesman Alex Roberton said in an email that the company “takes its legal obligations very seriously.”Canada Bread spokeswoman Sylvia Sicuso said Tuesday that the company and its associates “operate with the highest ethical standards” and neither has been charged with any offences.Giant Tiger, Walmart Canada and Canada Bread all said they are co-operating fully with the investigation.Sobeys Inc. did not respond to a request for comment, but has previously said it is also co-operating.Weston and Loblaw said Tuesday they became aware of an arrangement involving the co-ordination of retail and wholesale prices of some packaged breads from late 2001 until March 2015.The companies said they established an independent compliance office earlier this year and provided training and re-certification to marketing personnel at Weston Bakeries and all merchants and store managers at Loblaw, as well as senior managers at both companies and at parent company George Weston.The employees responsible for the companies’ role in the arrangement are no longer employed there.Loblaw is also offering eligible customers a $25 gift card that can be used at its grocery stores across Canada.The Competition Act prohibits agreements that “prevent or unduly lessen competition or to unreasonably enhance the price of a product,” according to the bureau.That could include agreements between competitors to fix prices, or to restrict production of a product by setting quotas or other means, which would be considered cartel activities. Penalties for price fixing could include fines of up to $25 million, imprisonment to a maximum term of 14 years, or both.However, the bureau says price-fixing conspiracies are, by their nature, difficult to detect and prove.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version provided incorrect maximum fines and imprisonment terms for price-fixing agreements.last_img read more

New Brunswick Liberals say theyd create three economic superclusters

first_imgFREDERICTON – New Brunswick Liberals say if they’re re-elected, they’ll help create at least three economic “superclusters” in the province.Premier Brian Gallant made the announcement in Fredericton, saying there is already a supercluster for the growing cybersecurity sector.He says the government will work with partners in academia, the private sector and non-profits to grow the economy.Gallant says developing superclusters will help create jobs and increase productivity.He says other superclusters could be formed around maple syrup, blueberries or cannabis.Gallant did not have the cost for the promise, but says some of the money could come from existing programs such as the strategic infrastructure initiative.last_img