Forest set to confirm Kane deal

first_imgNottingham Forest are expected to confirm the signing of youngster Todd Kane on loan from Chelsea later today.The 21-year-old right-back has been recalled from a loan spell at Bristol City and Chelsea are keen for him to play in the Championship.Stuart Pearce gave Kane a call-up when the Forest boss was in charge of the England Under-21s and is set to sign him for the rest of the season.Kane, who made seven appearances for City but only one league start, previously played in the second tier while on loan at Blackburn and before that was loaned to Preston.See also:Chelsea’s Kane expected to join ForestKane’s loan move to Forest is confirmedFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

Will President Trump invite hostile foreign power Toronto Raptors to the White House?

first_imgThank goodness the Golden State Warriors lost the NBA Finals. The Bay Area will now be spared of what had become an annual question: Will they or will they not visit the White House?That debate has now been transferred north to the Toronto Raptors and, to an extent, the rest of Canada.Given that the team is based in another country, will President Donald Trump even extend an invitation? Or has the task of sending out Evites fallen to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?Trudeau likely is …last_img

Soft Tissue in Biggest Ever Cambrian Fossil Bonanza

first_imgChinese scientists are uncovering shale with the best-preserved Cambrian animals ever found.Welcome the Qingjiang Biota, a collection of Cambrian animal fossils that beats the famous Burgess Shale in Canada. China had already boasted a rich Cambrian bed, the Chengjiang biota. Now, Science Magazine has reported the first pictures and details from four years of research at the new treasure trove of Cambrian animals nearby. Take a look at the delicate antennae in this arthropod that resembles a shrimp:From Fig. 3, “Leanchoilia sp., showing fine anatomical details, including those of the great appendages.” Dark spots indicate soft tissue preservation.This is in shale rock, but could hardly be better preserved by amber. It looks as though the creatures was buried instantly. If not, this amount of detail would not have survived a day. Nature summarizes the context of this fossil bed, and notes the delicacy of soft-bodied creatures preserved in this fashion. What does it take to preserve details of a jellyfish, or a comb jelly?At about 518 million years of age, the fossil bed discovered in South China is slightly older than the celebrated Burgess Shale, a fossil site in the Canadian Rocky Mountains where the forms of hundreds of Cambrian animals have been immaculately preserved. Calling their assemblage the Qingjiang biota, Xingliang Zhang, at Northwest University in Xi’an, China, and his colleagues identify several algal forms and 101 types of animal — over half of which were never before described.The collection’s abundance of early pristine fossils of squishy animals, such as jellyfish, sea anemones and comb jellies, could be useful for biologists exploring early animal origins. The beds also hold unusually large species of mud dragon, or kinorhynchs; modern-day versions of these moulting invertebrates are visible only under a microscope.Mud dragons have apparently devolved from their spectacular ancestors. Previous reports showed Cambrian comb jellies with armor, unlike the squishy ones today (Evolution News, 28 July 2016). That seems to be another case of devolution.Original Soft Tissues?Of special interest are the possible soft tissues preserved. In the announcement paper in Science, “The Qingjiang biota—A Burgess Shale–type fossil Lagerstätte from the early Cambrian of South China,” the phrase “soft tissue” appears repeatedly. Care must be taken not to misinterpret the phrase; it could refer to organs that were turned to stone during fossilization. Some statements in the paper seem to indicate that primordial biological material may exist. [Note: the term Lagerstätte refers to exceptionally-preserved fossils.]Here, we report the discovery of an early Cambrian Burgess Shale–type (BST) fossil Lagerstätte from the Changyang area of South China (Fig. 1), which is characterized by high taxonomic diversity, an unexpectedly large proportion of new taxa, and precise preservation of fine aspects of labile tissue anatomy (Figs. 2 to 4).New megacherian preserved with internal soft tissues.No authigenic mineral films or mineral replacement of selected soft tissues (e.g., pyrite, phosphate) have yet been observed. The fidelity of preservation is very high, on par with that of Chengjiang and Burgess Shale fossils (1, 7, 28). Apart from lightly sclerotized tissues, such as arthropod and worm cuticle, entirely soft-bodied animals (Fig. 2) (e.g., ctenophores and jellyfishes), labile anatomical features (eyes, gills, and guts), and juveniles are fairly common (Fig. 3 and fig. S2) and offer new phylogenetic information.During early diagenesis, both calcite and pyrite precipitated within the sediments but did not result in mineral replacement of soft-tissue morphology.The team summarizes the work’s contribution to analysis of the Cambrian explosion:The particularly large proportion of new taxa in the Qingjiang biota (fig. S5), which lies in close temporal proximity to the extensively sampled Chengjiang biota, suggests that the present understanding of the diversity and disparity of metazoan ecosystems in the immediate aftermath of the Cambrian explosion is far from complete and will be greatly informed by future discoveries.For more information on the Qingjiang site, see the following articles:A treasure trove of Cambrian fossils (Allison C. Daley, Science). “At this 508 million–year-old fossil locality, soft-bodied fossils are exquisitely preserved, showing skin, eyes, and internal organs such as guts and brains.”Fossil bed reveals a wealth of primeval species in exquisite detail (Nature).Treasure trove of marine fossils from ‘Cambrian explosion’ found in China (Phys.org).Bonanza of Bizarre Cambrian Fossils Reveals Some of the Earliest Animals on Earth (Mindy Waisberger, Live Science). “Many of the fossils — bell-shaped jellyfish, spiky worms, armored arthropods and more — retain an astonishing level of detail in their preserved soft tissues, such as gills, digestive systems and even eyes.”Other Cambrian FossilsCambrian Sessile, Suspension Feeding Stem-Group Ctenophores and Evolution of the Comb Jelly Body Plan (Current Biology). In the nearby Chengjiang fossil bed, Zhao et al. claim that a sessile (stationary) organism might be the ancestor of comb jellies.Half-a-billion-year-old fossil reveals the origins of comb jellies (Science Daily). This overstated headline from the University of Bristol asserts as a matter of fact that the new fossil was the ancestor of comb jellies. Paleontologists have long debated where to put comb jellies (ctenophores) in the imaginary phylogeny of Cambrian animals, which appeared nearly simultaneously in the base of the Cambrian fossil beds.520-Million-Year-Old Sea Monster Had 18 Mouth Tentacles (Live Science). This article mentions controversy about the origin of comb jellies. Casey Dunn of Yale is quoted as being “highly skeptical” of the assertion that the new fossil represents a ‘distant ancestor’ of ctenophores. He puts his own evolutionary spin on the story:“These are exciting animals no matter how they’re related to each other,” Dunn said. “Even though I’m skeptical that tentacles and comb rows are homologous [evolutionarily related], I think that as we describe more diversity from these deposits, certainly we’re going to learn a lot more about animal evolution.”Other Lagerstätte The Mazon Creek Lagerstätte: a diverse late Paleozoic ecosystem entombed within siderite concretions (Journal of the Geological Society). The state of Illinois has remarkable preservation of Carboniferous fossils, including some with soft tissues.One of the best records of late Paleozoic ecosystems, the Mazon Creek Lagerstätte is world famous for its striking flora and fauna preserved within siderite concretions. Distinct from other late Carboniferous concretionary Lagerstätten because of the remarkable fidelity of soft tissues and pigments that are frequently preserved, the Mazon Creek has seen a revival in investigations during the last 10 years using modern palaeontological techniques. However, many of these modern investigations build upon a literature that incorrectly interprets the palaeoenvironment of the Mazon Creek and the separate biotas: there is a lack of evidence to support a distinct freshwater fauna. Here, we present a detailed overview of the Mazon Creek Lagerstätte, including the palaeoenvironmental conditions, organisms present and the complex taphonomic processes involved in fossil formation.Two creationists keep track of soft tissue fossil announcements in the secular science literature. Bob Enyart of Real Science Radio maintains a page listing all the scientific papers announcing soft tissue. Brian Thomas of ICR also reports frequently on the subject. His most recent article debunks the “toast” model for soft tissue preservation in dinosaurs (see 10 Nov 2018).(Visited 889 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Cape Argus Cycle Tour at 35 000 entrants and counting

first_imgCyclists take in the beautiful views around the peninsula on their way back to Cape Town. (Image: Cape Argus Cycle Tour)• Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour+27 21 686 [email protected] DavieThere can’t be many races in the world that attract 35 000 riders each year, with bikers ranging in age from 13 years to 90-somethings. The Cape Argus Cycle Tour is held every year in Cape Town, when the city stops, pulls out its deck chairs, and watches the riders go flashing by.The 109km Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour starts and ends in the city’s CBD, with riders taking in some spectacular backdrops of the Atlantic and Indian oceans.Billed as “the world’s largest timed cycle race”, the 37-year-old race traces its history back to 1977, when Bill Mylrea and John Stegmann organised the Big Ride-In to draw attention to the need for cycle paths in the city. It attracted hundreds of cyclists, who met on the Grand Parade and rode down Adderley Street to the foreshore. The following year the Argus Cycle Tour was born, attracting 525 entrants, with 14 cyclists finishing under three hours and 30 minutes. It started outside the Castle in Strand Street, took in the peninsula, and finished in Camps Bay, a distance of 104km.The 1979 race saw the record time drop to two hours, 52 minutes and 38 seconds, with the top woman coming in at three hours, 36 minutes and 46 seconds. By 1980 the race was attracting top riders, like Springbok cyclist Hennie Wentzel, who won in three hours, two minutes and 18 seconds.Jump to 1994 and the entries passed the 20 000 mark, with 400 international riders. In near-perfect weather conditions in 1995 the records tumbled: Swede Michael Andersson set a new record of two hours, 22 minutes and 56 seconds. That year saw the number of entries jump to over 25 000, 21% of whom were women.In 1997 the 20th tour attracted over 30 000 entrants, and by 2006 there were 500 entrants from the UK. The 30th tour attracted big Tour de France names – Jan Ullrich, Greg LeMond and Steven Rooks. By this stage international entries topped the 2 000 mark.In 2011, on a windless day, Walter Hein, 87, finished in five hours, seven minutes and one second, with 75-year-old Marie-Louise Swoboda coming in in five hours, 32 minutes and 33 seconds.In 2012 Tour de France legends – Stephen Roche, Miguel Indurain and Eddy Merckx – returned to do the race, and were joined by several politicians – the minister of sport and recreation, Fikile Mbalula, and the Western Cape premier Helen Zille. Japie Malan, 92, reclaimed his title as the oldest participant, finishing on a tandem with his son in five hours, 50 minutes and 40 seconds. And the oldest woman to finish, 76-year-old Maisie Swoboda, finished her 28th tour with a sprained ankle. Her record has subsequently been surpassed by 84-year-old Clare Graaff.In 2013 just over 3 000 international riders turned up in Cape Town for the race.Cape Argus LegendsThe race has its own legends too. Gareth Holmes, Neil Bramwell, Stephen Stefano, Steph du Toit, Louis de Wall, Alex Stewart, and Neville Yeo have completed all 37 Argus Cycle Races and are called the Magnificent Seven.Bramwell, the oldest at 77 years, says his best time was two hours and 50 minutes, completed in 1985 when he was in his mid-40s. He only started the race at the age of 40. He says that the seven don’t train together, but about two weeks before the race, they get together for a braai, and discuss the past year of training and riding.“We always start the race in the DD batch, at 7.40am,” he explains. But because the groups are made up of 1 000 riders each, they soon lose each other. His main challenge these days is to “keep out of trouble” during the ride. By that he means keep his distance from other riders, so that if an accident happens, he doesn’t crash into a tangle of riders on the tar. “I enjoy the ride very much. It is a magnificent circuit, with a lot of variety of views.” He says he has never had an accident and no mechanical problems except one puncture in 37 years.His time in 2014 was six hours and three minutes. “I was disappointed at how slow I was.” But this won’t deter him – he doesn’t see himself giving up the race. “I will keep going as long as my health allows me.”The Cape Argus Cycle Tour is one of a number of endurance races that South Africans are famous for. Others are the Comrades Marathon, the Dusi Canoe Marathon, the Freedom Challenge, the Midmar Mile, the Berg River Race, and the Cape Epic mountain bike race.last_img read more

South Africa’s Gift of the Givers turns 23

first_img11 August 2015Gift of the Givers, the internationally renowned aid organisation that is based in Pietermaritzburg, reached a milestone when it celebrated its 23rd anniversary on 6 August.It has been congratulated on its achievement by a number of organisations and government departments.“We honour our association with an organisation that has made an incalculable contribution to the upliftment of the under-privileged, not just in South Africa but around the world,” said the Department of Environmental Affairs.The department noted the humanitarian and disaster relief work done by the NGO. “Gift of the Givers provides aid to 40 different countries around the globe. Its humanitarian services know no boundaries of race, colour, or creed.”Thanking people for their support, whether that be through donations or contribution of skills, the NGO said: “There will be no celebration, no party, no cutting of cake but only a silent prayer of thankfulness to the Almighty, for through His permission, we have managed to serve millions of people worldwide.“We appreciate the contribution of every single person, be it cash or kind, be it R1 or R100 000; be it in the form of prayer, words of support, well wishes, advice or promoting our activities through whatever manner.”Gift of the Givers workers were described as South Africa’s brand ambassadors. As part of its humanitarian aid, the organisation provides highly skilled medical personnel to those most in need.“Twenty-one years into democracy, South Africa continues to face challenges that are the legacy of centuries of discrimination and deprivation of the majority,” said the Department of Environmental Affairs. “But we have much to be proud of: we have come a long way.”About Gift of the GiversThe organisation describes itself as the largest disaster response NGO of African origin on the African continent.Based in the KwaZulu-Natal capital, it was established by Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, a South African, on the instruction of a spiritual teacher, Sheik Muhammed Saffer Effendi al Jerrahi, in Istanbul, Turkey on 6 August 1992.Since then, Gift of the Givers has delivered lifesaving aid in the form of search and rescue teams, medical personnel, medical equipment, medical supplies, medicines, vaccines, anti-malarial medication, high energy and protein supplements, food and water to millions of people in 41 countries, South Africa included.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

NCGA providing farmer perspective for biotech regulations

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The National Corn Growers Association brought the voice of farmers into important conversations on U.S. biotechnology regulations during the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service public comment meeting held at the University of California, Davis last week. This session, which was the second of three, offered the opportunity to personally provide input on the part 340 proposed rule that would modify the science-based federal regulatory framework that regulates genetically engineered organisms use in agriculture.NCGA Past president Leon Corzine and Freedom to Operate Action Team Vice Chair Brandon Hunnicutt both spoke during the meeting, providing insight into the impact such regulations have upon farmers. Drawing upon firsthand experience with the importance of biotech tools, they stressed the value farmers place on regulatory efficiency and transparency in a system based solidly in science. The farmer leaders then urged officials present to refine the proposal so that USDA can chart a path forward for agricultural biotechnology and products derived from other precision breeding tools that offers regulatory relief and consistency.Comments noted that farmers have a strong interest in reducing the regulatory burden that stifles innovation and suppresses competition. Due to the ever-increasing challenges, from pests to environmental stressors, they expressed the necessity of maintaining access to tools which allow farmers to react quickly and nimbly to the situations seen in their fields.Testimony also expressed appreciation for the rational approach taken in the draft document to determining regulated products, noting that the product-based approach, instead of a processed-based approach, makes scientific sense. Additionally, testimony expressed support for the idea of looking at new, innovative technologies, like gene editing, through an accurate scientific lens versus regulating them in the same manner as transgenics simply because of legacy policies.This hearing and the testimony provided built upon the work undertaken by the Kansas Corn Growers Association, who represented corn farmers with testimony given by KCGA Director of Research and Stewardship Dale Fjell during the first session in Kansas City on June 6.last_img read more

Everyone in Kashechewan community ordered to evacuate

first_imgAPTN National NewsOfficials in Kashechewan announced that everyone must leave the community Monday.The northern Ontario First Nation sits on the shores of James Bay and is, once again, threatened by rising spring waters.APTN’s Annette Francis and cameraman Jason Leroux just returned from the community has this first a two stories.last_img