first_imgTo the Editor:The state audit of the Bayonne Board of Education books has been completed, and according to the state auditor, “money is not missing.” My question as a taxpayer and employee of the Bayonne Board of Education is when will the Board of Education issue an apology to Mr. Will Lawson, former President of the Board of Education; Dr. Patricia L. McGeehan, former Superintendent of Schools; and Mr. Leo Smith, current Business Manager. Accusations were made against these individuals. The audit proves those accusations were false. Please make amends to those whose personal lives and reputations were damaged and let us move on and work together for the benefit of the children of Bayonne. MARGUERITE E. SIMPSONlast_img read more

first_imgStoke City Women’s coach Alena Moulton says constant education about black history must continue beyond the annual month of celebration held in the United Kingdom during October.UK Black History Month drew to a close last weekend, but Moulton, who is of Jamaican descent, would like to see a more regular focus on black culture and the black experience.- Advertisement – Ebony Rainford-Brent and Imani Lansiquot Head coach Lloyd Pierce of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after a play against the Washington Wizards during the first half at Capital One Arena on January 2, 2019 in Washington,– Advertisement – – Advertisement – “I experienced it when I was younger and I was just somebody who brushed things to one side and didn’t really care, but did it affect me?“Not at the time, I’d probably say no but now I probably look back and think those things are part of my journey.“It’s difficult to pinpoint the one particular thing that’s an issue [with subtle racism]. If someone makes a racial comment to you, you know exactly what it is, there is no grey area about it, but with subtle racism, not everybody understands the context behind it. I have probably experienced more of that’s a coach than as a player.”Black History Month 2020 revisitedLook back at a sample of our features, news stories and video content from our Sky Sports News and our Sky Sports platforms. Check out some of our 2020 Black History Month content here Sport inspires unity, says Ebony Rainford-Brent who opens up to Imani Lansiquot on fighting for diversity and equality “Black History is me. That’s my life. Every day I’m black,” Moulton told the Women’s Football Show.“We’ve just got to keep having those conversations. I’m having those conversations and I’m educating as well, I work in a school, and fortunately I work in an extremely diverse multicultural school.“And it’s brilliant to be able to educate as many different students as possible and have those conversations with them.”center_img 2:09 Derby-born Moulton stepped up from her role as first-team coach to take charge at Stoke having previously coached Nottingham Forest Ladies.She has been coaching since she was a teenager but there have been uncomfortable moments during her career on the touchline. Subtle racism is something the 29-year-old says she has had to deal with, particularly as a coach.“I’ve experienced racism, I’ve experienced subtle racism and the micro-aggressions that come with it. Education about the history of the black experience must be more truthful and not restricted to just one month in a year, Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce tells Sky Sports News 1:05 – Advertisement –last_img read more

first_imgDespite collecting 84 tackles this season, linebacker Mike Taylor (53) is not a semifinalist for the award for college football’s best linebacker.[/media-credit]Following a 38-13 win Saturday over Minnesota, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema praised the character shown by running back tandem Montee Ball and James White this season.In his weekly press conference Monday, Bielema said the pair’s production this season is partially a product of their camaraderie. The duo combined for 347 yards and five touchdowns as Wisconsin notched its ninth consecutive victory in the Border Battle. “They’re both really unselfish kids,” Bielema said. “We recruited them for those reasons.”Bielema noted Ball and White live together and are pushed by a mutual competitive nature that brings out the best in one another. UW’s head coach even joked Ball should keep an eye on his starting spot because of how well White has played in recent weeks.Bielema recalled a team meeting that took place last season shortly after he was notified both Ball and quarterback Russell Wilson would be on the Heisman Trophy watch list.The team was first told Wilson received the distinction. Then, Bielema told the team Ball would be on the list as well.“The place went nuts,” Bielema said.Bielema made the case for Ball to be a Heisman Trophy finalist yet again this year. He added that Ball has changed his weekly and daily routine since the start of the season and has started working with the developmental squad several times a week.Bielema said the results have spoken for themselves on the field.“You really see him starting to get some of those signature broken tackles that you’ve seen him do,” Bielema said. “You could see some of that nastiness coming back.”White has been versatile in an array of positions so far this season. Against Minnesota, the Badgers’ No. 2 tailback even lined up a quarterback in a play the team has labeled the “Barge” formation.Despite his playmaking ability, the coaching staff was reluctant to put White at punt returner after Ball’s concussion this summer. Bielema said losing both Ball and White to injuries would have been a “difficult situation.”When asked about White’s willingness to share carries with Ball, Bielema credited his upbringing as one of the main reasons for the junior’s maturity.White attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida, which has the feel of a “small college campus” according to Bielema. The head coach added the school’s reputation and coaching staff have grown over the years as it has become one of the more recognized high school football powerhouses in the nation.“They’ve got more coaches than I do,” Bielema said with a laugh.Bielema said he thought White would be his first Heisman Trophy candidate during his tenure before Ball exploded on the scene in the second half of 2011.“He’s just a big play guy,” Bielema said. “When he gets a little mojo going, he’s special.”Taylor left off award watch listBielema expressed disappointment that fifth-year senior linebacker Mike Taylor was excluded from the Butkus Award watch list released Monday. The Butkus Award is presented annually to the nation’s top college linebacker.Taylor earned the team’s weekly defensive MVP award from Bielema for his effort against Minnesota after he recorded a team-high 12 tackles. On the season, Taylor has racked up 84 total tackles, which ranks second in the Big Ten and is tied for fourth nationally.Twelve players are named semifinalists on the award watch list. This year, four linebackers from the Big Ten made the list, but Taylor was not one of them.“Our guys aren’t into awards, but that’s pretty significant,” Bielema said. “I can’t believe that that would happen.”Injury updatesBielema also updated the status of several injured players Monday.Wisconsin’s head coach said he’s unsure if fifth-year senior and left tackle Ricky Wagner, who injured his knee at Purdue, will be able to play Saturday against Michigan State at Camp Randall. Redshirt junior Ryan Groy – who usually lines up at left guard – started at left tackle in place of Wagner against Minnesota.Redshirt junior defensive lineman Tyler Dippel re-aggravated his shoulder but should be back to practice Tuesday according to Bielema.He also said Devin Gaulden, a sophomore cornerback, suffered a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament several weeks ago and will have surgery Friday. Gaulden will not lose a season of eligibility and will be able to obtain a medical redshirt, according to Bielema.last_img read more

first_imgFor years the Perry Commodores owned City League football. The last few years the Brashear Bulls dominated and were expected to do the same this season but that didn’t happen. Schenley, Oliver and Perry joined them atop of the League, with Schenley surprising everybody by winning their first title since 1950. In selecting our third annual All City football team the Courier kept this in mind with the selection of the players. The four top teams dominate the selections as they dominated league play, but all nine schools are represented. Helping us select the players were the coaches of all nine schools in the city, Woody Miller and the men in the booth who call the game and keep the stats, as well as our reporter and photographer who cover the teams. Schenley and Oliver tied for the best record at 7-1, and Perry and Brashear finished right behind them at 6-2. The other five teams finished under .500 with Peabody, Westinghouse and Carrick tied at 3-5, Allderdice 1-7 and Langley 0-8.The breakdown on the first team’s offense, defense and four special teams players has Schenley and Brashear tied with 8 each, Perry 6, and Oliver 5. The other five teams only placed two players on the first teams. Adding the second teams and honorable mentions, Schenley and Perry led the way with 15 each followed closely by Oliver, 14 and Brashear, 13. Rounding out the teams were Carrick, 10; Westinghouse, 6; Peabody 4; and Allderdice and Langley with 2 each.Henri Chatman was hands down the best quarterback in the City with everyone picking him to the first team. Then it became hard with Ryan Roeper from Carrick, a pure passer with high numbers and Darrell Cosby of Westinghouse who was an excellent running quarterback with much the same results. The other quarterbacks mentioned were Donte Jeter from Oliver and Greg McGhee from Perry. Beyond Chatman there was a drop off in talent at that position. Even Chatman’s production dropped from last season. He has been one of the top two to three quarterbacks in the City for the past three years. MANASSEH GARNER, JEROME MATHEWS, MARTISE SMITH JASON BELL Schenley Head Coach At the running back slot Bruce Patterson finished up his career as one of the greatest backs in City League history, with 643 yards on 129 carries even though he missed some games. Joining him in the backfield was Richard Lowry from Perry who continued that rich Commodore tradition by leading the league in rushing with 949 yards on 187 carries and Bruce Matthews from Schenley who had 663 yards on 154 carries despite missing some games. He was Schenley’s best offensive player and may have been the league’s Player of the Year if he hadn’t missed some games. These three were heads and shoulders over the rest.There wasn’t a whole lot of passing going on in the City which led to the drop off in production by receivers compared to the past few years when there was a rise. However, our Offensive Player of the Year was a receiver, but Manasseh Garner helped his team in so many other ways. He was Chatman’s main target, as a tight end, and wide receiver as well as being an excellent runner out of the backfield. He did whatever it took to help his team win. His major competition was teammate Chatman.Carrick receivers had the most impressive numbers behind the passing of Roeper with Jujuan Thomas and Travis Lewis being named to the first and second teams. Manny Reed, Brashear, and Martice Smith, Oliver, are the other two starting wide receivers.The offensive and defensive lines were generally made up of the same players. Much like college and the pros, these guys are the anchors of the teams. They determine if a team is a winner or loser but receive very little credit or publicity.The best linemen in the City belonged to Schenley, which is why they now hold the championship trophy. Andre Irish, Aaron Manker and Hykeem Moore anchored both the offense and the defense for the Spartans and the All City team. Irish surprisingly was picked as the Defensive Player of the Year. Surprisingly because it’s the first time a lineman has received this award, which generally goes to linebackers and defensive backs. He was clearly the best of the best. Joining Irish and Manker on the offensive line are Matt Dayton, Perry, Shane Phillips, Oliver and Carlos Saunders, Peabody. Joining he and Moore on the defensive line are Ed Mathis, Oliver; and Joshua Weiblinger. Manker is on the second team defense and Moore second team offense.Even though the Perry defense allowed the fewest points, it was Oliver that dominated the defensive team, placing eight players on the first and second team. Schenley was second with six. Perry only had three players selected. Once again there were an abundance of quality linebackers and defensive backs with Garner heading this list which includes two of the four linebackers being from Oliver and two of the four defensive backs from Schenley.The special teams were easy picks with kicker Cody Magiocca, Brashear and punter John Dubensky, Perry having practically no competition. Even though there were several excellent kick and punt returners this season D’Andre Black, Schenley, and Manny Reed were easy winners.The Coach of the Year was a tough pick between Jason Bell from Schenley and Tim Keefer from Oliver. Both did an outstanding job this season taking their teams to surprising 7-1 records in City League play. But the difference was Schenley beat Oliver to win the City League title, their first in 69 years, thus our Coach of the Year is Jason Bell.Congratulations to all the members of the 2009 New Pittsburgh Courier All City Football Team.OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Manasseh Garner, BrashearDEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Andre Irish, SchenleyCOACH OF THE YEAR Jason Bell, SchenleyFIRST TEAM ALL-CITY OFFENSE 2009QB    Henri Chatman    Brashear RB    Bruce Patterson    Brashear RB    Jerome Mathews    Schenley RB    Richard Lowry    Perry TE    Manasseh Garner    Brashear R    Jujuan Thomas    Carrick R     Martice Smith    Oliver R    Manny Reed    Brashear OL    Andre Irish    Schenley OL    Aaron Manker    Schenley OL    Matt Dayton    Perry OL    Shane Phillips    Oliver OL    Carlos Saunders    PeabodySECOND TEAM ALL-CITY OFFENSE 2009QB    Ryan Roeper    Carrick QB    Darrell Cosby    Westinghouse RB    Rasheed McKamey    Carrick RB    Tyree Mathis    Oliver RB    David Pryor    Westinghouse TE    Tyrail Morgan    Oliver R    Marcus Falls    Westinghouse    R     D’ Andre Black    Schenley R    Travis Lewis    Carrick OL    Hykeem Moore    Schenley OL    Keith Goralzick    Carrick OL    Saquan Thomas    Westinghouse OL    Ronell Moses    Peabody OL    Londele Cox    PeabodyHONORABLE MENTIONQB     Greg McGhee    Perry QB     Donté Jeter    Oliver QB     Mike Phleger    Allderdice OL     Joshua Weiblinger    Perry OL     Isiah Moore    Westinghouse OL     D. J. Smith    Perry TE     Titus Morris    Perry OL     Chantz Thomas    Brashear DB     Livingston Wright    Schenley R     Brian Gray    Langley R     Devin Grafoor    Perry R    Jaylen Coleman    PeabodyFIRST TEAM ALL-CITY DEFENSE 2009DL       Andre Irish    Schenley DL    Ed Mathis    Oliver DL    Hykeem Moore    Schenley DL    Joshua Weiblinger    Perry LB    Manasseh Garner    Brashear LB    Dion Mathews    Perry LB    David Marshall    Oliver LB    Tyrek Morgan    Oliver DB    Troy Nelson    Perry DB    Jeron Grayson    Schenley DB    Jerome Mathews    Schenley DB    Antwan Bell    BrashearSECOND TEAM ALL-CITY DEFENSE 2009DL    Aaron Manker    Schenley DL    Rich Potts    Oliver DL    Mike Barron    Brashear DL    Chantz Thomas    Brashear LB    Shane Phillips    Oliver LB    Jaylen Coleman    Peabody LB    Dillon Semian    Brashear LB    Tyrail Morgan    Oliver DB    D’Andre Black    Schenley DB    Jehosha Wright    Oliver DB    Louis Helms    Langley DB    Donté Jeter    OliverHONORABLE MENTIONLB    Taylor Campbell    Schenley LB    Tom Means    Brashear DL    Jordan Morris    Perry LB    Devante Grace    Westinghouse DL    Joe Hughes    Carrick DL    Frank Kalsek    Carrick DL    Kaleeq Anderson    Westinghouse DL    Livingston Wright    Schenley DL    Phillip Fergurson    Oliver LB    Ray Taylor    Perry LB    Jayme Thomas    Carrick DL    Duke Mulvihill    Allderdice DL    Steven Wicks    PerrySPECIAL TEAMS Kicker    Cody Magliocca    Brashear Punter    John Dubensky    Perry PR    D’ Andre Black    Schenley KR    Manny Reed    BrashearCity League Stat Leaders QUARTERBACKS Completions         Attempts    Touchdowns      Total Yards Henri Chapman    Brashear    83    148    10    1,343 Ryan Roeper    Carrick    58    126    14       811 Dante Jeter    Oliver    37      99    05       791 Greg McGhee    Perry    60    133    06       681 Shawn Smith    Langley    56    115    12       608 RECEIVERS Receptions    Yards Manasseh Garner    Brashear    32    561 Jajuan Thomas    Carrick    31    456 Brian Gray    Langley    24    389 Marcus Falls    Westinghouse    21    256 Devin Ghafoor    Perry    18    194 RUSHERS Attempts    Yards Richard Lowry    Perry    187    949 Rasheed McKamey    Carrick    146    680 Jerome Matthews    Schenley    154    663 Bruce Patterson    Brashear    129    643 Jaylen Coleman    Peabody      79    507 (Information supplied by the City League official scorer and stat man Woody Miller. Numbers only applies to City League play.)last_img read more

first_imgby Perry GreenFor New Pittsburgh Courier (NNPA)–If a school can’t keep at least half of its athletes on pace to graduate, it should not compete for a NCAA championship and be cut out of the multi-million dollar post-season pay-out, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said last week.In a crusade launched in the early stages of the NCAA basketball championship tournaments, Duncan zeroed in on the failure of 10 of the 68 schools in the Division I men’s tournament to be on track to graduate half of their players, noting that Black players are particularly ill-served.“If you can’t manage to graduate half of your players, how serious is the institution and the coach and the program about their players’ academic success?” Duncan told reporters.“Teams with academic progress rates below [that level] should be ineligible for post-season glory.”His remarks came hours after writing on the Washington Post’s opinion page that schools “need to stop trotting out tired excuses for basketball teams with poor academic records and indefensible disparities in the graduation rates of White and Black players.”Duncan also recommended the NCAA restructure its post-season tournament revenue-distribution formula, which currently pays the conference of each school $1.4 million for every game their team plays in the tournament.“Right now the formula handsomely rewards teams for winning games in the tournament, but does little to reward teams for meeting minimal academic benchmarks,” said Duncan.  “I simply cannot understand why we continue to reward teams for failing to meet the most basic of academic standards off the court.”He was citing the findings of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.  That group, formed in 1989 to combat college sports scandals by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, called for tougher standards for schools and student-athletes a decade ago.He also cited the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports’ annual study report that found that 10 of the 68 schools currently involved in the NCAA Tournament carry academic progress rates (APR) of less than 925, which would create a graduation rate of less than 50 percent. The academic progress rate is an NCAA measure of the progress toward graduation of student-athletes.Dr. Richard Lapchick, the primary author of the study, noted that only 59 percent of Black basketball players graduate, far less than the graduation percentage of Whites at 91 percent. The reports show percentages are even lower among schools such as Kansas State University, where 100 percent of White players graduate, yet only 14 percent of Black players graduate. The University of Akron also graduates every White player, but has a zero percent Black player’s graduation rate.According to the Knight Commission, in the last five years, teams that had graduation rates of less than 50 percent or an APR standard of less than 925 earned 44 percent of the total $409 million distributed.NAACP President Ben Jealous agreed with Duncan, but also acknowledged the high graduation rates made by the other 58 schools in the NCAA Tournament.“When you are coaching student-athletes, you have a responsibility to them both as an athlete and a student,” said Jealous, who highlighted programs like those at Xavier University, which sends designated personnel to check on players frequently to make sure they attend class and study regularly.“It happens because coaches decide to make sure that the young men are prepared for victory in life and not just on the court.”Duncan suggested that barring schools with poor graduation rates from the NCAA tournament would motivate more programs to follow Xavier’s lead.“The dream of playing in the NCAA tournament is what brings so many student-athletes on to these college campuses,” he said.  “If the right behavior is rewarded and bad behavior is punished, you would see all of these schools doing things in a very different way, very quickly.”(Special to the NNPA from the AFRO-American newspapers.)last_img read more

first_imgFacebook91Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Washington State Department of Veterans AffairsOn November 11, 2018 the world and Washington State will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the fighting in World War I at 11:00 a.m., November 11, 1918 — the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.The Thurston County Veterans Council (TCVC) and Washington Department of Veterans Affairs will host an Armistice (Veterans) Day and World War I Centennial event in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building in Olympia starting at 10:30 a.m. on November 11, 2018.Washington State will also join the world to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice with a tolling of the Bells of Peace at 11:00 a.m.  The tolling of a bell is a traditional expression of honor and remembrance of those who served in World War I on Armistice Day.  A Bells of Peace mobile application is also available via Itunes and the Google Play Store.The event will feature guest speakers Governor Jay Inslee, Congressman Denny Heck and Major General Willard Burleson, the Commander of the 7th Infantry Division on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.World War I history tables will be set up by the Washington State Historical Society, Friends of Kilroy (military history group), the Fort Lewis Museum and others during the event.  Various military vehicles will also be on display for the public.Washington State is home to more than 593,000 veterans, 60,000 active duty military, 19,000 National Guard and Reserves and their families.There are many events taking place across the state and the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs asked organizations to provide event information which is shared in a list at Governor Inslee Proclamations can also be found at this link.Media interested in attending must contact Washington Department of Veterans Affairs Communications Department at [email protected] For more information on the World War I Centennial and for a list of monuments across the state, please visit see other Veterans Day Events and Celebrations happening statewide visit : and read more

first_imgThe forward has not played for the Egyptian club as Sofapaka refused to hand him a release letter until the club paid a transfer fee for him, an issue that has literally dragged him off the playing contingent.Meanwhile, Matasi has been recalled for the two qualifiers after being rested for last month’s friendly against Mozambique. Yanga’s Faruk Shikalo has been dropped from the squad after his not so convincing performance as the starter in the Mozambique friendly.The squad named mostly has players who were part of the team that played in the Uganda and Mozambique friendlies, but there are a few new inclusions.AFC Leopards forward John Mark Makwatta receives his player of the month awarrd at the club’s training groundAFC Leopards striker John Mark Makwatta has been rewarded for his explosive start to the season and earns a return to the team for the first time in three years while there is a debut call up for Kariobangi Sharks defender Daniel Sakari.Midfielders Johannah Omollo and Ayub Timbe who were not part of the squad for the Mozambique friendly have also been recalled while former Tusker FC striker Boniface Muchiri who moved to the United States to join Golden State Arrows has also earned a place.Eric Johannah who was also overlooked for last month’s friendly match is also part of the preliminary squad.Full SquadGoalkeepers; Patrick Matasi (St. George SC, Ethiopia), Timothy Odhiambo (Ulinzi Stars, Kenya), Ian Otieno (Red Arrows, Zambia)Defenders; Johnstone Omurwa (Wazito, Kenya), Harun Shakava (Nkana, Zambia), Joash Onyango (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Daniel Sakari (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya), Hillary Wandera (Tusker, Kenya), Erick Ouma (Vasalunds IF, Sweden), Joseph Okumu (IF Elfsborg, Sweden), Samuel Olwande (Kariobangi Sharks, Kenya)Midfielders; Teddy Akumu (Zesco United, Zambia), Johanna Omollo (Cercle Brugge, Belgium), Kenneth Muguna (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Ayub Timbe (Beijing Renhe, China), Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspurs, England), Boniface Muchiri (Golden State Arrows, USA), Lawrence Juma (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Cliff Nyakeya (FC Masr, Egypt), Erick Johanna Omondi (IF Brommapojkarma, Sweden), Whyvone Isuza (AFC Leopards, Kenya)Forwards; Michael Olunga (Kashiwa Reysol, Japan), Jesse Were (Zesco United, Zambia), John Avire (Sofapaka, Kenya), John Mark Makwatta (AFC Leopards, Kenya).0Shares0000(Visited 32 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Harambee Stars striker John Avire during his debut against Madagascar in a friendly match at the Stade Robert Bobin in Paris on June 7, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 2 – Striker John Avire and goalkeeper Patrick Matasi have been recalled as Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi named his preliminary squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Egypt and Togo this month.Avire has been missing since the team returned from the 2019 Cup of Nations as he tried to force a move to Egyptian side Tanta, but Kimanzi has handed him a life line though he is still listed as a Sofapaka player.last_img read more

first_imgIf phrases like “the conservation of conservatism” or “the production of productivity” leave you scratching your head, you may wear off a few hairs thinking about a paper in PNAS1 on the “evolution of evolvability.”  Entitled, “Is evolvability a selectable trait?”, this paper by two scientists at Rice University considers whether the rate of change of evolution can change.  (Pause here to think about that.)  In other words, can the ability of a population of critters to adapt to its environment quickly be selected by natural selection?  Might some critters become sluggish in their ability to change, while others develop flexibility in adapting to changing conditions?  Why is anyone even asking this question?    It’s not that no one has thought about this before, but the idea has been shrugged off by other evolutionists in the past.  How could a population plan ahead to be flexible?  For this reason, the authors seem a little defensive writing this paper:Whether the propensity to evolve, or evolvability, can be an object of Darwinian natural selection is a topic of interest.  Causality would suggest not because of the apparently anticipatory nature of evolvability.  Many within the field of evolutionary biology are uncomfortable with the concept that evolvability is a selectable trait.  A growing body of experimental data, however, would be explained if evolvability were a selectable trait.    Higher organisms cannot evolve, or adapt, by germ-line mutation to an environmental change within their own lifetime.  Does this mean that lineages and individuals cannot be under selection for evolvability?….….Although the use of the term evolvability has only recently come into vogue in the scientific community, investigations into the evolution of adaptation go back several decades.  Prominent from a theoretical perspective are works in population genetics and game theory [see 02/10/2004 headline].  Despite the insights that these studies give as to the origin and maintenance of evolvability, evolution of and selection for evolvability remains a contested issue primarily because of the causality principleSo the burden of proof is on them to show that evolvability evolves.  Their paper is primarily a mathematical model, similar to computer models of evolution (see 07/04/2004 headline).  A model is needed, they say, because of the difficulty of measuring the effect in the wild:Whether evolvability is selectable has been a difficult question to answer, primarily because observations in evolutionary biology tend to be correlative in nature and difficult on which to make mechanistic conclusions.  Therefore, we consider here the dynamics of evolvability in a well defined theoretical model of protein evolution.  Within this model of protein structure and function, we have a fixed population of proteins, which we take to be 1,000.  We have a microscopic selection criterion, which we take to be the folding and binding of a protein to a substrate.  And we have a means of inducing constant, random environmental change.They claim the model shows that evolvability is a function of environmental change; the more dynamic the environment, the more evolvable the protein.  This, they emphasize, is their important finding.  It’s kind of like physics:An analogy with thermodynamics illuminates the issue: How is free energy minimized in a physical system of particles despite the difficulty in defining the entropy of a given configuration of the particles?  An ensemble of particle configurations allows the definition of free energy and the approach to thermodynamic equilibrium just as a population of evolving organisms allows the definition of and selection for evolvability.They seem to be viewing individual organisms as molecules, and treating Darwinian selection as a force acting on the ensemble– a form of group selection (see 05/31/2004 headline for opposing view).  Is there any evidence in nature for their position?  They point to a few possibilities:Many observations within evolutionary biology, heretofore considered evolutionary happenstance or accidents, are explained by selection for evolvability.  For example, the vertebrate immune system shows that the variable environment of antigens has provided selective pressure for the use of adaptable codons and low-fidelity polymerases during somatic hypermutation.  A similar driving force for biased codon usage as a result of productively high mutation rates is observed in the hemagglutinin protein of influenza A.  Selection for evolvability explains the prevalence of transposons among bacteria and recombination among higher organisms.Is this concept useful?  The authors feel that “therapeutics also confer selective pressure on the evolvability of pathogens, and that this driving force for antigenic drift should be considered in drug- and vaccine-design efforts.”    The believe their model shows that “The rates at which the various events within the hierarchy of evolutionary moves occur are not random or arbitrary but are selected by Darwinian evolution.  Sensibly, rapid or extreme environmental change leads to selection for greater evolvability. This selection is not forbidden by causality and is strongest on the largest-scale moves within the mutational hierarchy.”    One of their concluding statements summarizes their view into a pithy sound bite: “Not only has life evolved, but life has evolved to evolve.”1David J. Earl and Michael W. Deem, “Evolvability is a selectable trait,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0404656101.It must get boring at the Darwin Party storytelling banquets (see 12/22/2003 commentary), so every once in awhile someone has to come up with a new plot to argue about.  To these guys, proteins in a test tube are a microcosm of caribou in the tundra or humans in Manhattan.  This paper might suggest a short story or novel on whether New Yorkers are evolving evolvability in response to terrorist attacks.  If so, terrorism might be a good thing; it makes the species more adaptable to sudden change.    It doesn’t matter whether the model corresponds to reality or not, or can be observed or not, as long as it makes entertaining reading, generates lively discussions and opens new markets for GameBoy.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_img(Visited 442 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Robot designers know that making things big is easy, but making them small is hard. How do you pack a multitude of capabilities in a tiny space? Consider these little guys.Tarantulas have eight eyes that are simple (like human eyes) instead of compound. Researchers found that they use their lateral eyes to calculate distance.Lycosa tarantula, a wolf spider found in Spain, hunts by ambushing its prey and dragging its meal back to its 20cm-deep burrow. Finding the way back, however, can be a math problem after darting this way and that in the chase. Science Daily says it “uses path integration to return to its burrow.” Did this little creature ace trigonometry class? “With this mechanism, it does not follow the same path back to its burrow; instead, it moves as though it had followed the sides of a right-angle triangle, returning along the hypotenuse.” Scientists in Madrid ran experiments in the lab. It must have been fun trying to paint the lateral eyes shut on these speedy runners. The researchers put the spiders through their paces on specially-designed arrays of black and white bands. What they found reveals an astonishing array of instruments packed into a tiny space:“To calculate the distance it has travelled, the animal needs an odometer that registers the route, its location with respect to the finish point, which would be the burrow, and a ‘compass‘ to track the direction of travel,” according to Joaquin Ortega Escobar, lead author of a paper published in the Journal of Experimental Biology on the function of each eye in these processes.The ‘compass’ would correspond to polarised light, which the median eyes use to measure the angle; direction is detected by the anterior lateral eyes. Through this research, the scientists have learned that it is principally the anterior lateral eyes (which until now had not been analysed), and to a lesser extent the posterior lateral eyes, that help tarantula wolf spiders measures the distance to their nest.Mosquitoes have some of the fastest wings in nature. Much as we despise them, we have to have a grudging admiration for a tiny creature that can flap wings 800 beats a second—four times faster than insects of a similar size. In Nature, Laura A. Miller describes efforts to understand the flight mechanics of mosquitoes (many species of which do not bite humans). Despite the fast wingbeats, which make that annoying whine, the thin wings only employ strokes of about 40° in amplitude—much shorter than in other flying insects. Science Daily says that the researchers at Oxford University, curious about the narrow wings and short beats, “predicted that they must make use of clever tricks as the wings reverse their direction at the end of each half-stroke.”How can a tiny brain of less than a million neurons achieve complex processes?In particular, the researchers wondered how they get enough lift. Even a mosquito needs lift to fly. The answer, they found with cameras running at 10,000 frames a second, was by a rotation mechanism in the wing attachment muscle that induces vortices on both forward and backward strokes, gaining lift in both directions. This sounds similar to what Illustra Media demonstrated in far larger animals, hummingbirds (see Flight: The Genius of Birds). Miller compares it to the force one feels holding a hand out the window of a moving car, rotating it into and out of the wind. The researchers (who must have had amazing technology to measure lift on such minuscule wings) found that mosquitoes actually employ three mechanisms to get all the lift they can: (1) leading-edge vortex, (2) wake capture, and (3) rotational drag—a trick unique to mosquitoes.Could drone designers learn from these tricks of the mosquito? “Mosquito-flight investigations are certainly on their way to generating plenty of future research buzz,” Miller quips.Honeybees have better eyesight than thought, Science Daily reports. They can clearly discern objects at angles of a mere 1.9°, as small as your thumb at arm’s length, but that’s not all; they can make out objects at just 0.6° almost as well, a third as wide. This is 30% better than earlier thought, according to an Australian team that gave eye tests to bees. “Among other things, honey bees help to answer questions such as: how can a tiny brain of less than a million neurons achieve complex processes, and what are its utmost limits? In the last few decades it has been shown that bees can see and categorize objects and learn concepts through vision, such as the concept of ‘symmetric’ and ‘above and below’….“Photoreceptors in the visual system detect variations in light intensity. There are eight photoreceptors beyond each hexagonal facet of a bee’s compound eye, and their eyes are made out of thousands of facets!“Butterflies have an amazing mouthpart called the proboscis that lets them slurp nectar like drinking through a straw. Only they don’t need to suck; the proboscis is designed to bring fluid in automatically, by capillary action. These mouthparts are clearly shown in Illustra Media’s documentary Metamorphosis, which shows how after hatching from the chrysalis, the proboscis emerges in half-channels. The butterfly uses other mouthparts called palpi to knit the two halves together into a single channel. The proboscis can be rolled up into a neat little circle like a hose reel, and extended for use.Recently, tried to unravel other mysteries of the mouthparts of butterflies. And like the “bee team” reported above, researchers at Kent State (UK) wanted to learn about this to imitate it. “An insect’s proboscis, a body part that allows them to drink liquids, acts like a highly-sophisticated sponge and straw that uses capillary action to send nectar or other liquids to the insect’s digestive system,” the team says. The channel size is crucially important for the type of liquid the insect needs to drink.The team’s findings show that capillary action is an essential and ideal method for removing small amounts of fluids from surfaces, Lehnert said. By copying this natural method, scientists say the mouthparts of flies and butterflies can serve as models for developing new devices for improved drug delivery systems.Even though engineers can only approach the efficiency of the butterfly proboscis, Lehnert attributed the insect’s design to evolution. “In order to feed on nectar and other liquid films, natural selection has favored the evolution of specialized mouthparts in fluid-feeding insects,” the press release writer says. Then Lehnert mixes convergent evolution with personification to portray natural selection as a refining agent:“It was previously known that flies and butterflies independently evolved mouthparts adapted for feeding on fluids, but what was unknown before our study was that they both use the same principles for ingesting fluids – capillary action,” Lehnert said. “Our findings have applications to the production of novel microfluidic devices that can be developed to mimic the functionality of insect mouthparts, which have the advantage of being impacted by natural selection over millions of years.“Ants rescue their dead. Did you know that? Neither did scientists; reports that researchers in Europe, studying African ants, didn’t expect to see this. “We have observed helping behaviour vis-à-vis injured animals for the first time in invertebrates,” one said. For social insects where nest members are clones with no individuality, this is quite amazing; “obviously, it pays off for the colony as a whole to invest in the rescue service,” they say. The ants’ triage service will sound remarkably familiar to those in the human military:When an ant is injured in a fight, it will “call” its mates for help by excreting chemical substances. The injured insect is then carried back to the nest where it can recover after receiving treatment. What is the “therapy” like? Usually, treatment involves removing the termites still clinging to the ant.Dung Beetles seem disgusting, rolling balls of poop around to feed on, but they actually play a part in the balance of nature. And they have an amazing trick that has come to the light of science: they navigate by the Milky Way. Really! At The Conversation, James Foster of Lund University describes experiments to figure out how they do it. His team created an artificial Milky Way sky to watch them under controlled conditions. They found that it isn’t constellations that guide them, but the brightness patterns between the Milky Way and the other parts of the sky that help them orient themselves, so that they can roll their ball in a straight line.This brightness-comparison strategy may be less sophisticated than the way birds and human sailors identify specific constellations, but it’s an efficient solution to interpreting the complex information present in the starry sky—given how small the beetles’ eyes and brains are. In this way, they overcome the limited bandwidth of their information processing systems and do more with less, just as humans have learnt to do with technology.So there you have it: insects and arachnids with remarkable superpowers, using well-designed equipment. The genius in these animals is so good, scientists study it in order to copy it. Knowing what we have learned, it makes it hard to swat, step on, or spray these sophisticated little living robots.Don’t feel too sorry for that mosquito after your blood. This is not the “very good” world of the original creation before the Fall. Still, God has left enough evidence of his creative power to stand in awe of his wisdom. It should draw us to seek him, humble ourselves, repent, and trust in his way of escape from the consequences of sin.last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Light snow moves into Ohio today with a minor disturbance moving quickly over the region. Action today look to stay rather localized. Scattered snow showers push into west-central Ohio near midday, and then continue to spread east as they slide south through the afternoon and evening. Everything should be done by Midnight tonight. Generally, we are expecting snow to be mostly limited to central and southern Ohio, about 75 miles either side of I-70. In terms of amounts, we are looking for a coating to an inch from in most areas. We won’t rule out a few flurries north of US 30 and a dusting in spots, but generally this is a central and southern Ohio event.  The map at right shows potential for today. We kick off a dry forecast pattern on Friday. We should stay precipitation free over almost all of the state from Friday through next Wednesday night.  We do have a significant storm complex exiting the central plains Saturday and moving across the Deep south. AT this point we are keeping all precipitation from that system south of the Ohio river into KY. We wont rule out a few clouds in far southern Ohio this Sunday and perhaps early Monday, but that is it. The rest of us see a nice mix of sun and clouds. This will be the longest dry stretch we will have seen in quite some time. Light snow moves back into the region next Thursday, bringing a coating to 2 inches to 70% of the state. A second wave of action hits on Friday as a strong low starts to pass to the south, but then hooks north into western PA. That means we see a significant increase in snow threat next Friday over eastern OH. We can see an additional coating to 2 inches in western OH, but in eastern areas, snow Friday through early Saturday can be significantly higher, with the highest coming near the lake. In addition, winds do look to be a problem. We can expect 20-40 mph winds statewide on Friday coming out of the north on the backside that a powerful low. If winds stay at our projected intensity, we would see blizzard conditions over eastern Ohio, and potentially even some nastiness in western Ohio. This event looks nasty right now…but has plenty of time to modify and put in a different track…so stay tuned. For the extended period, we continue to see an active 6 day stretch. Rains arrive on the 17th and linger into early the 18th, bringing .1”-.5” totals, mostly over the southern half of the state. Then as have another frontal complex arriving for the 20th. This one has rain potential of .25”-.75” with 80% coverage of the state south of US 30. Notice we continue to talk rain! While the nearby 10 window looks cold, particularly with a reinforcing shot of cold air this weekend, the 11-16 day period warms considerably, and we expect well above normal temps all the way through the 22nd. This will allow all precipitation in that extended forecast to stay liquid. This cold, dry stretch looks to us to be the best opportunity to finish up the late harvest and may be the best chance of the rest of 2018.last_img read more