Molecular Clock Keeps Wild Time

first_imgEvolutionists used to hope that the mutation rates in genes were relatively constant, so that they could provide a kind of “molecular clock” for inferring dates of divergence of ancestral species.  The first bad news was that not all molecular clocks tick at the same rate (rate heterogeneity).  Then they hoped that rate differences corresponded to body size, because there appeared to be such a trend among vertebrates.  The second bad news now comes out; according to an international team publishing in PNAS,1 rate variation does not scale with body size:The existence of a universal molecular clock has been called into question by observations that substitution rates vary widely between lineages.  However, increasing empirical evidence for the systematic effects of different life history traits on the rate of molecular evolution has raised hopes that rate variation may be predictable, potentially allowing the “correction” of the molecular clock.  One such example is the body size trend observed in vertebrates; smaller species tend to have faster rates of molecular evolution….    Phylogenetic comparative methods were used to investigate a relationship between average body size and substitution rate at both interspecies and interfamily comparison levels.  We demonstrate significant rate variation in all phyla and most genes examined, implying a strict molecular clock cannot be assumed for the Metazoa.  Furthermore, we find no evidence of any influence of body size on invertebrate substitution rates.  We conclude that the vertebrate body size effect is a special case, which cannot be simply extrapolated to the rest of the animal kingdom.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)1Thomas et al., “Evolution: There is no universal molecular clock for invertebrates, but rate variation does not scale with body size,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print May 1, 2006; Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 10.1073/pnas.0510251103.Though disappointing to Darwinists, this will in no way affect their theories, because Darwinism does not rely on empirical evidence for support.  Evidence is just a nice thing to have when available.  Darwinism is more like entertainment; the show must go on.  Should non-Darwinists call this entertainment a comedy, or a tragedy?(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South African sprinter Jobodwana takes on the world’s best

first_img28 August 2015South African sprinter Anaso Jobodwana has taken on the best in the world and succeeded. A day after compatriot Wayde van Niekerk won gold in the 400m final at the IAAF World Championship in Beijing, China, Jobodwana won bronze in the 200m final, to share the podium with none other than world record holder Jamaican Usain Bolt.It was the third time Jobodwana raced against Bolt, including the London Olympics in 2012, but this time he finished in the top three. Jobodwana also broke the South African record for the event, finishing in 19.87 seconds, improving on Van Niekerk’s record time set less than a month ago.It’s been 65 years since a South African athlete has won an international championship sprint medal, and in the last two days, thanks to Van Niekerk and Jobodwana, the country now has two.Bolt took the race in 19.55 seconds with American Justin Gatlin grabbing silver in 19.74 seconds.“My coach said if I executed the race the best way that I could, I would be on the podium. And when I was running that’s all I thought of: podium, podium, podium,” Jobodwana said after the race.He knew he was in the best shape of his life when he arrived at the championship, saying he and his coach, Stuart McMillan, had worked hard to get to this point. But it was the presence of Bolt that gave him the edge to fulfil that promise. He told News24 “a race is always elevated when Bolt is in. It’s a great thing just feeling the power of the world record holder.”Before the race, Bolt approached him with some encouragement: “He said, ‘Are you ready for a 19 seconds?’ And I said, ‘Yeah.’ And he said, ‘Oh, you don’t sound too confident.’ And I said, ‘No, no, no, I’m ready to run,’” Jobodwana said. After glancing over at each other in mutual admiration at the finish line, the three podium winners shared a victory lap together. While the focus was very much on Bolt, Jobodwana was equally lauded for his performance.He will be in the running for a second competition medal in the 4x100m relay tomorrow.Jobodwana’s win has been celebrated around the country, with friends, fans and ordinary South Africans taking to social media to congratulate him and sing his praises. It’s been a long road for the 23-year-old from Eastern Cape, who has worked hard on the track to reach this level of competition.But he still has a lot to offer for South African athletics, as he looks ahead to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016. No doubt, he will once again get a chance to face off against the legendary Jamaican super-sprinter – and just maybe beat him to the finish line.“I feel I belong with the other guys. I’m going to build on that momentum,” he told Business Day yesterday. Coach McMillan agrees; he wants Jobodwana to gain some extra competition advantage over the coming year to contend in the Olympics 100m.Source: News24Wire and Business Daylast_img read more

Madison Plains FFA members awarded highest honor

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Three graduate members from the Madison Plains FFA chapter recently received the highest degree attainable in the FFA, the American Degree.The three were recognized at the 87th annual National FFA Convention in Louisville Kentucky. The Degree requires the recipients to meet specific extensive requirements. This year’s recipients included Roger Mason, Rachel Garrison, and Ethan Fryer. These three members combined made a total community economic impact of $98,000 over their four years of agriculture education. And dedicated over 9,509 hours of their time to their home chapter.The Madison Plains FFA Chapter is very proud to see its members go so far and would like to congratulate them on their hard work.last_img read more

Decision Support Tool to select appropriate hybrid maturities for June

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Allen Geyer and Peter Thomison, Ohio State University ExtensionThe Corn Growing Degree Day decision support tool allows users to choose any Corn Belt county, enter the planting date and hybrid maturity, and generate a graph that shows projected GDD accumulations through the season, including the date on which you can expect that hybrid, planted on that date in that county, to mature (achieve black layer). One important adjustment missing from this tool is the fact that planting corn late usually lowers the GDD needed to get a hybrid from planting to maturity.In an article on his website, Dr. Bob Nielsen at Purdue includes a calculator that adjusts the GDD requirement downward based on how late planting actually is. This is not a trivial adjustment: planting a hybrid on June 10 (vs. May 10) lowers the GDD requirement by more than 200 GDD. So a hybrid that needs 2,700 GDD to mature if planted on May 1 will require an estimated 2,428 GDD if planted on June 10 (Using Dr. Nielsen’s calculator). The revised GDD number can be manually entered into the GDD tool instead of days RM for the hybrid.To get started on the tool, click where your farm is located in the county of interest (GDDs are calculated based on longitude and latitude) then select the graph tab. As an example, a 108-day RM hybrid (which the tool estimates will need 2,600 GDD from planting to maturity) planted on June 10 in Wood County, Ohio is projected to mature sometime after Dec 1 (the frost date is estimated at Oct. 29). However, if you manually change the expected layer GDD requirement from 2600 to 2328 (estimated using the calculator above) the GDD tool estimates that hybrid would achieve maturity by about Oct. 8 (nearly three weeks before the first average freeze).If we change the planting location to Wayne County, Ohio using the same hybrid and planting date and make the appropriate input changes to the GDD tool regarding reduced GDD requirements for a delayed planting, the GDD tool estimates that the hybrid wouldn’t achieve maturity until November 7 (average frost date of Oct. 27). Changing to a 102-day hybrid there would move projected maturity to Oct. 9.last_img read more

‘Ms. Volleyball’ grateful that liberos are put on spotlight with PSA citation

first_imgGoogle honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Dawn Macandili. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDawn Macandili really lived up to her nickname.The diminutive lass known as Ms. Everywhere once again etched her mark in sporting history when she earned the Ms. Volleyball laurel in the PSA Awards Night Tuesday at Manila Hotel.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico LATEST STORIES Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving And in another twist of fate, Macandili was the first libero to be given such an honor.“I still can’t believe that I would be given this award because liberos aren’t usually given recognition,” said Macandili in Filipino. “It’s just recently that our roles have been noticed.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I’m really thankful that, somehow, our efforts that we give to our teams are being highlighted.”Macandili first made history when she was named as the 2nd Best Libero in the AVC Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship and she carried that plum with her when the Philippines competed in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia.center_img #KicksStalker: Curry to auction shoes in support of My Brother’s Keeper View comments Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 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 Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. La Salle’s defensive dynamo added that the award was a testament to her belief in head coach Ramil De Jesus’ system and a program that has so far produced 10 titles in the UAAP.And Macandili wasn’t the first La Sallian to be given the Ms. Volleyball nod as former captain Mika Reyes was awarded the same trophy in 2017.“Of course I’m not the first athlete under La Salle that was produced under coach Ramil’s system that became a multi-awarded player,” said Macandili. “It’s like I’m just fulfilling coach Ramil’s prophecy.”ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH AFP official booed out of forumlast_img read more

10 months agoNapoli coach Ancelotti: I want Sarri’s Chelsea in Europa League final

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Napoli coach Ancelotti: I want Sarri’s Chelsea in Europa League finalby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveNapoli coach Carlo Ancelotti wants to meet Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea in this season’s final of the Europa League.Sarri left Napoli to be replaced by Ancelotti last summer.And the latter says: “I will be judged on the results of the team, but I think Napoli is doing a very good job. We did not qualify for the Champions League, but we knew from the start that it would be very difficult. “Napoli was up against two of the best teams in Europe. I would like to reach the final. It would be even better to be able to play against the Chelsea of Sarri. I think even Sarri would be happy to face Napoli. “Napoli versus Chelsea in the final of the Europa League, it would be magnificent. For me, it would be special to play Chelsea, one of my former clubs.” last_img read more

Farmers Encouraged to Engage in Climate Change Mitigation Plans

first_img “We remained flat in the periods that have passed recently because of the devastating rains, but we have a lot to be hopeful about,” he said. Chief Technical Director, Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Courtney Cole, is calling on farmers and agricultural investors to engage in more climate change mitigation plans, in an effort to protect their investments. Story Highlights Mr. Cole said due to climate change, Jamaica has been experiencing inconsistent weather patterns, which have affected crops across the island in the last 12 months, thereby impacting the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). Chief Technical Director, Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Courtney Cole, is calling on farmers and agricultural investors to engage in more climate change mitigation plans, in an effort to protect their investments.Mr. Cole said due to climate change, Jamaica has been experiencing inconsistent weather patterns, which have affected crops across the island in the last 12 months, thereby impacting the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).Addressing a Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) Agricultural Information Forum on March 13 at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew, Mr. Cole pointed out that the sector, in 2016, contributed 7.3 per cent to the GDP, and that was 1.3 per cent over the year before.“We remained flat in the periods that have passed recently because of the devastating rains, but we have a lot to be hopeful about,” he said.“What we have is a situation where we’re operating on something looking like a pendulum or a continuum, where on one side you have extreme drought conditions, and then on the other we have extreme precipitation and flooding. It seems like that has become the new norm,” he added.Mr. Cole said that the seasonal patterns that could have been predicted years ago have now changed due to climate change, and, as such, farmers and investors need to invest more in mitigation plans to prepare for the unexpected.“We have to find ways of mitigating the drought situation by harvesting more of that water that floods us out. We must have mechanisms in place that will capture that water, so that we have it when the drought situation comes around again,” he suggested.Mr. Cole said the Government, through the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, has been making efforts to prevent the devastating impact that climate change can bring to the economy.“The Ministry, through RADA and other affiliated entities, has been engaging our farmers and training them,” he noted.JAMPRO hosted the forum with the aim of increasing local and international investment in the agricultural sector to support Jamaica’s economic growth programme and empower local farmers.It was used as a platform to highlight agriculture as an important business opportunity in Jamaica and to emphasise the Government’s commitment to supporting the growth of the sector.Some of the issues addressed were financing options for agricultural activities; traditional and non-traditional crop opportunities; land availability and suitability issues; marketing of agricultural products locally and overseas; and Government initiatives and programmes to support agriculture, such as agro parks and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) support to farmers.last_img read more

PEI police arrest nine men tied to Torontoarea Hells Angels chapter

first_imgCHARLOTTETOWN – Nine men affiliated with a Toronto-area Hells Angels chapter have been arrested by a new police task force targeting P.E.I.’s growing outlaw motorcycle gang presence.Police say the nine — reportedly aged 19 to 63 — are “hangarounds” with the Hells Angels in Woodbridge, Ont.They face charges relating to involvement in a criminal organization as well as lottery and gaming counts.They were arrested early Thursday by the P.E.I. Organized Crime Task Force — a joint group including municipal forces and the RCMP.Members affiliated with the Hells Angels chapter set up shop on Prince Edward Island last December.The Angels were without a beachhead in the Maritimes since police disbanded the former Halifax chapter in 2001.But the gang has begun to reassert itself, strengthening its presence mainly through affiliate or so called “puppet clubs” in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I.last_img read more

Paediatric societies call for Quebec to allow parents on child medical flights

first_imgMONTREAL – Quebec must change its policy that systematically denies parents the right to accompany their children during urgent medical air evacuations, the Canadian and Quebec paediatric societies said Tuesday.The call by the child-advocacy groups follows a similar demand by three physicians who wrote to the Quebec government in December, urging the health minister to reconsider the policy they say disproportionately affects northern Inuit and First Nations communities.Remote northern areas often don’t have medical infrastructure to care for critically ill people, and as a consequence patients are transported to southern cities for services.Sending children, especially from First Nations communities, alone on medical flights can be traumatic, said Catherine Farrell, president-elect of the Canadian Paediatric society, in an interview.The reason parentless flights are especially damaging to native people is due to “intergenerational trauma from the forced removal of children during the residential school system and during the tuberculosis epidemic,” Farrell said.“(Children) suffer from the absence of their parent,” she added. “Not just during transport, but in the period following transport when we are taking charge of a patient’s care and making decisions without their parents being present.”Quebec is the only jurisdiction in the country that routinely denies parents the ability to fly with their sick kids, she said.The paediatric society is calling on the Quebec government to change its policy on air flights and to prioritize space on the plane for a parent or relative to accompany their child.“I think what we are looking at is rejigging the space (on the place) that’s required for one person to sit,” Farrell said. “I think it’s doable because in other provinces it’s completely doable.”In January, Quebec Health Minister Gaetan Barrette denied the policy is discriminatory toward Inuit and First Nations and noted the government picks up the bill to fly parents to be at their children’s bedsides.He said at the time Quebec’s air ambulances are designed to make multiple stops to pick up patients, which leads to a lack of space on the aircraft and added a plane’s medical equipment doesn’t leave much room for seats, and those need to be reserved for medical personnel.In response to the Canadian and Quebec paediatric societies call for change, a spokeswoman for Barrette said via email he was “reflecting” on the issue.Asked whether the government’s position had changed, spokeswoman Catherine Audet simply repeated her one-line response: “Our reflections continue on the subject.”Farrell said the costs associated with renovating the aircraft to allow room for parents would be defrayed by the savings in paying for commercial flights after their children arrive in hospital.“We will maintain pressure so that (the issue) really gets looked at by (Barrette),” she said. “So that at a minimum, changing the policy is top priority and then making the change a reality is the last step.”last_img read more

Baloney Meter Has every single refugee claimant in Canada been screened

first_imgOTTAWA — “We have made sure that every single person crossing our borders, whether legally or illegally, gets processed according to all our rules. We have seen over the past years all around the world an increase in migration and in asylum seekers happening everywhere, and Canada is not immune to that. However, we have a strong immigration system that continues to apply all its steps to everyone crossing the border.” — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in question period, May 7, 2019.—The influx of asylum seekers to Canada has become a sustained political headache for the Liberals over the last two years and is likely to be the subject of divisive debates in the upcoming fall federal election.The most heated rhetoric tends to revolve around tens of thousands of “irregular migrants” who have crossed into Canada through unofficial paths along the Canada-U.S. border since early 2017.The Conservatives have been accusing the Trudeau government of not being in control of the country’s immigration system and have been using the number of migrants — whom they typically call “illegal,” not “irregular” — to highlight those concerns.Trudeau and immigration officials continue to insist the system is just fine and that Conservatives are merely stoking fears for partisan gain.The prime minister responded to one recent question from deputy Conservative leader Lisa Raitt by  saying “every single person crossing our borders, whether legally or illegally, gets processed according to all our rules.”Is this statement true?Spoiler alert: The Canadian Press Baloney Meter is a dispassionate examination of political statements culminating in a ranking of accuracy on a scale of “no baloney” to “full of baloney” (complete methodology below).This one earns a rating of “Full of baloney.”Here’s why.THE FACTSAnyone wishing to make an asylum claim in Canada faces a number of screenings by three different federal agencies.The Immigration Department and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) first conduct an eligibility assessment, which involves biometric screening (fingerprints and photos) and biographic checks as well as a security check for anyone over 18 years of age. This determines whether the person is eligible to make a refugee claim. Factors that rule out eligibility include whether the person has committed a serious crime, made a previous claim in Canada or received protection in another country.If, after those checks, the person is deemed eligible for refugee protection, the Immigration Department or CBSA then refers the claim to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) — an arm’s-length tribunal that decides refugee cases and appeals.Once a claim is referred to the IRB, it’s reviewed for security, credibility and for possible grounds for exclusion from Canada’s asylum system.THE AUDITOR GENERALFederal auditor general Sylvain Ricard recently probed whether all three government agencies involved in refugee determinations have been consistently processing asylum claims in an efficient and timely manner.The audit found Canada’s refugee system has a backlog of asylum claims that is worse now than it has ever been, caused in part by systemic inefficiencies.Ricard’s office also zeroed in on whether biometric checks for criminality or identity were completed for a sample of 82,503 claimants.His office found that the CBSA had no quality-assurance program to ensure all the proper screening procedures had been completed. For example, the audit found some files contained errors in electronic documentation. It also flagged 400 claims where biometric checks for criminality or identity were not completed, as required. In some of these cases fingerprints were simply not taken and in others there were system errors that occurred when information was transmitted.“Although these cases represent 0.5 per cent of all claimants for whom criminality or identity checks were required, the checks are important for public safety and the integrity of the refugee determination system,” the auditor’s report says. “Neither organization systematically tracked whether a criminal records check was always completed because of poor data quality.”Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale responded by saying the system has “layers of protection.” When the auditor general found those 400 cases with missing biometrics, the CBSA immediately checked those files and in every case, proper criminal screening was done to ensure no bad actors inadvertently slipped through the system, Goodale told reporters May 7.“With respect to biometrics, (CBSA officials) were able to identify that in 0.2 per cent of cases, that part of the screening process was not completed properly. I guess you could look at it the other way around and say 99.8 per cent of the cases, it was properly completed, but in 0.2 per cent, they acknowledge an error and they have taken steps to make sure, by way of proper protocol, that doesn’t happen again,” Goodale said.THE VERDICTTrudeau clearly and matter-of-factly stated that “every single person crossing our borders, whether legally or illegally, gets processed according to all our rules.” He made this statement on the same day the auditor general’s report was published, describing the 400 cases where biometric screenings were not completed as well as other gaps in information collected or shared among government agencies about asylum seekers.The audit report did find that in most cases, proper procedures were followed, but it did flag areas where some people did not get screened according to all the rules.For that reason, Trudeau’s statement in the House of Commons earns a rating of “Full of baloney.”METHODOLOGYThe Baloney Meter is a project of The Canadian Press that examines the level of accuracy in statements made by politicians. Each claim is researched and assigned a rating based on the following scale:No baloney — the statement is completely accurateA little baloney — the statement is mostly accurate but more information is requiredSome baloney — the statement is partly accurate but important details are missingA lot of baloney — the statement is mostly inaccurate but contains elements of truthFull of baloney — the statement is completely inaccurateTeresa Wright, The Canadian Presslast_img read more