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DeGale ready for North American debut

first_imgJames DeGale says he is determined to make a statement on his North American debut this Friday.Harlesden’s former Olympic champion will defend his WBC Silver super-middleweight title against Sebastien Demers at Casino Lac-Leamy, Gatineau, Canada.It will be his first fight since a points victory against Fulgencio Zuniga in Hull back in December.A clash with Alexander Brand, set for March, was postponed.“I just want to show my fans what I’m made of, show them what I’ve got and show them what I’m about,” he declared.“I’m feeling good, very good, I haven’t been out of the gym since the beginning of the year.“Obviously I’ve had a couple of fights cancelled on me and postponed, but I’m a true professional – I’ve been in the gym training hard.“It means a lot to be making my debut in North America. I travelled a lot as an amateur, travelled the world, but I haven’t done too much as a pro to be honest.“With [promoter] Mick Hennessy and Hennessy Sports’ contacts out in Canada I’ve got this opportunity, so I’m really looking forward to it.“I want to put on a great performance out there – slick, skilful, showcase my skills and put on a fantastic show.”Canadian Demers, 33, unsuccessfully challenged Arthur Abraham for the IBF middleweight title in 2007 and boasts 31 wins from 36 contests.His last fight was against another former world champion, Allan Green, who beat him on points in November.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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Your Cat and Evolution

first_imgThis week’s just-so story is, “How the kitty got its stripes.”  All the news are on it; they just don’t answer the question.News media are not the least embarrassed to invoke the Kipling just-so story formula, “how the x got its y.”  In this week’s iteration about cat stripes, Live Science headlined, “How the tabby got its stripes.”  Science Daily was a little more creative (or verbose) with, “How the Sub-Saharan Cheetah Got Its Stripes: Californian Feral Cats Help Unlock Biological Secret.”  Even the prestigious journal Science‘s news site got into the act with, “How the Tabby Got Its Blotches.”What the original paper in Science found were genes in tabby cats that, when mutated, form blotches rather than stripes.  Then the research team checked mutant cheetahs with blotches and found the same mutation.  That’s about all.  The paper is by Kaelin et al., in Science, “Specifying and Sustaining Pigmentation Patterns in Domestic and Wild Cats” (21 September 2012: Vol. 337 no. 6101 pp. 1536-1541, DOI: 10.1126/science.1220893).  The most detailed summary was on Science Daily, echoing a Stanford press release, “How the Cheetah Got Its Stripes: A Genetic Tale by Stanford Researchers” (there they go again).“We were motivated by a basic question,” said Barsh of the turn to the study of big (and little) cats. “How do periodic patterns like stripes and spots in mammals arise? What generates them? How are they maintained? What is their biological and evolutionary significance? It’s kind of surprising how little is known. Until now, there’s been no obvious biological explanation for cheetah spots or the stripes on tigers, zebras or even the ordinary house cat.”That’s about all that was said by anyone about evolution: only questions.  None of the scientists or authors explained how these genes “emerged” in the first place.  None of them explained how genes, inside of cells, create precision patterns on the external fur of multicellular mammals.  The press release said that many animals, such as fish and insects, have patterns, but they grow them differently: they add more stripes as the animal grows, whereas your kitten’s pattern will remain the same as it grows to adulthood. That was cause for more questions:“Somehow, cells in the black stripes know they are in a black stripe and remember that fact throughout the organism’s life,” said Barsh. “We were curious about what’s happening at the boundary between light and dark stripes and spots. How do these spots know to grow with an animal?”Even though it is evident that a cheetah’s sports or a tiger’s stripes aid camouflage, nobody explained why some cats are monocolored, some are spotted, some are striped, and some have chaotic markings with no clear function at all.  In short, they promised but did not deliver.So the question is, does Darwin provide a better explanation than Kipling’s?  We learned about a couple of genes, it’s true.  We know that mutations create observable changes in the pattern.  We know the same mutation found in a tabby cat creates a similar change in a cheetah.  But do we know How the tabby got its stripes?  No! – not by evolutionary theory, the explanatory toolkit that is advertised as the great principle that makes sense of everything in biology.  All we know is that when a cat embryo grows, certain genes are switched on and regulated by other genes.  We may know which genes are involved, and how they are regulated, but we still don’t know “How the tabby/cheetah got its stripes.”  Moreoever, we don’t know why some animals have them and others don’t.Think of all the ways Kipling’s story is better than Darwin’s.  It’s amusing.  It’s entertaining.  It can be understood by children.  It’s whimsical.  It’s fanciful.  It has no connection to reality.  Wait– we take that back.  That’s all true of Darwin’s story as well. (Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The World’s Best Touch Footballers Touchdown in Sydney en route to Coffs Coast!

first_imgThe 2015 Federation of International Touch (FIT) World Cup was officially launched today in Sydney just five days out from the start of the event at C.Ex International Stadium in Coffs Harbour.A total of 90 teams from 25 nations will descend on Coffs Harbour next week, 29 April – 3 May, to contest the five-day event across nine men’s and women’s divisions.Among those taking part in today’s launch were Australian Men’s Open player Ben Moylan and his brother, NRL and Penrith Panthers star Matt, who started his career in touch football. The brothers were joined by international athletes from competing countries along with officials from the Federation of International Touch, Touch Football Australia, the National Rugby League and event partners, Destination NSW and Harvey NormanNSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said the Touch Football World Cup was a fantastic event for Regional NSW.“The FIT Touch Football World Cup is under a week away, and with over 2,000 participants in 90 teams from 25 countries set to take part, it will provide a massive boost to the local visitor economy in Coffs Harbour,” he said.“Supported by the NSW Government through our tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, the World Cup is a highlight on the 2015 Regional NSW Events Calendar and I wish all participants and organisers the best of luck. “I’d also encourage everyone who attends to take some time to experience everything the Coffs Harbour region has to offer, from spectacular coastline to a great range of bars, shops and restaurants.” Host nation and current holders of the Touch World Cup, Australia, will be striving to continue its outstanding record, having won all seven World Cup titles to date. This is the third time Australia has hosted the event, after previously hosting the inaugural World Cup on the Gold Coast in 1988 and in Sydney in 1999. Touch Football Australia CEO Colm Maguire said most teams had already arrived in Australia for the tournament and could not wait for the action to begin. “It really does seem like yesterday we were in Edinburgh celebrating Australia’s win at the 2011 World Cup,” he said.  “Here we are today at Sydney Harbour welcoming athletes to our great country for a festival of International Touch Football. “Next we move to the Coffs Coast region, which provides the perfect setting for such an exciting international event.“It is shaping as the biggest and we certainly hope the best Touch World Cup on record.” Secretary-General of FIT, Bill Ker praised the organisation and location of the event.  “I have no doubt that the 2015 World Cup in Australia will be the biggest and the most comprehensive World Cup in the 30 years of the Federation’s existence,” he said.“I must say this has come about by the interest expressed by the 25 Member Nations who are attending​ ​the ​excellent​ venue at Coffs Harbour, the extraordinary sponsorship support and the efforts of the host ​nation, Australia. “The work by Colm Maguire and his staff will ensure the staging of the event will be second-to-none – with all international visitors having an excellent experience not only from a World Cup viewpoint but an Australian hospitality perspective as well.”Harvey Norman Chief Operating Officer John Slack-Smith, said the company was proud to have the opportunity to be part of the Coffs Harbour event.“It will showcase the very best of the best in Touch Football,” he said.The NSW Government, through Destination NSW, is proud to partner with Touch Football Australia to secure major Touch Football events in NSW. This event is part of the NSW Government’s support for Touch Football, which follows also the Youth Trans Tasman event at Cronulla and the National Touch League in Coffs Harbour earlier this year.  Check out the video from the launch here – http://www.nrl.com/touch-football-world-cup-launched-in-sydney/tabid/10959/contentid/744324/default.aspx Social Media Touch World CupTwitter – https://twitter.com/touchworldcup15 @touchworldcup15 (#TWC2015) Instagram – https://instagram.com/touchworldcup2015  Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TouchWorldCup Social Media Touch Football AustraliaTwitter – https://twitter.com/touchfootyaus @touchfootyaus  Instagram – https://instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustralia Related LinksTWC Launchedlast_img read more

Serena Williams Has Been Tested More Than Other Top

(Photo by Mike Frey/Getty Images)Serena Williams is reportedly being singled out. While drug testing is a standard part of the tennis pro’s life, it’s become too regular for the star.A source familiar with a recent testing situation disclosed to Deadspin that a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency officer showed up to Williams’ Florida home June 14 at 8:30 a.m. unannounced. An assistant let the 23-time Grand Slam winner into the residence and informed the official Williams was not home. The agent apparently refused to leave until the mother of one got tested.After a standoff, Williams still didn’t get tested. She made a call to Women’s Tennis Association CEO Steve Simon about the test and what she described as unfair targeting. Simon told USADA CEO Travis Tygart to get in touch with Williams, acknowledging to the sports news blog he got a text from her and “called her back and left a message.”“She shared with me some concerns and questions she had about an out-of-competition drug test,” he said.The USADA database reveals Williams has been tested a total of five times in 2018. As a result, the athlete has been tested more than other top American women’s tennis players, including Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens, who were tested once, and sister Venus Williams was tested twice. The top 5 male players in tennis were also tested less than Williams.A spokesperson for Williams deemed the testing “invasive and targeted.”“Over her 23-year career in tennis, Serena Williams has never tested positive for any illegal substance despite being tested significantly more than other professional tennis players, both male and female — in fact, four times more frequently than her peers. She has vocally supported, respected and complied with USADA testing throughout her entire career. While she willingly continues to submit to testing, there is absolutely no reason for this kind of invasive and targeted treatment.”This isn’t the first time Williams has made headlines for her excessive dope testing either. In May she tweeted about her exhaustion with the practice, which USADA communications director Brad Horn said Wiliams had passed every time she’s taken one this year.“And…… just like that anti-doping is here ….again… second time this week,” she tweeted at the time. “Proud to participate to keep the sport clean. Even if they do test me at my current ranking of 454 in the world. Two times every week #BeingSerena.”And…… just like that anti doping is here ….again… second time this week. proud to participate to keep the sport clean. Even if they do test me at my current ranking of 454 in the world. Two times every week #BeingSerena— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) May 21, 2018 read more

Buckeye baseball returns to Big Ten Tournament Minnesota up first

After missing out last season, the Ohio State baseball team is making its return to the Big Ten Baseball Tournament at Huntington Park on Wednesday. “I’m really excited to play in the Big Ten Tournament and have an opportunity to win the Big Ten Championship,” coach Greg Beals said. The Buckeyes (25-25, 13-11) clinched a tournament berth with a series win at Minnesota over the weekend. OSU secured the No. 4 seed with a 3-0 win Saturday behind a strong outing from freshman starter Greg Greve, who threw eight shutout innings. “I liked most that we decided our fate on the field ourselves,” Beals said. “We needed to win Saturday and played probably our cleanest game of the season all year long.” It was the first time in program history that OSU won a series at Minnesota. “When you think about all the great teams OSU has had and to have never won there before, it’s crazy to think about,” Beals said. “For us to accomplish that this year, it’s something great.” Beals credited his seniors for helping give the team momentum down the stretch. “It’s senior leadership,” Beals said. “They can see the light at the end of the tunnel and they’re trying to push that light further and further away. They want to play as long as they can and they’re just playing with great determination.” OSU, making its 14th tournament appearance in 15 years, has to travel just a few miles away from campus for a chance at the Big Ten Championship. “We’re playing in home in Columbus,” Beals said, “and it is as friendly an environment as it can be for a conference tournament.” OSU will face a familiar opponent in its opener against the No. 5-seeded Golden Gophers (22-22, 13-11). Minnesota, which was the Big Ten coaches’ preseason favorite to win the league, is the reigning conference champion and has the most tournament championships and appearances, with nine and 27, respectively. “Our game plan against this Minnesota weekend was solid,” Beals said. “We’re going to go out and run the same plan again.” Senior pitcher Drew Rucinski, who will start against the Golden Gophers, said it shouldn’t be too difficult facing a team again so soon. “It’s a little bit tougher,” Rucinski said. “But it’s just another team lineup that’s trying to hit the ball. They’ve got to hit the ball just like I’ve got to throw the ball.” Greve, who the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Week, said he is excited for his first experience in tournament play. “I can’t wait,” Greve said. “It’s been our goal all year to make the tournament, and now we have to go out and make the most of this opportunity.” Illinois (25-25, 15-9) and Michigan State (34-19, 15-9) were awarded the top seeds of the tournament after finishing as Big Ten regular-season co-champions. The Fighting Illini were given the No. 1 seed after winning their season series against the Spartans. No. 3 seed Purdue (36-18, 14-10) is making its fourth straight tournament appearance, the longest active streak of any Big Ten team. Purdue faces No. 6-seeded Penn State (32-20, 12-12), which returns to the tournament for the first time since 2008. The double-elimination tournament, which started in 1981, will run Wednesday through Saturday. OSU and Minnesota will open up tournament play at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday. read more

Pioneering politician cultural historian among TCI Natl Honourees

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, October 18, 2017 – Providenciales – Wellington Williams, Bill Clare, Paul Higgs, Nadidja Parker, Blythe Clare, Mark & Barbara Pankurst and Conrad Howell are among the near 40 people selected as the 2017 recipients of National Honours and Awards.  The long list of stand outs, recommended by those who deem them worthy of receiving in one of seven categories was published in an October 3 (2017) Gazette.Two on the list were honoured posthumously and will now carry special distinctions as they are referenced:  The Most Honourable is now the title of the late Paul Higgs, a pioneer legislator and fiery politician hailing from North Caicos; Most Hon Higgs received the highest honour this year and got the Order of Turks and Caicos medal.   The other award given posthumously goes to the author of the country’s National Song, This Land of Ours.  The late Much Honoured Rev Dr. Conrad Howell of Providenciales is among the four to receive the patriotic award, Cayos Medal. Also in the group of Cayos Medal honours are Bill Archie Clare, the ‘Man for All Seasons’ of South Caicos; Businessman and philanthropist of Five Cays, Mervin Cox and Mark and Barbara Pankhurst, who have contributed significantly to development in the arts and humanities in the islands.  Nineteen people are awarded for long service including fireman, George Penn; Tourism lecturer, Blythe Clare; at least three aviators:  Captain Lyndon Gardiner, Captain Harold Williams and Captain Richardson Arthur.Earning the Meritorious service medal are Clifford Gardiner, the TCIs first pilot and North Caicos hotelier is rewarded with three others in that category, including Marion Williams, popular home chef hailing from Blue Hills, Providenciales.    Six youth between 12 and 25 are rewarded with the National Young Achievers Medal including businessman and designer, Wellington Williams; PTV newscaster, Nadidja Parker along former junior Tourism Minister, Willandra Elliot.Thirty-seven individuals earned medals this year; the ceremony which was due to happen on National Heritage Day on October 9 was postponed in the aftermath of the hurricanes.  You can view the full list at Magnetic Media TV.com or at our Magnetic Media fanpage on Facebook.#MagneticMediaNew Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more

BAHAMAS Low cost lots twoyear concessionary rates form basis of ambitious new

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, February 2, 2018 – Nassau – The Minnis Administration will introduce an “ambitious” housing programme in 2018 that will provide “extremely low cost lots” to potential first-home owners in New Providence.The lots will be supplied with all of the necessary utilities.  Potential homeowners will be responsible for constructing their own homes and will be able to either use their own architect for the design of their individual plans or use pre-existing plans offered by the Government of The Bahamas.  Potential homeowners will have two years to build their homes at duty free concessionary rates.“Because the lots will be inexpensive, we expect scores of first-time homeowners to take advantage of this programme,” Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis said Monday during his National Address.“Access to affordable housing is critical for social and economic development.  We look forward to many Bahamians taking advantage of this significant opportunity for home ownership,” Prime Minister Minnis added.The Prime Minister said the programme will be extended to the Family Islands: “Thus encouraging Family Island ownership, second home ownership and entrepreneurship development of bed and breakfast properties.”By: Matt Maura (BIS)Photo caption: Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis during his National Address, January 29, 2018.  (Photo/Yontalay Bowe, OPM Media Services)last_img read more

Snakes heat vision enables accurate attacks on prey

first_imgHowever, pit organs work a little differently than pinhole cameras in that incoming radiation does not strike a single point on the membrane. Because the pit hole is very large compared to the membrane size, the radiation strikes many points. When detecting pointlike and even non-pointlike objects, it’s nearly impossible to tell the location of the heat source. Until now, scientists did not know how snakes could use this heat vision to make accurate attacks on their prey. Sichert, Friedel and van Hemmen confronted this paradox—that the optical quality of the infrared vision is much too blurry to allow snakes to strike prey with the observed accuracy of about 5 degrees. In order to develop an algorithm to explain the paradox, the scientists decided to work backward: by using solely the heat distribution on the pit organ membrane, they reconstructed the original 3D spatial heat distribution (e.g. rabbit shape, as shown in the figure). Because they used very simple computations similar to those of snakes, the group generated an image similar to what the snake “sees” with its neuronal map via its network of synapses.By including several variables, including background noise, the snakes’ measurement errors, and correlation of the input signals, the scientists then developed a neuronal algorithm that accurately reconstructed the heat image from the membrane. Whereas the group found that snakes have a fairly high input-noise tolerance, they found that one of the most vital requirements is accurate detectors and the ability to detect edges in the images produced on the pit membrane.“A heat distribution in 3-dimensional space causes a heat image on the pit membrane that, by the very nature of the big pit hole, is heavily blurred,” said Sichert. “A superposition of edge detectors in the brain can now reconstruct the heat distribution by using the whole image on the membrane for each point in space to be reconstructed. So reconstruction is possible because the information is still available in the blurred image on the pit membrane, where the receptors are.”In fact, Sichert added that snakes’ heat vision presents such a clear image when reconstructed that it surpasses even many human devices. “The infrared system of snakes is still as good as—and, in fact, far better than—any technical uncooled infrared camera with a similar number of detector cells,” he said.Citation: Sichert, Andreas B., Friedel, Paul and van Hemmen, J. Leo. “Snake’s Perspective on Heat: Reconstruction of Input Using an Imperfect Detection System.” Physical Review Letters. 97, 068105 (2006).By Lisa Zyga, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.com Explore further The detection system, which consists of cavities located on each side of the head called “pit organs,” operates on a principle similar to that of a pinhole camera, explain scientists Andreas Sichert, Paul Friedel and J. Leo van Hemmen in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters. A pinhole camera is a camera without a lens, where light from an image passes through a very small hole. Similarly, a pit organ’s aperture is about 1 mm—large enough to allow the snake to quickly detect moving prey. Some scientists (de Cock Buning) even suggest that pythons—a type of boid—have a variety of differently shaped pit organs, each serving a different biological function.“The information of the infrared and the visual system are both represented in the optic tectum,” Sichert told PhysOrg.com. “This information forms a neuronal map, where, for example, the front part of the optic tectum represents the part of visual space in front of the snake. How exactly the two systems merge is as yet unknown. In the optic tectum, six classes of tectal cells have been identified that respond to infrared and visual stimuli in different ways. So a snake can get additional information such as ‘is a moving visible object warm (e.g., a warm-blooded animal) or cold?’ In case of bad optical conditions (most prominent example is darkness), it can of course ‘see’ warm (or cold) objects.” Researchers make a water filter from the sapwood in tree branches The image at left shows a figure as captured by a snake’s pit organ. When Sichert and colleagues applied their algorithm (similar to calculations in a snake’s brain), they reconstructed the image of a rabbit at right. (The illustration is based on a photo and does not correspond to a realistic thermal profile.) Image credit: Sichert, Andreas, et al. Call it a sixth sense, or evolution’s gift to these cold-blooded reptiles: some snakes have infrared vision. Also called “heat vision,” the infrared rays, which have longer wavelengths than those of visible light, signify the presence of warm-blooded prey in 3 dimensions, which helps snakes aim their attacks. Pit vipers and boids, the two snake types that possess this ability, have heat-sensitive membranes that can detect the difference in temperature between a moving prey—such as a running mouse—and its surroundings on the scale of milliKelvins.center_img The scientists explained that typical prey, such as mice and rabbits, have a surface temperature of about 25 degrees C and emit body heat at wavelengths under 75 micrometers, in the infrared range. “If the radiation intensity hitting the membrane at some point is larger than the emitted thermal radiation of the membrane itself, the membrane heats up at that location,” the scientists reported in their study. In pit vipers, which have only two pit holes (one in front of each eye), a block of about 1,600 sensory cells lie on a membrane which has a field of view of about 100 degrees. This means the snake’s brain would receive an image resolution of about 2.5 degrees for pointlike objects, such as eyes, which are one of the hottest points on mammals. The head of this pit viper shows a nostril, pit hole and eye (left to right). In the sketch at right, radiation enters the pit organ and hits a heat-sensitive membrane. Because point-like objects spread out into disc-shaped images on the membrane, images are blurry. Scientists recently found that edge detectors in the brain must reconstruct the heat distribution from blurry images to inform the snake of greater detail of its surroundings. Image credit: Sichert, Andreas, et al. Citation: Snakes’ heat vision enables accurate attacks on prey (2006, August 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-08-snakes-vision-enables-accurate-prey.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more