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Warriors making a big change with Jacob Evans

first_imgAfter watching Jacob Evans struggle in his rookie season, the Warriors are moving last year’s No. 1 pick to point guard, assistant general manager Larry Harris revealed before Thursday night’s NBA Draft.In an interview on 95.7 FM’s “The Damon Bruce Show,” Harris said Evans will head to Summer League with a purpose.“This summer’s big for him,” Harris said. “We’re going to play him exclusively at point guard the entire Summer League, both in Sacramento and in Vegas. We think that’s going to …last_img read more

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Not Lamarck Again

first_imgRemember Lamarck?  He was the pre-Darwin evolutionist whose theories we were all taught were overthrown by Darwin’s superior theory of natural selection.  Lamarck’s theory of “inheritance of acquired characteristics” was shown to be demonstrably false by the dramatic experiments of Weismann, right?  It was never really so clear-cut as that, as evolutionary historians know, but that’s been the common understanding.  This week, Nature printed an “Insight Perspectives” article about epigenetics (“above genetics”) that, while not referring to Lamarck by name, discussed “acquired” traits that could be inherited by “non-Mendelian” methods.  Its author, Arturas Petronis,1 even spoke of the growing realization of the importance of epigenetics as a new “unifying principle” and a “paradigm shift” in the style of Thomas Kuhn.    For a long time since the structure of DNA was elucidated, the “central dogma” of genetics has been that DNA is the master controller of inheritance.  Information flows from DNA to proteins, and that dictates the phenotype (the outward form of the organism).  In recent decades, the effects of environmental factors onto the genome has become a growing area of research.  Proteins are able to “tag” the histone proteins onto which genes are wound, affecting which genes are expressed or repressed.  Some of these epigenetic tags can be inherited.  Like most dogmas, the central dogma has been an impediment to new ways of scientific thinking, Petronis claims:The nature-versus-nurture debate was one of the most important themes of biomedical science in the twentieth century.  Researchers resolved it by conceding that both factors have a crucial role and that phenotypes result from the actions and interactions of both, which often change over time.  Most ‘normal’ phenotypes and disease phenotypes show some degree of heritability, a finding that formed the basis for a series of molecular studies of genes and their DNA sequences.  In parallel to such genetic strategies, thousands of epidemiological studies have been carried out to identify environmental factors that contribute to phenotypes.  In this article, I consider complex, non-Mendelian, traits and diseases, and review the complexities of investigating their aetiology by using traditional – epidemiological and genetic – approaches.  I then offer an epigenetic interpretation that cuts through several of the Gordian knots that are impeding progress in these aetiological studies.It has been very difficult to assign cause-and-effect relationships from environmental factors to traits.  “Even strong associations between an environmental factor and a disease do not necessarily prove that the environmental factor has caused the disease,” he said.  It is even harder to establish environmental factors to inherited traits, he continued.  Even a term like heritability can be hard to nail down when talking specifics.  Multiple genes become involved, and statistical likelihoods.  Nevertheless, traits do become established in populations.  For instance, an article on Live Science shows that Tibetans have inherited a trait for hemoglobin that allows them to survive at high altitude.  Petronis asks for breaking the gene-centric paradigm: “I argue that taking an epigenetic perspective allows a different interpretation of the irregularities, complexities and controversies of traditional environmental and genetic studies.”    He gave some examples of how acquired traits and environmental effects can influence epigenetic tags that are heritable.  There is no longer a clear black-and-white distinction between the views of Darwin and Lamarck (neither of whom were mentioned in Petronis’s essay); the situation is now much more complex:In the domain of epigenetics, the line between ‘inherited’ and ‘acquired’ is fuzzy.  Stable epigenetic ‘nature’ merges fluidly with plastic epigenetic ‘nurture’.  The ratio between inherited and acquired epigenetic influences can vary considerably depending on species, tissue, age, sex, environmental exposure and stochastic epigenetic events, all of which are consistent with empirical observations that heritability is dynamic and not static.  Another close link between heritable factors and environmental factors in epigenetic regulation is the observation that exposure to certain environments has effects that, in some cases, are transmitted epigenetically for several generations.In his conclusion, he said that this new perspective has all the trappings of what Thomas Kuhn called a paradigm shift: “handling the same bundle of data as before, but placing them in a new system of relations with one another by giving them a different framework.”  It might explain things like sexual dimorphism, parental origin effects, remissions and relapses, intergenerational disease instances, decline of symptoms with age, and other things – questions that an old paradigm would not find interesting, but a new one would.  “The considerable theoretical and experimental potential of an epigenetic perspective makes it a strong alternative to the existing research into complex, non-Mendelian, genetics and biology.” he said.  “Although the existence of competing theories may create some discomfort, it can also catalyse discoveries and is indicative of a mature scientific field.”  Human genetics is not a closed book.    Oh, and what would this new paradigm mean for evolutionary theory?  Glad you asked.  Of all things, Petronis recalled an old quote by Hugo de Vries sometimes paraded with glee by creationists.  But by recalling this quote, he left the reader hanging.  In the new paradigm, what is the explanation for the arrival of the fittest? All of the ideas that I have discussed here are highly relevant to the understanding of the fundamental principles of evolution.  ‘Soft’, epigenetic, inheritance can have a key role in adaptation to environmental changes and can endure for more than a generation.  Phenotypic plasticity might stem mainly from the ability of epigenetic genotype (or epigenotype) – rather than genotype – to produce different phenotypes in different environments.  Heritable epigenetic variation could explain the faster-than-expected adaptation to environmental change that is often observed in natural populations.  In addition, the large intra-individual epigenetic variation in the germ line may shed new light on the problem presented by one of the first geneticists, Hugo De Vries, more than a century ago, in his book Species and Varieties: Their Origin by Mutation, when he wrote “Natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest.”Petronis had nothing further to say about fitness or its arrival.  Furthermore, despite the title of his paper, “Epigenetics as a unifying principle in the aetiology of complex traits and diseases,” he gave no description of how any specific complex trait might arise by genetics, by epigenetics, or by any combination of the two.  He only said that a new paradigm shift might “shed light” on the problem presented by Hugo De Vries a century ago.1.  Arturas Petronis, “Epigenetics as a unifying principle in the aetiology of complex traits and diseases,” Nature 465, pp 721-727, 10 June 2010, doi:10.1038/nature09230.That Nature would let in the ghost of Lamarck is a sign of their desperation with Darwin.  So here we are a century after Hugo, waiting for some light.  Petronis doesn’t have any.  Hugo didn’t have any.  Darwin didn’t have any.  Lamarck didn’t have any.  We’ve been sitting in the dark an awful long time listening to this crowd promise that some day somebody will “shed light on evolution.”  Would you spare a dime for their paradigm?  Don’t buy their promissory notes; not even your great-great-grandkids can expect to collect.(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Rugby sewing initiative kicks off

first_img28 September 2010 Rugby is not normally associated with job creation and recycling, but a resourceful new project called Touch Initiative is teaching unemployed seamstresses to manufacture rugby balls out of old billboards. Initiated and sponsored by Gauteng-based waste management company EnviroServ, the Touch Initiative hopes to use the momentum of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, currently under way in New Zealand, to create more awareness around the drive. “This particular initiative will focus on rugby balls to tie in with the World Cup,” says Thurlow Hanson-Moore from Thewinwingroup, the advertising agency that conceptualised the project. In time, Touch will be expanded to create other types of balls and products, he says.Jobs through waste The emphasis of the Touch project is on job creation through innovative waste management. According to EnviroServ’s marketing manager Delia Lavarinas, there can be no greater waste than that of wasted talent in South African communities. “We also wanted to harness the energy around rugby in 2011, giving communities a tangible reason to get excited about the world cup.” The campaign provides industrial sewing machines and training for unemployed women with a background in sewing. So far 20 seamstresses have been trained to make these balls, at six hubs in Mpumalanga. The women are able to earn up to R200 (US$24.4) a day from sales of the balls, which cost R50 ($6.1) each. Of this amount, R30 ($3.7) goes straight back into the community and the balance contributes towards operating costs. Once the template is cut from the billboard material, women stuff the balls with up to 30 plastic shopping bags which have been reclaimed from the streets. This too represents an employment opportunity, as people are needed to gather the bags. According to Hanson-Moore, response to the initiative has been enthusiastic, with orders of up to 1 000 balls streaming in. “The idea is to get corporate support, and we are approaching the various rugby unions to get them involved as well,with a positive response.” The plan is to roll the initiative out across the country, establishing employment hubs in all nine provinces. “We want to keep the drive going beyond the World Cup,” confirms Hanson-Moore. To find out more or to place an order for balls, contact Hosia via email or call +27 72 288 9088.Creating jobs, tackling poverty EnviroServ’s core business is to provide innovative and sustainable waste management solutions for South Africa. The company has a number of corporate social initiatives on the go – one of them is the Intuthuko Sewing Project in Etwatwa near Springs in eastern Gauteng. Art lecturer Celia de Villiers and businesswoman Susan Haycock facilitate this embroidery project. EnviroServ approached De Villiers to start the project as the company operates a waste management site in the area and wished to couple it with poverty alleviation in the nearby township. The project employs 35 women and one man. In 2004 the Intuthuko project won an award for its magnificent Journey to Freedom embroideries. The women have since purchased a stall at the Rosebank Rooftop market and are doing exceptionally well.Kick-off The 7th IRB Rugby World Cup is under way in New Zealand and will conclude on 23 October with the final at Eden Park in Auckland. Nineteen other countries are battling to snatch the title of world champion from reigning champions South Africa, who walked off with the laurels at the previous competition in France in 2007. South Africa and Australia are the only two countries who have been able to win the Web Ellis Trophy twice, and the national team, the Springboks, are campaigning to be the first team in history to successfully defend their title, as well as to win it three times. The Rugby World Cup is now established as the world’s third-biggest sporting event after the Olympic Games and Fifa World Cup. In recent years it’s achieved its goal of merging the traditional rugby powers with new and emerging nations to make it a truly worldwide sport, according to the world cup website. The competition takes place every four years under the auspices of the International Rugby Board. England will host the competition in 2015 and Japan in 2019. MediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporter – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

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Welcome to the Enterprise Green Communities Blog

first_imgImage 2 of 2This is “glamour green”–crawling around in really short basements! Peter:Hello, everyone. I am really looking forward to this forum with all of you out in the field and with the stellar staff at Enterprise, most particularly Amy. Between the two of us (check out our backgrounds upper right on this page), we will be covering all sorts of green building issues and opportunities, sharing our unique perspectives and hopefully adding yours to the mix by way of comments as well. We know our stuff, but so do you! Join in with questions or expertise as often as you like.We thought we would start off this blog with a sampling of topics we have in mind, but sure hope that you will pipe up with topics you would like to see covered!– What is Green Building? Getting everyone on the same green page.– Building Assessment: Is this where green rehabs start?– Homeowner Education: How is a green HO manual different than a conventional one?– Radon Mitigation: Dealing with the invisible…– High Performance Scopes of Work: Greening your trade contracts.– Web-based project management software: What makes this green? Amy:Welcome to the Enterprise Green Communities NSP blog. Our hope is that this becomes an open forum for NSP recipients, sub-recipients, and project teams to discuss some of the challenges and successes you are experiencing as it relates to your green initiatives across the country. With the newness of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, we are all in the same place – learning lots of new regulations, interpretations, and minute details. Enterprise Green Communities is hoping that the existence and continual use of this blog will help you through every step of the green initiative you are building into your Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Peter Yost, with GreenBuildingAdvisor.com, will be co-authoring this blog with me, teaching us all about the science behind green building. I will be co-authoring and consistently checking in, answering questions, and joining the discussions in the hopes of learning from you and hopefully, helping a little.last_img read more

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Kalmadi should not stay IOA chief anymore: Maken

first_imgThe government has made it clear that it will strongly push to end Suresh Kalmadi’s reign as president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).Soon after Kalmadi’s arrest on Monday, the sports ministry wrote a letter to the IOA, asking it to find a replacement for him.”In keeping and maintaining the fair image of sports in India, the government would like the IOA to consider appointing an alternate president in place of the present incumbent for managing the affairs of the IOA,” the letter said.Sports minister Ajay Maken also said the government was not in favour of having Kalmadi.”What we have decided here in the sports ministry is that as soon as the official arrest of Suresh Kalmadi is announced by the CBI, we are going to write to the IOA that they should elect a new president,” Maken said.”When a person is in jail or has been chargesheeted, it would not be in the national interest that he should represent the country anymore,” he noted.Kalmadi has been heading the IOA since 1996. While most of the national sports associations have agreed to abide by the sports ministry’s guidelines that put a cap on the age and tenures of the sports association bosses, Kalmadi has refused to step down.Maken also warned the IOA of stern action if it did not adhere to the instructions. “We would also be writing to the attorney-general seeking his legal advice. The government can also take action on its own if the IOA fails to take any action against him,” he said.”advertisement”We will first write to the IOA to remove him and elect a president.Simultaneously, we will also write to the A-G seeking advice on the issue,” the minister added.last_img read more

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