Plant Brains Solve Problems

first_imgWithout a physical brain or nervous system, plants know how to get about in place.Shade sensor (PhysOrg): How do you find light without eyes? And without skin, how do you sense that someone’s shadow is getting in your light’s way? Plants solve these and other problems.  “Despite seeming passive, plants wage wars with each other to outgrow and absorb sunlight. If a plant is shaded by another, it becomes cut off from essential sunlight it needs to survive,” this article says.To escape this deadly shade, plants have light sensors that can set off an internal alarm when threatened by the shade of other plants. Their sensors can detect depletion of red and blue light (wavelengths absorbed by vegetation) to distinguish between an aggressive nearby plant from a passing cloud.Scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered a way by which plants assess the quality of shade to outgrow menacing neighbors, a finding that could be used to improve the productivity of crops. The new work, published Dec. 24, 2015 in Cell, shows how the depletion of blue light detected by molecular sensors in plants triggers accelerated growth to overcome a competing plant.Their secret lies in light-sensitive organelles called cryptochromes. When activated, they turn on epigenetic controls to switch on genes for growth. “We found that cryptochromes contact these transcription factors on DNA, activating genes completely different than what other photoreceptors activate,” the Salk scientists said. It’s a short pathway so that the plant can respond quickly, but not too quickly.Latex survival: The milky-white sap in dandelions is there for a reason. It repels bug larvae in the soil that might munch on the roots. “Dandelions are survival experts,” Science Daily says, pointing out two other amazing feats for the tender-looking little herb. It’s cosmopolitan and has muscle!Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale agg.) are well-known plants of European and Asian origin that have spread around most of the temperate world. Children love their yellow flowers and even more the fluffy seed heads with their parachute-like seeds that can travel long distances by wind. Young plants grow with such force that they can penetrate even asphalt. Therefore dandelions have become a symbol for survival in modern cities.Geological instrumentation: You’re a seedling in the soil. You have sensors telling you to move upward, but how do you know how far it is to get into the air? This could be crucial to survival. You have to conserve resources before sunlight can help your developing shoots to grow leaves. Seedlings have special equipment to measure the depth and mechanical pressure of the soil above them, report scientists in Current Biology. The instrumentation involves a protein, COP1, that responds to light to adjust the transcription factors for ethylene production, a chemical that mediates seedling emergence. Did you have any idea a little bean seedling you grew in science class has the equivalent of a PhD in mechanical engineering and organic chemistry? Here’s a taste of what happens as the little seedling grows through that heavy soil toward the light:We show that COP1 directly targets the F box proteins EBF1 and EBF2 for ubiquitination and degradation, thus stabilizing EIN3. As seedlings grow toward the surface, the depth of soil overlay decreases, resulting in a gradual increase of light fluences. COP1 channels the light signals, while ethylene transduces the information on soil mechanical conditions, which cooperatively control EIN3 protein levels to promote seedling emergence from the soil. The COP1-EBF1/2-EIN3 module reveals a mechanism by which plants sense the depth to surface and uncovers a novel regulatory paradigm of an ubiquitin E3 ligase cascade.Plants are so beautiful and smart, don’t you just want to hug them sometimes? Just don’t reach for the ragweed or poison oak. They’ll perceive you as a threat and call their defense agency. If a dandelion can punch through asphalt, imagine what it could do to you if it operated at high speed. (Visited 131 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Hamilton wins Belgian GP to trim Vettel’s lead to 7 points

first_imgDrivers worry that their tires lose heat if they stay behind the car too long.But Vettel failed to capitalize.“Maybe that was the problem, my restart was too good,” Vettel said. “I was too close.” SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief On a track more suited to Mercedes than Ferrari, Hamilton felt Vettel got “way too close” for comfort.“This weekend we definitely didn’t have the race pace. The car is not quite where we need it,” Hamilton said. “It was only just enough to stay ahead.”Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was third — for his sixth podium of the season — finishing ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, with Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas fifth.Ricciardo showed great race intelligence and opportunism to pass Bottas after the safety car incident.After 12 races, four-time F1 champion Vettel has 220 points to three-time champion Hamilton’s 213 heading into next weekend’s Italian GP in Monza.“The positive thing is that we had really good race pace,” Vettel said. “I’m looking forward to next week.”Hamilton made a good start to the race on the long climb up to Eau Rouge, with Vettel on his tail.But Max Verstappen’s hopes of a first win this season ended on lap 8 when his Red Bull lost power.“I can’t believe this,” Verstappen said. His exasperation was understandable — it is the sixth time this season he has failed to finish the race, and some 80,000 Dutch fans had crossed the border to cheer him on.“I’m not happy at all,” Verstappen said. “I am very disappointed for the fans who buy an expensive ticket to watch and I retire after eight laps. No words.” WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ Read Next View comments Chief Justice Peralta vows to lead by example, bares 10-point program PLAY LIST 02:02Chief Justice Peralta vows to lead by example, bares 10-point program00:50Trending Articles01:31Go: Search for ‘perfect, honest man’ to lead PNP still on01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’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 Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Although it was a comfortable win for the British driver, it got a bit tense toward the end.“I was waiting for Lewis to make a mistake and he didn’t,” Vettel said.With about 10 laps left, Vettel almost overtook his challenger as they emerged from behind the safety car.Vettel got his Ferrari alongside Hamilton on a long straight, but Hamilton edged his Mercedes into the corner just in time.“I’m not entirely happy,” said Vettel, adding that he got his approach slightly wrong.ADVERTISEMENT Vettel finished second, about 2 seconds behind Hamilton.“Sebastian was very, very close. He was very consistent throughout,” said Hamilton, after his 200th GP. “That’s what racing’s about.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHamilton was in good form all weekend, topping every part of qualifying.“Really brilliant,” Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff said. “Hamilton’s drive was really fantastic.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (right) raises his trophy in the air on the podium after winning the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany placed second and Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia (left) placed third. (Photo by OLIVIER MATTHYS / AP)SPA-FRANORCHAMPS, Belgium — Lewis Hamilton celebrated his record-equaling 68th pole position with victory at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, trimming championship leader Sebastian Vettel’s lead to seven points.Hamilton clinched his fifth win of the season and 58th overall, having equaled Michael Schumacher’s pole record.ADVERTISEMENT Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Guiao focused on winning, not securing top draft pick LATEST STORIES The 19-year-old Verstappen secured a podium with third place in China but has been hit with reliability issues since.Two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso retired on lap 27 — the latest setback as McLaren continues to struggle with Honda engines. The Spanish driver has completed only three races so far.The Spa track, nestled in the Ardennes forest, is the longest in F1 at 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) and the race is often full of incident, especially when it rains.It stayed dry, but there was one heated clash between Force India drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, prompting the safety car to come out after they made contact with each other on lap 30, sending debris onto the track.Their tense relationship is degrading fast.After bumping on the track at the Azerbaijan GP in June, they did it again when they touched wheels as Ocon moved on the outside of the track shortly after the start, with Perez responding by squeezing the Frenchman against the barrier.Later the pair came into contact again with Ocon’s front wing flying away and a tire dropping off Perez’s car as a result.This prompted a furious, expletive-laced outburst from Ocon, who was already unhappy that his team had pitted Perez for new tires ahead of him. After both cars pitted for repairs, Ocon finished ninth but Perez had to retire just before the end.The safety car stayed out for four laps, which was too long for Hamilton’s liking, and he used an expletive of his own to complain.“There was hardly any debris about,” Hamilton said afterward. “They did a good job cleaning the track.” Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Gameslast_img read more

a month agoEmerson Palmieri set to land a contract with Chelsea

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Emerson Palmieri set to land a contract with Chelseaby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveEmerson Palmieri is set to land a new contract with Chelsea.TMW says now a regular starter under manager Frank Lampard’s training, Palmieri is very close to penning a contract renewal. It will be an upgrade that will lead him to receiving €5m-a-year, plus an extension until June 30, 2024. Emerson’s form has also seen him force his way into Italy coach Roberto Mancini’s plans.The fullback is in his third season with the Blues. last_img

Fifth Harmony Named As Cybersmile Ambassadors

first_imgFifth Harmony have been named as ambassadors for Cybersmile.The Cybersmile Foundation will actively encourage a safe and positive environment for children as well as adults with the support of Fifth Harmony, helping people online affected by cyberbullying and digital abuse.“Cybersmile are immensely proud to welcome Fifth Harmony on board as official Cybersmile ambassadors,” said Scott Freeman, CEO, The Cybersmile Foundation. “It’s wonderful that the girls will be using their position as role models to encourage internet users to spread positivity to others. Their support will enable us to promote positive digital citizenship to more people and look forward to working with them to tackle cyberbullying.”Fifth Harmony are an American girl group formed on the second season of the X Factor USA. The group consists of members Ally Brooke Hernandez, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane Hansen, Camila Cabello, and Lauren Jauregui. They signed a joint deal with Syco Music, owned by Simon Cowell, and Epic Records, L.A. Reid’s record label, after finishing in third place on the show.The band won MTV’s Artist To Watch award at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards and recently performed at the Radio Disney Music Awards, where they were triple nominated. On June 6th they will perform at Capital FM’s Summertime Ball alongside Ariana Grande, Nick Jonas, Rita Ora, Jason Derulo and a host of international music stars!Find out more about Cybersmile here.last_img read more

Bank of Canada business outlook survey suggests businesses optimistic

first_imgOTTAWA – Expectations the Bank of Canada will raise its key interest rate target next month were bolstered Friday after stronger-than-expected economic growth in April and a report suggesting widespread business optimism.The Bank of Canada’s outlook survey indicator climbed to its highest level since the second quarter of 2011 as responses to most survey questions were above their historical averages.However, the central bank noted almost all of the interviews with firms for the business survey were done before the U.S. announcement on tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada.Escalating trade tensions between Canada and the U.S., including the threats of additional tariffs on the auto sector, have raised concerns for the economy.Benjamin Reitzes, Canadian rates and macro strategist at BMO Capital Markets, said the solid increase in the outlook survey indicator shows the economy was in good shape heading into the tariff strife.“With governor Poloz saying that the bank will not be shaping policy based on headlines, and the economic backdrop in generally good shape, there’s a solid case for a July rate hike,” Reitzes wrote in a report.“Even so, we’ll be waiting to see if Trump reacts to Canada’s retaliatory tariffs, as a further escalation could drastically change policy dynamics.”The Bank of Canada survey came as Statistics Canada reported Friday real gross domestic product edged up 0.1 per cent in April over the previous month, topping the expectations of economists for no change for the month.Gains in the manufacturing and utilities sectors more than offset declines in construction and in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction to help the output of goods-producing industries rise 0.2 per cent.Activity in the manufacturing sector rose 0.8 per cent in April as the output of both durable and non-durable manufacturing grew.Services-producing industries were essentially unchanged overall for the month.“With cold weather in much of the country, one-off factors hitting the mining and oil and gas industries, and some soft advance indicators, it was a welcome surprise to see a modest expansion of the Canadian economy in April,” TD Bank senior economist Brian DePratto wrote.Both the business outlook survey and the reading on GDP will be scrutinized by the central bank ahead of its interest rate decision next month.The Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate target on hold at its last rate announcement, but the central bank’s accompanying statement was interpreted by many economists as suggesting that rates could head higher later this year.However, the Trump administration announced tariffs on steel and aluminium imports a day after the last rate announcement and has since threatened additional tariffs on other goods including automobiles. Canada has responded with its own plans for tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum imports as well as duties on a wide range of other goods.Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz said earlier this week the escalating cross-border trade fight and new mortgage rules will “figure prominently” in the central bank’s upcoming interest-rate decision.The governor added the central bank will continue to focus on economic data it can model rather than trying to follow political rhetoric.The Bank of Canada business outlook survey of about 100 firms found the balance of opinion on future sales growth was marginally positive as domestically-oriented firms, including those tied to housing in some regions, expected a moderation in growth.It noted that firms that were optimistic about their sales prospects often expected to benefit from sustained foreign or domestic demand, improving commodity prices or new products or initiatives to increase market share.“In particular, firms serving foreign customers reported that orders have improved compared with 12 months ago, and they expect export sales to increase at a greater rate over the next year,” the report said.However, the survey also said the number of firms that would have significant difficulty meeting an unanticipated increase in demand has increased to levels not seen since before the 2008-09 recession.“Reports of labour shortages are most prevalent in British Columbia but are also common in Central Canada,” the report said.The Bank of Canada has raised its key interest rate target three times since last summer, moves that have prompted Canada’s big banks to raise their prime lending rates. The central bank’s target for the overnight rate sits at 1.25 per cent.The business outlook survey was conducted from May 3 to June 5.last_img read more

Fort St John receives over 90 cm of snow in March over

first_imgIf we don’t see any more snow this weekend, Fort St. John will have officials received 92.3 of snow in March.  Fort St. John typically receives 23.7 cm of snow in March.Since October, the Fort St. John Airport has received 319.5 cm of snow. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With just over 90 cm of snow in March, the weather may finally be changing to be a little more like spring.After a possible wind chill of minus 27 on Friday morning, things should start to warm up closer to zero for the rest of the long weekend.  The cooler temperatures will more than likely stick around for the first week of April before we see an increase above zero in the second week of April.The temperature should be between minus 3 and minus 6 for the Easter Weekend.  Environment Canada says we should be above zero by Thursday.last_img read more

Charges laid in Dawson Creek property related crimes

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – RCMP received a report of a stolen UTV in the Toms Lake area on Sunday, September 22nd, 2019.According to the RCMP, frontline officers attended, located the stolen UTV, and arrested both occupants. Further investigation by police uncovered evidence connecting suspects to two other stolen vehicles and a stolen trailer which were located nearby.A subsequent investigation has since linked the suspects to several other vehicle thefts and property thefts in the Peace region. Ryan Bumstead, 25-years-old, Chelbi Hiebert, 28-years-old, Hayden Raposo, 28-years-old and Lyric Grey, 21-years-old have all been charged with multiple property and vehicle theft-related offences.All four remain in police custody awaiting a future court date.This investigation encompasses numerous reported thefts and break and enters across the Peace Region from Fort St John to Grande Prairie said S/Sgt Damon Werrell, NCO i/c Dawson Creek Detachment.The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information on this or any other crime is asked to call the Dawson Creek RCMP at 250 784-3700 or Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-8477last_img read more

Housing prices up 7 sales down 28 supply dips 64 in last

first_imgNew Delhi: Housing prices rose by a modest 7 per cent in seven major cities during the past five years, while sales and new supply have declined 28 per cent and 64 per cent, respectively, according to brokerage firm Anarock. In its analysis of the performance of the real estate sector in the past five years of the current central government, Anarock founder and Chairman Anuj Puri said many steps were taken to reform and improve the image of the Indian real estate sector. Measures such as demonetisation, new realty law RERA and GST did cause some pain for the sector in short term but would prove beneficial in the long run, he added. On operation performance of the housing segment, Puri said the prices in primary markets have seen more of a “time correction” rather than a price correction, with average prices across top-seven cities seeing a meagre 7 per cent increase in the past five years. “Considering inflation (assuming seven per cent a year), all cities will have seen negative price trends in the last five years,” he added. These seven cities are Delhi-NCR, Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune. The supply of new housing units reduced by 64 per cent in the past five years from 5.45 lakh units in 2014 to 1.95 lakh units in 2018. Housing sales were also slow, dropping by 28 per cent during the same period from 3.43 lakh units in 2014 to 2.48 units last year. “Like it or lump it, but (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi’s victory in 2014 ushered a new era in Indian real estate starkly marked by his vision to set the ‘house’ in order and alter the scarred face of an unorganised sector beset by unscrupulous activities,” Puri said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi “tightened the Centre’s grip on real estate previously the largest dump-yard for black money hoarders and introduced big-bang schemes to benefit consumers”, he said. Puri said the government set the stage for the real estate sector in the long term through major policy overhauls and initiatives like 100 smart cities and Housing For All by 2022. The chairman of Anarock said demonetisation, realty law RERA and the GST brought about a paradigm shift in the way the Indian real estate does business and laid the groundwork for improved transparency and efficiency in the sector. “The measures he took to achieve this did have short-term negative impacts, but nobody can argue that this is a case where short-term pain is necessary for the sake of long-term gain,” he added. However, Puri felt that the on-ground implementation for most of these initiatives could have been better to achieve more even in these five years.last_img read more

Kidambi Srikanth seals final spot Sindhu crashes out at India Open

first_imgNew Delhi: Former champion Kidambi Srikanth reached title round after a 17-month drought but P V Sindhu bowed out after losing a close semifinal contest at the USD 350,000 India Open here Saturday. Olympic silver medallist Sindhu, who had won the event in 2017, blew four game points in the opening game to go down fighting 21-23 18-21 to China’s He Bingjiao. The third seed will face two-time champion Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand in the finals Sunday. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”I think I need to be more patient, I should have taken the first set, it was crucial for me but after losing it, I became a bit nervous. I made crucial mistakes in the second game,” Sindhu said. “I did change strategies. She also got lucky with net cords in the first game. I came back and could have maintained the led but I couldn’t. She played well.” Srikanth had entered the finals of Commonwealth Games last year but he failed to reach the summit clash in any BWF Superseries or BWF World Tour tournament since his French Open win in October, 2017. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterThe 26-year-old from Guntur on Saturday eked out a 14-21 21-16 21-19 triumph over China’s Huang Yuxiang in an engrossing semi-final encounter. He will face second seed Viktor Axelsen, who beat India’s Parupalli Kashyap 21-11 21-17, in the final. “It’s been really long since I reached a final. I’m just happy to be here, playing the final again,” Srikanth said. “I was trailing in the decided and I am happy to pull it off. I’m happy to come back in the second. It was about keeping the shuttle in. The crowd kept me going in.” In the women’s semi-final, Sindhu managed to hold a 11-8 lead at the break. She kept the shuttle in play, mixing her strokes to push Bingjiao to commit errors to lead 20-16. But Indian committed a heap of unforced errors to allow the Chinese level score. At 21-21, a lucky net chord put Bingjiao on lead leaving Sindhu frustrated, who sent another one at the net to lose the opening game. The second game begun on an even keel as the duo rode on each other’s errors to move 8-8 before Sindhu grabbed a 11-9 advantage at the break. The Indian stayed a step ahead, despite Bingjiao constant threat. At 16-13, a few weak returns from Sindhu allowed the Chinese to level scores. Bingjiao quickly grabbed two points to take two match points. Sindhu then sent the next shuttler to the net to bow out. In the men’s singles semi-finals, Srikanth used his flat tosses and deep lifts to engage his rival into rallies but Huang was also up to the task before the Indian managed to held a 11-10 lead at the first break. The duel continued before the Chinese moved to a 18-14 lead after the Indian lost a few points at the net. Srikanth saved two game points with a cross court smash and a precise net shot before hitting wide to lose the first game.last_img read more

With government split British MPs now seek new Brexit plan

first_imgLondon: British MPs will try again to chart a new Brexit path on Monday after rejecting Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal for a third time, but the EU warned its patience was wearing thin. Less than two weeks before Britain risks crashing out of the European Union, MPs will hold a second round of votes on various options to try to break the political deadlock. But any attempt to force May to accept a closer relationship with the EU risks splitting the government, and there is widespread speculation she might try one last time to get her deal passed this week. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USEuropean Union leaders have called an emergency summit on April 10 and have warned that unless Britain sets out what it wants to do, it risks severing ties with its largest trading bloc two days later with no deal at all. “With our British friends we have had a lot of patience, but even patience is running out,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told Italian public TV channel Rai 1 on Sunday. Britain voted by 52 percent to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum, but the process has been mired in divisions over the terms of the divorce and what kind of future ties to seek. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsMay struck a divorce deal with the EU last November, but it has been repeatedly rejected by MPs, the last time on Friday — even after she promised to resign if her rebellious Conservative colleagues helped push the deal through. The impasse has forced May to postpone Britain’s original exit day from March 29, but she said it would be “unacceptable” for a further delay beyond European Parliament elections held from May 23 to May 26. Frustrated with her approach, MPs in the House of Commons last week voted to give themselves powers to find an alternative strategy, by holding a series of “indicative votes” on various options. No single plan won a majority in the first round but MPs hope to whittle down the proposals on Monday evening, with voting starting at 8.00 pm (1900 GMT), and another day of debate is scheduled for this Wednesday. The two most popular options last week were a new EU-UK customs union or a public vote on any agreed deal. There were a large number of abstentions on another widely discussed option, based on Norway’s membership of the single market. In an interview with the BBC released Monday, Chief Whip Julian Smith — the man responsible for enforcing discipline among May’s MPs and ministers — suggested that a closer relationship with the EU was “inevitable”. The 2017 election where May lost her parliamentary majority meant “this would be inevitably a kind of softer type of Brexit”, he said. He also denounced the behaviour of May’s own ministers, who he said were trying to undermine her. “This is I think the worst example of ill-discipline in cabinet in British political history,” he said. While some pro-European members of May’s cabinet might support a customs union, she herself is opposed and it threatens mass rebellion among the rest of her ministers. Brexit-supporting minister Andrea Leadsom has reportedly organised a letter signed by 170 Conservative MPs including 10 cabinet ministers, demanding a swift Brexit, with or without a deal. The votes by MPs are not legally binding but carry political weight, and the government fears they may lead to legislation that would force May’s hand. “I fear we are reaching the limits of this process in this House,” she said last week. Speculation is growing that the only way out may be a general election.last_img read more