first_img Struggling powerhouse The struggling powerhouse, which have already been disqualified from the Copa del Rey for fielding an ineligible player, will also have to be careful not to be caught by fourth-place Villarreal after Bruno Soriano scored his second of two goals deep into stoppage time to grab a 2-1 victory at Deportivo La Coruna. Benitez’s latest stumble, which arrived after losses at home to Barcelona and away at Sevilla and Villarreal in the last eight rounds, came in his return to a Mestalla Stadium where he established his reputation with two league titles and a UEFA Cup trophy. Benitez’s counterpart, Gary Neville, remained winless in his fourth league game since taking over at Valencia, but his team earned a morale-boosting result. Madrid’s strong start provoked panic in Valencia. Bale started the move with an audacious back-heeled flick to send Benzema’s pass to Cristiano Ronaldo, who slid the ball back for Benzema to slot his shot into the corner of the net. But instead of going for a second goal to finish the hosts off, Madrid let complacency creep in, and Valencia slowly began to push forward through midfielder Andres Gomes and forward Joao Cancelo. A Gomes incursion was only stopped when Pepe tripped him in the area, letting Parejo step up and level the score. Madrid recovered some of their attacking verve after the restart, but it was stalled by Kovacic’s sending-off for a lunging tackle on Cancelo in the 70th. Toni Kroos, however, placed a free kick for Bale to rise up and gracefully head in off the far post to momentarily restore Madrid’s lead. But Valencia charged right back to score when Rodrigo Moreno headed down a pass for Alcacer to nod home. Also Sunday, it was Athletic Bilbao 2, Las Palmas 2; Real Betis 0, Eibar 4; Granada 2, Sevilla 1; and Rayo Vallecano 2, Real Sociedad 2. BARCELONA, Spain (AP): Real Madrid squandered a great opening goal and a chance to catch Barcelona in the Spanish league standings when they slipped to a 2-2 draw at Valencia in a match it ended with 10 men yesterday. Madrid seemed set to romp to an easy victory after Karim Benzema finished off a superb move in the 16th minute, but Valencia’s Dani Parejo levelled from the penalty spot just before half-time. Gareth Bale headed Madrid back in front in the 82nd, despite his team playing a man down after Mateo Kovacic saw a direct red card, only for Paco Alcacer to strike right back for the hosts a minute later to spark a thrilling finish by both teams. Coach Rafa Benitez will face even more scrutiny after Madrid failed to capitalise on Barcelona’s scoreless stalemate at Espanyol on Saturday and remained two points behind the defending champions, which have a game to play. Madrid also fell four points behind provisional leaders Atletico Madrid, the only title contender to win this round. Benitez said: “I can’t stop some people from speculating” about his future. “What I can do is get the team to work hard like they did today,” he said. “We missed an opportunity – only if you look at the result. But the effort that my team made deserves more praise that anything else.”last_img read more

first_imgStem cells were a huge issue a few years ago, but discoveries are still being made. Here’s a wrap on stories in the news.Adult Stem Cells (AS) and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC)Editor Note: These kinds of stem cells do not present ethical controversies, for the most part.Rapid and efficient generation of oligodendrocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells using transcription factors (PNAS). This paper announces the use of iPSC to generate human oligodendrocytes. “The strategy presented herein will markedly facilitate the studying of human myelin diseases and the development of screening platforms for drug discovery.”Turning skin cells into blood vessel cells while keeping them young (Medical Xpress). A new method of converting skin cells doesn’t require making them pluripotent. “Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified a molecular switch that converts skin cells into cells that make up blood vessels, which could ultimately be used to repair damaged vessels in patients with heart disease or to engineer new vasculature in the lab.”Scientists turn human induced pluripotent stem cells into lung cells (Medical Xpress). Researchers at Boston University are finding ways to grow and isolate lung tissue precursors from iPSCs, this article says.Red blood cells derived from stem cells could offer a limitless supply for transfusions (Medical Xpress). This article mentions “reprogrammed stem cells” presumably meaning iPSCs. If so, Singapore is making progress in generating red blood cells (RBCs) from reprogrammed stem cells. If it works, this could reduce the need for blood banks. The researchers at A*STAR appear to be experimenting with both embryonic and reprogrammed stem cells.iPSCs hold great promise in regenerative medicine, personalized medicine and drug discovery… while avoiding the ethical controversies associated with embryonic stem cells.First evidence of ischemia-induced multipotent stem cells in post-stroke human brain (Medical Xpress). This interesting article describes the brain’s self-repair mechanism with its own stem cells following stroke. “Researchers have shown that following a stroke-induced ischemic injury to the human brain, stem cells are produced that have the potential to differentiate and mature to form neurons that can help repair the damage to the brain.”Alerting stem cells to hurry up and heal (Medical Xpress). This article also describes how the body uses its own stem cells for tissue repair, sending stem cells to sites of injury. Researchers at Stanford have identified a signal that tells them to speed up. Patients in surgery, the aged, and those injured in sports might benefit from this accelerated repair.First participant treated in trial of stem-cell therapy for heart failure (Medical Xpress). The first clinical trial of using one’s own bone-marrow stem cells to repair heart muscle is underway at the University of Wisconsin. The trial is entering Phase III.Differentiation of V2a interneurons from human pluripotent stem cells (PNAS). Know someone with spinal cord injury? Read this paper about how researchers at Columbia University are ditching embryonic stem cells for iPSCs, in order to develop “a novel therapy to restore functional connections between the brain and spared downstream neurons” to repair spinal cord injuries.Blood: Education for stem cells (Nature News). Two papers in Nature show promise for heart disease patients. “Haematopoietic stem cells give rise to all lineages of blood cell, and their production in vitro has been a long-sought goal of stem-cell biology,” the subheadline reads. “Two groups now achieve this feat through different means.”In four related papers, researchers describe new and improved tools for stem cell research ( Basic research on iPSCs continues. It’s necessary to understand genetic variants or obstacles to their safe use.New twin study sheds light on what causes reprogrammed stem cells to have different epigenetic patterns (Medical Xpress). One good way to understand iPSC behavior is to compare iPSCs derived from identical twins. That’s what researchers are doing at UC San Diego. It’s allowing them to answer questions they couldn’t ask before. “You’re able to see what happens when you reprogram cells with identical genomes but divergent epigenomes, and figure out what is happening because of genetics, and what is happening due to other mechanisms.”Stem cells show promise – but they also have a darker side (Jill Johnson at The Conversation via Medical Xpress). Johnson talks about mesenchymal stem cells, which are ‘multipotent’ but not as ‘pluripotent’ as iPSCs. There are promises and perils of using MSCs, but the barriers to their use are falling with research. The article includes discussion about stem cells and why they are desirable.A new method for creating safer induced pluripotent stem cells ( This article investigates ways to rid iPSCs of any oncogenic factors and virus elements that might affect their safe use, recognizing that iPSCs “hold great promise in regenerative medicine, personalized medicine and drug discovery… while avoiding the ethical controversies associated with embryonic stem cells”.Embryonic Stem CellsEditor Note: These are the stem cells that generate the most ethical controversy, because they require killing a human embryo.Public opinion on stem-cell research was more strongly associated with religious convictions in the U.S. than in Canada and Europe.California’s $3-billion bet on stem cells faces final test (Nature). How predictable: $3 billion in California taxpayer money is running out, and now they want more. Back in 2004, largely a result of high-pressure ads, Californians approved $3 billion in funds to investigate embryonic stem cells for ‘regenerative medicine.’ Anything to show for it? A lot of research grants, but very little in the way of actual cures— certainly not for Superman star Christopher Reeve and Back to the Future star Michael J. Fox, whose pleas on TV swayed voters. Now, CIRM eyes the money running out in 2020. Time to hold out the offering plate again.Scientists expand ability of stem cells to regrow any tissue type ( Reporters seem to be guarding their words about embryos. Salk Institute researchers are collaborating with Chinese to tease out more capabilities of “human stem cells” to produce placentas and other embryo-related tissues, but they only obliquely indicate are experimenting on actual human embryos. Part of the reason for their work is to study “development, evolution and human organ generation” from stem cells. They appear to be working with rat embryos at this stage.Religion and the public ethics of stem-cell research: Attitudes in Europe, Canada and the United States (PLoS One). This paper goes back to 2005 to study ethical attitudes in different countries about the use of human embryos.In the U.S., moral acceptability was more influential as a driver of support for stem-cell research; in Europe the perceived benefit to society carried more weight; and in Canada the two were almost equally important. We also find that public opinion on stem-cell research was more strongly associated with religious convictions in the U.S. than in Canada and Europe, although many strongly religious citizens in all regions approved of stem-cell research. We conclude that if anything public opinion or ‘public ethics’ are likely to play an increasingly important role in framing policy and regulatory regimes for sensitive technologies in the future.Clearly, religious convictions play a major role in what researchers are allowed to get away with – and that will apply to other ethical controversies in the brave new world.Those who value human life must not be silent when researchers try to play God in their labs, especially if it is for fame or filthy lucre. (Visited 348 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_img13 May 2008The City of Cape Town is undertaking an in-depth study into the predicted impact of rising sea levels on the city’s vast coastline, so as to identify risks and begin planning for strategies to minimise the implications of climate change.Various scenarios as to how changes in tidal movements and increased storm events may impact on rising sea levels were presented during a meeting of the city’s planning and environment portfolio committee, with the modelling being done to determine the possible impact on the city’s infrastructure.“The aim of the Sea-Level Rise Risk Assessment is to predict the ramifications of sea-level changes as a result of climate change on existing coastal systems,” committee chairperson Brian Watkyns said at the meeting attended by city councillors.This will in turn help guide coastal development and enable the [municipality] to develop long-term adaptation measures for high-risk areas.“With over 307 km of coastline, the city has the longest stretch of sea frontage of any metropolitan authority in South Africa,” he said. “As such, it is particularly vulnerable to global climate change predictions which will result in a rise in sea levels and an increase in the intensity and frequency of storm events.”The predicted implications of climate change are modelled on existing information and internationally accepted predictions of future scenarios.Worst-case scenarioThe model portrays what could be expected as current day worst-case storm events, increased storm intensity and frequency as a result of climate change within 10 years and finally the long-term inundation implications if the Antarctic and Greenland ice-sheets melt.Examples of some of the high risk areas presented to the portfolio committee in Cape Town were those situated mainly in low lying areas or close to estuaries and include Milnerton Lagoon, Fish Hoek, Strand, Gordon’s Bay and Sea Point.According to Gregg Oelofse of the city’s strategy and planning department, the model made use of data from the extreme storm event experienced along the KwaZulu-Natal coast in March 2007.“The erosion damage in the province was spectacular and similar damage should be anticipated along exposed sections of the Cape Town coast in similar circumstances,” he said. “The identification of these vulnerable sections of the Cape Town coast is an important output.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

first_imgAfter a 2-year wait for the next generation of the URSA mini series, Blackmagic has finally released the successor to the indie filmmaking favorite.Out of nowhere, Blackmagic Design (in true Blackmagic form) decided to quietly release the camera that many of us have been waiting for — the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2.The announcement initially looked like a typical software update release video, wherein Blackmagic introduce some new features for their Pocket Cinema camera (including a Blackmagic RAW update) and a few updates to their Duplicator stacks.But then, out of nowhere, we get “one more thing” — reminiscent of Nintendo’s old tricks — and he just pulls the camera out from under his desk! It was there the whole time. And he knew. This man’s composure is astounding.What the New URSA G2 Brings to the TableWith an arsenal of side buttons and controls, the G2 URSA has just about the same body as its predecessor. It’s not a very big cosmetic update; the true innovation is within the camera — with new features such as an updated Super 35mm 4.6K image sensor with 15 stops of dynamic range that can record up to 120fps at full-frame 4.6K, and even up to 300fps in 1080 HD. This allows you to record gorgeous slow motion video without sacrificing video quality — other cameras in this league that will downgrade footage quality to 1080HD when rising up to 120fps. The G2 also comes with the ability to record in Blackmagic RAW, making it one of the cheapest cameras on the market that you can scale for use in both feature films and commercials alike.Blackmagic is well known for the color science in its sensors, and the G2 continues the Blackmagic tradition of extremely accurate skin tones and extremely lifelike colors. The Blackmagic Design Generation 4 Color Science in their recent Pocket Cinema camera has been added to the 4.6K G2, and when coupled with RAW capabilites, it can produce feature-worthy dynamic range and color data.There’s also a brand new USB-C port for reliable recording onto flash disks that use the same port. A new feature actually allows you to edit directly off the SSD that you use for media storage.Full Specs Digital film camera with 15 stops of dynamic range.Super 35mm 4.6K sensor with Blackmagic Design Generation 4 Color Science.Supports project frame rates up to 60 fps and off-speed slow motion recording up to 120 fps in 4.6K, 150 fps in 4K DCI and 300 fps in HD Blackmagic RAW.Interchangeable lens mount with EF mount included as standard. Optional PL, B4 and F lens mounts available separately.High quality 2, 4 and 6 stop neutral density (ND) filters with IR compensation designed to specifically match the colorimetry and color science of Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2.Fully redundant controls, including external controls that allow direct access to the most important camera settings such as external power switch, ND filter wheel, ISO, shutter, white balance, record button, audio gain controls, lens and transport control, high frame rate button, and more.Built-in dual C-Fast 2.0 recorders and dual SD/UHS-II card recorders allow unlimited duration recording in high quality.High speed USB-C expansion port for recording directly to an external SSD or flash disk.Lightweight and durable magnesium alloy body.LCD status display for quickly checking timecode, shutter, and lens settings as well as battery, recording status, and audio levels.Support for Blackmagic RAW files in Constant Bitrate 3:1, 5:1, 8:1 and 12:1 or Constant Quality Q0 and Q5 as well as ProRes 4444 XQ, ProRes 4444, ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT, ProRes 422 Proxy recording at 4.6K, 4K, Ultra HD and HD resolutions.Supports recording of up to 300 frames per second in HD, 150 frames per second in 4K DCI, and 120 frames per second at full frame 4.6K.Features all standard connections, including dual XLR mic/line audio inputs with phantom power, 12G-SDI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay and separate XLR 4 pin power output for viewfinder power, headphone jack, LANC remote control and standard 4 pin 12V DC power connection.Built-in high quality stereo microphones for recording sound.4-inch foldout touchscreen for on-set monitoring and menu settings.Includes full copy of DaVinci Resolve software color grading and editing software.Price: $5,995Our ThoughtsIf you already own the URSA Pro 4.6K G1, you may be thinking, “This is not the total design overhaul that I was expecting.” But I don’t think a re-design was even warranted. The G1 4.6K camera was close to perfect — it had everything you needed to record ultra-high quality video without breaking the bank. It was a solid camera to begin with, so a redesign would just be a moot point.The G2 URSA Pro 4.6K has enough new features to get us excited (300fps? Come on). Think of how cool that slow-mo would look), but it’s probably not enough to get people who just bought G1 Pros to go selling their cameras. However, if you’re on the market for a cinema camera that will last a very long time and produce extremely reliable results, you probably can’t go wrong with this new G2 URSA.The Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 is now available from Blackmagic retailers worldwide.All images via Blackmagic Design.last_img read more

first_imgA new bell in Srinagar’s Holy Family Catholic Church is ringing in the spirit of harmony after the previous one went silent half a century ago.The 105 kilogram bell was inaugurated on Sunday at a short ceremony at 11.30 a.m. in the church located on Srinagar’s M.A. Road by representatives of Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Sikhs.The Parish priest Father Roy Matthews officiated.“It is a joyous moment for all of us. Kashmir has a rich composite culture and harmonious coexistence is the very essence of Kashmiriyat. So I see this against that background, with representatives of various religions joining us in our happiness. At the same time, we want to send out a message at the national, international and local levels that we are one here and we love and accept each other as we are,” said Father Matthews.Representatives of several religions were present, “to jointly ring the new bell for the first time in the past 50 years,” said church committee spokesman S.M. Rath.The British-era church, built in 1896, had lost its original bell in a fire sparked by “an arson incident” on June 7, 1967.The bell, the largest of its kind in the State, was a gift from a Kashmiri Christian family. Kashmir hosts a small Christian population, and has three main churches in Srinagar and Baramulla. The Christian population, as per the 2011 census, is 0.28% in the State.Around 30 Catholic families live in the Valley. “This ceremony is a historic occasion for the microscopic Christian community in Kashmir,” said the spokesman.Arab-Israeli warThe arson of 1967 was triggered by the Arab-Israeli war, and the church was rebuilt a few years later. The new bell is made of cast iron and was installed by local carpenters and labourers, aided by those from outside.On Sunday, as the bell rope was pulled by the representatives jointly, a group of children from different religious backgrounds sang in chorus.Pandits should returnGyani Jaipal Singh, a Sikh representative, said he joined in “to keep peace and harmony alive in Kashmir.” Haji Manzoor, another representative, said, “This act sends a message to those [Kashmiri Pandits] who migrated from the valley [in the early 1990s] to return.”Last year, the church members had a muted Christmas celebration in the wake of more than 90 civilian deaths in protests across the Valley.last_img read more

first_imgCongress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday hit out at the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh over the Chinmayanand case, alleging that a rape case was not filed as the administration was “protecting” the former Union Minister.A postgraduate law student from Shahjahanpur has accused Chinmayanand of rape. Taking to Twitter, Ms. Gandhi also posted a media report that claimed that administrative officials performed Chinamayanand’s ‘aarti’ (a ritual of worship) a year ago.“Just about a year ago, many administrative officials of Shahjahanpur were seen performing aarti of Chinmayanand. The matter was raised in newspapers,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.“Rape case was not filed despite the rape victim narrating her ordeal. How would it have been filed? When the whole administration was embracing and protecting him,” the Congress general secretary in-charge U.P. East said. The law student was on Wednesday arrested on charges of extortion and sent to 14-day judicial custody. Hours later, her bail plea was rejected. Chinmayanand, sent to judicial custody after his arrest, has been booked under section 376C of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a charge with lesser punishment than rape.last_img read more