Elaine Thompson – Athletics

first_imgFor her achievement in capturing the silver medal in the 200 metres at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, in a personal best 21.66 seconds, the second fastest time of the year. Thompson also ran the third leg of the women’s gold medal-winning 4×100 metres team which set a Championship Record and World Leading time of 41.07 seconds.last_img

Continue reading

QPR should beat Preston – and Fulham’s odds are cut after good start

first_imgQPR boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was critical of referee Darren Bond after the 3-2 loss to Barnsley in midweek, but his side can get back to winning ways against struggling Preston at Loftus Road on Saturday. The Lilywhites are without a point from their first three games and the R’s are much-fancied for this one.Rangers are 21/20 to win, with the draw 9/4 and the visitors outsiders at 14/1.QPR are 33/1 for the title after their reverse in south Yorkshire and they really should have too much for the Lancashire outfit, who have only scored once in their three games to date.Fulham were denied the win their performance deserved when Leeds scored a stoppage-time equaliser at Elland Road.But that should not detract from another excellent performance from Slavisa Jokanovic’s side, who have been cut from 40s to 25/1 for the Championship title at BetVictor, and from 12/1 to 9/1 for promotion.The Whites entertain Cardiff and are 11/10 to get back to winning ways. A Bluebirds win is 5/2, as is the draw.Two own goals from the hapless Shane Duffy gave the South Wales side their first win of the season, against Blackburn Rovers, but this is a game I expect Fulham to win.Only the woodwork prevented Matt Smith from making it three goals in three games in the Championship, and the striker is 7/1 to score the opener and 23/10 to find the back of the Cardiff net.That looks too big given Smith’s current form and must be the recommendation.Brentford, having enjoyed back-to-back home wins, are away to a Rotherham side that has picked up just a solitary point from their three Championship matches so far this term.The Bees are 31/20 to win, with Rotherham 7/4 and the draw at 12/5.I reckon that one will be a 1-1 draw, which is priced at 6/1.For all the latest odds, check out www.betvictor.comHave a good weekend everyone.CharlieFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Continue reading

Natural Selection Demonstrated in European Heart-Disease Gene?

first_imgStephen Wooding (U. of Utah) is elated.  He sees an “exciting trend” in genetic research that might, finally, demonstrate positive natural selection acting on a gene with a clear phenotypic effect (measurable outward benefit).  Writing in the Sept. 7 Current Biology,1 he mentions a few recent papers suggesting this connection, but focuses particularly on one study by Rockman et al. in the same issue.2  This UK/American team claims to have identified a gene that has been positively selected to shape heart disease risk among Europeans.  The story was summarized by EurekAlert.    The gene under investigation is named MMP3, a regulator of a substance that builds coronary artery walls.  The amount of up- or down-regulation of this gene affects their elasticity and thickness.  The researchers compared this gene and its surrounding DNA between nine kinds of monkeys and apes, and between six human populations.  They claim to have found a trend among Europeans to possess a certain mutation that up-regulates the products of MMP3 (because it inhibits repressive factors).  This leads to less hardening of the arteries but more risk of blood clot induced heart attack or stroke (myocardial infarction).  The mutation changes one T to a C at a certain position on the gene.  Using molecular phylogenetic techniques, they estimated the mutation might have occurred in the European line anywhere from 36,600 to 2,200 years ago.  Maybe it came about in the Ice Age, they surmise, and natural selection acting on this mutation may have given Europeans dining on animal fat some protection from atherosclerosis.  Whatever, the selection probably did not act alone on that one gene, which only regulates other genes, but on a suite of genes due to pleiotropic effects (i.e., when one gene evolves, other unrelated phenotypic effects can result).    The authors seemed happy to be able to provide an example of natural selection acting positively on a gene for a beneficial physiological effect: “The evolutionary forces of mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift shape the pattern of phenotypic variation in nature, but the roles of these forces in defining the distributions of particular traits have been hard to disentangle.”  (Emphasis added in all quotes.) Natural selection is an important factor influencing variation in the human genome, but most genetic studies of natural selection have focused on variants with unknown phenotypic associations.  This trend is changing.  New studies are rapidly revealing the effects of natural selection on genetic variants of known or likely functional importance….These [studies on] variants [on genes with known phenotypic effects] are particularly interesting from an evolutionary standpoint because they are where the phenotypic rubber meets the road of natural selection – variants upon which natural selection could be having particularly direct effects.Those assuming this was old news since Darwin’s day might be surprised at this admission that studies have rarely connected a mutation to an actual physical benefit.  Analyses at the molecular level of the gene, to be fair, have only recently become possible.  Stephen Wooding is greatly encouraged by this study.  He thinks it represents not only an exciting trend, but a new means of paving “an unusually direct path between ancient human history and modern human health.”  Rockman’s team claims that British men would have 43% more heart attacks had this mutation not occurred among their distant ancestors.  But then, since hardening of the arteries seems to be a recent malady among humans, he admitted that maybe the natural selection at the time was for something else “and the heart disease effect was incidental.”    One other benefit Rockman claims for this study is that it shows natural selection can act not only on the genes the make proteins, but on the genes that regulate other genes– a factor he claims “traditional evolutionary biology has all but ignored.”  Considering the evolution of regulatory factors extends natural selection theory to the level of the “wiring diagram,” he says.  No longer should we just consider good genes and bad genes.  “Rather, there is a complex set of interactions” such that certain combinations might be best in one environment, others better in another.  “So we’re advocating a more nuanced view of how we view the genetic bases of disease,” he said in the press release from Duke University.1Stephen Wooding, “Natural Selection: Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign,” Current Biology, Volume 14, Issue 17, 7 September 2004, Pages R700-R701, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2004.08.041.2Rockman et al., “Positive Selection on MMP3 Regulation Has Shaped Heart Disease Risk,” Current Biology, Volume 14, Issue 17, 7 September 2004, Pages 1531-1539, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2004.08.051.Remember the old moron jokes?  “How do you keep a moron busy for an hour?  Put him in a round room and tell him there’s a penny in the corner.”  It doesn’t take much to amuse Darwinists.  Tell them there’s a hint of natural selection in the human genome, and it is incredible the amount of work they will do to find it.  You can bet any claims will be ambiguous, hazy, uncertain, questionable and open to different interpretations, but if they can be offered in homage to buddha Charlie, it’s worth it to them to run in logical circles and keep up the candles of hope burning.  (For another example, look at this story on EurekAlert, about Penn State scientists “hunting illusive signs of natural selection” between Europeans and Africans, and finding only ambiguous signs of differing susceptibility to disease or milk intolerance.)    What did these guys find, really?  One single-nucleotide polymorphism in just one gene out of hundreds that regulate heart health.  Sure, tweaking the regulation of this gene might put a person at risk for hardening of the arteries, but is Darwinian evolution the only explanation?  The Europeans could have descended from a clan whose grandpappy had the mutation at the Tower of Babel, for that matter; how could they prove otherwise?  The monkeys they studied had very different polymorphisms of these genes, and you don’t see them all keeling over from heart attacks.  If natural selection acted on this gene, why didn’t it act on Siberians or Eskimos or Australians or others at similar latitudes?  Did this mutation lead to a new organ or function or add to the genetic information?  No, it only tweaked the existing information.  And some evolution!  Pick your poison: increased risk of atherosclerosis, or increased risk of myocardial infarction.  Is this one of the finest examples they can find of the miracle-working mechanism of natural selection, the discovery that made Chairman Charlie famous, so powerful that during the same period of time it turned monkeys swinging from trees into humans writing books?    The line about Ice Age men benefiting from the mutation because of their mammal-fat diet is comical.  How could that help the population genetics, if the individuals most likely got their heart attacks after having children?  The error bars on their dates are huge, even if one were to swallow the highly questionable phylogenetic techniques they used, and the evolution-based assumptions about mutation rates.  A chain of reasoning is only as strong as its weakest link: e.g., “if there was water on Mars, there might have been life, therefore there might have been intelligent life, therefore there might have been lawyers.”  Evolutionists get away with stacked assumptions only because they have ruled out anything other than naturalistic explanations.  Since the only contender is something akin to Darwinism, it’s the best they can offer (see Best-in-Field Fallacy).    Why are we the only ones questioning the Darwinist spin on this paper, and asking the hard questions while the other science outlets mindlessly inherit the wind and parrot the spin with lines like “Heart gene yields insights into evolution”?  Why not consider the obvious, that a functioning circulatory system is a tremendous example of interrelated, functional design?  The diagnosis is simple.  It is that ancient human malady, hardness of heart.(Visited 133 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Continue reading

Football Fridays: SA marks the difference

first_img“We’ve seen World Cups in Germany and in England and in Korea … South Africa’s going to be different.” – Lesego Madumo chats to acting CEO Paul Bannister and other members of the International Marketing Council during a Football Fridays activation at The Zone in Rosebank, Johannesburg.Click arrow to play video.last_img

Continue reading

Brics journos get to know South Africa

first_imgThe five Brics presidents earlier this year, at the 2012 Brics summit held in New Delhi, India.(Image: Wikipedia) Johannesburg economic development director Marina Mayer, right, speaking at the business breakfast. Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola is second from left.(Image: Janine Erasmus)MEDIA CONTACTS • Brand South Africa+27 11 483 0122RELATED ARTICLES• More to SA than Nelson Mandela• Brics a boost to Brand South Africa• Driving a new vision for Africa• Insights into doing business in SA• Brics in a nutshellJanine ErasmusBrand South Africa hosted a media breakfast in Johannesburg’s northern suburb of Sandton for a group of visiting journalists from South Africa’s fellow Brics countries, where experts spoke on the country’s investment prospects and competitive advantages.The journalists hail from China, Brazil, India and Russia, and are visiting as guests of Brand South Africa. While in the country they’ll meet with representatives from business and the government, including the departments of trade and industry and environmental affairs.From Johannesburg the group heads to KwaZulu-Natal, where they’ll visit the Dube Tradeport, one of the big drivers of economic growth in the province, and the Transnet Port Terminal, the largest container terminal on the continent. They’ll also pop into the multi-million-rand Moses Mabhida stadium, built for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and visit the offices of Trade and Investment KZN.On the leisure side, the journalists will have lots of opportunity to taste South Africa’s splendid cuisine, and they’ll spend a night at the ever-popular Hluhluwe Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal, the heart of the Zulu Kingdom.Hluhluwe is well-known as one of the pioneers of rhino conservation in South Africa, since the start of its Operation Rhino programme in the 1950s and 60s.Sustainable growth“Johannesburg is the cosmopolitan centre, the New York or London of Africa,” said Marina Mayer, executive director of the city’s economic development department, speaking at the breakfast.She was following on from Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola, who had opened the morning’s proceedings with some insight into developments such as the African common market initiative which is slowly but surely gathering ground but has yet to become fully operational.Matola said that if this free trade area opens up enough by around 2014, it will bring 600-million people into one market and present tremendous opportunities for business and investment.Many of those opportunities are already available in Johannesburg, said Mayer. She mentioned the city’s Buy Sell Invest and Visit initiative, a flagship programme that aims to bring together people from the Brics and Southern African Development Community blocs to partner with private and public organisations.This programme is part of the city’s 2040 strategy, which outlines the growth of Johannesburg over the next three decades into a sustainable, prosperous and resilient place to live and work. It aims to not only attract new investment into the city, but support existing businesses and help them to expand.“In the past we tended to focus on stimulating the economic development of smaller enterprises,” said Mayer, “but we’re now starting to target mainstream companies.”She moved on to an ambitious plan to construct concrete decks over certain railway lines in Johannesburg. This technique, known as decking, is a tried and tested way of addressing limitations in room for growth, and will offer new space for residents and businesses in the city.“We’re looking for a private partner to help us with decking our railways,” said Mayer.Other big opportunities for investors include the urban development zone in the inner city, which offers a substantial tax rebate that’s already been negotiated with the South African Revenue Service, and the proposed aerotropolis around the privately owned Lanseria International Airport, west of Johannesburg.This is becoming an increasingly popular choice for travellers who wish to avoid the often long and busy trip to OR Tambo International on Johannesburg’s far east side. Unlike OR Tambo, which sits between busy industrial areas and residential suburbs, Lanseria is still surrounded by wide open spaces and is ripe for development.Mayer named other initiatives such as the Jozi Skills Hub, which will train people in needed skills and get them ready to be employed, and the Jozi Rising project, which will provide support and incentives for entrepreneurs.After Mayer it was the turn of Cynthia Chikura from Business Unity South Africa, who spoke of South Africa’s competitive advantages – its wealth of natural resources, its relatively open economy and easy regulatory environment, and its progressive foreign policy.“We rely on trade and investment to increase productivity and grow the economy,” she said, “and South Africa is still an attractive investment destination.”The country recorded US$4.5-billion (R36.6-billion) of foreign direct investment in 2011 – this is more than three times the figure for 2010, $1.2-billion (R9.7-billion).“Other nations and trade blocs, such as the US and EU, are looking to Africa, and South Africa is a focal point in many investors’ strategies,” said Chikura. “We have the biggest ports in Africa and we offer access to land-locked countries.”Demand for natural resourcesInternational relations expert Dr Martyn Davies, CEO of research and strategy consultants Frontier Advisory, spoke on the future evolution of Brics itself.“Indonesia and Vietnam, as well as Turkey, Mexico, Colombia, and Nigeria are all candidates for admission to Brics in the future,” he said, adding that the bloc would then have to be renamed to E11, or something similar.“A strong political foundation will determine economic success,” said Davies.He said that growth in Africa has tracked Chinese investment since around 2009, meaning that there is a visible correlation between investment and growth on the continent.“But nobody foresaw the demand for natural resources that would come from China,” he said, “and therefore nobody planned the infrastructure that would be needed. What most African states need most now is industrialisation.”The continent has another chance to plan ahead, and that’s because the World Bank has estimated that 80-million jobs in low-end manufacturing would be lost in China in coming years, said Davies.“We need those jobs in Africa, so let’s start preparing – job loss in China should be job gain in Africa.”In this, the continent faces opposition from other fast-developing regions such as Southeast Asia, he said – but positives such as South Africa’s world number one position in terms of its auditing standards and its stock exchange regulation are hard to top.last_img read more

Continue reading

Kilimo Salama farmers’ safety

first_imgMusa Mkalipi Kilimo Salama has helped insure thousands of farmers in Kenya and Rwanda (Image:One Acre Fund) Farmers receive insurance on their phones (Image:Agfax) MEDIA CONTACTS • Kilimo Salama  +254 2071 7750 RELATED ARTICLES • Kenya takes banking to the poor • Kenyans thrive on local plants • Africa can produce food it needs • New centre to enhance food securityFarmers in Kenya and Rwanda are able to farm without the fear of financial loss through damaged crops caused by bad weather – in farming terms this generally means either too much or too little rain, and it can be the undoing of a farmer. Kilimo Salama is an insurance scheme offering farmers coverage for their farms from the effects of drought and rain; and it works with just the use of a mobile phone.Kilimo Salama, which means “safe farming”, is an innovative programme operated by Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile operator; the Syngenta Foundation, for sustainable agriculture; and UAP Insurance, a leading insurance provider. It started in Kenya in 2009 before expanding to Rwanda.The scheme was established to give farmers the confidence to invest in their farms, which feed their communities, and was created by the Syngenta Foundation. Syngenta aims to extend crop insurance to smallholder farmers in rural and developing countries through innovation. Insurance is bought from agro-dealers, who are registered and trained by Kilimo Salama. They are issued with camera phones used to scan the bar code of the policy bought by the farmer, at the time of purchase. This immediately registers the policy with UAP Insurance over the Safaricom network. Farms from as small as one acre – about 0.4 hectares or 4 050 square metres – can take out Kilimo Salama insurance to shield them from any financial losses, enabling a premium price that millions of farmers can afford. Kilimo Salama is one the new innovations in small scale agriculture that has been quietly sweeping across Africa’s farms, boosting production, crop fields and family incomes. Since its launch, the project has grown from 200 policy holders to more than 70 000. Its operations are innovative: solar power weather stations collect weather data at the end of each growing season to determine if extreme weather might affect the harvest. Kilimo Salama staff do not visit farms to assess the pay out and farmers do not have to submit a claim. Rather, it uses information from the automated weather stations and makes automated mobile pay outs if the rainfall is 15% below or above the average. The scheme’s design was based on the Laikipia District in Kenya, where hundreds of maize farmers insured their farms against the long rains of 2009. Since weather monitoring on farms has developed, several other projects have been launched in countries such as Mexico, Morocco, India, Malawi and Tanzania.But Kilimo Salama is the first agricultural insurance programme worldwide to reach smallholders using mobile technology. Farming is a way of life for many people in Kenya and Rwanda, and Kenya’s economy is highly dependent on agriculture. Kilimo Salama offers some measure of security from risk in these countries. Micro insurance on the rise According Microfinance Africa, about one billion people live in Africa, with an estimated 60% living below the poverty line. It is common cause that natural disasters such as floods and drought, as well as disease affect the poorest the hardest. Micro-insurance is insurance with low premiums that protects low income earners and their assets from disaster. It is targeted at individuals who have little savings, mainly for lower valued assets, illness, injury or death. The micro-insurance sector is expanding throughout Africa, where about 14-million low income earners were covered at the end of 2008, according to the International Labour Organisation. Its study, “The landscape of micro-insurance products in Africa” found that 14.7-million people living on less than $2 (R17.92) a day in 32 African countries were covered by micro-insurance products. By 2012, micro-insurance had grown by more than 200%. Farming in Africa According to the University of Cambridge Research, there are about 500-million smallholder farmers worldwide, of whom Africans are some of the poorest. For many Africans, farming is the only source of income and money is generated according to what is planted and harvested. Statistics estimate that 60% of the world’s available farmland is in Africa. It is a large continent with many different types of climate. In North Africa, in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt, farming is limited by the dry climate. Products planted include wheat, barley, olives, grapes, citrus fruit, and some vegetables. According to Plant Life, less than 20% of the working population in Libya and about 55% in Egypt are employed in farming. Farm Chemicals International found there was a high incidence of organic farming in Tunisia, which reserves 300 000 hectares for organic farming of products such as olives, dates, jojoba, almonds, fruit, vegetables, honey, and medicinal plants. West Africa comprises 16 countries, most of which are composed of low plains, desert and coastline. Agriculture in the region has developed, attracting economic interest in rice farming. The methods of farming in West Africa include permanent and temporary intercropping and livestock. Its forests offer a large amount of biodiversity and support the population with forest resources. Fishing is also a large income earner. The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFAOM) and the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture found that 38 African countries had received certificates of organic farming, and about a million hectares of land had been given an organic stamp. There are as many as 470 000 farms on the continent, the largest number in Uganda. These farms provide employment and feed many on and outside the continent. Organic farming is carried out in South Africa, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.In addition, 16.4-million hectares of land have been certified as bee keeping areas. The largest of these areas is in Cameroon.last_img read more

Continue reading

Resources for Building Large-Scale jQuery Applications

first_imgWhy You Love Online Quizzes Tags:#hack#Tools Related Posts Addy Osmani has compiled a large collection of resources for developers building large-scale JavaScript applications with jQuery. We’ve already mentioned JavaScriptMVC and how it can be used to break JavaScript applications into smaller, testable components in the past, but Osmani provides many more resources. Osmani recommends JavaScriptMVC but mentions several alternatives and components you can use to roll your own toolkit.The resources are organized into the following sections:Dependency ManagementMVC & Organization For Large-Scale jQuery ApplicationsTemplatingCommunication Between ModulesBuild Process & Script ConcatenationScript MinificationTesting klint finleycenter_img How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

Continue reading

Van Persie hails Feyenoords fighting spirit in their win over Ajax

first_imgRobin van Persie praised Feyenoord’s fighting spirit as they produced an excellent display to dispatch fierce rivals Ajax 6-2 in Sunday’s Klassieker.Van Persie bagged a brace in the tie before Tonny Vilhena and Yassin Ayoub wrapped up the 6-2 win in style despite falling 2-1 behind early in the game.The former United forward, though, admitted his teammates were resolute as they went on to end a three-match winless run and score six goals against Ajax for the first time since November 1964.“A bizarre contest,” Van Persie, who urged more consistency from his team-mates, as cited by FourFourTwo“This match had everything. Goals, good football, passion, fight. I am proud of how we always came back.“Everyone fought for it. Our spirit was the deciding factor.Robin van Persie might want to rethink about retiring.He scored twice as Feyenoord thumped Ajax to dent their title hopes.👉 https://t.co/cUEeOa10GJ pic.twitter.com/nEawUIqIOp— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 27, 20192010 World Cup. Netherlands, Robon Van persie, Wesley Snieder, Rafel van de VartReport: Babel says ego’s cost Holland World Cup glory George Patchias – September 10, 2019 Former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel has spoken out about four big ego’s that cost the Dutch national team, their best chance of World Cup…“When it was at 3-2, I looked around me and I thought ‘this is very beautiful’. That passion and the belief that we would win, I had to absorb that.“I believe in these players. They can play so very well. It should only be more frequent and more constant, that is the aim.”The defeat leaves Ajax five points behind Eredivisie leaders PSV, and coach Erik ten Hag claimed his side cannot currently contemplate the title race unless their defence improves.“I am very grumpy,” he said. “I do not even want to think about the title race for the time being. We first have to turn this around.“We are not disciplined and not consistent enough. We started well, put Feyenoord under very good pressure, came 0-1 and therefore almost 0-2.“We have to realise what has made us great. We have shown good things to the ball, but football is more than just ball possession. We were teased today.”😅 Feyenoord’s first win in this fixture since October 2015💪 Their biggest win over Ajax since 1964😍 Highest scoring Der Klassieker since 1983Wow. 😳 #feyaja pic.twitter.com/DCTdM40JxN— Goal (@goal) January 27, 2019last_img read more

Continue reading