SAN FRANCISCO — On the heels of an earlier comment, Warriors coach Steve Kerr clarified that he wasn’t breaking news when he said guard Klay Thompson is unlikely to play this season. He was just doing math.“I wasn’t announcing anything. He’s doing great with his rehab. It’s still possible he could play,” Kerr said after practice on Tuesday.Kerr was referencing an interview published by NBC Sports Bay Area this week in which he called the prospect of Klay Thompson playing this year …
Look at what scientists are learning about some common animals, and others not so common.Bee football. Don’t think of them as bumbling idiots. Bumblebees can learn football by watching, and then improve on it, says Science Magazine. Watch the video on Live Science: call it golf, soccer or whatever, but it’s pretty cool. The bees figure out how to get a treat by rolling a ball into a hole. Their companions can then learn how to do it for themselves, even with balls of different colors. “These findings suggest with convincing evidence that a miniature brain is not necessarily simple, but can solve an impressively complex task,” the lead author said.The color of naked zebras. If you shaved a zebra, would it still have stripes? No, says National Geographic; the skin under that striped fur coat is a uniform black. Surprisingly, so are polar bears; their fur looks white because the hairs are transparent, refracting light. Giraffes have a uniform tan color under their spots. The big cats like lions and leopards, though, do continue to show patterns on their skin when veterinarians need to shave off fur for whatever reason, such as to draw blood samples. This is probably because the pigmentation continues into the hair follicles on those mammals. You can learn about more animal patterns in Liz Langley’s revealing article.How the fish got its spots. Speaking of animal patterns, some Russian scientists believe they have figured out how spots grow on a certain kind of catfish – at least, they have developed a model. The model describes how certain morphogen proteins move during development. It doesn’t however, explain where the proteins came from, or what designed the finished pattern. “The approach creates the preconditions for the development of mathematical models for increasingly diverse morphological forms in embryogenesis,” Phys.org says, making it clear that the work only starts to begin to commence on an explanation. “The researchers are already currently working on its further experimental confirmation.” No mention of evolution in this piece.Catfish world record. A giant Amazon catfish may not only top the heavyweight scales, but sets a distance record, too. This six-foot dorado catfish reported by Live Science can travel over 7,200 miles in Amazonian waterways, the longest migration of any freshwater fish known, including salmon. “The amazing thing, looking at it in terms of evolution, is that these fish evolved with the entire system,” a researcher said. So does natural selection operate on rivers, too?Brown recluse inspiration. A feared poisonous spider has a redeeming virtue: a web that is inspiring new materials. “Brown recluse spiders use a unique micro looping technique to make their threads stronger than that of any other spider,” Phys.org says. Engineers are even thinking of using a similar design to capture space debris. Incidentally, Medical Xpress cautions that some skin conditions are misdiagnosed as bites from brown recluse spiders.Flies on manure. Yuck! How can flies stand it? They buzz around manure as if in a candy store. Phys.org says that, remarkably, “housefly’s love of manure could lead to sustainable feed.” How is that possible? Well, for one thing, the larvae of flies help biodegrade the manure. In the process, those protein-rich larvae could replace fishmeal from aquaculture as the feed of choice for livestock. “I think feed from insects is the future of animal farming,” one Cornell researcher said.Hagfish slime. Those two words sound creepy alone, let alone together. But scientists are interested in the hagfish’s ability to spew out a sticky slime that “unfolds, assembles and expands into the surrounding water in response to a threat,” Phys.org explains. The slime, created by special cells, has unique properties that change over time. That’s giving ideas to inventors.“We now know that this material, 10,000 times softer than Gelatin, isn’t just an ultra-soft elastic solid as earlier believed,” Chaudhary said. “Rather, it has very interesting time-dependent properties. Its concentration-dependent properties are very different compared with many other biopolymer or synthetic systems. Such properties make slime distinctly ideal for assembling under uncontrolled conditions.“Slime has a myriad of potential applications. For example, it could plug or slow leaks from oil drilling equipment, or provide cell cultures with a sparse network of fibrous elements that may offer unique tissue scaffolds architectures and even support 3-D cell cultures.Flashlight fish. There’s actually a fish with eyes that light up. PLoS One tells about Anomalops katoptron, the “Flashlight Fish” that uses bioluminescent light to detect prey in the dark. And get this: they blink their lights nine times a minute, but increase the rate to 90 times a minute or more when honing in on their food. They hide out in reef caves and crevices during the day, then come out at night to hunt with lights a-blazing. The actual light is produced by symbiotic bacteria that live in their eye sockets.Zebrafish eyes. Those who think eyes were easy to evolve should read an article in Phys.org about eye development in simple zebrafish. Studying how eyes grow in fish embryos can help us understand our own eyes. “There are many different structures in our eyes that work in conjunction to allow us to see,” Sarah Wong writes. “These structures are strikingly similar between different species, from zebrafish to humans. The growth of ocular tissues must be tightly controlled in order to maintain the correct eye size and shape that allow us to see.” Cells proliferate in distinct regions, for instance, and migrate into position. Even smaller, specific proteins interact in complex ways, creating physical forces that push and pull structures as needed; other proteins “glue” parts together to form tissues such as the lens and retina. All these parts, carrying out their roles independently, have a common goal: helping the animal to “see the world with fresh eyes.”Primate eyes. The high-resolution spot at the center of our vision, called the fovea, is unique to humans and other primates, Science Daily says. What shapes the fovea’s unusual perceptual qualities? It’s not just that the rods and cones are packed more tightly at that spot; there are also specializations in the ganglion cells and image processing of the underlying neurons. “The latest study provides one of the first glimpses into how the fovea works at a cellular and circuit level,” the article points out. “It turns out to be very different from how other regions of the retina operate.” The researchers appear interested in the structure and function of vision down to the cellular level; there was no mention of evolution.Underwater dawn chorus. Farm hands know about chickens and birds squawking and singing up a storm at daybreak. It turns out that coral reef fish have a similar tradition. New Scientist tells about recordings of a fishy “dawn chorus” just like birds. You can hear a sample recording embedded in the article.Echolocating mouse. The first known case of echolocation in a tree-dwelling mammal is reported by New Scientist. The Vietnamese pygmy dormouse seems to use ultrasonic calls to guide its motion. Could this be a transitional form for the well-known ability in bats? Mice and bats seem to have some looks in common, don’t they? The scientists seem interested in drawing that connection, but two facts fly in the face of it: (1) The earliest bats seem to have already had echolocation well developed, and (2) Bats are not related to rodents, “so the dormice would have gained their ability to echolocate independently rather than from an ancestor common to them and bats.”Fallen log cities. Insects love it when forest trees fall in a windstorm. According to Phys.org, Swiss researchers found that “storm-ravaged woodland is approximately twice as rich in insect species as undamaged forest. This is because many endangered forest insects benefit from the open forest areas left behind by storms.” About a quarter of all forest-dwelling organisms depend on dead wood. It’s probably not a good idea, then, to remove fallen logs; they form an essential part of the forest ecology.The monster in the rocks. What is the “Tully monster?” This bizarre marine animal, the state fossil of Illinois, has defied classification for decades. Science Daily says that recent claims it’s a kind of vertebrate fish have been overturned. That means the mystery of this weird animal is far from solved. Its eyes are on long stalks, and it has a long pincer-like organ in front. Now, researchers think it had no backbone, Live Science adds. About 1,200 fossil specimens have been recovered. They’re not arthropods; they’re not vertebrates; what are they? The monster mystery continues.Mammoth meltdown. We end with a favorite extinct creature, the wooly mammoth. The population living on Wrangel Island apparently died out due to “mutational meltdown,” Science Daily says – i.e., too much inbreeding. This sad case of genetic entropy, as Dr. John Sanford has called it, “also offers a warning to conservationists: preserving a small group of isolated animals is not sufficient to stop negative effects of inbreeding and genomic meltdown.”We hope you enjoyed this tour of amazing creatures that live, or have lived, on this privileged planet. Our Creator gave us plenty of scientific work to do to figure out how they live, and move, and have their being. (Visited 77 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
The Congress will announce a loan waiver for the poor and farmers in the State if voted to power, Haryana party unit chief Kumari Selja has said.In an interview, she said the Congress would not announce its chief ministerial candidate ahead of the election, and the party high command would decide after the polls. The State Congress chief said the loan waiver promise would be part of the manifesto for the October 21 Haryana Assembly election. The manifesto committee has submitted its report and final touches were being given to it, she said.“When our government comes to power, we will waive loans of the poor, especially people who take small loans. We are also going to write off the loans of farmers who are being pushed to a corner and are suffering under the BJP government,” she said. The Haryana Congress chief said the loan waiver would be implemented within days of assuming power as has been done in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. “We will carry out our promises within days and weeks of coming to power. We will give timelines. We will see to it that people see the difference between us and others who only make tall claims and believe in mere publicity and headline management,” she said. Ms. Selja, who took the reins of the Haryana Congress from Ashok Tanwar, said the Congress believed in fulfilling its poll promises “unlike the BJP”, which only used these to “mislead” the voters. “The dilution of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir is another tool the BJP is using to fool people,” she said. Asked to comment on Tanwar’s resignation and his allegations on the Congress being the anti-thesis of democracy, Ms. Selja said, “The Congress has seen such rebellions in the past and has always come out stronger due to its inherent strengths. The Congress has the resilience to take on these things.” She refrained from making comments on her predecessor, and said the party had appealed to everyone to work together. “Ashok Tanwar was named a star campaigner for Haryana. Now, he has chosen to resign. That is his decision. But we must all remember one thing. Organisations are bigger than people,” Ms. Selja said.
Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has been fined 40 per cent of his match fee for arguments with the umpire during the Test against England in Melbourne on Monday. Ponting was charged with a Level 1 offence relating to “arguing or entering into a prolonged discussion with the umpire about his decision”. He pleaded guilty to the charge. Ponting had picked up an argument with umpire Aleem Darafter batsman Kevin Pietersen correctly survived a caught-behind referral. Replays showed no inside edge from Pietersen’s push, but Ponting remained convinced there had been a mistake. His mostly one-way conversation carried on for so long that the crowd started to boo. Pietersen, who was on 49, was then met by Ponting mid-pitch as the captain continued to vent ire.
The National Works Agency (NWA) will be undertaking major road upgrading works between Eastwood Park Road and Manor Park in St. Andrew. The project will include improvements where Constant Spring Road intersects with Red Hills Road, West Kings House Road, Dunrobin Avenue, Shortwood Road, West Avenue and Oaklands, Immaculate Conception and Constant Spring Tax Office and Olivier Road. The National Works Agency (NWA) will be undertaking major road upgrading works between Eastwood Park Road and Manor Park in St. Andrew.The 3.5 kilometres of roadway will be widened to accommodate four lanes of traffic, new management solutions and improved pedestrian facilities.Manager, Communication and Customer Service at NWA, Stephen Shaw, told JIS News that the project is aimed at reducing traffic congestion, which is a major problem for commuters along Constant Spring Road and motorists travelling to Kingston from the parishes of St. Mary and Portland.“The Constant Spring Road is one of the major roads in the Corporate Area and it is really oversaturated right now. The number of motor vehicles that we see on a daily basis is about 30,000. It is way over capacity, and so we want to add capacity to the road. It requires us moving from what we now have, which is two lanes, to four lanes; and so at the end of all of this, when we shall have completed the work, we expect to see a more efficient flow,” he explained.Mr. Shaw was speaking to JIS News at a stakeholders meeting held at the Karram-Speid Auditorium, Merl Grove High School, located on Constant Spring Road on Wednesday, November 29.“We expect to see less congestion, improvement in travel times, we expect to see persons getting to work in a more efficient way – much quicker, and also getting home from work in a quicker way,” he added.Mr. Shaw said there are serious traffic snares along Manor Park heading towards Long Lane all the way to Stony Hill, and this has caused issues for persons who work in the commercial hub of Kingston.“We really want to ensure that persons can get to work and get home from work in a more efficient way,” he said.He said that in addition to commuters, businesses along Constant Spring Road will benefit from the road expansion.“Business will benefit in a significant way from their employees coming to work in a more refreshed way, having had more rest at home,” he pointed out.Mr. Shaw told JIS News that the timeline for the project will be announced to the public soon.“Right now, we are dealing with some of the nuts and bolts. The contract price has been determined. We are awaiting some word from the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation as to a date for the contracts to be signed, and as soon as that contract is signed, then we will be in a position to indicate a start date and end date for the project,” he said.The project will include improvements where Constant Spring Road intersects with Red Hills Road, West Kings House Road, Dunrobin Avenue, Shortwood Road, West Avenue and Oaklands, Immaculate Conception and Constant Spring Tax Office and Olivier Road.There will be new signalised intersections where Constant Spring Road intersects with Mannings Hill Road, Constant Spring Terrace and Hillman Road, Clifton Boulevard, Manor Centre, Manor Park circulation, Stilwell Road and Long Lane.Central Avenue will become a one-way corridor, and a temporary bridge will be created within the Manor Park circulation.Mr. Shaw said that sewer lines will also be upgraded. “It is going to be an integrated project to include water, sewer and road, so what we want to happen, is that at the end of the process, we won’t have a situation where Constant Spring Road becomes an issue where we have a sewer system that is failing or waterlines that are defective.“We want to have all of these things taken out of the way, so when we are finished the work, there will be no form of interruption.”Approximately 88 parcels of land will be affected by the expansion, and Mr. Shaw said that negotiations are under way with the property owners.“We have been going through with the National Land Agency (NLA) to try and conclude as many of these matters as is possible. We have concluded some of the agreements,” Mr. Shaw said. Manager, Communication and Customer Service at NWA, Stephen Shaw, told JIS News that the project is aimed at reducing traffic congestion, which is a major problem for commuters along Constant Spring Road and motorists travelling to Kingston from the parishes of St. Mary and Portland. Story Highlights
IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:00/0:51Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:51?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Close Seven Things You Didnt Know About WhatsApp WhatsApp is constantly working on new features to improve the user experience, but a series of beta tests are conducted before rolling them out to the public. Some beta testers get early access to such features, giving the masses a look at what to expect from the most popular instant messaging app in the near future.WABetaInfo, the blog constantly tracking upcoming features of the popular messenger, reported a new feature under development for the iOS version of WhatsApp that will prevent users from sending a wrong voice message. The upcoming preview feature has been around for a while now but exclusively allowing users to preview images and videos before sending them.With the introduction of preview for a voice message, users will be able to listen to the audio before hitting the send button. The preview option will appear in a push notification window and users will be able to either send or delete the message from there. WhatsApp for iOS is getting a new featureKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty ImagesIt’s worth pointing out that the new feature is still in the developmental phase and only iOS version of the app is said to be getting it for now. WhatsApp might roll out the preview feature in the future updates, but there is no fixed timeline at the moment.WhatsApp is currently working on several other features, but the popular app was in the headlines recently over a vulnerability that risked its users’ media files. Cyber-security firm Symantec on Monday revealed the vulnerabilities in WhatsApp, using which hackers could slyly manipulate media files, including images and audio files, stored on the phone’s external storage. The researchers termed this malicious practice “Media File Jacking.” WhatsApp for iOS is getting a new featureREUTERSAs for features, WhatsApp is working on Quick Edit Media Shortcut feature that will allow users to easily edit files users have sent or received during a chat or group chat. The feature, like the preview for voice messages, was spotted by WABetaInfo and is still in beta testing. With this, users will see a new “Edit” button upon opening a received or sent media file within the app.
Kolkata: Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi will hold a meeting with state Election Commissioner A K Singh on Wednesday, to take stock of the preparations for the ensuing Panchayat elections, the dates for which was announced by the state Election Commission (SEC) on Saturday.Sources in the Raj Bhavan said that Singh had sought the time from the Governor, to discuss certain aspects of security and other things related to poll-preparedness. “The stand of the state government in various matters related to the polls and the allegations made by the Opposition will also come up for discussion in the meeting,” a top official of SEC said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsMeanwhile, the state government once again engaged in a shadow duel with the Governor, over BJP state President Dilip Ghosh’s comment that the Governor was reportedly “worried about violence in Bengal and wanted Central forces in the state during the Panchayat polls.” State Education minister and Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee told mediapersons: “People of Bengal have stopped considering the Governor as a neutral person. We have never heard from the Governor that he wants Central Forces. But Dilip babu (Dilip Ghosh) has said so. Why should things said to a delegation come out in public? Why are the Opposition scared of the rule of law?” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedGhosh, along with BJP leader Mukul Roy, led a delegation and met Tripathi on Tuesday afternoon. It may be mentioned that one person has died in alleged clashes over submission of nomination forms ahead of the Panchayat polls. The filing of nominations had started on Monday, soon after the SEC put forth the notification, declaring the election dates. Clashes were reported from Bankura’s Onda, Lalbagh in Murshidabad, Arambagh in Hooghly district, Suri and Labhpur in Birbhum.”The Opposition has started visiting the Governor with an attempt to disturb the smooth poll process and the development taken up by the government under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee,” Chatterjee said.
Kolkata: A massive blast occurred at a primary health centre building on Thursday in West Bengal’s Birbhum district but there was no report of any casualty, police said. Preliminary police investigation pointed to a suspected stockpile of explosives in the house, which blew up. The severity of the blast was such that the roof and wall of one side of the building at Labhpur were blown away. Two rooms were reduced to rubble. “The building of Dwarka health centre was blown off due to an explosion around 2.45 a.m. We are at the spot investigating the matter and there is no report of any injury or casualty,” an officer of Labhpur police station said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata An employee of the health centre said they were lucky that the incident occurred at night but there is an atmosphere of fear all around. Incidentally, the health centre is barely a few metres away from the police station. Trinamool Congress supporters staged an angry demonstration, accusing the police of arriving at the spot eight hours of the incident. On June 29, another explosion inside the club building at Mollarpur had blown away the walls and damaged some of the houses in the vicinity. A local BJP leader said that there should be proper investigation of these blasts, while Trinamool Congress members feel that the BJP is responsible. “We want the NIA to investigate, not just the police or CID of West Bengal Police,” the BJP leader said.