first_imgDaniel O’Donnell has become so popular in Australia that he’s finding it difficult to go to mass in peace.The Kincasslagh singer is has just finished a tour Down Under where is nothing short of huge.So much so that Daniel was literally mobbed by mass-goers at St.Stephen’s Cathedral in Brisbane. The singer tried to slip out quietly at the end of mass but found a huge crowd waiting outside for autographs and pictures.“It was amazing. Daniel is used to people asking him for autographs but he wasn’t expecting such a large crowd outside mass.“It was crazy stuff and they wouldn’t leave until they got a picture or an autograph,” said one mass-goer.Word has also spread that although Daniel does not drink, he likes a slice of cake with a cup of tea before after his shows. Now fans are literally baking dozens of buns and cakes for Daniel and his band.Even the wife of Irish Ambassador to Australia Noel White’s wife got in on the act and baked Daniel some treats.   DANIEL HAS BECOME SO POPULAR IN AUSTRALIA HE IS MOBBED AT MASS! was last modified: March 25th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Australiadaniel o’donnellmasslast_img read more

The Holly and the I.D. – News from Epigenetics

first_img(Visited 24 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Holly leaf shape may be due to epigenetic control – one of several recent developments in the field of epigenetics.Epi-Deck the Halls:  National Geographic reported that the prickly outline of holly leaves appears to be an epigenetic response to predation.  The same plant can have smooth leaves and prickly leaves.  Browsing by animals sets off an epigenetic response, leading to the prickly outline, even though each leaf cell has the same genetic code.Sex cells:  A protein named Tet that erases epigenetic markers may be responsible for turning on the meiotic genes that switch regular cells into sperm or eggs, reported Nature on Dec. 20.Gene accessibility:  A paper in the journal Cell (Hihara et al., Dec. 13) found that local chromatin dynamics, including Brownian motion, plays a role in the accessibility of molecular machines to stretches of DNA.  “We propose that this local nucleosome fluctuation is the basis for scanning genome information,” the authors said.Large-scale organization:  Another research article in Cell (Sandhu et al., Oct 25) discussed “Large-Scale Functional Organization of Long-Range Chromatin Interaction Networks.”   These networks play important roles in transcription regulation.  They are organized into “nonrandom spatial clustering” the authors dub”rich clubs,” communities and spokes.  This large-scale organization helps repress mutations among vital genes, and “shapes functionally compartmentalized and error-tolerant transcriptional regulation of human genome in three dimensions.”Add another dimension: Speaking of 3-D, a paper in Science today (Dec 21) discussed alternative splicing in 4 dimensions.  Alternative splicing “leads to different patterns of splicing that represent cell type–specific alternative interpretations of the genomic information,” the authors said.  “Alternative splicing allows the shuffling of protein-coding domains or confers distinct sensitivity of the spliced mRNAs to regulatory factors.” Though evolutionary in tone, the article’s science concerned “modulating the scope of signaling, gene regulation, and protein-protein networks” that speak of organization and control.The paper they referenced in the same issue of Science by Barbosa-Morais et al. was also evolutionary, but the actual data do not require a common ancestry interpretation, especially since it concerned “vertebrate splicing codes.”  The overall finding was that “overall organ AS [alternative splicing] profiles more strongly reflect the identity of a species than they do organ type.”  For more on alternative splicing, see a PhysOrg entry, “Alternative splicing of RNA rewires signaling in different tissues, may contribute to species differences.”Epigenetic islands:  In Nature on Nov. 9, Dirk Schübeler discussed “Epigenetic Islands in a Genetic Ocean.”  He talked about the latest discoveries in methylation patterns: “This inheritability makes DNA methylation highly attractive as a potential means to store information in a form of epigenetic memory that regulates genes over developmental processes or in response to environmental conditions.”Not parasites:  In a Presidential Address in Science Nov 9, Nina V. Federoff debunked the idea that transposable elements (TE) are parasites on the genome.  TE’s comprise more than half of many mammalian genomes and were thought to be junk or selfish invaders:My purpose here is to challenge the current, somewhat pejorative, view of TEs as genomic parasites with the mounting evidence that TEs and transposition play a profoundly generative role in genome evolution. I contend that it is precisely the elaboration of epigenetic mechanisms from their prokaryotic origins as suppressors of genetic exchanges that underlies both the genome expansion and the proliferation of TEs characteristic of higher eukaryotes. This is the inverse of the prevailing view that epigenetic mechanisms evolved to control the disruptive potential of TEs. The evidence that TEs shape eukaryotic genomes is by now incontrovertible. My thesis, then, is that TEs and the transposases they encode underlie the evolvability of higher eukaryotes’ massive, messy genomes.Systems biology meets epigenetics:  PhysOrg reported that some Swiss scientists are making progress understanding the interplay of epigenetic interactions with a systems biology approach.  Combining both approaches with a computational model is providing insights into concepts like how a stem cell differentiates into a tissue cell, or how chromatin modifications affect gene expression.Epigenetics is proving to be a fruitful field for research, possibly as fruitful (or more so) than the discovery of the genetic code itself.  As stated earlier (8/21/2012, 9/06/2012), it involves “codes upon codes” explaining how a human being can develop from a small set of genes through regulation, alternative splicing and post-transcriptional modifications.  The proliferation of codes is inversely proportional to the credibility of Darwinism.last_img read more

South African academic elected to top council

first_imgProf Malegapuru Makgoba has been elected vice-president of the International Council for Science. (Image: University of KwaZulu-Natal) MEDIA CONTACTS • Smita Maharaj  Director: Communications   Corporate Relations Division  University of KwaZulu-Natal  +27 31 260 4447RELATED ARTICLES • Space science thriving in South Africa • South African women lead the way in science • Pharma conference debuts in Africa • Home-grown nutrition research • Research centre for African oceans Wilma den HartighSouth Africa’s Prof Malegapuru Makgoba has been elected vice-president of the International Council for Science (ICSU), one of the most prestigious international bodies of its kind in the world.“I feel humbled and inspired to be given such an opportunity,” says Makgoba, vice-chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).The professor, who is a trained physician and an internationally recognised molecular immunologist, says his new position will give him significant exposure to other respected scientists and scientific disciplines.“What I find exciting about the work is meeting highly motivated and talented scientists from all over the world,” he says.Although his main area of interest has always been basic science and health, he says the position will allow him to explore new areas of science. “It will enable me to broaden my horizons in science. I think it is going to be an enriching experience,” he adds.His involvement with the ICSU will also promote South Africa’s participation in scientific matters of global concern. “As a country, we can play a major role in shaping the future of global science research collaboration and influence science policy,” he says.The International Council for ScienceUtilising science to find solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges is a core focus of the council.The ICSU, which is one of the oldest non-governmental organisations in the world, was established to promote international scientific activity with the emphasis on research outcomes that will benefit humanity.The council has a global membership of national scientific bodies and international scientific unions.The organisation identifies issues of importance to science and society, provides an enabling research environment for scientists across all disciplines and promotes the participation of scientists in international research projects.Makgoba will serve as vice-president for three years. In this time, he is required to attend a minimum of two international ICSU meetings in Paris each year. He will also be involved in the planning of international interdisciplinary scientific programmes and a review of current global research.His position as vice-president is a voluntary service to the ICSU, and he will continue to perform his duties as vice-chancellor of the UKZN. “It is all voluntary work, but I look forward to it because it is giving back to science what science has given to me,” he says.Science to benefit peopleMakgoba has already attended his first meeting of the ICSU and the General Assembly has identified two new global scientific research projects.The “Health and Wellbeing in the Changing Environment” project will draw on the expertise of an interdisciplinary team of researchers to investigate the complex effects of urban and migratory patterns on human health and wellbeing.The outcomes of this particular project will be of major importance for individuals, policy formation and governments worldwide, as it looks at the growing urbanisation trend in the world.According to the UN, 50% of populations in developing countries will live in urban areas by 2020. Although Africa is predominantly rural, it is considered to be the continent with the fastest rate of urbanisation.By 2030 both Asia and Africa will have higher numbers of urban residents than any other major area of the world.UN figures quoted in a report of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reveal that 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050, with the percentage rising to 86 for people in OECD countries.He says that urbanisation has far-reaching impacts on health, culture and how human beings define their identities.“It is a highly relevant topic in a changing world environment and raises many questions about urban wellbeing and health. The study will investigate the challenges and find potential solutions for the urbanisation trend,” he says.Another project on the agenda is the Earth Systems Sustainability Initiative, which will research the impact of global change on the earth, people and the capacity of the earth to sustain life on the planet.“The main focus of this ongoing research is on the unprecedented human-induced global change and the threat to society and human wellbeing worldwide. Climate change and biodiversity loss are just two examples,” he said in a statement.Contributions to scienceMakgoba has made other major contributions to the advancement of health and science in South Africa.His research as a molecular immunologist has made it possible to identify and understand cell surface molecules and genes important in the human immune system’s response.He is also a leading scientist in HIV vaccine research, he has served on the leadership team of the South African Aids Vaccine Initiative and he is the founding chair of the UNAids-World Health Organisation African Aids Vaccine Programme.Makgoba, who is also a member of the National Planning Commission and special advisor to the minister of science and technology, has received numerous awards, including fellowships at both the Imperial College Faculty of Medicine and the Royal College of Physicians of London.He is a founding member of the Academy of Science of South Africa and a foreign associate of the Institute of Medicine of the US Academies of Science.In addition to various accolades for his work, Makgoba was the 2011 recipient of the National Research Foundation President’s Lifetime Achievement award.last_img read more

SA engineer to help build Bloodhound

first_imgBeverly Singh receives her Bloodhound SSC Chevening Scholarship from the UK’s deputy high commissioner in South Africa, Martin Reynolds. (Image: Bloodhound SSC) Wing commander Andy Green, who will attempt to break his own land speed record set up in 1997 in the Thrust SSC, inspired Singh to apply for a spot on the Bloodhound team.(Image: Janine Erasmus) The Bloodhound SSC has been years in development, and will be ready to break the land speed barrier by 2015.(Image: Bloodhound SSC) MEDIA CONTACTS • Marina Joubert  PR, Bloodhound SSC  +27 83 409 4254 RELATED ARTICLES • Bloodhound brings world focus to SA • Proudly SA helmet for Bloodhound • Northern Cape ideal for extreme sports • SKA: who gets what Janine ErasmusSouth Africa’s Beverly Singh, an engineering graduate from Port Elizabeth, is the first recipient of the Bloodhound SSC Chevening Scholarship – she will work with the construction team on the final assembly stages of the supersonic car, while pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.Initiated in 1983, the Chevening Scholarship programme is funded by the UK government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and partner organisations. It was originally known as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Awards Scheme but in 1994 was named after Chevening House in Kent, an official residence of the UK’s foreign minister.The Chevening programme singles out scholars with leadership potential from around the world, and gives them the chance for postgraduate studies at universities in the UK. For the 2011-2012 round of applications, the number of scholarships was increased to more than 700 worldwide. Of these, about 30 will come from South Africa.To date, there are over 40 000 alumni from 116 countries, excluding the US and EU. Singh joins previous recipients such as Iceland’s prime minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Jaime Bermudez, the Colombian minister of foreign affairs, former Polish prime minister Marek Belka, and Lili Wang, the vice-governor of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.A process engineer at Kestrel Renewable Energy, a company that builds wind turbines, Singh graduated in 2008 with a diploma in mechanical engineering and in 2012 with a Bachelor of Technology degree – both from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. She completed her practical training at General Motors South Africa and also worked at Eveready.She is now preparing to join the Bloodhound development team in the UK in September, while she studies for a master’s degree at the University of the West of England in Bristol.“The university has great research facilities and is in partnership with great companies – Rolls Royce, Boeing, etc. – and I’m also looking forward to travelling and meeting new and interesting people,” she said.Singh will work with the supersonic car’s team at their technical facility in the Bristol suburb of Avonmouth. Bloodhound is scheduled to come to the speed run site of Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape in 2015 for a series of test, during which it’s expected to break the current land speed record of 1 221 km/h.In 2016 the car will return to the Northern Cape for the big assault on the 1 609 km/h (1 000 mph) barrier.The university is already involved in the Bloodhound project and was one of its founder sponsors.Breaking barriersSingh received her scholarship from the UK’s deputy high commissioner Martin Reynolds, at a function in Johannesburg in mid-August.“In 2011 I attended a lecture by [Bloodhound driver] Andy Green at the university, where he explained what they are trying to achieve, and the engineering challenges, and I was inspired,” she explained. “On the website of the SA Institution of Chemical Engineers I saw an ad for the scholarship and I knew it was definitely something I want to be a part of.”Singh attributes her love of engineering to a grandfather who enjoyed working on cars, and from an early age she was hooked. “I was always interested in learning about technology and how things work, and the logical and practical side of it, and that got me into engineering.”She is keen to gain new knowledge and skills in the engineering field. “I share Bloodhound’s passion for education and sharing knowledge, and inspiring young students to get more involved in engineering, science and maths.”Singh would ultimately like to establish a manufacturing training facility for young South Africans, where they can learn crucial skills that will boost the country’s economy.last_img read more

Matt Saal, Nov. 9

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The weather has still been really nice. We have had a couple of rain showers and they came pretty slow and timely — a half-inch here and a half-inch there. We have been dry and the rains have not made things really wet where guys had to stay out of the fields for a long time or cause ruts.Most of the soybeans are off but there is still some corn out. Things are definitely still ahead of schedule for this time of year. Most of the true grain guys still have some corn out but most of the dairy guys are wrapping it up. Most all of the wheat I see around here is up and looking good.This year we had to start feeding the first hay that we chopped after the first couple of weeks this summer. That is not ideal. We have one corn silage bunker with three sides on it. We actually had a pretty nice carry over from last year, but we feed it from front to back. We had to cover it all back up when we started refilling the bunk this year and we couldn’t get to the old stuff.  We made a separate pile this year to fix that problem.Ideally we like for the corn silage set for three months before we start feeding. Once it sits in the bunk for three months it stabilizes. As long as you keep the oxygen out of it, it will keep.We are adding more cows to our operation. We are widening some of the free stalls out in a building we had for the heifers. We should have it all done by the end of the year.last_img read more