Mountain Field Day

first_imgUniversity of GeorgiaWhether your cattle stock consists of hundreds or just a few,you’re sure to benefit from the University of Georgia’s annualMountain Beef Cattle Field Day April 19.The field day will start at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. at theGeorgia Mountain Research and Education Center in Blairsville,Ga. Participants will learn the most up-to-date, research-basedinformation from UGA, Clemson and North Carolina State scientists.This year’s topics include: Researchers will discuss the economics of fall versus springcalving, too, and production and storage losses of hay. Producerswill also see firsthand results of a stocker research projectusing Bio-Mos feed supplement.There is no charge for the field day, and lunch will be provided,courtesy AgGeorgia Farm Credit. For more information, call (706)745-2655. How to market hay with the help of relative forage quality.A producer’s perspective on harvesting grass.Parasites of cattle.Herbicides to use for pastures and fence rows.last_img read more

Cell Has Automatic Jam-Clearing Proofreading Machinery

first_imgFindings at Rockefeller University have scientists excited.  DNA copying machines work on a “sliding clamp” that can hold two repair machines at the same time.  One is a low-fidelity repair tool, the other a high-fidelity repair tool.  Usually, the high-fidelity one is active, but when it needs a bigger hammer that is perhaps more effective but less accurate, it automatically switches to the other.  Here’s how the abstract of the paper in Molecular Cell by Indiani, O’Donnell et al.1 describes it in detail:This report demonstrates that the beta sliding clamp of E. coli binds two different DNA polymerases at the same time.  One is the high-fidelity Pol III chromosomal replicase and the other is Pol IV, a low-fidelity lesion bypass Y family polymerase.  Further, polymerase switching on the primed template junction is regulated in a fashion that limits the action of the low-fidelity Pol IV.  Under conditions that cause Pol III to stall on DNA, Pol IV takes control of the primed template.  After the stall is relieved, Pol III rapidly regains control of the primed template junction from Pol IV and retains it while it is moving, becoming resistant to further Pol IV takeover events.  These polymerase dynamics within the beta toolbelt complex restrict the action of the error-prone Pol IV to only the area on DNA where it is required. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)The paper says this is like having a “toolbelt” with different tools depending on the need of the project.  Bacteria have five DNA polymerase tools; humans have more.  Pol III is like the perfectionist editor that cuts out the typos, but it can stall.  Pol IV, like the plumber with a big wrench, isn’t as picayunish about the details but knows how to get the operation flowing again.  “The findings by O’Donnell and his colleagues,” the press release explains, “show that, because both polymerases are bound simultaneously to the beta clamp, it can pull either of the polymerases out if its toolbelt as needed.”  This apparently forms an automatic switchover mechanism where Pol III has priority.  A stall either loosens the grip of Pol III, or triggers a change in the sliding clamp that lets Pol IV intervene for the brute-force repair.    A paper in Cell2 earlier this month described how multiple parts work together to fix mismatched DNA.  Since mismatched bases have serious health consequences, a suite of operations, still poorly understood, checks to detect and correct the error.  The paper by Zhang et al. describes part of the process:Evidence is provided that efficient repair of a single mismatch requires multiple molecules of MutS-alpha-MutL-alpha complex.  These data suggest a model for human mismatch repair involving coordinated initiation and termination of mismatch-provoked excision.The cover of the issue humorously highlights the problem with a picture of a guy with unmatched socks.  Mismatch in DNA is no joke, however; it can lead to cancer and genomic instability.1Indiani et al., “A Sliding-Clamp Toolbelt Binds High- and Low-Fidelity DNA Polymerases Simultaneously,” Molecular Cell, Volume 19, Issue 6, 16 September 2005, pages 805-815.2Zhang et al., “Reconstitution of 5′-Directed Human Mismatch Repair in a Purified System,” Cell, Volume 122, Issue 5, 9 September 2005, pages 693-705.How could evolution ever devise a mechanism like an automatic toolbelt?  This is uncanny.  Here is a set of molecules that are programmed to act like a multi-faceted assembly line with a built-in, automatic-switching, multipart repair kit.  Neither the press release nor either paper made any attempt to explain how Tinker Bell and her mutation wand could have produced wonders like these.  Who would dare?(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Philosophy Puts Brakes on Simplistic Science

first_imgThree stories touching on philosophy of science were reported recently.  They show that simplistic ideas, and even terms deployed, can be misleading.  That’s why philosophers still have a role in curbing the pretensions of scientists, and clarifying scientific issues and terms lest policy-makers and the public get wrong ideas.Are all invasive species bad?:  We are taught to think that “alien” animals or plants introduced into another country pose a threat.  Often they do, but Mark Davis at New Scientist reminded readers that the honeybee was introduced into the Americas.  He said, “you may be surprised to learn that only a few per cent of introduced species are harmful.”  The really bad cases, like the brown tree snake in Guam that killed off most native birds, and the rabbit in Australia, tend to make the most news and noise, but “many people cling to the idea that non-native species are uniformly undesirable,” he said.  The “paradigm” of “invasive species” is changing: Scientific disciplines are often guided at their outset by a few simple ideas.  However, as the field matures, participants typically recognise the complexity of their subject and the need for a more nuanced approach.  This is what is happening in invasion biology.    Philosophers, social scientists and some invasion biologists have challenged the choice of language used to describe non-native species and have argued that conclusions about them sometimes rest more on prejudice than science.  Others have criticised the preference for native species as scientifically unsound, arguing that invasive species do not represent a separate category, evolutionarily, biogeographically or ecologically.  Others have pointed out flaws in the claim that non-native species are the second-greatest extinction threat after habitiat [sic] destruction.  In fact, with the exception of insular environments such as islands and lakes, there are very few examples of extinctions being caused by non-native species.Davis was quick to point out that these ideas do not minimize the need to carefully monitor invasive species.  “Make no mistake,” he clarified; “some introduced species have caused great harm.”  If a snake on a plane made it to Hawaii, for instance, many native birds would be severely threatened.  To Davis, though, this does not justify “message enhancement” (exaggeration) as a scare tactic.  Calling species “alien” or “invasive” or “exotic” fails to recognize the global nature of the ecology.  “As long as the harm is real,” he said, “it should not be necessary for us to overgeneralise, exaggerate, use incendiary language or misrepresent data in order to attract attention.”Do stem cells exist?  Amateur philosophers of science may perk up at a story in Science Daily that asked, “Is ‘stem cell’ concept holding back biology?”  The problem, according to Arthur Lander publishing in BioMed Central, is that “after 45 years, we are unable to place the notion of ‘stemness’ on a purely molecular footing.”  It doesn’t mean scientists can’t or won’t, “But it does give one cause to wonder whether something we are doing needs to change, either in the question we are asking or the way we are approaching it.”    Perhaps “stemness” is a property of biological systems, not individual cells, Lander suggested.  Surprisingly, he referred to the standard philosophical story about phlogiston as an example of how scientific concepts can mislead research.  Don’t tell this story to California voters.  The bankrupt government is still wondering where to get the $3 billion voters approved for stem cell research after a hyped initiative promised all kinds of miracle cures.  The upside of phlogiston theory is that it did eventually lead scientists to a correct understanding of oxygen.  Maybe a systems approach to stemness “will continue to light the path toward understanding,” Lander hoped.Is there a scientific method?:  Gary J. Nabel of NIH wrote a Perspective piece called “The Coordinates of Truth” in Science.1 The scientific method has driven conceptual inquiry for centuries and still forms the basis of scientific investigation.  Yet, the hypothesis-based research paradigm itself has received scant attention recently.  Here, I propose an alternative model for this paradigm, based on decision, information, and game theory.  Analysis of biomedical research efforts with this model may provide a framework for predicting their likely contributions to knowledge, assessing their impact on human health, and managing research priorities.But what is the scientific method?The scientific method provides a rationale upon which scientific principles are developed, tested, and validated or rejected.  For any natural phenomenon, there is a fundamental solution or truth that explains its basis.  This solution exists in nature, regardless of whether the observer formulates the best hypothesis to explain it.  It may thus be viewed as a set of coordinates in a multidimensional space: the coordinates of truth (see the first figure, panel A).  By proposing hypotheses and testing their statistical validity, the hypothesis-driven experiment allows testing and validation of a scientific principle.Nabel seems to be helping himself to the correspondence theory of truth and to the concept of truth itself.  He also seems to suggest that all scientists and philosophers are in agreement about the scientific method.  He did mention the “paradigm shift” terminology of Thomas Kuhn and talked about anomalies and falsification, but the tone of his article was progressive – as if following the scientific method necessarily guides science to the truth.    Nabel contrasted hypothesis generation with hypothesis testing.  “Hypothesis generation can create an organized body of knowledge from which insight can emerge,” he said.  This seems to confuse data with knowledge and interpretation with insight.  He gave examples such as the Human Genome Project and the CERN Large Hadron Collider.  Such projects are not testing a hypothesis so much as gathering data from which hypotheses can be generated.  The other approach is to start with a hypothesis and run experiments to test it.  He suggested both approaches are valid in science but need to be balanced against each other.  It may be surprising to readers that the “scientific method” does not factor much in peer review or funding decisions:These considerations have implications for scientific funding.  For example, the investigator-initiated grants at the National Institutes of Health allow investigators to propose and test any hypothesis as long as the rationale is justified to a set of peers.  The process begins with the vision of the individual scientist and ends with a judgment of its scientific merit.  Recently, changes have been proposed for rating these proposals, stressing their impact, but the evaluation remains largely subjective.  The meaning of “impact” is ill defined, and there is no systematic way to assign value.  In this and many other systems for awarding grants, the scientific community does not take full advantage of the scientific method to prioritize its research portfolio.  For example, formal evaluation of hypotheses is not an inherent part of the review.  Also, there have been few criteria by which to judge and prioritize grants for hypothesis-generating research.Subjective human opinion, therefore, plays a big role in what is valued in science.  “The value of hypothesis-generating efforts should be analyzed critically for the pertinence of the methodology to the question, the overall significance of the problem, and the likelihood of generating a viable and high-impact hypothesis,” he said.  But if each of those criteria are all subjective, whose pet project ends up with the money?  Nabel did not get down to answering that question.  He just ended optimistically, “A modern and rigorous view of the hypothesis-driven research paradigm can similarly help to consolidate a foundation that fundamentally transforms biology and medicine.”  It would seem this article begs more questions than it answers. 1.  Gary J. Nabel, “Philosophy of Science: The Coordinates of Truth,” Science, 2 October 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5949, pp. 53-54, DOI: 10.1126/science.1177637.Everyone does philosophy, but not everyone does it well.  So said Greg Bahnsen, a Christian philosopher of science and theologian.  Even saying “I don’t have a philosophy” is a statement of philosophy.  Scientists are often better at exposing flaws in others’ research than in thinking consistently and logically themselves.  That’s why philosophers of science, who ask the questions that scientists don’t ask, and who strive for clarity and consistency, are often considered gadflies and troublemakers by the science department.  When billions of dollars of research funds are at stake, though, the importance of clarifying the terms, values, and logical coherence of scientific claims must be examined critically.  With limited resources it also becomes important to identify which scientific questions are worth investigating.    One of the best skills you can develop to see through the pretensions of triumphalist science is the ability to detect question-begging arguments.  “Begging the question” is the logical fallacy of arguing for a conclusion that has already been assumed in the premise.  An example would be claiming evolution is a fact because the Origin of Species says so, or claiming materialism is true because scientists only work with particles and forces.  It amounts to “helping oneself” to concepts without paying the price.  Gary Nabel talked about the “coordinates of truth” in his article without defining truth.  Moreover, he assumed that truth is “out there” in the world, and that we can “discover” it by the “scientific method.”  That begs all kinds of questions.  If he were among a group of Christians, he could probably get away with it.  Materialists, though, would be hard pressed to explain these concepts emerging from fundamental particles and forces.  Postmodernists, also, would be quick to ask, “whose truth?”  Because most readers of Science are positivists or scientific realists, who believe the public should fund their projects, he can probably get away with his simplistic views in that forum.  He would face a barrage of questions in the philosophy, theology and political science departments.    The stem-cell and invasive-species articles remind us that simplistic answers to complex questions can be misleading.  Take the current political hubbub about human-caused global warming.  Much of the discussion revolves around “average global temperature.”  Is there such a thing?  How would you go about measuring it?  At every point on earth, temperatures fluctuate from hour to hour, day to day, year to year, decade to decade.  Do we measure temperature at the south pole, or Death Valley, or Rio de Janeiro?  OK, you say, we take thousands of measurements all over the globe.  But humans cannot possibly have thermometers at every point on the earth’s surface.  Selection effects loom large in the discussion.  How many points are enough?  Are some points given more weight than others?  Do we take the measurements at ground level, or at 10 feet or 100 feet off the ground?  Do we use the arithmetic average, or the median, or the mode?  Do we clip off anomalous measurements?  How many significant figures do we use?  What statistical methods and error analyses are being performed on the raw data?  Do we use a mercury thermometer, an alcohol thermometer, a thermocouple, a bimetallic strip, or a laser thermometer?  If we choose one, or combine them, are they responding to the same external reality?  What’s the effect of humidity and wind on the measurements?  What uncontrolled influences, like the amount of pavement below the thermometer or proximity to urban pollution, could be altering the readings?  Have all the thermometers been calibrated to each other?  Have all the humans who take and record the measurements received the proper training?  Are any of them liars, incompetents, or members of groups with a political agenda?  What does the term “temperature” signify, anyway?  What is its relation to theories about climate change?    Here we have taken a simple example, “the temperature of the earth,” and asked just a few questions that have turned it into a philosophical mess.  A scientist might respond that a single station, like the Antarctica thermometer, has been the same instrument used for decades and it shows a clear trend of warming.  Even so, many of the same questions could be asked – and additional ones, too.  There’s no way to eliminate all subjectivity that goes into measurement and interpretation.  The only way to provide protection for taxpayers who end up funding research and paying for political decisions made on scientific consensus is vibrant, active debate.  That debate has to include researchers outside the paradigm.  History shows that consensus science is no guarantee of truth.  Before you get stuck with the bill foisted on you by gullible politicians swallowing consensus science, learn to ask tough questions – and demand answers that don’t beg the question.  Now hear this.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

West Bend Four Seasons GeoTour

first_imgShare with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedWisconsin’s West Bend Four Seasons GeoTour (GT40)August 23, 2018In “Community”GeoTour Spotlight: West Bend Four Seasons GeoTour (GT40)March 23, 2017In “GeoTours”Spokane History GeoTourJanuary 8, 2016In “Community” GeoTour Name: West Bend Four Seasons GeoTourLocation: West Bend, WisconsinNumber of Favorite Points: 362Old 1889 County Courthouse and Museum (GC53BB1)Why West Bend is a great place to visit:West Bend is nestled in the heart of Wisconsin’s northern Kettle Moraine, but is also close to Milwaukee. The area embodies the best of small town living and big city offerings. From museums and shops to miles of scenic trails and other outdoor recreation, West Bend has something for everyone.Best time of year to visit:West Bend is a year-round destination with festivals and fun for every season. In winter, have fun skiing, snowboarding, or tubing on two nearby ski hills. Music on Main is a live celebration every Thursday during summer. Geocachers from all over the globe head to this area for the annual $1000 West Bend Cache Ba$h Mega Event in August.Must-see attractions:The Old Courthouse and Jail (GC53BB1) is a standout attraction. Built in 1889, this historic building now houses an outstanding museum with exhibits that tell the story of Washington County from the Ice Age to the Industrial Age including some hands-on interactive exhibits.The Museum of Wisconsin Art (GC53BBB) houses the largest collection of Wisconsin art, including Milwaukee-born artist Carl von Marr (1858-1936).Hidden gems only locals know about:Many locals don’t even know about Shalom Wildlife Zoo, a 100-acre wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to deer, elk, bison, wolves, bighorn sheep, a farm petting zoo, and many other animals. And don’t forget to say hello to brothers Lewis and Clark, a pair of young brown bears that like to show off in front of visitors.Prizes:Those who complete the GeoTour Passport receive a special West Bend Four Seasons Geocoin.Site of Lithia Brewery/Time Capsule (GC53C91) – photo by Ashley Ambur SandersWhat geocachers are saying about South Park GeoTour:“Made a last-minute decision to drive up for this geocoin challenge with mymowgli today. What a beautiful day of fun caching & great eating! We didn’t have quite enough time to hit all the caches, so we made up for it by taking in some extra meals for our needed points…and the food/hospitality did not disappoint! Thanks much for putting on this geotour/geocoin challenge for us to enjoy!” -ugomaddie“Completing the West Bend GeoTour this morning before heading back home. I really enjoyed going to all of the historic sites in West Bend. Some I knew but some were new this time around. Top notch tour!” -MoonyMarauderYou can feed the animals at Shalom Wildlife (GC53GBA) – photo by Hack1of2“A lot of time, thought, and effort was obviously put into the creation of this series, and we wanted to honor that by spending a little bit of time at each location, taking in the surroundings, and learning what we could of the area’s significance….This is turning out to be a great, great series. We are so impressed with West Bend! We’ll be back!” -Hack1of2Additional Information:From West Bend, it’s only a 30-minute drive to the oldest geocache in Wisconsin (GC3B1).The first stop on the tour is the home of the West Bend Chamber of Commerce. Come inside, and the friendly staff will help make your trip a success! For more information about the GeoTour and things to do in West Bend, go to www.visitwestbend.com.Note: All the above information was provided by the GeoTour host. Copy has been edited by Geocaching HQ.last_img read more

Stop Chasing What Is New and Start Chasing Impeccable Execution

first_imgFor many, the next idea is going to be better than the one that came before it. They believe the next evolution of the sales process is going to be more effective than the existing process, the next new methodology better than the last. The next digital offering is going to revolutionize sales like nothing seen before, turning the industry on its head, and changing sales forever. The next new research report is going to provide a greater depth of understanding of how you should sell and what your clients need from you.Looking for “next” is chasing, and chasing is how one avoids doing the work necessary for producing better results. Also, there is something you can easily recognize in those who chase: they rarely ever execute the fundamentals consistently enough to produce results, being too busy looking for something better, something easier, and something new.If you are going to chase, chase impeccable execution of the fundamentals.You Know What You Need to DoThe execution of opportunity creation requires a few different activities. It starts with targeting your dream clients, those prospective clients who will perceive your value proposition as strategic, worth changing providers to obtain, and worth paying more for the better results you produce. Creating an opportunity means capturing mindshare by nurturing those relationships and executing a persistent, professional pursuit plan. You create opportunities by prospecting and scheduling meetings with your dream clients and prospects.The time you spend trying to avoid, over-automate, or over-optimize these activities, the worse your execution.In addition to executing against the activities that create opportunities, you need to execute opportunity capture, i.e., winning those opportunities. In most cases, this means face-to-face, or video face to video face, or ear-to-ear conversations with your dream clients. The execution of those meetings require you to plan your sales call, have a theory about what creates enough value for your dream client to continue to engage in the sales conversation, and gaining the commitment to take the next step. It also requires that you know how to control the process and, in complex sales, how to manage the many and varied stakeholders who are going to weigh in on any decision to change.The execution of a sales process includes good discovery work, proper development of solutions, and excellent presentation and proposal skills. All of this work now requires you have the business acumen and the relationship to create a preference to work with you, your company, and your solution.Everything outside of these two major outcomes, opportunity creation, and opportunity capture, is commentary, even when it is vital to good sales hygiene.All of this is to remind you that the difference in your future result isn’t likely to found in anything “new,” unless what is new is your commitment to impeccable execution. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Containerships CEO Steps Down

first_imgKari-Pekka Laaksonen, the Chief Executive Officer of boxship operator Containerships, has announced his decision to resign from the position.The company’s board of directors is to meet on March 29 to find a successor for Laaksonen.Laaksonen will remain in his position until his replacement is effective.French liner CMA CGM Group is set to propose Claude Lebel, current CEO of MacAndrews Gmbh, for the role.CMA CGM earlier decided to merge Containerships and MacAndrews brands under the single Containerships brand from April 1, 2019. The French shipping major said the move would combine the two companies’ maritime and inland solutions with complementary regional footprints.CMA CGM acquired Finland-based Containerships in October 2018. The acquisition added four LNG-powered 1,400 TEU vessels to its fleet.last_img read more

Long lines for Registration Department ready for influx

first_img Bahamas House of Assembly reconvenes, Election Date to be announced Exams rescheduled because of Election Related Items:#BahamasGeneralElections, #LetsvoteBahamas, #longregistrationlines, #magneticmedianews Nomination Day in the Bahamas Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, April 3, 2017 – Nassau – Lines continue to be long at voter registration centres across the Bahamas today, as persons try to get in on last minute registration.  Speaking with Magnetic Media today, Parliamentary Registration Department Commissioner, Sherlyn Hall says as of Sunday 2nd April, the total number of persons registered stood at 155,000.  Mr. Hall anticipates this to exceed the voter registration number in 2012, which recorded 172, 128.The Parliamentary Commissioner added eight of the twelve centres were open for registration from 10am to 9pm daily until April 10th, while the twelve centres will facilitate distribution from 10am to 8pm. He assured the departments capacity in handling the rush.  The influx of voters at various registration centres comes after Prime Minster Perry Christie announced that parliament will be dissolved on April 11th to make way for the 2017 General Elections.#MagneticMediaNews#longregistrationlines#letsvoteBahamas#BahamasGeneralElections Recommended for youlast_img read more