Are Local Microwaves Cooking the Cosmic Background?

first_imgScience Now has a surprising announcement that may alter astronomers’ confidence in the structure of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation.  Since the WMAP probe data was analyzed (see 09/20/2004 headline), cosmologists have boasted that the high resolution detections of fluctuations in the temperature supported their models of big bang inflation and dark matter / dark energy proportions.  Now, a paper by Schwartz et al. in Physical Review Letters1 has found evidence that some of the fluctuations may be caused by our own solar system, which may be producing or absorbing some of the microwaves.  They found a disproportionate number of fluctuation vectors are aligned with the ecliptic, the plane of the solar system.  Adrian Cho writes, “That would mean the strength of the undulations in the truly cosmic radiation wouldn’t jibe with the predictions of inflation.”  One of the team members commented that this would “point to some serious problem with our understanding of the universe at the largest scales.”  The WMAP team, however, is calling the preferential alignment of vectors a fluke of chance.1Schwartz, Starkman et al., Physical Review Letters, 93, 221301 (2004), 26 Nov 2004.The WMAP cosmologists were trying to squeeze too much tall tale out of millionths of a degree anyway.  It was already evident from claiming that 95% of the universe is mystery stuff that they had a “serious problem with [their] understanding of the universe at the largest scales.”(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Complex Arthropod Eyes Found in Early Cambrian

first_img A side-by-side comparison of the fossil imprint with a living insect eye shows virtually no difference in complexity. The fossil eye was compared by the authors in complexity to a dragonfly eye: “The ratio of lens diameters in the bright zone to lens diameters in the margin (~2.5:1) exceeds that found in other Cambrian arthropods (trilobites and cambropachycopids) and is comparable to that in many modern taxa such as dragonflies,” they said. “The extremely regular arrangement of lenses seen here exceeds even that in certain modern taxa, such as the horseshoe crab,” the authors said. The eyes apparently gave their owners binocular vision: “This bilaterally symmetrical arrangement generates binocular vision,” they suggested, though proof will require discovery of articulated remains. The eyes would have been good for a fast predator: “Acute forward vision and lower-resolution peripheral vision are typical of predators that require excellent frontal vision for estimating distance and detecting prey against complex backgrounds; they are also typical of fast-moving organisms in which acute peripheral vision is precluded by a high retinal angular velocity.”  That being the case, the animals would have had many other advanced features in addition to eyes.  “The complexity and large size of the Emu Bay Shale eyes strongly indicate that they belong to an active arthropod, probably a large predator.”  These eyes, however, were smaller than those of Anomalocaris. This is a game-changer: “The arrangement and size gradient of lenses creates a distinct ‘bright zone’ (also called the acute zone or fovea), where the visual field is sampled with higher light sensitivity (due to large ommatidia) and possibly a higher acuity (due to what seems to be a more parallel orientation of ommatidia),” they said.  “Such visual specializations, characteristic of many modern taxa, are otherwise unknown in the Early Cambrian.” Complex eyes with modern optics from an unknown arthropod, more complex than trilobite eyes, have been discovered in early Cambrian strata from southern Australia.  The exquisitely-preserved imprints of the eyes in shale were reported by Lee et al. in Nature.1  The abstract started by quoting Darwin and affirming evolution, but then revealed evidence that complex eyes go further back in the fossil record than previously thought possible: Despite the status of the eye as an “organ of extreme perfection”, theory suggests that complex eyes can evolve very rapidly. The fossil record has, until now, been inadequate in providing insight into the early evolution of eyes during the initial radiation of many animal groups known as the Cambrian explosion. This is surprising because Cambrian Burgess-Shale-type deposits are replete with exquisitely preserved animals, especially arthropods, that possess eyes. However, with the exception of biomineralized trilobite eyes, virtually nothing is known about the details of their optical design. Here we report exceptionally preserved fossil eyes from the Early Cambrian (~515 million years ago) Emu Bay Shale of South Australia, revealing that some of the earliest arthropods possessed highly advanced compound eyes, each with over 3,000 large ommatidial lenses and a specialized ‘bright zone’. These are the oldest non-biomineralized eyes known in such detail, with preservation quality exceeding that found in the Burgess Shale and Chengjiang deposits. Non-biomineralized eyes of similar complexity are otherwise unknown until about 85 million years later. The arrangement and size of the lenses indicate that these eyes belonged to an active predator that was capable of seeing in low light. The eyes are more complex than those known from contemporaneous trilobites and are as advanced as those of many living forms. They provide further evidence that the Cambrian explosion involved rapid innovation in fine-scale anatomy as well as gross morphology, and are consistent with the concept that the development of advanced vision helped to drive this great evolutionary event. How the immediate appearance of a complex trait like vision could “drive” an evolutionary event seems strange, since the eyes were already there during the event.  No transitional eyes simpler than this were reported.  Though the authors gave lip service to evolution, all the evidence pointed to more complexity and adaptive perfection than was thought possible for animals this early.  Here are some details about these compound eyes: The animal type is not known, since articulated remains have not yet been found.  The imprints may be from shed corneas, they said. Their graphs show that these eyes exceed most other arthropod eyes of the Cambrian in complexity, even among those of the Ordovician.  In their concluding paragraph, they affirmed use of the phrase “Cambrian explosion” as a real event.  They could offer no explanation for the evolution of these eyes, nor did they put forward any transitional forms.  They merely assumed evolution occurred quickly somehow: The evolution of powerful vision is one of the most important correlates of the Cambrian explosion and has been proposed as a trigger for this event. However, although the overall shapes of eyes are known for many Cambrian organisms, intricate details of the visual surface are known only for trilobites and the tiny stem-crustacean cambropachycopids, which have bizarre, proportionately huge and medially fused compound eyes. In addition, indistinct ommatidia are preserved in a few Chengjiang fossils, including the non-biomineralized arthropods Isoxys and Cindarella. Isoxys inhabited both dim and bright pelagic environments whereas Cindarella probably inhabited a bright benthos. The specimens described here represent the first microanatomical evidence confirming the view that highly developed vision in the Early Cambrian was not restricted to trilobites. Furthermore, in possessing more and larger lenses, plus a distinct bright zone, they are substantially more complex than contemporaneous trilobite eyes, which are often assumed to be among the most powerful visual organs of their time. The new fossils reveal that some of the earliest arthropods had already acquired visual systems similar to those of living forms, underscoring the speed and magnitude of the evolutionary innovation that occurred during the Cambrian explosion. Live Science posted a summary of this finding, showing how the visual acuity of the animal bearing these eyes was superior to that of trilobites and indistinguishable from the acuity of the dragonfly.  Though the dragonfly has eight times the number of individual ommatidia, the Cambrian eyes surpassed those of other fossil arthropods dated 40 million years later.  Live Science’s article also quoted the authors’ confirmation of the Cambrian explosion: “The new fossils reveal that some of the earliest arthropods had already acquired visual systems similar to those of living forms, underscoring the speed and magnitude of the evolutionary innovation that occured during the Cambrian Explosion.”  PhysOrg featured a video showing the fossil in 3-D and comparing it to other arthropod eyes.  The article tried valiantly to save evolution from this new evidence: Their discovery reveals that some of the earliest animals possessed very powerful vision; similar eyes are found in many living insects, such as robber flies. Sharp vision must therefore have evolved very rapidly, soon after the first predators appeared during the ‘Cambrian Explosion’ of life that began around 540 million years ago. Given the tremendous adaptive advantage conferred by sharp vision for avoiding predators and locating food and shelter, there must have been tremendous evolutionary pressure to elaborate and refine visual organs. Science Daily said the fossils look like “squashed eyes of a recently swatted fly.”  How could evolution explain this?  The headline put forth its thesis:  “New Fossils Demonstrate That Powerful Eyes Evolved in a Twinkling.”  Stuff happens, and it happens quickly. 1. Lee, Jago et al., “Modern optics in exceptionally preserved eyes of Early Cambrian arthropods from Australia,” Nature  474  (30 June 2011), pp. 583–584, doi:10.1038/474583a. OK, skeptics, face the facts.  Complex eyes, “organs of extreme perfection,” are already there in the early Cambrian.  Where are the transitions?  Trilobite eyes were already astonishing, and now these exceed them in complexity, and appear earlier than the best examples of complex trilobite eyes!  They are comparable to modern insect eyes.  You cannot call these a trigger of the Cambrian explosion–what nonsense!  That’s like saying, “Revolvers appeared out of nowhere, and triggered the Civil War.”  The eyes were already there, fully formed, fully operational, even within the incestuous dating scheme of the evolutionists.  Arthropods are exquisitely complex animals, crowned with glorious eyes as well as many other senses and systems that allow for rapid motility and function.  Who needs a Cambrian rabbit? You can go to the Amazon reviews of the DVD Darwin’s Dilemma and see Donald Prothero self-righteously rant against ignorant creationists, announcing with his professorial authority that the Cambrian explosion was no explosion but was a long slow fuse.  Hold this paper up to his face.  Here a team of Darwin-worshiping scientists with no love for intelligent design, publishing in the world’s leading science journal Nature (also no friend of intelligent design) called it an explosion five times in their paper.  They discovered organs of extreme perfection in the early Cambrian with no transitions, only offering in defense of Darwin the vain hope that eyes might evolve rapidly, tossing that hot potato to Nilsson and Pelger (whose computer model was amply debunked long ago–see ENV 2006, ENV 2007, ENV 2011).  Science is supposed to be factive, not fictive. The Cambrian explosion is affirmed; complexity appears suddenly without transitions; Darwinism is falsified; the inference to the best explanation is intelligent design.  Let the world know.(Visited 193 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Quantum Secret of Photosynthesis Revealed

first_imgThe magic of light capture by plants is so small and fast, its secrets are only now being understood.Lightning is slow compared to photosynthesis.  A press release from the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) explains how “antenna proteins” capture photons of sunlight and ferry the energy to reaction centers:The efficient conversion of sunlight into useful energy is one of the challenges which stand in the way of meeting the world’s increasing energy demand in a clean, sustainable way without relying on fossil fuels. Photosynthetic organisms, such as plants and some bacteria, have mastered this process: In less than a couple of trillionths of a second, 95 percent of the sunlight they absorb is whisked away to drive the metabolic reactions that provide them with energy. The efficiency of photovoltaic cells currently on the market is around 20 percent. What hidden mechanism does nature use to transfer energy so efficiently? Various research groups around the world have shown that this highly efficient energy transport is connected to a quantum-mechanical phenomenon. However, until now, no one had directly observed the possible impacts of such a quantum transport mechanism at work at room temperature.The quantum mechanical phenomenon is known as coherence.  The way plants use it makes photosynthesis “more robust in the face of environmental influences,” the press release said.Quantum coherence is manifested in so-called photosynthetic antenna proteins that are responsible for absorption of sunlight and energy transport towards the photochemical reaction centers where the energy is stored.ICFO researchers used light flashes at femtosecond speeds (10-15 s, one quadrillionth of a second) to monitor the actions of these proteins in their work.The most surprising discovery was that, while the transport paths within single proteins vary over time due to changes in the environmental conditions, the protein uses the quantum character to adapt for optimal efficiency. These results show that coherence, a genuine quantum effect of superposition of states, is responsible for maintaining high levels of transport efficiency in biological systems, even while they adapt their energy transport pathways due to environmental influences.The press release includes a diagram of one of the antenna proteins, with the caption “natural quantum machines.”  Photosynthesis operates not only in the leaves of plants, but also in algae and some bacteria.How did “nature” master quantum coherence for optimal efficiency of light capture?  How did plants develop “quantum machines”  to achieve 475% better efficiency than man’s best intelligent design of photocells?  When materialistic man cannot explain the exquisite design of natural processes by its blind, unguided processes, he worships “nature” as his substitute god. (Visited 83 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Aids in South Africa stabilising: UN

first_img30 July 2008South Africa is one of the three countries in southern Africa where the prevalence of HIV/Aids has stabilised, according to a report from the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids).The 2008 Report on the Global Aids Epidemic, released by UNAids on Tuesday, finds that the prevalence of HIV/Aids in South Africa, Malawi and Zambia were decreasing.Encouraging trendsThe report also provided encouraging data on the trend of HIV/Aids epidemic in South Africa and the African continent.According to the report, of the three million people on anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment worldwide by 2007, South Africa accounted for close to 429 000, up from only 55 000 in 2004.According to the UNAids report, close to 160 000 HIV-positive people who also had Tuberculosis (TB) received TB and HIV treatment in 2007.“The percentage of HIV positive women accessing ARV treatment to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV also increased from 15% in 2004 to about 60% in 2007,” the report stated.Raising awarenessThe report acknowledged the efforts being made in the area of prevention, noting that some 96% of South African schools were providing life skills based HIV education in the last academic year.It also listed South Africa’s men in partnership against gender violence and the role of Soul City as some of the exemplary programmes on HIV prevention.Health Department spokesperson Sibani Mngadi said the department was encouraged by the progress shown in the report, as well as the reduced impact of Aids in South Africa.He said that while HIV/Aids remained a major challenge facing South Africa due to the highest number of people living with the virus, the latest UNAids report confirmed that the country also had the highest number of people on treatment globally.“The department remains committed in intensifying its contribution to the national multi-sectoral response to HIV/Aids,” Mngadi said.Treatment, care and supportDuring a social sector cluster briefing in May, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang reported that the treatment, care and support intervention was gradually gaining momentum in line with the government’s commitment to deal with HIV/Aids challenge.“As at February 2008, our figures show that at least 456 000 had been initiated on antiretroviral treatment and 39 759 of these are children in all 407 facilities accredited to provide this service,” she said.Tshabalala-Msimang said at the time that 86% of the health sub-districts in the country had at least one service point accredited to provide comprehensive care to people living with HIV/Aids.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Will Pappu play the spoiler?

first_imgOn the last day of campaigning for the third phase of polling, sitting MP and strongman of Madhepura, Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, is running out time.Braving intense summer heat, he hops onto a motorbike only to shift to an open-topped vehicle, followed by hundreds of motorcycle outriders and over a dozen SUVs, on his whistlestop dash through rural Bihar. Loudspeakers on the lead vehicle blare songs in praise of Mr. Yadav, set to popular Bhojpuri tunes. Two hockey sticks are tied tightly to the roof of a dusty brown car that leads the motorcade. The hockey stick and ball is the symbol of Mr Yadav’s Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik). Three-cornered fightIn a triangular contest in the Yadav-dominated Madhepura, Mr. Yadav is pitted against Mahagathbandhan nominee Sharad Yadav (RJD) and the NDA’s Dinesh Chandra Yadav (JD-U).“The battle of Madhepura has basically turned a prestige battle between Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad with Pappu Yadav playing spoiler,” say villagers.“I Have come to remind you that it is only I who comes to your help whenever you need any sort of support. I’m one among you… aapka beta hu na (I’m your son),” Mr. Yadav tells a group of people in Keshavpur village. He greets villagers with folded hands and a smile despite the obvious fatigue, while his young supporters distribute leaflets. The caravan moves on amid chants of ‘Pappu Yadav zindabad!’Local ‘Robin Hood’Mr. Yadav is known here as the “Robin Hood of Madhepura” for his help to those in need of either medical support in Delhi, financial aid for marriages or even to lodge an FIR at local police stations.“Unlike the two other candidates, he is a son of soil… and he really comes out to helps us,” say a group of villagers at Pastpar.But, isn’t he known for his muscle power, a bahubali (strongman), in the local parlance? “Yes, but not for poor people like us. Now he is a mature politician,” says Samjhauta Yadav, a villager. Asked the same question, Mr. Yadav wipes the sweat of his face and after a brief pause, says, “I’m dabaang and bahubali only for those who exploit the poor and common people, inflict injustice to them. And I believe in what I do come what may.” Mr Yadav has weathered a brutal confrontation with Anand Mohan Singh, a Rajput strongman, which saw hundreds of people killed in caste clashes in the early nineties. The Kosi area of Madhepura, Saharsha, Supaul and Purnia was the epicentre of the battle for supremacy between the two. Mr. Singh is now serving term in Saharsha jail. An hour later, Mr. Yadav’s carcade turns right from Manikpur chowk to reach Murliganj. “Today is the last day of campaign and I’ve to cover all these areas…have to meet everyone and the summer heat is also at its peak…time is really running out,” he says, waving to the crowds as his bike riding supporters shout slogans.last_img read more

Champions League: Barcelona coach hints at Lionel Messi’s return for Inter clash

first_imgLionel Messi was surprisingly named in the squad to face Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday. Messi was expected to be out of action for three weeks after suffering a fracture in his right arm on October 20.But Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde was confident enough to name the talisman in the squad in a little more than two weeks after breaking his arm.The Argentine forward returned to training last week and may be able to help Barcelona secure progression from Group B on Tuesday at the San Siro.”Leo is at the point where he might be available, but we have to wait for the training session. We have to see if he’s safe to play,” Valverde told reporters Monday.”In terms of his play and his movements, he’s fine. We have to wait… It’s always better if he’s there. Of course it’s necessary to get Messi back as soon as possible.”There are three or four possibilities. One is that he plays from the start, or he comes on, or he goes off. What we won’t do is take any risks.”Barcelona train on Monday night in the Italian capital, after which Messi may receive his medical clearance from Barcelona’s doctors.”I don’t know if (Messi) will play tomorrow but I am happy he is back with us,” added versatile Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto.”It’s clear that we were worried about his absence, he’s the best player in the team and in the world.”Barcelona won the four games they have played without Messi, including beating Inter Milan 2-0 at the Nou Camp and thrashing Real Madrid 5-1 in La Liga.advertisement(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

10 months agoBurnley boss Dyche scoffs at ‘phantom rumours’ for Tarkowski and Liverpool: Bizarre!

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Burnley boss Dyche scoffs at ‘phantom rumours’ for Tarkowski and Liverpool: Bizarre!by Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley boss Sean Dyche has scoffed at reports of Liverpool being interested in James Tarkowski.Wild rumours have the defender being linked with a loan move to the Reds.And Dyche agrees: “We have four centre-halves. Three, maybe, two-and-a-half are injured so we’ll have to try and come through in the moment.”We need them back but you cannot buy a fifth centre-half and say so you play two weeks and after that the others come in.”There are a lot of rumours out there, and not much fact.”The most amazing one is the Tarky one. That is just bizarre. It’s that time of the season, and everyone is looking for a snippet, but there is a lot of phantom stuff out there.” last_img read more

Mens Soccer Connor Senn Memorial tradition carried on by new coaching staff

Ohio State freshman soccer player Connor Senn collapsed during a game against Akron on Sept. 26, 2001. Senn later died to a congenial heart defect. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State Athletics“Play like Connor today.”The motto has greeted generations of Ohio State soccer players, standing as a constant reminder that the program is more than just the X’s and O’s. The motto greeted Brian Maisonneuve as he took over for former head coach John Bleum prior to the start of the 2018 season.Connor Senn’s legacy still lives on.Friday marks the 17th annual Connor Senn Memorial Match for the Ohio State men’s soccer team. Ohio State will take on Cleveland State in a match that serves to honor the memory of the former Buckeye soccer player, who died in 2001.Senn played on the team as a freshman walk-on. The Buckeyes traveled to the University of Akron on Sept. 26, 2001; during the course of that night’s match, Senn collapsed on the field. Senn died later that night: the result of a congenital heart defect that was nearly impossible to detect at the time.Honoring Senn’s memory is a tradition that has carried on from generation to generation of Buckeye players and coaching staffs.“That type of legacy is in the locker room,” Maisonneuve said. “His magnet is still up in the locker and what he stood for is something that we want this program to stand for. So it was a no brainer. Keep it going. I met with Lance, his dad, and it means a lot to this program, and the stamp that Connor has left on this program is huge.”Even though Senn’s tragic death came almost two decades ago, he has remained an important part of each and every Ohio State squad to take the field in the years since. Even for the current crop of Buckeyes, it is evident that they know not only who he was, but how important it is to everyone involved with the Ohio State men’s soccer program that they continue to honor him.It’s a match that has additional meaning for Ohio State redshirt junior goalkeeper Parker Siegfried, as he grew up just down the street from the Senn family.  “It’s a really cool thing for me because I grew up about 10 houses from where the Senns grew up in Granville, so it’s always meant a lot and he’s kind of been a name that I’ve known since I was a kid,” Siegfried said. “It’s always an awesome night for the team and the program.”Fifth-year midfielder Brady Blackwell said this match is always a special one for the team and something that it takes pride in.“We all know who he was and what happened so I think it’s a little extra incentive to play hard and not take anything for granted,” Blackwell said. “Coach Bluem, before he left, or retired, he really instilled in us how important this match was to the program and what it meant, so we take it serious.” Following his death, Senn’s father set up the Connor Senn Memorial Fund. The fund provides a fully-funded scholarship and raises money to be donated to the Dorothy M. Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute at the Wexner Medical Center.The Buckeyes will face Cleveland State for the Connor Senn Memorial Match at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday. read more

Here is why David Moyes failed at United by Ferdinand

first_imgFormer Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has revealed why David Moyes failed as the manager of the great club.Moyes was appointed to replace the outgoing Sir Alex Ferguson who was goinf into retirement after spending 26-and-a-half years as the club’s manager.The former West Ham centre-back said the tactical focus would be purely on how United could hurt the opposition under Sir Alex Ferguson.However, when Moyes arrived, Ferdinand claimed the mind-set changed to concentrating on the opposition.Speaking on BT Sport, Ferdinand was asked whether United’s players ever disagreed with Moyes’ tactical approach.“Definitely,” replied Ferdinand, according to Manchester Evening News.“Even the mind-set in one of the training sessions, I hope I’m not speaking out of line here towards David Moyes but our mindset [under Ferguson], we never worried about the opposition.edwin van der sarReport: Van der Sar staying at Ajax for now George Patchias – September 12, 2019 Edwin van der Sar will not be leaving Ajax to take up a job at Manchester United.In the last few days, one bookmaker suspended…“We never set ourselves up and said, ‘oh we need to make sure we contain this and contain that.”“We’re going to try and win this game based on what we’re good at.”Ferdinand did acknowledge the scale of the job Moyes faced, but said the change in attitude confused a squad who had just won the Premier League.“You have to remember he was filling massive shoes,” he said.“Players then look at each other. ‘This isn’t us. We’re not used to this.”“And you can see, even the younger players looking around going ‘whoa. We’re better than them. We won the league last year. We believe we can beat these.”last_img read more

Pochettino insists players sign for Spurs not him

first_imgTottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino insists he doesn’t believe he’s the reason why players are committing their futures to the club.English midfielder, Dele Alli became the latest player to sign a new long-term deal on Monday when he agreed terms on a six-year deal to take him through to the summer of 2024.The former MK Dons player joined Harry Kane, Erik Lamela, Heung-min Son, Davinson Sanchez and Harry Winks ad players who have all agreed new contracts over the past few months.Alli revealed Pochettino was the main reason for him agreeing to stay, but the former Southampton manager is keen to stay modest.“They have confidence in me, yes of course. But it is not that they attached to me only,” he said, according to Sky Sports.Victor Wanyama, Tottenham Hotspur, Premier LeaguePochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.“It is about the club, it is about many things. If I believe Dele or a different player is only going to sign a contract because of me, it is a bad feeling, or I am wrong in my head.”“I think for me the most important thing… I think the club always need to be above the manager, the player.”“You need to feel you are going to play of course but it is about wanting to play for Tottenham.”“You need to play for something that is bigger than a person. It is nice to hear the player say one of the reasons is the manager or the chairman or the new stadium is so exciting.”“I want to hear them say I want to play for Tottenham, to make history, to touch glory with this badge.”last_img read more