Giants struggling to draw interest, announce another season-low attendance total vs. Pirates

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — As the losses continue to pile up, the crowds at Oracle Park continue to dwindle.The Giants sold a season-low 26,627 tickets for their 6-3 loss to the Pirates on Wednesday and fans who elected to stay home didn’t miss much excitement.San Francisco fell behind early and only mustered three hits in another frustrating offensive performance at home, where the Giants are averaging just 3.53 runs per game this year.“Between walks and errors, we gave up some cheap runs and it came …last_img read more

Soil Provides Library of Antibiotic Resistance

first_imgThe “evolution of antibiotic resistance” is a staple in the creation-evolution debates, providing evolutionists with a living illustration of evolution taking place right before our eyes.  What if all the information for antibiotic resistance, however, already exists in a library from which bacteria can find it?  That seems to be the implication of a study by D’Carlo et al. in Science.1  A Canadian biochemical research team decided to survey the techniques of antibiotic resistance already present in soil bacteria.  They were astonished.  Every antimicrobial medicine, including some only recently developed, had a defensive weapon ready for it:This study provides an analysis of the antibiotic resistance potential of soil microorganisms.  The frequency of high-level resistance seen in the study to antibiotics that have for decades served as gold-standard treatments, as well as those only recently approved for human use, is remarkable.  No class of antibiotic was spared with respect to bacterial target or natural or synthetic origin.  Although this study does not provide evidence for the direct transfer of resistance elements from the soil resistome to pathogenic bacteria, it identifies a previously underappreciated density and concentration of environmental antibiotic resistance. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)The authors could not determine whether “The presence of antibiotics in the environment has promoted the acquisition or independent evolution of highly specific resistance elements in the absence of innate antibiotic production,” and are not sure whether today’s resistant pathogens acquired their resistance from soil organisms.  They could not rule it out, however: “The soil could thus serve as an underrecognized reservoir for resistance that has already emerged or has the potential to emerge in clinically important bacteria.”  A frightening implication is that no matter what agents we throw at them, bacteria may be able to check out a defense from this “environmental resistome.”    Alexander Tomasz commented on this study in the same issue of Science.2  He said that, “Actually, the majority of the most effective antibiotic-resistance mechanisms in human pathogens are acquired,” or gained not by evolution but by lateral gene transfer.  The acquired resistance, he says, is superior to that gained by mutations:The superiority of such acquired mechanisms is illustrated by the contrast between Staphylococcus aureus strains that have decreased susceptibility to vancomycin through mutations (so-called VISA strains) as compared to VRSA strains, S. aureus that acquired a complete vancomycin-resistance gene complex via the transposon Tn1546.  The VISA strains have low-level resistance (the minimal inhibitory concentration of vancomycin is 6 to 12 g/ml), are often associated with reduced oxacillin resistance, and show abnormal cell wall synthesis; the multiple transcriptional changes documented by DNA microarray analysis reflect the complexity of this mechanism.  In contrast, in VRSA strains, the Tn1546-based mechanism produces high-level vancomycin resistance (with a minimal inhibitory concentration of more than 500 g/ml) that does not interfere with oxacillin resistance, and cell wall synthesis proceeds with a depsipeptide cell wall precursor specific to these strains.Though the transfer mechanism is not known, “Clearly, mobilization of a resistance mechanism must involve ‘packaging’ into a plasmid, phage, or some transposable element,” he believes.  Tomasz called the sheer variety of resistance mechanisms catalogued by D’Carlo et al. “remarkable”.  It appears that microorganisms might not only make antibiotic weapons in profusion, but also make a plethora of defenses against them.1D’Costa et al., “Sampling the Antibiotic Resistome,” Science, 20 January 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5759, pp. 374 – 377, DOI: 10.1126/science.1120800.2Alexander Tomasz, “Weapons of Microbial Drug Resistance Abound in Soil Flora,” Science, 20 January 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5759, pp. 342 – 343, DOI: 10.1126/science.1123982.Neither of these papers ruled out that the resistance mechanisms have always been present in the gene pool.  If so, then the claim that bacteria “evolve” resistance to antibiotics is negated.  Bacteria may simply find access to an existing library of information, a “resistome” that, coupled with a packaging and delivery mechanism (plasmids and transposons), confers the resistance that previously appeared to evolve out of thin air.    Notice that the resistance conferred by mutations harms the organism.  The case cited by Tomasz reduced the fitness of the organism by weakening its cell wall.  Mutationally-gained resistance is like the illustration Lee Spetner gave: cutting off a man’s arms makes him resistant to handcuffs.  In a population of prisoners being handcuffed, this person would be the fittest, but only in a specific environment and at the cost of overall fitness.  In the wild, he would be at a disadvantage.  Scott Minnich also illustrated this type of bacterial resistance in the film Icons of Evolution with cultures of bacteria exposed to antibiotics.  The kind of resistance conferred by specialized enzymes able to disable the agent, however, require specific genetic information that appears designed.    Too little is known at this point, but these articles uncover the possibility that genetic information that confers antibiotic resistance is already present in the environmental resistome.  If so, this undermines a commonly-used evidence for evolution.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

2018: a year to nurture opportunities for growth

first_imgA New Year message from Brand South Africa’s CEO, Dr Kingsley Makhubela.Dr Kingsley MakhubelaA new year always ushers in a sense of renewal – a renewal of purpose and collective commitment to excellence in strengthening our country, accordingly helping to build a more resilient Nation Brand.For all of us, 2018 brings opportunities for forgiveness, tolerance and unity. As we close the pages of 2017 and turn the opening chapter of this brand new year, we have much that gives us hope. In our journey as a nation we have accomplished a great deal, however there is so much more to be done.As a collective, we in Brand South Africa, together with government, business and civil society need to strengthen our collaborative efforts to ensure that we get back on our development trajectory of improving the climate for investment and business expansion, which consequently translates into conducive conditions for economic growth and job creation in South Africa.There are encouraging indications that 2018 will be a year of continued positive transformation for South Africa and its people. The confidence of local and international investors remains high as attested by various reputable international investment bodies.According to the 2017 World Bank’s Africa Competitiveness Report, South Africa is positioned at No.2 in the Africa Competitiveness Report, which sees the country’s global ranking for 2016-17 improved by nine places – from 56 in the 2014-15 47 out of 138 countries worldwide.South Africa also ranks No.4 in the most attractive investment destination in Africa, based on the growth factor of the gross domestic product (GDP), ease of doing business in the country and significant population, according to the 2016-2017 Africa Investment Index 2016 by Quantum Global Research Lab.The recently released 2017 Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance states that South Africa ranks No.6 of 54 African countries for its quality of governance, with the 2017 Ernst and Young Attractiveness Programme indicating that South Africa continues to be the top Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) destination in Sub-Saharan Africa and in 2017 attracted the bulk of FDI projects destined for the continent with a share of 20.6%, Egypt at 11.7%, Morocco at 12%, Nigeria at 7.5%, and Kenya at 5.9%.South Africa’s reputation ranks 45 out of 71 countries and is among the BRICS countries, positioned in 3rd place with Brazil and India in first and second place respectively, reports the 2017 Country RepTrak® study conducted by Reputation House. With these indicators comes the firm resolution to achieve desired results and meet deliverables, forthe past year has seen us make momentous decisions that have set the nation on a new direction.This year let us promise ourselves that we will maintain a positive attitude throughout the year – whatever the challenges. I envision a South Africa where we exhibit values and attitudes that foster peace and goodwill – a country where citizens are actively involved in their communities, and most of all, a nation that is deepening its democratic dispensation and strengthening its systems of governance.Let us nurture opportunities and possibilities for progress and new achievements for ourselves, our families, our communities and our country.As we look ahead to a year of greater opportunities and unity, let me wish you and your families a peaceful, prosperous and happy New Year.Notes to the EditorAbout Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.About Play Your PartPlay Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing.A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.Join the conversation:Facebook: Official Brand South AfricaTwitter: @Brand_SAFor more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Tsabeng NthiteTel: +27 11 712 5061Mobile: +27 (0) 76 371 6810Email:tsabengn@brandsouthafrica.comVisit www.brandsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

A Compressed Explanation of Video Compression

first_imgThis video was first shared by Techquickie. If you want to learn more technical terms check out the rest of the videos in their ‘As Fast As Possible’ series.If you want to learn more about compression or any other post-production term check out the PremiumBeat.com Blog. We have hundreds of articles and tutorials dedicated to helping you be a better film/video pro.Have any other tips for compressing? Share in the comments below. Trying to wrap your head around video compression? This tutorial explains compression in easy-to-understand language.Video compression is admittedly confusing. We all know that uploading a video to YouTube or Vimeo is going to make the quality go down, but what does that all mean? Why exactly is shooting in RAW files better than shooting in a compressed format? All these questions are valid and they will be answered in just a second, but first, a backstory…Do you remember when you had to create codecs by hand? Now of course I don’t mean actually having to go into the code, but having to choose bit rates, quality sliders, and compression codecs. It was incredibly confusing and it wasted a lot of time. Over time compressing videos has gotten a lot easier, but can still be confusing…especially to beginners.The following video created by Techquickie explains compression in a quick and easy-to-understand video. The video covers:MacroblocksSpacial vs. Temporal CompressionRedundancylast_img read more

W.B. lawyers extend strike till May 2

first_imgThe Bar Council of West Bengal on Monday extended the ceasework called by it to protest against alleged attack on lawyers at a Howrah court by municipal workers and policemen till May 2, its vice-chairman Siddhartha Mukhopadhyay said. The Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court T.B.N. Radhakrishnan, while taking suo motu cognisance of the violence at Howrah court premises, on Monday requested the lawyers to lift the ceasework. “Since no concrete steps have been taken to identify and punish the April 24 attack accused, the Bar Council has decided to extend the ceasework till May 2,” Mr. Mukhopadhyay said.Meeting CJ today The elected members of the Council are scheduled to meet the Chief Justice on Tuesday. Lawyers at the Howrah district court and employees of the Howrah Municipal Corporation, which is located opposite to the court, clashed on April 24 over parking of a vehicle. The lawyers alleged police highhandedness in controlling the situation. Several persons, including lawyers, were injured in the incident.last_img read more

a month agoDonnarumma insists AC Milan players behind coach Giampaolo

first_imgDonnarumma insists AC Milan players behind coach Giampaoloby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveAC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma insists the players are behind coach Marco Giampaolo.Milan threw away the lead to lose 2-1 to Torino on Thursday night.“It’s a defeat that burns. It’s a dark day and I struggled to sleep last night,” Donnarumma told Sky Sport Italia.“Yesterday I saw the team give everything, I’m sorry for everyone, the fans included. We have to follow the Coach because we’re working well and we have great ideas on how to play. We must follow him.“Giampaolo’s a great Coach. I’m sorry because yesterday we had a great game and we didn’t deserve to lose.“We’re all with him. It’s normal to struggle a bit at the start with new ideas and new players, but we should continue to follow him. We’re all with him.“After the first goal, we fell apart. We need to improve on this. If we’d remained compact, we would’ve been able to take the win home.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

6 days agoIbrahimovic slams Maldini: AC Milan are a disaster

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Ibrahimovic slams Maldini: AC Milan are a disasterby Carlos Volcano6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLA Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimovic is sorry to see the state of former club AC Milan.The Swede slammed Paolo Maldini’s work as director.He told Gazzetta dello Sport: “Milan are a disaster. They’re all talk and no action.“This is not the club everyone fell in love with, in Italy and all over the world. Perhaps there are too many wrong people who should be elsewhere.“Paolo Maldini doesn’t have what it takes to be a director, whereas in his playing career he was one of my all-time favourites.“In fairness, Maldini does have a difficult task, because it’s not easy to do well with limited resources.” last_img read more

Plot to extort DHL has Germans on edge during holiday season

first_imgBERLIN – A murky plot to extort money from delivery giant DHL Express has many Germans on edge during the busy holiday shipping season. Packages sent to a police station and a government office produced at least two false alarms Monday as a hotline buzzed with calls from anxious citizens.Officials in the German state of Brandenburg revealed Sunday that a package delivered to a Potsdam pharmacy with a crude device made of wires, batteries and nails inside was part of a conspiracy to extort millions of euros (dollars) from DHL.The package also held a barcode that directed investigators to an online message threatening more unwelcome parcels unless the company paid up.On Monday, a package delivered by DHL to the Thuringia state governor’s office and at first feared to be bearing a hand grenade brought police out to investigate. An X-ray showed only rolled up catalogues in the item, prosecutor Hannes Gruenseisen told The Associated Press.“We assume it had nothing to do with the incident in Potsdam,” Gruenseisen said. “It was considered suspicious because it came from DHL, had no return address and was sent directly to the governor.”In the other false alarm, a package delivered to a police precinct in Gransee, north of Berlin, prompted the building’s evacuation. It turned to be a traditional German Christmas cake, German news agency dpa reported.The two incidents underscored the level of nervousness in many mailrooms while the person or people behind the extortion scheme remain at large.The suspicious package delivered to the Potsdam pharmacy Friday cause police to evacuate a surrounding Christmas market and to destroy the parcel through a controlled explosion.The online message outlining the DHL extortion demand mentioned a similar package that was sent to an online company in Frankfurt an der Oder at the beginning of November and had started burning when it was opened, prosecutors said.A spokesman for a task force set up in Brandenburg state to investigate the plot refused Monday to give more details, citing the ongoing probe.DHL, a division of Deutsche Post DHL, has refused to comment on the case. Telephone calls to its headquarters in Bonn, Germany went unanswered Monday.Last month, the company said it expected to handle 8.5 million daily deliveries in Germany during the holidays, double the number it usually makes.Potsdam police woman Stefanie Klaus said a hotline activated as part of the investigation has been ringing steadily with calls about suspect parcels from concerned citizens. Tips are being phoned in as well, she said.“We have received more than three dozen phone calls, but none of them was a hot lead,” Klaus said.last_img read more

Brain drain leaves Balkan nations on more uneven footing

first_imgBELGRADE, Serbia – Marina Stevanov never doubted she would leave her native Serbia as soon as she earned her medical degree with top grades.Now, the 25-year-old doctor is packing her diploma, thick medicine books and a German language dictionary for a move to Austria, where an elite hospital offered her a job that will train her to specialize in vascular surgery.She doesn’t plan to return any time soon.Rampant unemployment, low wages, corruption and a lack of opportunity to advance careers are driving thousands of young and educated adults to emigrate from Europe’s Balkan nations.As fresh talent decamps for Western Europe, the United States or oil-rich Persian Gulf countries, the massive brain drain puts their struggling countries on even more uneven footing, with populations increasingly made up of people less educated or elderly.Bosnia ranked 135th out of 137 countries for “capacity to retain talent” in the World Economic Forum’s 2017-2018 Global Competitiveness Report. Serbia placed 134th and Croatia at 131st.“My colleagues who are working here are really upset. They are not satisfied,” Stevanov said in her small Belgrade apartment crammed with packed boxes and suitcases. “You don’t have enough time or money for your family and normal life, that’s a big problem.”The number of doctors and nurses in Serbia has steadily declined, prompting fears that the already strained health system might collapse. Salaries for young doctors in public hospitals average around 600 euros ($750) a month. Those are the physicians with the luck and connections to land paid jobs in the first place.In 2007, 27,000 educated people emigrated from Serbia. Only seven years later, this number more than doubled to 58,000, according to the last available official data. The exact numbers are certainly much higher as most of those who emigrate don’t report it to authorities.Serbia, where mechanical engineers and IT experts are among the 50,000 unemployed university graduates, has done little to stop the outflow except for making occasional appeals for patriotism.“I’m begging you to stay in our beautiful Serbia,” the country’s President Aleksandar Vucic said last week while handing out scholarships to top students.In neighbouring Croatia, the youth unemployment rate has averaged 35 per cent over the past decade. But young people with the motivation and means have more options since Croatia joined the European Union in 2013; its citizens can apply for jobs in other EU countries without needing visas or work permits.Official government statistics say some 40,000 Croats have left the country every year since Croatia entered the EU. Zagreb University demography Professor Stjepan Sterc estimates the number is more than double that, with most of them young people.“Something has to be done to stop this emptying of Croatia,” Sterc said. “It’s in the strategic interest of the country.”Bosnia, the site of a bloody civil war during the 1990s, has a whopping youth unemployment rate hovering at some 54 per cent, according to the World Bank figures, forcing young and old alike, to look elsewhere for work. The figure covers those up to 24 years old.Bosnia’s Labor and Employment Agency is helping place the country’s surplus workers abroad through bilateral agreements. Germany wants to attract middle-skilled health care workers and Slovenia is seeking workers for jobs that require less training, mostly welders and drivers.The agency secured employment for close to 3,500 people in Germany and nearly 20,000 in Slovenia during the past five years. It is not helping find jobs outside Bosnia for doctors or other professionals in shortage occupations.“In this time and age, everyone can find job ads in any country online and apply or seek employment abroad through a privately owned agency,” spokesman Boris Pupic said.One such is Alphabet InfoCenter, based in the impoverished northern Bosnian city of Tuzla. Along with linking job seekers with potential employers, Alphabet organizes German and English lessons, provides interpreters to help with paperwork, and works with successful applicants to arrange their stays abroad.Mersudin Mahmutbegovic, the centre’s head, said the government in Bosnia has done nothing to retain professionals or to create more jobs by addressing a mismatch between graduates and jobs available on the labour market.“They complain that there will be no one left to, for example, take care of patients in Bosnia, but it never occurs to them that they should do something to encourage people to stay,” Mahmutbegovic said.Law school graduate Nadina Redzic, 28, turned to Alphabet for help finding work in Germany.Redzic, who is fluent in German and English, obtained her law degree five years ago and immediately applied for jobs all over Bosnia. She received hardly any responses and thinks the whole process was just for show, echoing the prevailing belief that good connections matters more than a good resume.Exasperated, Redzic decided to train to be a nurse and look for work in Germany. Once she leaves, she has no intention of returning.“I would never return other than for a short visit to see my family,” she said. “I want to live in a society that appreciates my hard work and effort.”___Sabina Niksic reported from Sarajevo, Bosnia. Darko Bandic contributed from Zagreb, Croatialast_img read more

Mens soccer battles to goalless draw with No 17 Louisville

Junior midfielder Ryan Ivancic (23) signs autographs for fans after a game against Louisville Oct. 2. OSU and Louisville tied, 0-0.Credit: Ryan Robey / For the LanternAlthough their goalless skid continued against No. 17 Louisville, the Ohio State men’s soccer team managed to hold off the Cardinals on the way to a scoreless draw Wednesday.OSU’s best opportunity came late in double overtime when a through ball was played to freshman forward Danny Jensen. The ball was collected and scored by Jensen but called back after he was flagged for offsides.“I think we had more of the better chances in the game,” junior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov said, who ended the game with four saves.The shutout was Ivanov’s fourth of 2013.The Buckeyes were able to play compact, keeping minimal space between the midfield and defense. This allowed OSU to pressure Louisville and move the ball up the pitch.Ivanov said he has faith in the attack and hopes for an end of the Buckeyes goalless streak.“I think it’s a good confidence booster but we still haven’t gotten that monkey off our back getting that goal,” Ivanov said. “Hopefully we can get that goal against Michigan.”OSU was out shot 23-12, but coach John Bluem said that statistics can be misleading.“We allowed a lot of shots but that can be deceiving,” Bluem said. “They take a lot of shots from distance. I don’t think Ivanov was that threatened.”Going forward, Jensen said the match will be a boost for OSU’s confidence moving forward.“I think that was one of the best games we played this year,” Jensen said. “We definitely showed that we have it in us to win.”OSU tallied 24 fouls to Louisville’s 13, including a yellow card to Louisville redshirt-junior and former Buckeye Santiago Vélez also picked up a yellow in the 43rd minute.Bluem likes the result by the Buckeyes but was hopeful for a win.“Super proud of our guys tonight. They played hard and battled 110 minutes,” Bluem said. “I think they deserve better.”OSU is set to resume conference play against Michigan Sunday at 2 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. read more