first_imgEvery day, billions of viruses are carried by high winds from continent to continent.There’s no escape. Our planet is swarming with viruses. UBC Science describes new measurements from mountaintops in Spain, saying, “An astonishing number of viruses are circulating around the Earth’s atmosphere – and falling from it – according to new research from scientists in Canada, Spain and the U.S.” The number of viruses they found is 9 to 461 times as high as for bacteria carried aloft.“Every day, more than 800 million viruses are deposited per square metre above the planetary boundary layer—that’s 25 viruses for each person in Canada,” said University of British Columbia virologist Curtis Suttle, one of the senior authors of a paper in the International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal that outlines the findings.The viruses are swept up by sea spray and by winds over the land. Carried upward above the clouds, they can be transported across continents before rains and Sahara dust intrusions deposit them back onto the land. This helps explain why genetically identical viruses have been found in different environments around the globe.Evolution News reported that tens of thousands of bacteria live in dust grains carried by clouds. The article asked whether the global transport of biological systems might be necessary for a  planet’s habitability. Another article on Evolution News considered the rich biological communities that live in soil biocrusts. These ecosystems could possibly neutralize some of the static electricity that plagues the planet Mars, the moon, and Saturn’s large moon Titan.For all we know, the dust carrying genetic information around the earth could be for our good. Nature reported that “Dirt yields potent antibiotics.” Some microbes found in soil produce antibiotics able to conquer some of today’s most feared antibiotic-resistant bacteria:One gram of soil contains at least 1,000 bacterial species. To explore the medical potential of that diversity, Sean Brady at the Rockefeller University in New York City and his colleagues analysed roughly 2,000 soil samples collected across the United States. The researchers extracted DNA from the samples and screened it for genetic sequences involved in the production of antibiotics by various bacteria.The search turned up a new family of antibiotics that the team named ‘malacidins’. The compounds kill many formidable pathogens, including a microbe resistant to vancomycin, which is considered to be the antibiotic of last resort. When applied to the skin of rats, the new antibiotics sterilized wounds infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacterium that can ravage large expanses of tissue.There could be acres of diamonds all around us, microbes with cures for disease, inoculating us against the worst infections if we only knew all that these tiny travelers on dust particles are there for.Microbes and viruses live everywhere, from the ocean floor to the high atmosphere. These invisible realities may do far more for the earth than we realize: they may contribute to its habitability. The ubiquity of organisms also indicates that the earth is the Information Planet. Even the clouds “are perfused with huge amounts of complex specified information: the genetic codes of tens of thousands of organisms.”(Visited 309 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_img2 April 2012South Africa’s Burry Stander and Swiss star Christoph Sauser successfully defended their Absa Cape Epic title in Lourensford in the Western Cape on Sunday after dominating the eight-day, seven-stage event from start to finish. The all-South African duo of Kevin Evans and David George placed second.Sunday’s final stage wasn’t the procession it was expected to be as the defending champions and overall leaders attacked their rivals on the 64km leg from Oak Valley to Lourensford to win their sixth out of seven stages.The 36One-Songo-Specialized pair broke clear of the lead group just before the Telkom Hot Spot, won the R10 000 cash prize for being first across the prime, and then continued to power away up the steep climb that followed.South African flagThey then carried a relentless pace to the finish, where Stander, on the final approach, grabbed a South African flag, which he carried proudly across the finish line.Second place on the day went to the Topeak Ergon duo of Alban Lakata (Aut) and Robert Mennen (Ger) who pipped Songo-Specialized’s Max Knox (RSA) and Kohei Yamamoto (Jpn) in the sprint for second place, just less than a minute down on Stander and Sauser.Stander and Sauser’s sixth stage win in eight days confirmed their dominance at the ninth edition of the world’s most prestigious mountain bike stage race.Third victoryIt was also Sauser’s third victory in the event, his other having come in 2006 with compatriot Silvio Bundi. Stander is the only South African to have won the overall Cape Epic title. His total of 20 career stage wins is second only to Sauser, who has 26 to his name.Nedbank 360Life’s Kevin Evans and David George were fifth on the final stage, but secured second place on the General Classification, the highest ever placing by a South African team in the event. They also won the Absa African Team competition. Hannes Genze (Ger) and Andreas Kugler (Sui) of Team Multivan Merida, were third overall.Unlike many of their rivals, Stander and Sauser had an incident-free eight days, which is virtually unheard of in a race that covers such rugged terrain and features such varied weather conditions as this year’s edition, which included intense heat, gale force winds and driving rain.Rode on the front’“We simply rode on the front for about 80% of the entire race and stayed out of trouble,” said Stander afterwards.“When you ride on the front you can pick your line and avoid possible problems. When you follow someone else, you can’t anticipate what’s coming. I felt so much more in control riding on the front more this year.“We worked hard for this stage and the overall,” he added. “We will never say no to the opportunity of winning a stage. Twenty-seven minutes is a big victory margin, but not only thanks to us. Our whole team and our equipment played a role.‘Nothing compares to it’“We learnt our lessons in previous years. The Absa Cape Epic is a story. Every day is a chapter and that makes it so amazing. Now we know the Yellow Jersey is ours. Until now it felt like we were borrowing it. Nothing compares to it.”The only other South Africans to win a category were the Team Contego 28E pairing of Erik and Ariane Kleinhans. The married couple won the Mixed category title overall and collected seven stage wins in the process.They were by far the most dominant Mixed team in the race with an eventual winning margin of two hours and seven minutes over runners up Udo Bolts (Ger) and Milena Landtwing (Sui) of Team Centurion Vaude. Bolts won the Master’s division last year and is a former top-10 finisher at the Tour de France.Masters winnersFormer World and Olympic champion and 2005 Cape Epic winner, Bart Brentjens (Ned) and his compatriot Jan Weevers of the World Bicycle Relief team won the Telkom Masters (over-40) category. They were followed by two all-South African teams – Delaney Impey and Adrian Enthoven (JAG Craft) and Scott McKenzie and Warren Squires (Complete Cyclist), in second and third respectively.The women’s division was dominated by the Wheels4Life team of Sally Bigham (GBR) and Esther Suss (Sui), who won all seven stages and the overall title. South African Theresa Ralph and her Norwegian partner Nina Gassler were second, while another South African, Karien van Jaarsveld, and her Swiss teammate, Jane Nuessli of Team MTN Qhubeka, were third.A total of 604 two-rider teams started the 781km, eight-day race, with 481 teams finishing and 93 solo riders completing the event after their partners withdrew.RESULTSMEN 1. Burry Stander (RSA)/Christoph Sauser (Sui) 36One-Songo-Specialized2. Kevin Evans (RSA)/David George (RSA) Nedbank 360Life3. Hannes Genze (Ger)/Andreas Kugler (Sui) Multivan Merida4. Thomas Dietsche (Fra)/Tim Boehme (Ger) Bulls 25. Alban Lakata (Aut)/Robert Mennen (Ger) Topeak Ergon WOMEN 1.Esther Suss (Sui)/Sally Bigham (GBR) Wheels4Life2. Theresa Ralph (RSA)/Nina Gassler (Nor) Biogen Britehouse3. Karien van Jaarsveld (RSA)/Jane Nuessli (Sui) MTN Qhubeka MASTERS 1. Bart Brentjens (Ned)/Jan Weevers (Ned) World Bicycle Relief2. Adrian Enthoven (RSA)/Delaney Impey (RSA) JAG Craft3. Warren Squires (RSA)/Scott McKenzie (RSA) Complete Cyclist MIXED 1. Erik Kleinhans (RSA)/Ariane Kleinhans (RSA) Contego 28E2. Udo Bolts (Ger)/Milena Landtwing (Sui) Centurion Vaude3 Klaas van Moortel (Bel)/Inne Gantois (Bel) BAIL Peak Performance Brugge SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_imgMounting a blistering attack on the Congress-JMM-RJD alliance in Jharkhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday alleged that its “self-seeking” past governments were driven by the “lust for power”, and exploited the mineral-rich State’s resources while neglecting the people. He also accused the previous Congress governments at the Centre of procrastinating resolution of the Kashmir issue and the Ayodhya dispute. “This election is a contest between those who serve and those who loot. The Congress has problems, we have the solutions. They have accusations, we have the report of the work we have done. They have empty promises, we have the proof of development,” Mr. Modi said at a rally in Daltonganj.Social justiceMr. Modi asserted the BJP was committed to the five principles of social justice — stability, good governance, prosperity, respect for all and security. Maoism flourished under the non-BJP governments due to political instability, he said. “Governments were made through the back door. There were alliances of self-seekers who were driven by the lust for power (satta bhog) and exploited the resources of the State. They had their eyes on the riches found beneath the surface of the earth and cared little for those living on the earth. How would it then have been possible to give electricity, roads and water to people? Set up industries?” he said.‘Free from Naxalism’At another rally in Gumla, Mr. Modi said when people would vote for the ‘lotus’ (BJP’s poll symbol) once again, “I believe the backbone of Naxalism will break completely.” Raising the issue of forest rights of tribals, he said, “The BJP is committed to protecting your right to Jal, Jungle, Jameen (water, forest and land).”last_img read more

first_imgRead Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH ONE CEO believes Joshua Pacio won the fight PLAY LIST 00:52ONE CEO believes Joshua Pacio won the fight00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City “If it’s just striking, I’ll be able to keep up with him. But I’m sure that if we face off against each other, he will bring the fight to the ground, so it’s really my ground game that I have to improve on,” he said.If a title shot comes his way, he knows that he has to make a huge sacrifice of skipping one semester in his hotel and restaurant management course at the University of the Cordilleras.“Maybe, I’ll stop for one semester so that I can train well. I will really pursue that and prepare well in our trainings.” View comments “I’m not thinking about it yet,” he said. “For me, I want more fights to gain more experience. I want to face the elites and prove myself.”Pacio, who improved to 14-2, name-checked Japanese contenders Yoshitaka Naito and Hayato Suzuki, the only two fighters who have beaten hi, as his next targets to gauge his real progress.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I want to face them again and see if I’ve already improved,” he said.Joshua Pacio doesn’t want to face ONE Strawweight Champion Alex Silva just yet as he seeks a rematch against Hayato Suzuki and Yoshitaka Naito — his lone defeats in his 14-2 record. @ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/TZyHiN7jUB — Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) January 26, 2018Pacio, though, said he won’t hesitate if ONE decides to pit him against reigning ONE Strawweight Champion Alex Silva in his next fight.“If ONE decides that I’m worthy of a title shot, I’m still very willing,” said Pacio, who could join the ranks of Honorio Banario, Eduard Folayang, and Geje Eustaquio as members of Team Lakay to hold a title in the promotion.Pacio is confident that if he does get the nod to challenge Silva, he’s capable of holding his own against the champion.ADVERTISEMENT Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers LATEST STORIES Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH MOST READ Photo from ONE ChampionshipCareful not to get ahead of himself in his chase for glory, Joshua Pacio wants to first test his mettle against the weight class’ top contenders  before being primed for a title shot.The 22-year-old fighter was victorious over Lan Ming Qiang in their strawweight clash in the co-main event of ONE: Global Superheroes on Friday at Mall of Asia Arena, but he admitted a championship shot is the least of his concerns at he moment.ADVERTISEMENT 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Bittersweet as Cousins injures Achilles in Pelicans’ victory over Rocketslast_img read more

The first season of college football’s playoff era will come to a close Monday night, as the Oregon Ducks face the Ohio State Buckeyes for the national championship.The Ducks come into the contest favored by most sources, including the consensus of sportsbooks in Las Vegas and ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI). But there’s disagreement on the degree of Oregon’s edge. The FPI, which includes results from every game of the 2014 season (plus a preseason rating as a prior), thinks Oregon would beat Ohio State by about five points at AT&T Stadium or another neutral field. Vegas, however, spent most of the past week favoring the Ducks by more — as many as 6.5 to seven points, according to the bookmakers listed at VegasInsider.com.This was looking like a sure sign of the markets’ skepticism over the ability of Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones. Jones began the 2014 season third on Ohio State’s QB depth chart, behind Heisman candidate Braxton Miller and touted redshirt freshman backup J.T. Barrett. Then Miller was injured and lost for the season in an August practice, upon which Barrett took the reins and led the Buckeyes to a 11-1 record (on the strength of one of the nation’s best passing performances) before going down with a season-ending injury in late November.Now Jones is at the helm.Jones, a sophomore, was only regarded as the 41st-best QB prospect in his freshman class, according to Phil Steele’s recruiting aggregations, and had thrown just 19 career passes before starting in the Big Ten title game against Wisconsin. But Jones and the Buckeyes were spectacular in that game, winning 59-0, and then upset favored Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinals. (Jones’s numbers were less impressive against Alabama than against Wisconsin — but then again, Alabama also has a slightly tougher pass defense.)It effectively created an interesting Bayesian problem: How do we balance a sample of two great games against the prior assumption that Jones is a lightly regarded third-stringer? The initial discrepancy between Vegas’s Oregon-Ohio State point spread and that generated by season-long power ratings seemed to indicate how much of a downgrade Jones was relative to Barrett: roughly 1.5 to two points by the market consensus. As a point of comparison, this is a smaller margin than the typical gap between a starter and a backup QB in the NFL.Complicating matters now, though, was the news early Saturday that Oregon wide receiver Darren Carrington, the team’s second-leading receiver, failed a drug test and was declared ineligible for the title game. That shrunk Vegas’s consensus edge for Oregon down to about 5.5 points by Saturday morning — nearly the same as the FPI predicts using both teams’ full-season numbers. (The game’s line has since returned to a consensus of 6.5 points favoring Oregon, as of Monday morning.)Even so, it will be worth keeping an eye on which effect is bigger, and whether the market’s implicitly Bayesian assessment of Jones turns out to be on the money or not. It’s no stretch to say the accuracy of that appraisal could determine Ohio State’s fate Monday night. read more

first_imgFebruary 29, 2016 Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 2 min readcenter_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Actors and entertainers often have favorite causes that they lend their spotlight to, but sometimes it makes for strange bedfellows.This week, attendees at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, an annual gathering of members of the cybersecurity and cryptography community, will hear from speakers such as Symantec CEO Michael A. Brown; Bret Arsenault, Microsoft’s chief information security officer; and Michelle Dennedy, Cisco’s chief privacy officer.Related: These are the Worst Passwords That You Still Keep UsingBut there’s another notable name on the list: Sean Penn.That’s right, the actor — who made headlines of his own recently after secretly interviewing the notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, a.k.a. El Chapo, for Rolling Stone — will have a chat with RSA’s president Amit Yoran, “covering a variety of topics.”Related: Business Travelers: Don’t Be Lured by the Siren Song of Free Wi-FiPenn isn’t the first famous face that has attended the RSA Conference, or the only one that will be there this week. The cast of CBS’s CSI: Cyber will also give a keynote presentation.In 2014, Stephen Colbert gave the conference’s closing keynote address amid controversy that RSA, the IT security company behind the conference, had an undisclosed $10 million contract with the NSA to develop a back door for encryption software. And last year, Alec Baldwin was on hand to talk about the “intersection between Hollywood and Privacy.”last_img read more

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: OMG Share Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Monday, October 17, 2016 Dead body placed in aisle for hours during flight ANTALYA, Turkey — This may be one time when you wish you didn’t request an aisle seat.Passengers onboard a recent Azur Air flight from Antalya, Turkey to Moscow were forced to sit alongside a dead body after a fellow traveller died mid-air, reports The Daily Mail. The 50-year-old unidentified woman is said to have suffered a diabetic seizure just 45 minutes into the flight.It is reported that the woman had forgotten to bring her insulin onboard the cabin, instead packing it in her checked luggage. According to her husband (also unnamed), she had just given herself a shot of the medicine an hour before the flight, and that neither of them anticipated her condition would worsen.It is also believed that the woman was suffering from acute heart failure prior to her death.The flight crew had no option but to cover the woman’s body with a blanket and lie her down on the floor in the aisle. Rather than make an emergency landing, the captain also decided to fly directly to Moscow, meaning passengers had to endure the duration of the flight in close proximity to a corpse.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyMajor airlines usually have plans in place to deal with such unexpected tragedies, including moving the deceased to empty rows in first or business class. Some larger planes even have a ‘corpse cupboard’, believe it or not. Assuming that neither option was available onboard the Azur Air flight, the flight attendants had to make do with the aisle.Tell us, what do you think is the correct way for an airline to handle a situation like this?last_img read more

first_img Posted by Virtuoso Incubator chooses Explor VR platform for 2017 tech program Share << Previous PostNext Post >> NEW YORK — Virtuoso, the international network of luxury travel agencies, has chosen Explor VR, Travelweek’s virtual reality platform that launched nationwide in Canada last fall, as one of the emerging travel technology companies participating in its innovative Virtuoso Incubator program for 2017.The program aims to foster new technology and provide efficiencies that will ultimately help its travel agency members maintain a competitive edge. Hundreds of companies within the rapidly growing travel technology sector applied for the program. Only three, including Xplr VR, were selected for early admission.“We selected Explor VR for Virtuoso Incubator because its solution aligns with our goal of fostering emerging technologies that are focused on increasing efficiency and enhancing client service for travel advisors,” said David Kolner, senior vice president, Global Member Partnerships at Virtuoso. “From the outset, Explor VR has curated its content and platform so that advisors can convert quality leads and offer an experience to travellers like never before. Virtuoso wanted to offer our members a chance to pilot this kind of technology, giving them the opportunity to be among the earliest adopters of virtual reality in the industry.”More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoExplor VR is the world’s only virtual reality app designed specifically for travel agents. It has curated a collection of virtual reality experiences based on what travel agents sell most, so that they can use the technology to showcase destinations and travel products to their clients in a fun and interactive way. The app is free for agents, with only a nominal investment required for an affordable headset.The app’s admission into the Virtuoso Incubator program demonstrates the mass-market interest in cutting-edge VR technology, and how it applies to the travel industry specifically. Since its launch, travel agents have been eager to embrace the new technology, which they say gives them a competitive edge over online OTA’s when engaging with clients.“The future of travel industry marketing is with virtual reality,” Kolner said. “The sensory experience of virtual reality can make the travel discovery process immersive, productive and fun. Explor VR is bringing visual marketing to the eyes of prospective travellers and then placing the traveler in the hands of expert Virtuoso advisors. It is this perfect union of human connection and technology that we wanted to pilot with our travel advisor members.”More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemThrough its Incubator program, Virtuoso is leading the charge in improving the customer experience by attracting technology solutions to the travel industry. Participating companies benefit from the guidance of the Virtuoso travel consultant-based Advisory Panel, which tests the product, provides real-world feedback and allows the company to continue iterating its product to better meet the needs of travel agencies, advisors and clients.On being selected for the program, Devin Kinasz, President of Explor VR and Director of Digital Strategy at Travelweek, said: “We are excited Virtuoso is so supportive of this great new technology for travel agents and look forward to engaging with their agents and suppliers, who will undoubtedly have valuable insight. We see great potential for virtual reality in the luxury market, which has some fabulous, out-of-this-world products that consumers will definitely want to see in virtual reality, as well as reality.”For more information, go to virtuoso.com/incubator or explorvr.com/.center_img Friday, February 3, 2017 Tags: Explor VR, Technology, Virtual Reality, Virtuoso, Xplr VR Travelweek Group last_img read more