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_img21 December 2011In 2011 South Africa’s national cricket team, the Proteas, produced some superb performances, but, ultimately, the sum of the team’s parts failed to deliver what they could have.Considering that the side featured the world’s leading test bowler, Dale Steyn, and the man third in the rankings, Morne Morkel, along with the great Jacques Kallis, and other outstanding batsmen in Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers, who were one and two in one-day international batting rankings, it should have achieved more.Against both India and Australia, they drew test series after taking the series lead with dominant victories that suggested they had a clear edge on the opposition.World CupAs it was for every major cricket playing nation, 2011 was a big year for South African cricket because of the World Cup, which was hosted by India. It was also an opportunity for the Proteas to undo many past disappointments by claiming the Cup.Unfortunately for South African fans, the World Cup once again ended in bitter disappointment.In the round robin phase, the Proteas were in fine form in Group B, winning five out of six matches to convincingly top the standings.They beat the West Indies by seven wickets, the Netherlands by 231 runs, eventual champions India by three wickets, Ireland by 131 runs, and Bangladesh by 206 runs. A warning was sounded, however, when the Proteas lost to England by six runs when chasing only 172 for victory.As the number one team in Group B, South Africa faced the fourth placed team from Group A in the quarterfinals, which turned out to be New Zealand. The Proteas failed to fire in an ill-tempered match and were well beaten by 49 runs.Spinners’ successSpinners Robin Petersen and Imran Tahir provided some light, however, finishing near the top of the list among wicket takers, with 15 and 14 respectively.Petersen averaged only 15.86 per wicket, while Tahir’s average was an astounding 10.71, the best in the tournament. His strike rate of a wicket every 16.9 balls also led all bowlers. And he was among the best when it came to exuberant wicket taking celebrations.AB de Villiers led the batsmen, despite playing in just five games because of injury, totalling 353 runs at 88.25, with centuries in successive matches against the West Indies and the Netherlands.A number of South Africans did, however, taste success at the World Cup, with India coach Gary Kirsten and his support staff leading the hosts to the title. Later in the year, Kirsten was appointed coach of the Proteas.Innings’ victoryAmong the other highlights of the year were South Africa’s victory by an innings and 25 runs over India at Centurion. In that match, Morne Morkel knocked over 5 for 20 and Dale Steyn captured 3 for 34 as the Indians mustered only 136 in their first innings.Jacques Kallis then scored a maiden test double century, finishing on 201 not out, while Hashim Amla weighed in with 140 and De Villiers with 129, as South Africa declared on a massive 620 for 4.India fought hard to score 459 in their second innings behind Sachin Tendulkar’s 50th test century, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a comprehensive South African victory.AmazingIn November, one of the most amazing test matches ever took place at Newlands. Batting first, the visitors, Australia, posted 284 all out, thanks to a splendid 151 from captain Michael Clarke.South Africa, in reply, were skittled out for just 96 as only the openers, Jacques Rudolph and Graeme Smith, reached double figures. Shane Watson excelled with the ball, taking 5 for 17.The Aussies began their second innings with a seemingly insurmountable lead of 188 runs. Incredibly, though, they were blasted out for only 47, having at one stage been on 21 for 9! Debutant Vernon Philander finished with figures of 5 for 15, while Morne Morkel took 3 for 9, and Steyn 2 for 23.South Africa then made the pitch look relatively easy, chasing down the victory target for the loss of only two wickets to win the match inside three days. Smith struck 101 not out, while Amla contributed 112.ResultsIn other results, a two-test series against Pakistan in late 2010 was drawn 0-0, the Indian series finished 1-1, as did the Australian series.The Proteas edged a five-match one-day international series against Pakistan 3-2, won 3-2 against India, and lost 2-1 to Australia.The Aussies also beat the Proteas 2-1 in a Twenty20 international series. South Africa won 2-0 against Pakistan in the shortest form of the game and lost their only T20 against India.Player of the YearIn 2011, Jacques Kallis, South Africa’s Player of the Year, passed 12 000 runs in tests, placing him fourth on the all-time list, with a higher average than the three men above him. After a two-test series against Australia, he had also claimed 271 test wickets, good for 28th all time, and fourth on the South African list of wicket takers.With 169 catches, he is also sixth on the all-time list among fielders. Clearly, the term “great” is not misplaced in this instance.Dale Steyn achieved a milestone when he went over the 900 point mark – an achievement similar to the four-minute mile in athletics – in the test bowling rankings.He remains far and away the leading test bowler in the world, a massive 87 points ahead of the man in second place on the list, England fast bowler James Anderson.South African Sports Star of the YearHashim Amla proved to be one of the most popular sportsmen in the country and was voted South African Sports Star of the Year in August.In domestic action, the Cape Cobras won the SuperSport Series four-day competition, while the Knights triumphed in the 40-overs-a-side MTN40.The Cobras added another title in the Standard Bank Pro20 Series, while the Warriors finished runners-up in the Champions League T20, a competition featuring the best T20 provincial teams from around the world.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? 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first_imgNissan Motor Company yesterday announced the expansion of its investment in South Africa at an official Investment Ceremony at its Rosslyn production plant in the City of Tshwane.The Automotive group confirmed a R3 billion injection towards the production of a new generation of the Nissan Navara.This latest investment by Nissan ties in to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s investment drive to boost confidence in the country’s economy, aiming for a R1,4 trillion injection in domestic and international investment over five years. This announcement was made at the inaugural SA Investment Conference held in Johannesburg October 2018 under the theme “Accelerating Economic Growth by Building Partnerships”.                  According to SA News, the automotive industry contributes 6.9 percent to GDP, accounting for 30.1% of manufacturing output and 13,9% of total exports and provides employment to more than 110 000 people.Brand South Africa commends Nissan’s on-going ploy to develop skilled workers and encourage inclusive growth. To date, Nissan has invested R150 million into the training and upskilling of workers, preparing them for the adaptations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The motor company is the second largest Japanese original manufacturer, and has established its presence in South Africa for the last 56 years.          Nissan currently employs 1 832 people at the Rosslyn plant with a production output of 40 000 units annually, which is set to double with the additional production measures for the Nissan Navara. This demonstrates the company’s commitment to deepening the value chain that exists within the sector.At the ceremony, President Ramaphosa also officially unveiled an Automotive Development Incubation Centre.Said President Ramaphosa: “Today we mark and celebrate what I would call an ambitious drive towards the commitments made by the automotive sector.”“It is a matter of great pride for us that many more motorists around the world will be driving vehicles that bear the industry and the craftsmanship of South Africa. The automotive sector is an essential part of the industrialisation of our economy and is a reliable partner but also a dependable ally as demonstrated in this investment.”Addition reporting: SA News; BloombergImages: Siyabulela Duda, GCISlast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The first positive case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in an Ohio horse has been confirmed in 2016.Testing on samples taken from a seven-year-old Standardbred in Tuscarawas County confirmed the positive WNV diagnosis to the Ohio Department of Agriculture Sept. 12. The horse’s veterinarian first examined the animal Aug. 29. The animal was euthanized after exhibiting significant clinical signs, including shaking, agitation and thrashing. The horse had not been vaccinated.West Nile Virus is transmitted to horses via bites from infected mosquitoes. Clinical signs for WNV include flulike symptoms, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed. Changes in mentality, drowsiness, driving or pushing forward (often without control) and asymmetrical weakness may be observed. Mortality rate from WNV can be as high as 30% to 40% in horses. Infection with WNV does not always lead to signs of illness in people or animals. WNV is endemic in the United States and Ohio has reported three positive cases in horses each of the last few years.“This incident in Tuscarawas County should serve as an alert to all horse owners to vaccinate their animals against West Nile Virus,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey. “Vaccines are a proven and effective prevention tool and I encourage all owners to talk to their local vet for options and advice on how to keep their animals healthy.”In addition to vaccinations, horse owners also should work to reduce the mosquito population and eliminate possible breeding areas. Recommendations include: removing stagnant water sources; keeping animals inside during the bugs’ feeding times, which are typically early in the morning and evening; and using mosquito repellents.last_img read more

first_imgReadWrite pits the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT against the third-generation New iPad. We try 5 standard tasks to see which machine is faster:Loading a websiteDownloading an appTyping a sentenceOpening the camera and snapping a pictureRunning and viewing multiple apps at once.Watch the video to see which machine wins! Tags:#Apple#iPad#Microsoft#microsoft surface#tablets Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … eliot weisbergcenter_img Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

first_imgOften lost amongst the smart cities media hype are clearly defined entry points that local leaders can target when beginning to transform their metropolis into a smart city.Thankfully, Tech Republic recently interviewed several industry experts for their views on how urban leaders can begin the journey toward smart city-dom.One key focus is to develop smart initiatives that not only solve urban challenges but get citizens in on the action too.“Find a point that takes citizen interest first, but can impact many people in a city and get visibility and become a symbol of a smart city,” said TM Forum’s Carl Piva. “Ask, ‘What can I do to make my city more equitable, more inclusive or to simply create a dialogue with the people who live there?’”A successful example of this is the city of Boston’s mobile app that enables citizens to report problems or needed repairs by sending their photograph of the issue to the city. Not only does this empower residents to participate in improving the city, but sparks citizen dialogues around trends and recurring needs.Another early smart city strategy is for planners to highlight a solid return on investment (ROI) that a technology-driven project will generate.A case in point is Los Angeles’ conversion of 215,000 streetlights to LED smart lights which generates $9 million in utility savings annually. That the lights will pay for themselves in six years provides clear ROI evidence to convince skeptical city stakeholders that future smart projects promise tangible benefits.“That streetlight is everywhere in your city and it’s got power to it and you can do so many things with it, now and in the future, if you think big first,” said Smart Cities Council chairman Jesse Berst.Harnessing the massive flows of data generated by smart cities is another entry point for urban transformation. Especially if that information is not only used to improve the city, but also for engaging the public through open data initiatives.New tech means fewer 911 callsThe decision by Albuquerque, N.M.to make certain data openly available to citizens resulted in 422,000 fewer calls to 311. Berst says the power of open data not only cut costs but improved city interactions in other interesting ways.“As a city, you save money on Freedom for Information requests, and you create this data repository that your departments can start using and your citizens can start using and your hackers and developers can start using to build great things,” he said.Lastly, the ability for smart city innovations to tackle government silos is a critical selling point for transforming a city’s technology infrastructure.“It’s very important to not build a siloed infrastructure,” said Cisco’s managing director of Smart+Connected Communities Munish Khetrapal. “The day you build a siloed infrastructure you’ve wasted 30% of the dollars taxpayers are spending.”Smart city platforms are effective in breaking city staff out of vertical silos through interdepartmental data sharing. As well, the new technology fostering horizontal collaborations between unexpected city actors and the elimination of duplicated services. Related Posts How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic …center_img Tags:#Cisco#Internet of Things#IoT#Smart Cities#smart city#TM Forum Donal Power Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Citieslast_img read more

first_imgWith the arrest of two persons, the Punjab police on Thursday claimed to have busted a module of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), an outfit backed by Pakistan’s ISI. Jagdev Singh and Ravinderpal Singh were allegedly arranging funds and weapons for the sleeper cells of the banned group on the directives of Kulwinderjit Singh alias Khanpuriya, currently in Malaysia. Police had received a specific input that Kulwinderjit Singh, along with his associates, had planned to target leaders of a specific community to spread terror and disturb communal harmony in the State. Kulwinderjit Singh was involved in terrorist activities and had shifted to Malaysia in January 2019.last_img read more