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Scientific experiments can certainly take on a wide variety of methods, from recreating the atmosphere of Titan to testing a drug on a genetic disease. But if educators want to encourage students to become scientists, they had best keep silent about “some very unpleasant experiments” at the University of Leicester reported by the BBC News. The team decided to watch fish heads rot. What they were looking for in this “very smelly” study raises questions about what kind of knowledge can be deduced from experiments. The researchers had an ostensibly noble purpose. They were interested in knowing what happens to dying fish before they become fossilized, in order to interpret more accurately what is found in the fossil record. Do skeletons and soft tissues undergo dramatic transformations as they rot? If so, it could skew the interpretation of ancient marine fossils. Inquiring minds what to know. The experiments had a grander evolutionary backdrop. Dr. Mark Purnell said, “We need to understand how they decayed if we’re going to put them in the right place in the tree of life.” Researcher Rob Sansom realized, according to Science Daily, that “spending hundreds of hours studying the stinking carcasses of rotting fish is not something that appeals to everyone.”Update Jan 31: What this study implies for evolution will not be good news for evolutionary paleontologists. Nature News said the fact that parts can rot away can lead to misinterpretations. “In a series of experiments published online today in Nature, Purnell and his colleagues Robert Sansom and Sarah Gabbott found that the features that are most important in deciding where to place an animal on the tree of life are lost first,” Daniel Cressey’s synopsis explained. The results can be counterintuitive: “In practical terms, this means that as something decays it seems to retreat through its own phylogeny and descend the tree.” Philippe Janvier at the Museum of Natural History in Paris agreed: “Some fossils have clearly been over-interpreted.” Has this happened? Yes, according to Purnell; “decay bias” could be widespread. Interpreting the origin of chordates is particularly fraught with decay bias. Philipp Donoghue at the University of Bristol cautioned, “It’s certainly going to annoy a lot of palaeontologists who have rather blithely interpreted fossils,” he said. “A bunch of fossils we thought were primitive vertebrates actually now fall into a dustbin and tell us nothing about the evolution of vertebrate characters.”Experimenting on taphonomy (studying the processes under which remains become fossilized) is a worthwhile activity, but the interpretations and assumptions in this article stink worse than the fish heads. Would their experiments help them understand created fish that perished in a great flood? They could not possibly understand all the conditions that might have differed from dying fish in a lab to those who perished in the fossil record. Maybe they need to do some further experiments on what happens to fish who fossilize while giving birth (see National Geographic) or that are preserved in rock instantly while having lunch (see FossilMuseum.net). These guys cannot possibly interpret their lab experiments correctly. They had the moyboy disease* infecting their brains from the get-go. “Unlike forensics, however,” the team lead said, ”we are dealing with life from millions of years ago.” At least he got one thing right. It’s sure unlike forensics – trying to follow the evidence where it leads, free of bias. It is one of the clearest examples of divination we have seen yet (see commentaries from 07/26/2008, 01/25/2008). If Nebuchadnezzar had been told you had to smell rotting fish heads to see the tree of life, some other heads would have rotted.*Moyboy: millions of years, billions of years.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0read more
Sahaj Grover competed in 22 tournaments between his first Grandmaster (GM) norm in September, 2009, and the GM title last month. On four of these occasions, he missed out on a title by a whisker.On August 11, Grover was a relieved man, having finally attained the GM title with a win over Peruvian GM Jorge Cori in the ninth round of the World Junior Chess Championships in Athens. “When I got the GM I was more relieved than happy. I was chasing this dream for last three years and so many times I had come close to it. Every time I missed it, I felt disappointed. But when I defeated Jorge Cori, the burden was off,” said Grover at a function here on Friday.A GM title is achieved when one has a FIDE ELO rating of 2500 points. After victory over Cori, Grover’s tally of points has reached 2514.So focused was Grover’s team, which includes his coach Vishal Sareen among others, that on eight occasions, he wasn’t even told that a victory would get him the GM title. “I didn’t tell about the situation to Sahaj on purpose, because we thought that he may crumble under pressure,” said Sareen.”I took a chance and only two hours before the match, I told Sahaj that if he wins the match he would be through to the GM title,” said Sareen.Sareen was absolutely right as Grover held nerves and rose to the occasion to become the 29th GM from India.read more
APTN National NewsA group that dragged a Winnipeg river in search for missing persons plan to resume their work this summer.Drag the Red is made up of volunteers some of them searching for their own missing loved ones.The members of the group say they feel the police don’t take their concerns seriously.Now that other community patrols are popping up around the country it seems local volunteer efforts are stepping up to fill a gap in policing.APTN’s Dennis Ward reports.
I wrote a while back that most magazines were not particularly concerned with that ambassador to the reader, the table of contents page. Still true—but Esquire is an exception to the rule. TOChinations at the magazine predate January’s redesign—the book has a history of putting collaged, structuralist, and sometimes even more whimsical arrangements on its contents page. One (from late last Fall) put content in the form of an array of cubes—it looked more like a recent NYT infographic than anything else. Stunning and inefficient, that version took four pages rather than the usual two.None of the magazine’s recent contents pages are your parents TOC, into which text is unceremoniously poured and routinely formatted. As a whole the pages vary in interest (to my mind the “issue map” version [above, bottom] is a hum-drum take on old gimmick of previewing spreads—first done (I think) by Talk) but as a group they delightfully show the potential of the page.[EDITOR’S NOTE: Buy Jandos new book!]read more
The milcon spending measure, which was approved unanimously by the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, calls for spending $230 million next year for past base closure rounds, including cleanup and ongoing operations and maintenance. DOD requested only $205 million for the account in FY 2017, but both recommendations represent a cut from the $266 million Congress allocated in the current year. The committee report, which includes a listing of milcon projects by installation, is available on the committee website. “The Committee recognizes that many factors hinder the cleanup of BRAC sites. However, the Committee believes that strategic investments can lead to quicker cleanups and faster turnover of DOD property to the local community,” the report states. The milcon spending bill likely won’t reach the chamber floor until May 15 unless House Republicans are able to strike a compromise on a budget framework. A split among the GOP on the topline discretionary spending levels included in last year’s budget deal so far has prevented House leaders from bringing an FY 2017 budget resolution to the floor. Dan Cohen AUTHOR Overall, the legislation would provide $7.9 billion for military construction and family housing in FY 2017, representing a $305 million drop from current year funding but a $250 million increase over DOD’s request. “We can’t do it without a waiver of the rule until May 15, on the floor,” Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) said about the timing of floor debate on the measure. “Without a budget, you can’t,” said Rogers, reported CQ Roll Call. The Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment prohibiting funding for the next phase of construction of a Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex Consolidation in Croughton, England, unless authorized in the FY 2017 defense authorization bill. House Appropriators added $25 million to the administration’s fiscal 2017 budget request for the cleanup of installations closed during past base closure rounds to accelerate remediation efforts by the Army and Navy, according to the committee report accompanying the FY 2017 military construction-veterans affairs spending bill.read more
WESTON, MA — Regis College is pleased to announce that the following Wilmington students are among the 519 students that have made the Dean’s List for academic achievement for the 2019 spring semester:Siobhan Collins (Class of 2019)Janenne McCoy (Class of 2019)Kylie Paolillo (Class of 2022)To be eligible for the Dean’s List as a senior, junior or sophomore at Regis, a student must have a semester grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.50. For first-year students, a semester GPA of at least 3.25 must be attained.“I am very pleased to see so many of our students excelling across the university,” said university President Antoinette Hays, PhD, RN. “The dean’s list and the diversity of academic disciplines speak to a dedicated student body and to a faculty that promotes intellectual curiosity and achievement.”About Regis CollegeRegis is a leading Catholic coed university in greater Boston with nearly 3,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in the arts, sciences and health professions devoted to engage, serve and advance in a global community. With a strategic graduate focus on health care, Regis was recently named a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League of Nursing for the third time. The intergenerational Weston campus includes a Children’s Center, named 2017 Program of the Year by the National Coalition for Campus Children’s Centers, and a Lifelong Learning program (LLARC) for senior adults with a passion for learning. Regis sponsors 20 athletic teams within the Great Northeast Athletic Conference at the NCAA Division III level. Regis North, a satellite campus in Lawrence, Mass., offers public health and marketing and communications bachelor degree completion programs. Visit Regis at regiscollege.edu.(NOTE: The above announcement is from Regis College.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 5 Wilmington Students Named To Dean’s List At Regis CollegeIn “Education”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 6 Wilmington Students Named To Dean’s List At Regis CollegeIn “Education”5 Wilmington Students Named To Dean’s List At Regis CollegeIn “Education”read more
Sri Lankan soldiers stand guard under the rain at St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo on April 25, 2019, following a series of bomb blasts targeting churches and luxury hotels on the Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka. Photo: AFPAustralia on Friday warned more terror attacks were “likely” in Sri Lanka, cautioning citizens against visiting the island nation following the Easter Sunday bombing that claimed 253 lives.“Terrorists are likely to carry out further attacks in Sri Lanka,” the foreign ministry warned in its latest travel advice.“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners,” it said.Canberra advised Australians to “reconsider your need to travel to Sri Lanka”, following similar warnings from Britain, the Netherlands and the United States since the April 21 bombings.The US State Department has warned that terrorist groups “continue plotting” possible attacks, with targets including tourist locations, places of worship and airports.An Australian woman and her 10-year-old daughter were among those killed in the series of bomb blasts that targeted tourists and Christian worshippers.Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that intelligence indicated the attack was carried out by a local group, with support from the Islamic State group.“There were links between this group, and support being provided—including the targets of these attacks—by the Daesh network,” he said.Australian counter-terrorism police would assist Sri Lankan authorities with their investigation and are probing suspected attacker Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed’s time living in Melbourne.The Australian Federal Police refused to say whether the 36-year-old was known to them or whether he was radicalised while living in Australia.“As there is an ongoing investigation into the attacks, it would not be appropriate to comment,” a spokesperson said.Tensions remain high in Sri Lanka and a curfew has been put in place across the island, with authorities still in a desperate search for suspects.Authorities on Thursday revised down the death toll by more than 100 to 253, admitting some of the badly mutilated bodies had been erroneously double-counted.read more