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QPR star backs sick friend

first_imgDjibril Cisse has backed Eric Abidal to make a full recovery following news that the Barcelona star requires a liver transplant.Frenchman Abidal, who had cancer surgery a year ago, is a close friend and international team-mate of the QPR striker.Cisse told The Sun: “I’m only shocked by news that he has to have an operation. I’m not worried about him coming through.“He’s like my brother, we are really close. He is an inspiration – a really brave man. I’ve suffered two broken legs but that is nothing compared to what he’s been through.”Meanwhile, the Daily Mail say Fulham have begun their fight to keep Moussa Dembele by calling him in for talks over a bumper new contract.Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool are among the clubs to have shown an interest in the playmaker.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Large Individual Differences Seen in Human Genome

first_imgWhat makes each individual unique?  Nature1 reported a surprising thing about “the” human genome that is becoming apparent as more individuals’ genes are examined.  The first part is not surprising; the last part is:When the finished sequence of the human genome was unveiled last year, biologists said that it told a story of harmony for the human family.  Every one of us, it turns out, shares 99% of our DNA with all the other people on Earth. But it’s our differences that really fascinate us.  And at last week’s annual genome meeting in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, scientists revealed a wealth of data indicating a surprising conclusion about human diversity – much of it might be explained by large structural differences between individual genomes, not by tiny differences in individual genes.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Some of us have more copies of a gene than others do.  That’s just the beginning, Erika Check reports from the meeting: “we also have varying numbers of deletions, insertions and other major rearrangements in our genomes.”    Check claims that some of these differences are being acted on by natural selection.  Europeans, for instance, have an inversion not seen in Africans or Asians that is correlated with having more children, “a classic sign that the inversion confers an evolutionary advantage”.  Others at the meeting were also confident that “structural differences are important in human evolution,” and that among sections where there were differing numbers of copies of stretches of DNA, “natural selection is actively working on these genes.”What’s more, he [Duc-Quang Nguyen, U of Oxford] found that many of these genes belong to groups that seem to help us interact with our environment.  For instance, many work in the immune system, and affect how we fight off disease.  These are exactly the sort of genes that could explain our diversity – why some of us get asthma when exposed to air pollution, or why some of us can eat plenty of cheeseburgers without gaining weight.    “We knew these variations existed, but this year we’re asking, do they matter?” says Ewan Birney, head of bioinformatics for the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, based in Cambridge, UK.  “The answer seems to be yes.”    We’re still one human family, of course; but our DNA landscapes are a lot more varied than we had thought.1Erika Check, “Large genomic differences explain our little quirks,” Nature 435, 252-253 (19 May 2005) | doi: 10.1038/435252b.DNA keeps surprising us.  The old picture of a relatively static library occasionally mutating to provide grist for natural selection is out.  Now, we see that even among our own species – all of us being interfertile – there are remarkable differences not in just a DNA letter here or there, but in whole stretches of DNA sometimes 100 base pairs long or more.  What this all means is not clear.  It may be that most of our genomes cannot tolerate much divergence (see 11/26/2004 entry), but a certain fraction can vary quickly to provide robustness against changing environments and diets as people groups migrate into new areas.  If so, thank God for this variability.  Consider the differences in habitat between the frozen tundra, rain forest, the Sahara, grasslands, Asian steppes, forests and coastlands.  The food available, air pressure, climate, insolation and biota can vary considerably.  But even that explanation is simplistic; Americans go on vacation to Iceland, China and the Serengeti, don’t they?  And international marriages usually produce offspring possessing “fitness,” whatever that is (see 10/29/2002 entry, “Fitness for Dummies: Is it Running in Circles?”).    Darwinists cannot claim they understand this variability any more than anyone else; that is why Check calls this a “surprising conclusion.”  Thankfully, it is still politically correct for her to say, “We’re still one human family, of course.”  But this knowledge through a Darwin filter could feed a new eugenics (compare 04/22/2004 and 10/12/2001 entries).  When Darwinists claim that certain genes are being acted on by natural selection, some individuals are going to appear more fit than others.  Certain gene patterns may be deemed unfit to reproduce.  Don’t think we’ve learned our lesson and are beyond that.  One only has to visualize North Korea (02/11/2005 commentary) to consider how such information could be quickly twisted for evil.  “Diversity” is the politically-correct word now, but “Unity” is potentially just as potent a rallying cry for demagogues.    Associating a DNA inversion to more fecundity is unwarranted.  There are many more factors than one stretch of DNA entering the picture of reproduction rates.  If that were true, why are Europeans having so few kids, and worrying about their countries being overrun with foreigners?  Africans and Asians seem to be overcrowding their parts of the world just fine without the inversion.  The claim overlooks the many social, moral, religious, pragmatic and economic factors that go into the equation.  Darwinists bluff about selection pressure and genes undergoing active selection when the picture is far too complex to draw such conclusions (see, for instance, 03/28/2005 and 01/17/2005 entries).  They can’t even get one mutation in one gene to correlate well with fitness (see 02/04/2005 and 09/07/2004 entries), let alone large structural variations.  Besides, the genome itself appears to be a pawn in the hands of numerous, complex epigenetic regulatory factors (see 06/03/2004 and 10/27/2004 entries).  The new data about human genomic variability should remain fair game for all honest scientists, especially those outside wearing designer lab coats instead of Darwin-brand straitjackets.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

U.P. bids to attract foreign airlines to Jewar airport

first_imgThe Uttar Pradesh government has submitted a proposal to the Centre to encourage foreign airlines to operate at the proposed Jewar airport. The State’s suggestion is to allow foreign carriers to fly to the airport, likely to be ready by 2023, without the need for India to revise its bilateral agreements with different countries to increase the total number of flights permitted for different ports of call in the country.The Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) informed potential bidders about this proposal late Thursday evening in its reply to queries raised about the tender on operation, management and development of Noida International Airport Limited. It has also made public its revised request for proposal-cum-request for quotation and concession agreement.In response to a query by an interested bidder on allowing international carriers to fly to Jewar airport for a period of three years without revising bilateral agreements, the YEIDA said, “Authority is awaiting a response from MoCA (Ministry of Civil Aviation).”Centre to take callAccording to the minutes of the meeting with the MoCA on August 16, the Centre is examining the issue: “MoCA will separately examine the issue of bilaterals and will provide clarity on whether the bilateral rights under Delhi (IGI Airport) will extend to the new airport or it should be considered as a separate port of call.”Though the reply from YEIDA to the bidders comes after a delay of almost one month, officials say that the deadline for submitting bids on October 30 will remain unchanged. The timeline for opening technical and financial bids on November 6 and November 29 will also be unaffected.Shailendra Kumar Bhatia, nodal officer for Jewar, told The Hindu that as many as 20 players have bought the bid document so far, including domestic and international airport developers. Nearly 70% land (1,400 hectares) has been acquired by the YEIDA. The authority has also entered into an MoU with Wildlife Institute of India for environment impact assessment. A team of scientists has already conducted an inspection earlier this month to draw a plan for conservation of flora and fauna in the area. It is expected to submit its report by October 30.On the instructions of the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet, the YEIDA will also explore whether the airport can have 4-6 runways instead of two proposed now.In order to ensure Jewar airport is connected to the National Capital Region, state-owned infrastructure company RITES has been tasked with conducting a study which is expected to be submitted by October 15, Mr. Bhatia said. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, too, has submitted its report for metro connectivity for the airport, which is being examined by the Uttar Pradesh government and Noida Metro Rail Corporation.last_img read more

2014 FIFA World Cup match preview: Mexico eager to try its ‘luck’ against Croatia

first_imgGoalkeeper of Mexico Guillermo Ochoa during a training session at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil. (AP Photo)Mexico coach Miguel Herrera says he’s happy to be lucky if that means advancing in the World Cup.Mexico wraps up Group A play against Croatia, whose star midfielder, Luka Modric, said that Mexico benefited from some luck in its scoreless draw with Brazil last week.Herrera indicated that he’d rather be lucky than lose 3-1 to Brazil, as Croatia did.”If we have a draw with Brazil with luck or without it, we did it, they didn’t,” Herrera said.Mexico needs only another tie against Croatia to advance to the second round, while the Croatians must win.After practice Sunday night, Herrera and defender Hector Moreno appeared at a news conference where they generally avoided opportunities to respond to some of the verbal jousts issued earlier in the day by Modric and Croatia coach Niko Kovac.Kovac suggested that his side has the requisite caliber of attacking players to become the first to score against “El Tri” and goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in this World Cup, adding that “if anyone’s knees should be trembling,” it should be those of the Mexicans.”We could talk about 1,000 things here, and we could go through 1,000 circumstances that would lead us to believe that one (team) is better than the other,” Herrera said. “What we have to do is prove it on the pitch.”Mexico has played a World Cup in which we’ve proven we have an attitude of determination. It is a robust team. It is a team that has not conceded goals. It is a team that is doing things right.”advertisementMexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa has posted a pair of shutouts against Cameroon and Brazil, needing a slew of spectacular saves to keep the Selecao from scoring.He could be challenged again by a Croatia side that is coming off a 4-0 victory over Cameroon, and which has several key players – from Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic to Real Madrid’s Modric – who have put together successful careers in Europe’s top leagues.Mexico defender Hector Moreno, who plays for Spanish side Espanyol and has faced Modric in La Liga play, said Mexico has no lack of respect for Croatia’s talent, “but Mexico also has great individuals and we have a great team.”Moreno added that he’s “not attaching a great deal of importance” to comments made earlier Sunday by Modric and Kovac.”We will see everything on the pitch,” Moreno said. “We will see on the field who has better players and who has a better team – and I fully trust it will be Mexico.”For Herrera, the fact that Croatia has a number of players from top European leagues should provide that much more motivation for El Tri to show the world – and European scouts at the World Cup- what Mexican football is all about.Thus far, Mexico has managed just one goal, scored by Oribe Peralta in a 1-0 victory over Cameroon. Manchester United striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez not only has yet to score, but hasn’t cracked the starting lineup, instead coming in as a second-half substitute. Herrera said he isn’t planning any changes to his lineup, meaning Hernandez will open a third straight match on the bench.Both teams practiced on wet turf at Arena Pernambuco because of intermittent showers throughout Sunday, and more rain was in the forecast for Monday. Herrera joked that Mexico seems to have brought ran with it wherever it has traveled in Brazil. But El Tri has also brought fans – lots of them.A cruise ship with several thousand Mexican supporters aboard is docked in the port of Recife, and many more have been seen throughout town.Herrera said he’s expecting a heavily pro-Mexico crowd to push his players.”Of course, we have the idea, the feeling of what people in Mexico are going through, with the dreams that we’ve created,” Herrera said. “We will come out onto the field to give everything so we can obtain the objective we have set before us.”last_img read more