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Sebacinales are associates of the leafy liverwort Lophozia excisa in the southern maritime Antarctic

first_imgThe leafy liverwort Lophozia excisa, which is colonised by basidiomycete fungi in other biomes and which evidence suggests may be colonised by mycorrhizal fungi in Antarctica, was sampled from L,onie Island in the southern maritime Antarctic (67A degrees 36′ S, 68A degrees 21′ W). Microscopic examination of plants indicated that fungal hyphae colonised 78% of the rhizoids of the liverwort, apparently by entering the tips of rhizoids prior to growing into their bases, where they formed hyphal coils. Extensive colonisation of stem medullary cells by hyphae was also observed. DNA was extracted from surface-sterilised liverwort tissues and sequenced following nested PCR, using the primer set ITS1F/TW14, followed by a second round of amplification using the ITSSeb3/TW13 primer set. Neighbour-joining analyses showed that the sequences obtained nested in Sebacinales clade B as a 100% supported sister group to Sebacinales sequences from the leafy liverworts Lophozia sudetica, L. incisa and Calypogeia muelleriana sampled from Europe. Direct PCR using the fungal specific primer set ITS1F/ITS4 similarly identified fungi belonging to Sebacinales clade B as the principal colonists of L. excisa tissues. These observations indicate the presence of a second mycothallus in Antarctica and support the previous suggestion that the Sebacinales has a wide geographical distribution.last_img read more

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Gievers extols ‘the power of one’

first_imgGievers extols ‘the power of one’ August 1, 2003 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Associate EditorTo control behavior, children are given mind-altering drugs that at least one drug manufacturer now admits makes kids more depressed and suicidal.Foster children over the age of 18 were dumped on the streets July 1, thanks to the Florida Legislature that ended extended foster care to age 23 for those who stay in school.In some circuits in Florida, the buildings where dependency courts are held are so disgusting Charles Dickens would feel right at home.Ex parte discussions that would result in disbarment of civil litigators in “real court” are routine in dependency court.Those were the gloomy realities lawyer Karen Gievers described at the Public Interest Law Section luncheon at the Bar’s Annual Meeting in Orlando.But Gievers, recipient of PILS’ Hon. Hugh Glickstein Child Advocate of the Year Award, also delivered passionate words of encouragement about the power of lawyers to make lasting changes for foster children.Part of her upbeat message was what she called “breaking news” of the “first opinion on a foster care case from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals since 1987.”On June 26, the day before the PILS luncheon, Gievers was happy to report, the federal appellate court had affirmed an order of U.S. Middle District Court Judge Patricia Fawsett that had denied the Department of Children and Families’ motion to dismiss. The case involves allegations of a boy beaten and tied up in a foster home. With the department’s approval, the boy was later adopted by his abuser. Gievers said DCF officials “themselves described the abuse as the most egregious they’d ever seen when they finally intervened several years later.”Gievers quoted the federal judge panel — Joel Dubina, Stanley Marcus, and Peter Fay: “The gravamen of the allegations is that these individuals knowingly and deliberately ignored the physical, mental, and emotional harm being caused this child by the intentional infliction of known cruel and unusual punishment that shocks the conscience of any reasonable person.”“This is the first opinion (on a foster care case) the 11th Circuit has chosen to have published.. . recognizing that some things are not going to be tolerated,” Gievers said.“And even if the courts are not going to be open for prospective injunctive relief, they’re not going to close the federal courthouse doors to children whose trust has been horribly trampled by the system in monetary damage actions. Compensation could be had if things don’t go as they should. This case sends a major message of hope to all who are laboring in the child advocacy vineyard. Because, with this opinion, we can go to the defense lawyers that are hired by (DCF) and say, ‘Look, it shocked the conscience of the appellate court because they’re reasonable people. Now, what part of the argument are you going to adopt to try to justify your position today?’”Another ray of hope, Gievers said, is that the manufacturer of the antidepressant Paxil has recently admitted their product is not safe for kids.“That’s a wedge that we need, the camel’s nose under the tent to go ahead and ramp up our next constitutional major litigation to stop the routine drugging of children in foster care,” Gievers said. “Somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of every child in state custody is on these horrible drugs. And they are being given for the purpose of letting them cope with life. And if that makes you vomit, I apologize. It makes me want to vomit.”While the legal problems of foster children may seem daunting, Gievers’ message was that much good can be accomplished for the whole system when a single lawyer agrees to take on a single case.Gievers recalled her first pro bono case for foster children was prompted by Mel Martinez, president of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers in 1988.“When Mel was president, he urged all of us on the board of the academy to do our pro bono work for foster children, because there was no group of people in need of legal services more than these children who were stuck in state custody,” Gievers recalled.“Not because they had done anything wrong, but because their parents supposedly had. So I got the training. And I thought: This first case doesn’t seem so hard. There’s several children. The parents are not capable of providing for them. Parental rights should be terminated.“But they didn’t file a petition. So I asked the department attorney, ‘Why didn’t you file a petition?’“The answer I got was: ‘Well, we don’t believe in doing that.’“I said, ‘But how are these kids ever going to get to permanency?’“‘Well, I don’t care and I don’t know. We’re not filing a petition.’”“So we filed A through F, as the lawsuit became known, on behalf of six youngsters in that particular case,” Gievers said. “It’s been intriguing over the years as A through F was litigated and settled, and they promised they would fix the system and do better for the children. And A through F blended into Bonnie L. And Bonnie L. made progress over the years before the district court decided federal courts are not open to these foster kids who have dependency court judges to protect them.“When we would take depositions of department people, they would say things like, ‘Thanks to A through F, we have additional resources, and we keep siblings together now.’ Earlier this week, we heard testimony from the former supervisor here in Orlando: ‘Well, thanks to Bonnie L., our case load sizes have come down from 60 to 14.’“And I thought, if that’s true, it’s wonderful.. . . It proved that even being in the litigation arena, even if you don’t achieve success with a nice court opinion, that you can explain to the media and spread the word like Paul Revere went through the Boston area when the British were coming, ‘Look! Help for the foster kids is coming!’ Even when you don’t get that kind of opinion, things happen. It’s like throwing the old pebble in the pond and the ripples go out, and you don’t ever know where they’re going to end up.”Gievers, the first college graduate in her family, said her training in law school and civil litigation has made her what others have described as like a pitbull chomping on the DCF bone, as a dogged advocate for foster children.“The law makes us little short people, the underdogs of the world, equal in court to the most powerful companies, to the biggest government agencies. And if the Constitution continues to have meaning, then our judicial system will be the arenas in which rights are protected,” Gievers said.“It is very depressing, on occasion, to represent these youngsters, because the lives they live are so horrible compared to the lives we had and the lives of our own children.”She recalled the time she asked Sampson, the oldest of the A through F children, to write down things DCF could do to improve how it takes care of children. Sampson, a very bright child, wrote Gievers a two-page essay.“Even ignoring the misspellings and the grammar mistakes, it was clear that his message was: He appreciated the department for giving him and his five brothers and sisters a place to sleep and eat. It’s nice when they could see each other, and he was glad that two of the younger ones were adopted, and they had a for-real family. He hoped that at some point he and his other brothers and sisters would be able to have a for-real family. And meanwhile, he wanted to do what he could when he became an adult so that he could have a home for the rest of his brothers and sisters that weren’t adopted.“This was a kid who had been in foster care for 12 years at this point, virtually his entire life as of that point,” Gievers continued. “And I thought to myself, ‘You know, we hear about the power of one. And if this one kid who has been through so much hadn’t given up hope for having a future, despite what’s happened to him, then how in God’s name can the rest of us, who have all of these other privileges and luxuries and ease of lifestyle and quality of life? Who the heck do we think we are to even think about giving up in our advocacy of these youngsters?“The simple fact of the matter is we cannot give up and remain true to the goal that each of us should have, and, I believe, does have for every child in our society.”center_img Gievers extols ‘the power of one’last_img read more

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