– Advertisement – Four persons have been charged and sent to court for forgery, money laundering, criminal facilitation and defrauding the internal revenue of Liberia, after they were apprehended by the Major Crime Investigation Department of the Liberia National Police and investigators of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), a press release said.Three of the defendants, Emmanuel P. Quoi, Pewee Sonie Flomo and Maxwell S. Toby were earlier arrested by police in collaboration with the LRA team, while the mastermind, Joe Williams, was recently nabbed.The four defendants are facing trial for their complicities in a criminal syndicate centering on the altering of manger’s checks in the combined amount of over US$11,000 (US$4,924 as Customs Duty for CICA Motors Liberia and US$6,138 owned by IBI-LASS as taxes for October 2016).Defendants Quoi, Flomo and Toby were involved in altering an International Bank Liberia Manger’s check of US$6,138 owned by IBI-LASS as taxes, while Pewee Sonie Flomo diverted to another account the US$4,924 intended to be paid as Customs Duty for CICA Motors Liberia.According to police investigation, the four suspects redirected the intent of the IBI-LASS payments and transferred the amount to their personal bank account of W. Joe General Business Center’s account in the name of Joe William by means of forging the signature of USAID-LASS Chief of Party Philip Pleiwon.The defendants have admitted to the commission of the crime of money laundering and fraud.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Joe Williams, the mastermind of the criminal deed was recently nabbed
The funeral details for the late Kathleen Pryal, who was killed in a tragic accident outside Donegal Town on Sunday, have been released. Mrs Pryal (née Harvey) died on Sunday night after being struck by a car at Tinnycahill at Clar.The 69-year-old was travelling home from a country music concert and had just got off a bus moments before the fatal accident. She is mourned by her husband Martin brothers Eamon and Colm, sister Patricia Brennan and a wide extended family. Described by friends as a kind, quiet and friendly lady, she will be dearly missed by her wide circle of family and close friends. Her remains are reposing at her late residence in Spierstown, Clar, Donegal Town from 2.00 pm to 10.00 pm on Tuesday.Funeral arrangements are as follows: Removal from her residence on Wednesday to St Agatha’s Church Clar at 10:30 for 11am mass with burial immediately afterwards in adjoining cemetery.House private on Wednesday morning please. Funeral details released for tragic crash victim Kathleen was last modified: September 24th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Will the Spaniards be noted in history books as the ones who falsified neo-Darwinism? Not likely; no one experiment would bring down a biological paradigm with such international and historical momentum behind it. Nevertheless, looking at the results and conclusions of experiments by three evolutionary biologists at the Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva, Universitat de Valencia in Spain, published in PNAS this week,1 it would be hard to find any support for the central tenets of neo-Darwinian theory: namely, that evolutionary adaptations arise by natural selection acting on beneficial mutations. Instead, this paper shows experimental evidence that it doesn’t work. Neo-Darwinism, also termed the modern synthesis of evolutionary biology, was formulated in the 1940s to rescue Darwin’s views on natural selection from growing theoretical problems (see 07/02/2004 headline). It incorporated the necessity of genetic mutations to provide the raw material for variation on which natural selection acts. This revision was necessary when the rediscovery of Mendel’s laws of inheritance ruled out ideas of blending inheritance, showing instead that inherited characters were based on discrete entities (genes) that were passed on unaltered to the offspring. To test neo-Darwinian evolution in a microcosm, Rafael Sanjuán, Andrés Moya, and Santiago F. Elena worked with RNA viruses: organisms with a small, compact genomes that should respond quickly and noticeably to mutations. The team was looking for epistatic interactions: i.e., the effects of multiple independent (non-allelic) mutations on each other, rather than the effects of single mutations alone. These interactions can be antagonistic or synergistic: they can work against one another or with one another. Epistasis is defined as “any interaction of nonallelic genes, especially the suppression by one gene of the effect of a nonallelic gene.” Of note in this paper are the opening lines in the abstract that tell how rarely this important concept has been studied before (read: never):The tendency for genetic architectures to exhibit epistasis among mutations plays a central role in the modern synthesis of evolutionary biology and in theoretical descriptions of many evolutionary processes. Nevertheless, few studies unquestionably show whether, and how, mutations typically interact. Beneficial mutations are especially difficult to identify because of their scarcity. Consequently, epistasis among pairs of this important class of mutations has, to our knowledge, never before been explored.Let’s picture a 2×2 grid. On the left side, label the rows “beneficial” and “deleterious.” On the top, label the columns “synergistic” and “antagonistic.” Now put two dots in each box, with the dots representing mutations that will interact with one another. Quiz question: which box represents the only hope for evolutionary advancement? Well, the bottom and right boxes are clearly not any help. If the mutations are both deleterious and both antagonistic, at least they might turn each other off to stop the damage, like two criminals fighting each other instead of you. If the mutations are both deleterious but synergistic, they will multiply each other’s damage, like two criminals ganging up on you. If they are both beneficial but antagonistic, that won’t help, either, because it would be like two guardian angels having a squabble instead of helping you. In short, neo-Darwinism’s only hope is to find mutations in the top left box: two good mutations that work synergistically, increasing your “fitness” in the evolutionary world of competition. So how did the experiments go in the lab? They performed two classes of experiments to measure the effects of epistasis on mutations. Continuing with the abstract, here is what they found:Interactions among genome components should be of special relevance in compacted genomes such as those of RNA viruses. To tackle these issues, we first generated 47 genotypes of vesicular stomatitis virus carrying pairs of nucleotide substitution mutations whose separated and combined deleterious effects on fitness were determined. Several pairs exhibited significant interactions for fitness, including antagonistic and synergistic epistasis. Synthetic lethals represented 50% of the latter. In a second set of experiments, 15 genotypes carrying pairs of beneficial mutations were also created. In this case, all significant interactions were antagonistic. Our results show that the architecture of the fitness depends on complex interactions among genome components.In other words, none of their pairs of mutations occupied the necessary box labeled “beneficial and synergistic.” Half of the synergistic (working-together) actions they measured were “synthetic lethals” – which is like the two criminals both shooting the victim simultaneously. The other 50% maybe didn’t kill the organisms but still decreased fitness overall. The second experiment was all the more depressing: given two beneficial mutations in the same organism, all significant interactions were antagonistic. This means the guardian angels were preventing each other from helping. It recalls another paper in PNAS in March 2003 (see 03/17/2003 headline) that took into account indirect genetic effects, noting that increases in fitness do not act in isolation; they often counteract one another, creating “slippage on the treadmill.” In the current paper, the researchers found that beneficial mutations do not add up, even in the best of circumstances. Neo-Darwinian theory assumes that beneficial mutations act independently, but the team found that of the eight actual best-case scenarios (two beneficial mutations working antagonistically, since none worked synergistically) over half decreased the total fitness of the result from what would be expected if the beneficial mutations acted alone. They called this “decompensatory epistasis” if you need a new phrase to impress your friends at the water cooler. What does this mean to neo-Darwinian theory? “Indeed, when epistasis is decompensatory, both beneficial alleles involved in the interaction cannot spread to fixation in the population, because the double mutant is less fit than each single mutant.” This drastically undercuts any hope for evolutionary progress. Beneficial mutations are “scarce” to begin with, but more is not better – it’s worse. Like adding hot sauce to ice cream, the benefits of each counteract one another when combined. “As a consequence,” they continue, describing the only hope left, “lineages bearing alternative beneficial mutations should compete with each other on their way to fixation and, as a consequence of asexuality and clonal interference, only the best competitor will eventually become fixed in the population.” That is, only one beneficial mutation can become fixed at a time, even in the best case scenario. The discussion of results in the paper by Sanjuán et al. hammers neo-Darwinian theory with additional gentle, but effective, blows. First, they restate the basic finding: “Among pairs of deleterious mutations, although both synergistic and antagonistic epistases have been detected, interactions were predominantly antagonistic, such that their combined effect is significantly smaller than expected under a multiplicative model.” And in the best-case scenario of artificially-induced beneficial mutations, “antagonistic epistasis represents the most abundant type of interaction among beneficial mutations, with several cases showing decompensatory epistasis.” How should these experiments impact evolutionary theory, including the “queen of evolutionary problems,” the origin of sex? (see 04/14/2003 headline). Neo-Darwinists may well wish to run and hide:The results reported here have two important implications for theories seeking explanations for the evolutionary advantage of recombination and sexual reproduction. First, according to the Fisher�Muller argument, sex and recombination are advantageous because they combine into a common genotype beneficial mutations that arose in different ones, speeding up the rate of adaptation. However, if the genetic architecture of RNA viruses determines that, in general, antagonistic epistasis and, in particular, decompensatory epistasis among beneficial mutations is the norm, then recombination would not necessarily imply a benefit in terms of adaptive evolution. Second, sex might still be beneficial for RNA viruses as an efficient mechanism for purging deleterious mutations. However, according with the Mutational Deterministic Hypothesis [i.e., the suggestion that sex enables a population to purge deleterious mutations from the genome], if this is the case, an excess of synergistic epistasis among deleterious mutations is required to compensate the 2-fold advantage of clonal reproduction [i.e., asexual reproduction]. Our first data set shows that synergistic interactions among random mutations are neither stronger nor more common than antagonistic interactions. Indeed, the existence of variability among loci in the sign and strength of epistasis, and especially the dominance of antagonistic epistasis, decreases the parameter space over which sex may evolve.Since the parameter space was small to begin with, their words sound euphemistic, as if to cheer up a prisoner facing a hanging at dawn that maybe someone will find an alibi: “Like who? Like what?” the prisoner asks. “I dunno; just supposin’,” the friend replies. How sex may evolve: that’s somebody else’s problem. Also, they note, their results “impose a strong burden” on the “often invoked limitless adaptability of RNA viruses.” Citing another paper, they quote, “RNA viruses might be more at the mercy of their mutation rates than we think.” If decompensatory epistasis and antagonistic interactions are the general rules for mutations in all organisms, any hope for variability and adaptability due to mutation and selection has been severely limited, if not falsified, by these experiments. On the contrary, they say their experiments demonstrate a mechanism for stability of the genome: “In this sense, because it involves masking the interaction among deleterious alleles, antagonistic epistasis might be seen as a sort of genetic mutational robustness.” (See 09/22/2004 headline on robustness as a design constraint in the living cell.) In conclusion, they caution evolutionary modelers to realize that they can no longer merely assume fitness gains (if any) add up. Mercifully, they use the words hint and suggest: “Finally, we would like to hint that the above findings prompt the necessity of considering nonmultiplicative fitness effects in mathematical descriptions of viral evolution.” Indeed, “the results we present here suggest that more realistic models must incorporate variance in the type and strength of epistasis among mutations.” But did they themselves find any synergistic, beneficial epistatic effects by experiment? None. Maybe neo-Darwinism is like the businessman who lost money on every sale but thought he could make it up in volume.1Rafael Sanjuán, Andrés Moya, and Santiago F. Elena, “Evolution: The contribution of epistasis to the architecture of fitness in an RNA virus,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0404125101, Published online before print October 18, 2004.Any scientific hypothesis must be testable and subject to falsification by experiment. It is not enough to tell just-so stories, and describe things in glittering generalities with armchair scenarios. Neo-Darwinian theory, the idea that natural selection acting on “scarce” beneficial mutations can produce all the diversity of life, from diving cormorants to catapulting chameleon tongues to sponge fiber optics to high-tech fruit fly aircraft to supersonic high-jumping froghoppers to efficient penguin, whale and dolphin flippers to fish physics students to glass-sculpturing diatoms to self-propelled motors, must be testable if it is to be declared scientific. So there. These scientists finally put neo-Darwinism to the test in a microcosm that should have shown, if the principles were correct, a clear case of fitness increasing as a result of natural selection acting on beneficial mutations. It failed. It failed miserably. Not only were no instances of synergistic beneficial mutations detected, the beneficial mutations that were artificially inserted worked against each other! Neo-Darwinism is falsified! And it was falsified not by creationists, but by evolutionary biologists working in the lab at an institute for the study of biological evolution! Now all we need to do is get the word out. Stop the propaganda machine, stop the NCSE and ACLU threats at the school boards, stop the PBS NOVA programs and the media spin doctors. Rearrange the museums, gather up the pro-Darwin displays and national park signs and toss them, along with neo-Darwinian theory itself, and by implication all of Charlie’s baggage that was already obsolete before 1940, onto the dumpster of discredited ideas. Darwin’s Century is now a mere footnote of history, an unfortunate detour that killed 100 million people, but at least now we know better.(Visited 100 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is reminding Ohioans that small numbers of dead fish may be common in ponds and small lakes this spring. Winter die-offs of fish after long periods of heavy ice and snow cover on small waters are known as “winterkills.” Winterkills may occur in some Ohio waters this year as ice and snow of the past few months gives way to spring.According to the ODNR Division of Wildlife fisheries biologists, minor fish kills do not significantly impact fish populations or sport fishing opportunities in lakes and reservoirs. Fish kills are fairly common in Ohio, particularly right after ice-out, from late April through mid-June, and during prolonged periods of hot summer weather.Winterkills are caused when persistent ice forms a surface barrier between water and air that prevents circulation of oxygen and blocks sunlight. If these conditions continue long enough, the oxygen fish need to survive may be depleted and result in some or all of them suffocating. Lacking sunlight, plants stop making oxygen and eventually start to use oxygen as they die back and decompose.Winterkill is most common in shallow ponds and will become obvious if dead fish are seen along the shore. Ohio’s northern counties are most susceptible to winterkill because of colder temperatures and more frequent snowfall. However, winterkill is possible in any part of the state during winters of persistent cold weather and snow cover.Fish die-offs are possible in Ohio’s larger lakes as well, but for different reasons. Fish which are less tolerant of long, cold winters, such as gizzard shad, are commonly seen along the shorelines of reservoirs and even Lake Erie during moderate winters. However, in larger waters, the species that commonly die off following winter are resilient and return in great numbers following a single spawning season.Concerned citizens should not attempt to rescue stressed or dead fish. Handling stressed fish significantly reduces their chance of survival, and attempts to capture these fish may present a safety hazard to people attempting to help the fish. Go to wildohio.gov to find more information about fish and preventing winterkills. Large numbers of dead fish should be reported by calling 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).
Yesterday we explored an emerging trend called “Cross Reality”, one term for when sensor networks meet online virtual worlds.As this trend becomes more common over the next few years (and it will, as both Web-connected sensors and virtual reality ramp up), what are the implications on how people use the Web? How will it change our interactions in both real and virtual life? In this post we’ll explore some of these issues and offer some ideas: for example a bookstore that offers you personalized, contextual information on your mobile phone, in real time and with virtual reality.During my meeting at MIT with Joseph Paradiso, Associate Professor and Director of the Responsive Environments Group at MIT Media Laboratory, we discussed how connecting environmental sensors to the Web and virtual worlds will change the way people interact with each other and their environments. Essentially it will enable people to expose as much of their life online as they want – leading to an era of “ubiquitous media.” There are privacy implications for this, which we’ll discuss below. But let’s first look at the benefits.Better and More Personalized InformationThe more data that is exposed online about a person, the more personalized their media experience will be. This appears to be the most compelling argument for allowing your movements and interactions in the real world to be recorded and uploaded to the cloud. As long as there are privacy controls in place that allow people to opt out at any time (even for just a short period of time, e.g. if they’re having a private conversation with a friend), then the pay-off of a much more personalized and contextual media experience seems worthwhile. Wait, What About My Privacy?!All of the above potential benefits (which just scratch the surface of what’s possible) sound marvelous, but of course we haven’t yet touched on the not insignificant privacy implications of living in a world enhanced by sensor data and virtual worlds.This issue was discussed in the academic paper which we summarized in yesterday’s post. The paper asked what happens when “potentially invasive media capture becomes an intrinsic property of devices scattered all over our environments?” To try and solve this issue, MIT is experimenting with a small badge that people can wear to “passively manage dynamic privacy” in environments where potentially sensitive information is streamed across real and virtual worlds. Such a device might be embedded in your mobile phone, or on your body somehow, in the near future. It’s early days, so don’t panic just yet about brain implants. But here is how MIT describes the current solution:“We have elected to address this [privacy issue] with badge systems, which periodically beacon a unique ID, to wirelessly mediate privacy (a prototype privacy badge is shown in Figure 7). Using received signal strength and/or the localization engine, the Portals know which badges are potentially within sensor capture range, and can passively and dynamically control data access according to the badge users’ preferences. When the red “NO” button is pressed, however, an immediate opt-out signal is transmit to block any sensors in range – an important option if a sensitive conversation is initiated. The current protocol answers to the most restrictive privacy setting that is received. If we have any indication that the wireless network is being jammed or spoofed, the portals will revert to a conservative privacy level.” ConclusionClearly much work needs to be done to enable people to effectively – and easily – control personal data from sensors. The benefits described above are compelling, but equally we want to ensure that our personal data is under our control and not being monitored by governments or corporations.Now tell us what changes you forsee on the Web, as a result of the emergence of Web-connected environmental sensors and the continued growth of virtual worlds.Image credits: sndrv; MorBCN; Alpha Auer; butkaj.com; Responsive Environments Group Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Analysis#Internet of Things#web richard macmanus Imagine for example walking down to your local shops and entering a bookstore. Theoretically, the bookstore would recognize you as you entered and would ‘ping’ your mobile device, which then might bring up that wish list of books you’ve been compiling (let’s assume it’s not an Amazon wish list, but an independent third party app – perhaps an opportunity for any entrepreneurs reading!). The app would let you know which of your wish list books are available. Also it would display a virtual map on your phone of exactly where each book is located in the store, via the barcodes of the books. Armed with all of this handy, very contextual information, you make your way to the first bookshelf…You may say: well I could’ve just ordered the book on Amazon and not gone to the bookstore in the first place. But a lot of people still want that experience of going to their local shops and wandering around, socializing and being part of the ‘real world.’ By integrating the online world more deeply into the real world, it creates a more compelling shopping experience.Changing the Way You Live A more fundamental way in which sensors and virtual reality might mix is in your home. An example that Joe Paradiso mentioned was being able to control a thermostat in your home without even touching it. Instead it would be controlled by sensors connected to the Web. All you’d need to do is send your preferences into the Internet cloud, once. And the thermostats would control your home heating from there on out. You could also check in on your home when at work or traveling, on the virtual Web.One does wonder what would happen though when multiple people live in the same house, but have different thermostat preferences! Well, let’s presume that the Internet will be able to work out an efficient sharing program for that too 😉Changing Social NetworkingSensors and virtual reality will change social networking. Paradiso mentioned that you might have a Zigby badge, which would automatically post data to Facebook. For example when you entered that bookshop mentioned above, Facebook would get pinged. Theoretically then this will enable your friends in the vicinity to meet up with you, or you could make new friends if you allow people to ‘discover’ you at bookshops. You could do this virtually too – e.g. if you find that you have great conversations whenever you’re in a bookshop, then why not try catching up with some friends via Second Life’s version of that bookshop (which connects in real-time to the real bookshop)? And what’s to stop you from visiting overseas bookshops, virtually, and meeting/making friends? Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting
Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo, left, congratulates Real’s Sergio Ramos who scored the opening goal during the Champions League semifinal second leg soccer match against Bayern Munich. APSergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals apiece as Real Madrid advanced to the Champions League final by stunning title holder Bayern Munich 4-0 on Tuesday.Madrid completed a 5-0 aggregate victory and will now play either Chelsea or Atletico Madrid in the May 24 final in Lisbon. Bayern’s slumped to its worst home defeat in the competition, and equaled its heaviest loss overall – 4-0 away to Barcelona in 2009.Madrid had never won in Munich in 10 previous matches, losing nine of them. But this time, Carlo Ancelotti’s team put its stamp on the game early and struck with awesome efficiency.Ramos headed home in the 16th and 20th minutes, and Ronaldo raised his tally to a competition record 16 goals for the season to take Madrid one win away from a record 10th title. Madrid is in its 13th final.Madrid had lost three consecutive semifinals, including a 2012 shootout when Ramos missed a penalty.It was a bitter defeat for Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, who had so much success against Madrid when he was in charge of Barcelona. Bayern was seeking to become the first team to defend the Champions League title.Madrid’s sweeping, fast counterattacks paced by Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Angel Di Maria, along with its tenacious tackling when Bayern tried to come out of the hosts’ own half, were a huge problem for Bayern’s defense but the first two goals came from set pieces, as well as the last.advertisementA corner by Luka Modric was met By Ramos, who headed down past Manuel Neuer, as Dante failed to challenge the Madrid defender.A minute later, Dante was booked for bringing down Ronaldo.The second goal came after Di Maria’s swinging free kick into the box. Pepe nodded the ball on and the diving Ramos headed into the net.Real’s third was a fast break that left the Bayern defense trailing far behind.Benzema fed Bale, who easily outpaced Jerome Boateng and passed to the unmarked Ronaldo, who calmly slotted home in the 34th. Ronaldo then fired a low free kick through the wall in the 89th to complete Madrid’s superb performance.Bayern nerves frayed after the first three goals and the match threatened to get out of hand. Star winger Franck Ribery failed to make an impact and was substituted in the second half. Striker Mario Mandzukic was involved in several incidents and did not come out for the second half.Ronaldo and Bale both missed an empty net when Neuer twice mistimed clearing attempts far outside the penalty box. Ronaldo saw another effort sail wide, although he might have done better by passing to Benzema.The match lost intensity in the second half as Madrid protected its lead while the demoralized Bayern kept possession but rarely threatened.A minute of silence was held before kickoff in memory of former Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova and Vujadin Boskov, a former Serbian coach of Real Madrid. Both died last week.
New Delhi, Jul 27 (PTI) Tata Motors owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) today said it has launched Range Rover SVAutoiography Dynamic in India, priced at Rs 2.79 crore (ex- showroom).The SUV comes loaded with several features and a powerful V8 engine.”The Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic is designed and engineered by JLR?s special vehicle operations (SVO) team who are passionate in their commitment to explore new frontiers of luxury, performance and technology,” JLR India Managing Director Rohit Suri said in a statement.Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic is the fourth vehicle to join the brands portfolio in India after the Range Rover SVAutobiography, Range Rover Sport SVR and Jaguar F-TYPE SVR.The new model is available to order at all 25 authorised retail outlets in India, the company said. PTI MSS BAL