Trojans’ title hopes depend on defense

first_imgDefense wins championships.We all know that saying. I think it’s probably been plastered onto so many high school football shirts and motivational posters that anyone who’s ever watched or played or even been around sports knows it. Offense wins games, but defense wins championships.No matter what sport, I’ve always loved defense, perhaps even more than offense. When I played basketball and soccer, there was something satisfying about squaring up an opponent and shutting down any move they tried to make past you. When I watch football and basketball, I live for the hard hits and the showboat blocks.That might be because of where I’m from. Kansas City is known across the board for teams that specialize in defense — Sporting KC with its indomitable home field atmosphere, the Chiefs with their smash mouth defensive line and Alex Gordon and the Royals and their high-flying antics in the outfield. It’s something the teams and the city takes pride in. And when defense is great, it’s a thing of beauty to watch.Last Saturday, I don’t think I could use the word “beautiful” to describe most of the USC defense. There were, of course, the highlights of the fourth quarter — that Porter Gustin sack, the Marvel Tell interception — but the game left a bitter taste in the mouths of most fans despite the 49-31 final score.Entering this season, there has been perhaps too much hype surrounding this USC football team. Yet most of it focused on phenom quarterback Sam Darnold, his offense and his inevitable quest to collect a Pac-12 championship, a national championship and a Heisman trophy in one fell swoop. There was a slight rumble in the Coliseum when Darnold took the field for the first time on Saturday, a thrum of expectation that paid off in the opening touchdown drive and then quickly dissipated throughout the frustrating first half. And despite receiving very little of the offseason spotlight, the same expectation still stood for the defense as it took the field.What unfolded over the first three quarters of the Western Michigan game was, in a word, disappointing. The defensive line found no room to pressure the quarterback, while the secondary blew coverage and the linebackers let running backs slip away with sloppy arm tackles. The offense struggled to get off the ground, but they also had no safety net. The defense allowed 263 yards on the ground alone, falling to 113th out of 125 teams in the FBS after the poor outing. The hits weren’t hard and the stops weren’t impressive. For the first time, I felt that the best way to describe the USC defense was “soft.”There are a lot of excuses that could be made for the defense. Western Michigan was bringing a new head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterback to the Coliseum, and there was little to no film available to prepare the defense. Junior linebacker Cam Smith, who typically leadsin-game adjustments for the Trojans, was confined to the locker room for the first half due to a suspension carried over from the Rose Bowl, leaving the young defense to adjust themselves without one of their captains. For all those reasons, it makes sense that team came out to a slow start. But there’s a difference between a slow start and allowing almost 300 yards rushing. Sloppy tackles and lack of energy couldn’t be blamed on a lack of film or a sidelined leader or even the heat. Smith was harsh in his review of the team, saying it had nothing to do with anything except lack of concentration.“Bad,” he said impatiently to the reporter scrum after the game. “It was really bad.”Something has to change. The Trojans squeaked out of their season opener with a victory, but the same performance can’t be repeated next Saturday against Stanford. The Cardinal will bring everything that Western Michigan did — scrappy defense, a hard-nosed run game and balanced aerial attack — with the added benefit of Pac-12 talent. It’s too early to panic, and first games are historically poor barometers for the future success of football teams. (Just ask any fan who stuck through from the Alabama game to the Rose Bowl last year, if you don’t believe me.) But while many might be ready to sound the alarm while poring over Darnold’s Heisman chances, I’m much more concerned with the defense.Defense wins championships. It’s cliché. It’s also true. And as USC continues to grind through a tough Pac-12 and non-conference schedule — all without a bye week — it will be the defense, and not the offense, that will be tested the most.If the Trojans are going to live up to the hype this year, fans will have to hope that a different defense shows up to the Coliseum this Saturday.Julia Poe is a junior studying print and digital journalism. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, Poe’s Perspective, runs Wednesdays.last_img read more

LHC to complete ophthalmology centre this year

first_img— plugs dialysis treatment into 2017 budgetChief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) in Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), Dr Farouk Riyasat, has made the call for dialysis treatment, improvement in laboratory services, as well as some level of infrastructural upgrade at the medical institution. He made the call while delivering the 2016-2017 projections of the LHC during a consultation last week. In his projections, Dr Riyasat outlined several plans and areas in which improvements were needed at the LHC, which also comprises the Upper Demerara Hospital at Wismar, Linden, and the Kwakwani Hospital, Upper Berbice River.In his presentation, the CEO established the need for dialysis and oncology treatment centres, noting that there is staff who specialise in the oncology area and who have undergone training at the Georgetown Public Hospital; however, he said there is no room available for patients to receive chemotherapy. Due to this, he said patients would have to travel to Georgetown, which results in additional costs.“Dialysis treatment, this is very vital. We have had a proposal that I have presented to our LHC Board for consideration and we are all in agreement that we need at least to start with two beds for our patients to have dialysis done. Many patients who are going to Georgetown spend a lot of money privately to have the dialysis done, in transportation costs… so we are pursuing this aggressively… this also will be going into the budget for 2017… It is for us now to make sure as early as possible an oncology treatment centre, where those patients who are seen and discharged be treated right here as we have the staff and professionals”, the CEO noted. This year, Dr Riyasat noted, will see the completion of an operating theatre at former LHC for ophthalmology surgery, as well as another eye care ward for post ophthalmology patients.He also revealed the limitations as it relates to laboratory services due to unavailability of equipment and training. The establishment of a psychiatric ward will also be plugged into the 2017 budget, the CEO stated.Other areasDr Riyasat also pointed to the need to acquire two more specialists at the Hospital Complex, with one being an emergency medicine specialist. He said a proposal was sent to US Embassy for the setting up of a library and computer laboratory in the LHC lecture room for staff to conduct research, workplace training, data storage and analysis.This year, the CEO said extending the emergency unit and rehabilitation department is being looked at, at the Upper Demerara Hospital, in addition to upgrades to the laboratory, since there is need for a wider spectrum of tests to be done with regards to diagnostics. He added that there are issues with water pressure, storage and availability at the Upper Demerara Hospital and the LHC will be seeking to obtain a 20,000-gallon water reservoir below or above the surface, so that water can be pumped from the Guyana Water Inc mainline to water tanks. The CEO said since the Upper Demerara Hospital is situated on a hill, the water pressure takes a longer time to store. This, he noted, was also placed in the 2017 budget. Dr Riyasat also stressed the need for a 24-hour ambulance service at the Upper Demerara Hospital. He said presently there is an unavailability of drivers and requests were sent to the Public Health Ministry to employ more drivers. He also noted that suitable accommodation is needed to accommodate technical staff, such as laboratory technicians. The CEO further stressed the need for integrated services to avoid numerous additional visits by patients.This year, he said the Linden Hospital Complex will also be looking at the instillation of switchboards, the construction of an incinerator, and to have a stretch of road asphalted from the gate to hospital entrance. Repairs will also be done to ceiling and roof of the Upper Demerara Hospital.last_img read more

This Humanoid Robot Could Replace Construction Workers

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. It’s not a question of if or when robots will join the workforce—but whose jobs they will take.Japan’s Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) developed a prototype humanoid aimed at eventually replacing human laborers.The HRP-5P bot stands 6 feet tall, with two arms, two legs, and an impressive squat.It is the latest in a growing family of androids, which began in 1998 with HRP-1, and most recently saw HRP-2 Reinforcement participate in the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge.Over the last two decades, AIST has achieved semi-autonomous execution of tasks “such as irregular terrain walking and valve turning based on measurements,” according to a translated press release.But when tested on heavy work—such as construction of a wall of gypsum board—their robots “lacked physical ability … sufficient to simulate human motion in a complicated environment.”“Therefore, AIST decided to develop a humanoid robot HRP-5P with physical abilities capable of substituting human hard work,” the Institute said.Methodical and precise, the cyborg isn’t going to win any races. In fact, it would probably slow production to a crawl. But with uber-flexible joints and a lack of emotional attachments, it will surely be effective.Japan’s declining birthrate and aging population both point to an unstable future—one in which industries like construction will fall into “serious manual shortages,” AIST said, adding that “It is urgent to solve this problem by robot technology.”There is also the concern about people working in dangerous environments, with heavy equipment and materials—heavy enough to cause long-term damage in case of an accident.“Humanoid robots have a body structure similar to human beings,” the Institute said, adding that “it is possible” to swap people for machines “without changing the working environment.”Moving forward, engineers plan to promote HRP-5P as an autonomous research and development platform, which could one day replace people at work sites of buildings, houses, aircraft, and ships.Folks visiting this month’s World Robot Expo 2018 in Tokyo can visit AIST to catch a glimpse of the prototype humanoid.Humanoid colleagues may not be all they’re cracked up to be, though. Check out Geek’s roundup of 11 robots that are going to steal your jobs, and stay up to date on the latest cyborg news here. Robot Dog Astro Can Sit, Lie Down, and Save LivesYou Can’t Squish This Cockroach-Inspired Robot center_img Stay on targetlast_img read more

Gaming addiction officially classified as a disease

first_imgThe World Health Organization adds gaming addiction to its list of categorized disorders, a move that could have a tremendous ripple effect on incoming lootbox legislation.   Gaming addition is now recognized as a real behavioral disorder. Found in the updated 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases, the World Health Organization’s newly adopted “gaming disorder” classification is almost synonymous with crippling gambling disorders. Gaming addiction is characterized by “increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences,” the report says. Disorders due to addictive behaviours are recognizable and clinically significant syndromes associated with distress or interference with personal functions that develop as a result of repetitive rewarding behaviours other than the use of dependence-producing substances. Disorders due to addictive behaviors include gambling disorder and gaming disorder, which may involve both online and offline behaviour.  Both online and offline gaming is included under the disorder label. Despite being two very different types of behaviors the WHO doesn’t really stipulate differences or designate between the two. Online gaming is mostly inherently “dangerous” because of aggressive monetization tactics which are sometimes akin to actual gambling and can incur serious debt. Intense monetization is mostly found in mobile games.  Offline gaming tends to be more immersive and pulls gamers into a long-term experience where the outside world shuts off (that’s possible with online gaming, too, but offline singleplayer games lean more towards intimate interactivity). This new classification could significantly impact the games industry as a whole and give legislators more artillery to upend the lootbox and microtransaction market. Missouri Senator Josh Hawley plans to introduce a bill that will illegalize lootboxes and pay-to-win microtransaction schemes in games aimed at, or played by, children. The World Health Organization’s new ICD revision will be a significant watershed moment to push for anti-addiction measures, including lootbox regulation. The industry will have until 2022 to make big changes, as the ICD-11 won’t be officially put into action until then. Here’s how the WHO describes “gaming disorder”: DescriptionGaming disorder, predominantly online is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’) that is primarily conducted over the internet and is manifested by:  impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context); increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.  The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe. PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB Console – Black (Renewed) TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago $284.95 US$284.95 center_img $279.99 $284.95 Buylast_img read more

Cilia appears to play key role in formation of melanoma

first_img Source:http://www.media.uzh.ch/en/Press-Releases/2018/Melanoma.html Jul 2 2018Most cells in the human body have a cilium, a slender cell protuberance that picks up signals from the cell’s external environment. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now shown that these fine sensory antennae play a key role in the formation of melanoma. When cilia are prevented from developing in benign pigment cells, the cells degenerate and develop an aggressive form of melanoma.Melanomas are one of the most aggressive types of tumors in humans. Despite remarkable success with new forms of treatment such as immunotherapies, there are still many melanoma patients who cannot be cured or who later suffer a recurrence of the disease following successful treatment. An in-depth understanding of the tumor’s biology is thus essential for developing novel therapeutic approaches. The main question is which changes in a benign cell cause it to progress into a malignant tumor.Related StoriesNew clinical genomic testing helps identify mutations that drive childhood melanomaPhysicians trained in dermatoscopy can improve odds for early detection of melanomaResearchers find possible counterpunch to drug resistance of melanomaFormation and spread of melanoma also regulated epigeneticallyA team of researchers led by Lukas Sommer, professor at the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Zurich (UZH), has now been able to show that in addition to genetic causes such as mutations in the DNA, epigenetic factors also play a role in the formation and spread of melanoma. While epigenetic factors don’t directly influence the gene sequence, they do regulate how efficiently certain genes are transcribed in the cells. The UZH researchers focused on the EZH2 protein, which – unlike in benign cells – is very common in melanoma cells and plays a central role in melanoma formation.EZH2 suppresses ciliary genes and leads to metastasisTo find out how epigenetic factors contribute to the melanoma’s aggressive behavior, the scientists examined all the genes that are regulated by EZH2. “We were very surprised to find many genes that are jointly responsible for the formation of cilia,” says study leader Sommer. It seems that cilia genes are suppressed by EZH2, which means that malignant melanoma cells have much fewer of these fine sensory hairs than the skin’s benign pigment cells. With the help of human melanoma cells and mouse models, the researchers succeeded in demonstrating that loss of cilia in pigment cells activates carcinogenic signaling pathways, ultimately resulting in the formation of aggressive, metastatic melanoma.Approach for novel tumor therapiesThere are many types of cancers composed of cells that have lost their cilia. “The epigenetic regulation of cilia formation that we’ve now discovered in melanoma is, therefore, likely also relevant for the formation of other types of cancers, such as breast or brain tumors,” remarks Lukas Sommer. Drugs that block EZH2 probably offer a promising strategy when it comes to treating melanoma, possibly in combination with immunotherapies, according to Sommer.last_img read more