Molecular Motors Do Ballet

first_imgScientists at University of Illinois studied dynein and kinesin – the tiny molecular trucks that ferry cargo inside the living cell – and found that they are not just individualists: they cooperate in a delicate yet effective performance.    Some scientists had thought that the two machine types, which travel in opposite directions, were involved in a constant tug-o’war with each other.  Instead, reports the university’s news bureau, “The motors cooperate in a delicate choreography of steps.”    Using high-speed imaging techniques, they determined that “multiple motors can work in concert, producing more than 10 times the speed of individual motors measured outside the cell.”  The machines move by “walking” on rails called microtubules in steps 8 billionths of a meter at a time.  The team is measuring the force produced by the motion to “further understand these marvelous little machines.”  There was no mention of evolution in the report.Someone should put an animation of these machines to the Blue Danube Waltz.  It would be quite a show.  Darwinists could be allowed to buy tickets as long as they do their smoking outside.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Modern humans ’44 000 years ago’

first_img31 July 2012 An international team, including scientists from South Africa’s Wits University, has published research that substantially increases the age at which we can trace the emergence of behaviourally modern humans – through direct links to the San people of southern Africa. The question of when and where anatomically modern humans first emerged (Africa, about 200 000 years ago, the evidence indicates) still leaves open the question: when and where did human cultures similar to ours emerge? Until now, most archaeologists believed the oldest traces of San hunter-gatherer culture in southern Africa dated back 10 000 or at most 20 000 years. The new research – published online in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday – pushes this much further back in time, to 44 000 years ago.Border Cave, South Africa The research team, comprising scientists from South Africa, France, Italy, Norway, the USA and Britain, drew its conclusions from archaeological material discovered at Border Cave in South Africa. Located in the foothills of the Lebombo Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal province, the site has yielded exceptionally well-preserved organic material. According to Lucinda Backwell, a senior researcher at Wits University’s Bernard Price Institute for Paleontological Research, the dating and analysis of this material “has allowed us to demonstrate that many elements of material culture that characterise the lifestyle of San hunter-gatherers in southern Africa were part of the culture and technology of the inhabitants of this site 44 000 years ago.” Backwell said in a statement on Monday that the team’s results had shown without a doubt that, at around 44 000 years ago, the people at Border Cave were using digging sticks weighted with perforated stones, like those traditionally used by the San.Earliest evidence of use of poison, beeswax “They adorned themselves with ostrich egg and marine shell beads, and notched bones for notational purposes,” said Backwell. “They fashioned fine bone points for use as awls and poisoned arrowheads. One point is decorated with a spiral groove filled with red ochre, which closely parallels similar marks that San make to identify their arrowheads when hunting.” According to the researchers, chemical analysis of residues on a wooden stick decorated with incisions reveals that, like San objects used for the same purpose, it was used to hold and carry a poison-containing ricinoleic acid found in castor beans. This represents the earliest evidence for the use of poison. A lump of beeswax, mixed with the resin of toxic Euphorbia, and possibly egg, was wrapped in vegetal fibres made from the inner bark of a woody plant. “This complex compound used for hafting arrowheads or tools, directly dated to 40 000 years ago, is the oldest known evidence of the use of beeswax,” said Backwell. Warthog tusks were shaped into awls and possibly spear heads. The use of small pieces of stone to arm hunting weapons was confirmed by the discovery of resin residue still adhering to some of the tools, which chemical analysis identified as a suberin (waxy substance) produced from the sap of Podocarpus (yellowwood) trees. The study of stone tools discovered in the same archaeological layers as the organic remains, and from older deposits, showed a gradual evolution in stone tool technology, the researchers found. Organic artifacts ‘appeared relatively abruptly’ “Organic artifacts, unambiguously reminiscent of San material culture, appear relatively abruptly, highlighting an apparent mismatch in rates of cultural change. “This finding supports the view that what we perceive today as ‘modern behaviour’ is the result of non-linear trajectories that may be better understood when documented at a regional scale.” The research team, led by Francesco d’Errico, director of research at the French National Research Centre, published its findings in the articles: “Early evidence of San material culture represented by organic artifacts from Border Cave, South Africa”. The team comprised d’Errico, Backwell, Paola Villa, Ilaria Degano, Jeannette Luceiko, Marion Bamford – a palaeobotanist also from the Bernard Price Institute – Thomas Higham, Maria Perla Colombini, and Peter Beaumont. A second article, “Border Cave and the Beginning of the Later Stone Age in South Africa”, was also published on Monday. The authors were Paola Villa, Sylvain Soriano, Tsenka Tsanova, Ilaria Degano, Thomas Higham, Francesco d’Errico, Lucinda Backwell, Jeannette Luceiko, Maria Perla Colombini and Peter Beaumont. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Saving the world a drop at a time

first_imgConveniently packaged in single-use sachets, DryBath saves up to 80 litres of water per use.(Image: HeadBoy Industries) A jubilant Marishane accepts the award which confirms his status as one of the world’s top young entrepreneurs.(Image: Global Student Entrepreneur Awards) MEDIA CONTACTS • Ludwick Marishane  Founder, Headboy Industries RELATED ARTICLES • Meds on wheels for positive change • Meet a top social entrepreneur • Grooming future leaders: priceless • Young people: own your destiny! • Imbizo boost for entrepreneurs Bhekumuzi MdakaneImagine taking a bath anywhere at any time without using the traditional method of water. A young South African entrepreneur has developed a product that will allow people who have limited access to water to maintain their standards of hygiene.Ludwick Marishane hails originally from Motetema on the border of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, a town located not too far from the small Kwaggavoetpad Nature Reserve. He’s just completed his fourth year as a commerce student at the University of Cape Town.His product, called DryBath, is a clear germicidal and moisturising gel that’s applied to skin in the manner of waterless hand cleaners, although it has a sweet aroma rather than the distinctive alcohol smell of the latter.DryBath does the work of water and soap and it earned Marishane the 2011 Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award, with a US$10 000 (R86 000) prize to boot.The product has positive implications for millions of people in Africa and other parts of the developing world where lack of regular access to clean water leads to reduced basic hygiene and a lower quality of life. Children, for example, often have to walk for hours to fetch clean water, which detracts from the time they can spend at school, doing homework or just playing.To show solidarity for and raise awareness of the millions of affected people, Marishane is organising a no-bath weekend from 5 to 7 July, which will coincide with the fourth anniversary of the invention of DryBath. More details are available online.His main goal is to get 10-million people to hygienically skip a bath once a week during 2013, even if they don’t use DryBath, and save the precious resource of water.DryBath is manufactured by Western Cape-based gel cosmetic specialists BioEarth Labs for HeadBoy Industries, the company started by Marishane to develop and market the product. Laziness leads to inspirationMarishane grew up in rural Limpopo, where as a 17-year-old he was chatting one day with a close friends, discussing typical teenage topics and sunbathing in the winter sun.Full of imagination, the friend asked: “Why can’t they invent something that you can just apply to your skin so that you don’t have to take a bath nor shower?”Marishane felt the same way, and that planted the seed that would germinate into DryBath.“I came up with this idea all because I didn’t feel like taking a bath!” he joked.Although he only had high school science knowledge, Marishane got onto the internet via his mobile phone and researched statistics on water access, as well as the composition and manufacture of lotions and creams. He finally came up with a formula. Some months later and after much experimentation, he held a bottle of DryBath in his hand and went on to obtain a patent through his company.One 20ml DryBath sachet can do the work of one bath, and Marishane claims it saves about 80 litres of water on average with every use.Access to water is crucialDuring his research he found out that over 2.5-billion people in the world live without access to clean water – 450-millon of them are in Africa and five-million live in South Africa.Continued research revealed that sanitation-related diseases are often found within these poor areas and the lack of water is one of the main causes of the infections.Saving water is a job that everyone needs to focus on. But there are many areas around the world that have no access to safe water, or water at all, and people often have to walk long distances to get fresh water.Living without water can also lead to death, as waterborne diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid and schistosomiasis are found in areas that lack clean water. Trachoma, a disease caused by dirt getting into the eye through agents such as flies or towels, affects 350-million people and leaves eight-million of them permanently blind through recurring infection.According to Water.org, nearly 10% of the global disease burden could be reduced through improved water supply, sanitation, hygiene, and water resource management. Getting the product out thereMarishane first approached charity organizations for support, but says he was turned back because of his age and because of doubt that his concept would ever work.Back at the drawing board, he put together a lengthy and detailed proposal – all done on his trusty Nokia.With paper in hand he approached the corporate world in search for sponsors, endorsements and investors. At the moment he has struck up partnerships with WaterAid and Oxfam.DryBath is now manufactured commercially for clients such as hotels, music festival organisers, major global airlines – one of which is British Airways – and governments for soldiers in the field. It’s not yet available for consumer use but Marishane says it will soon be sold online.last_img read more

Ohio Agricultural Council awards six scholarships

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Six Ohio high school and college students have been selected to receive scholarships from the Ohio Agricultural Council. The scholarships, each totaling $1,500, were awarded for the 2016-2017 school year.The students, each of whom is pursuing a degree in an agricultural-related area of study, were chosen based on their excellent academic record, outstanding leadership qualities, community involvement, and exceptional essay responses.“The Ohio Agricultural Council is pleased to provide scholarships to help students further their education,” said Jim Chakeres, OAC president. “As one reviewer said, ‘our future is in good hands and very bright!’ We congratulate these young leaders on being selected to receive scholarships for the 2016-17 school year.”The high school student recipients are as follows:• Elizabeth Landis, of Anna, Ohio• Josie Montoney, of Lancaster, Ohio• Garrett Stanfield, of Manchester, OhioThe college student recipients are as follows:• Mary Buehler, of Anna, Ohio• Katie Frost, of Bloomingburg, Ohio• Katie Vorst, of Middle Point, OhioThe students will be recognized at OAC’s annual Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame Awards Program on August 5 at the Ohio State Fair in the new Cardinal Building. As part of the award, the scholarship recipients will also receive a one-year complimentary membership in the Council.For more information visit www.OhioAgCouncil.org.last_img read more

7 DIY Filmmaking Techniques Using the Versatile Wheelchair Dolly

first_imgThe wheelchair dolly is a tried-and-true DIY tool — for projects of all sizes. Check out these 7 tips on how to use one to improve your film.Cover Image of Jean-Luc Godard on the set of Breathless (via Studio Canal).There are plenty of dolly options available for filmmakers at all levels of production. Even for those looking for DIY options can find tons of great resources to put something together on the cheap. However, if you’re looking for one simple solution (which can actually be much more versatile and fun), consider the indie-filmmaker’s favorite — the wheelchair dolly.While there are some wheelchair-style dollies specifically for filmmaking (all great options), let’s focus on using a standard-issue wheelchair, which you can often find secondhand at thrift stores or online (here’s a link to Ebay). Once you’re all set, here are seven creative ways to put your DIY wheelchair dolly to use.1. Push or PullImage via AMC.Let’s start with the basics. Using a wheelchair dolly is great for pushing in or pulling out shots. You’ll usually see these types of shots in large-scale productions, as they both see a lot of use for narrative effect (creating important moments) or for clarity of composition. If you keep the movement short and straight, the wheelchair will work very much like your standard track-dolly setup, but without all the assembly and breakdown.Bonus Tip: if you’re shooting solo or with an extremely small crew, you can always sit yourself in a wheelchair and do some short push or pull movements using only your feet. Try it — even a few inches can add style and depth to what would normally be a regular set shot.2. Walk and TalksImage from The West Wing via NBC.Along with straightforward push and pull shots for dramatic effect, a wheelchair is a great option for long tracking shots like the now-recognizable Aaron Sorkin-style Walk and Talk shot (which you can see parodied here). The wheelchair is great because your camera operator can face your subject or subjects while someone pulls them backward.3. Tracking Low AnglesImage via Tumblr.The flexibility a wheelchair offers to the camera operator while sitting is also great. You usually won’t need to lock the camera operator in, and they’ll have almost a full range of motion from the seat. As such, to get many low-angle tracking shots, you don’t need to assemble a tricky low-to-the-the floor dolly setup; you can simply direct your camera op to lean over and hold the camera at a low angle. This may make things a little less steady, but for shorter moves (and with surer-handed ops), it’s a solid technique.4. Curved Tracking MovesAnother aspect of the wheelchair dolly that makes it unique is the simple fact that it is not bound to a set of tracks. The wheelchair, by its nature, is more mobile and can perform complex and curved maneuvers. Try laying some track to recreate this famous circle move from Jean-Luc Godard’s French New Wave classic Breathless.5. Extremely Long Tracking ShotsImage via monnomestdavid.Similar to the Walk and Talk trick, using a wheelchair dolly for extremely long tracking shots is a great way to consolidate resources on DIY productions. The wheelchair can be quite effective, even with only a two-person crew: one to sit and one to move the wheelchair around. If you’re going over long distances, try situating your camera operator in a more relaxed and flexible position (they can also use a Steadicam or some other stabilizer). Be careful, though, with different floor textures (like thick carpet), thresholds between doorways, etc.6. Dolly ZoomsThe wheelchair dolly can also make it easier to perform dolly zooms (which is also known as the Hitchcock zoom or Vertigo Effect). With the camera operator sitting (or kneeling), their hands should be free enough to manually perform a zoom while someone pushes them in the chair at a medium to fast pace. You may have to do several takes, as hitting the focus will always be difficult during such a move, but the effort is worth it in the end.7. Using Natural GravityImage via Film Riot.Finally, one of the riskier wheelchair dolly tricks is to let things like gravity and inclines take control of your movements. These opportunities might not come up often, but if you ever need to simulate a character POV or follow a movement that rapidly increases in speed while slipping or sliding down, using a wheelchair in a controlled free fall move is a daring option. (Be sure to have plenty of people around to help guide and catch the camera op.)For more DIY production tips, check out some of these resources.Gear Hacks: DIY Camera Stabilizers and Rigs for Under $255 DIY Tutorials and Gear Hacks for Filmmakers5 DIY Tips for Your Next ShootPremiumBeat DIY ArchivesThree Ways To Light A Tent Scene On a Low Budgetlast_img read more