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hermesesus
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August 24, 2016, 01:06:10 PM
 #161

2211-2121

Quote
Airlander 10: World's largest aircraft crashes as it attempts to take to the sky

The bottom-shaped ship had been attempting its second flight when it ran into problems

Airlander 10, the world's largest aircraft, has crashed during its second test flight.

The huge ship – nicknamed "The Flying Bum" because of its pert, round back – crashed as it landed at its base at Cardington Airfield this morning, at the end of its second attempt to fly. Its official name is the Martha Gwyn – however, it gained notoriety not just because of its huge size but the interesting shape of its back.

"We're debriefing following the second test flight this morning," a spokesperson for the ship's makers, HAV, said. "All crew are safe and well and there are no injuries."

    This morning's #Airlander incident. pic.twitter.com/GwFqbQ1QIN
    — Airships.net (@Airships) August 24, 2016

It isn't clear if the ship itself took any damage during the crash.

The ship appears to have run into problems as it was making its way back onto the ground, when it flew into a telegraph pole and began running into problems.

"A line that was hanging down from the plane hit the telegraph pole about two fields away," one eyewitness said. "Then, as it came in to land, it seemed to nose dive and landed on the cockpit, smashing it up."

The 302-foot long ship made its maiden voyage last week.

The ship is on sale for £25 million. The makers hope that it can be sold for a variety of uses – including surveillance, communications and deliveries.
Gadgets and tech news in pictures

Airlander 10 can carry a ten tonne payload and is supposed to be abel to stay in the air for up to five days. The company hopes to be building ten of them per year by 2021.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/airlander-10-bottom-aircraft-worlds-largest-bedfordshire-crash-a7207291.html
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August 24, 2016, 03:07:36 PM
 #162

2121-1212

http://grist.org/living/is-your-personal-lube-causing-water-pollution/



Quote
Dear Umbra,

The microbeads issue has me wondering if silicone-based personal lubricants may pollute water. Any idea?

Patrick
New York, New York

A. Dearest Patrick,

I’ve been asked many a question about personal lube, but up ‘til now, the curiosity has always been about health effects: Is the slick stuff safe for me and my partner? And while this is an important and worthy question, I applaud you for taking it one step further and considering the effects your bedroom activities may have on the ecosystem as a whole. That’s the kind of consideration and caring that I’ll bet make you a popular date indeed.
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August 24, 2016, 09:49:58 PM
 #163

2121-2211

Something random and unexpected, lol.

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Like humans, fruit flies sleep at night, caffeine affects their sleep, and if they get a lousy night's sleep it can affect their memory performance. But what can they tell us about the connection between sleep deprivation and metabolic disorders like diabetes and obesity? A lot, according to a new study that is the first to identify that a conserved gene -- translin -- works as a modulator of sleep in response to metabolic changes.


Spearheaded by researchers at Florida Atlantic University, findings from this study are published in the April 4 issue of Current Biology, which establishes that translin is an essential integrator of sleep and metabolic state, with important implications for understanding the neural mechanism underlying sleep deprivation in response to environmental challenges.

Acute sleep loss in humans is associated with increased appetite and insulin insensitivity, while chronically sleep-deprived individuals are more likely to develop obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Conversely, metabolic state has a potent impact on modulating sleep and our body clocks.

"In humans, sleep and feeding are tightly interconnected, and pathological disturbances of either process are associated with metabolism-related disorders," said Alex C. Keene, Ph.D., corresponding author and associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences on FAU's John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter. "Despite the widespread evidence for interactions between sleep loss and metabolic dysfunction, little is known about the molecular basis of this interaction and how these processes integrate within the brain."

When fruit flies are hungry, they sleep less because they will sacrifice sleep for their quest to search for food. Keene and his collaborators used fruit flies in their study and created various scenarios between sleeping and foraging to test each gene one at a time to determine which gene didn't affect their sleep. They carried out a nervous system-specific RNAi screen to identify the genes required to keep hungry flies awake. What they discovered is that translin, when knocked down in neurons, causes starving flies to sleep as soundly as they would on a full stomach. They also observed the same inability to suppress sleep while in starvation mode in the flies that carried a null mutation in translin.

Fruit flies were placed on specific diets as the researchers measured their sleep, and glycogen, triglycerides and free glucose levels. They broke down the starvation response in the fruit flies into separate mechanisms for hunger and sleep-suppression.

"While many genes have been identified as genetic regulators of sleep or metabolic state, mounting evidence from our study indicates that translin functions as a unique integrator of these processes," said Kazuma Murakami, co-first author and a Ph.D. student in the FAU/Max Planck Florida Institute Integrative Biology and Neuroscience (IBAN) program. "We also have been able to show that this gene is not required for general modulation of sleep. Furthermore, we now know that the energy stores in mutant flies are normal and that the starvation-induced sleep suppression phenotype is not due to increased nutrient storage."

Results of this study provide important evidence that translin is not required for the perception of starvation or to stimulate hunger-related behaviors, but is required to stimulate wakefulness in the absence of food.

"The identification of genes regulating sleep-feeding interactions will provide important insight into how the brain integrates and controls the expression of complex behaviors," said Keene.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160324133839.htm
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August 25, 2016, 04:28:04 AM
 #164

1112-1121

I mistook the subforum but here it goes.

Quote
Sunday


I'm not sure why I'm writing this down on paper and not on my computer. I guess I've just noticed some odd things. It's not that I don't trust the computer... I just... need to organize my thoughts. I need to get down all the details somewhere objective, somewhere I know that what I write can't be deleted or... changed... not that that's happened. It's just... everything blurs together here, and the fog of memory lends a strange cast to things...

I'm starting to feel cramped in this small apartment. Maybe that's the problem. I just had to go and choose the cheapest apartment, the only one in the basement. The lack of windows down here makes day and night seem to slip by seamlessly. I haven't been out in a few days, because I've been working on this programming project so intensively. I suppose I just wanted to get it done. Hours of sitting and staring at a monitor can make anyone feel strange, I know, but I don't think that's it.

I'm not sure when I first started to feel like something was odd. I can't even define what it is. Maybe I just haven't talked to anyone in awhile. That's the first thing that crept up on me. Everyone I normally talk to online while I program has been idle, or they've simply not logged on at all. My instant messages go unanswered. The last e-mail I got from anybody was a friend, saying he'd talk to me when he got back from the store, and that was yesterday. I'd call with my cell phone, but reception's terrible down here. Yeah, that's it. I just need to call someone. I'm going to go outside.

Read the full story here = http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Psychosis

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August 25, 2016, 06:08:02 AM
 #165

2121-2211

Something random and unexpected, lol.

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August 25, 2016, 06:22:20 AM
 #166

1212-2111

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We've all experienced love. We've loved (and been loved by) parents, brothers, sisters, friends, even pets. But romantic love is different. It's an intense, new feeling unlike any of these other ways of loving.

Why Do We Fall in Love?

Loving and being loved adds richness to our lives. When people feel close to others they are happier and even healthier. Love helps us feel important, understood, and secure.

But each kind of love has its own distinctive feel. The kind of love we feel for a parent is different from our love for a baby brother or best friend. And the kind of love we feel in romantic relationships is its own unique type of love.

Our ability to feel romantic love develops during adolescence. Teens all over the world notice passionate feelings of attraction. Even in cultures where people are not allowed to act on or express these feelings, they're still there. It's a natural part of growing up to develop romantic feelings and sexual attractions to others. These new feelings can be exciting — or even confusing at first.


From: http://m.kidshealth.org/en/teens/love.html

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August 25, 2016, 07:33:12 AM
 #167

Soil PH: http://agritips.org/soil-ph/

Quote
In this article we talk about soil pH, what is and how to modify its value.

 

In fact, one of the most important parameters to calculate before growing a specific plant in a specific soil is the PH value, i.e. the measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of the soil, which is defined as the negative logarithm ( base 10 ) of the activity of hydronium ions ( H+ or, more precisely, H3O+aq ) in a solution. In fact, depending on their peculiarities, different plants need different pHs.

 

Soil pH strongly influences microbiological activity, mineral elements availability and, ultimately, the adaptability of the different plant species. The most of bacteria – from which nitrogen fixation, nitrification, some organic matter decomposition process depend – prefer a sub-acid or slightly alkaline environment ( pH 6.8÷7.2 ); the deviation from such conditions negatively affect both nutritive elements availability and humidification process. Mushrooms prefer an acid environment and with such conditions they ensure the demolition of organic compounds. Actinomycetes develop mainly in slightly alkaline dry, loose ( and thus rich in oxygen ) soils ( pH 7÷7.5 ), because – with such conditions – they are able to compensate for the lack of activity of mushrooms and other bacteria, in drought periods.

 

Soil pH influences the solubility of various mineral elements causing their accumulation in forms more or less available for plants, as well as their leaching to deeper layers. Thus, knowing pH value gives useful indications about mineral elements availability in the soil, deriving both from origin minerals decomposition and any spread fertilizers. The most known and important case for soil fertility is the one of phosphorus; in the soil it can be found in the form of poorly soluble phosphates. Their solubility depends on pH: if the reaction is acid it means there are iron and aluminum phosphates, the availability of which increases as pH increases; instead if the reaction is alkaline there are calcium phosphates, the availability of which decreases as pH increases. The result is a higher solubility of phosphates ( and thus of phosphorus ) for pH values near neutrality.

 

The most of horticultural crops can easily grow with a sub-acid pH ( between 6 and 6.7 ) or with a neutral one. Yet there exist garden plants and some vegetables too with different needs; for this reason it could be better to “modify” soil pH in order to adapt it to the kind of crop, especially if we talk about pot crops.
Soils which have a pH between 6.8 and 7.2 is considered neutral and is the best soil for the most of horticultural crops. In fact many microelements can be absorbed optimally in this type of soil, while this does not happen in strongly acid or strongly alkaline ones, except for few microelements.

 

Soils which have an acid pH – between 5.4 and 5.9 – are generally not very fertile; such conditions usually also inhibit bacterial and fungal activity, which are fundamental to decompose organic substances. Moreover, elements like calcium or magnesium are insoluble and thus unusable by plants. Other elements scarcely present in an acid soil are boron and phosphorus. Instead, elements highly available and soluble are aluminum, iron and manganese which, if present in too large quantity, could lead to nutritional imbalances and plants problems.
Instead, a soil with an alkaline pH – between 8.2 and 8.8 – is usually rich in limestone; generally such soils are clayey. In alkaline soils insoluble elements ( the ones not available for plants ) are iron, sulfur and potassium. Limestone, similarly to what happens in acid soils, slows microbial and microorganisms activity, which help to decompose organic matter.

 

In the case of an excessive soil acidity, we can try to remedy correcting it administering some substances with an alkaline pH, like – for example – limestone rocks, calcium carbonate and marl.
The correction with addition of quicklime could be of particular interest. To do it, we need to spread in our vegetable garden small heaps of this substance and then let them fade a little bit. Afterwards we need to uniformly spread this substance on the soil and then bury it.
Besides positively modify pH in too acid soils, lime also brings other benefits.
In fact, it stimulates organic matter mobilization helping to speed up mineralization process with a resulting increase of productions. Yet, on the other hand, it quickens the depletion of soil’s organic reserves.

 

Instead if we need to reduce the pH in a too alkaline soil, we can try to remedy administering both organic substances and gypsum. Among the organic substances, manure can be successfully used to this purpose, thanks to its slightly acid pH, as well as other benefits that usually brings to soils. Correcting alkaline soils through gypsum, namely calcium sulphate, is often suggested because this substance – if added in a solution – brings sulfuric acid ions . We need to keep in mind that – due to its calcium content – gypsum shows effects similar to lime on soils, namely it quickens organic matter mineralization, increasing productions, but also quickening the depletion of organic reserves.

 

For Cactaceae family it is usually suggested a soil with a pH near 6.5; to reduce pH in a quick and DIY way we can prepare a solution with water and cooking vinegar, using a teaspoon vinegar for 1 liter of water. In alternative we can use: lemon or orange juice, beer, wine, conifers parts ( needles or twigs ) or tomatoes. All of these things have an acid pH, so they can be successfully used for this purpose, as well as coffee grounds, which can be left to dry and then directly mixed to the compound.

2121-1212


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rianwarcil
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August 25, 2016, 07:39:13 AM
 #168

Link : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_in_Christianity
Number  : 2211-1122
In Western Christian theology, grace has been defined, not as a created substance of any kind, but as "the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it",[1] "the condescension or benevolence shown by God toward the human race".[2] It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to man – "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved"[3] – that takes the form of divine favor, love, clemency, and a share in the divine life of God.[4]

It is an attribute of God that is most manifest in the salvation of sinners. Christian orthodoxy holds that the initiative in the relationship of grace between God and an individual is always on the side of God.

In Eastern Christianity too, grace is the working of God himself, not a created substance of any kind that can be treated like a commodity.

The question of the means of grace has been called "the watershed that divides Catholicism from Protestantism, Calvinism from Arminianism, modern [theological] liberalism from [theological] conservatism."[5] The Catholic Church holds that it is because of the action of Christ and the Holy Spirit in transforming into the divine life what is subjected to his power that "the sacraments confer the grace they signify": "the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through [each sacrament], independently of the personal holiness of the minister. Nevertheless, the fruits of the sacraments also depend on the disposition of the one who receives them."[6][7] the Sacred Mysteries (sacraments) are seen as a means of partaking of divine grace because God works through his Church. Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Protestants agree that faith is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8; "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God". Protestants almost universally believe that grace is given by God based on the faith of the believer. Lutherans hold that the means of grace are "the gospel in Word and sacraments".[8][9] That the sacraments are means of grace is also the teaching of John Wesley,[10] who described the Eucharist as "the grand channel whereby the grace of his Spirit was conveyed to the souls of all the children of God".[11] Calvinists emphasize "the utter helplessness of man apart from grace." But God reaches out with "first grace" or "prevenient grace" that each person may accept or reject. The Calvinist doctrine known as irresistible grace states that, since all persons are by nature spiritually dead, no one desires to accept this grace until God spiritually enlivens them by means of regeneration. God regenerates only individuals whom he has predestined to salvation. Arminians understand the grace of God as cooperating with one's free will in order to bring an individual to salvation. According to Evangelical theologian Charles C. Ryrie, modern liberal theology "gives an exaggerated place to the abilities of man to decide his own fate and to effect his own salvation entirely apart from God's grace." He writes that theological conservatives maintain God's grace is necessary for salvation.[5]
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August 25, 2016, 08:04:22 AM
 #169

1122-1221

Quote
There's an Earth-like planet in our galactic neighborhood — and it may have conditions for life

Pale blue dot, meet pale red dot.

Astronomers have spent decades scouring the skies looking for Earth-sized planets around distant stars. And now they’ve found one, sitting smack in the habitable zone of our nearest stellar neighbor.

Proxima b, described Wednesday in the journal Nature, could be one of the first planets where humans might find life outside our solar system.

“It’s the closest star. It has a potentially habitable world. I just think it’s amazing,” said Cornell astrophysicist Lisa Kaltenegger, who was not involved in the discovery. “This is just such a great, exciting time to live in because we’ll figure out how we fit into all of this — and hopefully, also, if we’re alone in the universe.”

The discovery comes four months after the announcement of Breakthrough Starshot, an initiative to build and send tiny spacecraft to the nearest star system within the coming decades. Now the project has a tantalizing planetary target.

“The technology today is sufficient to begin thinking about these things,” said Pete Worden, Breakthrough Starshot’s executive director and the former head of NASA’s Ames Research Center. “We are really excited, and, to use the U.S. term, pumped, about this discovery. We’re on our way.”

Proxima b orbits Proxima Centauri, the third wheel to the binary star pair known as Alpha Centauri AB. As its name suggests, Proxima Centauri is the closest star to our solar system, sitting a relatively close 4.2 light-years away. But as an M-dwarf — a dim, red, low-mass star — it can’t be seen from Earth with the naked eye. It has just 12% of the sun’s mass and 0.15% of its luminosity.

The newly discovered planet is estimated to hold at least 1.3 Earth masses, which means it’s probably a rocky world like our own. And though it lies a mere 4.3 million miles or so from the surface of its star — about nine times closer than Mercury is to the sun — Proxima Centauri is so dim that water, theoretically, could remain stable on the planet’s surface, assuming there’s a protective atmosphere.

Scientists discovered Proxima b thanks to what’s known as the radial velocity method, which takes advantage of the Doppler effect. As a planet moves around its star, it tugs just a little bit, causing the star to wobble back and forth. When the wobble brings the star closer to us, the light reaching us is squeezed, making it bluer. When the star is pulled slightly away from us, the light is stretched, making it redder. That color shift allows astronomers to determine the mass of the planet tugging on it.

In some ways, this is simpler to do with M dwarfs; because of their size, they’re more easily pulled this way and that by their planets. And since Proxima b completes an entire orbit in just 11.2 Earth days, the tugging should be easy to pick out. Plus, as the star closest to us, Proxima Centauri is one of the best-studied red dwarfs to date.

And yet it took years to find the planet. That’s partly because M dwarfs are very noisy, variable stars whose activity can drown out the Doppler signal. Observations made years earlier revealed hints of the planet but could not decisively prove its existence.

“The data collected for this research [span] 16 years,” said study coauthor Pedro Amado, an astrophysicist at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia in Granada, Spain. “The first datasets did not show anything, but as our analysis technique improved and we added data from more precise instruments, a periodic signal started to show up.”

This year, a team of astronomers known as the Pale Red Dot campaign studied Proxima Centauri with the European Southern Observatory’s HARPS instrument, a spectrograph installed on the 3.8-meter telescope at La Silla in Chile. Using other telescopes, they monitored the star’s brightness to make sure that its own variability wasn’t producing the tantalizing exoplanetary signal.

They found that, at times, Proxima Centauri was moving toward or away from Earth at roughly 3 mph — a typical human walking pace. An unseen planet, they realized, must be tugging on this star.

“All the pieces together is what allows us to be very, very sure that we have it right this time,” said study leader Guillem Anglada-Escuse, a planet hunter at the Queen Mary University of London.

As it happens, there was another signal mixed into the data — one that might hint at the existence of a larger, more distant planet circling Proxima Centauri.

Could life exist on Proxima b? There are several unknowns that make it impossible to say right now, according to scientists. The planet is tidally locked to Proxima Centauri, so one side may permanently face the star while the other remains shrouded in darkness. But if there is an atmosphere, it should redistribute heat across the surface, the researchers said.

As an M dwarf, Proxima Centauri is prone to frequent flares and bursts of X-rays that would send down 400 times the X-ray flux that Earth receives from the sun, according to the study. Those X-rays could eat away at the atmosphere, even if one exists.

And it’s also not clear whether water could have survived on the planet over the eons. The answer depends on how violent the star was in the past and where the planet originated — both of which remain a mystery.

“This is the biggest question mark for the question of whether it’s an Earth-like planet or not,” said study coauthor Ansgar Reiners of the University of Goettingen in Germany. “This will be subject to further studies.”

Fortunately, Proxima Centauri and its planetary companion are so close that it should be relatively easy to start probing these questions. Some teams already have started.

If there were life on this planet, it probably survived either underground or deep within its hypothetical oceans, said Kaltenegger, the director of Cornell’s Carl Sagan Institute, which is dedicated to the search for habitable worlds. But there’s a chance that organisms evolved to handle the extreme radiation that may reach the surface, she added, perhaps by using biofluorescence.

The discovery signals a shift in the hunt for exoplanets, from broad surveys such as NASA’s Kepler and K2 missions toward in-depth profiles of individual planets, said MIT astrophysicist Sara Seager, who was not involved in the work.

“Exoplanets,” she said, are “the gift that keeps on giving.”
How scientists use satellite data to track poverty in Africa
Caption How scientists use satellite data to track poverty in Africa
Watch a time-lapse video of the Perseid meteor shower from Joshua Tree
Caption Watch a time-lapse video of the Perseid meteor shower from Joshua Tree

There’s only a 1.5% chance that Proxima b’s transiting across its star’s surface is visible from Earth, which means researchers will probably not be able to study its atmosphere for a while. But as ever more-powerful telescopes come online, it may be possible to take images of this nearby star system.

Plans to visit Proxima b remain an exceedingly distant prospect. With current technology, it would probably take tens of thousands of years to get there — and more than four years just to send a message back.

In April, physicist Stephen Hawking and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner announced the $100-million Breakthrough Starshot program that aims to build nanosatellites capable of accelerating to 20% of the speed of light. At that rate, it would take roughly 20 years to reach our nearest neighbors — and it could take much longer for that technology to be designed and built.

In the meantime, scientists will probably have their hands full studying Proxima b from Earth.

“Our picture of the galactic neighborhood has changed,” Reiners said. “We have a new neighbor, and there will likely be a whole branch of science aiming to understand its nature.”

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-proxima-b-planet-20160824-snap-story.html
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August 25, 2016, 02:06:48 PM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdistan_Workers%27_Party

The Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK (Kurdish: Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê‎) is a militant left-wing organization based in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan. Since 1984 the PKK has waged an armed struggle against the Turkish state for cultural and political rights and self-determination for the Kurds in Turkey,[18] who comprise between 18% and 25% of the population and have been subjected to repression for decades.[27][28] The group was founded in 1978 in the village of Fis (near Lice) by a group of Kurdish students led by Abdullah Öcalan.[29] The PKK's ideology was originally a fusion of revolutionary socialism and Kurdish nationalism, seeking the foundation of an independent, Marxist–Leninist state in the region, which was to be known as Kurdistan.

However, since his capture and imprisonment in 1999, the leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, has completely abandoned Marxism–Leninism,[30] leading the party to adopt his new political platform of "Democratic Confederalism" (influenced strongly by the libertarian socialist philosophy of communalism) while ceasing its official calls for the establishment of a fully independent country. In May 2007, former members of the PKK helped form the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organisation of Kurds from Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. On 20 March 2005,[31] Öcalan described the need for a democratic confederalism and went on to say:

The democratic confederalism of Kurdistan is not a State system, it is the democratic system of a people without a State... It takes its power from the people and adapts to reach self-sufficiency in every field including the economy.
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August 25, 2016, 02:09:34 PM
 #171

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Help the Birds: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/01/help-birds-untidy-hedges-helping-protect-declining-bird-species

Quote
My garden hedge is full of empty nests. The blackbirds have fledged, twice, and so have the dunnocks. Successfully fending off sparrowhawks and cats, their exhausted parents are now enjoying a well-earned holiday. In the fields beyond our home, though, parents still slave away, feeding baby bullfinches, linnets and yellowhammers tucked in the hedges that grace our countryside.

As well as the usual predators, every August these declining species have had to fend off another ravenous monster: the hedge-trimmer. This summer and last, however, the cutting machines are silent because the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has taken an excellent, science-led policy decision: to protect these birds by extending the farmland hedge-cutting ban by a month, to 31 August.

This ban is not responsible for the overgrown lanes vexing rural holidaymakers, because roadside hedges can still be cut for safety reasons (blame austerity for wild roadsides), but it is vexing many farmers. August is a convenient time for hedge-cutting because the ground is dry and the work doesn’t obstruct more important tasks, such as sowing crops.

The science, however, is unequivocal: more than 40,000 nesting records collected by volunteers for the British Trust for Ornithology prove that finches and buntings nest through August. Ground-nesting skylarks and corn buntings are also destroyed by hedge-cutters driving along field margins.

As farmers press to repeal the ban, the wildlife campaigner Mark Avery says its survival will be a test of both the new Defra secretary, Andrea Leadsom, and whether we are in danger of slipping into a post-science era of countryside management.

I hope this wild-hedged August will show farmers that they can save money by cutting back on contractors and help birds, insects and mammals. We need to escape the tyranny of the tidy hedge.

Lynx effect

I expected the story of the lynx fleeing Dartmoor zoo to run and run, but it’s ended with Flaviu being trapped on Dartmoor and “grumpily” returned to captivity.


It’s not a romantic climax, but not tragic either. Benjamin Mee, the zoo’s owner, is right when he says the lynx would’ve been shot had it remained in the wild. For anti-rewilders, Flaviu’s killing of four lambs during her short freedom is a valuable propaganda victory. However, it’s not so simple because captive-bred Flaviu has not learned to kill wild food, and so does not represent wild lynx behaviour.

If lynx are brought back, they will mostly trouble Britain’s burgeoning deer population. Nevertheless, the grudging acquiescence of local farmers must be won – via compensation, perhaps – if the recently proposed Kielder Forest reintroduction is to be a success.

Avalanches in slow motion

I can still picture the horror on Robbie Chater’s face when I asked him whether the Avalanches were working on a follow-up to their amazing debut album, Since I Left You. His reply went something like: we’ve just spent four years making this, please don’t make me think about the next one. I don’t have it verbatim because it’s on a lost cassette tape dating from 2001. During that Guardian interview on Melbourne’s sunny Fitzroy Street neither of us imagined their second record would take another 15 years. The backstory to the Avalanches’ new album, Wildflower, is spectacular – and so is its warm, beautiful and complex music. Whether it’s accidental, perfectionism or an act of defiance, their slowness sets a superb example.


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August 25, 2016, 05:29:36 PM
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1111-2222
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin


Bitcoin is a digital asset and a payment system invented by Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto introduced the idea on 31 October 2008 to a cryptography mailing list,[12] and released it as open-source software in 2009.[13] There have been several high profile claims to the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto; however, none of them have provided proof beyond doubt that back up their claims.[14]

The system is peer-to-peer and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary.[15]:4 These transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called the blockchain,[16] which uses bitcoin as its unit of account. Since the system works without a central repository or single administrator, the U.S. Treasury categorizes bitcoin as a decentralized virtual currency.[1] Bitcoin is often called the first cryptocurrency,[17][18][19] although prior systems existed[note 5] and it is more correctly described as the first decentralized digital currency.[15][22] Bitcoin is the largest of its kind in terms of total market value.[23]

Bitcoins are created as a reward for payment processing work in which users offer their computing power to verify and record payments into a public ledger. This activity is called mining and miners are rewarded with transaction fees and newly created bitcoins.[15] Besides being obtained by mining, bitcoins can be exchanged for other currencies,[24] products, and services.[25] When sending bitcoins, users can pay an optional transaction fee to the miners.[26]

In February 2015, the number of merchants accepting bitcoin for products and services passed 100,000.[27] Instead of 2–3% typically imposed by credit card processors, merchants accepting bitcoins often pay fees in the range from 0% to less than 2%.[28] Despite the fourfold increase in the number of merchants accepting bitcoin in 2014, the cryptocurrency did not have much momentum in retail transactions.[29] The European Banking Authority[30] and other sources[15]:11 have warned that bitcoin users are not protected by refund rights or chargebacks. The use of bitcoin by criminals has attracted the attention of financial regulators,[31] legislative bodies,[32] law enforcement,[33] and media.[34] Criminal activities are primarily centered around darknet markets and theft, though officials in countries such as the United States also recognize that bitcoin can provide legitimate financial services.[35]

Digital theft or hacking of bitcoins has also been an issue for bitcoin users. A major Bitcoin exchange, Bitfinex, was hacked and nearly 120,000 BTC (around US$60M) was stolen in 2016. Bitcoin value crashed and Bitfinex was forced to suspend its trading.[36]
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August 25, 2016, 05:33:29 PM
 #173

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Since you can't change what you don't measure, the seedstock industry is seeking new ways to measure valuable traits fot commercial cattlemen.
Genetic predictions in the form of EPDs (expected progeny difference) have been fully implemented for 30 years. Centered on growth traits, these predictions have led to tremendous genetic improvements not imagined when the only selection tool was visual appraisal. The industry went on to tackle carcass traits with EPDs, and for the last 20 years, seedstock producers have enjoyed similar genetic progress.

However, many areas of harder-to-measure traits such as reproduction have lagged far behind despite their economic importance, and objectively describing traits like disease resistance and soundness have also been sorely lacking. Genomics have also become extremely important tools to the industry, but have strained our EPD models based on 30-year-old technology, which has not allowed genomics to fully reach the potential that they can play in objective selection. This article will cover the advances in objectively describing fertility and novel traits as well as the new EPD models, which will finally fully leverage the information genomics have to offer. Fertility traits Reproductive traits have been shown to be the most economically-important traits to commercial producers, and the seedstock industry is just beginning to objectively describe reproduction. This is because in order to describe female reproduction, breed associations need to have an inventory-based breed registry which annually accounts for the production of every female in every calving season. This has long been talked about, but implemented slowly by many associations.

Red Angus has been the notable exception going to mandatory total herd reporting in 1995, which featured a spring and fall calving inventory. This allowed the Red Angus Association to release the industry’s first reproductive sire summary in 2002, which among other genetic predictions, featured EPDs for heifer pregnancy and Stayability. Even with this history, Dr. Mark Enns of Colorado State University says, “We have just scratched the surface on reproduction and fitness traits.”


The first female reproductive EPD was Stayability, which is defined as a female already in the cow herd producing a calf at six years or older. The first model was very simplistic with only two meaningful data points; having a calf before six years of age, and then again at six or older. This meant with the Stayability EPD, sires were quite old before high accuracy was achieved, past the sire’s normal productive lifespan. This model has been incrementally advanced in recent years, which has allowed accuracy to build earlier in an animal’s life. However, new models for producing Stayability or longevity EPDs have been sorely needed.

The research community has answered this need by introducing a new statistical model using a procedure called random regression, which will greatly advance the well-understood Stayability EPD or allow the calculation of longevity EPDs. This statistical model tests the reproduction of a cow each year during her productive lifetime and allows for unknown values when inventory-based reporting is not fully implemented. A number of breeds are on the cusp of implementing this new procedure, which will greatly advance the industry’s genetic description of sustained fertility.

International Genetic Solutions (IGS), which calculates multibreed EPDs for 12 breed associations, plans on implementing a multibreed Stayability EPD on the same base and scale in the coming year. Included in IGS’ effort are Simmental, Red Angus, Shorthorn, Gelbvieh, Limousin, Chinana and Maine-Anjou, as well as their Canadian counterparts. Hereford and Angus are looking at calculating longevity EPDs, and Brangus and Beefmaster are considering a Stayability EPD in the future.

Where Angus and Hereford plan on a longevity EPD, and the breeds associated with IGS will continue with the well-understood Stayability EPD, both methods will be based on an economicallyimportant trait that accounts for any reason a cow leaves the herd and/or fails to report a calf. The primary reason will always be reproduction, but can also include production or soundness issues, so they are currently investigating feet and leg scoring and other fitness traits, which they hope to add as correlated traits.

Another relevant fertility trait being pursued is heifer pregnancy. This is described as a heifer that is exposed to become pregnant successfully entering the herd. With the implementation of inventorybased systems, heifer pregnancy EPDs have been implemented by Angus and Gelbvieh following Red Angus’ lead, and it is on the drawing board for other breeds like Hereford. IGS is also working on a multibreed heifer pregnancy EPD and expects to release it in the near future.

As breeds like Angus gather more phenotypes, genomics will play an increasing role in adding information to the accuracy of the trait. For instance, due to the larger phenotypic database in Angus’ latest genomic recalibration, the correlation between genomic information and phenotypic data jumped from .45 to .62, which means genomics will add significantly more accuracy to their heifer pregnancy EPD.

Novel traits

A number of breeds are currently looking at a host of novel traits including soundness and disease resistance. Perhaps none is more economically important than the disease resistance work being conducted by a group of universities.

According to Enns at Colorado State University, bovine respiratory disease (BRD) causes over $1 billion in losses to our industry annually. Luckily, BRD susceptibility is a heritable trait (.18 to .21), so genetic progress can be made on lowering BRD incidence. The genomic companies are also working with the universities to identify gene markers to add to their seedstock panels, which will increase the accuracy of a BRD EPD. The methodology for producing BRD EPDs is also straightforward, so the key to producing an EPD is the collection of phenotypes. A whitepaper has been presented to Beef Improvement Federation (BIF), and proposed guidelines for collecting data will be approved this year. Once the breed associations have the guidelines for collecting data, an EPD and genomic enhancement can be achieved in the next couple of years. To get a jump on the collection of field data many of the breed associations are collecting BRD data in their structured progeny tests on many of their high-use sires.



Feet and leg scoring has been receiving increased interest by many breed associations. For example, Gelbvieh, Simmental, and Red Angus have an active multi-year research project going on with Kansas State University to determine the heritability of the trait and candidate gene markers. Angus is leading the industry in collecting field data and hopes to come out with a genetic prediction as soon as this fall. All of their goals are to add it to their Stayability/longevity models to help add accuracy to the genetic predictions. Other associations are looking at a longer horizon before they produce feet and leg predictions.

Using genetic predictions, teat and udder quality has long been objectively selected for in the dairy industry, so the methodology is well understood. In beef breeds, Hereford has led the industry in the production of these EPDs, and they have found the traits to

be moderately heritable and teat and udder scores to be highly correlated. Red Angus is also among the many breeds currently working on the traits and is in the process of calculating genetic parameters at Colorado State University needed to produce a genetic prediction. Simmental and Gelbvieh are also active in this effort. Breeds hope to incorporate the genetic predictions as correlated traits to add accuracy to their Stayability model.

In the West, certain breeds run at altitude are susceptible to high altitude disease, more commonly known as brisket disease, which can be fatal and may also be associated with feedlot death in cattle nearing market readiness. Colorado State University has been actively engaged in working with Angus cattle on producing an EPD on the indicator trait pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP) because cattle with higher PAP scores are more likely to suffer from brisket disease. PAP is a heritable trait (.25 to .40), so genetic advancement can be made through a genetic prediction. The technology to produce a PAP EPD has been fully developed and as soon as the affected breeds collect field data, EPDs should become available in a timely manner.

Genomics and EPDs

The seedstock industry is in the process of making a quantum leap in methodology on how it incorporates genomics into genetic predictions. Currently the breeds with genomically-enhanced EPDs (GE- EPDs) include Angus, Beefmaster, Brangus, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Hereford, Limousin, Red Angus, Santa Gertrudis and Simmental. The primary method used to achieve GE- EPDs is a two-step method.

Other breeds and universities are working on environmental adaptability traits. Hair shedding is necessary for productive cattle especially in hot environments and for cattle grazing fescue. Angus Genetics Incorporated (AGI) is currently researching hair shedding and has already found it to be very heritable (.42). This means genetic improvement can be made on the trait and EPDs can easily be produced once field data is gathered. Other universities are looking to see if there is any value in regional EPD calculation, and Mississippi State University is investigating the effect of hair color on productivity in hot environments. This whole area of environmental adaptability has significant potential to improve the objective description of cattle.



First a molecular breeding value (MBV) is calculated and then the MBVs are used to enhance the EPDs calculated from the existing EPD models. This is because genomics have been treated as an add-on to how EPDs have traditionally been calculated. This has many drawbacks, but has been the most expedient way to achieve GE-EPDs.

Currently there are four major companies calculating EPDs: Agriculture Business Research Institute (ABRI) in Australia calculates EPDs for several U.S. breeds including Hereford, Salers, and South Devon; AGI, which does Angus, Charolais, and Senepol as well as Canadian Black Angus and Charolais; IGS, which does the genetic predictions for 12 American and Canadian breed associations; and Livestock Genetic Services, LLC (LGS), which calculates genetic predictions for Brangus, Beefmaster, Santa Gertrudis, Braunvieh, and Akauski.

IGS and ABRI achieve GE-EPDs by blending the MBVs into the EPDs post analysis. The major drawback of this method is that it does not allow the genomic information to flow up and down the pedigree to parents and progeny. AGI uses the MBV as a correlated trait much as birth weight is a correlated trait with weaning weight, which allows genomic information to flow up and down the pedigree. This is a step forward, but does not make full use of all the information genomics have to offer.

The answer to these drawbacks is to design completely new models with genomics as a main component. This has already been achieved in dairy, swine, and poultry, and has been implemented in beef by LGS with American (Bos Indicus influenced) breeds. This new “One Step” process is very computationally intensive. With One Step, all the markers from a genomic panel are added to an EPD equation, significantly increasing the size of the mathematical problem to be solved. For each animal you still have all the phenotypic and pedigree data, but add approximately 50,000 markers per animal that is genotyped, exponentially increasing the size of the mathematical problem to produce EPDs.

The One Step method described above was first pioneered in beef by John Genho’s company, LGS. According to Genho, the major advantage of One Step is that through genotypes the actual pedigree relationship becomes known. For instance, theoretically full siblings can be 0-100 percent related according to the way genes are randomly passed from a sire and dam to their progeny. With genomics, the amount of relationship is known, which according to Genho, makes single step GE-EPDs much more precise.

The concept of EPD precision can be demonstrated by a genetic prediction calculated from two contemporary groups of equal size, but one containing biased data and the other with unbiased data. Each will come up with an EPD for the trait in question with the same accuracy since the same amount of information went into the calculation. However, with Charolais.

Hardware hardships

One of the challenges of using these new ways of calculating EPDs is that the calculations are massive, but with new computer hardware this is now possible.

IGS, which calculates GE- EPDs for more breeds than any other company, and ABRI are taking a whole new approach to One Step genomically-enhanced EPDs using a model called BOLT (Biometry Open Language Tools) developed by THETA Solutions, LLC, founded by geneticists Drs. Bruce Golden and Dorian Garrick. Their method is much more computationally intensive, utilizing equations that were only thought to be practical with small data sets and nothing as large as a breed database. Interestingly enough, they solved this problem using processing units designed for computer games—called graphic processing units or GPUs—which have huge processing capabilities. When they stack multiple GPUs, it exponentially increases computing power, but the key is to have software that can use the multiple processors simultaneously to solve an equation. The power of this hardware is demonstrated by being able to calculate traditional EPD procedures in less than 24 minutes instead of the 24 hours IGS now takes. With this processing power these much more intensive computations associated with BOLT can be achieved.

Like the Georgia methodology, the BOLT software takes advantage of the actual genotypic relationship between animals, but also allows markers to be weighted or discarded depending on their effect on a trait, which further improves a genetic prediction’s precision as well as accuracy. In addition, the BOLT software computationally gives a more reliable estimate of accuracy and can even produce accuracies for indexes.

ABRI and IGS plan on implementing the BOLT software this fall. Although it does not have the track record in production like the Georgia model, BOLT is fully developed and tested, and due to the speed of calculation will easily allow for more frequent evaluations, daily if desired. Angus already does weekly analysis, so implementing One Step will not be a concern from a data management perspective. However, IGS plans on going to a more frequent analysis when it implements BOLT, as does Hereford, making database management the step they are working on now. This is especially challenging for IGS, which deals with 12 breed associations running a multibreed breed analysis producing EPDs on the same base and scale for all breeds in order to facilitate planned crossbreeding systems.

Merging and cross referencing these divergent breeds’—and their hybrids’—databases from 12 different breed associations is a tremendous logistical problem. IGS is currently testing a web portal system and universal animal identification system. The EPD analysis will be done weekly, and various breeds can update their EPDs as frequently as they desire. Red Angus and Simmental have committed to weekly runs starting sometime this year while others might choose to have their EPDs calculated less frequently. Hereford at ABRI will also be using BOLT and in the next year expects to move from a monthly to a weekly analysis.

Summary

The future of objective selection is exciting and foretells heights previously unimagined. Traits of significant economic importance related to soundness and fertility are on the cusp of being fully objectively described with EPDs. A genetic prediction for something like bovine respiratory disease will have a huge economic impact on the industry and is just one of a number of novel traits on the threshold of having EPDs. New models will allow the industry to fully leverage all the information genomics have to offer. This will lead to a more profitable and sustainable industry.


Entering A New Era In Objective Selection: http://www.thebeefblog.com/

1112-2222


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mrsimple
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August 26, 2016, 01:35:34 AM
 #174

1222-2111
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle

A miracle is an event not explicable by natural or scientific laws.[1] Such an event may be attributed to a supernatural being (a deity), magic, a miracle worker, a saint or a religious leader.

Informally, the word "miracle" is often used to characterise any beneficial event that is statistically unlikely but not contrary to the laws of nature, such as surviving a natural disaster, or simply a "wonderful" occurrence, regardless of likelihood, such as a birth. Other such miracles might be: survival of an illness diagnosed as terminal, escaping a life-threatening situation or 'beating the odds'. Some coincidences may be seen as miracles.[2]

A true miracle would, by definition, be a non-natural phenomenon, leading many rational and scientific thinkers to dismiss them as physically impossible (that is, requiring violation of established laws of physics within their domain of validity) or impossible to confirm by their nature (because all possible physical mechanisms can never be ruled out). The former position is expressed for instance by Thomas Jefferson and the latter by the celebrated philosopher David Hume. Theologians typically say that, with divine providence, God regularly works through nature yet, as a creator, is free to work without, above, or against it as well. The possibility and probability of miracles are then equal to the possibility and probability of the existence of God.[3]
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August 26, 2016, 03:45:54 AM
 #175

1122-1212

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/aging/art-20046070

What's happening

As you age, your heart rate becomes slightly slower, and your heart might become bigger.  Your blood vessels and your arteries also become stiffer, causing your heart to work harder to pump blood through them. This can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension) and other cardiovascular problems.
What you can do

To promote heart health:

    Include physical activity in your daily routine. Try walking, swimming or other activities you enjoy. Regular moderate physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure and lessen the extent of arterial stiffening.

    Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium. A healthy diet can help you keep your heart and arteries healthy.

    Don't smoke. Smoking contributes to the hardening of your arteries and increases your blood pressure and heart rate. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit.

    Manage stress. Stress can take a toll on your heart. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.

    Get enough sleep. Quality sleep plays an important role in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. People's needs vary, but generally aim for 7 to 8 hours a night.
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August 26, 2016, 04:34:52 AM
 #176

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit
1212-1122
The English word spirit, from Latin spiritus "breath", has many different meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body. It can also refer to a "subtle" as opposed to "gross" material substance, as in the famous last paragraph of Sir Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica.[1]

The word spirit is often used metaphysically to refer to the consciousness or personality. The notions of a person's spirit and soul often also overlap, as both contrast with body and both are believed to survive bodily death in some religions,[2] and "spirit" can also have the sense of "ghost", i.e. a manifestation of the spirit of a deceased person.

The term may also refer to any incorporeal or immaterial being, such as demons or deities.[3] In the Bible, "the Spirit" (with a capital "S"), specifically denotes the Holy Spirit.
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August 26, 2016, 05:51:04 AM
 #177

2221-2212

Pewdiepie


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PewDiePie's popularity has allowed him to stir support for fundraising drives.[124] In February 2012, PewDiePie ran for King of the Web, an online contest. He lost the overall title, however still became the "Gaming King of the Web" for the 1–15 February 2012 voting period.[125] During the following voting period, PewDiePie won and donated his cash winnings to the World Wildlife Fund.[126][127] He has raised money for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.[16][126]

PewDiePie also began a "Water Campaign" charity, where his fans could donate money to Charity: Water, in celebration of reaching ten million subscribers.[128] PewDiePie also contributed one dollar to the charity for every 500 views the video announcing the campaign accumulates, up to a maximum of $10,000.[129] PewDiePie had the stated goal of raising US$250,000, at the end of the drive, the amount raised was $446,462.[126][130][131] In June 2014, PewDiePie, announced that a fourth charity drive for "Save the Children" raised over $630,000, surpassing a $250,000 goal.[132] In an interview with the Swedish magazine Icon, he has expressed desire to continue these drives as time goes on, and also credited John and Hank Green as two individuals who gave him the idea of making unique videos for charity.[13] These videos are purchased by game manufacturers and advertisers, for prices ranging up to $50,000.[13]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PewDiePie
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August 26, 2016, 07:13:22 AM
 #178

1111-1111

Hot Peppers Benefits: http://www.livestrong.com/article/390918-are-hot-peppers-good-for-you/


Quote
If you like to put hot spices or hot sauce on your food, you may be doing yourself a favor. Capsaicin, the alkaloid responsible for the spicy flavor in hot peppers, may offer benefits in the treatment of some diseases, according to an article published in 2011 in the journal "Molecules." Peppers that contain capsaicin include jalapenos, habaneros, cayenne, serrano, cherry peppers and even bell peppers. Eating peppers in the capsaicin family can benefit you because they play a role in digestive health, cardiovascular health and in long-term cancer prevention.

They Increase Circulation
When you eat hot peppers, the capsaicin in the peppers stimulates your nerves in a way that favors increased blood flow. This effect was tested on rats in a 1993 study published in the "American Journal of Physiology." Researchers increased the blood pressure in the veins of rats, inducing hypertension. One group of rats was injected with capsaicin and another group was given a placebo. A control group was administered nothing at all. When all the rats were tested for their cardiovascular health, the capsaicin rats' blood circulated similarly to the control group, whereas the placebo group had constricted blood flow. This shows that hot peppers increase circulation and might benefit people with high blood pressure.

They Lower Cholesterol
Another way hot peppers can improve your heart and circulatory health is by regulating cholesterol levels. In a 2013 study published in the "European Journal of Nutrition," capsaicin was found to reduce cholesterol and improve the lipoprotein profile in hamsters that were fed a high-cholesterol diet. It was found that capsaicin had the effect of decreasing cholesterol absorption, allowing excess cholesterol to be eliminated from the body. This suggests hot peppers may play a role in helping you keep your cholesterol levels in a healthy range.

They Improve Digestion
In traditional medicine, hot spices have been used as digestive stimulants and to cure digestive ailments. A 2010 study published in the journal "Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism" looked at the effect of capsaicin on the activities of antioxidant enzymes in the stomach and intestines. Researchers found that it improved the functioning of all these antioxidant enzymes, showing capsaicin can protect the stomach and intestines while favoring digestion.

They May Help Prevent Cancer
Studies have also shown that capsaicin plays a role in cancer prevention. Researchers have demonstrated capsaicin hinders the growth of prostate tumors, meaning that spicing your food could prevent the onset of prostate cancer. In a 1997 study reported in "Anticancer Research," scientists introduced tobacco to hamsters to induce cancerous lung tumors. They gave one group capsaicin and the other group a placebo. The capsaicin group experienced less tumor growth in the lungs than the placebo group, suggesting that hot peppers may also help prevent lung cancer in those who smoke or live in polluted areas.


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rianwarcil
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August 26, 2016, 09:53:22 AM
 #179

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture
1212-1212
Culture (/ˈkʌltʃər/) is, in the words of E.B. Tylor,[undue weight? – discuss] "that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society."[1] Alternatively, in a contemporary variant, "Culture is defined as a social domain that emphasizes the practices, discourses, and material expressions, which, over time, express the continuities and discontinuities of social meaning of a life held in common."[2]

Cambridge English Dictionary states that culture is "the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time."[3] Terror Management Theory posits that culture is a series of activities and worldviews that provide humans with the basis for perceiving themselves as "person of worth within the world of meaning"—raising themselves above the merely physical aspects of existence, in order to deny the animal insignificance and death that Homo Sapiens became aware of when they acquired a larger brain.[4][5]

As a defining aspect of what it means to be human, culture is a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of phenomena that are transmitted through social learning in human societies. The word is used in a general sense as the evolved ability to categorize and represent experiences with symbols and to act imaginatively and creatively. This ability arose with the evolution of behavioral modernity in humans around 50,000 years ago.[citation needed] This capacity is often thought to be unique to humans, although some other species have demonstrated similar, though much less complex abilities for social learning. It is also used to denote the complex networks of practices and accumulated knowledge and ideas that is transmitted through social interaction and exist in specific human groups, or cultures, using the plural form. Some aspects of human behavior, such as language, social practices such as kinship, gender and marriage, expressive forms such as art, music, dance, ritual, religion, and technologies such as cooking, shelter, clothing are said to be cultural universals, found in all human societies. The concept material culture covers the physical expressions of culture, such as technology, architecture and art, whereas the immaterial aspects of culture such as principles of social organization (including, practices of political organization and social institutions), mythology, philosophy, literature (both written and oral), and science make up the intangible cultural heritage of a society.[6]

In the humanities, one sense of culture, as an attribute of the individual, has been the degree to which they have cultivated a particular level of sophistication, in the arts, sciences, education, or manners. The level of cultural sophistication has also sometimes been seen to distinguish civilizations from less complex societies. Such hierarchical perspectives on culture are also found in class-based distinctions between a high culture of the social elite and a low culture, popular culture or folk culture of the lower classes, distinguished by the stratified access to cultural capital. In common parlance, culture is often used to refer specifically to the symbolic markers used by ethnic groups to distinguish themselves visibly from each other such as body modification, clothing or jewelry.[dubious – discuss] Mass culture refers to the mass-produced and mass mediated forms of consumer culture that emerged in the 20th century. Some schools of philosophy, such as Marxism and critical theory, have argued that culture is often used politically as a tool of the elites to manipulate the lower classes and create a false consciousness, such perspectives common in the discipline of cultural studies. In the wider social sciences, the theoretical perspective of cultural materialism holds that human symbolic culture arises from the material conditions of human life, as humans create the conditions for physical survival, and that the basis of culture is found in evolved biological dispositions.

When used as a count noun, "a culture" is the set of customs, traditions, and values of a society or community, such as an ethnic group or nation. In this sense, multiculturalism is a concept that values the peaceful coexistence and mutual respect between different cultures inhabiting the same territory. Sometimes "culture" is also used to describe specific practices within a subgroup of a society, a subculture (e.g. "bro culture"), or a counter culture. Within cultural anthropology, the ideology and analytical stance of cultural relativism holds that cultures cannot easily be objectively ranked or evaluated because any evaluation is necessarily situated within the value system of a given culture.
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August 27, 2016, 09:48:12 AM
 #180

1212-2222

Quote
How DNA left at crime scenes could help 'recreate' faces of criminals after gene breakthrough

The faces of murderers and rapists could be "recreated" from DNA left at the scene of the crime, according to new research.

Scientists have identified genes that shape the extraordinary variation in the human face.

Many features, such as nose size and face width, stem from specific mutations, say researchers.

Previous studies have suggested they are controlled by genes, but this one is the first to shed light on how variants contribute to the range of different forms we see.

The findings, published in PLOS Genetics, may also help researchers to learn how facial birth defects arise.

And they could even have applications in forensics, helping police construct more accurate faces of dangerous criminals being hunted for murders, rapes and robberies.

The discovery of the genes that determine human face shapes could provide valuable information about a person's appearance using just DNA left behind at the scene of a crime.

The face shapes are based on a DNA analysis of 20 facial characteristics measured from 3D images of 3,118 healthy volunteers of European ancestry and almost a million mutations, or SNPs (single base pair) variations.

Dr John Shaffer, of the University of Pittsburgh, said: "There is a great deal of evidence genes influence facial appearance.

"This is perhaps most apparent when we look at our own families, since we are more likely to share facial features in common with our close relatives than with unrelated individuals.

"Nevertheless, little is known about how variation in specific regions of the genome relates to the kinds of distinguishing facial characteristics that give us our unique identities, e.g. the size and shape of our nose or how far apart our eyes are spaced.

"In this paper, we investigate this question by examining the association between genetic variants across the whole genome and a set of measurements designed to capture key aspects of facial form.

"We found evidence of genetic associations involving measures of eye, nose, and facial breadth.

"In several cases, implicated regions contained genes known to play roles in embryonic face formation or in syndromes in which the face is affected.

"Our ability to connect specific genetic variants to ubiquitous facial traits can inform our understanding of normal and abnormal craniofacial development, provide potential predictive models of evolutionary changes in human facial features, and improve our ability to create forensic facial reconstructions from DNA."

Facial width, the distance between the eyes, the size of the nose and the distance between the lips and eyes all had statistically significant associations with certain SNPs.

The researchers also considered results from two similar studies and confirmed certain previous findings.

Until recently, virtually nothing was known about the genes responsible for facial shape in humans.

Dr Seth Weinberg, co-author, added: "Our analysis identified several genetic associations with facial features not previously described in earlier genome wide studies.

"What is exciting is many of these associations involve chromosomal regions harbouring genes with known craniofacial function.

"Such findings can provide insights into the role genes play in the formation of the face and improve our understanding of the causal factors leading to certain craniofacial birth defects."

Several of the genetic regions contributing to face shape detected contain genes known to play a role in facial development and abnormalities.

In the future, the scientists hope to identify genetic risk factors that lead to anomalies such as cleft lip and palate.

But they warned it is important to keep in mind these findings likely represent only a small fraction of the genes influencing the size and shape of the human face.

Many of the genes influencing facial features are likely to have small effects, so successfully mapping a large number of these genes will require much greater sample sizes and a more comprehensive approach to quantifying those of interest.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/27/how-dna-left-at-crime-scenes-could-help-recreate-faces-of-crimin/
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