Bat flu virus is not believed to present a threat to humans
A new influenza A virus discovered in fruit bats in Guatemala does not appear to present a current threat to humans, but should be studied as a potential source for human influenza, according to scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who worked with University of the Valley of Guatemala. The study was published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
I kid, but it is fascinating that the Flu Virus is able to adapt and modify itsself to be able to affect a whole host of animal species. So far I know of humans, birds, pigs and now bats. It would be intensely fascinating to study if it did not have the potential to be rather deadly.
Actress Lucy Lawless, famous for starring in the television show “Xena: Warrior Princess,” was arrested along with six other Greenpeace activists early Monday for boarding a drilling ship last week in New Zealand, according to Greenpeace. She and the others who were aboard the ship without permission were released shortly after their arrest, the activist organization said.
Fascinating, really fascinating. She spent years profiting from a television show produced by an industry renowned for its waste of natural resources (scratch that, she is involved in a TV show in an industry renowned for its waste, Spartacus) and now she chooses this line of action. You are free to have your opinion about whether consuming energy in a particular way is useful or not. However, bring something to the table. Have something up your sleeve, a feasible alternative perhaps?
Ghirardelli Chocolate: Intense Dark
Twilight Delight (72% Cacao)
Indeed, I have often wondered myself
Today, a panel of Democratic lawmakers in Georgia will convene for a historic debate on a bill that proposes limits on vasectomies on the grounds that they deprive children “the opportunity to be born.” The anti-vasectomy bill’s framers aren’t serious; they’re making a point about the stupidity of conservative lawmakers, rather than doctors, determining what medical care should be available to women. But this, like all hilarious sarcasm-based legislation, will likely fall on deaf ears.
…let’s stand together!
It is high-time that those who push the THEORY of evolution onto our children learn that there are two equal sides to this: Intelligent Design and Evolution. In order to help gain support for this, I have contacted other groups with similar agendas to ours. These are other groups that are sick and tired of theories that contradict their deeply-held beliefs.
Here is a list of all the groups I have talked to, arranged by their belief:
- Stock Theory -> Pregnancy Theory
- Intelligent Falling -> Theory of Gravity
- Demon Theory -> Germ Theory
- Magic Goop -> Cell Theory
- Christian Math -> Pythagorean Theorem
We must stand together and fight the indoctrination of our children. We must teach the controversy. After all, every single view we have is equally valid. Furthermore, it is religious discrimination to not allow us to push our views onto the children at the schools.
From the left: The Chair of Indefinite Studies, The Dean, The Librarian, The Arch-Chancellor, The Lecturer in Recent Runes, The Bursar, Ponder Stibbons (Head of Inadvisably Applied Magic), Senior Wrangler
CNN) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday vetoed a bill that would allow same-sex couples to wed, setting up a confrontation with a Democrat-controlled legislature that has vowed to eventually get the bill into law.
Ah republicans placing themselves on the wrong side of history. This promises to be another long drawn out battle. I was hoping that Chris Christie would have some understanding of fairness and equality and also for promoting the rights of a marginalized group of people. Unfortunately, he has chosen to rely on a referendum, a process that will surely deny the LGBT community its right to equality.
Wow and here I thought that women most of all would be sensitive to the idea of spousal/ partner abuse, apparently not. There appear to be a number of young women on twitter and the general internets, who would be willing to allow Chris Brown to smack them around. What an insult to women the world over who have been physically abused by men they have trusted. What pitiful people.
Perhaps it is the specific media coverage of the issue, but it does appear that the ‘Occupy’ movement is indeed fading away. All mass movements must fade away eventually, but sometimes they leave a noticeable impact on the world. I am not sure the ‘Occupy’ movement is leaving behind a specific impact. Certainly we heard their cries and their shouts. Many people, myself included agreed with the very essence of the message, which was that ‘have nots’ of the world are tired and frustrated with the treatment being metted out to them by those with the power and money. Their message of equality and social justice I am certain would resonate with the vast majority of people.
However, their approach appears to be ineffective. It is their approach to the process that I feel will prevent the movement from having a lasting impact. An editorial in the USAToday, made just such an argument.
Tea Partiers, the conservative counterparts to the Occupiers, effectively used protests to establish themselves. This, plus a carefully crafted news media campaign, an explicit set of objectives and voter turnout drives, helped bring about conservative gains in the 2010 elections.
That is a useful model for the Occupiers. If their goal is to promote public policies that will lessen income inequality and punish bank misbehavior, the way to do it is to bring pressure where it matters most — at the ballot box.
That approach has been successfully deployed by liberal activists in Midwestern states angered by the work of Republican governors and legislatures. In Ohio, for instance, voters overturned a controversial law restricting collective bargaining for labor unions.
The demographics of the Occupy movement skew young. And young people have an abysmal track record of voting. Even in 2008, when the youth vote surged, it lagged the overall turnout. Then, in 2010, it fell off again, with just 21% of eligible voters ages 18 to 24 showing up, compared with more than 60% for voters 65 and older. That helps explain why Congress caters to seniors, as well as the wealthy interests that underwrite campaigns.
If the Occupiers want to do something useful, they should recruit candidates, get supporters to the polls and forget about the urban camping.
The authors point is well received by me and I think the Occupy movement may want to take up this line activism. However, it is indeed possible that I am biased towards a strategy of activism and protestation that has been known to work in the past. It is indeed very possible that the Occupy movement has introduced the world to a very different way of obtaining change in the attitudes of people. Only the hindsight afforded by posterity, will inform as to whether the ‘Occupy’ movement was able to achieve anything significant. We wait and see.
Why zebras evolved their characteristic black-and-white stripes has been the subject of decades of debate among scientists.
Now researchers from Hungary and Sweden claim to have solved the mystery.
The stripes, they say, came about to keep away blood-sucking flies.
They report in the Journal of Experimental Biology that this pattern of narrow stripes makes zebras “unattractive” to the flies.
They key to this effect is in how the striped patterns reflect light.
“We started off studying horses with black, brown or white coats,” explained Susanne Akesson from Lund University, a member of the international research team that carried out the study.
“We found that in the black and brown horses, we get horizontally polarised light.” This effect made the dark-coloured horses very attractive to flies.
It means that the light that bounces off the horse’s dark coat - and travels in waves to the eyes of a hungry fly - moves along a horizontal plane, like a snake slithering along with its body flat to the floor.
Dr Akesson and her colleagues found that horseflies, or tabanids, were very attracted by these “flat” waves of light.
“From a white coat, you get unpolarised light [reflected],” she explained. Unpolarised light waves travel along any and every plane, and are much less attractive to flies. As a result, white-coated horses are much less troubled by horseflies than their dark-coloured relatives.
Having discovered the flies’ preference for dark coats, the team then became interested in zebras. They wanted to know what kind of light would bounce off the striped body of a zebra, and how this would affect the biting flies that are a horse’s most irritating enemy.
“We created an experimental set-up where we painted the different patterns onto boards,” Dr Akesson told BBC Nature.
She and her colleagues placed a blackboard, a whiteboard, and several boards with stripes of varying widths into one of the fields of a horse farm in rural Hungary.
“We put insect glue on the boards and counted the number of flies that each one attracted,” she explained.
The striped board that was the closest match to the actual pattern of a zebra’s coat attracted by far the fewest flies, “even less than the white boards that were reflecting unpolarised light,” Dr Akesson said.
“That was a surprise because, in a striped pattern, you still have these dark areas that are reflecting horizontally polarised light.
“But the narrower (and more zebra-like) the stripes, the less attractive they were to the flies.”
To test horseflies’ reaction to a more realistic 3-D target, the team put four life-size “sticky horse models ” into the field - one brown, one black, one white and one black-and-white striped, like a zebra.
The researchers collected the trapped flies every two days, and found that the zebra-striped horse model attracted the fewest.
Prof Matthew Cobb, an evolutionary biologist from the University of Manchester pointed out that the experiment was “rigorous and fascinating” but did not exclude the other hypotheses about the origin of zebras’ stripes.
“Above all, for this explanation to be true, the authors would have to show that tabanid fly bites are a major selection pressure on zebras, but not on horses and donkeys found elsewhere in the world… none of which are stripy,” he told BBC Nature.
“[They] recognise this in their study, and my hunch is that there is not a single explanation and that many factors are involved in the zebra’s stripes.