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first_imgHundreds of flowering plant seeds from early Cretaceous strata on two continents show exceptional preservation; how can they be 125 million years old?A paper in Nature reports another example of “exceptional preservation” of biological material, this time of plant seeds. The seeds were found in Portugal and in the eastern United States. They contain embryos and nutritive material, the paper says, yet are thought to be 125 to 110 million years old, the time in the evolutionary story when angiosperms (flowering plants) were rapidly diversifying. Here are some quotes from the paper:Here we report the discovery of embryos and their associated nutrient storage tissues in exceptionally well-preserved angiosperm seeds from the Early Cretaceous.…we analysed the internal structure of mature seeds from about 75 different angiosperm taxa recovered from rich assemblages of angiosperm flowers, fruits and seeds in 11 mesofossil floras from eastern North America and Portugal, ranging in age from Barremian-Aptian to early or middle Albian, about 125–110 million years ago.SRXTM revealed exquisite preservation of three-dimensional cellular structure, often including traces of nuclei and subcellular nutritive bodies. In mature fossil fruits and seeds, the seed coat is generally well-developed and cellular preservation is usually excellent. Softer tissues such as embryo and nutrient storage tissues may be degraded or distorted, but of the roughly 250 Early Cretaceous mature seeds examined about half show cellular structure inside the seed coat.In about 50 seeds, complete or partly preserved embryos occur along with remains of the surrounding nutrient storage tissue. Minimal shrinkage of the seeds during preservation is indicated by the typically straight cell walls and the fact that the nutrient storage tissue often fills out the whole seed volume inside the seed coat.Cellular preservation of the embryos in all six taxa [i.e., those shown in a figure] is excellent.[Figure 4 caption]: …Surface rendering of embryo showing the two small cotyledon primordia. c, Detail of endosperm with nutritive bodies (protein and lipids).Mesofossils preserved in these floras are often exquisitely preserved in three dimensions as charcoalified or lignitic specimens and include complete and fragmentary flowers, as well as abundant fruits and seeds.The authors make a big deal of the fact that the seeds are tiny, as if this represents a primitive condition before the evolution of modern flowering plants. Other statements, however, make it hard to imagine 130 million years going by. Some aspects of these seeds compare well with those found in modern plants:Cells in the nutritive storage tissue often contain small rounded structures (Figs 2a, c and 3) that are most probably remains of the protein and lipid bodies that occur in the equivalent seed tissues of many extant angiosperms.In each cell there is typically a central body about 4–6 μm in diameter (Fig. 2b) that is similar in size and position to the nuclei seen in the embryo cells of extant early diverging angiosperm lineages.Very similar cellular differentiation occurs in the endosperm of modern Sarcandra (Fig. 4a, c) and other extant early diverging angiosperm lineages.As in extant taxa, the contents of the cells immediately around the embryo were apparently consumed very early in the development of the young plant.The distinctive exotestal seeds of taxon 1 and taxon 3 are also indicative of a relationship to Schisandraceae or Nymphaeaceae, and the broad embryo of taxon 3 is very similar to the embryos in seeds of extant Nymphaeaceae.Canrightiopsis is phylogenetically close to the common ancestor of extant Ascarina, Sarcandra and Chloranthus (Chloranthaceae). Comparison of the almost spherical Canrightiopsis embryo with that of extant Sarcandra shows strong similarities and the same cellular features. However, the seeds and embryos of Canrightiopsis are much smaller.The differences between fossil and extant seeds appear slight. The authors confess the “limitations of inferring ancestral characteristics solely by extrapolation from the features of extant taxa.”Again, the authors are frustratingly equivocal about whether the remains are composed of original biological material or lithified remains.  It would be helpful if they would state clearly whether the “proteins and lipids” are just that—proteins and lipids—or if they are minerals that replaced them. It seems reasonable to infer, though, that these structures are the original material. The authors say that some of them are “decomposed” but do not say they are lithified. For instance, they say, “The nutrient storage tissue immediately around the embryo is often partly or fully decomposed, but in seeds with particularly good preservation these cells are usually distinguished by their smaller size, thinner walls and lack of nutritive bodies.” Even decomposed biological material is still biological. Given the hubbub over original soft tissue found in dinosaur bones and fossils older than 100 million Darwin years, it would seem they would brag that the fossils are fully replaced by rock if they could. Also, it seems unreasonable to expect that structures as small as subcellular units and nuclei could be lithified. The clearest reference to original biological material is that “Mesofossils preserved in these floras are often exquisitely preserved in three dimensions as charcoalified or lignitic specimens and include complete and fragmentary flowers, as well as abundant fruits and seeds.” (See Field Museum discussion of mesofossils.) The Methods section suggests the specimens are not mineralized: “Fossils were isolated from the sediments by sieving in water, remaining mineral matrix was removed using hydrofluoric and hydrochloric acids, and the fossils were then rinsed in water and air-dried.“Assuming, then, that the fossils are composed of original biological material, is it reasonable to expect it would be preserved for 110 million years or more? Even if it were permineralized, how could such detail be preserved that long? Remember, evolutionists believe that a major catastrophe struck the Earth just 65 million years ago. Undoubtedly there were smaller catastrophes across the eastern US and Portugal from the time those seeds were laid down till now. A lot of geological change can happen in even 1 million years, or 100,000, or 10,000 years. The logical conclusion is that the “Cretaceous” strata containing these fossils are young, not millions of years old. Until that sinks in to open-minded scientists, we can add this paper to the pile of evidence for exceptional preservation of original biological material that cannot be anywhere near as old as claimed. (Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgtaylor hatmaker The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Tags:#e-commerce#email#Groupon Is There A Daily Deals Bubble?Ask anyone who’s opted out of email alerts for half-price spa days and dinners for two: daily deals served up to your inbox every day can get old — and fast. Most of tech blogging’s upper echelons have already made a case that the daily deals phenomenon is a fad that’ll come and go with the speed of a limited time Groupon offer, and we’re inclined to agree. Indeed the daily deals space boasts all the trappings of a true tech mini-bubble, from 2010’s sky-high early valuation to today’s ringing silence where there once was the clamor of companies scrambling to get a piece of the half-off pie. With the buzz waning, Groupon and its ilk (Living Social, Google Offers) have become little more than a fly buzzing around your inbox — and swatting it away is as easy as clicking unsubscribe.The ultimate sign your business model might have jumped the shark? There’s a startup that exists solely to help people get the hell away from your product.  Toss systemic daily deals fatigue on a heap of flaws ranging from understandably disgruntled vendors screwed over by the Groupon model to a green CEO prone to YouTubing naked yoga sessions — and making stockholders squirm — and you’ve got yourself a hard sell. The demise of Groupon isn’t hard to imagine. As our own Cormac Foster wrote a few months ago when Groupon made our Death Watch list:“Ultimately, it’s likely to become the biggest fish in a much less important pond. It could easily end up as no more than an obscure division of some much larger, more diversified company.”Groupon’s Euro-ProblemGroupon’s problems arguably run as deep as its business model, but last week CEO Andrew Mason blamed the company’s poor performance in Europe — and the European debt crisis — for its woebegone earnings report.  “We followed a different playbook in Europe, focusing on rapidly capturing market share at the cost of investing in technology and innovation and, too often, the satisfaction of our merchants and customers. With a weak European economy, we didn’t have the necessary runway to integrate our international business before reaching a plateau in growth earlier this year,” Mason said.The weirdo animal print accessory of your dreams awaits.Can Groupon Sell Itself Again?Groupon might be flatlining, but it’s not quite dead yet. The company did recently expand into new-ish territory with Groupon Goods, a Woot-like version of its extant group buying model that serves up deeply discounted products (Yoga leggings! Microfiber duvets! Facelift cream!) rather than less stuff-like stuff.Just today Groupon announced free shipping and returns for any items bought through Groupon Goods — not a bad little holiday season incentive. Groupon is also gunning for Square with a mobile payments system for local vendors that promises to be cheaper than the competition. According to Foster, “If Mason can find new ways to leverage these assets across other products and services (for example, cross-selling full-priced flights or shore excursions at the point of purchase for a discounted cruise), it could build out a convenience-based commerce system and open up new partnership opportunities and compensation structures. If it sticks to online couponing, though, right now is probably as good as things will ever get.”In other words, let the Groupon fire sale commence.  Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification After losing 90% of its value from its IPO heyday, daily deals guru Groupon is looking more and more like one of its own deep discount coupons. Founded in 2008, Groupon went public last fall among 2011’s flurry of IPOs from hot-to-trot tech companies like LinkedIn and Skype. Now, the company’s stock is tumbling after it failed to meet analyst expectations for the third quarter of 2012.After already reaching an all-time low last week, Groupon is now trading at a rock-bottom $2.69 — a plummet from its early November valuation that hovered around $4.00 a share and an absolute nosedive from its $28-per-share opening price one year ago.The company also recently laid off 80 sales employees “as part of an effort to automate the way it handles its deals,” according to The New York Times. They’ve cut 648 in the past six months. Yikes.In 2010, Groupon turned up its nose at a whopping $6 billion offer from Google. If Groupon had gone along for the ride, it would have made history as Google’s second largest acquisition ever at about half of the $12.5 billion Motorola buy and over three times as much as the price Google paid for YouTube back in 2006.Instead the company stayed the course, insisting on remaining independent and confident that it could continue raking in a rumored $2 billion in annual revenue. Talk about seller’s remorse. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

first_imgThe use of seat belts has improved substantially among bus and truck drivers after the new law on traffic violations came into force, according to a survey conducted by NGO Save Life Foundation.The study was conducted at different sites in two States — at Burari, Bhalswa and Mukundpur in Delhi and Mumbai Pune Expressway and Old Mumbai Pune Highway in Maharashtra. As many as 1,190 vehicles were observed before the implementation of the Act on August 29 and on September 11 a total of 1,294 vehicles were monitored after the rules came into effect.80.5% increaseThe findings show that in Delhi there was an 80.5% increase in use of seat belts by bus drivers with 88% of them wearing seatbelts after the implementation of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, whereas only 7.5% wore them earlier. Similarly, the use of seatbelts among bus drivers in Mumbai went up by 26%, with 50% of those monitored wearing them instead of a mere 26.5% earlier. About 120 buses were monitored in Delhi and 108 in Mumbai before the study and after the study 105 were observed in Delhi and 110 in Mumbai.There is a remarkable improvement among truck drivers, too, with 27.7% increase in their use in Delhi and 21% in Mumbai. A total of 92 trucks before the new rules and 105 trucks after were observed in Delhi, where 127 trucks were monitored before and after implementation of the rules.Light motor vehiclesSeat belt compliance improved by 17.8% for light motor vehicles in Delhi, while for Mumbai it improved by 1 percentage point.As per the amended Act, the fine for not wearing seat belts has increased from ₹100-₹300 to ₹1,000 with effect from September 1.These findings for heavy vehicles stood out among other offences which were monitored including non-usage of helmets, not providing passage to emergency vehicles, load protrusion and overloading for two-wheelers, buses, trucks and light motor vehicles.According to government data on road accidents for 2017, trucks (along with tempos and tractors) and buses together accounted for nearly 27% of crashes or 1,24,000 of the total 4,60,000 accidents.While seat belts don’t avert accidents, their use helps in mitigating fatalities and serious injuries. According to a forensic examination of 500 crashes conducted by the Road Safety Foundation, nearly 33% of deaths were caused due to seat belts not being worn by road users.last_img read more

first_imgThe Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have joined hands to set up the country’s first e-waste clinic here, that would enable segregation, processing and disposal of waste from both household and commercial units.Also Read Nearly 50,000 people make a living out of Seelampur’s e-waste  After inspecting the garbage and plastic recovery centres in Bhanpur here, CPCB officials discussed the clinic with BMC officials. A three-month pilot project, the clinic, if successful, would be replicated elsewhere in the country.“Electronic waste will be collected door-to-door or could be deposited directly at the clinic in exchange for a fee. The CPCB will provide technical support at the unit,” BMC Additional Commissioner Rajesh Rathore told The Hindu.At present, there was no estimate of the quantity of electronic waste generated in the city, he added. “Hazardous waste will be sent to Bengaluru for recycling,” he said.Door-to-door collection will happen in two ways. Either separate carts for the collection of e-waste will be designed, or separate bins will be attached to existing ones meant for solid and wet waste. The clinic is being conceived in compliance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.In the absence of a safe disposal mechanism, electronic waste at present is being disposed of along with other waste, said Mr. Rathore. “A suitable site for the unit is yet to be identified,” he added.last_img read more

first_imgMike HusseyAustralian players Mike Hussey and Nathan Hauritz have been forced out of the ICC World Cup because of injuries, it was known on Tuesday.Hussey will not be able to play in the tournament because of a hamstring injury. He is being replaced by Callum Ferguson.Hauritz suffered a dislocated shoulder. He has been replaced by Jason Krezja.The ICC World Cup begins in India on February 19. Australia are one of the top contenders for the Cup.last_img

first_img“If I am able to play good tennis and play well with my forehand and backhand, I hope to put him in trouble. If not, I will be in trouble,” said Nadal.Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) v Dominic Thiem (AUT x4)Djokovic leads head-to-head 6-2World number one Djokovic is now potentially only two wins from becoming just the second man in history to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously twice, but will face a formidable task against Thiem.The Austrian fourth seed will be playing his fourth straight semi-final at Roland Garros and reached the final last year, only to lose to Nadal.“I think every match I got better and better,” said Thiem, who heads into the match following back-to-back straight-sets wins over Gael Monfils and Karen Khachanov.“From the third round on, it got a lot better. And for sure the match against Gael and also today was very good. I’m happy with the way I’m playing.”Djokovic has sailed into his ninth French Open semi-final and 35th at the majors in total without dropping a set.“Dominic is deservedly where he is, one of the top four guys, especially on clay. That’s where he’s playing his best tennis,” said the 2016 champion.The Serbian leads their head-to-head 6-2, although both of Thiem’s wins have come on clay–including a straight-sets success in the 2017 French Open quarter-finals when Djokovic was the defending champion. LATEST STORIES ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Nadal leads the pair’s head-to-head on clay 13-2, holds a 91-2 winning record at Roland Garros and has won all five of his French Open matches against Federer.But Federer is on a five-match winning streak against his old rival, and will be confident after dispatching an in-form Stan Wawrinka in the quarters.“Like against any player, there is always a chance. Otherwise nobody will be in the stadium to watch because everybody already knows the result in advance,” said Federer.The 33-year-old Nadal is also closing in on Federer’s record tally of 20 Grand Slam titles, knowing victory in Sunday’s final would draw him within two of the Swiss.But 2009 champion Federer is showing no signs of slowing down at the age of 37, and is looking to become the oldest man to reach a major final since Ken Rosewall at the 1974 US Open.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Golovkin only thinking of Rolls in comeback fight Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue View comments MOST READ Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport This combination of file pictures created on June 06, 2019 shows Spain’s Rafael Nadal (L) during his men’s singles fourth round match on day eight of The Roland Garros 2019 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 2, 2019, and Switzerland’s Roger Federer during his men’s singles first round match on day 1 of The Roland Garros 2019 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on May 26, 2019. (Photos by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT and Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer play the 39th meeting of their historic rivalry in the French Open semi-finals on Friday, with the Swiss great looking to finally beat the 11-time champion for the first time at Roland Garros.The prize for victory will be a final against either Novak Djokovic, looking to hold all four Grand Slam titles at once for the second time, or last year’s runner-up Dominic Thiem.ADVERTISEMENT It is the first time the top four seeds have all made the semis in Paris since Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Andy Murray in 2011.Here, AFP Sport takes a look at the men’s semi-finals:FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsRoger Federer (SUI x3) v Rafael Nadal (ESP x2)Nadal leads head-to-head 23-15Federer has already surpassed expectations by reaching the semi-finals in his first appearance at Roland Garros since 2015, but faces a daunting task against Nadal if he is to reach the final. Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Duterte wants probe of SEA Games messlast_img read more

first_imgDr. Vivek H. Murthy, the 19th U.S. Surgeon General, today urged Cal State LA students to take action against cardiovascular disease (CVD), which claims nearly 400,000 women’s lives each year, making it the number one killer of women.Dr. Murthy participated in a forum at Cal State LA with Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR (The National Council of La Raza), Dr. Rita Redberg, Professor of Medicine and Director of Women’s Cardiovascular Services at the University of California, San Francisco and Cal State LA President William A. Covino. Forum participants called for urgent action to raise awareness and make women’s heart health a priority.Covino announced at the event that he will begin a dialogue with students, faculty and staff to create a smoke-free University. This process marks an important move for public health at the University, as smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke increases the risk of dying from heart disease and stroke. As part of its commitment to combat cardiovascular disease, Cal State LA also hosted a women’s heart health codeathon and screening event in partnership with the Women’s Heart Alliance, where students met with medical professionals and learned about their personal risk of developing heart disease as well as how to improve their heart health.Students also competed over the weekend in a codeathon event, hosted by the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, where young developers and designers built original prototype apps to help young women decrease their risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The two-day event drew industry leaders from the tech, design and health fields.“For too long, we’ve been conditioned to see heart disease as an old man’s problem. But a woman dies nearly every minute from heart disease and women who have heart attacks are more likely than men to die within a year. Because women’s symptoms often look different than a man’s, women’s heart disease is often misdiagnosed or undertreated. We need to come together to fight for gender equity in women’s heart health and to make preventing heart disease a young woman’s priority,” said Barbra Streisand, co-founder of the Women’s Heart Alliance. “Because, even though heart disease can be deadly, it’s also largely preventable. And I want young women everywhere, to be empowered to fight back. It’s all of our jobs, men included, to care about this epidemic and to curb the number of women dying from this preventable disease.”“The key to preventing disease is a healthy lifestyle,” Surgeon General Murthy said. “There are everyday steps you can take to lower your chance of developing heart disease by eating a healthy diet; being active and exercising regularly; and staying tobacco-free.”Ronald O. Perelman, co-founder of WHA and Chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated, echoed the forum’s call for young women to take action against cardiovascular disease. “In the United States, heart disease kills more women each year than all cancers combined, and has taken more women’s lives than men’s for more than 20 years. Yet, 45 percent of women are unaware that it’s their number one threat. We need awareness, education and advocacy to tackle this epidemic. We need to make women’s heart health and prevention a priority, to stop this disease in its tracks.”British Robinson, CEO of the Women’s Heart Alliance, also spoke, emphasizing gender racial disparities. “Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the U.S., and black and Hispanic women like many of us here today are especially vulnerable. To win the fight against health disparities, we need action in every sector.”“Everyone plays a role in creating and sustaining healthy communities and we know that technology can be particularly impactful in that effort,” said Rain Henderson, CEO of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative. “We were thrilled to bring our healthy codeathon series to Cal State LA students to identify what works and how technology can spur innovation that will lead to healthier communities for years to come.”Cal State LA’s population reflects the diversity of greater Los Angeles’s residents, with a student body of 27,000, about 60 percent of whom are Latino, 15 percent Asian American and four percent African American. As gender disparities are evident in heart disease research funding and mortality, and sixty percent of students are women, the Cal State LA campus served as an appropriate audience for the forum’s message of action.“At Cal State LA, we launched our Mind Matters initiative last year because we realize that without student wellbeing there is no academic success,” President Covino said. “We’re confident that our students’ awareness of heart disease will increase through our partnership with the Women’s Heart Alliance and Clinton Health Matters Initiative.”“NCLR is proud to partner with the Women’s Heart Alliance to increase awareness of women’s heart health,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR. “Latinas face a higher risk of cardiovascular disease yet one in three Latinas are unaware that heart disease is their number one cause of death. That is why not only in my role as the leader of the nation’s largest Hispanic organization, but also as a Latina, I want to ensure women, especially young Latinas, are aware of their heart risks.”The Cal State LA campus served as a pilot location this weekend for the formal launch of a new partnership between the Women’s Heart Alliance and Clinton Health Matters Initiative, aimed at reducing women’s heart disease and its precursors in young women. The partnership, which will expand to more campuses in 2016, will identify women at risk of developing or who have heart disease and link them to care, while promoting best practices in screening, diagnosing and treatment of the disease and its risk factors.last_img read more