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Embryos frozen in stone in the act of cell division were reported in Science.1 According to a press release from Virginia Tech, there are millions of fossilized embryos in the Doushantuo formation in south China, estimated to be 551 million years old, but “later stages of these animals are rare.” The EurekAlert version of this press release contains images of the embryos. A press release from Indiana University says some of the embryos have 1000 cells or more. With X-ray computed tomography, the researchers were able to get past taphonomic artifacts and image the actual cells. The embryos show asynchronous cell division, which means that the embryos were differentiating into more complex organisms than bacteria in strata said to be 10 million years prior to the Cambrian explosion. The original paper in Science puts the find into an evolutionary context: “Asynchronous cell division is common in modern embryos, implying that sophisticated mechanisms for differential cell division timing and embryonic cell lineage differentiation evolved before 551 million years ago.” None of the larger embryos in the 162-sample set showed differentiation into epithelial tissues, however, an observation they call “striking.” “Many of these features are compatible with metazoans, but the absence of epithelialization is consistent only with a stem-metazoan affinity for Doushantuo embryos…. Epithelialization, by whatever mechanism of gastrulation, should be underway in modern embryos with >100 cells.” Thus, they imply these represent pre-animal experiments in cell division. “The absence of this 3D hallmark of sponge- and higher-grade metazoans may indicate that they did not yet exist… the combined observations suggest that the Doushantuo embryos are probably stem-group metazoans”; i.e., organisms on the way to evolving into full-fledged multicellular animals. It’s hard to be sure, though, because specimens in later stages of development are lacking. Even so, these embryos have characteristics of the embryos of advanced Cambrian animals:Despite hypotheses that Doushantuo embryos are unusual in comparison to most known metazoans, the patterns of cleavage and cell topology are compatible with a range of animal groups. For instance, in embryos composed of eight or more cells, the offset arrangement of successive tiers of cells, strong cell cohesion, and a stereoblastic cell topology are comparable to early cleavage embryos of many arthropod groups. Stereoblastulae are also particularly common among sponges and scyphozoan cnidarians. Doushantuo embryos composed of many hundreds of cells resemble the purported gastrulae of demosponges, before the development of parenchymella larvae, although at this stage demosponges exhibit evidence of gastrulation, with a differentiated superficial layer of micromeres surrounding a core of macromeres.If juvenile and adult forms of these organisms appeared in the strata, would they resemble the Cambrian animals? Or do these embryos represent experiments in cell division that would later explode into the diversity of Cambrian forms? Take your pick: the Indiana U press release says, “Either these embryos are primitive and don’t have a clear blastocoel, or a blastocoel existed but didn’t survive the preservation process.” See also a story posted on the UK Telegraph.1Hagadorn et al, “Cellular and Subcellular Structure of Neoproterozoic Animal Embryos,” Science, 13 October 2006: Vol. 314. no. 5797, pp. 291-294, DOI: 10.1126/science.1133129.If all the Darwinian assumptions (biological, paleontological and geological) were purged out of this story, you would only have some advanced-looking embryos in a certain layer of Chinese rocks. They are incapable of interpreting themselves. The simplest explanation is that complexity exists from the very beginning of the fossil record, whenever that was.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
The new bottling plant will bringbenefits for the community and theenvironment.(Image: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos) MEDIA CONTACTS • Pat Dambe-HansenCoca-Cola director, communications+27 11 644 0780Janine ErasmusThe South African operation of Coca-Cola is to invest US$54-million (R400-million) into a new bottling plant for its Valpré brand of mineral water. The plant will be built in Heidelberg, 42km south of Johannesburg.Valpré spring water is currently bottled in Polokwane, Limpopo province. The brand’s biggest markets are in the Gauteng and Western Cape provinces.The announcement came in mid-October 2009. Speaking at the event, Coca-Cola South Africa president Bill Egbe said the investment would ensure the continuity of supply and demand for the company’s brands, and help reduce its carbon footprint through shorter transportation distances.Coca-Cola made its debut on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in 2009 and is committed to sustainable practices in the environments and communities in which it operates.The company spent three years looking for the ideal place to build a second Valpré bottling plant and decided on Heidelberg because the land’s geology and chemical properties of its underground water are similar to those of Polokwane.Furthermore, the site is close enough to the target market to make a substantial difference in transport-related carbon emissions.The plant, a joint venture between Coca-Cola South Africa and Coca-Cola Shanduka, is expected to be ready by September 2010. In 2007 Shanduka, a black-owned investment company, bought a 70% shareholding in Scarlet Ibis Investment 3, one of Coca-Cola’s four local bottlers. The parent company retains a stake, but all operations are now managed by the major shareholder.Building communitiesThe new Valpré plant is expected to create about 300 jobs in Heidelberg. In addition to its environmental commitment, Coca-Cola South Africa strives for the economic development of communities in South Africa.“We believe projects such as the bottling plant will assist government to reach its unemployment alleviation targets and as such we’re proud to be part of that movement for change,” said Egbe.Heidelberg lies in the Lesedi local municipality. Speaking at the ceremony, Lesedi executive mayor Busisiwe Modisakeng said the new plant would not only help to fight poverty, but would put the municipality on the bottled water map.She assured the community that there would be no water shortages as a result of the plant, and that systems would be put into place to ensure that the whole community benefits from the project.“We have to be involved in the communities we operate in,” added Egbe.He promised those present that no graves would be tampered with during construction. The plant is to stand on a 500ha plot which consists of two idle farms joined together. The company will also make sure that the few remaining residents on the farms are looked after.According to Coca-Cola, the water in the area will last for a few hundred years, as long as there is rain – but the company has conducted a thorough assessment of the valuable resource and has pledged to use only 6% of that annual rainfall.Responsible business practiceThe plant itself, which will require just over $13.4-million (R100-million) to complete, will include a cutting-edge filling and packaging section that will enable the bottles to be manufactured, filled and sealed in a single continuous process. At no stage will they leave the production line or be handled manually, which eliminates any risk of contamination.According to project manager Casper Durandt, this is a first for South Africa, placing the plant on the same level as other world-class facilities. Its initial bottling capacity is 50-million litres per year. This will gradually increase to 150-million litres as the plant comes fully online.But not all the investment will be spent on the plant. The rest of the funds will be used to build infrastructure and equip buildings with the latest environment-efficient systems, as well as to rehabilitate open land to original Highveld grassland. The company will draw water from the ground using solar power, and an on-site recycling centre is also being planned.The Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will keep an eye on operations, ensuring that Coca-Cola complies with legal requirements and standards.Global brandsValpré bottled spring water is available in South Africa in still and sparkling varieties. The company also produces Bonaqua, a range of prepared water products. With these two products Coca-Cola is believed to hold about 60% of the bottled water market in South Africa.Other Coca-Cola brands available locally include the Bibo range of fruit punches, Minute Maid juices, the Appletiser and Powerade ranges, Nestea ready-to-drink products, Sparletta carbonated drinks and a number of licensed brands such as Schweppes.Coca-Cola has been active in South Africa since 1928 when the first bottling plant and distribution centre were opened in Johannesburg. South Africa is Coca-Cola’s top market on the continent, and according to the company, consistently ranks among the top 10 performers within the group.The local branch is part of the Eurasia and Africa group, with the Africa group office based in Johannesburg.
13 December 2012South African state company Transnet has given the go-ahead for a dedicated berthing terminal for cruise liners in Table Bay Harbour, Cape Town, it was reported on Tuesday.Ports authority spokesman Coen Birkenstock told the Cape Times that the new terminal would be completed within the next two years and would feature an arrivals and departures facility and restrooms.From next month, the authority would finalise the process of identifying suitable investors and operators.Birkenstock said it would possibly encourage more international cruise liner operators to include Cape Town on their itineraries.Since January, liners have been required to berth in the Duncan Dock because the Home Affairs Department banned liners exceeding 200 metres in length from berthing at the V&A Waterfront, citing safety concerns.Shipping agents and tourism officials reportedly felt Duncan Dock put Cape Town in a bad light, because it was an inconvenience and unfriendly to well-heeled travellers.According to Western Cape Economic Development MEC Alan Winde, 19 visiting cruise liners brought about 11 444 passengers to the province last year.Hinde welcomed the authority’s decision, which he said would potentially attract more visitors.Sapa
In an effort to secure a future for the company, BlackBerry announced on Monday that it will open an autonomous driving research center in Canada.The QNX team, responsible for infotainment and telematics systems, will run the autonomous center from its Ottawa facility. In the announcement, it said it will embed software into sensors, cameras, and other self-driving car components.See Also: Apple self-driving effort shifts from hardware to software“What QNX is doing is providing the infrastructure that allows [customers] to build higher-level algorithms and to also acquire data from the sensors in a reliable manner,” said Sebastian Fischmeister, an associate professor and employee at QNX, to Reuters.BlackBerry does not want to work on artificial intelligence and other highly complex problems in the self-driving industry, at least not yet. Instead, it will work as a “sidekick”, according to Reuters, to automakers and tech firms.QNX already popular in connected carsQNX is already a popular operating system in the automotive world, so bringing its services to the self-driving market is not a massive change in operations. BlackBerry recently partnered with Ford to become its primary software supplier for future cars.That said, it does show that BlackBerry is willing to invest its capital into software and services, rather than hardware, where it has been lowering operational budgets and cutting staff.BlackBerry does suffer from a lack of capital and lacks a cash cow, like Intel’s processors or Google’s search engine, so it may not be able to spend billions on research and development. It may also be forced to sell its self-driving software and services at a cost, or at least with a license fee, instead of bundling them for free with hardware. Tags:#autonomous cars#BlackBerry#driverless cars#mobile#QNX#Self-Driving David Curry Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Related Posts IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle…
Encode videos for playback on a tablet device using presets for Adobe Media Encoder CS6.Hot off the heels of the Creative Suite 6 release, Adobe is already making preset updates to Media Encoder. New tablet products mean more avenues for video playback. Adobe is making it simple to optimize your video encoding for tablet devices.The free preset download specifically addresses video encoding for:Amazon Kindle FireBarnes and Noble NookApple iPadTablets using the Android operating systemKindle Fire and Barnes and Noble Nook Color are two emerging entrants into the tablet arena and it’s nice to see they’re already receiving some 3rd party encoding support (makes it much simpler for video editors / media managers). On top of encoding support for these tablet devices, presets are also included for XDCAM EX and AVC-Intro in MXF wrappers.Although this update is avaliable for both PC and MAC versions of Adobe Media Encoder, MAC users can also download an additional set of ProRes video presets.If you’re not already using Adobe Media Encoder, you can receive it as part of CS6 Production Premium or as one of the apps in Adobe’s new Creative Cloud subscription service.Adobe Media Encoder users download tablet encoding presets HERE.
Tags Share your voice Facebook Now playing: Watch this: Screen recordings, in which people video-recorded the stream on their phones and uploaded that video, were more difficult to automatically detect, according to Sonderby. To fix this issue, the company “expanded to additional detection systems,” which included using sound detection. The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, a consortium of technology companies, highlighted more than 800 different versions of the video, Reuters noted.New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Parliament on Tuesday that the government is going to look closely at the role social media played in the incident, Bloomberg reported.”We cannot simply sit back and accept that these platforms just exist and what is said is not the responsibility of the place where they are published,” she said. “They are the publisher not just the postman. There cannot be a case of all profit no responsibility.” Getty Images Facebook on Tuesday offered some statistics in its defense following criticism of its struggle to contain the spread of a livestream video of Friday’s mass shooting in New Zealand.The social network said that the stream had fewer than 200 viewers during the live broadcast and that the video got roughly 4,000 views before it was taken down.The numbers were revealed in a blog post by Facebook Deputy General Counsel Chris Sonderby, who said no users reported the video when it was live. The first user report came 12 minutes after the livestream ended, a full 29 minutes after it started. As previously noted, Facebook purged 1.5 million uploads of the video and most (1.2 million) were blocked before going live on the platform. Sonderby said in the Tuesday blog post that the original video was digitally mapped so that Facebook software could detect and block similar videos.On Friday, a gunman in Christchurch attacked Muslims praying at two mosques and livestreamed the shooting on Facebook. The death toll from the incident stands at 50, according to CBS News. Post a comment Internet Services Tech Industry 0 Facebook deletes 1.5M videos after shooting, Democrats… 1:23
2019 movies to geek out over Now playing: Watch this: TV and Movies Us tells the story of Adelaide Wilson, a wife and mother whose traumatic childhood experience casts a shadow over a summer beach trip with her family. Trauma haunts survivors for years to come like a shadow they can’t shake, and Us puts the members of the Wilson family face-to-face with their own shadows: doppelgangers in red jumpsuits wielding glinting gold scissors. They’re called The Tethered, and they’ve got a score to settle with their better look-alikes.You could say Us has been hotly anticipated. It follows 2017’s Get Out, a tightly-made, critically acclaimed thriller with a social message that earned Peele an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It helped set him up as a bright light in the realm of thrills and suspense. In fact, he’s pretty busy these days with projects like the reboot of the Twilight Zone, for which he’s the executive producer and host, and Weird City, a YouTube Original dystopian anthology series. Lupita Nyong’o takes a good long look at herself in Us. Claudette Barius So it’s hard not to make comparisons to Get Out. But where Get Out was a tidy concept, executed in a way that deliberately and carefully guided you through the story toward the big ideas, Us is bigger, broader and perhaps less neat. One of the inevitable questions people will ask about Us is whether it’s scarier than Get Out. Peele gets the dread machine going in the first scene at a beach-side amusement park, and the tensest moments include the Wilson family trying to figure out why people outside are trying to get in. And that old horror staple, the ominous Bible verse, will never not be creepy — in this case, Jeremiah 11:11. You can see the uncomprehending terror on Lupita Nyong’o’s face as she stares at her Tethered counterpart, tears streaming down her cheeks. SXSW 2019 Jordan Peele’s Us gets a new trailer and it’s terrifying 77 Photos 2 Mar 15 • LG ‘Snow White’ makes ice cream from capsules Mar 19 • AOC, Bill Nye and the apocalypse: The insanity of SXSW 2019 1:00 SXSW 2019 Mar 15 • Men can now breastfeed reading • Us review: Jordan Peele’s horror flick holds up a dark mirror to Get Out See All Share your voice But while Us shoots for a next level of frightening, it runs into a few weak spots along the way.For one, we learn the Tethered aren’t just knocking on the Wilsons’ door. But that larger plot is pretty vague.The effectiveness of the movie’s humor is also tough to gauge. The audience at SXSW was extremely game, laughing uproariously, even in places where it wasn’t entirely clear whether there was a joke to be had — like when the Tethered first show up in the Wilsons’ driveway, and Gabe Wilson (Winston Duke), who’d been dadding it up hard (in the best way) since the start of the movie, goes outside with a bat and some adopted bravado to try and get these mysterious figures to leave. The audience howled.In a horror film a well-placed quip can cut the tension to not only temporarily relieve the audience but also enable the tension to build back up again. Stick it in the wrong place and the laughs just undercut everything around it.Throughout the film, we’re shown lots of mirrors and reflections, visually reflecting the theme. After all, the Wilsons are seeing themselves like they never have before, though warped.Similarly, Us mirrors Get Out. It’s more scary fare with social commentary. But the copy’s never quite the same as the original.Want another take on Us? See GameSpot’s review here. Comments Tags • It shouldn’t come as a shock that a horror film titled Us plays with the idea that perhaps we are the villains.The film’s writer, director and producer, Jordan Peele, addresses how we fear and hate those we consider to be other without examining ourselves. “Maybe the monster we need to look at has our face,” Peele told the audience at the film’s world premiere during SXSW 2019. “Maybe the evil is us.” Us opens March 22 in the US and UK. Looking in a mirror is one of the recurring motifs of Peele’s new horror flick, and the biggest metaphorical theme too. Movie reviews
Vehicles move past the India Gate war memorial in New Delhi, India, October 1, 2016 (representational image).Reuters file11.38 AM IST: The Sensex and Nifty pared gains after a bullish opening driven by investors cheering results of exit polls that gave the BJP a clear edge over rivals in the key state of Uttar Pradesh. The Sensex was up 24 points at 28,854. Domestic car sales rose 4.9 percent in February to 1,72,623 units while overall passenger sales increased 9 percent to 2,55,359 units, the PTI reported, citing data released by automobile industry body Siam.However, two-wheeler sales remained almost flat at 13.62 lakh units.The Auto index on the BSE was up 0.17 percent. 9.15 AM IST: Stock markets open with a bang, on expected lines in response to the exit poll predictions. The BSE Sensex gained 124 points to reach 29,053 while the NSE Nifty was trading 37 points higher at 8,964. Top Sensex gainers were Hero Motocorp, Adani Ports, GAIL (India) and TCS.Wipro was trading 0.94 percent higher at Rs 488, GAIL was down 0.29 percent at Rs 378 after going ex-bonus on Thursday (ratio was 1:3), Dr Reddy’s Labs was trading 0.29 percent higher at Rs 2,716 despite receiving more than 10 observations after inspection by the US FDA of its manufacturing unit at Duwada, Visakhapatnam.Exit polls by various agencies give close to 180 seats to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recently-concluded Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. This could trigger a rally on Indian stock markets. The actual results will be declared on Saturday (March 11), but the party seen as falling short of a clear majority could dampen sentiments for investors.The best possible outcome for the BJP is 251-279 seats predicted by the India Today-Axis My India Poll, placing the saffron party far ahead of the Samajwadi Party-Congress coalition’s 88-112 seats.The Times Now-VMR Exit Poll says the BJP could win 190-210 seats, while the Samajwadi Party-Congress is likely to bag 110-130 seats. The BSP may finish with 57-74, in the 403-member Assembly. Another exit poll, by NewsX-MRC, predicted the BJP to win 185 seats with the Samajwadi Party-Congress finishing second at 120 and the BSP at 90 seats. ABP-Lokniti exit poll gave 164-176 seats to the BJP and 156-169 to the Samajwadi Party-Congress.India TV-C Voter said the BJP will get 155-167 seats while the Samajwadi Party-Congress coalition would finish with 135-147 seats. The poll of polls gave the BJP 179 seats, SP-Congress 136 and the BSP 77 seats.On Thursday, the BSE Sensex closed 27 points higher at 28,929 while the NSE Nifty gained 3 points to end at 8,927. Top gainers on the BSE included Unichem Labs, Inox Wind, Balrampur Chini Mills, SpiceJet and Dish TV.Foreign institutional investors (FIIs/FPIs) scaled down their purchases after spell of huge purchases in the past few days and were net buyers of Indian equities worth Rs 488 crore, according to provisional data published by the National Stock Exchange (NSE). “There was a positive sentiment in the market as continued FIIs buying and hope of GST implementation. Global markets were not encouraging on expectation of US Fed rate hike in 15th March policy meeting. Both Hong Kong and China Index declined 1% each on account of China reporting poor CPI numbers,” brokerage Motilal Oswal Securities said in a note on Thursday.Another analyst advised caution ahead of results. “Tomorrow being the last day before the actual outcome, we would expect some volatility in the market. Hence, it’s advisable to avoid the momentum trading as the market may give few whipsaws.,” Sameet Chavan, Chief Analyst, Technical & Derivatives, Angel Broking.On Wednesday, FIIs were net buyers of stocks worth Rs 3,573 crore, preceded by Rs 920 crore on Tuesday and Rs 564 crore on Monday.The rupee closed at 66.71 to the US dollar on Thursday, unchanged from its previous close. Gold prices closed Rs 250 lower at Rs 29,250 per 10 gm.
AKM Mozammel HuqMinister of liberation war affairs AKM Mozammel Haque said there will be no intervention in the 30 per cent quotas in government jobs for freedom fighters.The minister said this at a press conference on Tuesday morning held by the liberation war affairs ministry at the information and communications department conference room in the secretariat. The conference gave an update on the recent activities and about the reservation of quotas in government jobs for the freedom fighters.The minister also said that, there is nothing to worry for the freedom fighters, their families and the people who believe in the spirit of the liberation war.Referring to the High Court verdict, Mozammel Haque said, there remains the opportunity to fulfil the vacant positions with merit list candidates if eligible freedom fighters’ candidates are not available. But, it is compulsory to reserve 30 per cent quota for the freedom fighters. There is no option to ignore or evade the order. To do anything other than this would be a violation of the court, he added.The minister expressed hope that the secretary-level committee formed by the government for quota review would take their decision consciously. Also the copy of the court verdict has been forwarded to the committee, he said.A High Court bench on 5 March, in answer to a writ petition seeking cancellation of quota, passed an order in favour of upholding the system in government jobs.On 2 July, the government formed a seven-member secretary-level committee headed by the cabinet secretary in the face of growing protest seeking quota reforms across the country by students and job seekers.The newly formed committee has already held a meeting. In this backdrop, the liberation war affairs minister called the conference on the quota issue.The prime minister in parliament declared an abolition of quotas and the quota review committee has started to work on the matter.Minister Mozammel Haque said, as long as the court order is upheld there is no scope for revising the freedom fighters’ quota. If the government wants it must approach the court.The minister said, ‘The committee can give their opinion after reconsidering the rest of the quotas other than this one for freedom fighters. Then the government can act accordingly.”The minister also spoke about the other activities of the liberation war affairs ministry.