WASHINGTON, D.C. — A day after hitting a season-high three home runs en route to a series-opening win, the Giants allowed a new 2019 high of four in a loss to the Washington Nationals.Giants starter Jeff Samardzija surrendered a pair of homers in the first inning before reliever Travis Bergen let a close game get out of hand late by giving up two in the seventh in a 9-6 loss. Despite forcing the Nationals to use each of their top relievers in a four-run ninth-inning, the Giants dug too deep of …
Philip Ball is no alarmist, but as consultant editor of Nature,1 he had sobering words last week about things that could go wrong in the new field of synthetic biology, where scientists are tinkering with cells to create artificial life forms:The expanding toolbox of ways to re-engineer microbes – and even construct new ones – has opened up extraordinary possibilities for biomedical discovery and environmental engineering. But it also carries potential dangers that could eclipse the concerns already raised about genetic engineering and nanotechnology. If biologists are indeed on the threshold of synthesizing new life forms, the scope for abuse or inadvertent disaster could be huge.Humans are taking existing design to new levels. “Synthetic biology,” Ball explains, is the logical corollary of the realization that cells, like mechanical or electronic devices, are exquisitely ‘designed’ – albeit by evolution rather than on the drawing board. Their functions are enacted by circuits of interacting genes.” But can we trust humans putting them back on the drawing board? He gives some nightmare scenarios:Artificial disease: “In a dramatic demonstration of the potential risks, virologist Eckard Wimmer at the State University of New York at Stony Brook announced in 2002 that his team had built live poliovirus from scratch using mail-order segments of DNA and a viral genome map that is freely available on the Internet. The feat put a spotlight on the possibility that bioterrorists could create even more dangerous organisms – including Ebola, smallpox and anthrax – perhaps endowing them with resistance to antibiotics.” Wimmer’s feat took three years, but last November, Craig Venter took only three weeks to concoct a virus that infects bacteria. And soon, synthetic bacteria themselves may move from concept to reality.New living things: “And researchers are getting close to determining the smallest set of genes necessary to support a living cell, which might make it possible to cook up new life forms.”New molecular machines: “In a parallel development, other researchers have been tinkering with the building blocks of genes and proteins themselves. Naturally occurring proteins are built from a standard set of 20 amino acids. Although these are enough to produce protein chains with a staggering array of functions, expanding this repertoire might enable the design of biomolecules with new functions, such as protein-based drugs that resist being broken down in cells.” Already, some 80 unconventional amino acids have been artificially incorporated into proteins.New genetic codes: Steven Benner has gotten DNA to incorporate an unnatural base pair. He said, “I suspect that, in five years or so, the artificial genetic systems that we have developed will be supporting an artificial life form that can reproduce, evolve, learn and respond to environmental change. This will help define how life not of earthly origin might appear”.New circuitry: “But building a new bacterial genome is not just a matter of chemistry – you have to design the circuitry too,” Ball says, and that’s just what some researchers are attempting. Bioterrorism: “An unclassified report by the CIA released last November warned that synthetic biology could produce engineered agents ‘worse than any disease known to man’…,” he says.Unintentional Risks: Probably riskier than bioterrorism is human errorism. “It is much harder to anticipate the unintentional dangers of synthetic biology,” Ball says. “For example, if new strains of bacteria were developed with unprecedented capabilities, how could they be kept under control?” Even those that have been designed with built-in self-destruct mechanisms have apparently mutated around them.Unanticipated Risks: “Yet as synthetic biology develops, it will be hard to anticipate all the possible problems, whether malevolent or inadvertent.” How can we protect ourselves against the unknown, when the “repertoire over the coming decade is limitless”?In 1975, scientists held a summit at Asilomar, California, to “voluntarily forego” certain kinds of research on recombinant DNA, and institute “safety measures to prevent abuses of new techniques” that might go awry. Is a new summit overdue? There is some self-policing going on, but safety might be a casualty of the promise of great discoveries, carelessness, curiosity or the desire to be first. In addition, the threat of bioterrorism is as real as the memories of 9/11. Either by stealing materials or learning how to do it themselves, there are groups who would have no qualms about unleashing deadly agents that could not only resist our defenses, but turn out to be uncontainable. Ball says that for the time being, safety protocols are “informal” because no one can properly understand the issues or assess the threats well enough to formalize any policies, let alone enforce them:Synthetic biology is now raising the bar. Should limits be set on what is attempted? If so, what should they be and how should they be enforced? And what steps can be taken to ensure that a rogue organization, or even a state-sponsored bioweapons programme, does not use the technology to synthesize a dangerous microbe?Meanwhile, “into the unknown” march the researchers into this risky yet promising new field, with the public largely unaware of what is going on. Ball ends his article with more apprehension than hope. “Sooner or later, synthetic biology may find itself facing dangers that are far more than hypothetical. As [bioterrorism expert George] Poste puts it: ‘Biology is poised to lose its innocence.’”1Philip Ball, “Synthetic biology: Starting from scratch,” Nature 431, 624 – 626 (07 October 2004); doi:10.1038/431624a.Would you trust a Darwinist, who can say with a straight face, “cells, like mechanical or electronic devices, are exquisitely ‘designed“ … by evolution” (Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week) to have any moral sense? [Dumb Ideas.] Would you trust an unethical scientist somewhere, with eyes on a Nobel prize, or winning a race against a competitor, or getting a big payoff from someone, to be overly concerned about safety, let alone ethics? Big Science resists any political restraints on their work. They like to think they can police themselves. Most scientists are conscientious and ethical, but it just takes one that’s not, and these nightmare scenarios become tomorrow’s reality. Only ethics based on loving God with all our heart and loving our neighbor as ourself will stand the test of time. For those who trust God and his word, there is comfort commensurate to any threat, local or global (for example, read Psalms 144-147). The reason for that comfort is the confidence that the Creator of the world is in control. He understands DNA because He invented it. Scientists might make a superbug that resists all our defenses, but God can – and will – override man’s worst. He is not going to let the world that He formed to be inhabited (see Isaiah 45) be wiped out by man’s mistakes, and the future of this planet is in his hands. That doesn’t mean we should stop fighting evil and working for peace and safety. It does not mean we should forego pursuing good uses of science and technology, even though there is risk. But no matter what comes, even if global terror threatens, our trust should be in the Lord, not in scientists, summits, national defense or human promises to be good. There is only one reliable source of help for mankind. “I will lift up my eyes to the hills– From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth….The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore” (Psalm 121).(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
South Africa is urbanising at a rapid pace and its major cities are taking the most strain. They may be affordable and possess a healthy job market, but numerous challenges keep them from competing with the world’s megacities. Brand South Africa presents its findings on South Africa’s cities based on the 2015 City Brands Index and the MasterCard African Cities Growth Index.By Dr Petrus de Kock & Ms Leigh-Gail PetersenThis research note update focuses on findings from recent studies that provide insight into the profile of South African cities from both a global reputation/awareness, and competitiveness point of view. The studies analysed include the 2015 City Brand Index and the MasterCard African Cities Growth Index. Read the full research note.The first section briefly outlines the critical role cities and metro’s play in not only national, but also the global economy.According to data from Statistics South Africa, as well as the World Bank, it is safe to say that South Africa’s population is urbanised at a rate of anywhere between 60 and 64%. From a demographic and economic point of view, cities therefore play a crucial role in the country’s human, economic and social development. From a reputation point of view the table below presents the rankings of South African cities in the 2015 City Brand Index.From a city profile point of view, the following associations with South African cities emerge from the City Brand Index (CBI). All three South African cities are most associated with:Natural beauty, followed byCultural diversity.It is also positive that the People of South Africa’s cities are described most prominently as:Hard working,Respectful of traditions, andTo a lesser extent “happy” and “easy-going.”People from Cape Town are seen as “energetic”.In terms of city competitiveness, the 2015 African City Growth Index shows that the South African cities measured in the index have strong infrastructural and governance features that make them attractive. However, some challenges faced by South African cities are noted below.Key African Cities Growth Index findings on SA cities Some reasons offered for the above scenario by ACGI include:Decreasing economic growth;Low household consumption;Labor inefficiency and low productivity;Decreasing competitiveness; andChallenges with education.The top five African cities according to the ACGI are:Lessons learnt from City Branding:Lesson 1 Due to the increasingly critical role cities are playing in the global economy, more emphasis has to be put on how these cities contribute to the national economy;Lesson 2South Africa has become a ‘young urban nation’;Lesson 3Perceptions of South African cities reflect on the Nation Brand and its reputation as well. Meaning that what cities offer residents and the world play a major role in shaping the reputation and competitiveness of the country as a whole;Lesson 4Need to interrogate reasons for lowering inclusive growth potential of South African cities as seen in the ACGI;Lesson 5Work on profiling the business, trade and investment offerings of South African cities more and to increase familiarity with the cities in key international audiences.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Senator Sherrod Brown is the first Senator from Ohio to be on the Senate Agriculture Committee. Work on the 2018 Farm Bill continues inside the beltway and The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins recently visited with the Senator about the latest progress.
GC488RH – Ljubljanski nebotičnik / SkyscraperGC488RH – Ljubljanski nebotičnik / Skyscraper is a Traditional Cache with an amazing view of the capital cityIn the capital city of Ljubljana, one of the most recognizable landmarks is Nebotičnik also known as Ljubljana’s skyscraper. When construction was complete in February of 1933, it was one of the tallest buildings in all of Europe. When you enter the skyscraper, take a moment to admire the gorgeous spiral staircase before heading up to the grand 360° view and tiny geocache on the observation deck. The official slogan of the Slovenian Tourist Board is “I FEEL SLOVENIA”, and it’s easy to see why:Two-thirds of Slovenia is covered in forestsSlovenia is the only country in Europe that combines the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pannonian Plain, and the KarstOne percent of Slovenia is covered by vineyardsSlovenia is the first of FIVE geocaching country souvenirs to be released this year! That’s correct! If the allure of varied landscapes, rich culture, and countless barrels of wine weren’t enough, you can now earn a geocaching country souvenir for logging a geocache in Slovenia (in addition to four other new countries that will be revealed soon). Souvenirs are virtual pieces of art that are displayed on your geocaching profile page when you find a geocache in certain locations.As an aperitif, we’ve put together five must-see geocaches from “the green piece of Europe.” Enjoy! GC1W8FM – Zelenci SourcesGC1W8FM Zelenci Sources is stunning EarthCacheGiven the piercing green color of this lake, it’s obvious to see how Zelenci Sources got it’s name: Zelen means “green” in Slovene. You’ll be able to spot mini water “jets” that resemble tiny volcanoes under the surface of the water, and find two types of lizards in this area. If you want to see super cool 360° photos of this natural wonder, click this link.Inspired yet? Better start packing your bags and exploring the wonders of Slovenia and meeting their lovely citizens! Slovenian GIFF Weekend 2015 in LjubljanaWe’ll unveil one new souvenir every week until all FIVE are officially released and awarded by mid December. Souvenirs that are currently available can be found here. A list of currently available geocaching souvenirs and even the ones you’ve already earned can be found on Geocaching.com. And, if you’ve already found a geocache in Slovenia, we will retroactively add this souvenir to your profile after all five country souvenirs are announced.Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or right here on our Blog to find out which countries are next.Have you found a geocache in Slovenia? Tell us your experience in the comments below! GC3QWBD – MorigenosGC3QWBD Morigenos is a Traditional Cache in the seaside town of PiranThis geocache will take you to a beautiful location overlooking the Adriatic Sea, and was made in partnership with the Morigenos – Slovenian Marine Mammal Society who study a resident population of bottlenose dolphins in the area. For an additional cost of 1 € and some extra time, head up to the top of the church tower for a view of the town and coastline. SharePrint RelatedSmileys by bicycle in SloveniaMay 10, 2017With 1 commentA Guide to Geocaching in LithuaniaNovember 23, 2015In “Geocaching.com Souvenirs”RUDNIK MANGANA / MANGANESE MINE (GC4RCD7) —Geocache of the WeekNovember 19, 2015In “Geocache of the Week” GC26YR7 – Blejski otok / Island on Lake BledGC26YR7 Blejski otok / Island on Lake Bled is a Traditional Cache on Slovenia’s only islandOne of the oldest castle in Slovenia is the site of countless picturesque postcards. As tradition goes, if a couple gets married at the church on Bled Island, the groom must carry the bride up all 99 steps to ensure a long and happy marriage. You have three methods for reaching the geocache on Bled Island:Take a boatSwim over in the summer months (make sure to bring extra clothes that are appropriate for entering the building on the island), orWalk across the frozen lake in winterOne would think that the storybook nature of finding this geocache would be impossible to top, but inside the geocache is another set of coordinates for a nearby bonus geocache. Fairy tales do come true! Share with your Friends:More GC14916 – Vas KocnoGC14916 Vas Kocno is a 6 stage Multi-Cache in a charming villageAccording to the geocache’s listing page, this geocaching is in one of the most idyllic regions of Slovenia:Kočno is a wonderful small village, surrounded by unspoiled nature. It counts about 20 homes with 85 inhabitants. It’s located on the eastern side of Pohorje mountain at some 500 meters altitude and on the south side of the Polskava river. The villagers are mostly occupied with farming, primarily agriculture, growing cattle, fruits and wine. The village is nicely arranged and is a real open-air ethnological museum. Old farming machines, tools and gadgets that were used in old times on farms in Kočno and surroundings, are put on display all around the village.While in this lush area, consider a side trip to Maribor, site of the world’s oldest fruit bearing grapevine—over 400 years old!
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Christopher Ingraham at the Washington Post, citing a Brookings Institution report, notes that U.S. businesses are being destroyed faster than they are being created. His article begins, “The American economy is less entrepreneurial than at any time in the last three decades.”Frank Bruni at the New York Times write about America the Shrunken. Bruni, on the American psyche, writes: “The American dream, 2014 edition: Squirrel away nuts for a leaner tomorrow. The worst is yet to come, so insure yourself against it if you’re among the lucky few who can . . . More and more I get the sense that we’ve lost it, and by “it” I mean the optimism that was always the lifeblood of this luminous experiment, the ambition that has been its foundation. the swagger that made us so envied and so reviled.”The fact that fewer business are being started and those that are aren’t making it through their first year means that anyone with the gumption and a little hustle are going to have an easier time succeeding. It’s always easier when fewer are willing to compete with you for attention and the opportunity to serve customers. But there are going to be many more haters criticising you for being brash, bold, and in their eyes, reckless.Optimism is in short supply in our political and business leadership. But people aren’t too long for leaders who believe that things are getting worse and duck and cover. People follow leaders who are certain that a better future awaits them and drive towards that future. Leaders who don’t believe that the future will be better aren’t really leaders. There is no such thing as a pessimistic leader, even though there may be pessimists with formal authority and power.Don’t allow your mind to be infected with a negative belief system. It’s morning wherever you are as soon as you believe it is.
Rahul Gandhi denied permission to visit violence-hit Saharanpur Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday left for strife-torn Saharanpur, but district authorities said he would be stopped at the border.Party sources said Rahul left for Shabbirpur village, the centre of the caste violence in the district, by road on Saturday morning after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi.ADGP (Law and Order) Aditya Misra, who is camping in Saharanpur in view of the tense situation there, said the police have requested Mr. Gandhi to cancel his visit to avoid any “confusion and provocation“.”If he still comes to the town, he will be stopped at the border and requested to return. But if he does not, legal action under Section 144 of CrPC, which prohibits an assembly of more than four people in an area, will be taken,” he said.If not permitted to visit the victims in the affected area, Mr. Gandhi would court arrest, the Congress sources said.The ADGP said normality was returning and things were improving fast.Senior Congress leader P L Punia said over the phone that party men were awaiting Mr. Gandhi in the district.Also Read “We want the administration to allow him to meet the victims of the violence,” he said.Mr. Gandhi is being accompanied by AICC general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradsh affairs Ghulam Nabi Azad, and State Congress chief Raj Babbar.“They cannot suppress the voice of the poor, Dalits and Adivasis of this country. Mr. Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party will continue to speak,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.“Nobody will be able to stop Mr. Gandhi from reaching out to the victims of the violence, which have been perpetrated at the instance of BJP gundas,” he added.Saharanpur witnessed widespread caste-based violence this month.Violence first broke out about 40 days ago following a procession to mark Ambedkar Jayanti. On May 5, a person was killed and 15 people were injured in communal clashes.About a dozen police vehicles were set ablaze and 12 policemen injured on May 9.On May 23, One person was shot dead and two were wounded, following which the government suspended the SSP and district magistrate and transferred the divisional commissioner and the deputy inspector general of police.The Centre has sent 400 anti-riot police personnel to Saharanpur to help the State restore peace in the region.