By Geraldine Cook/Diálogo November 20, 2017 Brigadier General Hugo Marenco, commander of Air Operations Command of the Uruguayan Air Force (FAU, per its Spanish acronym), has one specific mission: plan and conduct his institution’s air operations. In this task, Brig. Gen. Marenco seeks to establish his country’s air force as an international leader. The high degree of training and professionalism of his staff and the upgrade to modern and suitable technological equipment are some of his main challenges.Brig. Gen. Marenco spoke with Diálogo at the South American Air Chiefs Conference at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, October 31st –November 3rd, 2017. In addition to discussing FAU’s challenges, Brig. Gen. Marenco highlighted the role of air forces in natural disasters and regional integration as fundamental tools for humanitarian support.Diálogo: Why is FAU’s participation in this conference important?Brigadier General Marenco, commander of the Air Operations Command of the Uruguayan Air Force: It’s very important to see other nations’ capacities, interact with them, see their experiences and difficulties, and be able to better coordinate our operations in the event of a natural disaster or when humanitarian aid is needed. That is FAU’s main reason to participate in this conference.Diálogo: What is your assessment of the South American air forces’ participation at this conference?Brig. Gen. Marenco: It’s a very welcoming environment, with a lot of camaraderie and very active participation. We share many activities thanks to the System of Cooperation Among American Air Forces (SICOFAA, per its Spanish acronym), and as we forge bonds of friendship we consolidate better coordination among air forces.Diálogo: Why is cooperation among air forces important in responding to regional natural disasters?Brig. Gen. Marenco: It’s a reality. We are faced every day with natural disasters of greater magnitude, and being prepared as an Air Force and as a nation to deliver humanitarian aid is crucial to us. It’s essential for all nations in the region to be able to deliver aid and receive it when needed. It’s important to make the most of SICOFAA’s capacities. In our country, for instance, overflowing rivers and streams are more frequent and the Uruguayan Air Force works on these problems day to day.Diálogo: What is Uruguay’s level of participation in SICOFAA?Brig. Gen. Marenco: The FAU has been part of SICOFAA since its creation in 1965. We participate in all committees, we’ve hosted some of them, and we hope to continue to participate in the same way. SICOFAA is a sound cooperation tool for disaster response situations.Diálogo: What are the FAU’s capabilities?Brig. Gen. Marenco: FAU is a small air force, from a small country, but it can connect and interact with SICOFAA. Our Air Force took part in a mission to Ecuador in April 2016, in response to the earthquake. Our C-130 aircraft operated for about 15 days in the city of Manta, Ecuador, and brought humanitarian aid to the cities of Guayaquil, Quito, and Manta. The Air Force uses the capacities that SICOFAA provides, and allow us to interact with other nations and deliver aid to areas that require it.Diálogo: What is the significance of FAU’s and Uruguay’s participation in this kind of regional cooperation among air forces?Brig. Gen. Marenco: It’s very important, due to the capacities integrated. No nation has every capacity or can provide all the aid needed when large-scale natural disasters strike.Diálogo: How does FAU collaborate with other air forces in the region?Brig. Gen. Marenco: We have close relations with all nations of America and especially with those of South America. We have great relations with our nearest neighbors, such as the Argentine and Brazilian air forces. We work in a very coordinated way with common objectives. We support our neighbors and allies with aid whenever requested.Diálogo: How does FAU collaborate with the other branches of Uruguay’s Armed Forces?Brig. Gen. Marenco: We work in a coordinated way. The new law of 2010 within the defense framework consolidated the creation of the new joint command bodies, to which the Air Force belongs.Diálogo: What is your main challenge?Brig. Gen. Marenco: My main challenge in this position is to maintain our crews and staff trained so they can fulfill the missions our nation needs. I want us to be able to support neighboring countries when they need us. Our motto is “Aviation at the Forefront of the Nation,” which means that we move forward with our nation’s challenges. Likewise, we work on modernizing our aerial equipment—which already counts many years of service and is difficult to maintain—as we seek to meet our nation’s needs.Diálogo: What is the level of female participation in FAU?Brig. Gen. Marenco: Our Air Force was one of the first in Latin America to admit female personnel into its officer training school. The first admissions to the air force academy were in 1997. FAU counts about 2,500 personnel, of which 400 are officers and 2,100 are enlisted. Of that number, about eight percent belong to the upper ranks. In the peacekeeping missions under the United Nations mandate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we have about 15 percent female personnel.Diálogo: What is your message to the air forces of the region?Brig. Gen. Marenco: FAU is an allied air force. It is small but very professional, and we are willing to build bridges, as we have done traditionally with air forces of Latin America.
Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros “I think Andrew has earned the right by being an Angel as long as he has,” Maddon said. “I thought it was the right thing to do this year. Plus, he’s very capable.”Heaney, 28, has shown flashes of being a front line starter, but they have been interrupted by injuries and periods of inconsistency.“He wants to be the guy that other guys look at,” Maddon said. “He wants that. His work ethic is that good. His stuff is that good. And he’s at that age right now where I think he’s ready to blossom.”His best extended periods were in 2015, when he had a 3.49 ERA over 18 starts after being promoted to the majors in June. In 2018, Heaney missed the first couple weeks of the season with his elbow issue, but then he posted a 4.15 ERA over 30 starts and 180 innings. He had a 3.66 ERA 18 starts into that season, but he struggled slightly at the end, perhaps the result of fatigue at the end of his first full season after Tommy John surgery.“I know how good I can be when I go out and pitch for a long stretch,” Heaney said. “I’ve proven that I know how good I can be when I have long stretches where I’m healthy and able to take the ball every five or six days. I definitely have all the confidence in the world in myself.” Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter TEMPE, Ariz. — Andrew Heaney’s first victory is simply making through four weeks of spring training without the elbow pain that has dogged him each of the past two years at this point.The reward was being named the Angels starter for Opening Day, a first for Heaney’s career at any level of professional baseball.“It’s an honor,” Heaney said after getting the news from Manager Joe Maddon on Sunday morning. “It’s cool. I’ve worked really hard to put myself in that position and it’s pretty cool.”Maddon said that he considered Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran for the nod in the Mar. 26 opener at Houston, but he eventually settled on Heaney, in part because of his history with the Angels. Heaney has been a part of the organization since December 2014, while Bundy and Teheran are both new. Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Heaney said he believes he solved the issue of the spring training elbow issues by changing his offseason routine. He didn’t take as much of a break from throwing in the winter as he had in the past.Heaney’s start will get a little extra focus throughout the baseball world because he will be the first pitcher to face the Houston Astros since they were penalized for illegally stealing signs in 2017 and 2018.Although there is a widespread assumption that Astros hitters may get hit by pitches more often in retaliation for their offenses, Maddon said he would tell his pitchers to play it straight.Heaney said as much on Sunday.“I’m going to go out there and pitch to win the game,” Heaney said. “I don’t think intentionally putting guys on is the right way to go about winning a game. But I do pitch inside and I’m not going to be afraid to do that. That’s the strength of my game. I hope that narrative doesn’t overshadow the game and what our team is trying to accomplish this year.”After Heaney works the first game, it’s unclear how Maddon will arrange the rest of the rotation. Bundy and Teheran will be part of it. The Angels will also need two other starters from a group including Matt Andriese, Jaime Barria, Dillon Peters, Patrick Sandoval and Jose Suarez.Griffin Canning will start the season on the injured list, and Felix Peña also may miss the first week or two. Shohei Ohtani is not going to start pitching until mid May because the Angels are limiting his innings in his first season pitching after Tommy John surgery.ALSOTy Buttrey said he had no problems during a live batting practice session on Saturday, and he’s scheduled to make his Cactus League debut on Tuesday. Buttrey, who had been sidelined because of intercostal strain, said he expects to pitch in six or seven exhibition games, which is sufficient to be ready for the season. …Catcher Jose Briceño has been out with a sore shoulder, but he’s been throwing for the past few days. …Justin Anderson, who is also out with a strained intercostal muscle, is improving but there is still no timeframe for him to resume throwing. …Michael Hermosillo returned to action after being out for several days with a sore hip.Related Articles Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros
But a minute later he was alone at the back post to lash home left footed from an Andre Carillo flick on from Cueva’s cross.– Timely intervention –Striker Guerrero made a timely intervention in his own area to prevent a Sanchez corner from sneaking in at the near post.Yotun doubled the lead on 38 minutes after punishing Chile goalkeeper Gabriel Arias’s rush of blood to the head.Carillo chased a long ball down the right hand side and beat Arias, who ill-advisedly had charged from his area, to the ball before picking out Yotun on the edge of the 18-yard area.Faced with four back-tracking defenders, Yotun calmly controlled the ball on his chest and sent a low volley straight down the middle of the empty goal.Equally importantly was Gallese’s one-hand save to tip over a Jose Fuenzalida volley a minute before the break.A 2-0 half-time lead was the least Peru deserved after an enterprising performance against tentative opponents.Chile were a lick of paint away from getting back into the match on 51 minutes when Eduardo Vargas’s flicked header beat Gallese but agonisingly came back off the post.Peru should have put the game to bed on a rapier counter-attack on the hour but Guerrero and Cueva passed rather than shooting and Yotun ballooned over from six yards with the goal gaping.Peru started sitting deeper, inviting Chile to attack and Aranguiz sent a rasping shot whistling past the top corner with Gallese a mere spectator.Gallese then tipped over a looping volley from Beausejour and 15 minutes from time he stayed big to block a shot from Vargas one-on-one.He was unbeatable and dived low to his right to palm out a venemous Sanchez effort from 20 yards.Guerrero put the icing on the cake in injury time after rounding Arias, but Gallese had the last word from the penalty spot.Share on: WhatsApp Peru stunned defending champions Chile 3-0 to reach the finalPorto Alegre, Brazil | AFP | Peru stunned defending champions Chile 3-0 to reach the final of the Copa America for the first time in 44 years on Wednesday.Goals from Edison Flores, Yoshimar Yotun and Paolo Guerrero handed Peru a deserved win which sends them into a final against Brazil at the Maracana Stadium on Sunday.The stunning upset prevented Chile’s golden generation from challenging for a third straight title, following their wins over Argentina in 2015 and 2016.Instead the finalists from the previous two editions will meet in Saturday’s third-place play-off in Sao Paulo.Little was expected of Peru in the knock-out stages after they ended the group phase with a humbling 5-0 thrashing by Brazil.But after riding their luck — and being saved by VAR three times — to beat Uruguay on penalties in the quarter-final, they were a completely rejuvenated outfit in Porto Alegre.“The team has gone back to its essence, passing the ball and running hard,” said goalscorer Yotun.“The game against Brazil was tough but this will be a different match. It’s a final that’s there to be won. We have to work hard and lift this cup.”Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, the villain of that 5-0 defeat, was again faultless, as he had been in the quarter-final when decisively saving Luis Suarez’s shoot-out penalty.He again saved a penalty and made a number of other vital stops.“It’s painful for all of us because we fought for another title,” said Chile captain Gary Medel.“Peru played a great match and we have to congratulate them. The played really well, worked really hard and deserve to be in the final.”From the start Peru dominated the reigning champions, with Christian Cueva wastefully shooting wide two minutes in after he was teed up in space by his captain Guerrero.On seven minutes Chile’s Charles Aranguiz started and finished a superb passing move involving Alexis Sanchez and Jean Beausejour, by placing a precise shot just past the post.Flores took advantage of an Erick Pulgar slip in midfield to dart towards goal but he dragged his weak shot woefully wide.
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston talks to reporters after winning the Heisman Trophy, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)NEW YORK (AP) — Jameis Winston left voters no choice but to give him the Heisman Trophy.The Florida State quarterback became the second straight freshman to win the Heisman on Saturday night, earning college football’s most prestigious individual award with a performance so spectacular and dominant that even a criminal investigation couldn’t derail his candidacy.Winston received 668 first-place votes and 2,205 points. He finished 1,501 points ahead of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron for the seventh-largest margin of victory in Heisman history, despite being left off 115 of the 900 ballots that were returned.Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch was third, followed by Boston College’s Andre Williams, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Auburn’s Tre Mason.Manziel was the first freshman to win the Heisman, and was trying to join Ohio State’s Archie Griffin as a two-time Heisman winner. Instead, Winston made it two freshman winners in the 79-year history of the Heisman. He also became the youngest winner at 23 days short of 20.The 19-year-old also was investigated last month for a year-old sexual assault, but no charges were filed and the case was closed four days before Heisman votes were due.Winston is the nation’s top-rated passer and has led the top-ranked Seminoles to a spot in the BCS championship game against No. 2 Auburn on Jan. 6, his birthday. The former five-star recruit from Bessemer, Ala., made college football look easy from his very first game. On Labor Day night, on national television, Winston went 25 for 27 for 356 yards and four touchdowns in a victory at Pittsburgh.It was a brilliant debut that lived up to the offseason hype, when Winston wowed Florida State fans in the Seminoles’ spring football game and on the baseball diamond as a hard-throwing reliever and clutch-hitting outfielder. He had already earned the nickname Famous Jameis before he ever played a college football game. And he quickly became one of the most beloved Seminoles since Charlie Ward, the 1993 Heisman winner.Winston is the third Seminoles quarterback to win the award, along with Chris Weinke in 2000.Winston and Florida State were cruising toward an undefeated season when news broke of an unresolved sexual assault complaint against him made to the Tallahassee Police Department last December.The dormant case was handed over to the state attorney’s office for a full investigation. A female student at Florida State accused Winston of rape. Winston’s attorney said the sex was consensual.During three weeks of uncertainty, Winston continued to play sensationally, especially in Florida State’s big games against Clemson and Miami, while other contenders stumbled or failed to distinguish themselves. If voters were looking to Manziel or McCarron or Lynch or Williams or even Marcus Mariota of Oregon to give them a good alternative to Winston, it didn’t happen. Mason made a late surge and ended up in New York because of the lack of serious challengers to Winston.The Heisman Trust mission statement says: “The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.”It’s a statement that has put the Heisman in awkward situations before. In 2010, Cam Newton played the season under the cloud of an NCAA investigation. He had also had legal troubles while in college. But like Winston, there was no doubt he was the best player and he won the award.Before last season, Manziel was arrested after being involved in a fight and providing police fake ID. It didn’t stop Johnny Football from winning the Heisman. Johnny Rodgers, the 1972 winner from Nebraska, pleaded guilty to a felony after helping to hold up a gas station as a freshman in 1970. He was pardoned earlier this year.Reggie Bush had his 2005 Heisman stripped after the NCAA determined he had violated its rules during that season. But the Heisman trust did not ask Billy Cannon and O.J. Simpson to return their Heismans after serving jail time.The accusations against Winston were serious and documents released by the police with the accuser’s allegations were not flattering to him. It probably explains why so many voters left him out of their top three. Last year Manziel appeared on 92 percent of the ballots. Winston appeared on 87 percent this year.There was no doubting his on-the-field credentials. Winston is on pace (190.1) to break Russell Wilson’s record for best passer efficiency rating in a season and set FBS freshman records for yards passing (3,820) and touchdown passes (38). Florida State’s average margin of victory is 42 points, and Winston has spent most of the Seminoles’ fourth quarters resting.The investigation has taken some of the shine off Winston’s Heisman coronation, at least for some. But if the question is simply who was college football’s best player in 2013, Famous Jameis was the clear answer.___Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP Heisman Winners(x-vacated)2013_Jameis Winston, Florida State, QB2012_Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, QB2011_Robert Griffin III, Baylor, QB2010_Cam Newton, Auburn, QB2009_Mark Ingram, Alabama, RB2008_Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, QB2007_Tim Tebow, Florida, QB2006_Troy Smith, Ohio State, QB2005_x-Reggie Bush, Southern Cal, RB2004_Matt Leinart, Southern Cal, QB2003_Jason White, Oklahoma, QB2002_Carson Palmer, Southern Cal, QB2001_Eric Crouch, Nebraska, QB2000_Chris Weinke, Florida St., QB1999_Ron Dayne, Wisconsin, RB1998_Ricky Williams, Texas, RB1997_Charles Woodson, Michigan, CB1996_Danny Wuerffel, Florida, QB1995_Eddie George, Ohio State, TB1994_Rashaan Salaam, Colorado, RB1993_Charlie Ward, Florida State, QB1992_Gino Torretta, Miami, QB1991_Desmond Howard, Michigan, WR1990_Ty Detmer, Brigham Young, QB1989_Andre Ware, Houston, QB1988_Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State, RB1987_Tim Brown, Notre Dame, WR1986_Vinny Testaverde, Miami, QB1985_Bo Jackson, Auburn, TB1984_Doug Flutie, Boston College, QB1983_Mike Rozier, Nebraska, TB1982_Herschel Walker, Georgia, HB1981_Marcus Allen, Southern Cal, TB1980_George Rogers, South Carolina, HB1979_Charles White, Southern Cal, TB1978_Billy Sims, Oklahoma, HB1977_Earl Campbell, Texas, FB1976_Tony Dorsett, Pittsburgh, HB1975_Archie Griffin, Ohio State, HB1974_Archie Griffin, Ohio State, HB1973_John Cappelletti, Penn State, HB1972_Johnny Rodgers, Nebraska, FL1971_Pat Sullivan, Auburn, QB1970_Jim Plunkett, Stanford, QB1969_Steve Owens, Oklahoma, HB1968_O.J. Simpson, Southern Cal, TB1967_Gary Beban, UCLA, QB1966_Steve Spurrier, Florida, QB1965_Mike Garrett, Southern Cal, TB1964_John Huarte, Notre Dame, QB1963_Roger Staubach, Navy, QB1962_Terry Baker, Oregon State, QB1961_Ernie Davis, Syracuse, HB1960_Joe Bellino, Navy, HB1959_Billy Cannon, LSU, HB1958_Pete Dawkins, Army, HB1957_John David Crow, Texas A&M, HB1956_Paul Hornung, Notre Dame, QB1955_Howard Cassady, Ohio State, HB1954_Alan Ameche, Wisconsin, FB1953_John Lattner, Notre Dame, HB1952_Billy Vessels, Oklahoma, HB1951_Dick Kazmaier, Princeton, HB1950_Vic Janowicz, Ohio State, HB1949_Leon Hart, Notre Dame, E1948_Doak Walker, SMU, HB1947_John Lujack, Notre Dame, QB1946_Glenn Davis, Army, HB1945_Doc Blanchard, Army, HB1944_Les Horvath, Ohio State, QB1943_Angelo Bertelli, Notre Dame, QB1942_Frank Sinkwich, Georgia, HB1941_Bruce Smith, Minnesota, HB1940_Tom Harmon, Michigan, HB1939_Nile Kinnick, Iowa, HB1938_Davey O’Brien, Texas Christian, QB1937_Clint Frank, Yale, HB1936_Larry Kelley, Yale, E1935_Jay Berwanger, Chicago, HB
The premium rates of Irish Life Health are set to increase from June 1, rising 3.3pc on average by €30 annually.The company blamed the increased level and cost of hospital claims and continuing medical inflation including public and private hospitals and also rising consultant charges.Irish Life Health said the hike follows a sustained period of price reductions and freezes.Managing Director, Jim Dowdall told the Independent.ie: “Our commitment is to provide our customers with the best value and most innovative health and wellbeing benefits. We have a determined focus on managing our costs to keep our premiums at the lowest possible level.” “However, as a result of increases in claims costs, including those from public and private hospitals and also consultant charges, it is necessary to increase the premium charged to cover the rising cost of medical treatment for our customers”.The increase in health premiums does follow reductions last year for many policyholders.At the end of 2017, Vhi made the first in a series of price cuts in the sector and rivals Laya Healthcare and Irish Life Health were forced to respond with cuts of their own.Irish Life Health premiums set to increase by 3.3% was last modified: April 27th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher insisted his side deserved their point against Chelsea.Luis Suarez’s equaliser in the 1-1 draw came after Chelsea had dominated most of the game at Stamford Bridge.But Carragher told Sky Sports: “In the first half Chelsea were on top, but in the second half I think we probably deserved a point in the end.”He added: “Chelsea are playing well this season. They have good attacking players in the final third.“At half-time the manager said we are quite tentative. We were not willing to take the chance and in the second half we were more willing to get forward.“It is a good point but we have to kick on now and start getting some wins.”More reaction to follow.
SAN JOSE — As much as the return of Evander Kane and the signing of Patrick Marleau have helped the Sharks turn things around after one of the worst starts in franchise history, their record might look a lot different now if it wasn’t for their penalty kill.The Sharks had to kill a third period penalty to protect a one-goal lead in their Oct. 10 game against Chicago, scored shorthanded and killed two more third period penalties in their two-goal win over Calgary on Sunday, then killed four …
Anyone analyzing a scientific explanation should evaluate whether it explains the phenomenon or explains it away. For instance, to say that bats have sonar because they evolved it provides little in the way of understanding of how or why that happened. Recently, some scientific papers have directly addressed the topic of complex systems in biology. How good a job are they doing at explaining complexity in an evolutionary context?Very interesting: Ross and Arkin, in the lead article for a special issue on complex systems in PNAS,1 started this way: “There is great interest in complex systems in chemistry, biology, engineering, physics, and gene networks, among others. The complexity comes from the fact that in many systems there are a large number of variables, many connections among the variables including feedback loops, and many, usually nonlinear, equations of motion, or kinetic and transport equations.” Shortly later, they said, “Nowhere is the importance of complex dynamics and architectures clearer than in biological systems.” Then they summarized the various papers in the issue: “Topics range from information processing in their signaling network and the organization of their metabolism, to how populations of differentiated cells communicate with one another to coordinate behavior, and to how evolution has arrived at different recurrent motifs of control and linked together different physiological functions.” The reader will look in vain, however, for any further mention of the word evolution in Ross and Arkin’s article. Each summary describes the characteristics of complexity in living systems, such as signal transduction, correlating metabolic flux measurements with functions, and the expressions of genes in networks. The word design outnumbers evolution three to one: for example, “The boundaries between phenotypic regions yield a method for discussion of the tolerance of a system to large changes of its parameters and the identification of design principles.”Unsolved mystery. Perhaps the most pertinent recent paper on the evolution of complex systems appeared February in PLoS Biology.2 It’s title sets the stage: “Wings, Horns, and Butterfly Eyespots: How Do Complex Traits Evolve?” Antonio Monteiro and Ondrej Podlaha set the stage by assuming evolution:Throughout their evolutionary history, organisms have evolved numerous complex morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations to increase their chances of survival and reproduction. Insects have evolved wings and flight, which allowed them to better disperse, beetles have grown horns to fight over females, and moths and butterflies have decorated their wings with bright circles of colored scales to scare off predators. The way that most of these and other adaptations first evolved, however, is still largely unknown. In the last two decades we have learned that novel traits appear to be built using old genes wired in novel ways, but it is still a mystery whether these novel traits evolve when genes are rewired de novo, one at a time, into new developmental networks, or whether clusters of pre-wired genes are co-opted into the development of the new trait. The speed of evolution of novel complex traits is likely to depend greatly on which of these two mechanisms underlies their origin. It is important, thus, to understand how novel complex traits evolve.Their presentation is like the chef who offers two choices on the menu: fish sticks, or fish cubes. Both mechanisms they offered to explain complex systems were fully evolutionary. Either the animals evolved their wings, horns and eyespots de novo, or they co-opted the equipment from previous complex systems with other functions and applied them in new ways. They seem to like co-option better. “Creating a developmental program de novo would involve linking many genes one-by-one, requiring each mutation to drift into fixation, or to confer some selective advantage at every intermediate step in order to spread in the population,” they said in the Darwinian spirit. “While this lengthy process is not completely unlikely, it could be circumvented with fewer steps by recruiting a top regulator of an already existing gene network, i.e., by means of gene network co-option.” The rest of the paper leaned toward this approach, since it apparently requires fewer miracles, as long as one accepts the prime miracle of the “already existing gene network.” It’s interesting that this paper appeared the month of the 200th birthday of Darwin in the category “Unsolved Mystery.” Articles in the Unsolved Mystery series, the heading explained, “discuss a topic of biological importance that is poorly understood and in need of research attention.” One might think that this is the very mystery Darwin solved 150 years ago. Monteiro and Podlaha made it look like evolutionary biologists are still at square one: “There is still much to do in order to fully understand how novel complex traits evolve,” their final paragraph began, before giving a final plug to their favored gene network co-option hypothesis. Their paper did little more, though, than offer an experimental framework for distinguishing innovation from co-option. Then they said, “This work is difficult and time consuming, but the question at its core—the genetic origin of new and complex traits—is probably still one of the most pertinent and fundamental unanswered questions in evolution today.”In the beginning, Genetics: A specific example of evolutionary theory applied to a complex system may shed light on the effectiveness of evolutionary explanations. Michael Rosbash attempted to explain biological circadian clocks in PLoS Biology last month.3 His article, “The Implications of Multiple Circadian Clock Origins,” started with a take-off on the Genesis creation story. “In the beginning… Genetics has had an awesome impact on our understanding of basic processes like circadian rhythms,” he teased. But understanding how the clocks emerged is a different matter. Circadian clocks exist in cyanobacteria and maybe earlier: “These relationships indicate that a similar, basic clock mechanism was present in a common ancestor, before the separation of insects and mammals more than 500 million years ago,” he noted. “Some argue that the relationship of basic clock mechanism and proteins extends to Neurospora, which would push back the common ancestor date even further.” Rosbash noted the differences between the circadian clock systems of cyanobacteria and those of mammals. This could either mean the function emerged early in the evolution of life, or that it arose twice: “the strong suggestion is that circadian rhythms have arisen at least twice, once in an ancestor of present-day cyanobacteria and then again in an ancestor of animals.” While we’re speculating, let’s up the ante: “More than two evolutionary origins are also possible, as the different set of plant circadian proteins may indicate a third independent origin” (though he doubts this actually happened). So how did these complex systems evolve? He appealed to selective advantages. “Finally, what were the original selective advantages, the driving forces, for the origins/development of rhythms in the eukaryotic and bacterial systems?” he asked. It appears that living cyanobacteria and mammals make good use of diurnal cycles and timekeeping to regulate their motions. In the end, though, all he could do was speculate: “So although circadian transcription may not be essential for some cyanobacterial timekeeping features, its temporal organization may have provided a progenitor with a sufficient selective advantage to drive the development of rhythms.” He almost attributed purpose and will to the ancestors. Don’t most orchestrators work on purpose with a design and a plan? In a “photosynthetic progenitor of current-day cyanobacteria,” he imagined that transcription factors “developed the capacity to orchestrate transcription in response to the ever-present light�dark cycle, and eventually to anticipate that cycle in a transcription- and even light-independent manner.” He ended by speculating that DNA repair mechanisms (involving multiple complex systems) linked light cycles to emerging clock systems: “Given the important role played by signal transduction in DNA repair, the relationship of DNA damage and repair to rhythms may have additional explanatory power, namely, the origin of circadian kinases.”Explanatory power – that is the question. To what extent does speculative appeal to imaginary ancestors, comparisons between functioning gene networks, and the assumption of the creative power of natural selection provide explanatory power for the origin of these systems?1. John Ross and Adam P. Arkin, “Complex systems: From chemistry to systems biology,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online before print April 20, 2009, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0903406106.2. Antonio Monteiro and Ondrej Podlaha, “Wings, Horns, and Butterfly Eyespots: How Do Complex Traits Evolve?” Public Library of Science: Biology, Vol. 7, No. 2, e37 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000037.3. Michael Rosbash, “The Implications of Multiple Circadian Clock Origins,” Public Library of Science: Biology, Vol. 7, No. 3, e62 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000062.The tricks the Darwinians play should be obvious. Over and over, evolution is the assumption, not the explanation: it evolved because it evolved. Some PhD biochemist with a good grasp of philosophy of science and good baloney detecting skills should grab that second paper by Monterio and Podlaha and make it a poster child of the emptiness of evolutionary explanations. Here, on the 200th birthday of the guy who made evolution famous, who supposedly explained everything, so that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution, they had nothing to offer but unsolved mysteries, just-so stories, miracles and futureware. It’s disgusting. And remember – just last month there was a huge uproar in Texas about whether students should be able to learn the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolutionary theory. Now you understand why the NCSE was so up in arms. Teaching those things in their actual proportions would require a whole semester on the weaknesses, and a nanosecond on the strengths. The news media, the school boards, the textbook writers and the courts are all resting on the quicksand of assumption that our academic labs are daily providing the solid evidence for Darwin’s theory needed to make it the sole dogma of the culture. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, Creation-Evolution Headlines has been bringing you the Darwin Party’s very best evidence. We take you down under the superstructure, the gigantic monument to Darwin that pervades our culture, so that you can see the rotting pilings in quicksand on which it rests. Would you want to trust it with your life?(Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Grants for small R&D projects;Grants for large R&D projects;R&D tax incentives;Grants for feasibility studies;The Technology and Human Resources in Industry Programme (THRIP);The SEDA technology programme;A technology venture capital fund; andR&D in the automotive industry. Subcategories of incentive The first category breaks down into eight subcategories, namely: And the competitiveness enhancement incentives are for: The capital expenditure category includes incentives for: Completing the website’s initial offering is a set of answers to frequently asked questions on incentives and the process of applying for them. SAinfo reporter Concept, research and development incentives – for private sector businesses that invest in the creation, design and improvement of new products and processes.Capital expenditure incentives – for companies that want to acquire or upgrade assets in order either to establish or expand their business’ productive capacity.Competitiveness enhancement incentives – for investments that facilitate increased competitiveness, sustainable economic growth and development in a specific sector. 15 June 2012 Businesses looking to get involved in creating employment and growing productive capacity in South Africa can now access information on government investment incentives through a one-stop portal, www.investmentincentives.co.za . The government offers a wide range of incentive schemes to encourage the growth of competitive new enterprises and the creation of sustainable employment. However, these have tended to become lost from view within the websites of particular departments. This week’s launch of the Government Investment Incentives portal is set to change all that.Promoting private sector involvement A joint project of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Economic Development Department and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the new website pulls together state incentive schemes, including grants and tax breaks, together in one easily navigable package. “It is important to establish sustainable enterprises to boost job creation and to increase the state’s participation in development,” Meryl Mamathuba, head of the IDC’s development finance department, said in a statement on Wednesday. “Ultimately, the aim is to promote private sector involvement in both the creation of productive capacity and research and development (R&D) in the country,” Mamathuba said.Three types of incentive The website helps the potential applicant find the incentive that might fit by dividing state incentives into three categories: Business process services (outsourcing);Black business supplier development;Export marketing and investment assistance;Sector specific assistance;Film production;Competitiveness in the clothing and textiles industries;Co-operatives;Female economic empowerment through the Bavumile and Isivande Women’s Fund; andManufacturing competitiveness enhancement. Small industry;Large industr;Critical infrastructure;Industrial development zones;Capital expenditure in the automotive industry;Foreign investment;Capital expenditure in the textiles industry; andManufacturing competitiveness enhancement.